Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
WebNode ~ build your own web site for free
January 2nd, 2008

A couple of days ago Paul Hamilton published a post concerning WebNode. I bookmarked the site and this morning I toyed around with some of its feature set. This tool is impressive and I will definitely share this site with the students when school goes back in a month.

WebNode allows you to build a web site. Not just any web site but a full featured web site plug and play construction, impressive widget embeds, RSS feeds, elegant templates, multiple file upload. You can even point your own domain name to the site. It is sensational. Signing up is straightforward.

This morning I have simply created the initial template page and I have not made any changes other than deleting my email address from the contact module. I prefer to have my email address as an image so as to deter spambots.

If you look closely at the toolbars available in edit mode you will see that there is a rich set of options for you to explore.

You can drag and drop text elements, image elements, forums, polls, lists, articles and a diverse range of widgets. The screen captures below will give you a guide to some of the widgets that you can embed.

This is truly a tool worth your exploring. I have really just scratched the surface. I wonder what will happen to the client based software tools such as Dreamweaver now that tools such as these are beginning to become mainstream?

The WebNode home page states there is no catch and I checked out their Media, About and the Terms and Conditions pages. There was one condition that I do consider a “catch” per se. Under the heading “Intellectual Property” they state:

“You acknowledge that by posting materials on the webnode site You grant to Us and Our licensors and assigns an irrevocable, perpetual, royalty free, worldwide licence to use the materials both within the webnode site and in any other manner. The licence extends to copying, distributing, broadcasting, and otherwise transmitting, and adapting and editing the materials.”

This will be a source of concern for some. I do wonder about allowing WebNode and their licensors to use your material as they wish. This is a good tool and has great potential. What are your thoughts?

18 Responses to “WebNode ~ build your own web site for free”

  1. Paul Hamilton Says:

    Hi John. Thanks for mentioning my blog–two days in a row! Thanks, too, for reviewing Webnode. Your screenshots are helpful. I agree with you that this looks like a powerful tool for anyone wanting to create a full featured website. I think I need an interpretation of the license issue from someone with more copyright awareness than I have in order to sort out the implications. I’m glad you pointed out the concern about ownership. –Paul

  2. John Larkin Says:

    Hi Paul,
    You are most welcome. I hope I did not steal your thunder. I was keen to share the screen shots on the net. I am preparing a how to worksheet for my colleagues.

    It is quite a useful tool in my opinion. I did wonder about their bold statement about there not being a catch and I scoured the site looking for clues regarding advertising, future directions, etc. I initially thought that perhaps their partners such as Google, Flickr, Paypal and Yahoo might be collectively financing the project. The statement in the T&C regarding their usage of any materials is ‘interesting’ to say the least.

    Cheers, John

  3. Dale Says:

    I’m looking to setup a simple webnobe site for a friend and was similarly concerned (how paranoid we have become) at the free-no-catch statement. After spending a little time working with the tool and exploring it’s features, I noticed that the email is “Only available in Professional edition.” Could it be possible that the free service is a loss leader for a professional commercial service? In any event, I am going to use it for my friends site. If I come across a “catch” I drop you a comment.

    Kind Regards

  4. Shane Says:

    Dale, I too picked up the professional edition issue with teh email. I cannot find any mention of professional edition. I assume there must be one coming, as I was unsure how they were intending to make this venture commercially viable though. Misleading though to list in their features, and completely free, noc tahces, if in fact there are.

    I really like the tool though. Best I’ve seen to date, and these are poopoing up all over the place

  5. Shirlee Says:

    I just came upon your site and wondered if this might be a good place to ask a question… I’m currently constructing a websie on WebNode and have run into a road block, never having attempted anything like this before. I have not discovered how to finish my site and launch it onto the Web. There does not appear to be anything directing a site builder with this. Does anyone know?

  6. John Larkin Says:

    Hi there

    Thank you for the inquiry. That is one aspect of WebNode that is unusual. You need to open a new browser window and type in the address of your webnode site.

    For example, it might be:

    Then you will see the completed web site.

    WebNode should have a button or link that says “Go to site”.

    Once you click the publish button during the construction process it is up and running online.

    Strangely enough, as I type this email the WebNode server is down.

    I hope I have helped otherwise,

    Best wishes


  7. Jackie Says:

    I’ve enjoyed your site tremendously Mr. Larkin. Thank you so much for providing such an informative site.

    I started working with webnode to save time. I haven’t quite figured out how to import my own template into webnode. I thought all I would need to do is save as xml but I keep getting ” config.xml does not exist.error 41″

    Did you encounter any similar problems?


  8. John Larkin Says:

    Hi Jackie
    Thank you for your comment. I have dropped you an email.

  9. Troy Schulz Says:

    Hi John,

    I just stumbled upon your site from a google search on website design. Good to see you did not suffer any trauma from a group of adolescent marshal boys. Keep fighting the good fight. I will email u later



  10. John Larkin Says:

    Hi there Troy,
    How are you? Thanks for the note. I shall drop you a line,

  11. brian Says:

    hi i want to make my website now!

  12. Arun Says:

    even i couldnt upload an external CSS template…it shows an error regarding config.xml, while all the templates i got from different websites never had a config.xml…..also can anyone tell me if we can enable commments on the blog page?

  13. sasha Says:

    I ‘ve got a problem. Is there somebody that could explain me if using Webnode is possible to create a page like this: I mean create a pdf preview and clicking it going directly to the pdf file.
    Thanks a lot


  14. John Larkin Says:

    Hi Sasha
    Now, there are several possibilities. A little awkward. But possible. Perhaps you could create thumbnail images of the first page of each pdf document. Upload the thumbnail images to a WebNode gallery. Link to the original pdf document using the thumbnails properties window. How to create the thumbnail? Perhaps you could copy the thumbnail from the pdf documents properties window? Save the first page of the pdf as a jpeg and resize. Depends on your operating system.
    I need to be there I guess…

  15. connor Says:

    i would realy like to make a websit its been my dream but all i wat to do is put games on my very own website.

  16. TJ Says:

    Sir, can you please help me out with placing my own template in the site?? really have a problem on this. ur help wud really mean a lot.. thank u!

  17. John Larkin Says:

    Hi TJ,

    I am sorry I am unable to help. I have not worked much with templates in WebNode.

    Can the people at WebNode help?

    Cheers, John

  18. WebNode guide and overview Says:

    [...] Last January I blogged about a new web publishing tool, WebNode. It is part of a new breed of web publishing tools that live entirely within the browser. [...]