”¦I do. And I know this is silly because there are so many great free options and, odds are, half the guests will never even see the website.
But here’s the thing. Websites are kind of my life. I work for the digital group in a large media company, and every day I work on websites. Updating them, making them more entertaining, figuring out ways to get more people to visit them”¦Unfortunately, I’m not a web designer or a web developer—I’m just a web writer. That means that, even though I feel like our site needs to be something special, I don’t really have the skills to build something from scratch.
It seems to me that my options are these:
- Build a free website through TheKnot, WeddingChannel, MyWedding.com, etc., and deal with the slightly longer subdomain.
- Build a paid website through ExclusivelyWeddings, WeddingJoJo, WedShare.com, WeddingWindow, etc. and potentially get a custom domain name with the package.
- Build a free website, buy a custom domain, and have my domain redirect to my free website.
These all have their drawbacks. The free websites have some great features—online RSVP submission fields, photo albums, and more—but you’re going to have to print something a little more complicated onto your save the dates.
How much nicer would a clean, simple “thepanthers.com” be than “mywedding.com/thepanthers” or even “ourwedding.thepanthers.com”? But buying a custom domain and redirecting it to a free site is more complicated than it sounds. Some domain-selling sites will put ads on the page that shows up before it’s forwarded. Some will charge you an additional fee to forward the URL. In some cases, you may need to pay for web hosting for that domain, just to send it somewhere else. And basically, it’s just not the best user experience.
The paid wedding websites are fantastic. WeddingJoJo has beautiful themes to choose from, and the features are constantly improving.
I just e-mailed them to ask about their RSVP feature, and someone responded immediately to let me know that they’re updating the section right now. She even asked me what I’d like to see in the improved feature, which will be launched by the end of next week. Cool, right? Unfortunately, sites like these cost anywhere from $80–$215 per year. And the pay-per-month option means that once your wedding is over, you’re probably going to stop paying, and your site that you worked so hard on will be gone.
I will find a solution to this. I have to. Even if half of our guests are computer illiterate and would never even consider getting wedding information online, the other half need to be seriously impressed by my digital prowess. Time to channel my inner tech geek.
What have you guys used for your wedding websites?