Perhaps the biggest single strength of website builders is that they are a fast way of building websites.
And when it comes to that, Strikingly seems to aim for the very top of the list.
Quite literally promising to help you “make a website in minutes” and “conquer the world”, this builder puts simplicity at the very core of its identity.
So you’d be excused to think that this is nothing but a quick website generator, simple in both its usability and its features.
Well – you’d be wrong. Strikingly has a strikingly (sorry!) large array of features that make it worth pretty much anyone’s attention. A diverse library of templates, eCommerce functionality, and advanced analytics might make this website builder just about enough for most businesses looking to make a page.
With all of this, it might just have what it takes to make a very big splash in both free and premium website builder markets.
Mind you – it’s not only a one-page website builder. Premium plans will allow you to add extra pages and while it has a lot of extra features going on for it, not once it lets go of its “simplicity is key” mantra and focuses mainly on beginners.
But let’s rewind a little bit.
Is Strikingly the right option for you? I’m going to dive deep into its features and find it out in this Strikingly review. Let’s get right into it.
Strikingly is available for free – but the more powerful premium plans range from $8 to $49 a month. Discounts are available if you pay for longer periods (up to 5 years).
There are 3 premium plans to choose from.
And of course, there’s a free plan.
But I simply can’t recommend it. It doesn’t let you add a custom domain name and limits your website size and monthly bandwidth to 500MB and 5GB respectively.
Good news though – the free plan includes eCommerce capabilities! Bad news soon follow – you can only sell 1 product this way.
Yeah – if you’re serious about your business, you may try the free plan to see if you like what you see. But consider paying up for a premium plan.
How much is that?
At $8.00 a month (with annual billing), the Limited Strikingly plan seems to be, well, limited. It doesn’t offer a lot of features, and the two websites it allows you to build are still quite limited. You will effectively be paying $8.00 a month to connect a custom domain and add up to five products to your store instead of just one.
On the other hand, the Pro plan ($16.00 a month, billed annually) gives you access to the Strikingly App Store and lets you build multiple-page websites, add up to 300 products to your eCommerce store, and perform some limited coding, among other things. Personally I would choose this option because it offers the best value for money, but everyone has different requirements.
For example, if one of your requirements is selling anywhere from 301 to 500 items (niche, sure, but who am I to judge?) the VIP plan ($49.00/month, billed annually) will be perfect as it allows just that.
Sure, it’s out of most people’s price range and it seems to offer little to justify the massive price increase from the Pro plan. However, I guess that some people might be willing to pay for priority service, account management, and newsletter functionality. These features make website management just a little bit easier and less time-consuming. And time is, well, money.
While Strikingly does let you pay in monthly increments for their Limited and Pro plans, they offer great discounts for longer billing periods. For example, you will save almost 50% on a Pro subscription if you pay for 5 years at once ($11.20/month compared to $20/month).
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Strikingly may first strike you as a cheap website builder, but rules of the business apply here as well – if you want the good stuff, you have to pay for it. While the builder offers a free eCommerce solution – a rarity in the market, most businesses should look into the $16 or $49 a month plans.
Strikingly claims to be “the easiest website editor possible”.
That’s a massive claim, and while I’m not even sure how you would measure it, I still don’t find it to be a ridiculous claim. During my Strikingly review, I came to find that the website builder is very easy to use and is certainly suited to beginners.
It only took me about 10 seconds to sign up for a new account and then I was away. Pre-designed templates are cleverly grouped by website style, and it was very easy to choose one that I thought would meet my needs.
Once I chose a template I was taken straight to the editing dashboard, and I got to the fun part – building my website!
From here I could change a lot of things using the simple drag-and-drop editor. But drag-and-drop doesn’t mean you would be able to put any element wherever you want. While you use Strikingly to drag and reorder elements like text blocks and images, they are still confined by pre-coded positions.
Although die-hard web developers and stubborn designers won’t like this lack of flexibility, most beginners won’t even notice. In fact, I think that having limited options when it comes to positioning could help novices create an attractive, balanced website. Less freedom means less messing up!
But that doesn’t mean you can’t edit the content of your website. Things like font, text size and position, and background color could be changed at the click of a button.
