Yola – is one of the first website builders that have become available to the large audience. Launched in 2007, the system has revolutionized the entire web design approach, making it much simpler and more understandable for non-techies.
Since the date of its foundation, the website builder has changed a lot. With new features, tools, web design elements and templates, the service has gained worldwide popularity. Yola has been around for quite a long period of time, but is it still competitive? What new features and advantages does it offer and are there any special nuances that make it stand out from the crowd?
We won’t make any assumptions regarding these aspects. Instead, let’s take a look at the major Yola highlights (and, obviously, its downsides) that will help you decide whether the system works well for you or not.
1. Pros and Cons
Working with Yola is engaging and interesting for everyone. However, just like any other website builder, the system comes with specific merits and demerits its users are bound to know. Let’s have a look at the most distinctive features now.
| ✔ eCommerce platform;|
✔ Rich template collection;
✔ Code editing options;
✔ 2 websites in a free package.
| ✘ Confusing logic at the beginning;|
✘ No live chat;
✘ Limited free website functionality;
✘ Absence of the full-featured integrated blogging engine;
✘ Lack of design customization tools.
2. What Is It Good for?
First of all, the platform will meet the requirements of those, who have never dealt with the process of website building before. It is very easy to use, although some things may feel a bit confusing from the start. We will discuss them in the next section. However, the system makes a generally good impression in terms of simplicity. As for niche orientation, it will suit small business needs as well as small and micro digital stores with a simple structure.
The website builder mainly targets beauticians, café and restaurant owners, accountants, etc. It might work well in case you want to create a landing page or represent an educational or non-profit organization online. With all features in a pack, Yola will hardly be a good option for scaling and growing projects with design-oriented sites. The lack of customization features will be a stumbling block. The platform is also not a good idea for blogging.
3. Ease of Use
If you have ever tried using Yola, then you couldn’t but noticed that its interface looks somewhat outdated as compared to modern website builders. Right after the registration (which is rather quick), you get access to the dashboard and this is where you’ll face multiple questions right from the start.
But first things first.
As stated earlier, the registration process is typical. It will not take you much time, although some of the steps look a bit illogical. First of all, you will need to indicate your name, email, and password. The system does not offer instant signing in with a Google or Facebook account.
The next stage is to select a template. We should say that Yola has updated a list of themes making them look more stylish and up-to-date. You will learn more about layouts in the Design & Template section. At this stage, you may browse through all available options, preview the template you like, and use it for the future website.
The next stages look a bit confusing. Users will be asked to indicate the type of business and website they want to create AFTER choosing a template but not BEFORE.
The same thing is with other steps where you will have to indicate a website name and description as well as select the type of project you want to build (either a single or multi-page site). Why do they need to ask those questions, when you have already picked a template? The good news is that you may skip some of those steps.
Editing templates is very easy. You are free to rearrange elements positioning, add content, upload new images, replace the existing texts with new ones, etc. Each section comes with specific settings letting you change the block layout and do some minor styling.
Yola has a rich collection of different sections and ready-to-use elements. Users may choose from Covers, About sections, Features blocks, Articles, Testimonials, Call to Action elements, and more. All elements can be easily edited and customized in accordance with your project style and niche.
Some users may dislike the lack of traditional drag-and-drop functionality to hover different elements and blocks. This fact makes it a bit difficult to rearrange the initial structure. On the other hand, the system comes with additional options that add more flexibility. For example, it is very easy to upload the image and resize it right here inside the editor.
When you are done with editing, you will need to configure general settings. They make it possible to change the website language, upload a favicon for better recognition among other websites alike. Here you will have access to the <head> section in case you need to paste a piece of code and connect some of the third-party services.
The last thing is to connect a domain and publish the site. With Yola, there is no need to find a side domain registrar. You can buy it right here from the dashboard. The last thing is to preview the site and go live.
4. Features & Flexibility
Just like any other modern website builder, Yola lets you create the website structure and layout by adding, arranging and modifying multiple content blocks. These include structure elements (buttons, content blocks, galleries etc.) and widgets (mp3 player, videos, commerce, Facebook comments and more).
The advanced functionality of the platform includes an HTML/CSS editor where tech-savvy users can write their own CSS rules and make direct changes to the code. As to the rest of the system highlights, they are as follows:
Yola lets you choose and integrate a variety of tools, widgets and external systems. Thus, you can integrate with regular contact email marketing services, Tumblr blogs, Google App Suite, PayPal support services etc.
Unfortunately, there is currently no integration with eCommerce marketplaces and platforms, CRM services, helpdesk and accounting platforms and other important external systems.
The system empowers premium plan users to get the most out of the advanced Mobile Plus feature. It lets you view and modify the mobile version of your website with a few clicks.
Take your time to specify your business hours, provide maps and directions and let website visitors get in touch with you by tapping the screen to give you a call. That’s simple and quick.
Social Media Integration
The system allows synchronizing your Yola account with popular social media services like Facebook and Twitter. This does not only contribute to the functionality of the service, but also helps keep users aware of all the changes, updates, events, news and special discounts the system has to offer.
Setting up a web store with Yola is not difficult at all as the system has a powerful integrated eCommerce engine. To use it, however, you need to upgrade to the paid plan. You can also create a web store with Yola by integrating an Ecwin plugin into it.
The eCommerce feature lets you sell products 24/7 in the online mode by setting up the integrated shopping cart, selling up to 1000 products, connecting your Yola web store with Facebook account, getting access to the system’s dashboard, creating and modifying the show window, making use of CSV product import/export file etc.
