InMotion Hosting Website Creator Review: Pros, Cons & Alternatives

Website Creator Review

Website Creator is a stand-alone website builder product built & sold by InMotion Hosting, one of the largest independent web hosting companies in the world.

See Website Creator Plans & Pricing here.

InMotion Hosting has been in the web hosting business since 2001. Unlike many hosting companies, they remain staunchly independent and focused primarily on website products for small businesses. They have an emphasis on customer support and raw performance.

While they still have a range of hosting products (my InMotion Hosting Review), they have also been quick to respond to changes in customer demand. Website Creator came out of that effort.

The big demand of the past 5 years has been for easy to use, bundled, drag and drop website builders. But popular website builders pose some risks for business owners investing in a long-term project.

Website Creator was created for small business owners who need to easily DIY their own website, but also are thinking seriously about how to best build their website for scalability, versatility, and long-term success.

Since I’ve been a user of InMotion’s hosting products for quite some time, I recently decided to give their new website builder, Website Creator, a try for a small, quick project.

Before I dive into pros and cons, let’s talk about some basics.

Disclosure – I receive customer referral fees from companies mentioned on this website. All data & opinions are based on my professional judgement based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.

What Is Website Creator?

Imagine website builders on a spectrum of convenience and control.

On the maximum convenience end, you have Instagram. It’s super-easy to use. But you have zero control over how your account design or function.

On the maximum control end, you have a server that you own an operate. You hand write all the HTML & CSS. It offers maximum control, but zero convenience. Most people tends toward to the middle options.

Self-hosted WordPress is software that you install on your own hosting account. It has a learning curve, but offers a lot more convenience while still providing total control over your files & server.

Wix is a popular drag & drop builder that has much less of a learning curve & more convenience than self-hosted WordPress. But they also have to limit data exports & your server access.

Some small business owners don’t like either tradeoff – and that’s the slice that Website Creator is focused on. I’ll get to this in the Pros & Cons, but Website Creator is actually built on top of WordPress on a hosting account that you own. So even though it has the drag & drop and streamlined website launch of a popular website builder, it’s still creating actual files on an actual server that you can access and export should you ever need to grow or rework your website.

In other words, think about a single-family home, a condominium, and a townhome. Self-hosted WordPress is a single-family home where you own & are responsible for everything. Hosted website builders are like a condominium where you own everything within the walls but outsource the rest to the Condo Owner’s Association.

Website Creator tries to be like a townhome. You have contracted landscapers, plumbers, and a Homeowners’ Association, but when it comes down to it – you still own the land and the structure.

With all that said, here are some of the Pros & Cons of Website Creator as a general website solution.

Pros of Using Website Creator

Here’s what I found to be the pros of using Website Creator, not just compared to Site123 and Gator, but as a website builder in general.

Convenience AND Control

Website Creator’s biggest pro is the fact that it combines convenience and control — which is typically where business owners have to make a trade off when it comes to website builders (even the best ones).

Website Creator is actually a bundle that combines hosting (on InMotion), a website software or CMS (WordPress), and a drag & drop tool (BoldGrid). Which means when you sign up for Website Creator, you’re actually getting a self-hosted WordPress website with an installed drag-and-drop website builder (and tons of base templates to use) that you fully own and that any developer or marketer can work with. You don’t have to go piecing all the elements together or put off getting started until you have the “right” web designer.

You can just DIY and rest easy knowing that when the time comes, you can upgrade your content, design & marketing as your business needs.

Ownership

Again, Website Creator does a great job of giving users control — and that includes ownership.

Now, when it comes to website builders, I generally think of website ownership in 3 ways.

The first point is brand asset & copyright ownership. There is no website builder that would ever be able to “own” your website. Not even Instagram does that. If you author the text, images, video, logos, etc. then you own the copyright.

But when it comes to the other two points of ownership, not all website builders are created equally.

The second facet of ownership revolves around “website look and feel”. Websites are simply files that a browser can render. The look and feel is inherently not only your content, but also the combination of actual files used to render your site. This is where ownership gets tricky. Some website builders do not give you access or copyright to the actual files that are generated with your content. Some give you copyright and limited access. Some give you full copyright and full access.

Why would you need full access? Well, let’s say you want to sell or move your website to another provider. If you do not have access to the actual CSS files or actual JS files, then you cannot sell or transfer the site exactly as it currently is.

And the third point is practical ownership. So even if you own your entire website – JS, CSS, HTML, images, text, etc – if you cannot download it to your computer or transfer it to another server… do you truly own it? This gets tricky. It doesn’t really matter, until it does.

If you have a 10 page website for your dental office, this point really doesn’t matter. But if you are building a reference site for your organization that will eventually have thousands of pages… then it could matter a lot.

In Website Creator’s case, your site’s files live on an actual server that can be accessed and downloaded. Which means you have full ownership in all three facets — a great feature if you think you’ll ever need to move or recreate your website elsewhere.

Simplicity

Another pro of Website Creator is that once you’re set up, it’s fairly easy to use. As I mentioned above, Website Creator uses BoldGrid, a website builder, to actually create your website.

Website Creator Bold Grid

BoldGrid isn’t technically drag-and-drop. You don’t actually “drag” elements and drop them where you want them. Instead, BoldGrid uses Inspirations, which serve as your base template.

BoldGrid Inspirations

From there, you can add or remove pages, customize the branding (i.e. colors and fonts), or even go so far to add widgets on individual pages.

BoldGrid Inspiration Customization

The range of customization here is extensive. Given Website Creator uses WordPress, you can also install plugins (pieces of software that “plug in” to your website to add functionality), so you essentially create anything you want – that includes things like ecommerce, SEO, appointments, and flying unicorns.

But if you’re trying to keep it simple, BoldGrid’s Inspirations (and customization options within them) provide enough flexibility that you can create something that feels custom without having to totally build something from scratch.

Integrations

And speaking of customization… the ability to add integrations through plugins is a HUGE pro for using Website Creator. Given WordPress is the most popular CMS platform out there, the integrations are practically limitless.

Chances are, there’s been a plugin created to do whatever you need your site to do. And if it hasn’t been created yet, there’s a developer out there who could probably get it done.

Additionally, since you have an actual hosting account running Website Creator, you can integrate with any business email service or analytics package that you need.

Sign Up + Customer Service

Depending on your needs, this could be a pro or a con. Signing up for Website Creator does take some time. They actively try to weed out spam users, which means they review accounts before granting access. Their sign up process says it should take a few minutes to get a confirmation email, but after about an hour, we had to reach out to support to get our account approved and up and running.

The pro here is that you’re dealing with a company that take its software seriously and actively tries to maintain the integrity of it. They don’t let spammers in, and their customer service department is more than willing to expedite the process if you reach out and explain how you plan to use your site.

Flexibility

It’s rare that you get so much flexibility in an all-inclusive website builder, but Website Creator certainly gives you more than any other. The best example of this?

Website Creator actually lets use WordPress themes / custom themes outside of BoldGrid.

Flexibility Website Creator

This essentially means that you have a totally customizable, self-hosted WordPress site with the *option* to use an all-inclusive website builder that has pre-built themes and easy-to-use customization options. It’s a win-win.

Onboarding/Training

Using Website Creator does require a bit of a learning curve (more on that in a bit). However, InMotion’s onboarding and training resources are amazing. With any piece of software, there’s always a moment of “What comes next?”

With InMotion, they cover all the bases. From the moment your account gets approved, you’re given instructions on how to finish your account set, start your website, and get up and running.

Website Creator Onboarding

The account dashboard is refreshingly simple.

Website Creator Backend

They also offer training inside WordPress, so you can learn how to use BoldGrid and customize various elements.

Training Website Creator

Cons of Using Website Creator

Like any piece of software, there are always trade-offs. So here are the cons of using Website Creator:

Slower Sign Up Process

Yep… it can be a con that Website Creator takes time to actively weed out spammers. Why? Because this means the sign up process is slower.

Cumulatively, it took about two hours for us to get our account up and running — which isn’t great if you’re looking for a quick and easy solution to get a website up ASAP.

Learning Curve

Once you get through the sign up and installation process, using BoldGrid is simple (plus InMotion offers a TON of resources to help you through the process). But that doesn’t change the fact that getting up and running with Website Creator isn’t very intuitive. The sign up process is more extensive than most all-inclusive website builders, as is the installation process.

For example, before even getting started, you must have a domain name. There’s no option to use a free subdomain to get you up and running like you can with WordPress.com.

After that, you have to install BoldGrid, which then brings you into WordPress to edit.

Website Creator Getting Started

Again, the training provided by InMotion is stellar — but you do need to take the time to read it. Popular pure-play website builders like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Shopify – and even GoDaddy GoCentral all have in-screen on-boarding to show you how to do things while you build it.

If you’re looking to just dive on in and figure it out without having any website building experience, Website Creator probably isn’t the best solution for you.

Website Creator Review Conclusion

Website Creator does come with a learning curve, but it offers a ton of customization, flexibility, and ownership for users. Plus, it gives you the best of both worlds: a self-hosted WordPress website without the hassle of tracking down your hosting, website builder, and CMS.

Check out Website Creator’s plans here.

However, there are trade-offs to consider here. If you’re looking for a quick, easy, intuitive website builder that you can use to throw up a quick project, Website Creator probably isn’t the best choice for you.

Instead, check out my quiz to find what the best website builder is for you based on your preferences.

The post InMotion Hosting Website Creator Review: Pros, Cons & Alternatives appeared first on ShivarWeb.

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WordPress.com Review: Pros & Cons of WordPress.com as a Website Builder

WordPress.com Review

WordPress is one of the most popular pieces of software in the website space. WordPress powers over 25% of the Internet and is famous for its versatility and ease of use.

Its is so well-known, that it’s common for people with some web design experience to generally say “just use WordPress” when referring DIYers and freelancers to a website solution.

But for those who are unfamiliar with the general WordPress world, there is a major point of confusion: WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.

In this article, I’ll be reviewing WordPress.com as a website builder and general website solution for DIYers.

See WordPress.com’s Plans & Pricing here.

But before I dive into specifics, let’s talk about the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: What’s the Difference?

WordPress is the name of a piece of software that can “power” your website on a server. So instead of uploading individual files to a server to create a website, you can use WordPress to create a “backend” where you can log in to your website to create, edit and manage web pages, blog posts, images – any sort of content.

It’s a “content management system” in web development jargon. WordPress is also “open-source” – which means that a community maintains it. A for-profit corporation does not own it. A non-profit foundation technically manages the trademark while leaving the software open under a General Public License.

The software & open-source community live & function at WordPress.org – where anyone can grab a copy of the software.

Note that I still haven’t said anything about it running a website. The other two pieces needed to run a website are hosting (ie, a server to run WordPress and render your website) and a domain name, which allows people to navigate to your website.

WordPress.org is also known as “self-hosted WordPress” because you have to provide the server for the software to live on. You pay for hosting and domain registration fees separately. You can learn how to setup a self-hosted WordPress website here.

And then there’s WordPress.com. It is a for-profit company owned by Automattic and founded by Matt Mullenweg – one of the original developers of WordPress.

WordPress.com is a service (not just the actual software & community) that offers websites / blogs powered by their install of WordPress software. They bundle hosting, support, services, and software into a single subscription. I refer it to as “hosted WordPress”, because you’re buying a hosted version of the software.

The renting vs. buying in real estate works well as an analogy.

WordPress.com = Renting a building for your living space (aka your website). You can pay for upgrades, but ultimately everything is up to your landlord (WordPress.com). That said – your landlord also has to pay to keep everything in working order.

WordPress.org = Owning a building for your living space. You own everything on your own hosting space. You do whatever you want. That said – you are responsible for everything.

If you want to get into the weeds, I wrote a whole post about the differences between WordPress.com and .org. But that analogy says it all.

The key tradeoff here is between convenience and control. WordPress.com is what we call an all-inclusive website builder. It competes directly with other hosted website builders like Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, GoDaddy GoCentral, etc. You sacrifice some control (like FTP access) to get a lot more convenience (like not installing security patches or crashing your own site).

Compared to its direct competition, WordPress.com focuses on scalability, support, and flexibility. Let’s dive further into my WordPress.com review to see how it really compares.

One other quick aside – a disclosure – I receive referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this post. My opinions & research are based on my experiences as either a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.

Pros of Using WordPress.com as a Website Builder

Here’s what I found to be the pros of using WordPress.com website builder — not just in comparison to direct competitors, but as an overall website solution.

Easy Sign Up Process

One of WordPress.com’s biggest pro is how easy it is to get started. To get your website up and running, you just follow a simple, 6-step process that includes creating an account, filling in your website information, and confirming your email address.

WordPress.com Sign Up Process

They also provide a ton of “onboarding” support (AKA the process of getting up and running with a website). I immediately received an email detail next steps, and was even prodded later in the day when I hadn’t finished a step in the set up.

There was really no part in the sign up process where I wondered, “What’s next?”. The steps were easy to follow, detailed, and included support once I got inside the dashboard.

If you’re looking for a simple, straightforward, and speedy way to go from having no website to having a site ready to build, then WordPress.com is a great choice.

All-in-One Solution

Again, WordPress.com is an all-in-one solution, which means everything you need — from hosting to domain registration to integrations (more on that shortly) to design options is included in the platform.

That means everything just works — there’s no figuring out if this app or extension is compatible or is going to break your site. There’s no troubleshooting or support needs outside of what they already offer. Even things like analytics are built into the platform.

WordPress.com Functionality

Spending less time on research and troubleshooting means you can spend more time on stuff that matters – like content, design, and marketing your site.

Plus, since WordPress.com uses WordPress as it’s CMS (and WordPress is the most popular CMS platform out there), the integrations are practically limitless.

Chances are, there’s been a plugin created to do whatever you need your site to do. And if it hasn’t been created yet, there’s a developer out there who could probably get it done. Just know that on WordPress.com, your advanced customization capabilities, like installing your own plugins and themes, are limited to their highest priced plan (more on that in a bit).

You also don’t have full control over the website functionality, because you don’t have access to your hosting. You still don’t have direct access to your files or your database. So if you want to do something in bulk or something super-technical, then you are out of luck.

