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Moonfruit.com Review

Moonfruit has been around for awhile. Launched during ‘the dot-com bubble’, back in 2000 as a Flash-based website builder, it quickly became one of the most popular places to create a website. Similar to Wix, it later switched to HTML5 technology. As expected, the switch was very successful.

Today, we’re excited to dive into more detail about Moonfruit. Join us exploring its benefits and possible downsides.

#1 Ease of Use

Moonfruit is pretty intuitive. It provides a well-thought-out interface that makes website creation easy and fun. The builder supports drag-and-drop editing that allows users to add, move, edit and remove design elements and widgets without writing codes.

Moonfruit Editor

To edit an object on the canvas, just right-click it and use the floating editor that lets you change things like fonts, colors, style, size and other options relevant to the item selected. If you have lots of text boxes, you can align them using the rulers and guides tool. Moonfruit keeps things really simple. However, it is still more complicated than Wix or Weebly.

Similar to Adobe Muse and Simbla, Moonfruit lets users create the Page Master – a background layer that appears on every page of your site. It can be used to place objects that you want to appear on every page, e.g. company logo, contact button, or phone number.

#2 Feature Set and Flexibility

I would divide all Moonfruit features into the following groups: Standard, Blog, Shop and Mobile.

Standard. With Moonfruit you can add many standard features to your pages including image galleries, forms, slideshows, various widgets as well as custom code snippets. These are all nicely organized in the toolbar. Just select a widget, drag it to the page and drop on the canvas where it fits in.

The custom code feature allows you to add literally any kind of functionality to your site. Thus, you can easily add a Mailchimp sign up form, a SoundCloud track, a poll, a quiz, a calendar or any other web service that lets you generate and paste custom code for your account.

Moonfruit Sound Cloud Embedded

Moonfruit provides a library of free images and icons to select from.

Blog. Moonfruit has a decent blogging platform. It produces nicely formatted blog posts, features a commenting system with various moderation options and also lets you schedule your articles.

Moonfruit Blog

You can set individual page permissions to allow or restrict access to certain user groups or individual users for your blog, as well as other content on your site.

Shop. Moonfruit has its own eCommerce platform. Of course, it can’t compete with such powerhouses like Shopify or Volusion, yet it still offers enough tools to set up and run an effective webstore. What I like most about their eCommerce is its integration with Facebook and Twitter: you can share your product via social media right from your admin panel .

Moonfruit eCommerce

Other eCommerce features include low stock notifications, shipping settings, product options and status. Also, you can create different types of promo codes: percentage codes, fixed amount (you can set an exact monetary discount amount, for example $5), and free shipping.

Mobile. Moonfruit has a built-in Mobile Editor that lets you arrange the order of elements, change colors and also hide and unhide elements on the page. Though this is a bit limited set of options, you can still play around with the elements and colors.

Moonfruit Mobile

If you don’t want to use the optimized view that is provided automatically, you can use your desktop view. In this case your mobile visitors will see the normal, non-optimized version of your website. You can also set up mobile redirect right from your control panel (visitors using mobile devices will be redirected to the provided address).

With Moonfruit you can also add a phone link to your site. What are phone links? Glad you asked. These links are also called Click-to-Call. Such links (buttons) allow mobile visitors to just press the button to make a call.

#3 Designs

Moonfruit themes look modern and fresh. If your first choice of template isn’t right, and modifying it isn’t enough, you may simply start again with a new template. However, you can’t switch templates once you have created your site. The upside is that Moonfruit offers an array of customization options so that you can bring your new ideas to life even with your current theme.

Moonfruit Templates

I couldn’t find any advanced editing options (HTML/CSS editor) in the control panel, so I can assume that Moonfruit belongs to the group of site builders that don’t open up the codes to their users.

Check out our collection of websites created with Moonfruit: Moonfruit Website Examples. We’ve handpicked various websites, from artist portfolios to shops and restaurant sites. Feel free to submit your Moonfruit-powered site!

#4 Customer Support

If you get stuck, you can click the Help menu which is located directly in your control panel. You can choose between searching their extensive FAQs or submitting a query. I’ve just checked out their Video collection, it seems they have video tutorials on all their features.

#5 Pricing Policy

Your free Moonfruit-branded site won’t cost you anything, but you must update your site at least every six months. Otherwise, you site will be considered abandoned and thus deleted. Ad-free plans include Lite ($6/mo), Standard ($12/mo), Plus ($20/mo), and Max ($35/mo). These are disсounted to $4.5, $9, $26.25/month if you pay annually.

Moonfruit Pricing

It’s important to note that Moonfruit lets you create multiple ad-free websites using the same account. Specifically, you can publish 5 websites using the $9-$12 plan, 10 websites with the $15-$20 plan, and 20 websites with the $26.25-$35/mo subscription.

