'Simple drag and drop editors' - they're all the craze now.
'Handcrafted templates' - they're all the craze now, too.
So, what is it that makes successful website builders stand out in today's market?
In my Zoho Sites review, I'll see if this redesigned website builder has what it takes to be at the top.
A Peek at Zoho Sites Website Builder
The most recent version of Zoho Sites offers more freedom when building your website. Its new page builder is designed by dropping individual elements (sections) into the body. You can select from a variety of pre-designed collections or elements.
Already, this is when things become confusing. The huge number of options available when customizing your website makes it very frustrating
For example, when editing something as simple as a header - there are 3 toolbars, with almost identical settings.
The problems don't stop there.
If you're looking to build a Zoho Sites website with a template that meets your specific needs, well, you won't exactly be spoiled for choice.
Zoho Sites offers just 7 themes to choose from, 6 of them pictured below. This is barely any when compared to some other website builders.
Customizing is complex, too. There is a selection of colors to choose from in order to customize your template. The problem is that it is extremely difficult to see which color changes what on your template. And the names of the colors are like military codes and not willing to reveal much information - Uno, Octa, Hepta.
However, nothing is as frustrating as Zoho Sites' settings.
Again, this is another disorganized mess that is going to overwhelm most users. I assumed that making changes to the favicon and logo would come under the Favicon and Logo settings. Nope, it comes under general > preferences.
It's all just a bit backward, to be honest.
But beneath all of this, there are some positives.
Zoho Sites includes some good features in its lowest price essential plan. These include - blogging, 1GB storage, a custom domain, an ad-free website, and SSL hosting.
Zoho Sites vs WordPress
When comparing Zoho Sites to a world-known WordPress, the results were predictable. WordPress is 2 laps ahead of Zoho Sites, offering a superior forever free plan and cheaper basic plan ($5 V.S. $4). Differently from Zoho Sites, WordPress supports iPhone and Android platforms, and variety of integrations (Facebook, Shopify, Google Analytics, Mailchimp and many more.)
When comparing Zoho Site's professional plan against WordPress's premium plan, Zoho Sites doesn't put up a great fight. Not only is the WordPress plan lower in price, but it also offers higher storage, unlimited themes, email & live chat support, and the option to sell with a simple PayPal button.
Zoho Sites Pricing
Zoho Sites offers its clients two subscription options: monthly, and annually. If you want to save money, it's best to choose the annual subscription.
The plans range from $7.00 to $25.00 per month depending on which package you choose. Paying annually will save you on average $2.50 per month.
There's also a basic free edition of Zoho Sites with which you can create a simple, but decently looking website without any knowledge of coding.
Plans in More Detail
|Number of Templates||7||7||7|
|Number of Pages||25||200||Unlimited|
|Builder's Ads Displayed?||No||No||No|
The differences between the three paid plans are quite significant in terms of storage.
Let's start with the essential plan which is priced at $5 month-to-month. This plan gives you 1GB of storage, 25 pages and 10GB of bandwidth, which for $5 per month is pretty good going.
The professional plan is the best value for money and would suit smaller businesses. This plan is priced at $12 per month and includes 200 pages, 10GB storage, and unlimited bandwidth.
If users of these plans would benefit from Zoho Site's membership portal feature, this is available as an add-on - priced at $4 per month.
The final package is the Pro plan, which includes the membership portal and unlimited storage. Personally, it's quite hard to recommend this package to any business due to the lack of eCommerce features. On top of this, their support feature doesn't run over the weekend.
So, Zoho offers a low-priced plan that would suit most individuals. However, due to the lack of eCommerce and support features, I wouldn't recommend the professional or the pro plan.
Zoho Sites offers a free plan but it's not stated on their website. Although you can select this option when registering.
More to add, Zoho Sites offer a 15-day free trial that is limited.
Zoho Sites Performance
To complete the performance of Zoho, I ran some tests to check how well It performs in the speed field.
These are rather average results from Zoho, and therefore I cannot say anything too good or too bad.
Final Thoughts from My Zoho Sites Review
In all my year's experience of using website builders, this performance from Zoho Sites is somewhere near the bottom of a very long list. There are very few positives to take from this review, and I think my comparison to WordPress says it all.
Zoho Sites is for individuals who like to test their patience, doesn't need eCommerce and full customer support. For anybody else, I'd recommend that you look elsewhere as there are plenty of better options in the market.
If you do try this builder, please feel free to leave your own Zoho Sites reviews and experiences below.
- Easy to customise - suitable for beginners
- Drag and drop interface
- Has a free basic version
- No live customer support, no support in weekends
- No eCommerce
- Lacking Google analytics and many other integrations