Founded in 2013, the platform has distinguished itself as a handy tool for newbies and web design prps, who intend to start and manage different types of websites. However, the niche specialization of the system mainly goes down to the creation of promo websites and one-pagers.
Users, who are not proficient in website development may leave their doubts behind as Simbla eliminates the need to learn, understand and edit website codes. Instead, it uses the drag-and-drop technology to simplify the web design process for everyone. You shouldn’t have any problems, when designing a project from scratch – so intuitive and easy the process is.
If you are currently looking for a website builder that will feature a good combination of simplicity, functionality and flexibility, you might consider using Simbla for your web design endeavors. Even though, this is not the most popular solution in the market, it still comes with a feature set that make it appealing for certain user categories. Thus, it’s high time now to review the system as one of the most interesting and full-featured specimens of its kind to find out if it can come up to your needs and expectations.
1. Ease of Use
Simbla doesn’t take much time to get started. What you need is to fill out a short online form, where you’ll be asked to submit your name, email and password. Right after that, you’ll get a confirmation email, activation of which will redirect you to the system’s dashboard. This is where you’ll have to choose between three major solutions Simbla offers – a website builder, a web app builder and a database builder.
The first option will let you pick one of the available templates to customize it based on your needs. The second option will redirect you to the web app builder, where you will be able to create web pages, applications via using web development tools the website builders has in stock. The third option, in its turn, grants access to the database builder, which is a great choice for starting web apps and connecting your project to the required content. The choice should, correspondingly, be based upon your current web design needs, requirements and objectives.
As far as we are mainly interested in using Simbla as a website builder, it makes sense to take a closer look at the features and convenience of the service from this point of view. After you pick the website builder, you will be offered to select one of two options, again. The first one implies choosing one of the available pre-designed templates that can be edited and customized with regard to your needs. Another alternative is to pick a Website Wizard feature that will let you start a project from scratch, using the integrated system wizard. Actually, that’s pretty simple: instead of choosing a theme, you just provide the name of the website, select its type (sinlge- or multipage), define the preferred structure and pick the color scheme. Your website framework is now ready and you can proceed filling it with content.
Simbla’s drag-and-drop interface is clean, intuitive, user-friendly, understandable and easy-to-navigate: from the top bar you can manage pages, configure site settings and add elements. Though the builder is quite intuitive, we highly recommend that you take a quick introductory tour before making any clicks – it will take you less than one minute to complete it. The tour will show you the basics of working in Simbla and help you save lots of time and effort in the future. To sum it all up, working with Simbla is quite interesting, convenient and easy – right from a beginner needs!
2. Features & Flexibility
It’s quite hard to call Simbla a feature-laden website builder, but it definitely has a couple of appealing functions in stock. If you are right about to use the system to start a personal or a business project, awareness of these features will help you get the most out of them. Let’s review some of the most remarkable highlights of the system right away.
Simbla lets you choose and integrate a number of original apps into your project to effectively manage your business. These apps are mostly free, but they make it possible to manage and control your website from a single dashboard, which is convenient and effective. Here is the list of the most popular apps you can choose and integrate into your project, if needed:
- Blog – The extension makes it possible to create a blog web page, add and edit posts, customize its design (both in theisual mode and via source code editing) and complete other multiple tasks. It’s also possible to fill out SEO settings to boost your blog positions in the search engines;
- Product Catalogue – There is an opportunity to integrate a product catalogue into your website to show off your products/services in the most favorable light. Product Catalog lets you create and edit the descriptions of products available at the website. This can be the catalogue of handmade products manufactured by the website owner, for instance, or something like that. It would be nice to see the further integration of this app with an eCommerce feature;
- News – The system allows adding and controlling a text feature that will let you post news on any page and in any section of your website;
- Lead Manager – With the Lead manager offered by Simbla, you will be able to manage and track leads registered via your Simbla-based website. This is where you will be able to track information about your leads as well as progress and status related to them;
- eCommerce – The App Market currently offers an eCommerce feature provided in a Beta version, while being tested. As soon as the feature in activated, you will be able to create online stores, generate traffic, build customer bases, sell products/services you offer, track inventory lists and use lots of other eCommerce tools the system offers;
- CRM – Just like eCommerce, CRM feature is also available in the Beta version. It is going to be released soon to let you manage customer relations and sales via stylish and contemporary user interface;
- Site Analytics and Knowledge Base – These two features are also available in the App Market, but they are not yet introduced to the audience. The system is going to announce their release in the nearest future.
These are the basic feature set available in the App Market. Many more tools and apps are still under development and are going to be released soon (email marketing, online scheduling etc.).
Simbla is not about website development only. The system makes it possible to start and manage quality applications that can further be integrated into your website. If you are not satisfied with the available App Market choice for some reason, the system lets you create and add your own applications via its integrated app builder. The apps you create will automatically synchronize with the system’s database to be further available in a web page of your choice.
This option allows creating and managing client databases for your website or web application. This is a unique functionality for a website builder. As far as the integrated system database is cloud-based, there is no need to know coding basics to set it up. The database builder works great for the development of web apps. Users can apply the info available there to connect their websites to the required content. Crating and then using your own database is very convenient and helps sae your effort and time in the long run. What’s more, the entire process requires one click only, which is also an advantage in itself.
