Stitches Posted 21 May 2013 , 4:11pm
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I'm back to square one, looking for a user friendly, yet fully functional website building product. I came across Moonfruit and it looks promising, but I'm concerned that it's not well known. Before I invest a lot of time learning and building my own site, I wanted to see if anyone was familiar with it?

 

Any positive or negative opinions of it?  

20 replies
AZCouture Posted 21 May 2013 , 4:38pm
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I use BluDomain. They have a bad rep with some, but I love them. User friendly, beautiful templates, and pretty cheap. I'm on my third template now and will probably upgrade soon.

jason_kraft Posted 21 May 2013 , 4:41pm
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AMoonfruit has mixed reviews: http://www.sitebuilderreport.com/reviews/moonfruit

Stitches Posted 21 May 2013 , 4:58pm
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How did you find that review site Jason? Anymore similar ones to help me make a final decision? I have WordPress right now and it got great reviews everywhere, yet I find it to be very unfriendly....and I don't want to make that mistake again.

 

I did google search website review and that's how I found Moonfruit. Sometimes I swear I must look at all the wrong places or type in the wrong phrases while searching.

Stitches Posted 21 May 2013 , 5:35pm
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I looked at the site Jason recommended and it doesn't seem as great as I first thought. Some of the customer reviews sure don't match the reviews the owner of the site has.

 

AZCouture have you ever seen some of the reviews for BluDomain? I did a  google search on it, the reviews look scary.

 

Eek........there just doesn't seem to be any universal website builder that people like.....help!

jason_kraft Posted 21 May 2013 , 6:05pm
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A

Original message sent by Stitches

Eek........there just doesn't seem to be any universal website builder that people like.....help!

That's because there is no such thing as a universal website builder that someone can just start using and quickly produce professional web sites tailored to their business, just like there's no magic recipe or tool that will allow a novice decorator to easily create an elaborate multi-tier cake without a significant time investment.

Any tool will have a learning curve, so if you want to build the site yourself you may have to try a few different options before you find something that will work for you. Reviews are tough to trust because positive reviews may be astroturfed or paid for by the company, and negative reviews may just be people who didn't put the effort in, but if you see common themes that will tell you something. In the case of Moonfruit, poor customer service seemed to be a theme among the reviews.

leah_s Posted 21 May 2013 , 6:31pm
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I use GoDaddy's website builder.  Not the easiest, but their support is excellent.  

Stitches Posted 21 May 2013 , 7:00pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


 Reviews are tough to trust because positive reviews may be astroturfed or paid for by the company, and negative reviews may just be people who didn't put the effort in, but if you see common themes that will tell you something.

Your response showed me that I didn't phrase myself well. What I meant was it would be ideal if a buyer (me) could go to one place and see which site builder is the most popular with people from the: do it yourselfers to the professionals.

 

There doesn't seem to be an unbiased critique or over view of sites from a large source of reviewers. If there were enough reviews for each site builder you'd begin to see patterns. So you could judge the reviews better and see a general pattern of opinions for any one site. It becomes pretty transparent once you start reading reviews who is giving a real review based on actual experience verses "people who didn't put the effort in".

 

Where are all the experts reviews? Is there such a thing? Like where's a Better Housekeeping rating for web site builders, ha.....

jason_kraft Posted 21 May 2013 , 7:16pm
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A

Original message sent by Stitches

Where are all the experts reviews? Is there such a thing? Like where's a Better Housekeeping rating for web site builders, ha.....

AFAIK there's no real authoritative source for reviews of web site builders. There are two popular forums for discussing web hosting in general (of which site building is one component) so you may want to try searching them or posting a new topic if you don't find anything.

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/webhost http://www.webhostingtalk.com/

What I meant was it would be ideal if a buyer (me) could go to one place and see which site builder is the most popular with people from the: do it yourselfers to the professionals.

Most professional web developers won't use a turnkey site builder at all, it is more common for a web developer to work with a company that just does hosting and use different custom-configured tools for various purposes (content management, e-commerce, etc.).

Stitches Posted 21 May 2013 , 8:01pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 



Most professional web developers won't use a turnkey site builder at all, it is more common for a web developer to work with a company that just does hosting and use different custom-configured tools for various purposes (content management, e-commerce, etc.).

That's what I ran into when I hired someone. He does it all and I couldn't add content or edit content myself at all. If I was ready to commit everything into stone I'd have used him..........but I'm in too much of a state of flux.

 

I did like your links Jason, THANK-YOU! I'll never know how you find those.............but I'm grateful your here and helping others!!

