Microsoft launches Power Pages for designing business websites – TechCrunch

Riding the wave of enthusiasm for no-code/low-code solutions, Microsoft today announced Power Pages, a standalone product within the company’s Power Platform portfolio for creating business websites. Power Pages previously existed as a component within Power Apps called Power Apps portals, but it’s been broken out and redesigned with a new user experience.

“As a new, standalone product, Power Pages empowers anyone, regardless of their technical background, with an effective platform to create data-powered, modern, and secure websites,” Charles Lamanna, CVP of business applications and platform at Microsoft, said in a blog post. “In addition to being low-code, Power Pages extends far beyond portals former capabilities to enable organizations of any size to securely build websites with exciting new aesthetic features and advanced capabilities for customization with pro-dev extensibility.”

There’s no shortage of web design startups on the market. But Microsoft is touting Power Pages’ integrations with its existing services as the key differentiator. For example, Power Pages ties in with Visual Studio Code, GitHub, the Power Platform command line interface and Azure DevOps to let more advanced users automate development workflows (e.g. by downloading and uploading projects) and leverage CI/CD practices. Power Pages also allows users to implement role-based access controls and web app firewalls via Azure, and to collect and share business info with site visitors via Microsoft’s Dataverse platform.

Microsoft Power Pages

The new Power Pages experience. Image Credits: Microsoft

Among other highlights is the Power Pages design studio, which provides tools for styling, configuring and publishing layouts and pages with text, videos, images and business data forms and lists. The templates hub offers ready-to-go websites for use cases like scheduling, registration and app submission, while the “learn hub” hosts guides and tutorials about how to build websites, model business data and work with code components.

“People often think of low code web development as being useful for basic projects like site to showcase a company profile or a blog site. Power Pages is an enterprise-grade platform to build solutions that optimizes business workflow with an external audience like customers, partners, and community members,” Lamanna continued. “With its origins in Power apps portals, from sales to government services, Power Pages is already being used by customers around the world.”

If surveys are any indication, there’s robust demand for web design tools despite the market’s saturation. According to a recent survey from Top Design Firms, while 28% of small businesses don’t have a website, 44% planned to create one in 2021 — boding well for the new Power Pages.

Power Pages — a paid product — is available now.

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