The Yola interface feels clunky and disorganized. Dragging and dropping widgets just feels unintuitive (and a bit messy). Menus feel disorganized and difficult to understand at a glance. There is an overall cohesion that Yola lacks.
Here’s an example of the disorganization. I replaced my image logo with a text logo by clicking Heading and entering a new logo. Unfortunately once I did that I couldn’t go back into Heading to re-add a new image logo. Instead I had to open the Style Designer to re-add a new image logo. Confusing— why is logo editing in two places?
Yola includes a surprisingly sophisticated ecommerce system— surprising because many Yola widgets (form builder, gallery builder) are quite basic. It’s simple enough to understand but I found some interfaces— such as setting Product Options to get needlessly confusing.
One thing that bothered me is how many unnecessary upsells Yola offers. For example, they offer a Yola Gold package which is essentially an SEO package for people who don’t understand SEO. The package will do nothing for your website and there are much better free alternatives. It bothers me that they sell this to unsuspecting users.
Yola discontinued blogs in 2012. Instead they suggest you embed a Tumblr blog— which is not a solution!
Yola has a white-label (meaning it’s not known to users) integration with Ecwid, a store builder that lets you embed your store on any website. While it’s a bit confusing to get the hang of, Ecwid offers sophisticated ecommerce features. You can sell digital products, set taxes, shipping, weight, SKU’s, integrate with Fedex, UPS and much more. But because it’s a 3rd-party store, it’s never going to feel perfectly integrated with Yola. Show Screenshot
Form builder lets you add a variety of fields text fields, text areas, checkboxes, multiple choice and Captchas. There isn’t support for customizing where the form sends the user on success and no access to a database of results (so don’t delete the email confirmations you get!). Show Screenshot
There is a Constant Contact widget that you can use to create a newsletter signup (Constant Contact is a popular mailing list provider). Unfortunately there is very little customization options or support for other popular providers such as Mailchimp. Show Screenshot
Technically you can add a Google Translate widget to your site— but that's a poor way of offering multilingual support (most browsers already have this support built-in— real multi-lingual support means you can write out the translation yourself).
While Yola has a full full ecommerce system with checkout, it's not able to handle donations. Instead Yola’s donation system is a simple link to Paypal— not enough.
Yola has plenty of themes but only 10 are responsive. Since having a mobile friendly website is critical you’re really limited to those 10 themes. (Yola does offer a Mobile Publishing upsell that gives you a mobile theme for their non-responsive themes but it’s really poor. Not recommended.)
I was able to buy Yola easily but cancelling had a small hiccup— instead of providing a web-based interface for cancelling they required me to email them to cancel. Unfortunately their replies were filtered into Gmail's spam folder so they were lost to me.
It's just unfortunate— it would have been easier to just to provide a web-based cancellation service.
I founded Site Builder Report in 2012 to help people find the best website builder. My work is supported by earning an affiliate commission when readers choose a website builder based on my reviews.
Looking for a Squarespace alternative? Check out my reviews of 35 other website builders.
Keep in mind that Yola may have changed since then. If you believe something is out of date in my review, please let me know.