These days, if you want your business to be successful, you need to be active online.
Unfortunately, building a website can be a complicated and expensive experience.
What if you don’t have the technical prowess and coding know-how to create an incredible site? The most common alternative is to turn to a costly graphic designer and web-building team.
However, there is another option.
Strikingly, a software company founded in 2012, launched a simple and effective way to create one-page websites in a matter of hours.
The Strikingly website builder makes it quick and easy to build any digital experience, whether you’re looking for a blog or an online store.
So, is Strikingly the right site-building solution for you?
Strikingly isn’t your average website builder.
This program emphasizes the simplicity of building single-page websites. Essentially, that means that your customer scrolls through your entire site, rather than clicking from page to page.
With the free version of the service, you can create a custom Strikingly.com URL. A pro or limited version of the app will give you access to a personalized domain. Hosting is available as part of your monthly payment plan.
When you begin building your website, you’ll have one page, with multiple sections to showcase all of your crucial business information. If you need more space, subscribers can get up to 10 pages with the paid service.
For a relatively low cost, Strikingly offers a host of helpful tools to help you build your site.
- Dozens of site templates organized into categories like “Fun,” and “Portfolio.”
- Easy-to-navigate user interface and drag-and-drop builder
- Domain buying options
- Ready-to-use themes
- Ecommerce features
- Blog building capabilities
- Management via iOS devices
The first thing you’ll see when you start using the Strikingly website builder, is a range of templates to choose from.
There are only a couple of dozen options, but it’s a good starting point if you’re brand-new to digital design. If you’re looking for something a bit more advanced, however, Strikingly falls unfortunately short of alternatives like Weebly and Wix.
So, what’s good about Strikingly’s templates?
Well, what they lack in variety, they make up for in ease-of-use.
The template library is split into categories like:
…and more. The Business category seems to have the widest selection, and some templates show up in multiple categories:
The good news?
If you’re not blown away by any template in particular, you can customize your options.
Change the colors, design, layout and other features at will, with no extra cost. While there’s no blank canvas template option, you can make further customizations with a pro account, by accessing your footer and header code.
You can also connect your LinkedIn details to Strikingly – which is particularly useful for professional portfolios.
Once you choose one of Strikingly’s templates, you’ll be taken through to the editor, where you can customise the full experience, editing the layout, adding titles, and more. Within the editor, you’ll also be able to add links to products, resources, and other information.
The sidebar of the Strikingly Website builder has 3 categories to choose from: Styles, Settings, and Sections.
In the “Styles” section, you can show off your personality.
Let your attitude shine through by changing the color scheme, adjusting your navigation menu, or uploading your business logo. Strikingly can even suggest a color scheme based on your logo too!
The Strikingly “Styles” editor also offers custom animations that adjust how your page scrolls or add effects to images when customers hover over them.
In the “Settings” section, you’ll be able to edit most basic details, including:
- Site info: Such as your website name, business category, and language. You’ll need integrations to put certain languages into your website.
- Domains: Register a new domain name or connect an existing URL to your site. If you don’t have a pro account, you can upgrade here, and claim a non-branded domain name.
- Mobile actions: Enable features like directions, calling, texting and more for mobile customers.
- Sharing info: Add icons and Twitter cards to combine your site with your social media campaigns.
- Header and footer: Decide which features to hide and show on your mobile and desktop website versions
- Custom Code: Add further personalization elements through this Pro feature
You’ll need a professional paid account to access some of the fancier features.
Things like the Strikingly SEO checklist, and the “analytics” tab will only be available when you pay for your service. You’ll also only have access to a single-page site until you upgrade. Once you switch to a paid profile, you can add up to 20 pages to your domain.
As of 2018, 52.2% of all web traffic worldwide came from mobile.
What does that mean to you?
Your site must be mobile friendly.
The good news is that Strikingly makes it easy to build an effective mobile site. You can decide in the “Settings” page which features you want to showcase on the desktop and mobile versions of your site separately.
There are even options to remove navigation on your mobile site, eliminate buttons, and change parts of your header and footer.
For website owners who prefer to browse on mobile, there’s also a Strikingly app.
Available for Android and iOS, the app offers:
- A mobile editor where you can add new sections to your site, manage content, upload images and more. There’s even an iPad editor included.
- Simple store order manager: An alert system that lets you know when orders are coming into your eCommerce site.
- Form response: A quick way to respond to your customers that might be leaving messages.
Strikingly: Simple Store & Blog Editor
Strikingly focuses primarily on single-page sites.
However, you can always add extra pages if you want to – as long as you have a pro account.
One option is to add the “Simple Store” feature – an eCommerce option that allows you to sell products on your website. You’ll be able to take payments on Stripe and PayPal, edit product descriptions, and even adjust your custom layout to improve your chance of conversions.
The eCommerce “Simple Store” offers access to:
- Product management
- Order control
- Offers and coupons
- Payment management
- Currency options
- Email notifications
If you’re more of a blogger than a seller, there’s a “Simple Blog” feature too.