That said, compared to other website builders (like Site123 or Jimdo), WordPress.com is inherently more open and accessible because it runs WordPress software. All of your content is in RSS and XML format, so it’s very easy to leave WordPress.com for another service or bulk export your content.

Template Design

When you set up your website with WordPress.com, you have a ton of pre-made templates (“themes” in the WordPress jargon) to choose from, including premium themes that come with higher-priced plans.

WordPress.com also indicates which themes are best for beginners, which is helpful for those who don’t have extensive website experience and are looking for the easiest way to get their website designed and ready to market.

WordPress.com Themes

Inside these themes, you have a range of customization capabilities based on the plan you have. You also have significant customization abilities on the individual pages themselves— even with the free plan. Inside the page builder, you can change the format by adding columns, embedding elements, and even editing the page code if you know HTML / CSS.

WordPress.com Page Customization

WordPress.com Page Code

One thing to note here — you cannot edit/customize the pages on the same screen that you edit the theme. This means that you’re basically designing the pages in a bubble. You can’t see how they play out in the context of the design until you actually go in and edit the theme. If you’re not looking to do any advanced designing, this may not matter to you, but it’s something to keep in mind if you are looking to build lots of websites for clients.

Customer Support

WordPress.com has a robust knowledge base and easily accessible support. In fact, their help button floats in the bottom corner of the Dashboard (and when you’re editing pages), so you can see relevant guides and articles to help you no matter where you are in your website.

WordPress.com Support

You can also chat with another WordPress.com using their “Contact us” button on the floating help section, giving you an additional option if you can’t find the answers you’re looking for.

Cons of Using WordPress.com as a Website Builder

But of course, no website builder review would be complete without looking at the downsides. Every piece of software will have complaints, because there is no website solution that is right for everyone. Let’s look at a few specific cons I found.

Pricing

WordPress.com is a bit pricier than its competitors when you take into account what features are available to you. WordPress.com limits the amount of storage space you get on your website (AKA the number of images, video, audio files, documents, etc. you can upload to your site).

WordPress.com Pricing

Now, there is one caveat. WordPress.com does have a free plan. You can’t use your own domain name. You have to use yourname.wordpress.com – and serve WordPress.com ads on your site. But – it’s free. This plan is certainly my favorite way to get a free, well built website online.

However, it’s not clear that there’s a free plan available unless you go through the pricing tab. For example, if you were to click “Get Started” and just start filling in your information, you’re kind of cornered into buying a plan. There’s no option there to select a free plan. It’s confusing, especially if you don’t know that there’s a free plan available (which technically, you’re automatically signing up for when you create your account).

WordPress.com Pricing No Free Plan

If you are trying to start just a basic informational website or blog and don’t want to deal with hosting, then WordPress.com’s Blogger and Personal plans are well-priced. But for a business or really any size (or website that is going to strive to make money), then it’s a bit hard to compete with running a self-hosted WordPress website or finding another solution like Website Creator (a website builder built on top of WordPress) or another drag & drop website builder.

Learning Curve

Based on your website experience, using WordPress as a CMS does come with a learning curve — and it’s no different when it’s bundled with hosting and DNS services through WordPress.com. Yes, you have various themes to choose from that guide your site customization experience… but even those can be more complicated to tweak than WordPress.com wants to let on. Check out the instructions on customizing this theme I selected.

WordPress.com Theme Customization

If you’re looking for the ease of a simple drag + drop website builder where you can literally drag elements onto the page, drop them in place, and customize your template that way, WordPress.com might not be the best choice for you.

Because here’s the thing. In many ways, WordPress is more than software. It’s like a whole platform / subculture. You know how Facebook has “Likes” and “Newsfeed” and “Groups” and all these other terms that make sense…but only once you’ve used Facebook? Ok – WordPress is like that. When you first start out, there’s all this jargon to figure out. It makes sense quickly, but that doesn’t make it any less weird.

Limited Functionality + Control

WordPress is known for how flexible and adaptable it is as a CMS. It’s a great way to build a website that you plan on keeping for the long haul, because it’s so customizable and scalable. But here’s the thing — those benefits don’t really kick in until you have a self-hosted WordPress (AKA WordPress.org), or until you pay for the premium business plan on WordPress.com, and even then you don’t have full accessibility with your website.

If you’re not looking for a website that you can customize and scale extensively, then this probably doesn’t matter to you. But if you are looking to create a website that you can scale, and you were drawn to WordPress as a CMS because of that, then going with “hosted WordPress” on WordPress.com probably isn’t your best option, because you’re giving up quite a bit of functionality and control.

WooCommerce & JetPack Addendum

At the risk of making this focused review too long, there are two remaining pieces to talk about in regard to WordPress.com and their services.

First is WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a software plugin for WordPress that brings a *ton* of amazing ecommerce functionality to any WordPress website. It is amazing. It has a ton of extensions and integrations only rivaled by Shopify. And it works on any existing website running WordPress. If you are using the WordPress.com, you can add it to your plan.

Since ecommerce has a lot more considerations than a publishing site, many ecommerce owners like to have a “hosted” solution. In this case, WordPress.com provides a great option for websites that are “content-first” but also want a large-ish online store.

Second is JetPack. You know how I mentioned that WordPress.com provides a lot of things like backups, security, and support that a self-hosted WordPress website does not have? Ok, so you can get most of that with JetPack. JetPack is a paid plugin software owned by Automattic that any self-hosted WordPress website can install and get automated backups, security scans, in dashboard support, remote management via the WordPress app and more.

In fact, this website uses JetPack. It costs between Free and $29/mo depending how many services / themes you want (security is free). Plus, there are some hosting companies that bundle JetPack in with your hosting fee, so that it’s super-affordable.

WordPress.com Review Conclusion

WordPress.com has many of the tradeoffs inherent with all website builders while capitalizing on the potential strengths of a website builder (ie, usability & support).

Compared to other established website builder brands, it lacks some pretty significant capabilities, like storage, pricing, and ease of use, but it does compete well on support, theme availability, design, technical aspects, and content publishing.

WordPress.com is a really good fit for anyone looking for a solid website builder that includes more advanced functionality and theme options but still takes the headache out of finding their own hosting and additional services. It’s a great option to just get started. And it’s great for content writers & publishers plus any businesses that have the budget for the Premium Plan.

Check out WordPress.com’s current plans & pricing here.

Not sure WordPress.com fits your needs? Check out my quiz to find what the best website builder is for you based on your preferences.

Are you working on a long-term project, need more freedom, or on a budget and don’t mind a learning curve? Check out my posts on trying out self-hosted WordPress and setting up self-hosted WordPress on your own server.

The post WordPress.com Review: Pros & Cons of WordPress.com as a Website Builder appeared first on ShivarWeb.

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Jimdo Review: Pros & Cons of Using Jimdo Website Builder

Jimdo Website Builder Review

Jimdo is known as an easy-to-use, all-inclusive website builder that is designed for people with no coding knowledge. They offer two options for website owners: a DIY builder that puts you in control of choosing a template and customizing it, or an AI website builder that uses artificial intelligence to build a template for you, then walks you through the various tweaks you can make.

See Jimdo’s Current Plans & Pricing

Recently, I gave Jimdo a try for a full Jimdo review. But before I get into the pros and cons of my Jimdo review, let’s dive into an overview about tools to build a website.

There are so many considerations to take into account when choosing a website builder — and really, there are a thousand ways to get what you want in the end in terms of functionality, convenience, pricing, etc. The thing to remember is: whether you’re building a simple personal website or running a business, the way you build your site has a lot of consequences.

In the long-term, it affects your versatility, functionality, and, of course, your brand. In the short-term, it can certainly add/take away a lot of headaches. That said, just like choosing a physical house or office, there is no such thing as an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s only the right choice relative to your goals, experience, and circumstances.

What Is Jimdo?

On the wide spectrum of website building solutions, Jimdo lives on the end that is all-inclusive and provides everything you need to get started and grow your website. It contrasts with solutions where you buy, install, and manage all the “pieces” of your website separately (ie, you buy a domain, hosting, and website software separately.).

Using Jimdo is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a really classy development instead of buying and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.

Everything may fit together just right with a website builder like Jimdo, but that may or may not be what you’re looking for.

As far as competition, Jimdo competes with all-inclusive website builders like Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress.com.

Compared to their direct competition, they focus on using AI to create done-for-you templates and designs so you can focus on plugging in your content and getting up and running quickly.

They also offer a more traditional drag-and-drop builder for those who have more experience, making Jimdo appeal to beginners who have no design or development experience (think DIY-ers who need to create a website ASAP without having any website experience) and those who have a bit of website knowledge and want more customization abilities.

One other quick aside – a disclosure – I receive referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this post. My opinions & research are based on my experiences as either a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.

Pros of Using Jimdo Website Builder

Here’s what I found to be the pros of using Jimdo — not just in comparison to popular website builders like Weebly and Wix, but as an overall website solution.

Straightforward Sign Up Process

One of Jimdo’s best features is how quickly you can get up and running. Signing up for the platform is a simple process that involves creating an account, verifying your details through your email, and then choosing which website builder you’d like to use.

Jimdo Product Options

One thing to note here — if you’re looking for the easiest, most hands-off way to create your website, the AI web designer is probably your best option. It goes through a series of questions and then creates your website for you, but follows the process up with a detailed, step-by-step tutorial of how to customize your base template. It’s perfect for DIYers who are brand new to building a website.

Jimdo Tutorial

Simplicity

Jimdo is also seriously simple to use, which makes it hard to mess up your website design. Once you choose a template (or have one created for you with the AI builder), you’re pretty much locked in to the layout provided.

The DIY website builder is drag and drop, but it has it’s limitation — you can add new elements to the page, but only within the template structure you’re already given (and limited to the elements provided — but more on that in a bit).

Jimdo Editor

And if you’re using the AI builder, you’re given even more structure (with that comes limitations, but again — we’ll get there). With this option, you have less drag-and-drop and more choose from what they give you. You can customize the styles on the page (like fonts and colors), and you can add premade sections and blocks, but you don’t get the ability to add elements willy nilly.

AI Editor Jimdo

The whole setup is like painting by numbers.

There are obvious drawbacks to this setup, which I will cover in the disadvantages, but it is a real advantage to having limited but accessible design options.

Website Builder Options

Part of what makes Jimdo unique is they offer two design routes — you can either use their AI website builder, which gathers information for you and creates a template based on your answers to questions like “what is your website for?” and “what is your preferred design style?”. From there, Jimdo walks you through a step-by-step tutorial for customizing your assigned website template.

Jimdo AI Set Up

Or, you can take the DIY-approach. In this approach, you select your industry and are provided with a selection of website templates to choose from. Then, you can customize the template with Jimdo’s drag and drop editor. This method is slightly more advanced, but still straightforward and controlled enough to keep newbies in check.

DIY Jimdo

One thing to note if you’re going the DIY route — I found that your industry selection doesn’t matter. I was given the same templates to choose from whether I chose business or healthcare or skipped the industry question all together.

*One additional note here. When using Jimdo for the purposes of this review, I created an additional Jimdo account through a new browser window to go through the sign up process again, and was automatically assigned to the AI website builder. Of course, there’s always a chance for user error, but as a brand new, inexperienced customer to the platform… it was confusing. It’s a potential con for using the platform, but not because of the actual user experience of the builder — it’s just a bit confusing and unclear when signing up.

Some Product Integration

Another benefit of Jimbdo is their product integrations. Aside from offering DNS and hosting services, Jimdo also offers ecommerce functionality with their paid plan (one thing to note — in order to get ecommerce functionality, you do need to choose between the two higher-priced tiers.)

Jimdo Ecommerce

We’ll talk more about pricing in a moment, but just know that you could get the same (or better) functionality for less elsewhere.

European Presence

For U.S. users, this isn’t really a pro or a con, but for those in the EU, Jimdo’s European presence makes it a strong competitor.

Jimdo is a German company and operates data centers in Europe. As a European company, this means that Jimdo’s data protection and privacy standards are much stronger thanks to the EU’s new laws on data and privacy.

Additionally, if you are a US company who needs an EU microsite for an EU audience, Jimdo makes GDPR a bit easier than some website builders focused on the US market.

Cons

But of course, no review would be complete without looking at the downsides. Every piece of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I found.

Plans + Pricing

Jimdo’s pricing and plan structure is a bit confusing. When first signing up, You can see that paid plans start at $9/month paid annually, which includes your own domain, free hosting but only a 10 page limit.

Jimdo Pricing

However, if you choose a free plan and want to upgrade (which I did), the pricing options appear differently from inside your account.

Jimdo Pricing Part Two

Aside from the convoluted information, the actual competitiveness of the plans and pricing structure leaves something to be desired (err, actually a *lot* to be desired).

Compared to competitors like Wix, Gator, and Weebly, Jimdo is more expensive and has more restrictive limits.

Their free plan doesn’t even offer mobile-friendly site design (a pretty standard design feature in today’s world), and you can’t get basic Search Engine Optimization features until their mid-tier plans. Even the mid-tier Grow plans has hard limits on the number of pages and on bandwidth usage (which to me seems like a double-limit). And I’m all for over-delivering on low expectations, but the support options are seriously deficient.

Plus, there’s no option to may monthly, so you’re locked in for a year.

In short, using Jimdo is going to be more expensive than going with a competitor and more restrictive due to the design and technical limitations (more on that shortly), regardless of whether you’re using it for a year or just a few months.

Limited Feature Set – Design

With any technology product, there is almost always a trade-off between convenience and control (think Android vs. iOS)

And you can really see this trade-off with the Jimbdo website builder. The convenience of their design setup is great. It’s straightforward, fast, and not confusing at all. It puts your focus solely on getting your content onto the premade template and adding additional elements within the template that may enhance your design / user experience.

However, if you want to go anywhere beyond the basics of design, you are limited with Jimdo. In the DIY website builder, you can edit the color, the font, and the general ‘feel’ of the design. You can also choose from a few variations of the template, which essentially just have different navigation styles.

Jimdo Template Variations

With pages, you can delete and add sections and move them around, but you cannot add a page unless you add it to the navigation. You can alter the layout, but you certainly cannot edit the CSS, much less add any other design element outside of the pieces they give you.

