Strikingly Website Builder Review 2018

Last updated on November 8, 2018

Strikingly Review

Strikingly review

Rating

  • Best value for money
  • Free plan
  • $0 – $49 a month
  • Basic one page builder
  • Get online fast
  • Great help and support

Review by
Last Updated on November 8, 2018

At a Glance

Do you want to build a website but don’t have any technical experience? You’re not the only one!

But the good news is, the world of website creation is changing. We believe that anyone and everyone can create their own website, and so do Strikingly.

Strikingly was founded in 2012 and has dedicated its service to opening up the internet to everyone, no matter their ability or technical know-how. Their focus is getting your site up cheap and fast, which is great for both personal and small business sites.

We’ve used Strikingly and we’ve got people just like you to use it too. In this review, we’ll tell you everything you need to know, and more! But first, let’s look at the pros and cons…

4 out of 5

Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help And Support

4.5 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

3.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4 out of 5 stars

Features

3 out of 5 stars

Strikingly Pros and Cons

Strikingly Pros
#1 Great value for money
#2 Brilliant customer support
#3 Ideal for blogging websites
#4 One of the cheapest builders to sell through
#5 Reformatting templates is easy
Strikingly Cons
#1 Ecommerce is limited
#2 Poor tools to scale a business
#3 Can only create one page websites
#4 Editing and aesthetics are limited
#5 Poor template usability

October 2018 Updates

  • Domain Transfer: Strikingly now allows you to transfer your domain to them from another registrar. This makes it easier for Strikingly users to manage their websites and domains in one place.

Introduction

Strikingly is a basic website builder that offers a range of templates and stylish, if simple, designs. It is aimed at total beginners, and while it can’t really compete with the more developed brands such as Wix or Weebly, it does have certain features that could make it the right choice for you.

It’s not the biggest or the best out there, but it looks after its customers with brilliant customer support and offers really affordable prices. The templates available have sleek designs but offer little creative control, putting speed above complex editing.

If you’re looking for a simple design with basic features, Strikingly could be for you!

The company ethos is reflected in this quote from CEO David Haisha Chen:

Strikingly is truly fast and easy. In 15 minutes, from start to finish, you can have something beautiful and functional.  There is really no learning curve because we do a lot of the work for you.  We focus our efforts mainly on the average internet users – the people who have never built a site before.”

It’s a great philosophy, but what does it mean in practice? Just how easy to use is Strikingly? What are its price plans like? Who is it the best choice for? Let’s find out!

How Easy is Strikingly to Use?

Ease of use is so important when you’re choosing a website builder, especially if you’re a beginner. You want something you can actually use – and, even better, actually enjoy using – that will also look great for your site.

You don’t pass your driving test and rush out straight away to buy the best looking supercar you see, only to find that you can’t get it down the road. (We hope, anyway)!

So, how do we know if a website builder is easy to use or not? Well, we test drive them first! We get people just like you to try them out and see how they find it. With scores, notes and hands-on experience we’re able to really get to grips with just how easy to use each website builder is!

But how did Strikingly do?

Despite its focus on simplicity, clarity, and accessibility, Strikingly’s scores were pretty average when we tested ease of use. This is surprising considering their focus on beginners. Our results showed most people wanted a more intuitive system with more creative control of their site.

The templates available do have clean and attractive aesthetics, but the actual usability scored poorly across branding, design, and user experience.

As this isn’t a great first impression, it’s worth saying here that it’s not all bad. If anything, they’ve tried to make the templates too simplistic, focusing instead on how fast you can get your site up and running, and that’s where they fall down.

Let me explain. The templates lay everything out for you already, with stock images and text which you can edit, which is quite straightforward. 80% of people found it easy to write and edit text, as well as embedding features such a map or a contact form.

However, if you want to really customize your site and start pushing the limits of the template, that’s when you can get stuck. This is the line between the ease of having a website builder do a lot of the work for you, and the frustration of not having that creative freedom.

With this said, it’s worth noting that not everybody wants total creative control. You can personalize your site within the template, without spending loads of time or (even any) money.

You can get a site up really fast that does the basics without it causing you headaches for weeks. It won’t be anything big or super fancy, but it’ll get the job done, and fast.

