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We have awarded Yola our prestigious Bronze Award in this category, having reviewed 20 Online Website Building Tools. Read our review below to find out why...
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As soon as you arrive as Yola’s homepage, you are presented with a professional, simple and straightforward image which, we are happy to say, runs as a thread throughout Yola. It is easy to register for your free Yola site and begin editing straight away. Likewise, a clear pricing plan will aid your decision on whether or not to pay for extended services. The first thing you do is choose a template. Although the quantity of templates available is relatively low, Yola provide a wide variety covering an intuitive range of website types that should suit most users. Those with a Silver or Premium account will get access to a range of more advanced templates which are great to make your website stand out.
Once you have got used to Yola’s editor, it is easy to customize, edit and update your Website. They incorporate drag and drop and WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) interface into their platform which are fast becoming industry standards. Practically, this means you simply select components such as text boxes, media, widgets, etc. and insert them to your desired location on your website. WYSIWYG allows you to edit the page while seeing it exactly as it will appear when published. This means you need not have prior knowledge of HTML or CSS editing. However, it must be kept in mind that being able to edit code is required if you are to produce a unique website. Likewise, paying for a domain name and additional storage will be unavoidable if you want to produce a professional quality webpage.
We were satisfied with all the features available with Yola; almost all types of media are supported, it is easy to integrate your page to social media sites and there is a good selection of widgets. We were especially impressed with Yola’s graphic imaging tools which consist of Paintshop Pro standard software integrated into the website editing platform; this means you can edit images extensively without leaving the website. For us, this really set Yola apart as one of the top products in this category. While Yola do provide you with web site analysis tools, these are rather limited and we would recommend you use Google analytics which is available for free. Finally, Yola provide basic Webstore services which, although robust, are rather basic. Items are simply listed in a way that appears rather bulky and there does not seem to be any way to edit this. Although PayPal is very easy to integrate to the site, Yola will not be sufficient for serious Ecommerce.
This said, for websites of all other types, Yola should be sufficient. You don’t even necessarily have to sign up to a Silver or Premium account as you can purchase domain names and associated Email addresses separately at a very reasonable price. A Silver Account is better viewed as a package deal to get your website off the ground. With improved templates, advertising credit and design support you have the basics to set up a simple yet professional website to suit almost all preferences and needs. The best thing, however, about the Silver Account is the customer support. Having won several awards, the customer service team at Yola is just a phone call away and will get back to all your emails in a friendly, helpful and efficient manner within 24 hours. This was really refreshing compared to some other sites in this category which basically leave you to fend for yourself. What is more, those signing up for the premium account will receive one on one consultation with a professional web designer and, after a few days, a custom made 5 page website which they can go onto customize as they want.
In conclusion, a simple interface, a clear price plan, ease of use and excellent customer services make Yola a robust competitor in this market. We would recommend Yola to beginners looking to quickly set up a website with minimal hassle. Although the sophistication of the web site builder is slightly lacking, beginners will appreciate the usability to which this is sacrificed. Despite being more expensive than other products in this category, we believe that Yola’s convenience makes it worth it in the long run. Their free trail is an excellent way to get a taste of Yola, so go ahead and try it out, you’ve got nothing to lose.
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