When you access the Simple blog through the Strikingly website builder, you’ll be able to start your own blog page, complete with images, multimedia, quotes, and even clickable CTA buttons. There’s also a SEO optimization feature offered to help you boost your chances of ranking online.
The blogging feature is as simple as they come.
There are four sections in total, including:
- Blog posts, where you create your content
- Blog settings, where you manage subscriptions, RSS feeds and comments
- SEO boost, where you check for search engine optimization options
- Blog categories, where you organize your content
If you want to find out how your blog is doing, you can check out the analytics section of Strikingly, or you can add Google Analytics as an integration to your site.
Strikingly: Apps and Integrations
At its core, Strikingly is a pretty basic piece of software.
It comes with a handful of templates, some basic analytics options, and simple eCommerce.
However, there are plenty of options to build on your Strikingly site if you want to accomplish more with it. For instance, there are a handful of helpful apps in the Integration section of the tool.
To add an integration, click on “Add New Section” in your editor. Keep in mind that some of the tools require payment, like MailChimp and ECWid. Other options like PayPal, are completely free.
Some of the tools you can use include:
- Social media embeds like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn
- Facebook Pixel tracking
- Hello Bar email collection
- HTML for third-party code
- ECWID for eCommerce product management
- MailChimp email marketing integration
- Stripe and PayPal payments
Strikingly: Ease of Use
Simplicity is the cornerstone of everything Strikingly offers.
Because website builders can be intimidating – at least for beginners.
If you’ve never tried to create a site before, then you don’t want a tool that overwhelms you with code and editing options. That’s why Strikingly makes things easy for beginners. When you download the tool, you get a quick tutorial guide that shows you everything you need to know about the interface.
If you don’t want to use the tutorial, the Strikingly interface doesn’t take long to get used to.
You can click on objects in the editor to view their properties, click the preview button when you’re building to see your results and more. There’s also a “Help” option if you get stuck.
Honestly, it’s not as difficult as it seems.
Strikingly is all about letting any company build an impressive site in a short space of time.
You don’t need to know anything about coding.
All you need to do is access the drag and drop editor by choosing your theme, and fiddle with the results until you’re happy. If you’re worried about using anything, just check out the Knowledgebase for additional help.
As pricing goes, Strikingly is very affordable.
There’s a basic “free” account available if you click through to the “Monthly” options on the pricing page. Strikingly automatically highlights the paid “yearly” packages first.
Unfortunately, the free package doesn’t give you much.
Sure, you can build sites, but you can’t have your own domain name, and your bandwidth is limited to only 5GB per month. Additionally, while there’s a simple web store available, you’re only able to use it with one product per site.
If you decide to splash some cash, the next level up from “Free” is Limited. This plan gives you a free domain for a package that you pay for yearly. There’s also 2 sites available with “limited” features, and an unlimited number of free sites available. You’ll be paying about $8 a month if you pay yearly, or $12 per month if you pay one month at a time.
The “Pro” pricing plan is the most compelling option.
It eliminates any unwanted Strikingly bandwidth limits and branding.
You can create up to 3 pro sites for each account and support the sale of up to 300 items in your online store. There’s also a host of other extras to consider, such as embedded HTML, password protection, site search and so much more.
If you’re paying yearly, which Strikingly recommends, then you’ll only be paying $16 per month for the Pro option. That means that Strikingly is a pretty affordable tool – and much more cost-effective than paying for your own graphic designer.
The “Pro” plan is for the people who really can’t afford to compromise on their site.
Available for $49 per month, you can create 5 pro sites with this package, and host up to 500 products on each site. You also get English phone support – which isn’t available with any other plan, account management services, and priority customer service.
All of the plan options come with a 14-day free trial. This means that you can get a good feel for what the service is capable of before you sign up with a credit card.
Strikingly: Customer Service
Customer service from Strikingly is average – depending on the kind of plan you have.
If you only have a free site, then you can access the 24/7 support option, which means that you can email the business and expect a response in a few hours. There’s also a live chat button inside of the Strikingly website builder, so you can ask any questions while working on your design.
The Live chat function in the website builder also offers access to video tutorials and the Strikingly help center, for extra support.
For everyone up to VIP level, the only other customer service options include an FAQ for answers to common questions and a Knowledgebase. If you’re lucky enough to have a VIP account, you can also access exclusive English phone support and a specialist account manager.
Strikingly is a simple and impressive tool for creating quick, responsive websites.
If you’re looking for something easy to use, and even lets you adjust your site design from your smartphone, Strikingly has plenty to offer. It’s pricing plans are affordable and relatively reasonable for what you get. Additionally, the ease-of-use of its editor and custom templates is difficult to match.
On the downside, Strikingly is still very limited as a website building tool. Phone support is only available for VIP customers, and you’ll need to pay more to create a professional-level eCommerce site.
What are your thoughts on Strikingly? Let us know in the comments below!
The post Strikingly Review: Simple Website Builder (June 2019) appeared first on Ecommerce Platforms.