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Puzl Website Builder Review

It has been a year since I reviewed Puzl, a free website builder geared towards small businesses. I noticed that the company has been making progress since then, and decided to update this review.

If you’re like me, then your first impression of a web service is based on the homepage. If it’s well-structured, modern and engaging, so is the system. When I landed at Puzl’s homepage I was really surprised to see that their signature origami birds have been replaced with overused stock images, that made me think they didn’t have a staff designer. The new homepage shows off a number of things, but in no particular order. I wish it was less cluttered.

Old:

Puzl

New:

Puzl -Homepage

#1 Ease of Use

Because Puzl is primarily intended for business owners, first you have to run through a wizard full of business-specific questions before you can actually start building your website. The wizard walks you through the following sections: General (business name, business type, establishment date etc.), Website details (site name, language etc.) and Contact details (business email, phone number, opening hours, address etc.).

Once you have finished the wizard, you will be redirected to the builder itself. As with most website builders, Puzl offers an easy-to-navigate interface allowing you to put up your site in a WYSIWYG environment. In general, it looks quite cohesive.

Despite its old interface, it allows you to easily rearrange your pages, edit your business information and make minor design changes. Puzl does support inline editing, but it makes it impossible to edit your website’s look in a more substantial way. So when you choose a template – that’s actually the look of your future website. You can upload your content and add some widgets, but you can’t change the layout in any meaningful way.

Text Editor

That’s because their editor is based on the so-called ‘box model’ where your content is being added to pre-determined containers. In the long run, it makes it easier to transfer your content from one template to another, because all Puzl templates have the same number of containers. Wix, for instance, works in a completely different way: it uses the ‘absolute positioning’ method. This method lets users position design elements and widgets with pixel accuracy – there are no pre-determined boxes. However, this approach makes it impossible to switch templates in the future.

The system itself is divided into two sections: the Control panel where you can set your site’s main settings and the Site Builder.

#2 Feature Set and Flexibility

Though Puzl is advertised as a feature-rich website builder for business sites, its feature set appears to be below average. Its ‘business wizard’ simply transports the data you specify during the checkout into the corresponding areas on the page.

Other business-specific features of Puzl include Products, Services and News (blog). Using Products you can add various goods and display them as products on your pages. However, there’s no shopping cart – your visitors have to contact you via email in order to purchase your goods.

Puzl - Products

Using Services you can create an online pricelist. The pricelist features the following properties: service name, service type, photos, top description, title, full description, price, taxes, region and some others.

The Publish news section lets you add blog posts and share all your site updates directly through the control panel. For instance, you can share the news about a new product. You may want to see the official blog of Puzl – http://puzl.puzl.com/ that is powered by the builder.

Puzl - Publish news

‘Optimized for mobile’. This is the biggest disappointment of Puzl. ‘Furthermore, website built on Puzl is also optimized and rendering a wonderful effect when visiting them from smartphones and tablets’, – their site says. Unfortunately, I failed to feel that wonderful effect. I checked my test website on my smartphone – it wasn’t optimized. I couldn’t navigate it.

'Optimized for mobile'

#3 Designs

They’re outdated. The choice is poor. Most templates have the same structure, and differ in tiny details only. Puzl templates are switchable – you can go back to the gallery and choose a new design (that will barely differ from your previous choice).

Puzl themes are not responsive. The builder doesn’t offer any mobile solutions. That’s a huge disappointment.

Puzl - Designs

#4 Customer Support

There’s a FAQ section, but its informative value is questionable. You can also contact the Puzl team over email. The good news is that the builder contains many explanatory popups so that you can learn the system as you build your website.

#5 Pricing Policy

You have to log in to see their pricing. Your free Puzl website remains free until you decide to attach a custom domain. To be able to do that you have to purchase a paid plan. These start at $6.50/month. By paying for 3 months in advance you get 5% off, 6 months – 10% off, and 12 months – 15% off.

I don’t think that’s a good deal. You can get much more features wrapped in a more intuitive interface at a lower price. Take Weebly for example. With their Starter plan ($4/mo) you can publish an ad-free, responsive website, and even sell up to 5 products.

Disadvantages

Old, cookie-cutter templates. The level of customization is very low. Bad news for those who want to get under the hood – Puzl doesn’t offer any advanced editors. They do have a widget to insert custom code, yet there’s no way to write your own CSS rules or openly edit the code of your site. Puzl sites aren’t optimised for mobile viewing. Too expensive for what it has to offer.

Puzl Review: Conclusion

Five or seven years ago Puzl would be a nice place to start a site, but today, when the competition is so fierce, it’s simply left behind. It does require a major overhaul. The lack of functionality, customization issues, the overall look and feel will drive you towards a more feature-rich website builder. And what are your thoughts?

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Puzl.com
Author Rating
3
» » Puzl Website Builder Review
  • vanfruniken

    Can I add my own javascripts?

    • Velly Angelova

      Thank you @vanfruniken:disqus.
      This is actually a very good question!
      Adding your own javascript is sadly not possible for the moment due to security measures/ issues. Since all sites are hosted on Puzl servers, JavaScript could possibly lead to a contamination of other websites with malwares so we prefer to avoid this risk. Puzl developers are however trying to implement a solution as part of version 1.0 of the website builder coming until the end of the year. It is intended to include many improvements and innovative functionalities so stay tuned on the latest updates around puzl.com.

  • Meenakshi V Adambakkam

    I joined the website and built my site for my coaching centre Meena Coaching Centre. The website has the name meenacoachingcentre.puzl.com. But now I am not even able to access the site. When I try to do so it gives the following error messages:

    Forbidden

    You don’t have permission to access /
    on this server.
    Apache/2.2.22 (Ubuntu) Server at puzl.com Port 80
    I am not able to contact them also. I am now regretting for opening a website account in puzl. Will anybody guide me to open a website free of cost in a better place please?

    • Thibaut Taittinger

      Hi Meenakshi,

      Could you please send an email to info@puzl.com ? We can access your website without problems so should review what the issue is. It most probably is a local problem (from your PC).

      Thanks,
      Thibaut

      • Subramaniam Ramakrishnan

        Now the problem is solved. Thanks. But I am getting everything in French. I don’t know French. I want it in English. Please help me

        • Thibaut Taittinger

          Great. Happy to hear it is fixed. Could you please send an email to info@puzl.com we will change your interface language. The other option is to go your website’s control Panel and simply change the language in the footer.

          • Subramaniam Ramakrishnan

            You have fixed the problem. Now the website is showing in English only. Thank you for your service. I am entirely satisfied with the website puzl.com

  • raj

    hi sir, i have Create http://musclepowergym.puzl.com/ this site but whenver i have enter this my site url on google serch that time google not find this site

    • Hi Raj, thanks for your comment!

      Do not worry at this point. You site is new and it takes Google some time to index your site. Secondly, you also need to work on the website’s optimization for search engines.

      You may also contact the site builder’s team http://puzl.com/en/feedback with your question. I am sure they will assist you.

  • 2987t529489

    You might want to update this review, again. I’m comparing what you wrote here, a year ago, to what I’m looking at, now, and it looks like they’ve gone through more upgrades.