The website builder Strikingly takes a different approach from the crowd: The websites that you can build are all scrolling single-pages with sections that viewers can navigate to with the menu. It focuses on ease of use for creating a site while it puts clean, crisp, and responsive design on the forefront.
Strikingly was founded in 2012 and one of the few Chinese companies providing website building services. Its philosophy is that everyone can build a website without web design or development knowledge. Therefore, it aims to make building websites fast, affordable, and above all painless. It has offices in the USA, China, and the Philippines.
- Pros and cons of Strikingly
- Who is Strikingly for?
- How easy is Strikingly to use?
- Strikingly design and templates
- How to manage your ecommerce store in Strikingly?
- Strikingly integrations
- What marketing and SEO tools does Strikingly have?
- Payment options
- Strikingly security
- Strikingly customer support
- Strikingly pricing
- Is Strikingly right for you?
Pros and cons of Strikingly
TL;DR Strikingly’s approach is to let anyone create single-page websites with a simple and minimalistic design. Single-page websites are well suited for blogs, online business cards, portfolios, presentations, and product launches.
- Ease of use
- Great bang for the buck
- The free plan is free forever
- Templates can be previewed with a built-in full sample
- Modern and responsive design
- The templates can be changed anytime and are easy to do
- The templates include stock images and text that you can edit
- Autosave when you’re editing your site
- You can invite team members to work on your site
- 24/7 chat support
- Single-page websites only, you need a pro account (or higher) for multiple pages
- Although the design of the templates is stylish, it offers little creative control
- Limited tools to scale
- SEO for single-page sites is a bit tricky
Who is Strikingly for?
Strikingly is a very good contender if you want to have a one-page website for your web presence. You can use a single-page site as an introduction to your service, product, or your work. Single-page websites are becoming increasingly popular since they ideal for viewing on mobiles but also work well on “traditional, old-fashioned” desktop.
If you’re a small team, on a tight budget and want to launch very fast (like tomorrow), start with Strikingly. You can build a sleek and responsive website without the need for coding skills.
If you’re in a large team, Strikingly is great for prototyping any ideas you have.
How easy is Strikingly to use?
The onboarding process is as simple as it gets. When you head over to strikingly.com, the first thing you’ll see is the signup form. If typing in your first name, email, and password is too much, you have a one-click signup with the Facebook button – without any typing. You can start building and launch your site without even the need to type in your credit card number.
Once you’re registered, the first thing you do is to select your template, then you’re taken to the editor. A quick tour shows you the key areas in the interface. The interface itself is well-thought-out and easy to grasp so that most people will have learned how to use it within minutes. The controls and options are grouped in the sidebar and you see your site or the current page in the main part of the screen. Your site or current page looks as it will when completed except for a few buttons that give you more design options.
Since Strikingly has the scrolling one-page approach, you add sections that you need to your site. Each template as a specific set of sections that are already in place when you first select it. The sections that you can then add is tied to the template that you chose. So, for example, you can add a section for grid ins some templates but not others. You can reorder, add, or delete the sections by dragging and dropping the hamburger icons in the left-hand sidebar. Renaming a section or adding it into the navigation is configured with a click on the cogwheel.
The sections are all pre-built components that you edit to add your own content (copy, images, videos, etc). All in all Strikingly does a formidable job in protecting you from mishaps and mistakes. It automatically saves your progress every few minutes, has an Undo button, and the templates and editor guide you towards a coherent design. The templates and editor especially are both a strength and weakness in one: It’s great for beginners and will help them create an aesthetic and consistent site, but it will not allow a lot of customisation. The consequence is that the created website look quite similar to each other.
Strikingly design and templates
You can filter the more than 30 templates (at the time of writing) into categories such s business, store, portfolio, to name a few. All templates are designed with simplicity and mobile responsiveness in mind. All templates are free to use. To help you choose your template, you can look at its example, just as if the template is used in a real-life website.
A very thoughtful feature is that you can swap the template later on, and it will automatically reformat everything for you (rather than just resetting), and you can do it as many times you wish.
How to manage your ecommerce store in Strikingly?
Adding a ecommerce functionality is just adding a section to your site. The section is called Simple Store and it comes with inventory and order tracking. You add your products and categories, configure shipping methods and taxes in this section. On the higher plans, you can add coupons and pop up forms.
Simple Store supports
- a shopping cart
- secure checkout implementations
- payment processor integrations
- shipping and inventory management
- ability to accept coupons and discounts
- set up automated email responses
- define the selling terms and conditions
- multiple currencies
- order tracking
As you can see, at the time of this review Strikingly does not yet offer a way to handle returns and refunds.
You can extend your site by adding the section App Store & HTML to your current page or site. Once the this section is added, you can access the App Store. If you want to embed custom HTML, you need the pro account.
What marketing and SEO tools does Strikingly have?
You can optimise your site by adding meta tags and keywords. When you click Settings and then “Show Advanced”, you can add Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tool. Adding these will give you more insight than the site traffic statistics provided by Strikingly.
Since you’re building a one-page website, you’ll need to add all your keywords and meta tags to the entire site. This will make it harder to rank for your specific keywords. Strikingly has helpfully included an SEO checklist that lets you see what you’ve completed.
To add a blog, you just add the section called “Simple Blog”. If you’re coming from another blogging service, this will feel familiar immediately. Keeping in line with its philosophy, the blogging feature is also very simple, but it includes the basics like categories, meta descriptions, and RSS feed. Don’t compare it with WordPress, Simple Blog is no match for it.
You can add a social media feed as a section to your site. You also have the option to add social media icons in the section for Contact, and in the Settings add icons and a Twitter card.
You can accept payments with Stripe and Paypal. Depending on the plan you choose, the number of products you can showcase is limited more or less.
Even if Strikingly does not levy a transaction fee, you still need to keep in mind that both Stripe and Paypal have their own pricing structure for transactions.
All plans include an SSL certificate. As a backup, you can clone your site. There is not import and export, for example when you want to leave Strikingly.
Strikingly customer support
The Strikingly knowledge base is the first place to start when you’re looking for answers. It’s well structured and informative. There are guides for just about anything. For personalised support (also on the free plan), you can contact the customer support when you’re working on a site 24/7 via the chat. Strikingly has added quick access to the guides and help centre while you’re working away in the editor.
Strikingly offers one free and 3 paid plans, all very reasonably priced and you get great value. You can launch your project on all plans, the difference is that you can’t connect a domain on the free tier.
All paid plans come with a 14-day free trial. You can switch between the plans any time you want or need. For the latest prices, head over to Strikingly.
Is Strikingly right for you?
Strikingly has you covered when you want to quickly build a new site or are just starting out. You can connect it to your current domain or buy a new one. It’s really the easiest to use website builder we’ve encountered. It allows you to quickly create attractive and responsive single-page websites without any design or other web development stress. It’s also great for people who want to dip their toes into the ecommerce world with a few products, as it is really easy to add ecommerce functionality to a site.
That said, if you’re partial to how every detail has to look, Strikingly is not the tool for you. Its editor and templates are steering you to a consistent and pulled-together look, with emphasis on speed and not complex editing.
With one-page websites, you won’t be able to build a complex website or a full-fledged ecommerce store.
Did Strikingly not fit the bill? Take a look if other solutions are more appealing.