Annie8 Posted 21 May 2013 , 8:51pm

I would take any review you read with a grain of salt.  You're probably not ever going to find anything over-the-top positive and frankly, if you did, I'd worry it was peppered with false reviews, too.  There are businesses that hire people to place good or bad reviews on the internet and there are people who sometimes don't know what they are talking about or take a petty experience to an extreme and leave an unjustifiable review.  Kind of like cake decorating, someone will look at a design and go "that's easy" or "that's beautiful" and someone else will go "I could never make that" or "totally not my taste". 

 

You could ask the companies for a list of client references and contact them.  You could also ask for a 30 day trial version of their software and see if it works for you. 

Cheryl

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 21 May 2013 , 9:15pm

AHave you given a thought to coding a website from scratch? Sounds scary I know but it really is not that difficult and you get total control. 2 years ago I knew nothing about web coding until I got a new day job as business development mgr for a small company where one of my roles was re-writing it from scratch...the first iteration was done in a few weeks working on it on and off. Now, a large chunk of my time is spent changing/remodelling the company website and I just finished the website for my new cake business in a few evenings. The tutorials on software like dreamweaver are very good.

You need to read the reviews for some of these builders very carefully and pay particular reference to how pages are ranking in searches...many of them full your code with lots of stuff which makes it hard for the browser crawlers to read and index. Also be sure to test cross-browser compatibility....different browsers (IE especially!) can reek havoc on your layout!! Good luck:-)

jason_kraft Posted 21 May 2013 , 9:16pm

A

Original message sent by Stitches

That's what I ran into when I hired someone. He does it all and I couldn't add content or edit content myself at all. If I was ready to commit everything into stone I'd have used him..........but I'm in too much of a state of flux.

The core structure of your site shouldn't really be changing too much. Changes to content (like adding new pictures, changing prices, changing specials, etc.) are trivial and should be either included in the price or available as part of a reasonably priced maintenance contract.

The other alternative is to have your developer set up a content management system (CMS) for your site, which would make modifying specific content sections of your site as easy as writing a new post on CC. There will probably be an implementation cost and/or annual maintenance fees associated with the CMS as well.

kearniesue Posted 24 May 2013 , 12:44pm

I've used Wix for the past couple of years.  I don't know that much about the details behind it, but it's easy to use/make changes and I don't have any complaints with it.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 24 May 2013 , 12:59pm

AI use wix. So easy! I do wish my contact form was more detailed, but otherwise I'm very happy. I built it in just a few hours and I was very inexpensive.

jason_kraft Posted 24 May 2013 , 3:42pm

AIf you do use Wix, make sure you make an HTML5 site and not a Flash site. Flash is not the optimal choice for usability, compatibility with mobile devices, or SEO.

TheCakeShopUK Posted 24 May 2013 , 6:35pm

Like most site builders it does have its limitations. But as you can create a free site on moonfruit. Have a go and see how it feels.

 

As long as you have a direction in mind in where you want to go with it, you will soon learn how it works. They now support HTML5 (more accessible on ipads, mobiles etc) which is a huge plus. When you want to take the plunge and and upgrade from a free account to a full one the option is there. If you already have a domain registered it is easily transferred. You can also view a few of their built sites from the home page to get a clearer idea of how much scope there is when planning your site. Hope this helps.
 

brenda549 Posted 24 May 2013 , 10:28pm

I use Wix's HTML5.  It looks good across devices and internet services.  It can be slow at times.  

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousDesserts 

I use wix. So easy! I do wish my contact form was more detailed, but otherwise I'm very happy. I built it in just a few hours and I was very inexpensive.

 

 I do not like their contact form either.  I used jotform to create a custom form for my customers and imbedded it into my wix site.  

Stitches Posted 25 May 2013 , 2:34pm

I've started working with Squarespace. So far it's going well. Sooooo much better and easier then Wordpress!! But anyone who says it only took them a couple of hours must live in a different universe then me.............cause it's taking me WAY more then that! It's a day just understanding the system then days adjusting your own work into your site.

 

I think it would be nice if we could keep things REAL and admit it takes a while to get a site up by yourself!

BomCakes Posted 25 May 2013 , 6:02pm

Webs.com is free and has premade templates etc. It's pretty easy to use and you can make changes easily.

nico629 Posted 6 Dec 2014 , 8:37am

Well I am moving from Moonfruit because it is now run from the UK which does not require they have a customer service. One of my websites has gone missing and they just say I am not a valid customer even though I have to log in to my paid account to send the complaint in the first place. You cannot argue with them, they do not want to know. I have been with them for two years but now they seem more like pirates than a valid business. There are plenty of complaints about their customer service. Check out this link for complaints, it is incredible but they just don't care.

http://support.moonfruit.com/entries/22187957-nothing-but-problems-BEWARE

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