From the point of view of website optimization, Simbla’s functionality deserves the highest grade. It features an automatic website map generation, an opportunity to add Google Analytics count and other notes to the website header. All websites launched with the system are HTML5-based, which means that any uploaded content is automatically optimized for the search engines. Apart from that, you can set redirects 301 to the inner website pages even on a free plan. You can also fill out the meta data for your project, create user-friendly URLs, synchronize your website with Google Analytics to track its performance etc.
All Simbla plans come with integrated hosting, which makes it possible to create and store your websites directly on the system’s servers, which are located in the USA. This eliminates the need to look for a third-party hosting provider, which eventually saves your time and effort.
|Number of Themes:||81|
|Professional Templates:||✔ YES|
|Free Themes:||✔ YES|
|Responsive Design:||✔ YES|
|Sort by Industry:||✘ NO|
|CSS Code Editing:||✔ YES|
With Simbla, you can begin with a ready template or from scratch. Simbla’s templates have a fresh, modern look, so even if you are a pro designer, you might want to check them out for inspiration purposes.
The website builder offers around 100 templates, including the blank one. This isn’t impressive, especially if compared to Wix, for example. However, this is more than enough for a newbie, while professional web designers may not need custom website templates at all.
There is no subdivision of templates into categories, but the availability of the live preview option make it possible to understand whether this is a single- or a multiple-page template and choose the most suitable solution.
Speaking about the ease of template customization, Simbla makes it possible to add new pages and menus, adjust website settings, use WebMaster tools, access the file manager to upload and manage media files and share the ready made project, if needed. These options are available in the “Website” section of the control panel. Likewise, you can adjust settings for all website pages and preview each newly-designed page in a new tab. These options are available in the separate “Page” section of the website builder.
All in all, you can edit website header, footer, contact section, intro page, content and even multimedia section. This is where you will come across the elements you can integrate into your project, namely sliders, major text elements, flash files, galleries, videos, anchor links, maps and many more modules. These are the draggable elements you can find in the “Multimedia” section and then add to any page of your website.
Media Queries is another interesting option (for a website builder) that deserves the attention. You can set Tablet/mobile and custom collapse point as well as specify the Menus collapse point value. This is convenient, when it comes to making changes in the responsive layout for unpopular screen sizes.
All templates are responsive, and you can preview your site’s mobile and tablet look from the control panel. However, there’s no way to alter the autogenerated mobile look of your site.
Simbla has two working modes: Easy and Pro. Both modes provide a total WYSIWYG editing experience, but the Pro mode comes equipped with advanced editing options, such as Grid, Text, Multimedia, Forms and others.
It should be mentioned that the option of adding personal Java-scripts to the website is not common for website builders. That’s another bonus for Simbla.
4. Сustomer Support
Simbla comes with its own Support & Help Center, which provides detailed guides on how to use the system. The knowledge base covers all the steps of the website creation process and there is also a Search filter option for those users, who wish to cut down the search time, while browsing the Help Center.
If you cannot find answers to your questions, while working on your website development, you can contact the customer support team via the Zendesk Help pop-up window. This is where you can type your inquiry or question and wait for the answer. All in all, the customer support service of the website builder is quite mediocre and it definitely lacks live chat support as well as email and phone assistance.
5. Pricing Policy
You can opt for a free plan and never pay a penny (you can pay with a Facebook Like or retweet). However, you’ll be limited to 300 MB space and bandwidth as well as Simbla URL.
If you want to connect a custom domain and also gain more space, you need to go for a paid plan. There are four paid plans differentiated based on the storage and bandwidth. All Simbla plans come equipped with the same features.
All in all, Simbla offers 5 plans:
- Free – 300 MB of storage and bandwidth, Simbla’s domain and 60-day trial for database records, database requests, blog options, user’s customized apps, news and product catalog features.
- Starter ($72/year) – 1 GB of storage and bandwidth, 1000 database records and 1000 database requests.
- Basic ($144/year) – 3 GB of storage and bandwidth, an opportunity to connect your own domain, 5000 database records and 10000 database requests.
- Advanced ($288/year) – 10 GB of storage and bandwidth, 20000 database records and 40000 database requests.
- Pro ($576/year) – 20 GB of storage and bandwidth, 50000 database records and 100000 database requests.
Note that in order to remove the Simbla link (located in the footer of all Simbla sites), you need to go with the Basic or a higher plan.
6. Pros and Cons
Simbla is quite a nice website builder, which comes with its set of pros and cons each user should be aware of, prior to using the system. Let’s enlist them right away to help you make the right choice.
| ✔ Ease of use;|
✔ Drag-and-drop editor;
✔ App builder;
✔ Database builder;
✔ Availability of a blank template to be customized from scratch etc.
| ✘ No live chat, email and phone support;|
✘ Many features that are still under development;
✘ Lack of eCommerce functionality etc.
Simbla is a DIY website builder, which is quite easy to use due to its drag and drop editing option, intuitive interface and versatile design customization parameters. The system works well for the development of all kinds of websites and it’s a good choice for beginners as well as for web design experts.
The platform does offer enough tools to get you online quickly and with minimum effort, yet it lacks lots of must-have features like eCommerce and website analytics access, for example. However, the developers of the website builder promise to introduce a number of features in the nearest future as they are currently under development.
All in all, I have mixed feelings about this website builder. On one hand, it has some unique capabilities you won’t see in the average site builder, but on the other, it has a nice amount of room for further development.