And if you’re using the AI website builder, you’re limited even further. As I mentioned above, you can add sections and elements based on pre-built blocks, but that’s about it.

The best way to describe it is a ‘paint-by-numbers’ set up. It’s great to have the basics, but if you want to do anything extra or outside of bounds, then you’re out of luck.

If your website is growing, or becoming a bigger part of your business, the design limitations can be crippling.And unlike other website builders that attempt to solve this issue through apps, extensions, or access to the website code or HTML, there is no outlet for a Jimdo website builder website.

Limited Feature Set – Technical

The limitations on design also bleed over into technical limitations.

Technical limitations are features that you don’t know that you want until you want them, and then you find out you can’t have them.

These are things like integrations with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google Ads, social sharing options, blogging, and a whole host of every intermediate to advanced marketing tools on the internet. Now, as I mentioned above, Jimdo does give some integrations, like ecommerce and DNS/hosting services. However, there are a ton of technical features that Jimdo doesn’t provide or that are extremely limited.

For example, let’s look at Jimdo’s SEO features. I can edit the page title and description for individual pages, as well as assign noindex, nofollow, or noarchive settings. But aside from that, I’m pretty locked in to what I have aside from editing the HTML in text sections on the page. There’s no options for sitemaps, Schema, Open Graph settings – much less highly advanced options.

Jimdo SEO Options

Even the additional add-0n products are limited. There’s not much to address marketing your site, aside from adding code for Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics.

Jimdo Analtyics

Ultimately, Jimdo leaves much to be desired when it comes to product integrations and additional technical features that can help you better market your website.

Jimdo Review Conclusion

Jimdo certainly makes getting a website up and running easy, especially if you need something that’s done-for-you and requires little customization (just choose their AI website builder). They have a straightforward user-experience and easy-to-use editor/customizer that makes getting your content out there a breeze.

Check out Jimdo’s plans here.

However, there are trade-offs to consider with an all-inclusive website builder — specifically functionality, customization, and control. And this is where Jimdo falls short when compared to other all-inclusive website builders. They’re severely limited when it comes to technical features and integrations, which means if you’re looking to create a website with a base template but still have some flexibility over functionality and enhancements, Jimdo may not be the best option for you.

Not sure Jimdo fits your needs? Check out my quiz to find what the best website builder is for you based on your preferences.

The post Jimdo Review: Pros & Cons of Using Jimdo Website Builder appeared first on ShivarWeb.

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Gator Website Builder Review: Pros, Cons & Alternatives

Gator Website Builder

HostGator is one of the best known brands in the website & hosting industry. They’re especially known for their shared hosting, building their reputation on good pricing, fast servers, and great service compared to other brands. While I’ve long used HostGator for website hosting, I recently gave their website builder software, Gator Website Builder, a try.

View Gator Website Builder Current Plans & Pricing.

But before I get into the pros and cons of my Gator website builder review, let’s dive into an overview of website solutions.

There are so many considerations to take into account when choosing a website builder — and really, there are a thousand ways to get what you want in the end in terms of functionality, convenience, pricing, etc.

The thing to remember is: whether you’re building a simple personal website or running a business, the way you build your site has a lot of consequences.

In the long-term, it affects your versatility, functionality, and, of course, your brand. In the short-term, it can certainly add/take away a lot of headaches. That said, just like choosing a physical house or office, there is no such thing as an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s only the right choice relative to your goals, experience, and circumstances.

What Is Gator Website Builder?

The Gator Website Builder is HostGator’s hosted website builder. HostGator has traditionally only provided domain names & hosting for other website software (like installing WordPress). Gator is their move into providing domain, hosting AND software in a single subscription.

So, on the wide spectrum of website building solutions, Gator Website Builder lives on the end that is hosted, all-inclusive, provides everything you need to get started and grow your website. It contrasts with solutions where you buy, install, and manage all the “pieces” of your website separately (ie, buying your domain name, hosting & installing software).

Using HostGator’s Gator Website Builder is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a really classy development instead of buying and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner.

That point is key because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control. You can read more about what a website builder is and how it contrasts to web hosting here.

Everything may fit together just right with a website builder like HostGator, but that may or may not be what you’re looking for.

As far as competition, HostGator competes directly with all-inclusive website builders like Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy’s GoCentral and WordPress.com.

Compared to their direct competition, they focus on speed and convenience by offering everything you need to get your website up and running in just a few minutes. HostGator appeals to the non-developer community here (think DIY-ers who need to create a website without having tons of website experience or time to maintain self-hosted software).

One other quick aside – a disclosure – I receive referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this post. My opinions & research are based on my experiences as either a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.

Pros of Using Gator Website Builder

Here’s what I found to be the pros of using HostGator’s Gator Website Builder — not just in comparison to direct competitors, but as an overall website solution.

Easy Onboarding Process

One of Gator’s best features is its onboarding process (AKA the process of getting up and running with Gator’s website software). There is typically a part of the onboarding process when you think, “okay… what do I do now?”

With Gator, onboarding is quick, simple, and straightforward. In just a few steps, you’ll have selected your plan, chosen your domain name, and picked a theme to create your website with — all without wondering, “Where the heck do I go now?”

Plus, Gator builds in education not only through email drip sequence, but through a simple, step-by-step tutorial that walks you through how to customize your theme and add content to your website.

Gator Tutorial

All-in-One Solution

Again, HostGator’s Gator Website Builder is an all-in-one solution, which means everything you need — from hosting to domain registration to integrations (more on that shortly) is included in the platform.

That means everything just works — there’s no figuring out if this app or extension is compatible or is going to break your site. There’s no troubleshooting or support needs outside of what they already offer. Even things like analytics are built into the platform.

Analytics Integrations

Spending less time on research and troubleshooting means you can spend more time on stuff that matters – like content, design, and marketing your site.

Plus, since Gator is associated with HostGator — a well known, trusted hosting provider — the platform has the flexibility and resources to provide things like unlimited storage, DNS & domains support (AKA buying and mapping your domain name to your website), and support to migrate to a self-hosted product if or when that makes sense.

Template Design

When you set up your website with Gator, you have to choose a template to start your design. One of the pros of HostGator’s website builder is their pre-built templates. They have hundreds of options to choose from, and each option can be edited and customized in their drag-and-drop website builder.

You could custom build a website on HostGator with software & themes of your choosing (ie, WordPress + themes), but part of Gator’s appeal is that they have a huge selection of well-designed templates that you can tweak for your own needs by adding / removing sections and customizing the colors, photography, fonts, and content — all without worrying about their learning curve or costs of addons.

Site Building Process

Speaking of design… one advantage of an all-inclusive website builder is that you don’t have to write HTML or CSS code — instead, you can just drag and drop elements. What you see in the builder is what you get on the website.

Add Pages Gator

HostGator’s drag and drop builder is simultaneously detailed and simple. It gives you plenty of options for customization, such as adding new elements, change colors and fonts, adding entirely new pages to build from scratch, etc. But it also is extremely easy to use (it’s literally drag and drop). It makes it very simple for someone with no website experience to customize their theme or even give it a major overhaul.

Sections Website Builder Gator

Overall Pricing

While HostGator doesn’t have a free option for a subdomain (like Wix does), their overall pricing is competitive not only compared to other all-inclusive website builders, but also to buying your own hosting.

HostGator

Notice how everything is bundled and unlimited. There are no caps on pages or storage space. In fact, the only difference between the plans is support (priority is “faster” support) and ecommerce functionality.

Compared to building your own website on your host and especially other website builders, Gator’s pricing is very competitive. And while pricing isn’t everything, it’s certainly a factor, especially if you’re looking to bundle price and convenience.

Cons

But of course, no Gator website builder review would be complete without looking at the downsides. Every piece of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I found.

Apps, Extensions, and Advanced Marketing

While Gator’s all-in-one platform is a solid pro for the website builder, it does also give it a disadvantage in terms of lack of support and ability to add 3rd party apps, extensions, and advanced marketing tools.

Gator does offer some apps and extensions, like G suite integration and priority support on their platform, but they’re pretty limited.

apps and integrations gator website builder

And while Gator does allow you to edit the site HTML and insert HTML when designing a page, there isn’t a way to go in and edit specific sections of code. This, combined with not having 100% control over your site & server (ie, to FTP verification files), limits you to which marketing tools you can add to your website.

This tradeoff does ensure that everything works correctly (no WordPress white screen of death when adding Google Tag Manager), but the trade off is control and customization.

Pricing + Upsells

Yep — pricing is also a con. While Gator’s pricing options are extremely competitive, it’s worth noting that the 50% off promotion only applies for the payment period. For example, if you commit to the premium plan at the 2-year price, that price only lasts you two years.

pricing rules Gator

It’s also not clear from the initial pricing information that a free domain name is only included in the yearly billing. That information comes during the checkout process.

Yearly Billing

The overall upsell with the domain + the marketing apps is also a bit convoluted. When you’re checking out, it almost looks like you have to purchase a domain name if you don’t yet own one. In reality, you can use a subdomain and purchase a domain separately.

Gator domain registration

The domain add-on is one of a few upsells during the checkout process, which does clutter the onboarding slightly.

Blog Functionality

While Gator does have a blog integration that you can add on to your website, it doesn’t come as a part of your theme. It’s treated as more of an “add on”, and you can select how you want your blog to look. blog themes gator website builder

While it’s great to be able to customize the look and feel of your blog, having to choose a separate theme makes it a bit disjointed and seems like the blog is a secondary feature. If you’re looking to have a website for the sole purpose of blogging, this may not be the best fit for you*

*if you are primarily a blogger, but want the all-inclusiveness of a website builder, then you should check out WordPress.com – it’s powered by WordPress but is hosted and controlled so that the experience is better than self-hosting WordPress.

Review Conclusion

Gator has many of the tradeoffs inherent with all website builders while capitalizing on the potential strengths of a website builder (ie, usability & support).

Compared to other established website builder brands, it lacks many advanced options & templates (ie, especially compared to Wix), but Gator has better usability and pricing than most.

Gator is a really good fit for anyone looking for a well-built, well-priced, straightforward website builder and doesn’t need many extra templates or advanced marketing features (ie, CRO and Schema plugins).

Check out Gator’s current plans & pricing here.

Not sure Gator fits your needs? Check out my quiz to find what the best website builder is for you based on your preferences.

Working on a long-term project and need more freedom and don’t mind a learning curve? Check out my posts on trying out and self-hosting WordPress.

The post Gator Website Builder Review: Pros, Cons & Alternatives appeared first on ShivarWeb.

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Site123 Review: Pros & Cons of using Site123 Website Builder

Site123 Review

Site123 is a fast-growing, independently-owned, website builder based in Israel focused exclusively on DIYers. They claim to be “the most intuitive and easy to use website builder on the market”.

Check out Site123’s Current Plans & Pricing

Recently, I gave Site 123 a try for a small project after receiving a few reader questions. But before I get into the pros and cons of my Site 23 review, let’s consider a bit of background on building a website in general.

There are so many considerations to take into account when choosing a website builder — and really, there are a thousand ways to get what you want in the end in terms of functionality, convenience, pricing, etc. The thing to remember is: whether you’re building a simple personal website or running a business, the way you build your site has a lot of consequences.

In the long-term, it affects your versatility, functionality, and, of course, your brand. In the short-term, it can certainly add/take away a lot of headaches. That said, just like choosing a physical house or office, there is no such thing as an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s only the right choice relative to your goals, experience, and circumstances.

What Is Site123?

On the wide spectrum of website building solutions, Site123 lives on the end that is all-inclusive and provides everything you need to get started and grow your website. It contrasts with solutions where you buy, install, and manage all the “pieces” of your website separately. I wrote a post on Website Builders, Explained for more background.

Using Site123 is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a really classy development instead of buying and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control with all software, but especially with website builders.

Everything may fit together just right with a website builder like Site123, but that may or may not be what you’re looking for.

As far as competition, Site123 competes with all-inclusive hosted website builders like Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, Gator, and WordPress.com.

Compared to their direct competition, they focus on speed and ease by providing done-for-you templates and designs so you can focus solely on content.

Instead of operating like a traditional drag-and-drop website builder, Site123 has you pick your niche and then customize a curated template based on that niche, which appeals to beginners who have no design or development experience (think DIY-ers who need to create a website ASAP without having any website experience).

One other quick aside – a disclosure – I receive referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this post. My opinions & research are based on my experiences as either a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.

Pros of Using Site123 Website Builder

Here’s what I found to be the pros of using Site123 — not just in comparison to other website builders, but as an overall website solution.

Straightforward Signup Process

One of Site123’s best features is how quickly you can get up and running. Signing up for the platform is a simple, three step process (hence the name Site123), and it’s straightforward, easy to understand, and efficient.

Site123 Set Up

Plus, Site123 builds in education through a simple, step-by-step tutorial that walks you through how to customize your assigned theme and add content to your website, which is an excellent feature for users who haven’t customized / built a website before.

Site123 Tutorial

Simplicity

Site123 is also seriously simple to use. As I mentioned before, Site123 provides you with a template based on your selected industry and type of business/website within that industry.

Site123 Template Selection

While the website builder is not drag and drop, you can choose from a menu of page elements to change the design within your selected theme.

Site123 Select Page Elements

The whole setup is like painting by numbers.

There are obvious drawbacks to this setup, which I will cover in the disadvantages, but it is a real advantage to having limited but accessible design options.

The site layout is mobile-friendly and maintains an acceptable look/design no matter what you do to the design options.

Product Integration

Another benefit of Site123 is their extensive list of product integrations. Aside from offering DNS and hosting services, Site123 also offers several plugins (software that you can “plug in” to your website to get additional functionality). From advertising software to analytics tools to marketing + support, their library is extensive.

Site123 Product Integration

Site123 also offers ecommerce functionality. One thing to note here though — to use the integrations, you have to have a paid plan.

And to get ecommerce functionality, you have have to choose between the two higher-priced tiers. We’ll talk more about pricing in a moment, but just know that you could get the same (or better) functionality for less elsewhere.

