Moonfruit is a London-based website builder offering its premium services to small businesses, startups, and design communities. The first version of the website editing software was released back in January 2000. The company was, at first, dedicated to providing its services completely for free relying on the income only from the advertisements. Today Moonfruit is far away from the most popular hosted website builders in the entire UK with its 1200 live websites. Obviously, the services it provides are now priced in accordance with the features included in the respective pricing tier.
Ease of Use
Let’s start with the fact that Moonfruit still has a non-responsive editor. The Insert Panel, though small, is easy to navigate, add widgets, shapes, images, links, etc. The Page Master showcases all the editable elements of the whole website. It’s great for overviewing separate parts of the website as you edit, modify and customize them.
Creating a website on Moonfruit and working on it, you can’t upload files and images straight onto them. Instead, you must upload them into a separate folder – File Folder, store them and use them per requirement. At first sight, this might look tedious, yet it appears quite practical when you need to switch out images quickly and try new layouts during a stylistic edit.
Nowadays, in not all website building services you can meet the simple Copy/Paste feature. But Moonfruit allows that. Here you can copy as single elements – (titles, text boxes, pictures, etc.) so entire pages. This is a handy tool for duplicating titles or buttons to many pages. The feature comes especially useful in design editing, since you can experiment by placing items in various locations.
The Design Panel is unnecessarily complicated. When other website building services offer drag and drop editors from the standpoint of “click and edit” the Design Panel of Moonfruit is dedicated to margin alignments, adjustments, and size augmentations.
As compared to other, more expensive website builders, Moonfruit doesn’t come fully packed with features. However, those provided are quite worthwhile. Let’s see what this company brings to the table.
Moonfruit has recently integrated the Responsive Page feature allowing its users to add a separate page type to their site. For building this page, Moonfruit offers an entirely new editor that feels much more contemporary than its basic editor. Here you start with a completely blank layout (you are to choose it) and then add content to the respective slots. Don’t miss this with a pre-made template. A Responsive Page is built from scratch with only pre-formatted elements. This may sound more difficult than it actually is.
Responsive Pages is a welcome yet still novice feature. Several tools, including eCommerce and blogging, are not yet available in this mode.
Moonfruit offers a selection of apps that was formerly presented as Widget Library. It includes fantastic yet practical tools that range from randomly shaped buttons to more particular ones. You can choose from diverse preset HTML embeds for Google Maps, SoundCloud, etc. Actually, the collection of widgets is not very large, yet it’s quite impressive.
This is a helpful tool that provides a user with an insight into such crucial statistics as the website traffic and efficacy of the current marketing. Surely, a built-in stat interface with more details on the site performance, or at least blog comments would be more beneficial. But unlike many other website builders, Moonfruit users have to get along with simply the total number of visitors.
This practical tool provides a user with detailed reports on the visibility and accessibility of the site on the Google search engine. Most website builders include Google Analytics as a free tool in their offer, but not many of them provide the Webmaster feature either. Moonfruit is committed to its users and one of the ways to show it is the incorporation of the Google Webmaster into its free features.
Moonfruit enables users to improve their search engine visibility by implementing specific meta tags on their whole website. However, the SEO features of this web builder are basic with no advanced options available. All that you get on the platform are:
- HTML 5 tags
- Alt tags on images
- Page titles set as H1 automatically
- Automatic addition of sitemaps
By connecting to Google Search Console, you can easily find SEO information and reports about your website.
The tool is designed to enable users to place custom HTML lines. For instance, such sites as SoundCloud or YouTube provide embed codes for videos, songs, and other content. You can insert them into your site by simply copying and pasting the codes into the HTML Snippet tool. Thanks to this highly functional and easily operating tool, the overall functionality of your website can be significantly boosted.
The Membership feature has been added to the library of tools recently. It allows users to set up members-only pages, create lists of members, add/manage individual page permissions, and email contacts straight through the company’s editor.
Previously, there was no blogging feature. Instead, Moonfruit suggested creating a blog on WordPress for free and integrating it to your Moonfruit account through the Element. As a result, the URL of your blog is displayed on the site.
Today the company has already incorporated the feature. However, it doesn’t impress. The Blog element of Moonfruit is simple and easy. In fact, it’s too simple for this day. It comes packed with all the basic elements (comments boxes, RSS feed, and so forth) and no advanced one. With this feature, you get the job done, yet with no fireworks.
Signing up and creating a website, you get it with the Moonfruit brand domain. However, you can later remove the domain and link your own one to your website. Moonfruit suggests signing up to the Professional plan to get a domain voucher. The latter will make .net, .org, .co.uk, .eu., .com, and .uk addresses available which is, all hands down, a sign of credibility for visitors.
As we mentioned above, the HTML Snippet tool is a grandiose one in expanding the capabilities of a website. With this add-on, you can extract embed codes from the entire Internet. You will no longer have to add your own codes. By integrating a Google Map on your website, for instance, you will show your visitors or customers where you are based.
Other tools you can integrate are social media content with Facebook likes, Twitter feed, or Instagram posts in particular. For this, Moonfruit provides the most simple drag-and-drop tool.
The Moonfruit’s Shop feature is quite a decent one. It allows users to set currencies, categorize their products into different sections to facilitate the process of finding a certain product for their customers. However, products can be searched by size, color, and price only. Using this tool, you can set large picture galleries, establish a Facebook shop and connect it to your websites. Another perk of the Shop feature is the customized notifications that alert you when the stock of your products runs low.
