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Building Websites in a Snap with SnapPages

written by Michael Kwan on April 19, 2011

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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.

Other features you can utilize include 3D image galleries (like a carousel), embedded videos, event calendars, and Google Analytics integration. You will need the Pro or Developer account to use a custom domain or a custom HTML/Javascript code snippet though.

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.

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{ 62 comments }

Abhik April 19, 2011 at 10:08 pm

The service looks awesome.
The best part is that, it comes with hosting.

ZK @ Web Marketing Tips April 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Personally I wont take chances with the hosting … So regular hosting provider is my first choice.

What do you think Abhik ?

Abhik April 19, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Amm.. I don’t think they allow third party hosting.

semmy @ Make Money Online April 20, 2011 at 11:57 pm

ah it’s like kajabi, they don’t allow third party hosting

PPC Ian April 19, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I agree with you, ZK. There are some rare instances where I’d be ok outsourcing hosting (such as with my Epik dot com sites) but other than those rare exceptions I like to control my own hosting.

ZK @ Web Marketing Tips April 20, 2011 at 1:51 am

Yes we can not implement trial and error with hosting kind of important thing.

Techabouts April 20, 2011 at 9:44 am

Congratulations on your 100th comment ZK

John | Affiliate Marketing April 20, 2011 at 8:47 am

I don’t think I’d want them controlling my hosting…

John | Affiliate Marketing April 20, 2011 at 8:46 am

I would have to host my own website, I wouldn’t trust another company with that.

Mathew Day April 20, 2011 at 9:46 am

I like the idea of having my own hosting too, but at that price, I wouldn’t mind trying them out. :)

Centist April 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Still USD 8 month is too high, when you have cheap hosting available with much more flexibility. I rather say, it is for non-tech people who wish to design their website on its own

Penny Bid Auction Sites April 21, 2011 at 6:52 am

I’m wary of website building services. What happens when Google sees a footprint and devalues them all.

PeerFly Affiliate Manager April 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Looks like a pretty good service. Could be a good way to toss up a few sites to get some backlinks :)

ZK @ Web Marketing Tips April 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm

This one is sounding great but would love to know the points which makes it different from same service available.

Penny Bid Auction Sites April 21, 2011 at 6:53 am

There are a lot of these service available on the net today.

PPC Ian April 19, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Seems like a neat little tool to build great looking websites fast, thanks for sharing John!

ZK @ Web Marketing Tips April 20, 2011 at 1:58 am

Its Michael who wrote this review ….

Abhik April 19, 2011 at 11:28 pm

What!! I have to have a developer license to have access to the CSS Files? That’s insane…

ZK @ Web Marketing Tips April 20, 2011 at 2:00 am

that’s business … My friend.

Techabouts April 20, 2011 at 9:43 am

absolutely

guru April 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Not good business for me, but good for them. I think this kind of service is for the totally non tech.

Centist April 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm

They would have rather implemented some API and given the access to developers for it, so that developers can build websites using the elements of snappages.

Penny Bid Auction Sites April 21, 2011 at 6:53 am

I’d have to agree with that. There are ways to get the CSS file if you want though.

Justin | Mazzastick April 20, 2011 at 3:38 am

Michael,

I have never heard of SnapPages before. I like the concept of of the all in one package.

Techabouts April 20, 2011 at 4:27 am

its really quick to build sites

Abhik April 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Not quicker than wordpress.com or blogger.com

exsuit April 20, 2011 at 4:52 am

John,

Did you build any sites yourself that you care to share with us?

With the Pro version, can you build more than one website, or are you limited to a single site?

amy schonell April 20, 2011 at 6:00 am

Great stuff for knowledge..i like to use it

Kirk Taylor April 20, 2011 at 7:35 am

If you’re serious about making blogging or affiliate marketing your career, why would you corner yourself into their platform? I’m sure they have a nice product, but stick with what works well.

Tomé Ferreira April 20, 2011 at 7:46 am

It seems to be very good this SnapPages.
Once you have a time I’ll try.
Just thought a little expensive, lol!

Thanks for the tip!

Thanks!

John | Affiliate Marketing April 20, 2011 at 8:47 am

Looks like a pretty awesome tool, I wish you could host it on your own server though.