Cons

But of course, no review would be complete without looking at the downsides. Every piece of software will have complaints. Here are the cons I found with using Site123

Pricing

Site123’s paid plans start at $10.80/month, which includes a free domain for a year/the ability to connect your domain, 10 GB of storage, 5 GB of bandwidth, and the ability to send 100 email messages (side note – who counts email messages?) to your mailing list per month. It also removes the Site123 branding that comes with the free plan.

Site123 Pricing

But compared to their direct competitors like Wix and Weebly, Site123 is much more expensive and offers much less. At each stage, Site123 doesn’t even allow unlimited bandwidth or storage.

And compared to self-hosting (piecing domains, hosting, and email separately) – it’s not a good value at all.

If you’re using Site123 for more than a few months, it’s going to be more expensive than going with a competitor (and more restricting due to the design and technical limitations – more on that shortly).

Limited Feature Set – Design

With any technology product, there is almost always a trade-off between convenience and control.

And you can really see this trade-off with the Site123 website builder. The convenience of their design setup is great. It’s straightforward, fast, and not confusing. It puts your focus solely on getting your content onto the premade template by generating a curated template for you.

But here’s the thing — if you don’t like the template you’re given, changing it up is a pain. If you want to go anywhere beyond the basics of design, you are very limited with Site123.

For your theme, you can edit the color, the font, and the general ‘feel’/structure of the design.

Site123 Theme editing

With pages, you can choose certain layouts from pre-made choices.

Site123 Page Layout Editing

But you cannot change the layout. You cannot drag and drop. And you certainly cannot edit the HTML and CSS, much less add any other design element.

Site123 Page Editing Example 2

It’s even difficult and near impossible to edit the menu without changing other design elements on the website.

Site123 Menu

The best way to describe it is a ‘paint-by-numbers’ set up. It’s great to have the basics, but if you want to do anything extra or outside of bounds, then you’re out of luck.

If your website is growing, or becoming a bigger part of your business, the design limitations can be crippling. And unlike other website builders that attempt to solve this issue through apps, extensions, or access to the website code or HTML, there is no outlet for a Site123 website builder website.

Limited Feature Set – Technical

The limitations on design also bleed over into technical limitations. Technical limitations are features and functionality that you don’t know that you want until you want them, and then you find out you can’t have them.

These are things like integrations with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google Ads, social sharing options, blogging, and a whole host of every intermediate to advanced marketing tools on the internet. Now as I mentioned above, Site123 does offer additional features through plugins and apps, but due to the control you give up with the website, you’re fairly limited in how much you can integrate, add on, or even edit within the tools provided.

For example, let’s look at simply editing SEO elements on a page. With the Site123, I can add in a meta description and site slogan, but that’s about all I can do aside from adding header tags inside the content editor. Even basic SEO needs more than that.

Think of it like the difference between cooking in your own kitchen and building your own burrito at a fast food restaurant.

With Site123, you can certainly choose the ingredients that go into your burrito, but your choice is really an illusion because you’re limited to the ingredients that are offered by the restaurant. Like the design, that can be a good thing if you need something simple, and will always need something simple. But if you ever need to upgrade or do something unique or custom, it can be very limiting.

Culture & Lock-in

After looking at a lot of companies across domains, hosting, VPNs, website builders, ecommerce, and more – I’ve noticed that company culture, structure, and policies can speak more about a customer’s long-term experience than a feature matrix.

A website builder is inherently a global business. Every Internet company has remote employees and worldwide data centers. But I’m never a fan of companies not sharing their story or what they are all about. Site123 is incredibly vague about their story, their policies and your relationship to them as a customer.

For example – here’s their about page.

Site123 About Page

It’s a sales page. Here’s a couple answers to FAQs –

Site123 Data Export

Site123 Moneyback

Now – I get that they are a free, hosted website builder. Most website builders have trouble with website export. But their messaging is quite stark with no offer of help scraping or downloading even image files and text.

And the cancellation policy is very odd because it conflicts directly with the purported difficulty of providing a website download. A hosted website builder service should be able to be cancelled at a click of a button. There should be no manual reviews of forms.

Again – this point isn’t meant to raise a potential non-issue for no reason. Site123 might provide a fantastic long-term experience. However, difficult cancellation policies and vague about pages tend to correlate with less than ideal long-term experiences.

Site123 Review Conclusion

Site123 certainly makes getting a website up and running easy, especially if you need something that’s done-for-you and requires little customization. They have a straightforward user-experience and easy-to-use editor that makes getting your content out there a breeze.

Check out Site123’s plans here.

However, there are trade-offs to consider with an all-inclusive website builder — specifically functionality, customization, and control. And this is where Site123 falls short when compared to other all-inclusive website builders. If you’re looking to create a website with a base template but still have some flexibility over design and functionality, Site123 may not be the best option for you.

Not sure Site123 fits your needs? Check out my quiz to find what the best website builder is for you based on your preferences.

The post Site123 Review: Pros & Cons of using Site123 Website Builder appeared first on ShivarWeb.

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Blogger Review: Pros & Cons of utilizing Blogger (also known as Blogspot)

Blogger Review

Blogger may be the grand old man of Internet publishing. Actually, they perhaps began the entire &#8220everyone must have a voice online&#8221 ideal. Evan Johnson began the organization during the 1990s.

After Evan Johnson offered Blogger to Google, he continued to found both Twitter and Medium &#8211 both support beams of Internet publishing themselves. Furthermore, it had been Matt Mullenweg&#8217s dissatisfaction with Blogger that brought him to produce the very first form of WordPress during the early 2000s.

Everything to state &#8211 Blogger is definitely an Internet standby. Actually, it&#8217s this type of standby it will get unfairly disregarded for a lot of web projects simply because of its age.

I lately gave Blogger a go for any small project, together with other website builders. I attempted to approach Blogger less the woking platform which had my first blog in 2004, but because a significant platform that could be a great fit for somebody&#8217s web project today, publish-2017.

Take a look at Blogger here.

However, some overview on website builders generally. Regardless of whether you go drag builder an installed Cms (CMS), or hands-coded HTML files, there’s lots of factors which go into an creating a website or blog.

Within the finish, you want anyone to key in an internet site address and find out your data, presented well with the proper functionality within their browser. Regardless if you are creating a simple personal blog or operating a business, how you construct your site determines a great deal both lengthy-term and short-term.

Within the lengthy-term, the various tools you utilize to setup your site affects your versatility, functionality, and, obviously, your brand. For the short term it may add/remove lots of headaches. Actually, probably the most common headaches is moving a effective blog off Blogger. That stated,  like selecting an actual office or house, there’s no such factor being an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s only the best choice in accordance with your objectives, experience, and conditions.

What’s Blogger?

Around the wide spectrum of website building solutions, Blogger endures the finish that’s all-inclusive and offers all you need to get began and also be your site. It’s as opposed to solutions in which you buy, install, and manage all of the “pieces” of the website individually.

It&#8217s like buying and selling off control button for additional convenience.

Using Blogger is much like leasing and customizing a condo inside a nice development rather buying and owning your house. You’re still in charge of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – however, you leave the development, plumbing, security, and infrastructure towards the house owner. That time is essential because there’s often a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.

All of the functionality and style which are incorporated with Blogger work seamlessly together like a platform. That’s what enables these to have drag design, layout and content.

One note about Blogger is it focuses 100% on blogging &#8211 ie, reverse-chronological publishing of posts. It’s hardly any when it comes to cms (when i&#8217ll mention within the cons section.

So far as competition, Blogger competes directly with all of-inclusive website builders like Weebly and WordPress.com additionally to pure-play blog / social systems platforms like Medium and Tumblr.

Website builders like a group contend with options like WordPress.org (which supplies the disposable software to create a website that you simply own &amp control &#8211 see my WordPress setup guide here) completely to options like typing actual Web coding right into a text file. Seem sensible? Awesome, let’s dive to the Blogger review.

Another quick aside – a disclosure – I receive referral charges all the businesses pointed out within this publish. My opinions &amp research derive from my encounters as whether having to pay customer or consultant to some having to pay customer.

Pros of utilizing Blogger

Blogger includes a ton opting for it. There&#8217s grounds that huge numbers of people start their first blogs on Blogger. It&#8217s within the name. I understand which i used Blogger in my first blog in older days simply because it is but still may be the established blogging service.

Here are a few specific advantages which i&#8217ve found while using the Blogger for various projects.

Prices

Blogger is free for any website on the *.blogspot.com subdomain. You receive basically limitless sources to operate your site. You obtain a free SSL certificate which comes preinstalled.

You may also purchase a custom domain (e.g., yournameblog.com) and point it for your blog free of charge. This particular service, known as &#8220domain mapping&#8221, is generally a compensated feature on Blogger&#8217s direct located blog competitors like WordPress.com.

Blogger Settings

There&#8217s no setup charges or upgrade costs. There aren’t any ads in your blog unless of course you choose-in.

Actually, you most likely curently have a Blogger account because it&#8217s bundled together with your Google account.

There&#8217s a little ecosystem of third party Blogger personalization services, but individuals are optional and outdoors of Blogger&#8217s platform.

Just how does Blogger earn money?

Google bundles Blogger together with your Google account. Blogger is among the numerous services that Google offers liberated to help you stay logged in and engaged using the Google items that make money (ie, ads). This can be a downside, that we&#8217ll cover within the cons section, however the massive upside is the fact that Blogger is really a legitimately free, maintained, service that competes mind up with compensated competitors.

The search engines do, obviously, encourage you to definitely place Google-brokered ads in your blog.

In either case, Blogger&#8217s big upside is prices. It&#8217s unequalled free.

Simplicity

Blogger can also be seriously easy to use. If you are using Gmail or YouTube or any one of Google&#8217s other projects, you don&#8217t even need to register. You want to Blogger and register together with your Google password.

Blogger New Blog

You are able to operate a single blog or a large number of blogs. The interface is minimalist and largely self-explanatory. When I&#8217ll discuss within the next section, Blogger is 100% focused on blogging (ie., posting content backwards chronological order with hardly any concentrate on other content types).

Blogger Dashboard

Blogger Compose

Blogger handles all of the speed, security and technical hosting issues. It’s Search engine optimization friendly having a simple method of functionality and design. The entire platform works.

Actually, there&#8217s a small-movement of pure-play bloggers moving personal (ie, non-commercial) blogs to Blogger only for the minimalist parameters.

There&#8217s hardly any jargon to understand or odd steps to navigate* to obtain began.

* pointing a custom domain is a touch tricky unless of course you use Google Domains.

But many of this simplicity relates that Blogger is 100% centered on blogging.

Product Focus

There’s a lot of publishing products on the web that play the role of something to everybody&#8230and finish up being absolutely nothing to nobody.

For worse, but mostly for much better, Blogger hasn’t chased the most recent feature. It hasn&#8217t attempted to become social networking like Tumblr or Medium. It hasn&#8217t attempted to become full website management system like WordPress. It hasn&#8217t attempted to become &#8220platform&#8221 of any sort. It hasn&#8217t even gone to live in real-time data and messaging like Twitter.

Blogger has stuck to old-school blogging.

Still it supports RSS. It defaults to comments. It centered on the most recent posts. Blogger has centered on allowing anybody to rapidly create a full, wealthy bit of content to the net for anybody to gain access to.

This method results in some downsides, but there’s something refreshing about using something that knows what it’s &#8211 and doesn&#8217t attempt to become something which it&#8217s not.

Google Integration

Google owns Blogger. Even though Blogger isn’t Google&#8217s marquee or most sexy product, Blogger is firmly inside the whole &#8220Google ecosystem.&#8221

If you are using any Google product, then you have a Blogger account. Which integration makes a lot of small things simpler.

Blogger Google Integration

There&#8217s no new username or password. Your computer data is definitely readily available for export because of Google Takeout. You can purchase a custom domain from Google Domains.

Blogger Google Connection

Google Photos stores your images. You are able to rapidly and just monetize using the largest ad broker on the web (also known as Adsense) or advertise your blog through the largest search network.

Blogger Ads

It&#8217s all seamless also it simply works.

Speed &amp Performance

Blogger is really a &#8220hosted blog platform&#8221 &#8211 meaning it bundles hosting using the entire blogging service.

Google takes proper care of speed &amp security. You don&#8217t even need to bother about it. Your focus could be 100% on content and promotion.

While there are many reasons to setup your personal hosting account, for a lot of beginner bloggers, not getting to discover speed and security is a big plus.

Cons of utilizing Blogger

Now, despite the fact that Blogger offers quite a bit opting for it, additionally, it provides extensive disadvantages &#8211 almost all getting to complete having the ability to grow as the blog grows. Blogger can (and does) host a few of the greatest-traffic blogs on the web, but it’s deliberately limited in lots of ways.

Virtually every Blogger complaint that you simply see online will often come lower towards the fact their blog has outgrown Blogger in some manner (ie, in personalization needs, support, etc).

With this stated, let&#8217s take a look at a few of the specific disadvantages of Blogger.

Customer Care

As with every Google products, Blogger doesn’t have customer care by itself. There is a forum where other users as well as an periodic Google staffer will respond to questions.

Blogger Support

The merchandise should have as couple of potential questions as you possibly can, but just like any product, you will see issues. Unlike other website builders &#8211 or perhaps self-located software in a webhost &#8211 there&#8217s  no single support contact at Blogger.

Any issues which you may have need to be solved via Search, DIY troubleshooting and support forums.

Product Versatility

Blogger&#8217s total focus on blogging is really a strength along with a serious weakness. The merchandise stays with traditional blogging even today that lots of blogs have become regularly updated websites that promote content via social feeds.

For instance, most &#8220blogs&#8221 nowadays possess a homepage or website landing page as opposed to a feed of posts backwards-chronological order. But, without some awkward homepage redirects, there’s no possible way to possess a &#8220homepage&#8221 on Blogger. Here&#8217s the level from the redirect manager &#8211

Blogger SEO Features

There’s also not a way to dictate the display order of the content or create various kinds of content (ie, portfolio pages). There&#8217s not a way to significantly alter the layout for various content or opt-in scripts.

Blogger Layout

Blogger is perfect for blogging and little else. There are many workarounds, but insufficient versatility may be the primary reason most bloggers leave Blogger and proceed to a self-located WordPress solution.

This time results in a related but separate issue of design &amp personalization.

Design &amp Personalization

For any located blogging service, Blogger enables for some personalization&#8230but there&#8217s often a catch.

