Hosted Solutions For Front End Developers / Designers

Web development community is blessed with a large number of really robust open source solutions, enabling developers to be both productive and cost efficient. Most popular among these are Content Management System (CMS), Shopping Cart, Form Processing and Newsletter Management solutions.

Almost all of these popular solutions require database & server side programming skills, leaving front end developers/designers to depend on others to provide these services. W3Avenue has compiled a list of hosted solutions for front end web developers and designers, which can be easily integrated into existing or new websites; without having to depend on server side developers.

Even if you have the skills and resources to customize and deploy traditional packaged solutions, you may want to consider hosted option for the following reasons:

  • Quick Setup – No software to install, no programming required
  • Low up front cost
  • Option to establish an ongoing revenue stream
  • No software maintenance or upgrades required on your end

It is important to note that one of the biggest disadvantage advocated against the of use hosted solutions is the recurring cost.  This is something that you may need to evaluate on case to case basis for each client and provide or recommend solutions accordingly.

Content Management Systems

  • CushyCMS
    Free for unlimited users, unlimited changes, unlimited pages and unlimited sites. For $28 a month you’ll be able to brand CushyCMS for your own business and use custom domain to access it.
  • Surreal CMS
    Allows you to manage up to three websites with a Free Account. You can upgrade to a Designer Account for $25 a month that gives you unlimited websites, ability to rebrand it with your own company’s logo and access it from cms.yourdomain.com (or any domain/subdomain of your choice).
  • TypeRoom Lite
    An instant CMS for any website. It allows you to create an editable copy of webpage on any website. TypeRoom Lite will let you freely make edits without it affecting the live site. When you are done editing, you can email the updated page to your webmaster (free), download it (free) or post the updates directly to your website via FTP(require registration for $12 a month).
  • TypeRoom Professional
    TypeRoom Professional installs a light-weight application (requires PHP 4+ & Apache) on the your web server that allows for efficient interaction between the TypeRoom CMS and the your website. TypeRoom Professional allows you to edit menus, styles, page settings, user rights, etc. You can sign-up for TypeRoom Professional FREE, which allows up to 10 pages and 10 updates per month. The paid accounts starts from $24 a month which offers up to 5 pages and unlimited number of updated.
  • LightCMS
    Provides you with tools such as ability to add Blogs, Forms, Calendar, Picture Galleries, etc in your site with simple click of a button. Light CMS allows you to create full custom design in HTML, CSS & JavaScript and mark editable region. You can sign-up for LightCMS FREE, which allows up to 3 pages. The paid accounts starts from $19 a month which allows up to 10 pages.
  • PageLime
    Publishes flat files, and does not store or overwrite your source code, just the content in areas marked as editable. PageLime can also be configured to publish your content as XML and can also handle pages containing server side includes. When signing up for PageLime, you’ll get full access to the application for up to 3 free sites. For $19 USD a month you can have up to 50 sites. You can also brand PageLime with your own logo, a custom color scheme, and use your own domain such as cms.yourwebsite.com.
  • Tweak CMS
    Developed for resellers; you can brand it, decide which features needs be included into your solution, and also build plans and set prices for your customers.
  • Tuplix
    Lets you see your changes immediately and save them to a draft or publish them instantly! It works with any type of file: Includes, dynamically generated pages, HTML, PHP, JSP, etc. Tuplix Free plan allows you to manage up to 2 pages, you can sign up for paid plans starting at $10 a month for up to 10 pages.
  • More: Halogy

Forms & Surveys

  • Wufoo
    Allows anyone to create contact forms, web surveys, invitations, registrations and online payments without writing a single line of code. Wufoo provides free account that let you create up to 3 forms with 100 entries/month. Paid plans start at $9.95 allowing up to 10 forms with 500 entries/month.
  • Icebrrg
    Once you’ve created your forms with Icebrrg, you can easily post them on your own website or blog. Its forms are completely integrated into LightCMS. Icebrrg provides free account that let you create up to 3 forms with 100 entries/month. Paid plans start at $9 allowing up to 10 forms with 500 entries/month.
  • SurveyGizmo
    SurveyGizmo is powerful and easy to use online survey tool. Feature set includes survey piping, skip logic, survey branching, survey logins, browser redirects, and much more. With its real-time reporting, you can even start making survey-based decisions right away. SurveyGizmo provides free account that let you create unlimited surveys with 250 responses/month. Paid plans start at $19 allowing up to 1000 responses/month.
  • FormSpring
    FormSpring provides an easy way to build any type of online form (contact form, online order forms, surveys, or online registration forms), integrate it with your website and begin collecting data. It offers free account that let you create up to 3 forms with 50 entries/month. Paid plans start at $9 allowing up to 5 forms with 250 entries/month.
  • FormSite
    FormSite offers extensive features to support building professional forms and surveys. Features include: multiple page forms, PayPal forms, Google Checkout forms, Authorize.net forms, order forms, conditional logic, save and return, password protection, secure forms, etc. FormSite provides free account that let you create up to 5 forms with 100 entries/month. Paid plans start at $9.95 allowing up to 5 forms with 500 entries/month.
  • More: PollDaddy, Kontactr, Feedback