Anyway, the tool is not enough to build a capturing modern shop. It will serve nicely as long as you are aiming at establishing a simple online store with only one payment method – PayPal. The lack of credit card payment is sure to repel many customers. The Shop feature, just like the Blog, is not available for responsive pages.
Moonfruit Website Design and Templates
The Editor by Moonfruit has a variety of design features that are easy to implement into a new website. In most cases, changes are made with one click. If you have already written a Call To Action, for instance, you could just click it, rewrite the content, and press Enter to save the changes. Moonfruit also enables users to change fonts, add content blocks, adjust the layout and size. And if a user can’t distinguish with the website design, he can always set the default theme for Moonfruit to do most of the styling automatically. It looks quite professional and attractive, by the way.
The range of templates by Moonfruit is quite impressive, fitting a diversity of basic site categories such as business sites, online shops, creative portfolios, personal sites, blogs, etc. Overall, there are around 60 templates with some looking more contemporary than others. To find the necessary variant quicker, you can filter them by categories:
Mind that unlike in other website builders, after choosing a template here, you won’t be able to switch to another. So make a thoughtful choice.
The site-building interface by Moonfruit looks and feels traditional, nothing like a modern platform. It features traditional dialog boxes, skeuomorphic buttons, etc. Whatever you are doing on the website, be it editing page elements, changing the settings, or uploading new content, you will notice the simplicity of actions. To the left side of the dashboard, you will find the menu with all the features available. There’s also a drop-down help menu on the right upper side with a comprehensive FAQ section, training videos, and downloadable guides.
The standard desktop editor by Moonfruit is functional and well-designed. It allows users to control all aspects of the site, customizing the website to the highest possible degree. The editor is responsive and simple in use. Despite this high level of functionality, it feels outdated at times.
What we liked about this website editor is the array of animation effects. Whether you would like to set a video, transitioning pictures, or static images on the background of your website, you can fulfill that with Moonfruit. Besides, it’s possible to style the links of the website to make them stand out on the page and get you more clicks.
Moonfruit can’t boast of having an advanced and functional mobile editing platform. Users aren’t provided with many practical tools for mobile site optimization apart from the basic ones for the minimal site modification elements such as aligning the text boxes or images.
The customer support of Moonfruit is rather poor. Here users are offered only a chat messenger tool to get in touch with the support team (answers normally come only after one business day). No telephone calls, no email, and no live chat available for users. Another option to get any help is to read the blog with tutorials and video guides. On these days of most website builders offering 24/7 customer support in many contact forms, Moonfruit should review its support politics.
Moonfruit is a sensibly priced website builder catered to website builders who have a limited budget. At the time of testing the platform, it offered two plans – Basic and Professional. Let’s sort them out:
- Basic tier – Priced at $9.59 per month, it offers 1 site with as many pages as you’d wish, 500MB of storage space, and a possibility to connect your domain. However, you will have to get along with Moonfruit ads.
- Professional tier – Priced at $13.99 (currently comes at 50% discount – $6.99), the price tier offers 5 sites with unlimited pages, 10GB of storage space, a free domain voucher, and a chance to connect your domain. Here sites have no ads.
Moonfruit also offers a 14-day free trial and doesn’t require any credit card details during this period.
Moonfruit Competitors and Alternatives
Moonfruit is far not the best website builder in its price range. At around a similar cost, users can get more reliable, modern, and feature-rich services. For instance, Squarespace is an all-in-one solution for establishing a stunning website. It comes with all the essential features including plenty of eCommerce tools, domains, analytics, galleries, and round-the-clock customer support. The site builder ensures strong uptime, free SSL, and reliable customer support – something that Moonfruit lacks.
Another amazing platform to consider is Wix. The latter enables users to create responsive sites that look fabulous both on desktop and mobile. Both experienced and novice users will find Wix practical yet functional with an impressive choice of widgets – something that can’t be said about Moonfruit.
The low price and simplicity of use make Moonfruit an appropriate option for beginners who have a strictly limited budget and low requirements. It is reliable, practical, and flat-out comfortable. But the advantages of the platform end here. With Moonfruit, you can establish a personal site with images and videos or a good-looking portfolio site. If you have eCommerce in mind, you’d better not even consider this website builder. If you create an online shop with it, it’s going to be very basic with only one payment option available (PayPal) for your customers and not attractive enough to entice new clientele. The point is that this site builder allows you to build a shop, yet has no eCommerce features. You won’t get an SSL certificate, either. This will definitely lower your SEO score.
Furthermore, the company has lately conducted a migration from Flash to HTML which wasn’t so smooth. Apparently, clients report serious problems with both viewing and editing their sites. Files from sites miss, entire websites are broken, and the tech team of the company hasn’t yet fixed these problems. However, Moonfruit claims that new users won’t be affected by these migration problems.
And finally, you’d better not count on customer support, since the company can’t boast of having quick responsive 24/7 customer assistance. With only a single contact means available, it’s natural that they don’t answer quickly.
So, our own Moonfruit testing did not impress us. Even the signup is currently a problem. And yet, if you are still attracted by the low price of the Basic plan, remember that it will be satisfactory only for building a small website (preferably of personal type).