(Today’s Byte is for folks with a web site.) For years I have seen the Bravenet tools on the web. This week I actually looked at the Bravenet services. Here’s what I learned:
Bravenet has tools that you can cut and paste into your web site, such as guest books, forms, clip art, and more. They seem to have a free version of everything and/or you can upgrade to their fee-based service. They even host free web sites.
To use their service, you have to sign in and then they will give you the html code for the application you want for you to copy and paste that into your site. You can manage your application from their web site. (So for example you can see the results of on online poll on your password protected portion of their site.)
I signed up. It was pretty easy and I don’t seem to be deluged with extra spam. I signed up to get a mailing list. So, far it seems to work well. Visitors to the site can sign up for their newsletter online. The client can manage the service from the Bravenet site. The only downside is that the list is clearly branded for Bravenet.
I think the Bravenet free services are good for a hobby or maybe nonprofit site. The Bravenet branding distracts from use for a professional site. The fee-based service is very reasonable. (For the tech lovers in the crowd the applications I have seen have been in php.) Usually I would opt to code something specifically for a site but there are times or sites where that doesn’t make sense. In those cases I think Bravenet is a good alternative.