Email Newsletter & Campaign Management

  • MailChimp
    MailChimp makes it easy to send email newsletters to your customers, manage your subscriber lists, and track campaign performance. MailChimp provides a FREE account that allows you to send up to 3,000 times a month to 500 subscribers. Paid plans start at $30 per month for up to 2,500 contacts.
  • iContact
    iContact allows you to easily create, publish, and track email newsletters, surveys, blogs, auto responders, and RSS feeds. With iContact you pay a monthly fee based on the number of subscribers in your account. You can sign up for a 15 day free trial that allows you to send 500 messages to up to 250 subscribers. Paid plans start at $9.95 per month for up to 250 contacts.
  • Constant Contact
    Whether you’re looking to send an email newsletter, a high-impact email promotion, an email event invitation, an online survey, or build your email list, Constant Contact can help you get it done. You can sign up for a 60 day free trial that allows you to send to up to 100 subscribers. Paid plans start at $15 per month for up to 500 contacts.
  • VerticalResponse
    VerticalResponse provides easy way to build, target, send and track email marketing newsletters, online surveys and direct mail postcards. You can sign up for a 30 day free trial of VerticalResponse. Paid plans start at $10 per month for up to 500 contacts.
  • CampaignMonitor
    Campaign Monitor allows a designer to run successful email marketing campaigns for themselves and their clients. You can even rebrand the interface, create sub-accounts for your clients and let them send their own campaigns. Pricing starts at a flat delivery fee of $5, plus 1 cent for each recipient.
  • EmailBrain
    EmailBrain handles campaign creation, list management, and the delivery of HTML, text or rich media email messages. It also gives you access to real-time campaign tracking and analysis tools. EmailBrain pricing starts at $9.95 per month for up to 2,000 messages.
  • More: MyNewsletterBuilder, SimplyCast

Shopping Carts / Stores

  • Shopify
    Shopify gives you full control over the HTML & CSS for your storefront. It uses a templating language called Liquid that helps you transform your mock-up into a dynamic e-commerce store as quickly as possible. Pricing starts at $24 / month for up to 100 products.
  • Ecwid
    Ecwid is a 100% AJAX shopping cart (Hosted) solution that easily integrates with your existing site. It requires no server side programming, no hosting worries, no more trouble getting the software to look like it’s a fundamental part of your site.
  • FoxyCart
    FoxyCart is built to integrate into whatever CMS you like. Maintain your products on your end, and enjoy having all your data (catalogs, pricing, etc.) in a single location. You can even use your existing templates on your own server. FoxyCart will fetch and securely cache your templates and images, so you don’t even need a security certificate. FoxyCart’s cart, checkout, receipt, and emails can all be customized by CSS, HTML, and even JavaScript if you want. FoxyCart’s Standard Plan offers unlimited products and 100MB of space for downloadable products for $15/month.
  • 1ShoppingCart
    1ShoppingCart offfers integrated shopping cart, an affiliate program, ebook delivery system, ad tracking software, questionnaires and surveys, autoresponders or other Internet marketing tools. Pricing starts at $34 / month for up to 2000 products.
  • UltraCart
    UltraCart integrates with your entire e-commerce business, including shopping cart, payment processing, marketing & affiliate management, shipping systems, product fulfillment, and accounting systems. The UltraCart Basic Account pricing is based upon the number of items that you offer for sale in your store and/or your monthly sales volume. Pricing starts at $49.95/month for up to 250 item.
  • More: Ashop, Yahoo! Merchant Solutions, E-Junkie, 3DCart

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Reader Comments

11 Responses to “Hosted Solutions For Front End Developers / Designers”
  1. Parker says:

    I cant believe you didnt mention WordPress or drupal as a cms.. free cms

    • surreal says:

      That’s because you haven’t read the article properly:

      Almost all of these popular solutions require database & server side programming skills, leaving front end developers/designers to depend on others to provide these services. W3Avenue has compiled a list of hosted solutions for front end web developers and designers, which can be easily integrated into existing or new websites; without having to depend on server side developers.

      WordPress requires skills that go beyond design and pure xhtml/css hence why it’s not on the list, neither is Drupal that is a very complex system and requires at least a decent level of programming knowledge.

  2. nicogiraud says:

    You can also mention http://www.e-monsite.com, which offers to create a free website.

  3. Adeline says:

    Definitely bookmarked! And thanks for the summaries too, they’re worth more than screenshots :)

  4. Vasilis says:

    Excellent article. Thanks for sharing

  5. Brett says:

    Thanks for including Tweak CMS! We’re excited to be listed alongside other great products in such a helpful list.

  6. will says:

    Zimplit is another CMS that could be of use to the front-end crowd…

  7. JALves says:

    http://www.survs.com (Best survey tool by far…..)

  8. Rob says:

    SiteCM from ideaLEVER is a SaaS CMS that has a Dreamweaver Toolbar that makes implementation WYSIWYG. It has a Reseller program, with training, and support for you the designer, and your customers.

    http://www.idealever.com/sitecmdemo.htm for a demo of SiteCM

    http://www.idealever.com/resellers/dreamweavercstoolbar/demo.htm is a demo of implementation with the toolbar.

  9. AWeber says:

    AWeber has been around since 1998 and is another company that could be listed in the 8 suggestions for Email Newsletter & Campaign Management.

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