SimpleSite is a drag-and-drop website builder that started as “123hjemmeside” in Denmark. It was founded in 2003 by the brothers Morten and Jacob Elk who wanted to democratise building websites so that people with any levels of experience can launch a site.
In the years to come, the name was changed to SimpleSite and it’s now used by over 27 million customers all over the world.
As the name suggests, simple is at the heart of it. It’s a straightforward website builder that offers ecommerce functionality on all its plans. Since it’s aimed or people of all walks of life, SimpleSite also includes domain names, hosting, and email addresses.
- Pros and cons of
- Who is SimpleSite for?
- How easy is SimpleSite to use?
- SimpleSite themes and design
- How to manage your ecommerce store in SimpleSite?
- SimpleSite’s integrations
- What are SimpleSite’s marketing and SEO tools?
- Payment options
- SimpleSite security
- SimpleSite customer support
- SimpleSite pricing
- Is SimpleSite the right website builder for you?
Pros and cons of
- Ease of use
- Easy to learn
- Forever free plan
- All themes are responsive
- Ecommerce feature on all plans, even the free one
- Fair pricing
- Everything you do is saved and published immediately
- No Undo button
- Limited design and customisation options
- Limited scaling options
- SEO functionality is limited, as a matter of fact, inexistent
- No blogging functionality
Who is SimpleSite for?
SimpleSite makes it possible to set up with little to no hassle a small business site, upcoming event, or a personal project.
If you want to set up a website quickly and do not want to fret over endless options of themes, tricky design modules in a cluttered editor, SimpleSite performs admirably.
With its unfussy, clean, and clear editor, SimpleSite will appeal to the novice and the not-so-technically-inclined among us alike.
How easy is SimpleSite to use?
To honour its name, the signup process is very simple during which you will be asked 2 questions so that it can suggest a theme for you. It will also suggest a domain for you at a very affordable price.
Once the signup is completed, you will be taken to the editor where a quick tour shows you the main features. Thanks to well labelled and placed elements, most people will have learned how to use the editor within minutes. The editor itself is very clean, even stripped back.
The controls and options are grouped in the top navigation. You add more sections, in SimpleSite’s lingo these are called content – that is text, image, slideshow, etc – to your page by clicking on “Content” in the top navigation, then on “Text” (for example) in the sidebar that appears. The editor then marks every spot on your page, where you can add your copy. This makes it really easy to add elements, for example, 2 or more images side by side compared to other builders.
Everything you do is saved and published in real-time, that’s why you’ll not find the publish button. This is a double-edged sword. With the convenience that you get with this setup, you can’t decide when you go live, all changes you make are immediately published for the world to see.
SimpleSite themes and design
How to manage your ecommerce store in SimpleSite?
You access the ecommerce feature in the editor itself, when you’re working on the page that’s intended as your online store.
When you click on “Edit Product List”, you’ll find what you need to manage your products and orders, set the VAT and shipping method. The ecommerce functionality isn’t set up so that you can add several VAT or shipping options, so your store can’t effectively take orders from overseas.
As simple is the mission, SimpleSite doesn’t offer a plugin or app store with which your site can be extended. It has included complimentary fonts and Pixabay’s free image library so you can vary your own pictures. You can add a map and a contact form is implemented automatically for you on your contact page.
What are SimpleSite’s marketing and SEO tools?
There is no option for you to enter your own meta tags, not for your products and not even for your pages.
You can still include some SEO into your site. SimpleSite itself recommends a few ways – for example, you could do keyword research and add these then into your content.
If you didn’t select a theme that was designed with a blog in mind, you have to create a page yourself. There you add the desired content blocks yourself. As you see, you can’t add a blog to your existing website retrospectively. Even with themes that are designated for blogs, you manually add your blog post as content to the page that is called Blog.
You can add links to your social media accounts to your site via the Account settings. Visitors to your site can share it on their social media profiles.
Paypal is integrated as the automated method. You can also choose to manage payments yourself with the email option.
SimpleSite uses SSL, but for this review, we registered a free account with a subdomain. This subdomain was not secured with SSL. Other subdomains did also not have the SSL certificate.
SimpleSite customer support
All plans, free, get to contact customer support. SimpleSite offers 24/7 email support.
SimpleSite has 3 plans, starting with the free one. When you signup for the paid plans, you can cancel within 14 days to get a refund. All plans include the ecommerce feature, although with the free plan you can only sell up to 5 products. Having the ecommerce feature integrated is commendable for SimpleSite since it’s usually only available for higher price plans.
Is SimpleSite the right website builder for you?
Since SimpleSite was founded already in 2003, it feels a bit old school. If you’re planning to launch a website purely for informational purposes and need it like an hour ago, try SimpleSite. It’s simple to create, manage, and maintain.
If you want to take your first dip into ecommerce or plan to make money from your hobby, its ecommerce feature is a solid basis. Just know that if you actually want to start an ecommerce store, it isn’t equipped with all the essential functionalities needed to run and manage a store.
SimpleSite has carved itself a niche in that it says it’s simple to use, so simple that it should feel enjoyable and pleasurable to use (their words not ours!). It’s not trying to compete with tools that need a professional, be it in design, developing, or as a webmaster.
If you’ve got any question or thoughts about Simplesite, feel free to leave a comment below.