You are able to edit the HTML and CSS, as long as you are able to navigate the a large number of conditional statements in Blogger code editor.

Blogger Theme HTML

You are able to improve your design layout with Blogger&#8217s built-in elements.

You are able to personalize individual aspects of your theme and arrange elements&#8230if they are offered within Blogger&#8217s theme editor.

Blogger WYSIWYG

And again, with content types, you’ve limited freedom to change your articles into something unique. You can’t add many third party apps or integrations. And you may&#8217t turn your site right into a fully managed website.

If you are considering beginning and staying with a conventional blog, this can be a non-issue. There&#8217s always a tradeoff between convenience and personalization. But if you wish to come to be a larger website with interesting functionality, you’ll probably hit a ceiling with Blogger.

On-going Investment &amp Features

Blogger now has wrinkles. Google maintains it, however it has nowhere close to the baseline options that come with WordPress.com, Tumblr, Medium and definitely not of the self-located WordPress powered site. Many platforms permit API calls, direct integration with social platforms, fancy Javascripts and a whole lot.

Blogger is moves along, doing its factor being an old-fashioned blogging service. That&#8217s a great factor (as pointed out within the pros) but it is also a poor factor if you would like all of the features open to present day web publishers.

Google Promise / Content Policy

The final disadvantage of utilizing Blogger as the blogging software programs are Google itself. Blogger is a Google product for a lengthy time. And Blogger, whilst not most of Google&#8217s product portfolio, still serves Google&#8217s core objective of getting as many folks as you possibly can into its network of services. There’s no immediate reason that it’ll disappear.

But.

Google has additionally wiped out off lots of established products with dedicated users. Google wiped out Google Readers, iGoogle, Google Apps for Teams and Google Glass.

Google went through numerous changes using their local company product (also known as Google Places, Google+ Local, Google MyBusiness, etc). Google has began and wiped out more messaging apps than I’m able to keep an eye on. They&#8217ve wiped out off Orkut.

And who are able to forget Google+ &#8211 their greatest profile side project ever. Google+ remains to be, but Google decidedly wiped out off what it really initially was.

Quite simply, despite the fact that Blogger provides extensive benefits with Google, blogging isn’t rather than is going to be Google’s priority. Blogger will be threatened by of shutting lower &#8211 even when it’s succeeding. When they did shut lower &#8211 you would not lose your articles, but would need to transition your site on Google’s timeline &#8211 not yours.

Weebly, WordPress.com and ideally, your personal site by yourself server &#8211 only do websites. That’s their reason behind existence. They may close shop, but because lengthy because they are earning money, they should never be unceremoniously shuttered.

Furthermore, its smart to understand that like a located blog platform, you’re susceptible to Google&#8217s content policy. As the policy is extremely liberal, additionally, it includes a well known status for arbitrary enforcement. For those who have your blog that touches on questionable topics, you won’t wish to invest your time and effort &amp energy right into a platform that you simply don&#8217t have 100% control of.

Google’s Search engine optimization Advantage / Disadvantage

Before searching at next steps, I must discuss one little bit of Search engine optimization (internet search engine optimization) mythology. Within the Search engine optimization world, you will find 3 camps on the internet products.

The very first camp states that Bing is inherently untrustworthy. They are saying you shouldn’t use their goods simply because they just monitor you and also are to punish you. It’s about tricking and outsmarting Google.

The 2nd camp states that Bing is Search engine optimization. They are saying you need to use all of their products and try everything they are saying. Google will invariably prefer their very own products and can reward everybody that utilizes them. It’s about cooperating and sucking as much as Google.

The 3rd camp states that neither from the first couple of camps depend on evidence or testing. The solution to everything Search engine optimization is “it depends.” Use Google items that fit your business don’t use Google items that don’t meet your needs. In either case, concentrate on testing and doing the best things for the customers.

I’m within the third camp. I have not seen any evidence that Blogger will “cleanse” or “un-blacklist” an internet site-. I’ve never witnessed any evidence that blogs living on Blogspot / Blogger have an advantage within the search engine results. I additionally do not know why Google would even make that the factor.

*this really is when it comes to search formula penalties, not Blogger content policies.

Don’t subscribe to Search engine optimization snake oil when you’re searching for any website builder. The only real tested Search engine optimization truth would be that the internet consists of websites of all types. You need to execute around the fundamentals of content and promotion since Blogger takes proper care of nearly all technical concerns.

Your blog hosting / website builder you select ought to be according to prices, convenience, usability and support.

Next Steps

If you wish to begin a blog with minimal fuss and price, go start one on Blogger now.

For those who have a lengthy-term project you have a minimum of $100 to purchase, then take time to setup WordPress by yourself hosting account.

If you would like all the advantages of Blogger, but wish to develop a website (also known as w/ a homepage and structured pages) rather than the usual blog, go join Weebly (review).

Have some fun in your next project!

Blogger

Blogger is among the original blog platforms from the Web and it is now of Google.
Blogger
Compiled by: Nate Shivar
Date Printed: 06/29/2017
While a bad fit for a lot of web projects, Blogger is really a solid, simple platform for web publishing despite wear and tear.
3.5 / 5 stars

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The publish Blogger Review: Pros &#038 Cons of utilizing Blogger (also known as Blogspot) made an appearance first on ShivarWeb.

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Web.com Hosting Review: Pros, Cons & Alternatives

Web.com Hosting Review

Web.com is really a website hosting &amp website builder brand of the net.org Group. They are among the largest and earliest brands in the market. The Net.org Group also owns brands like Network Solutions, Register.com and 1ShoppingCart.

Together with GoDaddy, they have several the greatest brand recognition in everyone because of their huge investment TV, radio, billboard and traditional advertising. In Atlanta, I believe they’ve purchased a significant area of the bus stop ads. Additionally they sponsor the second tier professional golf league in the usa.

Web.com Offline Ads screenshot for my Web.com Hosting Review

That sort of offline advertising plays for their core marketing message because the one place to obtain your website, internet marketing and everything to choose it. Though from a technical perspective, Web.com offers only entry-level hosting &amp a do it yourself website builder application with upsell marketing services.

You should check out Web.com’s plans and prices here.

Because of my skepticism using their offline ads, I’ve never formerly attempted Web.com. But following a friend was asking about the subject, I made the decision to try them having a small trial website.

Here’s my Web.com Hosting review &#8211 structured with pros &amp cons according to my recent experience like a customer.

Skip towards the conclusion &amp next steps here.

Disclosure &#8211 I receive referral charges from companies pointed out on this web site. All opinion and knowledge is dependant on my experience like a having to pay customer or consultant to some having to pay customer.

Pros of Web.com Hosting

There are plenty of Web.com reviews online &#8211 usually with user-generated reviews according to anecdotes and private experience. That&#8217s fine however i have a different approach. Like I’ve stated in other hosting reviews, there’s no such factor like a “best” hosting company. The “best” may be the right fit for the project according to your objectives, budget, experience &amp expertise. Simply because one company isn’t a good fit for you personally does not necessarily mean it’s a bad fit for another person.

Web.com differs.

Web.com’s only pro is it works okay for somebody who desires a really fundamental drag type website while they have the cash for something better.

The very best example for Web.com is really a Hamburger King that charges hipster all-organic hamburger restaurant prices. On a single hands, they’re technically supplying something which works, however, you would not utilize it when they didn’t advertise everywhere using very specific marketing messages.

For “meh” companies, I attempt to drag out some benefits of using on them others. But I can not look for a single need to use Web.com.

Every potential advantage turned to be a fantasy.

For instance, they have the symptoms of solid discount prices, however it auto-renews at high rates. Their speed &amp performance made an appearance to become great, however they have really low memory limits and sources (so performance is just good on really small sites). They’ve phone support &#8211 but have awful DIY customer care (as well as their phone reps focused more about upselling than answering my fundamental questions).

If you’re interested in the facts, I’ll cover more within the cons section below. Or skip towards the conclusion and then steps for alternatives.

Cons of Web.com Hosting

Greater than many web hosting companies, Web.com has disadvantages. Listed here are the disadvantages which i found while using the Web.com for hosting.

Prices

Web.com markets themselves like a one-stop shop to obtain your website. They provide free website help along with a free website builder &#8211 you just pay single low rate per month.

Their 30 days opening rate (for that website builder product) looks attractive at $1.95/mo &#8211 but it features a major asterisk.

It escalates to $22/mo following the first month, and quickly will get much more costly with add-on after add-on. That $22/mo is much more costly than the most costly website builder plans available &#8211 in which you would a minimum of obtain a better website builder &#8211 like Squarespace or Weebly.

Web.com Signup Rates screenshot for my Web.com Hosting Review

Should you search through the website offers and then try to register *only* for hosting to set up WordPress or some bit of website software, you’ll get prices that’s a little bit more competitive. However, it’s still more costly compared to most costly brand hosting, plus much more than affordable starter hosts.

Aside &#8211 even their domains are absurdly overpriced. They offer a “free” website name with purchase, however that same website name will renew at $37/year&#8230.when compared with $14.99yr w/ GoDaddy and/or perhaps a typical hosting company or $10/yr with NameCheap.

Plan Structure

When you purchase any product which can help you make a website, a core area of the plan’s hosting (ie, a spot for your site files to “live”).

Most website hosts either sell the hosting with complimentary website building tools or they’ll sell everything like a package. Here&#8217s one website landing page on Web.com selling the &#8220free website package&#8221 with ongoing charges.

Web.com Misleading Marketing screenshot for my Web.com Hosting Review

Web.com takes both approaches. You pay different prices based on what approach you select, while you are becoming exactly the same factor within the finish (hosting with built-in website builder tools).

Web.com Plans Structure screenshot for my Web.com Hosting Review

For instance, Web.com sells a do it yourself Website Package. It offers hosting along with a website builder. It’s $1.95/mo and rises to $22/mo. They likewise have Hosting plans under Other Products. Diets likewise incorporate the web site Builder tool, but start at $5.95/mo and renew at $12.95. Quite simply &#8211 same product, different names and various prices.

Web.com Pricing screenshot for my Web.com Hosting Review

Web.com Hosting Backend screenshot for my Web.com Hosting Review

&nbsp

Observe that within the second image &#8211 I have the website builder despite the fact that I purchased a normal hosting package&#8230not the &#8220website builder package.&#8221

I known as customer support relating to this discrepancy (I had been completely unclear about things i had subscribed to) &#8211 and she or he confirmed. They’ve different prices and various packages with respect to the “customer’s feature focus.”

In either case, their hosting plans have low caps for databases, disk space and domains, and emails on every tier &#8211 such as the Premium Hosting level. These caps mean that you’re restricted to on the best way to expand your website &#8211 or add new microsites.

User-ambiance

To become fair to Web.com &#8211 there can be some value in offering packages that sell simplicity or hosting plans with low caps. Not everybody really wants to compare different plans or search for more features when fundamental features is going to do fine.

However, if you sell simplicity, your process should really the simple. Web.com’s register process, their backend as well as their tools are just “user-friendly” inside a 2006 kind of way.

Web.com Onboarding screenshot for my Web.com Hosting Review

Actually, many areas of their register process and website setup process appeared so user-unfriendly it forces people to call customer support&#8230who then upsell other things Web.com offers.

Here’s what their backend appears like &#8211

Web.com Hosting Backend screenshot for my Web.com Hosting Review

Everything regarding their backend is proprietary to Web.com (unlike a business standard backend like cPanel) &#8211 which means you are stuck searching through their help documentation or calling customer support again.

Furthermore, their user-unfriendliness even would go to their cancellation process. After I required to cancel a free account &#8211 I couldn&#8217t get it done. The machine forced me to customer support where I needed to discuss my reasons having a repetition while hearing several sales pitches.

Web.com Cancellation screenshot for my Web.com Hosting Review

Lastly, not just is the register process and backend user-unfriendly (and ugly), additionally, it hides lots of features that some DIY customers want use of &#8211 which results in the following major drawback to Web.com.

Backend Features

Although Web.com claims they provide a full-spectrum of support for programming languages and website software (like WordPress) &#8211 I discovered the particular backend features to possess a couple of problems.

First, the backend hides fundamental server information. In case your domain is registered somewhere like GoDaddy or NameCheap, you have to point the DNS nameservers to Web.com. This method informs visitors’ browsers who key in your website name to visit Web.com’s server (where your site lives). Web.com’s DNS details are available only via customer care.

And that’s only the start &#8211 small things like MX records (you’ll need individuals to setup Gmail) and software versions were maddening to locate.

Second, once you discover the program, it might or might not work or supply the options that you’ll require. For instance, Web.com advertises a “one-click WordPress install” like other hosts. They’ve it, however, it unsuccessful the very first two occasions which i attempted to operate it. Furthermore, you can’t install software within the “root” folder of the account &#8211 meaning you are able to only install WordPress inside a subfolder of the website (ie yourwebsite.com/blog rather or yourwebsite.com).

Web.com Hosting WordPress Install

Web.com Install Fail

Which means that used that if you would like WordPress to power your whole website, as well as your homepage, you need to perform a manual install of WordPress. Their auto-install only creates subfolder.

Aside &#8211 I attempted to perform a manual 5 minute install of WordPress, but threw in the towel following the Web.com database creator stored dying on me.

Another example is tracking scripts for his or her website builder product. They merely script that you could place is Google Analytics. AdWords conversion tracking, Facebook retargeting, Search Console tags, etc &#8211 none can easily be bought the actual way it is by using most website software.

Third, Web.com dedicates precious couple of sources towards the applications that you could install around the backend. I’d be unable to operate a feature heavy website on Web.com. For instance, should you added a little ecommerce store with a lot of imagery for your WordPress website, you’d have a problem with performance. Exactly the same issue would hold for installing a Listserv or any type of application. Here&#8217s a screenshot of the speed test of the really small site &#8211

Web.com Hosting Performance

Customer Care

Like I mention in other hosting reviews, calling customer care / service like a pro or disadvantage is difficult. Only people within the organization determine if customer support is viewed as an expense or perhaps an investment.

Outdoors of the organization, customer support reviews usually devolve into “they are horrible since i had one bad experience” or “they are excellent since i had one great experience” &#8211 neither being very useful.

