Boxmode – is a newly-introduced US-based web design software, which was founded with the needs of non-coders in mind. The website builder can easily be used to create a site from scratch and it works great for all types of web projects, including landing pages, small business websites and even small digital stores.
No coding skills are required to work with the system, although, this also affects its integrated functionality. You won’t be able to run large-scale projects with the website builder because of the insufficient set of integrations and limited website customizability. As a beginner, you can edit your website with a few clicks here, but don’t expect deep flexibility from the system.
A nice feature is that the platform comes as an all-in-one solution, which means free access to stylish templates, free domain, and hosting with SSL, eCommerce, and SEO tools, widgets, and other options available at zero cost. If you need to scale your project, you may always switch to an affordable paid plan with expanded resourcefulness.
It all looks quite well on the paper but if it is really that good? It is time we tested the platform and looked at what it has inside.
1. Pros and Cons
Boxmode looks like a great option for beginners and business owners who do not want to hire third-party developers. It brings everything they might need. However, there are some notable misses here that may prevent you from getting the most out of your website. Have a look at the system pros and cons now.
| ✔ A rich template library.|
✔ A set of free tools and features.
✔ Integrated eCommerce engine.
✔ SEO and promotion instruments.
✔ A simple drag-and-drop editor.
| ✘ A limited selection of widgets.|
✘ Not good for medium and large companies.
✘ No Live Chat or phone support.
✘ No multi user support.
✘ No data export feature.
✘ No blogging.
2. What Is It Good for?
Boxmode was developed to help users obtain different types of an online presence. It offers a set of promotional and other tools that make it possible to build not just small business sites but also landing pages, digital stores, online booking services, and more. Besides, users will receive a set of useful integrations and embedded assets to scale their projects. When choosing the service, however, mind that Boxmode lacks third-party integrations. This may restrict the freedom of design customization.
The website builder will work out for independent web designers and local development teams, cafes and restaurants, repairing services, and barbershops. Boxmode can also be a good option for non-profitable organizations as well including churches, charitable communities, etc. The tool helps create professional portfolios for designers and photographers. It will suit users who want to build a solid web presence in the niche of marketing, education, fashion, and other fields. Despite its extensive applicability, it will not come up to the needs and expectations of larger businesses, enterprises and growing projects because of the limited integrated functionality.
3. Ease of Use
As stated earlier, the website builder was developed as a beginner-friendly tool for uses who do not have IT or programming skills. As an all-in-one cloud-based solution, it offers an intuitive way to go online. You only need to create an account, select a template, customize it, and publish it. Seems like an easy solution for everyone, but you need to dive deep into details to figure out, if the system complies with your actual web design needs, skills and requirements.
One of the features that appeals to the majority of the system users is that it does not require mandatory registration. In other words, you can start using the system right at once without indicating your email, password, or any other personal data. However, it is still recommended to sign in and create a new account to make sure your project will be eventually available on the web. If you miss the step, you will not be able to save changes in the project.
So, to start building your first site, you will need to select a template from the list of different layouts divided into various business niches and categories. Users can preview them before choosing the main theme for the website.
Template editing is available in different modes. You can switch between desktop, tablet, or smartphone views to make all needed changes and check how the site will run on various devices. That is quite cool for a free platform, but this is, probably, one of those few advantages of the platform in terms of project editing. The list of drawbacks is, unfortunately, longer.
The main drawback is the lack of basic elements to add. Users will mainly deal with a pre-designed layout with only a few blocks to choose from. For example, there is only one version of a button with a few additional widgets to get to the page including some baseline forms, footers, headers, and galleries. This fact looks quite frustrating.
The same is about media, mark up and typography elements. You will hardly be able to choose from multiple options here. Thus, the system restricts the choice of media files you can add to the project to images and videos only. Markup elements include a container and an HTML iFrame, while Typography options go down to quote and text integrations only.
The list of sections you can add to your website is baseline and limited as well. There are only the most popular and widely-used elements here, namely About Us, Features, Opening Hours, Team, Testimonials, Companies, Contacts and Banners. Each section is available in several variations, but they also look quite similar. As a result, most websites created with Boxmode look almost the same, regardless of their specialization. This is one of the reasons why the website builder does not work well for large companies and growing businesses.
As stated earlier, the system does not have mandatory registration. However, you will not be able to publish the website and go live unless you subscribe for a new account. Once you are done, the system will let you preview the site, create a domain, and go live. We did not find an option to connect an existing domain, which is definitely a huge miss as well.