The engine also supports multiple languages and integrates with international and local shipping providers, such as FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL and more. Yola allows accepting credit card or PayPal payments, integrating with multiple payment gateways, setting up sales taxes for your products based on the geo location factor.
Users have a nice opportunity to launch a flexible web store, offering complete control over the products and their categories. They can create and save shopping profiles, manage online inventory tools, track orders and get in touch with customers.
Website Translate Options
Yola websites are not currently available in many languages – there is only a chance to add a Google Translate widget to the website to make your project available in several foreign languages. There is no special tool to create multilingual websites or language localizations here by now.
Widgets and Add-Ons
With Yola, you can connect and manage widgets to give your website more advanced design and performance. The majority of widgets, though, are not built-in, but are the third-party integrations. No App Store granting access to widget collection is available here as well.
To give your Yola-based website better search engine results, the system lets you fill out and customize meta tags for all pages. These include titles, descriptions, keyword etc. There is access to the separate menu part, where you can create and change URL text to make it user-friendly.
Yola doesn’t support forum creation option. If you still need a forum for your website, then you’ll have to create it on a separate subdomain of the system, using specialized forum engines and tools. Obviously, that’s not quite convenient, so, it would just be simpler to use one of the website builders that provide this feature out-of-the-box.
Contact Form Builder
You can install a flexible, convenient and easy-to-use contact form builder to create any online forms that can be applied at your website. This is one of those features many contemporary website builders currently lack.
Code Editing Feature
With Yola, you can individually edit your website code, if you have good command of HTML basics. The feature also allows adding external widgets and tools to your website via code editing.
Unfortunately, Yola lacks a blogging platform, but they make it easy to integrate your Tumblr blog. This is one of the major downsides of the platform.
5. Design & Templates
Yola has updated the list of templates. It currently offers 63 pre-designed templates that are divided into different categories. Users may choose the theme they like and preview it in different modes including desktop, tablet, and smartphone to see how the site will look on mobile devices.
Each template is comprised of blocks that can be modified, deleted, added, edited, and arranged on a page in random order. Working with them is not a problem as well. On the contrary, the process is fun and entertaining.
Yola templates are switchable. If you feel that your first choice isn’t right, and customizing it isn’t enough, you can simply transfer your content to a new template (see our collection of Yola examples).
As for the design tools, they are pretty limited, although users may still change the main color theme, switch to another font, add effects, etc.
6. Customer Support
Yola customer support is on a decent level and there are several options you can make use of here. Whatever difficulties you encounter, when editing your website, you can take advantage of the Help tab that remains active on all pages in your admin panel. It contains links to the most important places, including Yola community forum, help center, tutorials and training webinars.
If you still can’t find the answer, you can contact one of the Yola experts via email or by phone. There is also access to the Instant Help pop up window – the place, where you can type any question you are interested in and wait until the assistant will give you the answer.
Another way to get 24/7 support is to type your question in the search filter field and wait for the results the system generates. Are there any problems with your customer support assistance or its quality? Then go ahead to fill out the “Report Abuse” section to let the team know about the situation. To sum it up, customer support is one of Yola’s strengths, which is certainly a notable advantage of the system.
7. Plans & Pricing
Yola is a freemium web service. There’s a free version that lets you create up to 2 websites on the Yola subdomain containing not more than 2 pages. The paid plans include:
- Bronze costs $4.95 per month with 2 GB of storage, unlimited pages, and free domain.
- Sliver costs $11.95 per month with removed branding and premium templates.
- Gold costs $23.95 per month with unlimited bandwidth and advanced SEO tools.
Listed above are the discounted prices provided in case you decide to get an annual subscription. The platform offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all premium packages to those users, who are not satisfied with the chosen plan for some reason.
What’s more, Yola makes it possible to add a web store to any paid package for $10 per month only. The store will come with all the required eCommerce features and will be devoid of any hidden expenses, transaction fees, and other such-like financial nuances. Finally, you can hire Yola designers and devs to build your website for you – this option starts at $499.95.
8. Website Examples
Now, let’s have a look at several Yola website examples. They include not only small business and eCommerce projects, but also non-profit organizations. It will ensure a full overview of what the website builder may offer in terms of functionality.
Willow Park Preschool – an educational organization
Tannerie Wood – real-estate website
China Online Museum – an educational organization
Our Ladies’ Promise – a non-profitable organization
Builders Gurgaon – construction and interior design services
Essential Natural Remedies – an online store
Yola is a website builder, which belongs to the representatives of the old generation of web design tools. It has once been popular as its feature set was enough to cover the needs of the target audience a couple of years ago. The lapse of time triggers the need to look for more full-featured and powerful website builders and it seems like Yola really lacks the required functionality.
Having reviewed the website builder, I can’t but have the feeling that Yola stopped updating its software a few years ago. They did release a few new templates throughout previous years, but that’s not enough to withstand contemporary niche competition, which is really tough nowadays.
The system really has a number of undeniable benefits like strong customer support and multiple templates, for example. At the same time, the lack of built-in blogging solutions, mediocre designs and high prices may drive you towards the need to look for a more reasonable solution.
My opinion may differ from yours, but I don’t think this website builder will work for you, if you have an intention to launch a full-featured contemporary website. This is especially true, when there are so many more favorable alternatives available out there. The choice is up to you now!