What’s more, Standard, Plus and Max plans come with one or more free domain names, including free five email mailboxes. Similar to Weebly, Wix and other site builders, Moonfruit partners with Google to provide you $100 AdWords coupons (if you spend $25).

Comparison with competitors

The main Moonfruit competitor is Squarespace. That website builder has nearly the same set of tools and options ans Moonfruit.

And the pricing policy and Terms of Use of Moonfruit and Squarespace is quite similar. Read more about it in our Moonfruit vs Squarespace comparison.

Disadvantages

You can’t change themes. Moonfruit doesn’t support user management, and there’s no way to access your site’s HTML/CSS.

Moonfruit Review: Conclusion

Moonfruit is rather simple. It looks like a solid web service that cares about its customers. As I see it, the builder is primarily intended for creating simple portfolios, business websites and shops, so if that’s the case, just sign up and see for yourself how it looks and operates. Remember to come back and share your experience in the comments!.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Moonfruit.com
Author Rating
4
  • Mr Borry

    I’m a huge fan of Moonfruit and their software. They generally answer any support emails within 6-12 hours although every now and then one may take around 24hrs.

    As with all site builders there are annoying limitations so myself and a friend have come up with http://www.moonfruiters.com (shameless plug). Moonfruiters is a FREE resource centre that aims to break Moonfruits restrictions and help the user’s build better and more beautiful sites.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience.

      • Mr Borry

        The experience has very much changed now. Today my review would unfortunately much different

  • This is interesting useful information. Great Thanks..

    Web Development India

  • I’m torn on my Moonfruit experience. My site has been around for almost a year now, http://www.amysshop.co.uk, and it’s been a mixed experience.

    Pros: the editor, ease of page creation, shop features, post-checkout page, load time, support response times (they’re good on Twitter and their own support interface).

    Cons:
    The drag and drop editor is fantastic (I mean it looks like an Adobe programme, just awesome) but if you’re working on something for a while it hangs. A lot. You can’t access the code (so you can’t get into the headers for adding Pinterest code etc) but you can dump in code snippets.

    They’ve had four periods of downtime in the past 9 months when everyone’s sites were down for several hours during peak trading hours. Is that acceptable? I don’t know what the average is for ecommerce providers. Personally for £15/month I expect more.

    You can’t offer gift wrapping options because they don’t integrate with all PayPal fields on the back end. So no gift wrap box, gift message, alternative shipping address, and no extra fields like “how did you hear about us” or sign up for newsletter.

    The dynamic behaviours of buttons (I assumed it was a Flash issue) sometimes don’t work on some devices. I’ve had three customers get stuck when trying to buy something because the Add to Cart button doesn’t work, one on a tablet and two on a desktop. Support couldn’t figure it out so I’ve had to add a “sorry there’s a known error” message everywhere.

    Only the downtime issue is a real dealbreaker for me; I can get around the other shortcomings. I would recommend it, but proceed with caution.

    • Hi Amy,
      Thanks for taking the time to write this valuable comment!
      Your website looks great! How long did it take you to set up your store?

      • Thanks Howard! It was quite quick to set up, less than a week to get all the basic stuff in place. Another week to get all the products and images uploaded. All in I spent about a month on it before launch (not all day every day though). Since then I spend 1-2 days a month updating products and adding content.

  • Mr Borry

    We gave a similar interview/review around a year ago when we launched moonfruiters.com and had just been to Moonfruit HQ to talk about their upcoming changes. After 6 or so months we quickly realised that moonfruit are rapidly falling behind the times and it’s just not worth the time and effort anymore.

    Don’t get me wrong, you can create beautiful websites in moonfruit and with a little bit of savvy you can force it to do things that it doesnt support such as animated buttons, custom CSS and jquery but it still won’t be on par with modern websites that are built with software such as WordPress.

    So… take some time out to learn WordPress and I promise you will never look back.

  • Hyaden McLean

    Howard, a very interesting topic and very well explained. Great that you’re comparing it with other site builders in the article.

  • david field

    I’ve had my portfolio site with Moonfruit for 2 years and as a complete novice I found its drop and drag approach suited me.
    I recently migrated my site from their old flash system to the newer html5 to get more exposure on mobile devices.
    Not being able to change themes is a major annoyance as after 2 years I feel that the site could do with a fresher look. But my major gripe is that I cannot update the site from any android mobile devices. This ties me to my old pc and is surely something Moonfruit needs to address in order to keep their customers moving forward.
    My site is http://www.davefield.co.uk and is undergoing a redesign presently.

    • Hi, David,
      Thanks for your comment and good luck with your site!
      The problem you’ve described is common for many Moonfruit users. Hope, that Moonfruit will update its interface and add a possibility to edit website from Androd mobile devices soon.