Have you seen those new style, one-page websites that seem to be popping up everywhere at the moment?
Instead of having multiple pages such as about, contact, services, it’s all contained on a single page and you simply scroll down to access the information you want.
Well, this style site is Strikingly’s main focus and it’s my first review of a website builder of this type.
I’m pretty excited to see exactly what Strikingly has (and doesn’t have) so let’s jump straight in!
Strikingly Overview – For Those In a hurry!
The Full In-Depth, Juicy Review
1. My Test Site
Now, I don’t usually dedicate a whole section of the review to my test site but today, I wanted to show you exactly what a single page or a one-page website looks like just in case you haven’t come across one before.
By the way, I created the site based on a fictional Yoga business.
2. Getting Started – Choose Your Template
When you head over to Strikingly, you can keep your credit card safely in your pocket and get started with their free plan to see if it’s a good fit.
Alternatively, you have the option of trying out one of their premium plans with access to all of the features free for 14-days but you’ll need to enter your card or PayPal details which will be billed at the end of the trial unless you decide to cancel.
Once you’ve created your account, it’s then time to choose a design template which will act as a starting point for your website.
The templates are categorized as business, startup, portfolio, personal, store, & blog.
I should point out that overall, there are only 28 templates to choose from which is not that many when you consider that some website builders have a library of hundreds.
In addition, you won’t find a ton of customization options either.
Having said that, the templates are largely made up of high-quality images so it’s fairly easy to adapt a template to suit your business and make it your own.
For example, I took a catering template, swapped out the images using 4 of my own, changed some of the text, and completely transformed it into a stunning yoga website.
3. Is Strikingly Easy To Use?
In a word, yes.
However, I did appreciate the short tutorial which helped me get my bearings. I also later found a library of very helpful videos which walk you through the main aspects of creating your website.
When it comes to getting your hands dirty and actually building your site, you do so by adding “sections” which is becoming a very popular way of doing things these days in the world of DIY website builders.
Think of these sections as pre-made pieces of content such as “about” and “contact” that you can simply slide into your page and then swap out the text and images for your own.
You can easily add, remove, or rearrange sections on top of each other.
While you can’t move elements around by dragging and dropping like with some other platforms, you can change the layout of a particular section which will automatically shift text, images, and buttons to the other side of the page.
Create your site on the go;
Personally, I do pretty much everything on my laptop but if you’d prefer to create/manage your website from a tablet or smartphone, you can download the Strikingly app which will allow you to do just that (my fiancee would choose this option all day long!).
4. Business & Marketing Features
Contact Form: Strikingly allows you to add a contact form so people can get in touch via email by leaving their name, email address, phone number, and a message. You can also add a Google Map which will make it easy for people to find your premises.
You’ll also find a third-party form builder in the Strikingly App Store which integrates with your website so you can create more customizable forms and surveys (free and paid options available).
Appointment Scheduling: If you run a service business such as a therapist, plumber or a hairdresser, or you want the ability for people to book classes online like my yoga site, you can do so by integrating a booking app such as Setamore. Again, this is a third-party integration and fairly common as few website builders have their own booking app.
While I haven’t personally tested Setamore, I’ve heard good things about them and they have a flexible free plan which will allow your clients to book appointments according to your calendar and accept payments. You’ll also have the option of upgrading your account to unlock more features.
Image Gallery: You can easily add a gallery section allowing you to showcase your previous work or talent in the form of images or video. Once you’ve uploaded images, you can create titles and descriptions giving them a fighting chance of being found in the search engines.
Social Media Integration: Add your social media profiles into the footer of your website or into their own section allowing your visitors to follow you over to those platforms. You can also display your latest updates directly on your website
Blog: I was surprised (and happy) to see a blog due to the whole single-page thing but there is and it’s called the “Simple Blog”. You’ll find a list of your posts on the main page which visitors can click and be directed to the full post.
It may be called simple, but it does have many of the main blogging features such as the ability to categorize posts to help you stay organized, social integration so people can share your articles, and engage them in discussion by adding a comments section. I would have liked a way to schedule posts and add tags but this platform is more than enough for the occasional blogger.
Search Engine Optimization: Strikingly makes it easy for the search engines to understand your website by allowing you to add page titles, descriptions, custom blog URL’s (web addresses), sitemap, and image ALT tags.