Free Picks April 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm

thats a good idea, may be in future this option will be available

Christine April 20, 2011 at 8:56 am

That is a pretty tool for someone needing to ‘snap’ up a website. And the prices are affordable. Of course, the free account doesn’t give you html snippets. Then again, the audience for snappages would probably not be accustomed to html, in the beginning. Nice tool.

BTW way John, I included you in my latest post, Even Bloggers need a Strategic Business Plan

Techabouts April 20, 2011 at 9:42 am

Checked it out.
I think it is good only for newbies or the people who dont want to install any script,etc.
For rests not that good.

Tenerife South April 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

yeah i think its also great for people who are just looking to get a site up for their business and not have to worry about all the other techie stuff. seems a pretty good deal in that sense

Mathew Day April 20, 2011 at 9:51 am

Nice review. SnapPages seems very easy to use and the price seems very fair. I think I’ll have to do some experimenting with them.

Centist April 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Snapages got a good deal of branding with this review

Tim Schumacher April 20, 2011 at 10:04 am

Thanks for the information lokks like a good way to build websites going to go check it out.

fas April 20, 2011 at 10:23 am

That was quick, not believable it could be so fast.

Gabriel April 20, 2011 at 10:31 am

I love the cool stuff I learn from this blog!

I would never have come across this website builder otherwise. I think I might show this post to my mom, since she wants an easy to build website ;)

Thanks for the post,
-Gabriel Johansson

Stay Hydrated Get Focused April 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Thanks for the information, this blog was super helpful, I will be back for sure.

Nik April 20, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I wonder how it is for SEO? A lot of these “drag and drop” WYSIWYG editors generate a lot of junk code. I agree though, it looks like a good tool for novices who have little HTML knowledge and aren’t so concerned about SEO, hosting, etc.

Pankaj Gupta April 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm

This is the easiest way to start your own website, if you don’t know anything. Nice Review. But as ask by NIK in above comment, Is it good with SEO?

Deepak Yadav April 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm

nice, quick and easy way to create websites. I think now my lil sis can also design websites……

Free Picks April 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I will try the free one before purchasing the advance package

Centist April 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Yes, it looks cool, but do you think, it can make Web 2.0 websites with the user-website interaction?

Free Picks April 21, 2011 at 10:31 am

i think so, it look like they offering web 2.0 too

Fazal @ Make Money Online April 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm

nice review as always, looks like a good service but I dont need it atm.

Favourite Hobbies April 21, 2011 at 5:10 am

nice review will check them later

Brooklyn Dentist April 21, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I think trying the personal one for free would give us the idea of how they do the hosting for the site. I think with SnapPages, would change the way we think of building a website.

Sound Cancelling Headphones April 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm

I’m not sure why anyone would use such a payed service. Surely if you are prepared to pay for such a service you may as well pay for you own hosting and have complete control ? I guess if you have no site building skills it could be useful but I’m not sure. The free option could be exploited for backlinks I think.

Allen Walker April 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Looks like a really good service. :)

I like their presentation and features. Will give it a try

Work online April 22, 2011 at 3:11 am

Yes i also appreciate to this service,Looks like a really good service.

Work online April 22, 2011 at 3:24 am

Thanks again for sharing about Tools and User Interface…

Brooklyn Dentist April 23, 2011 at 3:49 am

I tried this and it’s really easy. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to try having their personalized website.

latest technology updates April 23, 2011 at 5:18 am

would it be the best one for websites, with the snappages.

Masterinformation April 23, 2011 at 7:30 am

Great service for individuals not too familiar with website development.

Paul Danson April 25, 2011 at 3:34 am

Nice software, anything that speeds the website building process is to be recommended

Work online April 25, 2011 at 3:38 am

I also prefer to this great service,Thanks for sharing about website development.

Favourite Hobbies May 3, 2011 at 4:56 am

Its very useful like additional website

unblock blocked websites June 7, 2011 at 1:26 am

As newbie, I think I would rather used web hosting. All I know, is that you would be able to tell them to stop (subscribing) am I right?

Mark Collier June 12, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I think that many of you commenting negatively here forget that the vast majority of people don’t know nearly as much as you do when it comes to creating a website. For them a product like this is a great resource!

Tools like SnapPages allows the low-to-mid tech level person access to good looking websites that they would otherwise not have access to.

I’ve been using them for a while now and I really love what I can make with them. I would be interested in hearing what tools are out there that are significantly better for the same designer education level (that being the key to the question).