Pixpa website builder in the first place is intended for creation of portfolios. It’s also suited for personal and business websites as well as blogs. But even the name of the service makes it clear that its main focus is beautiful portfolios.
The main audience is painters, photographers, sculptors, illustrators, and other. In other words, all those people whose works are best presented in the visual format. That’s why I’ll be assessing the system in terms of quality of showcasing the graphic content.
You can instantly get an idea about the features that the service brings to the table by visiting the official website. There you’ll find some examples of the ready websites. This way, you’ll be able to see in minutes if Pixpa is the right choice for you. Now let’s test the website builder to examine to what extent it can live up to expectations of the target audience.
#1 Ease of Use
The sign-up process at Pixpa is typical: pick a theme you like, enter your email, which will be your login, and a password. It’s a matter of 2 minutes. Next, you’ll be taken to the Dashboard which is very simple and intuitive for most of the users.
At Pixpa you will deal with a visual editor. The system is free of pointless and confusing features. It is clearly targeted at beginners who are willing to get themselves a nice portfolio in the fastest way.
As you may know, these kind of websites feature the minimum text content. Basically, everything you need to do is prepare the photos for publication. After that, choose a gallery layout you like, upload photos and your website is almost done. Extremely easy and affordable to everyone.
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
At first glance, Pixpa produced an impression of a nice, but run-of-the-mill service. Just another website builder in the market. In reality, everything turned out to be different.
It is important to understand that Pixpa is a tool not only to showcase personal works, but also to sell, for example, prints, paintings, etc. There’s a possibility to process online payments, create galleries protected by the password which can be gained only after the payment, and other similar features.
In other words, the system not only gives you freedom to search for clients through showcasing of your works of art, but also directly monetize your creativity.
On the face of it, the Dashboard is very simple, but it contains a vast range of features defined by the specific focus of the website builder. As far as the promotion goes, it’s recommendable to keep a blog for this purpose.
There you will be able to publish articles with keywords to help increase your website’s search rankings. For each page you can fill in meta tags and configure the URL slug by navigating to the Properties section when working with the page. Under the next Layout tab you can change the format of the gallery display, enable parallax effect, assign a new image, activate eCommerce tools, set up the slideshow display settings, and more.
Also, there is an option to synchronize your gallery with the Instagram account. To do this, enable “Instagram gallery” when creating your gallery, enter the login and password, and choose the necessary photos. It’s worth mentioning that you don’t need to prepare photos prior to publishing them on the website.
All of them will be automatically adapted to suit blocks’ sizes of the gallery. The main point here is to use high-quality images. Additionally, you can create video galleries.
The Pixpa Dashboard is divided into 5 sections:
- Build – From there, you can create pages, add content, and define the menu hierarchy. A special attention is given to the types of content that can be added to the pages. These include a gallery, custom page (drag-n-drop page builder), preset page (info, guestbook, form page or calendar), cover page (used for the creation of landings), group, dropdown menu, web link, embed link or code, and blog.
- Design – Settings of the templates that I observed above.
- Proofing – Creation of the galleries restricted by password. The settings for their design and connection of Fotomoto — a tool to collect online payments to access these pages.
- Settings – A big section with different options: general website settings, SEO, Social Media Setting, Ecommerce Fotomoto (to use it you’ll need to sign up for it and enter the received ID), connection of Google Analytics and third-party JS scripts, and password protection of the website. From there, you can also create an events calendar and enable Disqus — a commenting system for a blog.
- Help – Access to the FAQ section.
Additionally, I would like to highlight the possibility to create custom pages from the ready blocks. Some website builder use this method as the main tool for website creation.
You just drag the blocks with different functionality to the working area and configure their content. This is a very easy and powerful tool.
In fact, you can create your custom template not only for a portfolio, but also for other website types like business cards and landings. The page builder significantly expands the opportunities and the areas where Pixpa might be applied.
I was pleasantly surprised when testing the service. It can be used for creation of fully-fledged blogs and business websites featuring all necessary attributes. In combination with the HTML code and JS scripts integration, Pixpa can be viewed as a serious tool in the hands of the tech-savvy user.