This is perfect if you’re just starting out, and want a good-looking site without any stress of design or re-formatting. Here’s what one of our testers said about using Strikingly:

“It was easy to use and the aesthetics were sleek, stylish and simplistic.”

The templates themselves are easy to play around with. Plus, they are all fully mobile responsive which makes your life so much easier. You can also switch templates as many times as you like and it will automatically reformat everything for you. (Rather than resetting it completely like some other web builders).

So Strikingly has a few contrasting results here. Let’s sum it up.

Its ease of use is pretty average, and the limitations on the templates can be frustrating. On the other hand it does a lot of the work for you and making basic edits is really easy. So if you’re a beginner and want a basic site up fast that’s formatted for you, then Strikingly will do the job.

If you’re unsure about what’s best for you, why not check out our comparison chart or free quiz to help you choose?

Who is Strikingly Best For?

Blogging

One of Strikingly’s strengths is its blogging features. It has everything you need to get your blog going, including analytics, RSS feed, social bookmarking, a comments section, search feature, as well as display categories.

All you have to do is click “Add New Section” in the side menu, select “Simple Blog” and hey presto! You’re ready to start blogging. This is available on the free version too, which is a bonus!

strikingly blog settings
Strikingly has a full range of blogging features which are easy to manage in your settings.

The description “Simple Blog” is pretty much what it says on the tin. It’s not pretending to be the ultimate blogging platform but it’s definitely got the tools and simplicity to set up a basic but well functioning blog.

If you’re making your own blog but want to start off simple, this is a smart choice. You can stay on the free version as long as you want, or upgrade to one of their tiered price plans for extra features.

If you’re super serious about blogging, check out our list of the seven best blogging platforms for more information.

Business

If you have a business, you’ll have different needs from a website builder than, for example, a blog or personal site. As you may have already guessed, Strikingly is not the best choice if you’re a large or fast-growing business.

But, if you’re a freelancer looking to promote your brand, or a small business ready to get an online presence then Strikingly could be for you, especially if you’re on a tight budget and want something online fast.

strikingly site examples
Strikingly has links to real, successful sites built with their templates, which you can browse and draw inspiration from.

Ecommerce

The ecommerce feature is what allows you to buy and sell products online. Strikingly has a “Simple Store” feature that you can add to your site. On the free plan you can only add one product (with unlimited stock), so you’ll need to upgrade to add more products.

You do have different upgrade options. The limited version gives you five products to sell through your site. This goes up to 300 on the Pro plan and 500 products on the VIP plan. Our research showed that Strikingly is actually one of the cheapest website builders you can sell through.

Whatever plan you’re on, it’s really easy to add in the ecommerce feature and, while its limited, it’s nice to at least have the option. It should definitely be treated as an add-on feature rather than the sole purpose of the site.

If your business relies solely or mostly on selling products you should consider one of the more ecommerce focused sites. There are other website builders with more extensive ecommerce features built in (such as Wix), or specific ecommerce sites such as Shopify or BigCommerce.

Personal

The range of templates Strikingly offers are, on the whole, aesthetically pleasing and stylish, featuring large and high quality images. With extra add-on options such as the gallery and big media sections, Strikingly is suitable for a small portfolio or personal site.

Strikingly’s aesthetics are sleek and stylish, but the limitations of the template restrict how creative you can be in displaying your portfolio on the web page.

So if you’re looking for an online presence, fast, for great value for money, and creative freedom isn’t a top priority then Strikingly does the job.

Scalability

As we already mentioned, if you’re starting a personal portfolio or a site for your small business, Strikingly will definitely get you online and start to grow your online presence.

Another perk is the great value for money that Strikingly offers, which will definitely help you if you’re keeping to a budget or starting your site out of your own pocket.

But, Strikingly isn’t ideal for bigger sites or big ecommerce businesses.

You want your site to keep up with your business as it grows. You might start wanting more customization for your site, a more heavyweight ecommerce feature, or even a more complex page structure. To be completely up front, Strikingly just doesn’t have the best tools to scale a business.

