For the last couple weeks I’ve been seeing the the TV commercial from Intuit boasting their new website service called “Intuit Websites”. The first time I saw the commercial it really annoyed me, $4.99 per month for a complete website!? You can check out the commercial here:
Over the last few weeks I started thinking about this a bit more. What bothered me about the ad was the suggestion that your site should be built and ready instantly. This seems like another example of “I want it now and I want it cheap”. In one portion of the commercial they depict a professional photographer in his studio and he states, “I hired a someone to design my website…5 months ago!” Ouch!
The message I got from this commercial is this: You don’t have to hire your nephew or a professional and you shouldn’t have to spend more than 5 bucks and 5 minutes for a web site. (I agree about the nephew part.)
I think this is irresponsible on Intuit’s part. Most of us can agree that a businesses website is a major part of their advertising and marketing, not just something to be hacked together on a whim. For small businesses, it’s even more critical to have a well defined image, including a website.
On the plus side, the service does give business owners a simple tool to create a quick website. I’m not sure this would be a good long term solution, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I have not even tried the service (they offer a FREE 30-day trial, but they do require a credit card).
I want to hear from you. Do others in the design and web community feel that services like this discounts the skills and expertise of a professional designer/developer? Is this another attempt to commoditize a professional service through software?