Rather, I love to take a look at customer support’s availability and just how the organization invests in customer care infrastructure.

Despite the fact that my customer support conversations were enjoyable, Web.com seriously fails on measures. Their customer support works merely a little outdoors US business hrs. They route just about everything via phone, though they are doing possess a ticket submission option within their backend.

There’s hardly any DIY customer care. There isn’t any forum section, chat, knowledgebase or help center whatsoever. It appears as though any investments that Web.com makes go for their phone support&#8230which is heavy around the upsells after they solve your condition, which results in the final disadvantage.

Upsells &amp Messaging

Upsells aren’t inherently bad or annoying. They offer choices for customers that are looking them, and prices low for everybody who doesn’t would like them.

However, Web.com does a couple of things wrong with upsells. First, they seem at virtually every chance rather of just when I’m searching (say at checkout or perhaps in upgrading section).

Second, their messaging for a lot of upsells is oversimplified. You’ll be able to oversimplify to the stage that you’re laying at worst or misleading at the best. Web.com comes awfully close using their upsells.

Backend Web.com

Web.com Misleading Marketing

Their Search engine optimization upsells preach features that haven’t mattered since 2002 (you don’t need to &#8220submit your website to Google&#8221 and directories aren’t a silver bullet). Their SSL upsells don’t provide any context. Their security and backup upsells makes me question what belongs to their actual plans.

The mixture of oversimplified, overpriced upsells pitched at each random chance is both annoying and results in me to question who they really are really searching out for.

Conclusion &amp Next Steps

Overall, I had been tossed just how bad Web.com was. I believed that any organization that spends a lot cash on offline advertising should have another business design than most competitors, but Web.com really sets a brand new standard to have an costly low value product. If you’re still offered in it, go try them out here.

If you’re searching for any webhost with excellent prices, service and product, then I’d recommend looking at Website Hosting Hub here. You may also take a look at HostGator here if you would like cheaper plans and also the choice to pay monthly. Learn to generate a website together here.

If you’re searching for a multi functional drag website builder, then I’d recommend looking at Weebly (review) or taking this site builder quiz here.

If you’re searching to have an all-in-one ecommerce platform, then I’d recommend looking at Shopify (review) or taking my ecommerce platform quiz here.

Web.com Hosting

Web.com is among the best brands within the website building industry with a lot of offline advertising.
Web.com Hosting Review
Compiled by: Nate Shivar
Date Printed: 03/01/2016
Web.com doesn’t meet the marketing and messaging. Their prices, features and support make sure they are a really poor lengthy-term option for an internet site builder or webhost.
2 / 5 stars

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Wix versus. WordPress (Self-located .org & WordPress.com)

Wix vs. WordPress

Wix and WordPress are two best-known brands (and earliest) within the website building industry. Both are helpful in their own individual ways. However if you simply are evaluating Wix versus. WordPress &#8211 the best idea fit for the project?

Before we glance at different tradeoffs between Wix and WordPress, we must define precisely what Wix and WordPress are.

Wix is an exciting-in-one &#8220hosted website platform.&#8221 A located website platform is how all of the components required for an internet site come in one bundle having a single monthly cost.

Wix offers the software to handle your site content they offer the designs and functionality. They’re best-recognized for their drag builder. They offer add-ons &amp extensions for unique functionality. And more importantly, additionally they supply the hosting (also known as the server where your site files live) &amp security all in a single cost.

WordPress is technically free website software that you simply manage your site content, designs and functionality. However it&#8217s utilized in two various ways.

First, there&#8217s self-located WordPress (also known as &#8220WordPress.org). It&#8217s free, open-source, community-supported software that anybody can install on any server that fits minimum needs. You have to pay for hosting, install WordPress and run your site the way you like. I authored a setup guide here.

Second, there&#8217s WordPress.com. It&#8217s a located platform service offered through the primary corporate supporter of WordPress. With WordPress.com, you will get any web site managing a limited, located form of WordPress free of charge. After this you purchase upgrades.

Yes &#8211 it&#8217s confusing. I authored a little more concerning the distinction between WordPress.com and WordPress.org here if you wish to dig much deeper.

But here&#8217s an example that actually works &#8211

Imagine you’re searching for any home.

Wix and WordPress.com are generally like purchasing a condominium. You have everything within your condo. That you can do anything you want inside. The apartment association takes proper care of water, electricity, security and structural issues. They can have furnished unit options. However, you might also need to follow condo association rules. You’re restricted to their structure and you spend extra HOA charges.

Self-located WordPress is much like purchasing a house. That you can do anything you like. There&#8217s no rules or limitations. But you need to take proper care of everything (or bring in help to consider proper care of it). It&#8217s also as cheap or as costly as you would like so that it is.

And For your information &#8211 this fundamental explanation is much like Squarespace versus. WordPress, Weebly versus. WordPress &#8211 or perhaps located ecommerce platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce.

Disclosure &#8211 I receive customer referral charges from companies pointed out on this web site. All data and opinion derive from my experience like a having to pay customer or consultant to some having to pay customer.

Located versus. Self-located Platforms

To appear at Wix versus. WordPress directly &#8211 we&#8217re going to check out things i believe are the main factors for many new website proprietors. We&#8217ll take a look at Wix, Self-located WordPress and WordPress.com in every section.

Remember that the main tradeoff is going to be control/convenience. Wix &amp WordPress.com are generally located platforms thinking about supplying the very best, easiest experience. But to obtain the convenient experience, there&#8217s a tradeoff with control &amp features (since they need to control the atmosphere to supply the very best experience).

If either Wix or WordPress.com doesn&#8217t possess a feature you would like, you are able to&#8217t simply add it. If you wish to migrate to a different platform &#8211 you are able to&#8217t just pickup and then leave and begin elsewhere together with your identical website.

Whenever you self-host by yourself server &#8211 you can do both individuals things. However, it&#8217s also not as convenient like a located platform.

That&#8217s the main tradeoff to keep in mind. But like I&#8217ve pointed out in other website builder reviews, this site setup guide and my ecommerce platform reviews &#8211 it&#8217s and not the only tradeoff (that is what we should&#8217re gonna discuss).

Prices

Wix has 5 paid plan additionally for their ad-supported free plan. You should check out their plans here &#8211 though many of their plans mostly are differentiated by space for storage.

Bear in mind by using Wix &#8211 your plan includes hosting, customer care, designs, etc.

Wix Pricing

WordPress.com includes a free plan restricted to a subdomain (e.g., [yourwebsite].wordpress.com). The WordPress.com Personal Plan runs $2.99/mo when billed yearly. You’ll have a custom domain, but it’s restricted to designs and space for storage. The Premium Plan run $8.25/mo when billed yearly. It adds extra space and a few more feature upgrades (though no Google Analytics support).

The Strategic Business Plan runs $24.92/mo when billed yearly. It adds Google Analytics, more design options and limitless storage.

WordPress Plans

Bear in mind that these two companies only allow a single site on diets.

Self-located WordPress is 100% free software application that you could install on any server. If you’re real geek, you are able to technically run it free of charge off a house server. But realistically, your primary cost is going to be having to pay for shared Linux hosting. You will get good hosting for under $3/mo when billed yearly &#8211 that renews at just $8/mo when billed yearly.

There are many great hosts with one-click WordPress setups. HostGator (who I personally use for many sites) has very economical plans (review).

InMotion Hosting is a little pricier overall but has excellent support along with a website builder-esque drag and drop tool for WordPress known as BoldGrid if that&#8217s your factor.

Hosting Special

In either case, self-located WordPress may have less expensive prices both relatively and absolutely regardless of what host you utilize.

With self-located WordPress, you&#8217re not just obtaining a cheaper cost every month, you’re also getting the opportunity to have limitless features, limitless design options and *limitless websites.*

For those who have two, 3 or more website ideas, place these on a single self-located account without having to pay more. With Wix (and direct competitors like Squarespace and Weebly) &amp WordPress.com &#8211 each new website is a brand new monthly cost.

The large prices asterisk with self-located WordPress is there are a many things you aren&#8217t having to pay for &#8211 but they are still accountable for.

For prices with Wix versus. WordPress &#8211 WordPress.com will generally get better because of most users. But many of that will depend around the exact features you&#8217re searching for. However, self-located WordPress represents a far greater deal according to prices alone.

But let&#8217s move to another asterisk/factors.

Onboarding &amp Consumer Experience

&#8220Onboarding&#8221 describes the entire process of moving a completely new customer from signup to active user.

In other words it&#8217s helping new customer determine your software. Nobody loves to purchase something and immediately hate it since they can&#8217t decipher it.

Like I pointed out within my Wix review, Wix not just has solid onboarding, they likewise have a reasonably intuitive interface having a simple drag setup.

Wix Editing

Wix has a variety of pre-loaded designs for various website types (ie, music, business lead-gen, portfolio, etc). To enhance and personalize the website, still it takes a little bit of experimentation. But they’ve customer care available to reply to any queries.

WordPress.com also offers a great onboarding process. Their backend requires new users to get on some vocabulary (ie, &#8220widgets&#8221 or &#8220themes&#8221). WordPress.com also offers huge focus on publishing content, particularly in blog form. In case your goal would be to publish posts once you register &#8211 WordPress.com wins hands lower.

However, WordPress.com requires a little more experimentation to obtain a &#8220normal&#8221 website configured. Around the switch side, WordPress.com does a great job explaining and guiding users inside the builder. Things are minimalist with little pop-ups as well as an apparent road to publishing.

WordPress.com Editor

Onboarding with self-located WordPress varies among website hosts. This really is technically since it&#8217s your software that you’re installing. It&#8217s like Apple customer support being accountable for a brand new software program you purchased.

Actually, I produced an easy WordPress setup guide here together with WordPress tutorials since some website hosts have a tendency to provide your bank account information and then leave you to definitely it.

Some hosts like Website Hosting Hub or InMotion asks some signup questions and give back helpful starter sources. They&#8217ll offer a WordPress builder application to assist. However for setup and onboarding, you&#8217re still virtually by yourself.

You are able to email support for particular questions, but there&#8217s no apparent &#8220do this, then that&#8221 process once you install WordPress.

If terms like &#8220FTP&#8221 or &#8220Security Patch&#8221 or Googling for solutions are not formidable to you, you might appreciate self-located WordPress&#8217 minimalist onboarding. It&#8217s not complicated when you are beyond the learning curve &#8211 and you’re in complete control.

However, for onboarding &amp consumer experience &#8211 WordPress.com is way better than Wix for bloggers. For any more typical website, Wix may well be a better fit if you are using certainly one of their templates. Self-located WordPress is okay should you&#8217d favour control of led tours.

Design Options

A typical myth in website building is the fact that a &#8220WordPress website&#8221 or &#8220Wix website&#8221 or &#8220Shopify site&#8221 is really a specific website design or look. A lot of customers choose or eliminate a platform simply because they &#8220don&#8217t such as the look.&#8221

Here&#8217s the factor &#8211 must be software uses &#8220themes&#8221 or &#8220templates&#8221 like a base does not necessarily mean that you could&#8217t have whatever design you would like.

The feel of a website is produced with HTML/CSS. Any software that enables you to definitely edit CSS is software that may generate nearly any design imaginable.

WordPress.com and Self-located WordPress all allow CSS editing.

However, Wix doesn’t allow HTML/CSS editing. Make all changes using their software.

This difference puts WordPress.com and self-located WordPress ahead. That stated, WordPress.com continues to have lots of limitations. So let&#8217s look in the three questions which i usually ask with located platform&#8217s designs.

The primary three questions are &#8211

  1. How accessible are their &#8220plug &amp play&#8221 designs?
  2. What’s the number of their premium &#8220plug &amp play&#8221 designs?
  3. What lengths can an expert developer/designer opt for the look?

On question #1 &#8211 the 3 have great, accessible plug-n-play designs. Wix has a number of pre-loaded designs according to website type (property, music, portfolio, etc). Many are a little dated, but other medication is very good.

Wix Business Templates

For self-located WordPress, there are millions of free designs that you just select within the Appearance menu.

WordPress Themes

For WordPress.com &#8211 there’s a big selection, however, you aren&#8217t permitted to seize just any custom theme and do the installation. Like Wix, you’re restricted to their approved styles to edit or personalize.

On question #2 &#8211 the 3 possess a pretty huge assortment of designs with self-located WordPress supplying probably the most options. For a long time now, professional designers/developers have produced premium &#8220off the shelf&#8221 styles for WordPress.

There’s no third party industry for Wix or WordPress.com. Both will have premium third party styles on their own internal marketplaces.

For question #3 &#8211 the 3 permit designers (not developers) to complete their factor with self-located WordPress providing the finest freedom (for much better as well as for worse).

Wix isn’t designer/developer friendly (see HTML/CSS). There are lots of experts who use Wix, but (while they may be HTML/CSS ninjas) they’re more experts with Wix than HTML/CSS whenever using Wix. Quite simply, for those who have an incredible web design service, he/she may not be good when creating a website for Wix &#8211 since Wix requires Wix-specific design understanding.

WordPress.com has more limits than either Wix or self-located WordPress since they don&#8217t allow scripts, FTP access or custom styles.

For design options, the 3 have good options with various &#8220flavors.&#8221

WordPress.com has a great deal of click and go styles. Wix has freedom inside their own design setup. If you want their system, then that&#8217s where it starts and ends.

Self-located WordPress offers limitless choice &amp control, that is great, but could lead to further problems of their own with qc, security and/or code conflicts.

Technical &amp Personalization Features

The technical set of features illustrates the control/convenience tradeoff spectrum much better than anything using these three options.

WordPress.com has got the greatest quantity of control (no scripts with no FTP access) but additionally has got the easiest setup. It’s built-in features that merely work. And also the features that many users need/want exist.

Wix has exactly the same or more control than WordPress.com. You may make changes and tweak many technical settings &#8211 only individuals approved by Wix.

Wix No CSS Editing

Wix SEO Tools

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That stated, the Wix / WordPress.com system helps to ensure that the characteristics they will have work &#8211 plus they work nicely no crashing or conflicts.

