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Vistaprint Review

Vistaprint's website builder is block-based, which means you build pages by dropping pre-designed blocks onto it. The interface is clear and simple— though the simplicity can be a problem when you discover the limitations of customizing blocks. Watch Video Review »

My work is supported by affiliate commissions. Last Updated Dec 8 2017


User Experience

Vistaprint’s website builder is block-based— which means you build pages by dropping pre-designed blocks onto it. The interface is nice. It’s simple and clear. Not too cluttered. I especially like the interface for dropping in new blocks— the way the editor zooms out is excellent.

Right: Adding a new block.

I also like how simple it is to drag and add spacing between certain blocks— though I was confused to discover you can only adjust spacing for some blocks and not others.

Right: Other block-based website builders should copy this clever way to add spacing.

Customizing blocks is very limited. You can’t actually add additional elements to a block. The most you do is remove elements that are included by default.

You’re not allowed to add an image or another paragraph to this block— that’s lame!

Right: You’re not allowed to add an image or another paragraph to this block— that’s lame!

There is a wide selection of blocks available— restaurant menus, events, timelines, testimonials, photo galleries and more. (A wide selection of blocks is necessary since Vistaprint doesn’t let you create your own blocks from scratch.)

Browsing blocks

Right: Browsing blocks

Headers in Vistaprint feel clumsy. For starters, customization options are limited. You can’t add elements into the header (you can only choose from preset elements) and you can't adjust the spacing like you do for other blocks! (Though there is an option for choosing short or tall headers.)

Headers lack customization options.

Right: Headers lack customization options.

Here’s something that bothers me: Vistaprint requires a credit card for the “free" trial. So you have to remember to cancel if you decide you don’t want to pay for it. I think that’s a bad experience for users. If Vistaprint really believes their website builder is good— why create an obstacle for users to try it?

Vistaprint requires a credit card for it's “free" trial.

Right: Vistaprint requires a credit card for it's “free" trial.

Features

  • Blog

    You can add a 'Blog' page but it's not actually a blog. It's just text and image blocks designed to mimic the appearance of blog. None of the usual blog features are here: there are no individual post pages, no post editor, no RSS feed, no way to publish posts in the future, no comments etc. Vistaprint does not have a blog editor in any real sense. 

  • Ecommerce

    The only difference between Vistaprint's Premium Plan and it's other plans is ecommerce. The Premium Plan costs an extra $7 / month. Here's the thing: it's not ecommerce at all. Instead it's simply the default Paypal buttons that are included in every free Paypal account already. Vistaprint's ecommerce doesn't support email receipts, product categories, on-site checkout, taxes and a whole lot more. It's a joke that they charge an extra $7 / month for it.  

  • Form Builder

    Full form builder with multiple fields: checkboxes, radio buttons, text, paragraph text and more. You can download all the form submissions (an important detail other website builders miss) and customize the success message.  Show Screenshot

  • iOS & Android Apps

     

  • Retina Ready

    Images appeared sharp and crisp on retina screens.  

  • Newsletter

     

  • Membership System

     

  • Restaurant Menu

    There are handy content blocks you can drop into your website that have a series of predesigned menus. Nice.  Show Screenshot

  • Donations

     

  • Audio Player

     

  • Podcasts

     

Themes

There are no themes in Vistaprint. Instead you choose a layout for your header and footer and choose colours in style settings. There is a good variety of headers to choose from— though as I mentioned earlier, there are few options for customizing headers: you can’t add elements or customize the spacing.

Right: Choosing a header.

There are a couple ways to customize your design: you can choose from pre-made color sets or choose a custom set of colors. You can also choose from a variety of button types and page layouts. You can also choose from a large collection of font pairings (though oddly, you can’t simply choose the fonts— you’re limited to Vistaprints pre-set choices.)

Choosing a font pairing.

Right: Choosing a font pairing.

All themes are responsive and work nicely on mobile.

Viewing my Vistaprint website on a phone.

Right: Viewing my Vistaprint website on a phone.

Not Ideal Billing Practices

Vistaprint allows you to cancel from a web-based interface— but it's thoroughly confusing.

The reason I've labelled Vistaprint's billing practices as Not Ideal is because they require a credit card for the "free" trial. So you have to remember to cancel if you decide you don't want to pay for it.