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CityMax Review

The CityMax editor is bad. I hate to be so blunt— but it's true. You create CityMax websites in a form-based editor that doesn't show a live website preview. This is a really outdated (and frustrating) way to build a website.

My work is supported by affiliate commissions. Last Updated Jul 4 2017

User Experience

The CityMax editor is bad. I hate to be so blunt— but I have to be. You create CityMax websites in a form-based editor that doesn’t show a live website preview. This is a really outdated (and frustrating) way to build a website. All website builders should be visual and have a drag-and-drop interface these days.

Website editor.png?1457371599?ixlib=rails 2.1

Right: Website editor

One of the problems with this type of editor is that you can’t visually build a page. Instead you have to create a page using a form (right) and then click over to a website preview to see what it looks like. This kind of back-and-forth gets tedious fast.

Page editor.png?1508434679?ixlib=rails 2.1

Right: Page editor

You create your website by adding different pages. There are about 20 different page types, which include pages such as Photo Album, Video and Map. This is an unfortunate approach. Photo albums, videos and maps should be elements that you can combine on an individual page— but with CityMax you can only have one of these on a page.

Page types.png?1457371606?ixlib=rails 2.1

Right: Page types

Certain page types are frustrating to use. For example, the form editor is spread out across multiple pages. If you want to add a field you have to go through a 3 page process just to add one— this takes too long! (More modern website builders such as Squarespace have much easier form builders!)

Form builder.png?1457371668?ixlib=rails 2.1

Right: Form builder


  • Blog

    You can setup a blog. The blog editor is just an outdated WYSIWYG editor, it's not a great writing experience (especially compared to the blogs at Squarespace, Weebly or Wix). It does include everything you'll need for though: you can save posts as drafts, publish on later dates and enable comments (although there is no integration with Disqus or Facebook comments and no way to send email notifications of new comments).  Show Screenshot

  • Ecommerce

    A frustrating ecommerce setup experience where you you have to manually add each page (catalogue, view cart etc.)— which is confusing and not a thoughtful workflow. But even after I added a View Cart page, it just showed error page. Worst still, none of my items had a buy button— and I wasn't able to figure out how to add them (it turns you out, stores are disabled by default so you have to find the option to turn your store on). Aesthetically, stores look outdated. While Citymax supports digital products, multiple payment processors, discount codes and product variations, it's missing a number two important features: you can't categorize products and you can't customize or preview email receipts. Ultimately, I wouldn't recommend CityMax ecommerce. Show Screenshot

  • Form Builder

    You can add a Form page, but you can't add a form to an existing page— which is annoying. Forms have to live on their own separate page. The form editor is frustrating to work with— rather than having a dynamic form creator (like most website builders), Citymax requires you to go through pages of options to simple add a field. Not fun. The form builder does support a number of features: there a good amount of field type options, you can customize the thank you page message, submissions are saved in a database (nice, not every website builder does this) and you can set multiple email notifications. There was one especially impressive feature: you can even setup an autoresponder— I haven't seen that in any other website builder!  Show Screenshot

  • iOS & Android Apps


  • Retina Ready

    No. Images are not sharp and crisp on retina screens (such as MacBooks and iPhones).  

  • Newsletter


  • Membership System

    CityMax advertises membership sites but it mostly means that you can add a page layout called Message Board that lets users register and post on a message board. This is pretty limited— for example you can't even create private pages for members.  

  • Design from Scratch


  • Multi-lingual


  • Restaurant Menu


  • Donations

    While CityMax has built an entire ecommerce system they do not include features to support donations (such as on-site checkout and customizable email receipts). 

  • Audio Player


  • Podcasts



There are a lot of themes, but most themes feel very basic (and a bit outdated). Here’s an example:

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Right: Example theme

Other themes feel very forgettable (right). One big reason why these themes seem so out of date is because CityMax does not have web fonts. Instead you’re limited to 7 system fonts (fonts such as Times New Roman and Arial). Web Fonts are used on every modern website these days— CityMax needs to get on that!

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Right: Example theme

There are quite a few template customization options, but customizations are done in a separate form and there is no live preview of the changes you are making. This is a tedious process— you’ll spend time making small changes and then switching over to the website to see what your changes did.

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Right: Customization

Bad Billing Practices

CityMax requires you to phone them in order to cancel. I phoned them but after being on hold I left them a message asking them call me back.

About 8 hours later they called me back. I told them I wanted to cancel my website. They simply asked me for my domain name and then said the website was canceled. That's it. No security check.

This is a huge security hole. All someone would need to do to "close" your website is call CityMax and request that they cancel your website. Yikes.