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Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the simplest web editor of them all? Barley

Imag­ine a restau­rant own­er who wants to change a sin­gle line of text on his new web­site. Unless he calls in a tech egghead, he’ll need to wade through a mind-bog­gling­ly com­plex admin­is­tra­tive area, replete with stats, soft­ware updates, forms, linkbacks, plu­g­ins, but­tons … the list goes on.  Or will he? Not if a new web edi­tor called Bar­ley has any­thing to do with it: sim­ple, fast and prac­ti­cal, this is the kind of inven­tion to excite the curios­i­ty of the inno­va­tion-seek­ing prod­uct man­ag­er and chief tech­nol­o­gy officer.

You don’t need to be a geek to use Barley

Bar­ley, the first prod­uct of Philadel­phia-based tech start­up Plain, lets the aver­age Joe edit web pages with­out need­ing to know any­thing about HTML or CSS. And they can do it from their PC, tablet or smart­phone, chang­ing word­ing on the web­page instant­ly with a few key­strokes. When a user’s web­page is run­ning on Bar­ley, he can open a sim­ple edit­ing menu and type in the change direct­ly. The beau­ty, which won’t be lost on prod­uct man­agers, is that this web edi­tor requires absolute­ly no tech­ni­cal know-how on the part of the user – no HTML, no baf­fling admin area, no sep­a­rate edi­tor to be opened.

Plain’s co-founder Col­in Devroe is buoy­ant­ly opti­mistic about the product’s prospects: across the com­pet­i­tive land­scape, com­plex­i­ty is the name of the game when it comes to web edit­ing. Word­Press is hard­ly known for its sim­plic­i­ty and even sim­pler web­site build­ing tools like Wee­bly, as Devroe is quick to point out, still require a sep­a­rate inter­face to lay out the page and get stuck in to any editing.

Inge­nious simplicity

What will pique the inter­est of prod­uct man­ag­ers is Barley’s inge­nious sim­plic­i­ty – two words that don’t often go togeth­er. Bar­ley lets you type in edits direct­ly, just like work­ing on a doc­u­ment. Just by using one of its tem­plates, the user doesn’t have to both­er with lay­out at all.

As Devroe puts it:

“You should nev­er have to learn HTML or CSS to be able to edit a web­site. We hope to elim­i­nate the rea­son why any­body that owns a restau­rant wouldn’t have their own site.”

The team at Plain is aim­ing for small busi­ness­es by part­ner­ing with com­pa­nies that offer broad­er pack­ages for SMEs. This prod­uct real­ly pops.

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