If you’re unsure of the best website builder for your business, check out our comparison chart for a great overview of our top choices.

Strikingly's Tools

Help & Support

Help and support is one of Strikingly’s strongest areas.

strikingly knowledge base
Strikingly has extensive help resources on its knowledge base, which is easy to navigate and search through.

It has a brilliant knowledge base. Its articles often include videos and screenshots so you’re likely to find  information quickly and clearly.

But, if you need extra help,  24/7 live chat support is available if things do get tricky. The ‘Happiness Officers’ are always on hand to answer anything.

There is also an idea forum where you can suggest new ideas to improve Strikingly and vote on other people’s suggestions. If you have a specific issue or want to raise a ticket you can email them directly.

Social Media Integration

Nowadays social media is like oxygen – it seems that people, but especially businesses, need it to thrive and survive.

Strikingly has a social feed section you can add and link to your social media accounts. This way your visitors can follow your updates.

There are certain features that aren’t available on the free version, for example importing posts from a Facebook page rather than your personal timeline (you have to be on the Pro plan to access this). With the Pro plan you can also add a live chat feature with Facebook Messenger.

You can choose to connect your site to your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, so your latest posts will show on your site. It’s not the most sleek or intuitive social feed, but it’s simple and does the job, and Strikingly checks your feed automatically for new posts every five minutes.

Analytics

Like most website builders, Strikingly has an in-built analytics feature where you can see how many people have visited your site.

This includes which countries they’ve viewed from, when people visited your site, as well as if they’ve come from mobile or desktop. You can view these stats over different time frames: last 24 hours, last seven days, last 30 days, and last 90 days.

strikingly analytics
Strikingly’s inbuilt analytics feature automatically tracks your site’s traffic and gives clear results.

This default analytics feature is the only one available on Strikingly, and gives you a clear, basic overview of your site’s traffic. But, if you want a more detailed and comprehensive analysis of your site, Strikingly suggests using Google Analytics and even give a guide on how to install this in their help center.

SEO & Marketing

If you’re serious about getting as many people to your site as possible then you might need to dip your toe into the waters of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It’s not as scary as it sounds, we promise!

Basically, there are certain things you can do to tell Google and other search engines what your site is about and how useful it might be to people. Think of it as putting up signposts on your site, pointing people in the right direction!

If your site is a blog about cooking for example, adding in the right signposts tells Google not to show your site to someone searching for double-glazing. It also helps people looking for cooking blogs to know that your site is the one to choose.

This is a whole new world to most people, but don’t worry. Strikingly keeps it pretty simple, giving an SEO checklist for you to follow.

strikingly seo checklist
Strikingly provides an SEO checklist which gives hints and provides links to make ranking on Google as easy as possible. This can be found easily in Settings.

In terms of marketing Strikingly has less to offer than other website builders. So far the only email marketing tool available is for Pro users, and it means embedding an external system called MailChimp into your site.

You can add various forms and contact pages onto your site to keep in touch with your visitors, all of which are available on the free version. They are quite basic features, so whether you choose Strikingly depends how important marketing is to your site.

 

Domains

Domains – it’s all in the name!

First of all, to connect or register a custom domain you must be on either the Limited or Pro plan.

If you upgrade and are paying yearly for either of these plans, registering your first domain is free and remains yours as long as you’re on the yearly plan with Strikingly. You can buy as many extra domains as you’d like, each for $24.95.

If you’re on a monthly plan you pay $24.95 a year for your domain and you receive an email when renewal time comes around.

Strikingly automatically connect the domain to your site, and domain privacy is included when you register as well. There are helpful guides on the knowledge base about domains which tell you how to register and connect domains.

If you don’t want a custom domain, or don’t want to upgrade in order to qualify for one, you can personalize your site’s URL in the free version, without removing the Strikingly branding. For example you could have http://my-cooking-blog.strikingly.com/

 

Security

Strikingly enables Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) on all custom domains, which lets visitors access your site over Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).

Not sure what that means? It’s actually pretty simple! When a visitor goes to your site, the connection between them and you is secure. This gives your visitors confidence, and can also improve your ranking on Google!