4. Features & Flexibility
Boxmode promises a bunch of features delivered out of the box. They help accept payments online, set scheduled events, offer booking options, promote content, and use other tools to ensure a solid online presence. But are they really as extensive as supposed? Let’s clear that out right away.
With Boxmode, you will not need to pay for images on Shutterstock or else. The website builder has a custom content library with free Unsplash photos and image collections. Besides, you will have full access to a selection of icons that can be used in a Features section. Search filter option is available here as well to simplify the choice and help you save time/effort. When browsing the images the system has in stock, you may notice that their number is not quite extensive and the list of available photos is limited. You have an opportunity to upload your own images, if required, but that’s not quite convenient for everyone, especially when you are pressed for time.
The platform makes it possible to not just move some of the blocks and widgets around the page but also edit them in the way you need. Users are free to change their sizes and shapes, replace background images with new ones, change colors, add shadows, and more. The choice of built-in widgets is not that rich, though, and it currently includes several variations for navigation menus, online forms, footers, galleries, slideshows, headers, maps and PayPal buttons.
Despite the availability of widget customization, Boxmode does not provide an opportunity for external integrations. You won’t have access to third-party widgets, plugins and add-ons, which notably restricts your website performance and makes your project similar to other Boxmode-powered projects.
This one will work for more experienced users who will be able to edit the code right inside the dashboard. You may see the page structure will have all containers in one place and change a section you need. The system does not limit you with updates. Users are free to integrate new features, design elements, etc.
The system has a pretty good SEO functionality that is applicable to every page. Here you may set meta title and description for the page, indicate focus keywords to get noticed by the search engines, indicate canonical links, disallow crawling links, or block the page you need from indexing. Besides, we should mention automated sitemap and robots.txt without the need to manage them manually.
5. Design & Templates
Boxmode offers free access to 54 different templates from over 13 business niches and categories. Depending on your project type, you may select a ready-made layout for a barbershop, construction company, education organization, restaurant, marketing studio, charitable or faith-based organization. All templates can be previewed in desktop, tablet, and mobile mode. The website builder offers data import options, while data export is currently unavailable here. This means that you won’t be able to transfer your website content to another platform in case of necessity.
When it comes to template editing, users are offered baseline settings. As mentioned above, you will be able to work with standard sections and elements, the choice of which is quite limited here. This has a negative impact upon web page structure and layout, which gives Boxmode projects similar look.
What’s more, the website builder does not offer multi user support options. It is you, who will have full control over your project development without an opportunity for team cooperation. That’s not a problem for freelancers or independent website developers, but this still prevents web agencies from using Boxmode for custom projects.
6. Customer Support
As for the support team, the main focus is on indirect communication. In other words, there is no phone or Live Chat support. Instead, you can join a growing FB community with more than 200 followers and regularly published posts. Here you may find information about upcoming webinars that may come in handy.
The platform also has a comprehensive Help Center with all major issues and questions covered. Unfortunately, the website builder does not offer video tutorials although it has a ticketing email system to contact the support team directly.
7. Plans & Pricing
Boxmode currently comes with two different plans:
- A Free plan offers a Boxmode.io domain, 1 GB of storage, access to all templates and widgets.
- A Basic Annual plan costs $33 per year with a custom 1-year domain, unlimited bandwidth, removed ads, and some other features.
The main drawback here is that even a paid plan looks a bit limited offering only 50 GB of storage. On the other hand, $33 per year looks like a bargain although the offer is limited and no one knows how much it will cost in the future.
8. Website Examples
Although, the website builder is quite new to the public, we can still find several examples of different websites built using Boxmode:
Kind Snacks – online snack shop
Feeding America – a non-profit organization
United Healthcare – an insurance company
ASOS – men and women’s clothing
BarkBox – an online pet shop
Zillow – real estate
Boxmode can hardly be considered a nice option for small business website development. Regardless of its initial focus on non-coders, simple web design approach and code editing feature, the website builder still cannot offer even baseline functionality to come up to the needs and skills of users willing to establish reliable web presence.
The selection of Boxmode widgets and blocks looks limited. This fact makes the platform inapplicable for large-scale web projects and growing companies. They additionally require improved resourcefulness, as 5 GB of storage in a paid plan does not look like enough to scale. Lack of live chat and phone support options may also be a hindrance for the system users, especially for those, who might need professional assistance in terms of code editing and design customization. Summing it all up, we currently cannot recommend Boxmode as there is still much space for improvement.