If you’re a designer or an agency, sometimes you had a great idea but in the end, you didn’t realise the project because you were limited by time or coding skills. On the other hand, you might have used a website builder only to find that you couldn’t customise its template to look like you want. Meet Studio, a website builder built for creatives. And the best of it? You can work in a team, all around the world.
Studio is more than a no-code website builder. Of course, you can create websites without web dev skills. But, you have the same capabilities and flexibility with its Studio Editor which is based on the box layout – or what others call the box model. If you got the web dev skills, you can easily tweak your site. Don’t worry if you need more than just a one-pager, Studio comes with a CMS (content management system) and hosting.
Studio is founded by Keima Kai and is based in Tokyo, Japan. Since its launch in 2016, it has garnered over 200’000 users who in total have published over 35’000 sites.
- Pros and cons of Studio
- Who is Studio for?
- How easy is Studio to use?
- Studio design and templates
- How to manage your ecommerce store in Studio?
- Studio integrations
- What marketing and SEO tools does Studio have?
- Payment options
- Studio security
- Studio customer support
- Studio pricing
- Is Studio the right tool for you?
Pros and cons of Studio
Studio was specifically built with creatives in mind. You see it in its well-designed user interface that gives you a high degree of flexibility so that you can easily customise a template or create a new website from scratch. It’s a hosted solution so that you don’t need to install software or worry about updates.
- Forever free plan
- High degree of customisability (can be also a deterrent, if you’re not well-versed in design software such as Figma)
- Beautiful, attractive, modern, in one word stunning templates
- Can be slow at times
- You may have a learning curve if you’re not familiar with the web design box layout model
Who is Studio for?
If you value design and aesthetics but are limited by time or skills, Studio is a good place to start. Especially if you know the basics of web design or work with software like Figma, then Studio is a no-brainer.
Studio is an interesting tool both for designers and developers alike since it lets you work like a frontender – just without the code. Although you can get into the nitty gritty of the code and tweak to your heart’s content. You can use it to build one-pagers (then you can just go with its starter plan) or websites that need a CMS.
This means you can be a startup using it only for one-pagers, or a (large) team or an agency building websites and blogs. It’s a solid tool for freelancers as well as for marketers. It comes with a gallery of beautiful and modern templates.
How easy is Studio to use?
You can start on Studio’s forever free plan to get a taste of its Studio Editor and the box layout. After your first login, you’re taken to an overview of all your projects and you’ll see “Learning resources” listed under your projects. This is how Studio helps you get and around.
Especially if you’re not familiar with the box layout, I’d recommend browsing the learning resources and viewing the videos. You can start designing from a blank site or choose a template to get speed up the process.
You may find Studio Editor a tad overwhelming if you skipped the tutorials. It’s a powerful editor which doesn’t limit your creativity. You also get modcons such as the undo/redo buttons, and a live preview and you can also invite team mates to collaborate with you. If you’re coming from Figma, you’ll feel at home straight away.
Studio design and templates
The templates make your website pop. They’re beautifully designed, it’s almost like a Japanese traditional artisan has crafted them. The templates can be sorted into blog, portfolio, landing page, business, and event.
Some templates such as “NFT / Crypto Landing Page” can be used without a CMS and are meant as a one-pager. Others such as TUNE need a CMS since it’s meant for a blog.
How to manage your ecommerce store in Studio?
Even though Studio comes with a CMS, it’s out of scope to run an online store. But don’t worry, all is not lost. Studio lets you embed widgets with the help of iframes. This means you can use Ecwid or Cartloom to showcase your products. If you only want to accept payments you can also embed Cognito Forms.
You can embed external services such as Google Maps, Codepen, or Spotify. For tracking purposes, you can integrate Hubspot or Google Tag Manager. There’s also the option to connect with Zapier which opens up almost innumerable integrations.
What marketing and SEO tools does Studio have?
As mentioned, you can connect your site with Hubspot or Google Tag Manager to track its performance.
You can configure meta title, meta description, favicon, and og image site wide or for each page.
If you want to publish a blog, be sure to choose a template that accommodates a CMS. You then manage your content in the CMS. You can invite co-writers and write blog posts or news in a team. It’s easy to add and manage content in the CMS.
It comes with features that should be standard for a blogging tool such as scheduling when to publish and tags. But you can also set relations with other posts or writers.
At the time of writing, Studio doesn’t have any ecommerce features including accepting payments.
All sites created by Studio have an SSL certificate. Also, for security reasons, you can only embed services that Studio has preselected.
Studio customer support
When you’re working in the Studio Editor, help is just a click away. When you click on the help icon in the lower right hand corner, you can search the help articles chat with the Studio team, or get button shortcut hints. If you need to ask a question, the team usually answers within a few hours.
Studio offers 4 plans, a free forever, a plan meant for one-pagers, and plans for teams that need to build websites with CMS.
Is Studio the right tool for you?
Studio makes it easy for you to create beautiful, gorgeous websites without coding but without limitations on customisability and flexibility. That’s good news if you want a website that has oomph.
At the time of writing, Studio is not an all-purpose website builder as it has not ecommerce features. But you can extend it since it allows embedded code.
Studio is clearly focusing on creatives with its high degree of flexibly and stunning templates. It works well if your an individual or a large team and everything in-between.
Should you need an all-purpose website builder that also has ecommerce features and sets high value on design, take a look at Cargo.