BlueVoda is a drag-and-drop website builder designed by VodaHost, a popular web hosting provider. Similar to 90secondwebsitebuilder and Yahoo! site builder, BlueVoda is a downloadable application that you need to download and install on your computer. But while Yahoo! offers a hosted version along with the downloadable builder, BlueVoda has no in-browser editors. It’s an onffline site construction kit.
A VodaHost web hosting account is required to publish your website.
#1 Ease of Use
Don’t expect a jaw-dropping interface. BlueVoda’s control panel has a look and feel of most Microsoft applications such as MS Word, making the interface familar and intuitive. The toolbar icons are very similar to Microsoft apps: new page, save, copy and paste etc.
All in all, it looks really simple. Nevertheless, I highly recommend that you watch their video tutorials – thankfully, the’ve got many – in order to save your time.
The site builder isn’t web-based, so you’ll need to install a desktop program first – which isn’t actually a hard task, but this additional step can scare away many potential users.
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
BlueVoda is meant for creating simple websites that require no custom coding and also small shops: you can set up a PayPal shopping cart for single item and multi-item purchases, subscriptions and donations.
Similar to the competition, the builder lets you create new pages and add various elements and widgets simply by dragging them to the page. These include images, email forms and various extensions like Inline Frames, Flash files and more. You can also add HTML code snippets. Here are some other BlueVoda features:
- basic SEO features (you can specify meta tags);
- the ability to easily add a guestbook;
- the ability to add Flash and Java code to your site;
- import and export of HTML pages in/to the editor;
- the ability to add complex forms, and more.
All in all, BlueVoda offers enough tools to help you set up a site. But it takes at least 15-25 minutes to learn to do this or that in their control panel. It could be much more intuitive.
This is probably the weakest point of BlueVoda. While their competitors release dozens of new responsive templates each month, it feels as though the builder stopped updating its collection a few years ago.
You can go to the Image Gallery and download some ready templates (elements of the design) through the builder or create your own design (highly recommended). Most template sets are completely unthemed DIY semi-blank themes designed to be aligned on the left side of the page. They’re outdated.
#4 Customer Support
BlueVoda provides built-in help system, a community-driven forum and step-by-step video tutorials (these are really helpful and to the point). If you can’t find the answer in the knowledge base, submit a support ticket.
#5 Pricing Policy
BlueVoda is technically free. You can download and use the builder free as long as you need. However, to be able to publish your website you must have a VodaHost account.
VodaHost packages start at $9.95/mo and drop to as low as $7.45/mo with a two-year commitment.
The builder doesn’t offer any ready blogging solutions. Outdated templates. No in-browser version. We didn’t find any information on how they tackle mobile optimization. I’m afraid BlueVoda websites aren’t mobile-friendly.
BlueVoda Review: Conclusion
It’s obvious that the intent of offering the site building app is to get you attached to VodaHost’s hosting services. Nevertheless, the builder seems to be rather functional and reliable. They offer enough tools and leave a lot of room for customization. But let’s face it, it’s not as fun and modern as its competition.
I think that over some time VodaHost will take its downloadable site builder to a new level and release a full-fledged online site constructor – this is a very popular tendency among hosting providers 🙂 .
BlueVoda user? Share your website building experience with our readers!