Summary: Pixpa is more than just an advanced and quality website builder, there’s certainly more to it than meets the eye. The Dashboard settings contain a great choice of features that you probably won’t notice at first sight.
At the same time, it is simple and user-friendly for beginners. Perfect solution for creation of small-scale responsive websites like business cards, portfolios, promo websites, blogs, and landings. This makes it one of the best website builders of its kind.
Pixpa has just a few original themes — in total 27, all of them having a preview mode. But given the specific focus of the service, this amount is quite enough. The designs are quality, responsive, and more or less diverse. With their help you can create a portfolio to meet your every need. You can check out the themes at pixpa.com/themes.
The themes are divided into categories: portfolios, businesses, personal, weddings, and blogs. No wonder, the majority of them belong to the portfolio category. Business and blog contain only a few items.
The good thing is that you can switch the theme whenever you want while working on your website.
I can’t say that the customization opportunities are extensive, but they are more than enough to make the website look the way you want. The settings are available under the Design tab and are grouped into 3 categories:
- Layout allows setting up the background (image or color), choose the font and the text color in the header and footer as well as define the position of elements in the website’s header (logo and menu position).
- Text makes it possible to choose from the set of fonts and their color for the menu, headings, articles, links, and more.
- Image properties enable to choose the border color for images in the gallery and to darken the shades of the text and images on hover.
It’s as simple as that. In fact, all you can do is change fonts and colors. Seems restrictive, but on the other hand, to create a portfolio this is quite enough.
#4 Customer Support
Whenever you need, you can contact an online support agent who is available 24/7.
Also, the system has an extremely informative and coherent help section with an easy search option. There you’ll be able to find answers to 99% of your questions.
#5 Pricing Policy
You can try Pixpa with a free 15-day trial period which gives access to absolutely all features of the service. The website builder doesn’t offer a free plan. Upon expiration of the trial, you need to upgrade to one of the three paid plans:
- Starter ($96 per year) – 10 galleries, 10 pages/blogs, unlimited Images, unlimited Bandwidth and storage, mobile-optimized website, no client proofing galleries, custom domain name connection, 24/7 customer support.
- Pro ($144 per year) – 50 galleries, 50 pages/blogs, 50 client proofing galleries.
- Plus ($192 per year) – unlimited galleries, pages/blogs and client proofing galleries.
As you see, the difference between plans comes down to the number of the elements available for publication. All other conditions are equal. If paying per month, Pixpa will cost you extra 20%. Considering the ease of use and the feature set which is good for its class, the pricing looks affordable.
Pros and Cons
Taking into account the focus and the wide variety of features, Pixpa lacks any cons. With it you can bring into life all types of projects claimed by the developers. The features are more than enough. Here are the main advantages:
- Good quality of templates;
- Possibility to create custom pages. In fact, Pixpa offers one more built-in independent website builder, which has a distinctive approach to design customization significantly different from the main tool;
- Surprisingly powerful functionality;
- Gallery synchronization with Instagram;
- Possibility to add third-party JS scripts;
- Flexible SEO settings;
- Easy tools to sell your works and online payment processing options;
- Great help section.
Pixpa seems virtually an ideal solution in its niche. You can easily and quickly create impressive websites that will look good on mobile devices.
Pixpa turned out to be a website builder that is robust in all respects. With all the seeming simplicity, it could impress me with the well-thought set of features. It’s perfect for beginners who want to create a business card, portfolio, or a blog. Your content will look very presentable. The system offers a generous choice of designs for galleries and publications.
The system justifies its price. You can even take a step further, refuse from using ready-to-go templates, and work on the structure of each page from scratch in the custom page’s editor. This is a great and easy-to-use tool. All of the blocks are divided into the many categories — the diversity and quality hardly any other website builder of this class can boast. It makes possible to generate impressive pages with any look and content.
A big number of gallery variants and their settings allow creating of stunning portfolios. The blog also has flexible settings. You can create multi-page business websites with sliders, presentation of services, price lists, client reviews, and other attributes.
Pixpa is a nice and powerful product that gives competitors a run for their money. I recommend to give it a try.