Considering Indexhibit

dudecyber01 / 2020-06-24 16:32:28   

I used Indexhibit 10+ years ago (before / around the 2.0 update?) for a site and liked it.
I am considering it now as an alternative to Squarespace and Cargo.

In your opinion, should I invest the time or go with a different platform?

mb5006 / 2020-07-03 10:24:35   

I'll chip in with a personal opinion that I hope will help.

As you say, squarespace and cargo are platforms that provide largely automated and very convenient services that look slick and professional,* and play nicely with e-commerce and social media sites. You're a consumer buying a service. The platforms are like shopping malls. If you find a product you like and can afford it, then buy it.

* one person's "slick" is another person's "my site looks like everyone else's".

Indexhibit is the opposite of this. It comes from a time when web sites still had the personality of their creators. It's kept up with most new technologies but still retains that basic index + exhibit model that is the basis for everything it does. I find that this encourages clarity of thought when designing a site because you are not distracted by a ton of irrelevant features and additions. Less truly is more.

However, there are some downsides in using Indexhibit in 2020.

You have to do some work yourself, including installing the software on a server. You should also have some basic understanding of html/css or the curiosity to learn about them if you want to customize your site beyond minor tweaks here and there. Far from being a hurdle or a burden, I believe that these requirements are an excellent environment to learn new things and apply your creativity in new ways. It does not appeal to everyone, but do not underestimate the feeling of satisfaction you can get by understanding how your web site works and taking control of how it looks.

The other challenge with Indexhibit in 2020 is the size of the user community. I'm replying to your forum post 5 days after it was posted which is an indication of the current lack of vibrancy in the Forum. There will be many reasons for this, not the least of which is that the forum is now 13 years old and many technical questions can be answered by searching. Vaska is usually excellent in answering new technical and configuration questions, but very few other users regularly post or comment.

I moved from squarespace to indexhibit several years ago and have never regretted it. One is not better or worse than the other. They are just different and have strengths and weaknesses. One is a mega-corporation with teams of staff and a massive marketing budget; the other is an open source CMS developed by a single developer for the last 13 years. I like indexhibit's lack of features, and the features that it does have are just enough for me. I want to show my work to the world (the exhibit part!), not show off about how clever my web site is.

I hope this helps, and good luck with whatever you decide to do.

This thread has been closed, thank you.