Webasyst is a non-standard product in our understanding. Its developers offer 3 products to your choice, namely a framework for creation of custom CMS on its basis, which can be downloaded for free and installed on your own server, a readymade CMS Shop Script written on the basis of this platform and an out-of-the-box solution for online store creation – Webasyst. This is a CMS, which is installed on the developer’s hosting to be further used on the paid basis (rent). If you wish, you can transfer your website to your own hosting in future.
Webasyst is a set of solutions to meet any taste. Web developers as well as ordinary users can find their own preferences in the product. The official website of the platform looks pretty appealing and informative. It offers plenty of information about products and lots of extensions for them. We won’t discuss framework and CMS, focusing the attention on the major solution essential for our blog, namely the website builder.
Everything we currently know about the platform is that it is positioned as a solution used to create online stores. Let’s discuss its main features in details to draw the conclusions.
1. Ease of Use
Webasyst is a CMS and a website builder, which is automatically downloaded to the hosting. The service is provided by the script developers. This means that you can buy the Shop Script rights, having installed it on the independently chosen hosting or rent the out-of-the-box variant of the system based on the payment subscription. What works best?
This depends on your needs. If it is more convenient for you to get everything you need right from the start without the need to setup hosting and databases, then the website builder will be a more preferable solution. As to the functionality of both systems, it is almost identical.
Webasyst isn’t similar to other website builders in its structure. Maybe, this is because it is initially the CMS. There is nothing too complicated here, but you’ll have to get used to it for more than 15 minutes. Newbies may even get scared, having seen the system dashboard. Yes, it’s not simple, even though, it comes with a user-friendly, simple and logic interface. However, to make such a decision, you should spend at least some time exploring the program.
2. Feature Set and Flexibility
Webasyst is a set of applications meant to complete specific tasks and connected by the same interface. Everything is logically-structured here. We have tested the full version of the program, after the installation of which the following applications (or modules as this is more convenient for users) have become available by default:
- Contacts – contact info about all users registered in the system;
- Store – an app with the required tools needed to launch an online store;
- Hub – an app to create a discussion section on a website. This is a combination of a blog and a forum;
- HelpDesk – communication with a tech support team;
- Mailer – an email format builder to make client mailouts;
- Blog – blog creation that can be done in a few clicks;
- Photos – a section for storing photos and albums as well as design setup for their web pages;
- Stickies – a place to store various reminders in the sticker formats;
- Files – a storage place for different file formats, which allows connecting Dropbox and other cloud systems;
- Tasks – a notebook for all the website-related tasks;
- Site – an application used to create promo websites with all the required elements;
- Installer – this is where you can find extra applications, widgets and plugins to be downloaded to your website;
- Cloud – a set of various options. This is the place, where you can see your status account, prolong Webasyst services, setup domains, emails, optimize the speed of website work (CDN) and add cron commands that have to be fulfilled.
Each application comes with its settings and can be viewed separately, but we will precisely focus on the major aspect only – the online store. It is really powerful and one of the best we have seen. Provided below is a list of options for this application:
- “Orders” is a section, which contains the exhaustive review of all the order types, including new, confirmed, paid, sent, completed, returned and deleted orders. This is where you can look through the product distribution channels, set up discount coupons and manually create a new order, if needed;
- “Customers” is a section, where all the customers and their subdivision with regard to the social network redirection sources (Twitter, Facebook) are enlisted. You can also see the data by regions and referrals here;
- “Products” is where you can find and add categories, products, set up promo actions, create extra fields, set badges like “Hit!” or “Discount!”, write tags, product types, adjust visibility settings and perform other actions related to your online store product stock and warehouse control. This is also the section, from which you can upload mass products from CSV files. The detailed instructions on how to fill them out are available here as well;
- “Reports” contains detailed sales statistics by the source (social networks, geographic units, promo campaigns, distribution channels, show windows etc.). This is also the section, where you can set up A/B tests, look through the marketing computation, ROI and other charts. Other settings are also available here. There are many of them (individual bulk of customer reports, products, product ordering forms etc.);
- “Storefront” is a section, where you can set up static pages, choose your show window template, edit it, get access to the code, set up social network widgets and a rich choice of minor parameters. This is also the place, where you can find SEO for your online store, friendly URL parameters, select payment and shipping options and activate secure connection when placing an order, if you need that.
