Karelia's Sandvox 2.10 Breaks New Ground With Easy Web Hosting

There are several, perhaps daunting, tasks to building a website. One, which the Sandvox OS X app makes easier, is the the design and structuring of a website without knowing much (or any) HTML. Underappreciated, however, is the messy mechanics of setting up a domain and managing access to the site behind the scenes. The new Sandvox 2.10 addresses that beautifully—in Applesque fashion.

Sandvox 2.10, announced on April 8th, introduces a built-in hosting service, and it's easy to use. Built right into the app is the facility to specify a test website, hosted by Karelia, free for 14 days.

Sandvox Hosting makes hosting a Sandvox site easier than ever," said Dan Wood, president of Karelia Software. "We created Sandvox from the idea that anybody should be able to create a website without having to learn HTML. Now, the combination of Sandvox 2.10 and Sandvox Hosting lets you publish a site by just entering your name and email address, and choosing a password. It's that easy."

As before, Sandvox users can design their website and use a traditional provider, however the new Sandvox Hosting is available exclusively to Sandvox customers.

Making Hosting Easier

While great strides have been made in the development of GUI-based tools to build a website, one of the annoying technical gotchas is all the detail of registering a domain, obtaining (s)ftp access, setting up email, and keeping track of all the administrative details.

Sandvox Hosting. Setting up a website is simple: provide a site name and your email address.

As Karelia explains it, "Sandvox users can try Sandvox Hosting for 14 days. Sandvox Hosting packages are available on a monthly basis, or by choosing from three yearly subscription options that include a privately-registered domain name. Sandvox Hosting supports custom domain name acquisition, domain aliasing and email forwarding."

The email forwarding is a significant reduction in complexity. Rather than set up a parallel email system, the site you build simply forwards email to your already existing service, making things less complex.

As for the setup, the user interface is clean, Applesque in its design and simplicity. All that needs to be done, for a test site, is to enter an email address and a desired website address, for example, AmazingArt.sandvox.net. A good password will be generated and saved in your OS X keychain, making it easy to access your site from then on.

After you've tried Sandvox Hosting free for 14 days, you can then graduate to one of the hosting plans, shown here.

Even if you already have a domain registered and you're using another provider, you can transfer both the domain registration and the site itself to Karelia and use them as your hosting service. However, some sites are more complex than others, including those with eCommerce, and so Karelia advises, "Sandvox Hosting is optimized for the vast majority of Sandvox websites, however, those sites with specific server-side processing will want to continue to use a traditional hosting provider."

All in all, this looks to be a giant step forward and solves a major headache for the majority of Sandvox customers who wish to skip the obligatory, administrative details and get on with their website. Apple couldn't have done it better. (They had their chance.)

Upgrading

According to Karelia, "Sandvox 2.10 requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher and is available today in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese. Sandvox is regularly priced at US$79.99 and available directly from Karelia Software or through the Mac App Store. The Sandvox 2.10 update is available today free of charge for any registered owner of Sandvox 2."