Self-located WordPress enables limitless technical &amp personalization features. It&#8217s also fairly convenient for novices to include new functionality. Self-located WordPress enables &#8220plugins&#8221 that are little small-apps that you could supplment your WordPress install using the mouse click.

Whether or not this&#8217s for much better Search engine optimization functionality, establishing an ecommerce site, adding appointments, bulk uploading information, adding a social networking or really whatever you can consider &#8211 it can be done with self-located WordPress.

Around the downside, it&#8217s also possible to produce a code conflict in WordPress and crash your site. It&#8217s not common should you stay with well-support plugins, but it’s something which can occur.

It&#8217s much like having a house &#8211 you are able to develop a deck or add shutters if you wish to. Things will most likely be fine, however if you simply accidentally damage your home &#8211 it&#8217s for you to repair.

About this consideration &#8211 there&#8217s no real overall champion. It&#8217s about what&#8217s good for you.

Marketing &amp Search engine optimization Features

Marketing &amp Search engine optimization factors are much like the technical factors.

Both WordPress and self-hosted are &#8220good&#8221 for marketing &amp Search engine optimization for the reason that they cook well-coded, crawlable, HTML &amp CSS.

As outlined within my Wix review, Wix generates pages with an AJAX system. Their pages are technically crawlable. But from my professional experience, Wix website are not even close to well suited for Search engine optimization or network marketing purposes. If Search engine optimization &amp social aren’t most of your marketing means, this consideration might not matter much.

Actually, there are many other caveats.

WordPress.com only enables Google Analytics using their Strategic business plan. Furthermore, they don’t allow tracking or conversion pixels (ie from Google or Facebook). Additionally they do not let specific technical Search engine optimization additions for example Schema, category page edits or any other technical fixes.

Wix has lots of in-house marketing &#8220apps&#8221 that are simple to install and sync along with other business tools. But with Wix&#8217s apps, you are able to&#8217t do all of the Search engine optimization or technical marketing work. Around the upside, for a lot of beginner / small websites, applying tags &amp technical fixes aren’t (and cannot) be high priority.

Wix Apps Extensions

The very best factor you should do is publish quality content that will get associated with and shared by many individuals (and won’t crash under sudden massive recognition) then WordPress.com and Wix  both permit you to do this.

If you wish to do all of the marketing things &#8211 a self-located WordPress website allows even beginners to apply highly advanced tactics varying from applying tags, tracking data to advanced Search engine optimization changes to running email opt-ins, schema, a/b tests and anything you may wish to accomplish.

So again, with marketing features the &#8220winner&#8221 really depends upon your priority. In case your priority is easy, user-friendly publishing then WordPress.com and Wix do this well.

If you would likeOrrequire an entire technical marketing toolset &#8211 then you definitely&#8217ll require a self-located WordPress website.

Customer Care &amp Service

Regardless of what you are or that which you&#8217re building &#8211 you&#8217ll likely need customer care.

WordPress.com approaches customer care differently. They are doing something to make customer care &#8220scale&#8221 (also known as they aren&#8217t answering exactly the same question again and again).

WordPress.com structures their backend to try and eliminate questions &amp problems. But if you have a problem, you need to publish it inside a public forum.

The contact page instantly searches old posts while you type to obtain your question clarified from your old publish. Whenever you submit, WordPress.com&#8217s &#8220Happiness Engineers&#8221 rapidly and concisely answer your question &#8211 either openly or via private email.

It&#8217s all virtual, interesting, and efficient &#8211 although not for everybody.

Wix offers classical customer care via support tickets. They offer phone, email, chat and understanding base support.

If you have a self-located WordPress website, you want to your webhost for intricacies and Google/forums for other conditions. I&#8217ve reviewed a lot of website hosts and repair levels/approaches vary extremely.

Some the likes of InMotion (review), Website Hosting Hub (review), SiteGround (review), and DreamHost (review) are independent firms that positively purchase customer support &#8211 and will be more WordPress-specific issues than the others.

Others like HostGator (review), Bluehost (review) yet others have good hosting support but encourage upgrading to &#8220WordPress hosting&#8221 to possess WordPress-specific help.

That stated, even though you have excellent hosting support, oneself-located WordPress web site is inherently unique.

Since WordPress.com and Wix operate located platforms &#8211 their customer support has less variables to utilize. They already know you are able to only personalize your website a lot, thus potential issues are restricted.

For those who have a very customized self-located WordPress website with a lot of plugins and theme edits, you’ll have to undergo a trouble-shooting process regardless of how good your webhost&#8217s support is.

If you’re comfortable problem-solving and troubleshooting, a self-located WordPress site with a decent webhost would be the best fit. Otherwise, Wix/WordPress.com have a better setup.

Speed, Backups, Security &amp Maintenance

Associated with customer care would be the problems with speed, security and maintenance.

If you work with WordPress.com or Wix &#8211 these aren’t your problems. They take proper care of the 3 included in the bundled deal.

If you’re self-hosting, you&#8217ll have to regularly improve your WordPress install and plugins. Furthermore, you&#8217ll have to use a fundamental security wordpress plugin and know very well what makes your website fast/slow.

None of those topics need a developer or deep technical understanding, but they’re topics you need to be familiar with.

Returning to the home example &#8211 it&#8217s like altering the environment filter monthly and setting an alarm system. They aren&#8217t complicated, but they’re under your control. My publish on essential plugins for WordPress is a great resource.

Wix vs. WordPress Conclusion

Wix and WordPress are very well-known brands permanently reasons. They’ve both made obtaining a website a lot simpler than it was once.

Both are healthy choices for several projects. If you’d prefer control of convenience &#8211 then decide on a self-located WordPress site. Use this site setup guide here (but pair it with InMotion&#8217s BoldGrid setup for WordPress for drag &amp drop functionality).

If you’d prefer more convenience, convey more budget and wish an emphasis on publishing &amp simplicity of use &#8211 i then&#8217d opt for WordPress.com.

If you’d prefer convenience and wish a far more general purpose website with traditional support and drag/drop design &#8211 i then&#8217d opt for Wix (or take a look at their direct competitors).

Other Sources

  • How You Can Setup A WordPress Website on your own
  • Essential Help Guide To Selecting An Ecommerce Website Platform
  • WordPress.org versus. WordPress.com
  • Wix Review w/ Pros &amp Cons

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SiteBuilder Review: 5 Pros & 5 Cons of utilizing SiteBuilder.com

SiteBuilder Review

SiteBuilder.com is among the faster-growing brands within the quickly evolving website builder space. SiteBuilder concentrates on core features along with a clean interface. According to feedback from my Weebly, Wix and Squarespace reviews &#8211 I gave SiteBuilder a go. Listed here are my 5 pros and 5 cons and full SiteBuilder review.

Take a look at SiteBuilder&#8217s current plans &#038 prices here.

Before we glance at SiteBuilder particularly &#8211 there’s a larger concept to bear in mind. Regardless of whether you go drag website builder an installed Cms (CMS), or hands-coded HTML files, there are plenty of factors which go into an creating a website.

Within the finish, you want anyone to key in an internet site address and find out your data, presented well with the proper functionality within their browser. Regardless if you are creating a simple project website or managing a internet business, how you construct your site determines lots of you skill both lengthy-term and short-term.

Within the lengthy-term, the various tools you utilize to setup your site affects your versatility, functionality, and, obviously, your brand. For the short term, it may certainly add/remove lots of headaches. That stated, much like selecting an actual office or house, there’s no such factor being an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s only the best choice in accordance with your objectives, experience, and conditions.

What’s SiteBuilder.com?

Website building tools exist on the spectrum having a core tradeoff between control &amp convenience. Usually, the greater convenient something is, the less control you’ve &#8211 and the other way around.

Sitebuilder endures the spectrum more all-inclusive and easy to get began and also be your site. It’s as opposed to solutions in which you buy, install, and manage all of the “pieces” of the website individually by yourself server.

Like other “hosted website builders” like Weebly or Wix, SiteBuilder is kind of like leasing and customizing a condo inside a nice development rather buying and owning your house. You’re still in charge of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – however, you leave the development, plumbing, security, and infrastructure towards the house owner. That time is essential because, again, there’s often a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.

All of the functionality and style which are incorporated with SiteBuilder work seamlessly together like a platform. That’s what enables these to have drag design, layout and content.

So far as competition, SiteBuilder competes directly with all of-inclusive website builders like Weebly, Wix, Squarespace and WordPress.com.

Website builders like a group contend with options like WordPress.org (which supplies the disposable software to create a website that you simply own &amp control – see my WordPress setup guide here) completely to options like typing actual Web coding right into a text file. Seem sensible? Awesome, let’s follow the SiteBuilder review.

Another quick aside – a disclosure – I receive referral charges all the businesses pointed out within this publish. My opinions &amp research derive from my encounters as whether having to pay customer or consultant to some having to pay customer.

SiteBuilder Advantages

Here’s things i discovered to be the professionals of SiteBuilder – not only to comparison with other website builders, but additionally being an overall website solution.

Speed, Security &amp Convenience

SiteBuilder provides hosting for those their websites. Quite simply, they offer a spot for your site files to reside additionally towards the builder too. That may be bad or good &#8211 however in SiteBuilder’s situation, it’s generally a benefit.

You will find big convenience points for getting to have little concern for hosting, speed and security. SiteBuilder seems to operate their software on Amazon . com and Google servers, that will hardly ever go lower.

SiteBuilder doesn’t the quickest load speeds, but it’s okay, especially because you, because the site owner, don’t have to do anything whatsoever as they are.

SiteBuilder Speed

Just like any website, you will find security risks. However they provide security and backups in their prices package.

Short-Term Prices

Should you not mind getting your site on the subdomain (ie, http://yoursite.myfreesites.internet) then SiteBuilder is free of charge without any trial expiration. It’s an excellent deal for small, temporary sites.

SiteBuilder Pricing Intro

However for more permanent sites, their opening prices is competitive with other all-inclusive website builders.

Since Sitebuilder comes with some fairly hard caps and structures on every plan, you almost need to go using the Pro plan or even more. Individuals is going to be pointed out within the prices section that come in the disadvantages.

Consider everything (software, hosting, security, tools, etc) is bundled, they’ve competitive prices for anybody who simply really wants to begin a website.

Even their ecommerce prices, while more costly than doing exactly the same factor by yourself hosting, is a lot less expensive than comparable plans with direct competitors.

Simplicity &amp Core Features

For just about any product, there is a thin line for brand new features. Sooner or later, additional features no more result in the product better &#8211 they worsen it.

Like I&#8217ve observed in my website builder reviews &#8211 companies possess the issue to be everything for everybody. They add a lot of features their “simple” website builder is actually quite complicated.

SiteBuilder concentrates on the main features that each fundamental website needs.

SiteBuilder Features

It isn’t for everybody (as I’ll mention within the cons), however if you simply do just have an easy, quick, fundamental website &#8211 SiteBuilder’s setup is straightforward and simple.

Site Building Process

On a single theme his or her concentrate on core features is the simplicity the particular site building process.

Regardless of what plan you finish up wanting, everybody will get began with similar setup process.

If you would like &#8211 you are able to create a live website in 3 clicks. There isn’t any purchasing in advance or passing charge card information.

Clicking Get Began, choose passwords, select a base theme, and you’re within the Editor where one can Publish your website.

SiteBuilder Setup

SiteBuilder Web Design

SiteBuilder Editor

The Editor also functions like a site dashboard where one can change your account towards the plan you would like.

The procedure &amp editor is intuitive and well-designed that is a solid pro.

Drag &amp Drop Editor

One marketed benefit of utilizing an all-inclusive website builder is you won’t be required to write HTML or CSS code. You can easily drag elements. A specific item within the builder is what you’ll get online.

However, it’s not always that easy. There’s lots of nuance to “drag and drop.” The majority of us really mean “I wish to click and drag this element and move it to some general area where it’ll look great – you realize, instantly centered, etc.” Quite simply, it’s like playing tee-ball rather of baseball…or bowling with gutter pads up. For you to do the factor, but in addition have a little bit of help.

Typically, SiteBuilder pulls this off. Their drag really works how you would expect it to.

You then have a variety of design options. The parameters and rulers are adjustable. The appearance &amp feel is easy and uncluttered.

SiteBuilder Editor

SiteBuilder Disadvantages

However, no Sitebuilder review could be complete without searching in the downsides. Let’s take a look at specific cons I discovered.

Search engine optimization &amp Marketing Tools

SiteBuilder does fundamental Search engine optimization &amp marketing tools much better than some competitors like Wix. They build in redirects and HTML tag functionality.

SiteBuilder Redirects

But that’s about all they offer. There isn’t any Schema or Sitemaps. That you can do little to completely personalize your website visitor’s experience. And you’re limited about where one canOrcan’t add content.

It normally won’t even get duplicate content right (ie, you’ll have duplicate websites on yourdomain.com and yourdomain.myfreesites.internet)

SiteBuilder SEO Duplicate Content

SiteBuilder acquire some broad strokes right, but it’s remember this that it is a fundamental website solution. Should you employ a professional to assist construct your site out, they’re likely likely to suggest that you progress to some more versatile platform.

This disadvantage is partially because Sitebuilder focuses more about towards convenience over control. And without 100% control of your website &amp server – it can be hard and/or impossible to include advanced marketing tools just like an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, specific Schemas along with aOrW testing software.

Lengthy-term Prices

SiteBuilder will a good job with opening prices, but overall, they aren’t an awfully the best value. Other website builders (ie, Weebly) give a less expensive on features and renewal prices.

SiteBuilder Pricing Renewal

And it is not even evaluating SiteBuilder against building your website by yourself server using website builder software like WordPress (or perhaps drag software like WordPress + BoldGrid). With Sitebuilder, you have to pay the fee every month per website. If you’re by yourself hosting server, any extra website is essentially free, so it’s that rather more value.

SiteBuilder Hosting Storage

Use Of HTML / CSS

Although located website builders cannot provide server access, many viewed accessibility “source code” (ie, HTML/CSS) from the website that you’re building.

It may be handy not just for somebody fluent in HTML/CSS, but in addition for anybody looking to get something around the page *just* right.

SiteBuilder provides an array of options within their builder (animations are particularly plentiful).