Apart from the sections described above, Webasyst stores also have general settings. There are many of them here – product types/characteristics, recommendations, stocks, order statuses, shipping/payment options, discounts, currency types, taxes, printed forms, analytics, trigger links etc. The list can be continued and each section has its own set of options. It makes sense to browse them independently as you may really get confused when reading about the features. An opportunity to set up SMS delivery regarding the incoming orders is worth separate attention.
This is the basic functionality of the system. It can be notably extended by means of setting up plugins, the number of which exceeds 400. Plugins are free and paid. To look through the extensions that are available for download, you should access the “Installer” section. This is where you can purchase applications, templates, plugins and widgets, which are completely free. Plugins and apps can be bought only once or you can set them up for a subscription fee. The first variant is much more beneficial for you. Even though, it is a bit more expensive, you won’t face the need to pay extra fees each time you plan to use it.
It’s worth mentioning that the cost of installation of a dozen of useful extensions can be equal to (or exceed) the annual cost of renting the platform on less expensive plans. Generally, the choice of plugins allows making the system settings more complicated and detailed. It will appeal to those users, who are going to launch a hypermarket with all the possible features.
Each plugin/template comes with a detailed description and reviews, so, you will know what you pay for. There are lots of solutions to come up to any needs. Most of them are quite useful, although, some plugins offer the functionality, which is standard for other systems, such as sliders, form builders, banners, reviews etc. Yes, some of these elements are alternatives to the system tools, while some of these simple elements unfortunately don’t have system counterparts. The number of reviews is the major proof of a vast Webasyst community, which creates a positive impression of the system.
Let’s talk about domain names now. The local policy is standard: if you have a domain of your own, then you can connect it; if not, then it will be given to you as a gift after you purchase the plan (.ru). If you prefer another domain area, buy it from another register or directly from the dashboard, if this is more convenient for you. It’s up to you to make the choice.
The developers have also paid attention to integration with social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). You can display their widgets and set up synchronization of titles/descriptions of products with your website.
Webasyst is a platform for professional web designers. It works best for online store creation, but it can also be effectively used to launch blogs and promo websites. Newbies can be scared by the dashboard that seems complicated at first sight as well as by the advanced functionality of the platform. Professionals, however, will quickly master the system, write or buy their own plugins and will start creating custom made online stores or those to develop their own businesses. The major benefit is that it’s quite easy to start working with the system, while the nuances, which will emerge during the process, can be effectively solved in the customer support section with your attention to details.
|Number of Themes:||77|
|Professional Templates:||✔ YES|
|Free Themes:||✔ YES|
|Responsive Design:||✔ YES|
|Sort by Industry:||✘ NO|
|HTML Code Editing:||✔ YES|
Considering the online store specialization of the platform, the number of templates it offers is quite impressive and exceed 77 themes. Unfortunately, most of them are paid. There are only 9 free templates here. They are of nice quality, but paid themes ($20-$119) are more appealing and versatile. Thematic subdivision as well as template preview are also available here. It’s not difficult to choose what you need. You can install several templates in the system at a time, changing them as you need.
Each design can be customized to your liking, although, customization options are not that broad here. What you can do is to change the color palette and main font, but these options will hardly be enough for professionals. Fortunately, you can edit template codes to meet your personal web design needs. It’s possible to save several variations of one and the same template, testing their efficacy on practice. You can download the template on your computer to edit it there or upload your own version.
Thus, CMS features are apparent here. You can get any design you need, granted that you have the required skills. Unfortunately, this won’t work for newbies as advanced skills are needed to cope with all these tasks successfully. Otherwise, you will have to work with the stock variants that feature minor changes. This is not really convenient.
Online store design settings are available in the “Show Window”/”Design” section. You can change the template any moment in the “Design Themes” section, while design code editing option set by default is available in the “Template” section.
The conclusion is as follows: Webasyst has many templates, but the best samples are quite expensive. To give your projects individual design, you’ll need to fight with codes. System design customization options are quite poor. General template quality, however, is above the average.
4. Customer Support
Customer support section is impressive. Whatever problem you have, you will find the detailed tutorial in the corresponding section. A blog with lots of useful articles is available here as well. Newbies will appreciate the customer support section: the system is multifunctional and complex, even though, it is logically structured. It’s possible to find an experienced web designer to implement new options like template edit/creation, module upgrade and creation, settings adjustment. This, however, is available at negotiable price.