Just be sure not to overdo it with large image and video files as it’ll slow down your site resulting in a poor user experience. The same is true with any type of website but especially with single pagers. Just something to keep in mind!
Newsletter: Strikingly doesn’t have an in-house platform as such but you can add a sign-up box to your page and your subscriber’s details will be sent to an email address of your choice. If building a list of subscribers is important to you, your other option is to integrate Mailchimp through the App Store or use your existing account if you have one.
Visitor Stats: Everyone wants to know how many visitors their website is getting and Strikingly gives you the basic stats such as the number of visitors, location, and the device that was used to access your site. For more in-depth stats, you can hook up your website to Google Analytics where you can find out more about visitor behavior.
5. How Will Your Site Look On Mobile Devices?
Once you’ve created your website in the main editor, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s nothing more to do as your website will automatically work on smartphones on tablets.
You can preview how your website will look on these devices at any time during the creation process although you can’t make changes to them individually. See for yourself how my test site looks on a smartphone.
See the mobile bar at the bottom of the screen in the image? This let’s mobile users click on the phone icon and call you directly while they’re on the move, the same with the email icon.
This is especially important for local businesses yet it’s a feature many website builders seem to neglect. Well done Strikingly!
6. Strikingly eCommerce – Sell Your products
In the last section we saw the Simple Blog and now say hello to the Simple Store.
The store comes as a section so it’s easy to integrate and just as easy to set up.
You can sell up to 300 physical products on the Pro plan, add product variants such as size and color, offer customer discounts, set shipping rates, and accept PayPal, credit cards (through Stripe), and Apply Pay.
Strikingly won’t take a percentage of your sales as some website builders do which is a nice touch. You will have to pay transaction fees to the payment processors but that’s standard practice.
I’d say the Simple Store would make a great addition to an existing site but I wouldn’t recommend it if eCommerce is your main focus.
I’d actually expect the guys over at Strikingly to agree with that statement hence the name Simple Store (although I could be wrong!).
7. Help & Support
Strikingly doesn’t have customer service staff. Instead, they have “happiness officers”.
After speaking with two happiness offers, one through live chat and the other through their email based support system, I have to say I was left feeling very happy indeed (pun intended).
Now, you won’t find phone support with Strikingly but when you can get instant help through live chat or email replies within 26 minutes (yes really), I very much doubt you’ll miss it.
8. Pricing – How Much Does Strikingly Cost?
Strikingly comes with a simple pricing structure with only 3 plans.
*Note: The prices below are for an annual plan where the whole amount is paid upfront. You also have the option of paying month-to-month which works out $4 per month more expensive. You can also make additional savings if you opt for a two-year plan. Whichever plan you choose, you’ll have a 14-day free trial (no credit card required).
- Free plan – $0 – Good for testing the platform out, free domain name (web address) with strikingly branding.
- Limited Plan – $8/month – Same as the free plan with a bit more space, free custom domain name, for example, yourbusineswebsite.com and you can sell up to 5 products.
- Pro plan $16/month – All of the above with access to the app store, sell up to 300 products, mobile action bar, password protection, and a box so people can search your website. You can also create a regular website with up to 20 pages and integrate third-party applications such as the bookings app that I mentioned earlier.
Additional costs to consider;
If you already have your own domain name (web address) then the chances are you may also have a custom email address to match such as email@example.com.
If not, while Strikingly will throw in a free domain name for the first year. However, they don’t have an in-house solution for email. You can grab one from Google’s G Suite (fairly common) which will set you back an additional $5 per month, per account.
9. Drawbacks and alternatives
# Fairly basic eCommerce features: As I mentioned earlier, Strikingly’s Simple Store will make a good addition to your site but if eCommerce is your main focus, check out Weebly as it’s easy to use and more than capable of handling a small to medium sized store.
10. Final Thoughts
I have to be honest, I went into Strikingly not really knowing what to expect as it’s the first single page builder that I’ve reviewed.
I have to say, I’m impressed. It took me less than 30 minutes to create a great looking website once I found my way around and I’m very pleased with the results. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to create a simple, modern business site or portfolio.
Having said that, while these new style sites have their advantages, they’re not for everyone and the only real way to know if it’s for you is to create a free account and spend 45 mins to an hour inside the platform.
In my experience, that’s more than enough time to get a feel for things and see if it feels “right”.
If you have any questions or would like to share your experience with Strikingly, let me know in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I possibly can!