Format Review

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Fiona O’Connell

3 comments

2019 October 2nd

Format is a portfolio website builder that claims to be voted the most-trusted solution by creators across the globe.

format review

Even more, the company assures the users that they've picked a top choice and are 'in good hands'.

This is quite a serious claim.

But with dynamic themes, plenty of layouts, and features for photographers and their clients, maybe they're right?

In this Format review, we will find out. Let's have a go.

Say Hello to Format

The Format website performs well, it is easy to use, responsive and has a lot to offer - including a live chat.

A key feature is its integrated online store, where designers and professionals alike can begin selling physical and digital products.

format review online store

Another good thing to know is that Format has a strong focus on privacy and gallery copyright protection.

A pleasant bonus is the possibility to fully customize the design of each page separately.

Format Websites

Here is an example of the one Format's website examples for desktop, tablet, and mobile.

Format Websites

Both the desktop version and the mobile version impressed me. Format has more custom settings than the majority of other similar website builders.

However, that was also a problem. Due to so many settings, I had a few problems interacting with the dashboard. It can be a little bit overwhelming and take a while to get adjusted to it.

format review dashboard

Overall though, I felt that Format is an interesting product. It has a lot to offer for artists who are looking to present something through image galleries.

Format Pricing

Format Pricing

The Format price plans are reasonable. All of the Format price plans offer unlimited bandwidth, customer support and they are all available with a 14-day free trial. 

What's more, they all include client proofing - a feature allowing to share your work with your clients and get their feedback. For a $6, that's really good.

But I still would avoid that cheapest, Enthusiast pricing plan - the number of images, pages, and especially products (who needs to sell only 3 things?) is too low.

The Pro plan seems to be the best value for money - it is also their most popular plan. In comparison to the unlimited plan, the only missing feature is the premium themes, which I wouldn't worry too much about due to Format's fully customizable layouts.

Format vs Squarespace

When comparing the two, Format offers the best value for money. Squarespace offers a free domain with its basic plan, but its price is matched by Format's Pro plan.

It's also worth noticing that Squarespace is famously difficult to edit. As I noted in my Squarespace review, the designs are lovely - but turning them to something custom and personal is going to be very difficult.

So really, Format is easier to use and has a slightly better price tag, taking then a better option for photographers on a budget.

Speaking of money, and the plans which it buys, let's take a look at their plans in more detail.

Plans in More Detail

Enthusiast Pro Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Number of Templates 23 23 23
Number of Products 3 20 Unlimited
Support Email and chat Email and chat Email and chat
Free Domain No Yes Yes
Connect Existing Domain Yes Yes Yes
Ads Displayed? No No No
eCommerce Yes Yes Yes

Although the price plans have a lot to offer - such as the 24/7 support and unlimited bandwidth, the similarity between the three plans has left me disappointed.

But how will Format perform in the speed field?

Performance

Overall, the response times are not bad - not amazing either.

No response times over 1 second on any worldwide location is pretty good though. While Format is by no means a speed demon, it gets the job done.

Final Thoughts from My Format Review

Format offers an exceptional service for professionals who are looking to build a portfolio.

For those users who have experience of working with similar products, Format will seem simple, but not basic at all.

I would recommend Format to artists and photographers in particular. Fully customizable themes allow you to be creative with your portfolio, while excellent response times make for pleasant transactions when selling products from your online store.

If you do try Format, please feel free to leave your own Format reviews and experiences below.

Pros

  • Good performance
  • User-friendly builder
  • 24/7 tech support
  • Fully customisable themes

Cons

  • Non-flexible price plans
  • Basic plan lacks features
  • Confusing dashboard

Format User Reviews

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User comments

Braedan Lee picture
Braedan Lee

2020 May 26th

Horrible website builder. If you're looking for "simplified cookie cutter" templates, with VERY limited customization in anything, pick format then. Customer services wont be much help either and will not... Read more

Horrible website builder. If you're looking for "simplified cookie cutter" templates, with VERY limited customization in anything, pick format then. Customer services wont be much help either and will not offer any refunds after you pay them. BE CAREFUL with this site.

Mike picture
Mike

2019 September 6th

I´m using format nearly one year. The only reason was, that they have a theme with horizontal navigation. This works perfect for photographers images. But now I have noticed that... Read more

I´m using format nearly one year. The only reason was, that they have a theme with horizontal navigation. This works perfect for photographers images. But now I have noticed that there is a bug in this theme after the last update. I reported this to the support, but nothing happens. The whole thing cost me a lot of time and trouble. With the high fees, this is not acceptable. A professional provider should be expected to be able to fix a bug in a short period of time and not only Comfort the customer. I will cancel my subscription.

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
    Jay

    2020 May 9th

    I tried a few different web builders-and in my experience Format comes out way ahead. Why? First, Format designs are beautiful- simple, clean, eye catching, professional. It’s easy to navigate... Read more

    I tried a few different web builders-and in my experience Format comes out way ahead. Why? First, Format designs are beautiful- simple, clean, eye catching, professional. It’s easy to navigate their interface and experiment with themes and templates. And the web pages work well- and have very smooth transitions and functioning. I tried a few other web page builders, and in my experience they were more "glitchy". Second, I am very very impressed with how the people at Format really care and are outstanding in terms of customer service. I don’t feel pushed off onto a forum or online database. Third, unlike other web builders- Format is run by and for artists. I feel like they’re not only a web builder. Without getting too "warm and fuzzy", they’re also building a community or artists. They do this not only by their web design product and outstanding customer service, but by creating an inspirational online magazine for artists. I feel like I'm more part of an artist’s community with Format, rather than just a number.