This is automatically set up for you on all custom domains (so you must be on either the Limited or Pro plan). It doesn’t matter if you bought your domain from Strikingly or transferred it from somewhere else.

 

Backups & Restores

When you’re editing your site Strikingly autosaves your changes for you, which is really useful!

There is no backups feature though, so it might be worth making a copy of your site just in case. You do this by giong to your dashboard, clicking the “more options” menu and selecting “clone”.

This automatically creates an unpublished copy of your site. It doesn’t automatically sync when you make changes so it’s worth making a new copy every now and then to keep it up to date.

Strikingly's Pricing & Value for Money

You’ve heard us mention a few times how Strikingly is great value for money. But just how much do you have to pay and what do you get for your chosen plan?

Strikingly has a Free plan, which is free forever. So what does this get you? The answer is unlimited free sites, a domain ending in “strikingly.com”, 5GB monthly bandwidth, one product per site in the Simple Store, and 24/7 support. Not bad at all!

But if you’re looking for a slightly more developed or professional site, it’s worth looking at the three paid price plans they also have on offer.

strikingly price plans
Strikingly’s yearly billed price plans include Limited, Pro and VIP with a range of features and perks for each, including a 14-day free trial.

These prices show the yearly billing plans, which allow you to access the free domain. There is also a monthly plan (this does not include the VIP tier or a free domain), and a two year plan where you’re billed every two years (and includes the same features as the yearly billing scheme).

Free Plan: $0 forever! Simple features such as the blog, store, image gallery, social feed, and contact page, plus more, make this a great starter level to try out and build your confidence. 24/7 support and unlimited free sites just help seal the deal.

Limited: For $8 a month you gain the perk of a free domain, an increase to five products in your simple store, and 50GB monthly bandwidth. You can have two Limited sites, as well as connect your own custom domain to your Strikingly site.

Pro: $16 a month gets you over double the features of the Limited plan. Keeping the perks of a free domain and unlimited free sites, the Pro plan also gives you unlimited bandwidth, 300 products in your simple store, and three Pro sites. This comes with a whole range of other perks such as being able to add multiple pages, mobile action buttons and removing the Strikingly branding from your site.

VIP: At $49 a month this is the highest price tier, giving you everything in the Pro plan, plus five Pro sites, 500 products in the store, priority customer service and account management.

Strikingly has a cheaper average price across its plans than any other builder. And with the range of features on offer, plus the perks of a free domain for as long as you’re with Strikingly, this makes it great value for money.

In fact, in our research it came up as best value for money, which is perfect for those of you wanting to start your website builder journey with minimal financial risk. The 14-day free trials for each plan is a great way of trying out what works for you without the need to commit long term.

Strikingly Website Builder Review - Summary

Strikingly has a lot of contrasting pros and cons. So let’s sum up in case you’re scratching your head about whether it’s the right website builder for you.

Strikingly’s focus on beginners means that it’s user friendly. You can forget about coding, hosting, web design, and all that jazz. Just pick and choose your template and edit it to suit your needs.

But, while fairly simple it is not always totally straightforward and easy to use. At times you may even find yourself needing a bit of help. Luckily, Strikingly has brilliant customer support so you never need to struggle alone!

Strikingly’s focus is getting you online – fast. If you have a need for speed over design or creative freedom, and just need a basic site with a simple and stylish aesthetic, then Strikingly is a great option!

Overall, if you’re setting up a blog, a personal or small business site and want a clear template in front of you so you can get a site up cheap and fast, Strikingly is a good choice. It can’t compete with the big names of the industry who aim to be the best of the best, but its range of features and value for money make it the best of the rest. With its free plan and 14 day free trials, it’s at least worth a go to see what you can create… you never know, you might surprise yourself!

Lucy Carney

About Lucy Carney

You’re not alone! Building a website can be scary, especially if you’re like me with no previous coding experience. With the help of our experts I’m here as a friendly voice to help guide you into the exciting world of website building. If I can do it, so can you!

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Lucy Carney

About Lucy Carney

You’re not alone! Building a website can be scary, especially if you’re like me with no previous coding experience. With the help of our experts I’m here as a friendly voice to help guide you into the exciting world of website building. If I can do it, so can you!

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