It's not a secret that nowadays you don't have to be a programming and design guru to create a passable website on your own. And that's where the website builders, like BoldGrid, come marching in. BoldGrid is a little bit different because it is built exclusively for WordPress - content management system, dominating the market. In my BoldGrid review, I will take a look at this powerful drag-and-drop website builder and even try to make something amazing with it. So stay tuned!
Who Is BoldGrid
BoldGrid is a premium website builder, created by the InMotion Hosting company. It comes packaged with any hosting plan from InMotion Hosting and is based around WordPress with the main goal, to make the most popular CMS less daunting for non-web professionals.
Keep in mind that BoldGrid is an addition to the hosting plan and not vice-versa. That means you can test your newly created WordPress site on BoldGrid WordPress platform and then transfer your masterpiece to web hosting provider of your choice.
How to Get BoldGrid?
You can get it for free from any of BoldGrid approved partners as it's included in their web hosting plans:
Also, if your web host offers access to Softaculous or Plesk control panels you can just download and install it manually on your existing web host. Just keep in mind, that high-level support is included only if you buy web hosting packages from their partners.
As for now, we have an idea how to get BoldGrid. But do you need it? To make up your mind you should take a look at all the features. Let's move on with BoldGrid review.
What BoldGrid Offers?
BoldGrid is quite bold with plans. There's one option. For $60/year you will unlock Premium tools. Do you need them? Well, it's up to you to decide. Just take a look at the additional features you can unlock:
- Unlimited sites
- Premium support
- 200+ Themes
- Built-in SEO analysis tool
- Automated and secure updates and backups
- Advanced customer access
- Additional content blocks (when using Post and Page Editor plugin)
To be fair and square, maybe you don't really need all the premium features but the good news is that you can test everything for free before buying.
That's what I will do in the next part of BoldGrid review.
BoldGrid Test Ride
To test the possibilities of BoldGrid I've signed up for a free trial. This was really easy, just email is required. After signing up you are asked for some personal information. This information will be used to pick the themes that are the most relevant to you. I will be a New Small Business Owner because it's time for this writer to spread wings and fly!
My business will be selling flowers online (obviously). That means I should be interested in eCommerce. Also, I'll do everything on my own, but I am totally amateur in Website Building:
I don't have hosting and I don't need one at the moment
When I'll need one I'll just check the best web hosting providers. So let's just move on.
Now I see the panel with several possible options for my further investigations:
For the time being the most interesting for me is Administer option. By clicking it I am sent to the dashboard for creating the site. There are two options - for the first time users and for experienced WordPress users.
Of course, I'll go with the first option - First Time User. For both instances, there is a short tutorial video to help you build the desired website.
Selecting the Theme
I go to the inspirations to set my starter website for my flower industry:
The thing that I instantly noticed is lack of search function and subcategories for themes. I would like to find a nice flower-based theme, but to do that I need to scroll a variety of Inspirations and categories. Just using a keyword like "flowers", "books", "gaming" etc.would be way easier.
But I still managed to find something suitable for me - Westview website theme with beautiful sunflowers looking away from me. It is more orientated in fashion, but during this testing phase, I'll play with what I get:
In the content tab, I can look at different pages of my theme, select preferred Pageset, enable the blog option. Choosing the coin budget will adjust how stock images are presented on site. These images start off with watermarks that are removed when coins are purchased.
Of course, you can use your own images and make your website free.
One more thing that I noticed - quite long loading times when you make changes or want to see different layouts. That was a bit irritating to me, and I know lots of website builders that have way better loading times.
Ok, so I'm happy with my base theme and click next to move on.
Now we see the contact form which allows entering the information that will be seen when the site goes live. It can be changed later.
At this point in my BoldGrid review I'm ready to install my brand-new site!
Customizing My New Site
Now I can make changes to my site. Like:
- Change the site title
- Change call-to-action
- Add, remove or edit pages
- Change images, titles, font colors, widgets and so on.
There are plenty of features and tutorial video will guide you step-by-step to almost everything you can customize, so I highly recommend not skipping it if you're new to the website builders and WordPress.
When you are making changes to your website, a really cool feature is a website preview on the right of your panel. You can see how all the changes will look before going live:
When you move your cursor above various sections the shortcut icon will appear and guide you to edit that section. It would be nice to not forget to save your project as you go along...
There is a slight chance that you will want to edit your pages, add some images and so on, but I will not go into these details as the main goal of my BoldGrid review is to test the simplicity and possibilities of this website builder.
The time has come! Now I'll summarize my BoldGrid review and give you some insight about good and not-so-good characteristics that I've noticed.
Built Exclusively on WordPress
It can be seen as a Con but believe me, my secret friend, it's not. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the worlds not without a reason. With BoldGrid you'll be able to get full advantage of WordPress and choose a professional design from their gallery.
Drag & Drop Customizer
You can customize designs with easy-peasy drag & drop customizer. Just point and click on any item to edit properties. It's as simple as it sounds.
This feature allows you to test your website and see how it looks before going live on your actual website. Very useful feature when you want to make sure that everything will look perfect on any device.
Ability to Test it
With Cloud WordPress you, you can try any WordPress plugins and themes without a web hosting service for free.
Friendly for Newbies
It's beginner friendly and with the help of the step-by-step tutorial, it'll be a piece of cake to create a functional website for your needs.
Lack of eCommerce
Themes are not suitable for eCommerce. You can install a lot of extra plugins for eCommerce but this can appear too complicated and not worth the time while you can choose from other website builders more suitable for online shopping.
No Individual Support
Support is only for customers who buy BoldGrid with a web hosting plan, for example from InMotion Hosting. For others, there's a ticket system and forum. For my ticket response, I waited for 5 hours. So it's possible that you will not solve issues instantly with a free version.
No Hosting Options
You'll need to find a web hosting provider for your website. It's not a big deal, but to have everything in one place is always more convenient. And if you'll decide not to go with BoldGrid hosting partners, you'll have to use different supports. This might be time-consuming...
Long Loading Times
As I mentioned before, the time for testing pages to load was too long and irritating.
BoldGrid is a really decent website builder with one condition - it's for WordPress. But if this CMS suits you and you decide to buy web hosting services from their partners, go for it! You'll get a rich collection of themes, and pre-configured parameters, which will save you the trouble of doing everything on your own.
Useful tutorials will hold your hand and lead you through the website building experience. And if you already are a professional you can save lots of time by jumping to the features that are really important to you. I would definitely recommend at least trying it!
- Built Exclusively for Wordpress
- Drag & Drop Customizer
- Easy to Use
- No Hosting Options
- No Live Support
- No Integrated eCommerce