Mobirise is a website builder software that goes against the industry standard. The normal approach is a subscription service that runs in a browser. Whereas Mobirise is downloaded and installed as an offline application. It is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android, although you need to hunt for the last two.
Another feature that makes Mobirise stand out from its contemporaries is that its design and themes are based on Bootstrap 4, which makes websites built with it mobile-friendly out of the box.
Since it goes against the grain and is an offline website builder, you need to buy your domain and select a web hosting provider. As inconvenient as it may be, this lets you change your hoster or domain registrar down the line.
Mobirise was launched in 2015 and is headquartered in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. The software is updated regularly and at the time of writing, its newest version is 5.2. You can find the versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux on Mobirise’s version history, and its Android version in Google Play Store.
- Pros and cons of Mobirise
- Who is Mobirise for?
- How easy is Mobirise to use?
- Mobirise design and themes
- How easy is it to manage your ecommerce store is Mobirise?
- Mobirise integrations
- What marketing and SEO tools does Mobirise have?
- Payment options
- Mobirise security
- Mobirise customer support
- Is Mobirise the right tool for you?
Pros and cons of Mobirise
Mobirise’s basic website editor is free to use both for commercial and non-commercial projects, but you need to fork out since its more powerful and useful features are only available as paid extensions.
- Clean, easy to use interface
- Thanks to the framework Bootstrap, all websites are mobile-friendly
- You can publish your site on a subdomain of mobirise.com ([yoursite].mobirise.com), or to any hoster of your choice
- Social media feeds can be embedded
- No blogging function
- The sites designed with Mobirise can look quite similar since the formats of the blocks can’t be modified
- The extension PayPal Shopping Cart is quite limited
- It’s not clear that when you buy an extension, it’s not a pay-once cost but a recurring one
Who is Mobirise for?
With its drag-and-drop editor and content blocks, Mobirise caters to beginners and the not so technically-inclined as it doesn’t require coding skills. Though you need to know how to install an application on your computer.
On the plus side of an offline application is that you don’t need to rely on a stable internet connection in order to design your sites, but it also means you can only edit them on the computer you installed Mobirise, unlike a browser-based application that you can access from any computer anywhere. Of course, you can copy your projects folder to another computer that has installed Mobirise. Should you use different computers regularly, you’d be quickly annoyed, also because there is no syncing feature.
How easy is Mobirise to use?
Once you have downloaded and installed Mobirise on your computer – we did it on a Mac – you’re greeted with a guide that teaches you how to use it. Mobirise uses content blocks that you drag-and-drop into your page. Just hit the red cross to open the blocks library.
The interface is self-explanatory, so it’s really easy to understand and use. What you’re designing you see directly in the window. The tools for each task at hand appears when you need them: You can click into any element and change the text or style it. If you want to re-use blocks, you can save them into the blocks library.
For adding more pages, duplicating a page, or creating a new site, you click on the 3 horizontal lines (the hamburger icon) in the upper left corner which opens the left sidebar. Don’t forget to add the new page to the menu otherwise, your visitors won’t find it.
Mobirise design and themes
As already mentioned, Mobirise’s design and themes are based on the framework Bootstrap which is one of the most if not the most popular front-end development framework for developing mobile-first and responsive websites.
The free version of Mobirise comes with 2 free themes. If you need more, you need to buy the paid themes. Know that some blocks like the one for online stores are only available in the themes made for ecommerce.
How easy is it to manage your ecommerce store is Mobirise?
Managing an online store is beyond the scope of Mobirise since it generates only static pages.
An online store needs more than static pages, it needs a database to store everything that has to do with the product you’re selling. It also needs the smarts to do all the tasks that are needed to run an ecommerce store like for example sending out a notification mail to the customer when they bought a product. If you operate an online store, you’d want your website to include these features to make your life easier:
- Content management
- Customer relationship management
- Promotion and discount code capabilities
- Inventory management
- SEO not only for your pages but also for your products
- Reporting tools
- Return and refunds
- Email marketing or the possibility to integrate it
The ecommerce themes provided by Mobirise don’t have all of these features, they only come with prebuilt carts, product settings, and filters to sort the products.
Since the themes contain the blocks that will add the functionality that you require, you’ll be looking at themes and extensions when you want to extend your site.
Probably the most useful extension that you can add is the Code Editor. It will help you change the code of the block or you can embed code snippets offered by other services.
What marketing and SEO tools does Mobirise have?
Out of the box, you can add the page title and the page meta description. You can add an extension that will create the sitemap.xml and robots.txt files.
Blogging is an important instrument in your marketing toolkit if you want to attract people to your site. So it’s a major shortcoming that Mobirise is missing the blogging feature. You can manually add the “Article” block to your page and then link them from your homepage, but why do this work by hand? Blogging needs to be a feature that works out of the box so that you can concentrate on building your brand and your business.
Add your social media profiles by adding one of the blocks categorised as “Social” to your page.
By adding the extension “Social Feed”, you can embed your Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube Feeds into your site. In the same manner, you can also embed Facebook and Disqus comments, or your Instagram feed.
The only way to make your site accept payments is to add Mobirise’s “PayPal Shopping Cart” extensions.
Since Mobirise is an offline application and creates static pages that you have to publish, that is upload to a web hosting provider of your choice, you are solely responsible for the security of your site. For the security of your site, talk to your hoster.
Mobirise customer support
With such an intuitive interface, most people will find their way around within minutes. If you do have questions, there is a help centre and a forum. You can also reach Mobirise’s customer support via email.
You can use Mobirise to build and publish as many commercial and non-commercial sites as you want. You’ll probably need more than the 2 bundled themes and then you’ll have to invest in the themes and extensions which prices range between $49 and $149.
Is Mobirise the right tool for you?
Mobirise lets you design and publish simple, modern, appealing websites whose main job is to get visitors to contact you, something like online business cards, one-pagers, or landing pages. It will not cover all needs that you may have for creating a website. Say, if you need to add more advanced marketing capabilities like for example email campaigns, you will be happier with another provider like Squarespace.
Or looking it the other way around: If you need a simple, content-oriented site fast, and also if you aren’t into working with code, Mobirise does a good job to get you there.
If you’ve got any thoughts about Mobiriese, please leave a comment below.