While making this Strikingly review, another thing that surprised me with its simplicity was the eCommerce features. Although the builder only lets you build simple stores, it is super easy to add and manage products directly from the website editor. This store can be included as part of a single-page design or as its own separate page on your site (if you have a premium plan).
Overall, there’s not much I can criticize Strikingly for when it comes to simplicity. The only place where it falls down is on the fine customization front – but in turn, this only makes it easier for novices to build a simple website without messing up.
Strikingly offers a range of attractive templates that let you build a new website fast and efficiently. I explored a few of the different templates that are available, and I have to say that I was impressed. Templates can be filtered by category and there are a lot to choose from.
Something I found particularly interesting was that I could base my initial design on other Strikingly websites through the Discover tab. Standard templates are available as well, but I love the idea of being able to draw inspiration from someone else’s design.
Using Discover and other online resources, I was able to explore several websites made using Strikingly. And seeing how different they can be really highlights just how versatile this builder is.
In case you discovered some older Strikingly review, you may have the impression that this builder does not support blogging. That was the case – until March 2017.
Because this is when Strikingly introduced its simple blog option, allowing users to create, edit, and publish blog posts on their websites.
Users with premium plans will even be able to create a separate blog page.
Adding a new blog post is extremely simple with the Strikingly website builder. You can add everything from images and videos to HTML code, and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to change the layout of my first blog post.
Strikingly probably isn’t the best website builder for sites focusing mainly on their blogs. However, it’s still pretty easy to add and maintain attractive blog posts – especially considering some of the negative Strikingly blog reviews that I read before I started playing around with the editor.
Strikingly is limited at its very core – so some businesses may not like it. However, its simplicity is also one of the key strengths.
You see, it’s not like Strikingly just stripped itself of all features, and called the interface “minimalist”. There’s plenty to see and do – there’s eCommerce, monetization through advertising, and plenty of specific business-centered themes.
Strikingly is probably best suited to small physical businesses that are trying to build a strong online presence. An attractive single-page website is a great way to present your services to an online audience.
Likewise, Strikingly could be useful for people who want to expand their business and create a digital income stream without having to build a complicated website. For example, if you own a physical store you could build a business website to start selling your products online.
If you want to monetize your Strikingly website by placing ads, you will need to make sure that you’re using either the Pro or VIP plan. The Free Forever and Limited plans don’t let you add custom code snippets, which makes placing ads near impossible.
Unfortunately, Strikingly has certain issues when it comes to performance. A couple of simple tests show that websites built with Strikingly take a long time to load – pointing fingers at optimization being average at best. However, response times do remain quite fast even under high visitor loads, suggesting that websites are hosted on decent servers.
When testing a simple website that I created with the Strikingly website editor, I was particularly disappointed with the relatively slow load times.
Slow page speeds are an inherent part of one-page website designs, but a load time of 8.8 seconds is just too slow for me.
A simulated response test on my Strikingly website showed that response times stayed relatively constant (blue line below) even when the number of visitors increased rapidly (green line below). Response times remained low even during sustained periods of high visitor traffic.
I think that during this Strikingly review, I saw this website builder for what it was – a very simple option, still laser-focused on business markets. Makes sense – seeing how many businesses have moved to social media, a website is often serving merely as a “business card” – and in those, it’s hard to beat Strikingly’s simplicity.
Strikingly is a great choice when it comes to a one-page website builder. However, there are plenty of alternatives out there that you might consider, whether you want something more powerful, or including business features at a better value.
Wix is one of the most popular website builders in the world. A lot of that is thanks to the fact it offers several types of creative tools for users of various experience levels. For beginners that don’t want to do anything, there’s Wix ADI that makes a website for you only based on a questionnaire.
Looking for a specific design? Wix has hundreds of beautiful, business-specific templates, and offers a lot more customizability. So it can also be suited to people who are more tech savvy and who want to delve into their site’s code.
If you’re looking for a website builder that focuses more on eCommerce, Weebly could be a good alternative. Recently acquired by a payment gateway Square, Weebly is now one of the top eCommerce options in the world.
With all sorts of tools to help you better sell online, it’s a one-stop-shop for all the merchants. So if that’s your goal, you may want to give Weebly a shot.
Similarly, Jimdo offers a lot more flexibility when it comes to choosing your hosting provider and exporting your website. Although it’s mainly a hosting service, it does provide an attractive website builder – effectively making this a great 2-in-1 solution.