Building a brand new website from scratch can sound like quite the daunting endeavor. Even when it comes to a popular platform like WordPress, dealing with themes, plugins, and customizations can be intimidating for novices. There has to be a faster and easier way to do it.
One service that you might want to consider is SnapPages, a set of online tools that provide “website creation for the rest of us.” Over the course of this review, we’ll take a look at what SnapPages can do, how you can do it, and whether it’s worth the price.
Drag. Drop. Done.
Well, at least that’s the claimed promise of SnapPages. It really depends on how much you want to customize and what you want to do with the tools.
Everything in this website development platform is meant to be as easy to use as possible. Watching the tour video will give you a better sense of what you can expect. You can choose from a number of pre-designed templates, but the individual elements can be dragged and dropped into place. What you see is what you get.
Available Tools and User Interface
In addition to moving and re-sizing the various elements, I thought it was interesting that you also have a built-in image editor. Say, for example, that you want to insert an image on the main page. You choose the image from your gallery, sure, but you can also apply effects, resize the image, add borders, crop the image, and more.
Yes, it’s going to take some time to get used to the whole control panel, but you’ll notice that the interface for each segment is remarkably simplified. In the screenshot above for doing the basic image editing, for instance, you can see the different items you can insert in the left sidebar: text, media, elements, and widgets. These include Twitter searches, for instance, as well as images, contact forms, and so forth.
Sample Websites Powered by SnapPages
If you want to use SnapPages to power a blog, you can do that. If you want to use SnapPages to power an online resume, you can do that too. In fact, they’ve just introduced a newer feature that will automatically generate a resume site based on your LinkedIn profile. You can then edit the generated site as you see fit.
Here is an example of the kind of site you can create with SnapPages:
The header area has a custom logo, you have multiple tabs for the various sections, and the image near the top automatically transitions across different images and text. It looks very professional, but it’s even better how easy it would be to set up something similar for your own site.
How Much Does It Cost?
There are three versions of this website development kit available.
The personal account is absolutely free. It can be thought of in a similar way as a WordPress.com or a Blogger.com site, but it may not be as useful for a blog. This is because the free account only comes with 1GB of storage and a maximum of five custom pages. You get a subdomain off of SnapPages and not your own domain.
That’s why you would likely want the Pro account at a minimum. You get a 14-day free trial and then you get charged $8 per month after that. Considering the price of basic hosting anywhere else, this isn’t expensive at all. The pro account lets you use your own domain, grants you 10GB of storage, and provides you with many more features than the free account.
The developer plan is only $30/month and you can then manage multiple accounts and gain full CSS control. This is great (and cheap) way for you to develop, build, and host sites for your clients. SnapPages looks to be very powerful and remarkably easy to use. If you’re looking for something different than WordPress, this could be worth checking out.