I have a personal website that I host and registered with Yola. I must say that when I first began to build my website Yola was awesome. The customer service was great, the how to guides were perfect, and all in all for a novice this is a great tool. I run Google analytics on my Yola site and I have noticed that my traffic comes mostly from Twitter updates that have a shortened URL back to my Yola site. The traffic goes directly to my blog, gets the information that they are looking for and leave. Very few people go to my other pages or check out my links. Even fewer contact me or search the blog. I have begun to rethink Yola as the right place for this particular style of site. However my sister who is considering starting her own business may use Yola to meet her needs. The great thing about Yola or Google Sites is you don't have to know much about code to create a very professional looking website. The sites goal is to make it as easy as creating a PowerPoint presentation and your off and running. It has been posted by TechCrunch that Yola & HP have joined together. This could be a really cool thing and I hope it works out for both. There are other sites similar to Yola out there a simple Google search related:www.yola.com/ yola will bring up a bunch of sites with similar user interfaces and their own pros & cons. In school we use the First Class email client. It has a similar user interface so that all teachers can create a simple to use website for their classrooms. I am curious what other teachers are using and how their students interact with these sites. My first class site has basic course requirements, a page for each grade, grading guidelines, a page for make up work, and a how to section. Students have come to understand that this site is a tool and a resource that is growing and has the information that is current and relevant to their class. I has taken a lot of trial and error to get it close to right and it is by no means perfect. I am constantly pushing myself to improve it based on student feedback. Students have their own pros's and con's to teacher websites but I look forward to hearing your feedback as well.
Happy New Year.