Website builders are omnipresent. The deeper I dig into the web publishing market, the more website builders I find.
And it seems their number will only increase. Web hosting providers, web apps developers, domain name registrars and other companies consider it their duty to add a proprietary web publishing solution to their product lineup.
This tendency indicates a fairly noticeable shift to the ‘one-stop-shop’ services in the web publishing industry: people tend to prefer ‘all-in-one’ platforms enabling them to get maximum services under the same roof.
Just take a look at the major players: Google and their Google Sites, Zoho Corp. and their Zoho Sites, GoDaddy – GoDaddy Website Builder, you name it. To be consistent, today we bring you a review of Yahoo! site builder that comes as part of Yahoo! products tailored for small businesses.
1. Ease of Use
First, it’s important to note that there are no more two versions of Yahoo! site builder: hosted and downloadable. Yahoo Small Business Website Builder changed its name and general concept and now it’s called Aabaco Small Business Website Builder. With Aabaco you can create and edit websites like with with other SaaS website builders – online only.
The builder is tailored for the novice, so it requires no technical knowledge at all. Nevertheless, I find it far more difficult than average to use. It doesn’t support the newer drag-and-drop editing format. Instead, it offers a standard Windows-like toolbar to edit your pages.
2. Feature set and flexibility
Yahoo! offers enough tools to build a decent website, but it really lacks important features found in competing services. With name re-branding, we hope that the number of useful tools will grow up.
Here’s a brief overview of the offered features:
- customizable shopping cart;
- credit card and PayPal processing;
- local search options (50+ directories) and some others.
You can certainly build and publish a website using Yahoo! site builder. But I wished it could offer deeper customization. The current feature set looks watered-down.
There are 380+ ready designs to choose from. Based on what I’ve seen in the demo mode of the website builder, they leave much to be desired. They’re not ugly, but they’re worse than those of the competition.
4. Customer support
Based on customer reviews we found on the web, Yahoo! support staff is nearly impossible to communicate with. The good news there is a database designed to answer frequently asked questions.
5. Pricing policy
Yahoo! Website builder’s basic hosting package includes 3 GB of disk space, free domain and $100 ad credit to market your site on the Yahoo! and Bing networks, and it allows you to create up to 10 pages. The package starts at $5 per month and drops to as low as $2.65 per month with a 60 months commitment. Other plans include Basic – $7/mo and Professional – $10/mo.
The eCommerce and Local Marketing plans are presented separately. Frankly, their pricing is overly complicated.
Yahoo!’s feature set isn’t competitive. It’s okay as a standalone product, but it really loses its steam when compared with other web services available. More importantly, it makes you commit to the Advanced or Premium plan for features you’d normally get with other site builders’ free or within a basic account. These include site search, password-protected pages and more.
Another displeasing thing is that you can’t try this website builder for free. Even if you want to see how its interface works, you shuold pay at last for a month with a basic package – such approach looks prehistoric.
Yahoo! small business website builder faces the same problem that GoDaddy does. Their site building software isn’t their primary business. They simply fill the gap in the product lineup. The lack of advanced features in Yahoo! may drive you towards a more feature-packed service, like Wix, uKit or Weebly for example.