SiteBuilder Designer

However it doesn’t have means to access the HTML/CSS from the page. The only exception may be the header &amp footer where one can add verification tags for Search Console, Pinterest, AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

This limited access isn’t uncommon within the website builder world, however it does put SiteBuilder in a disadvantage when compared with competitors like Weebly and Squarespace.

Customer Care &amp Onboarding

Like I’ve pointed out in other reviews, customer care is really a tough issue to judge (in almost any industry). Rather of searching at whether customer care is “good” &#8211 I concept what their priority is by using customer care like a company.

Will they positively purchase sources and channels? Will they attempt to upsell? Will they turn to spend less?

With SiteBuilder, it’s a little difficult to say given that they operate a fully located platform where they are able to prevent many customer support issues.

Nonetheless, they are doing possess a small knowledgebase. Tech support team is by email &#8211 though billing support includes a telephone number.

SiteBuilder Customer Support

But all their “onboarding” emails (ie, the entire process of obtaining a new customer began) center around upsells.

SiteBuilder Customer Support

In accordance with other website builder companies, I take their customer care &amp onboarding like a disadvantage.

Growth Path &amp Platform Lock-in

Like I stated within the advantages, SiteBuilder excels like a simple website builder. That stated, for those who have a brand new website that you would like to develop and evolve, that’s additionally a disadvantage.

Competitors like Wix, Weebly and SquareSpace (and ecommerce competitors like Shopify) offer “app stores” or “extensions” that you could supplment your account while you grow. They take proper care of all of the advanced features that you’ll want while you grow. SiteBuilder doesn’t have that.

The characteristics you have would be the features you receive. If you’re planning on growing, you will need to think about that time.

Furthermore, moving from SiteBuilder to a different platform isn’t a straightforward process. They don’t have an information export option (which i may find). As well as their software doesn’t have any Feed that may sync your articles with something similar to WordPress.

Should you ever wish to migrate, you’ll need to element in migration costs and energy. Any design or content that you simply purchase SiteBuilder will have to be by hand moved.

Ecommerce Addendum

An added bonus for SiteBuilder is the ecommerce functionality. Marketing products out of your SiteBuilder website without switching platforms or any special development.

Ecommerce is a fairly little bit of functionality, but bear in mind that it is not really a full-fledged ecommerce that online shop platforms for example Shopify or BigCommerce. SiteBuilder includes a shopping cart software, fundamental inventory management, and payment acceptance.

It’s ideal for websites which are mainly lead-generation, informational, etc but should also sell a couple of products. It is also a great fit for anybody trying out products before relocating to a lengthy term platform. It isn’t a lengthy-term fit for websites which are ecommerce-first. For individuals a web-based store you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or perhaps a niche ecommerce platform like Shopify (review) or BigCommerce (review) will be a better fit.

Next Steps

SiteBuilder is a superb option for an easy, quick, no-fuss website. They’ve competitive prices, good functionality, and good consumer experience. There are plenty of tradeoffs for implementing an exciting-inclusive website builder, but when that route fits your objectives – then I’d take a look at SiteBuilder’s Plans here.

If you’re more confused than ever before – I produced a BuzzFeed style quiz that will help you decide what’s the best website builder for you personally according to your requirements here.

If you feel building your personal website by yourself hosting is the perfect route, make sure to take a look at my step-by-step help guide to setting an internet site with WordPress on your own here.

SiteBuilder

SiteBuilder is among the fastest growing companies within the website builder industry. They concentrate on core website features for fundamental sites.
SiteBuilder Review
Compiled by: Nate Shivar
Date Printed: 11/18/2016
SiteBuilder is really a clean, simple drag located website builder. Ideal for a fundamental site, but take a look at other available choices for something more.
3 / 5 stars

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Weebly Review: 6 Pros & 3 Cons of utilizing Weebly For The Website

Weebly Reviewed: Pros &amp Cons of Using Weebly

With regards to obtaining a website up, there’s never been an simpler time. Weebly is among the fastest growing and longest standing brands within the website building space. These were pointed out within the first edition from the 4-Hour Workweek. Since, they’ve grown and ongoing to revise their software. I lately gave Weebly a go for any small project, together with other website builders. Here’s my 6 pros, 3 cons and full Weebly review.

Take a look at Weebly&#8217s Plans &amp Prices here.

However, some overview on website builders. Regardless of whether you go drag builder an installed Cms (CMS), or hands-coded HTML files, there’s lots of factors which go into an creating a website.

Within the finish, you want anyone to key in an internet site address and find out your data, presented well with the proper functionality within their browser. Regardless if you are creating a simple personal website or operating a business, how you construct your site determines a great deal both lengthy-term and short-term.

Within the lengthy-term, the various tools you utilize to setup your site affects your versatility, functionality, and, obviously, your brand. For the short term it may certainly add/remove lots of headaches. That stated, much like selecting an actual office or house, there’s no such factor being an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s merely a such factor as the best choice in accordance with your objectives, experience, and conditions.

What’s Weebly?

Around the wide spectrum of website building solutions, Weebly endures the finish that’s all-inclusive and offers all you need to get began and also be your site. It’s as opposed to solutions in which you buy, install, and manage all of the “pieces” of the website individually.

It&#8217s like buying and selling off control button for additional convenience.

Using Weebly is kind of like leasing and customizing a condo inside a nice development rather buying and owning your house. You’re still in charge of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – however, you leave the development, plumbing, security, and infrastructure towards the house owner. That time is essential because there’s often a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.

All of the functionality and style which are incorporated with Weebly work seamlessly together like a platform. That’s what enables these to have drag design, layout and content.

So far as competition, Weebly competes directly with all of-inclusive website builders like Squarespace, Wix and WordPress.com.

Website builders like a group contend with options like WordPress.org (which supplies the disposable software to create a website that you simply own &amp control &#8211 see my WordPress setup guide here) completely to options like typing actual Web coding right into a text file. Seem sensible? Awesome, let’s dive to the Weebly review.

Another quick aside – a disclosure – I receive referral charges all the businesses pointed out within this publish. My opinions &amp research derive from my encounters as whether having to pay customer or consultant to some having to pay customer.

Weebly&#8217s Company Pitch:

Pros of utilizing Weebly

Here’s things i discovered to be the professionals of Weebly – not only to comparison to Squarespace and Wix as well as their competition, but additionally being an overall website solution.

Speed &amp Security

Weebly provides hosting for the websites which are built on their own platform. That may be bad or good, however in Weebly’s situation it’s a professional. They’ve fast load speeds. Their websites are enhanced for his or her own hosting. They take proper care of security against online hackers and junk e-mail. With strategic business plans, they can install and keep SSL across your whole site. Here&#8217s my speed test:

Weebly Speed Test

You may still find speed and security risks, but overall, it’s a benefit for a lot of website proprietors to possess another person take proper care of speed, security, backups, etc. The price is bundled with pro and free accounts, so it’s a good value add.

Overall Prices

Should you not mind your website on the subdomain (ie, http://yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weebly is free of charge without any expiration. Very good deal &#8211 specifically for temporary sites.

&nbsp

Weebly Pricing

Overall prices is extremely competitive not just when compared with other all-inclusive website builders, but additionally with buying your personal hosting. Their Starter plan starts around $8/mo when compensated in advance. Plus they do not have the normal caps of other website builders. The Professional plans adds solid features, but still stays under $12/mo.

And again &#8211 you&#8217ll observe that things are bundled and limitless. There&#8217s no caps on pages or space for storage. And in contrast to competitors like Wix, they remove all ads using the first compensated tier.

Even their business prices, while more costly than doing exactly the same factor by yourself hosting, is a lot less expensive than comparable plans with direct competitors.

When compared with building your personal website in your host and particularly along with other website builders, Weebly’s prices is extremely competitive. Cost isn’t everything, but I like the way they structure it.

Site Building Process

One marketed benefit of utilizing an all-inclusive website builder is you won’t be required to write HTML or CSS code. You can easily drag elements. A specific item within the builder is what you’ll get online.

Weebly Builder

It isn’t always that easy. There’s lots of nuance to “drag and drop.” The majority of us really mean “I wish to click and drag this element and move it to some general area where it’ll look great &#8211 you realize, instantly centered, etc.” Quite simply, it’s like playing tee-ball rather of baseball&#8230or bowling with gutter pads up. For you to do the factor, but in addition have a little bit of help.

Drag &amp drop forum into center of page

Typically, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag really works. And, for that control freaks in our midst, they offer use of a custom CSS module, to be able to edit web site to precisely your selecting.

Edit CSS within Weebly

Onboarding &amp Education

If you start any software program &#8211 regardless of how intuitive &#8211 there’s that moment in which you think “ok, exactly what do I actually do now?” That process is known as onboarding, and it is also incredibly difficult to implement well.

Weebly Onbarding

The program maker doesn’t wish to be annoying, they also wish to help. I really like how Weebly builds in solid onboarding and education not just via email drip sequence but additionally via little info buttons constructed with their platform.

Weebly Onboarding Guided Alerts As You Click Through

Weebly Reminders

When you register, it’s simple to dive in.

Weebly Email Onboarding

Built-in Set Of Features + Extensions

The large benefit of building your personal website by yourself host is you do not have to rely on a platform’s set of features. Should you go the woking platform route, it’s answer to make certain they’ve all of the features you would like.

Weebly’s set of features is powerful. They’ve got everything all of the basics &#8211 like blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.

Even past the advanced requirements, Weebly even includes features like forums, membership options, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc. They likewise have ecommerce options, which I’ll cover individually below.

Should you go the all-inclusive website builder route, Weebly’s set of features ought to provide all you need for typical personal/business sites (though once we&#8217ll see within the Cons section, you need to do wish to be specific and conscious of advanced options).

Furthermore &#8211 Weebly has lots of built-in features, however it does not have everything. Platforms overcome this by permitting third party apps (think the Application Store or Shopify’s Application Store).

With your personal WordPress site, adding functionality is as simple as installing a wordpress plugin. With Weebly &#8211 you are able to browse their growing (though somewhat limited still) application center.

Weebly Apps

Additionally they compensate for insufficient features with allowing custom JavaScript, HTML and CSS. If you’re able to copy a code snippet (say, for anyOrW testing, blog comments, running a bidding, etc) then you’re good.

Customer Care

Free of charge accounts, Weebly provides an email support option along with a well-done Understanding Base. For compensated accounts (even starter), they provide email, chat And make contact with. Response occasions for me personally were solid.

By having an all-inclusive platform, customer care has the capacity to trobleshoot and fix and connect any risk. This can be a appealing factor of website builder platforms generally, but particularly with Weebly given that they have phone support.

Should you run your personal site, you need to determine just who can deal with an issue before contacting. With Weebly, you simply make contact with them.

Cons of Using Weebly

However, no Weebly review could be complete without searching in the downsides. Let’s take a look at 3 specific cons I discovered.

Cms

A cms is what it may sound like. It’s an interface that enables you to definitely sort, filter, edit, and publish various kinds of content in your site.

Weebly kind of has that. It features a Pages section that lists out all of the pages in your site. It enables you to definitely drag the hierarchy and click on to edit each. But it’s not even close to a competent system.

Weebly Pages

There isn’t any method to add custom content types (except inside an individual page). If you’re planning a sizable site (like countless pages), the information within Weebly would want an individual system to help keep everything sorted and simply accessible.

This disadvantage could be overcome, but If only content may well be more easily managed within Weebly.

Advanced Marketing Tools

Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, most marketing tools featuring can be included to your website. However, because you still don’t have 100% control of your website &amp server &#8211 it can be hard and/or impossible to include advanced marketing tools just like an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, specific Schemas along with aOrW testing software.

Within the jargon &#8211 the primary concern is not getting &#8220root&#8221 or &#8220FTP&#8221 use of your server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, but it’s something to understand if you’re planning a lengthy-term project.

For many all website proprietors with average traffic &#8211 you&#8217ll want to understand the constraints, especially if you’re planning for rapid growth.

Platform Lock-in

The final big drawback to Weebly is the fact that moving to a different platform is tough. If you wish to move elsewhere, just like your own WordPress powered website, moving your articles and redirecting your URLs is a difficult process.

Weebly enables you to definitely export your Page content via zip file but blog content must be by hand copied and/or migrated via RSS.

Again &#8211 moving platforms will be difficult, however it&#8217s something to think about if you’re planning on quickly growing traffic and/or content.

Weebly Ecommerce Addendum

Here&#8217s Weebly&#8217s ad showing their new ecommerce setup.

An added bonus for Weebly is the ecommerce functionality. Marketing products out of your Weebly website without switching platforms or any special development. They fit in seamlessly and it has solid functionality.

The prices is reasonable. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction charges, but bundles the entire ecommerce package for strategic business plans.

Ecommerce is a fairly little bit of functionality, but bear in mind that it is not really a full-fledged ecommerce that online shop platforms for example Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart software, fundamental inventory management, and payment acceptance.

It’s ideal for websites which are mainly lead-generation, informational, etc but should also sell a couple of products. It is also a great fit for anybody trying out products before relocating to a lengthy term platform. It isn’t a lengthy-term fit for websites which are ecommerce-first. For individuals a web-based store you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or perhaps a niche ecommerce platform like Shopify (review) or Bigcommerce (review) will be a better fit.

Video Overview &amp Tour

Review Conclusion

Weebly is a superb option for an exciting-inclusive website builder. They’ve great prices, good functionality, and good consumer experience. There are plenty of tradeoffs for implementing an exciting-inclusive website builder, but when that route fits your objectives &#8211 i then&#8217d take a look at Weebly&#8217s Plans here.

If you’re more confused than ever before &#8211 I produced a BuzzFeed style quiz that will help you decide what’s the best website builder for you personally according to your requirements here.

If you feel building your personal website by yourself hosting is the perfect route, make sure to take a look at my step-by-step help guide to setting an internet site with WordPress on your own here.

Weebly

Weebly is among the most widely known all-in-one website builders. It provides drag design, good functionality and bundled hosting and customer care.
Weebly
Compiled by: Nate Shivar
Date Printed: 01/01/2017
Should you&#039re going the all-inclusive website builder route, Weebly is a superb fit for many. Great functionality, great consumer experience. Lags behind Squarespace in design templates.
4 / 5 stars

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