5. Pricing Policy
The system seems expensive at first sight, but this is not quite true. Starting with the second plan, you will be allowed to create up to 5 websites at one cost. The actual cost of each website will not be that high. On the other hand, the bulk approach to website creation is oriented on experienced clients, who launch custom made websites. This is a serious system for serious web developers. For newbies, the first plan will be more than enough, even without any plugins. Let’s review the cost of monthly plans the system offers:
- Plus ($7/mo) – online store and mailout apps, 5GB of hosting space, an opportunity to create 1 website, SSL access, .ru bonus domain;
- Pro ($23/mo) – creation of 5 websites, 10GB of space, free CDN connection (website functionality speed), advanced analytic tools;
- Premium ($63/mo) – extra task modules, referral program, SSL gift certificate. This plan allows creating 10 websites.
Simple calculations make it possible to see that the cost of creating one website with advanced plans is quite moderate. New features, options and amount of websites to be created are added. Newbies are recommended to get the first plan, while those, who wish to get involved into professional website creation, should opt for the second and the third plans. The latter plan will appeal to web design teams with proven reputation. The cost of using Webasyst may be increased, if you buy new templates, applications, plugins or order the services of other web developers.
The system is meant to create large online stores and is not seriously affected by the incoming traffic growth. This means that your financial investment may soon pay off. It makes sense to use the service for the development of serious projects. You will have one free trial month to test the system. All the options, except for the paid extensions, will be available during this time. This will be enough to test everything you wish.
Just like the majority of other website builders, Webasyst offers standard SEO features, including an opportunity to fill out meta tags for the entire website, product categories, separate products and pages, choose a friendly URL formation type, adjust 301 redirects and robots.txt settings, set up counter and Google analytics. This is pretty nice, but there is nothing special about this at the same time. The situation positively changes after you set up several plugins to improve SEO results.
6. Advantages and Disadvantages
When exploring Webasyst options, we were impressed by its quality and functionality. The system has a long list of awesome benefits, namely:
- Decent template quality
- Large choice of widgets, plugins and applications to be installed, including free ones
- Nice set of SEO tools
- Reasonable plans
- Good quality of tech support available 24/7
- Highly informative customer support section
- An opportunity to order custom functionality from a professional.
The service looks quite powerful, but it is not devoid of weak points, such as:
- Almost all the templates are paid and the cost is quite high
- Design customization options are insufficient without coding
- Complexity for newbies
- Some paid plugins provide functionality, which initially has to be in the system (if compared to other platforms).
The platform works great for experienced web designers, but it will certainly require extra financial investments to be used effectively (templates, plugins etc.). It will be not easy for newbies to master it, but it is possible to get used to the unusual dashboard and rich amount of settings in a couple of days. What really matters is that Webasyst allows getting quality result.
There are various alternatives to the system, of course, but you’ll have to look for them in the CMS niche. The majority of website builders lag behind this platform in terms of the efficacy of website settings. The exception is only Shopify. Volusion can also be a decent competitor. The rest of the systems are more convenient for newbies, but they are simpler in terms of functionality.
Webasyst is a very powerful online store website builder. It has everything you may need to launch a trading platform of any complexity level. As a bonus, you will get an opportunity to create a blog or a promo website, but these options are not as serious and appealing as the eCommerce functionality of the system. It’s more convenient and affordable to create small websites at other platforms. Webasyst is a service for serious web developers and powerful projects.
We didn’t like the amount of free templates and the cost of paid ones. On the other hand, it’s possible to edit the code here, which allows transforming any ready made template into any theme you need without investing into its purchase. As you have, probably, noticed, websites are strong from all the points of view here. What’s more, their SEO features are also on the top notch level, considering plugin installation.
A notable disadvantage for newbies is the dashboard complexity. Around one-third of options (if not more) will seem weird to you. As you practice a bit and study the customer support section, the puzzles will be on their places and you will become a nice specialist in the online store creation niche. This system is a honeypot for professional web developers. If you focus on serious work, we recommend using Webasyst. Having mastered the system, you will certainly like it, while the financial investments will quickly pay off.