I’ve been building on the web for over twenty years. Web development has become more complicated during this time. Publishing online used to be simple: you write an HTML file, drag and drop it into a file transfer (FTP) app, and see your site updated in seconds. These days the same result requires more work and more knowledge.
Publishing online should be simple again. It should be possible for anyone to start a web site, a blog, or a portfolio by writing some text in a file. The whole process should be fast and easy for beginners and experts alike.
I’ve created Prefab to simplify publishing online. It’s actually simpler than the old school dragging-an-HTML-file-around approach. Prefab has two big advantages: the use of cloud storage (like Dropbox) to instantly sync files, and the ability to create a fully-featured site (like a portfolio) from minimal content (like some image files).
Prefab helps people publish online with tools they know and content they own. Current approaches require learning new tools (like content management systems or SSH) and locking content in proprietary silos. I think it’s better to help people create things online using simple tools (like Notepad) and make sure they always own their content.
There’s more to Prefab than publishing static sites. Interactive experiences (like surveys and comments) are simple to create as well, whether with spreadsheets or plain text. I like the Jamstack approach to building online projects and Prefab simplifies that, too.
I believe everyone should be able to publish online. The web is open to all and we shouldn’t be limited by walled gardens. Prefab is designed so that people can use the same content to publish a site twenty years from now, using open standards and transferable skills.
Prefab is the tool I wish I had years ago. It would have saved my early web sites, lost when their host shut down, and it would have saved months of my life spent dealing with tech issues. I hope it helps creators launch their ideas without getting distracted by the complexity of modern web development.