Vistaprint recently redesigned their website builder and it's a major improvement— simple and easy to use. Unfortunately one thing didn't get redesigned: the sign-up process. Vistaprint still forces you to add a credit card for the “free" trial (so you have to remember to cancel in order to not get charged). Not exactly starting on the right foot.
The redesigned website builder is block-based— so you drag and drop pre-designed blocks into your website. Blocks then stack up on one another.
The blocks are cookie cutter and you are limited in what you can customize. For example, you can’t add elements within a block (you can only remove elements). But fortunately, there are some really handy blocks included. For example, there’s a Menu block that makes it easy to create stylish restaurant menus and an Events block that’s perfect for listing events.
There are a variety of options for your website header. My only concern is that your chosen header is applied to the entire site— not just an individual page. So if you choose one with a banner image, the banner image is included on every page (it’d be nice to have the option of having a banner image on only specific pages— such as the homepage).
Overall the website builder is easy to use. It’s simple and easy to figure out. I actually really like the accordion interface— where drawers pull out from the left. And there’s a really snappy website zoom animation for when you drag and drop blocks (I haven’t seen it done before but it’s really well executed).
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 advertises that they have a blog editor on their homepage but this is a major stretch.
An “online store” is included in the Premium ($25 / month) plan but unfortunately it’s not actually ecommerce. It’s simply a Paypal button that sends the user over to Paypal for checkout. There is no onsite checkout, no email notifications etc.
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
Images appeared sharp and crisp on retina screens.
There are handy content blocks you can drop into your website that have a series of predesigned menus. Nice. Show Screenshot
There are no themes that you choose from in Vistaprint, instead you actually choose a header and footer design, create the body of the page with blocks and set colours in style settings.
This actually works fairly well. Of course a savvy person may notice that all Vistaprint websites look very similar— but I honestly don’t think that’s something worth worrying about. Websites are also responsive which is great.
Though thoroughly confusing (you cancel by deleting a document in your portfolio), Vistaprint does allow you to cancel from a web-based interface.
Unfortunately they require you to sign up with a credit card for their "free" trial— which is not ideal.
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