Zoho is an interesting website builder with the flexibility to grow with your needs, whether you need a more complex design, or more bandwidth, pages, or even contributors, it all depends on the plan you choose.
Best of all, you don’t need to pay to start experimenting with Zoho’s features because it gives you a 15-day free trial. All you need to take advantage of it is an email address and password (no credit card information required).
Once your account is created, you have 44 models to choose from (12 of which can only be accessed via the Pro plan). You can’t preview any other than the large thumbnail shown, but select one and your site will be based on it, ready to be customized.
The editing process is pretty clean, with your site preview taking up most of the page. However, hover the mouse over any section to see all of the elements that make up your page. Click on any of them to be presented with contextual tools. Click on a text box for example, to have text editing commands, click on an image to see the tools to modify said image, click on the main body to modify the number of columns in this section, this kind thing.
If you need to insert additional items, click on the large blue icon at the top right of the page. You can add a section, item, page, and even a blog post from there. Alternatively, when you hover the mouse over your site, you will see a blue “Add Section” button appear in various places. It also allows you to add a section at that exact location.
Moving objects is a simple matter of selecting them and clicking on their cross-shaped icon. Want to get rid of a section? Instead, tap its trash can icon. Everything is very simple and straightforward. The same goes for adding subtle animations to your elements, to make your page more dynamic when a visitor is browsing it.
We liked that there is a central repository for all the images you add to your site, so you don’t have to upload them again if you need to use the same shot in multiple locations. But if you don’t have the perfect photo on your hard drive, then a quick tour of Zoho’s Image Library will get you through it quickly. Thanks to it, you have access to free images from Unsplash, Pixabay and Google. Find what you need (there is no global search – you might have to do the same search in each to find what you are looking for), and add it to your picture element.
To add a blog, just click on “Add blog post” in the blue “+” section. This will create a new page on your site and you can start writing your first article.
The design options are the same as for other pages – you can add sections and elements and customize them as you like. You can organize your posts by categories, choose to turn comments on or off, and even schedule posts. Essentially, all of the basics are there for you to feed the internet with your thoughts.
Fortunately, Zoho has undo and redo buttons, should you need to fix an accidental mistake, and the Preview section lets you see your design as it would appear on a desktop, tablet, or phone.
The Settings option gives you access to many features that you can tailor to your needs, such as adding a logo or favicon, customizing your navigation menu, moderating your comments or editing SEO settings for your site. Everything is quite complete. This is also where you can access your site’s analytics.
Packages and prices
As mentioned earlier, Zoho comes with a 15 day free trial, but there is no unlimited free option. Once your trial is complete, you must choose between the two available plans.
Entrance only costs $ 5 per month when you purchase the annual plan ($ 8 on a monthly basis). This plan works great for small businesses and anyone just starting to build a website. It includes up to five pages, 500MB of storage, 10GB of bandwidth per month, and up to five forms. For a plan that also includes a custom domain, this is relatively inexpensive. You’ll also have an SSL certificate, blogging capabilities, access to your own animation tool, and your site will be ad-free. As the name suggests, this is a good plan to start your online adventure.
Pro is more expensive at $ 17 per month when you pay annually (or $ 23 when you pay monthly). You can create up to 50 pages, have 100 GB of storage, have 200 images in your photo gallery, and have unlimited bandwidth. You also have the option of adding up to 3 contributors to your site, which is great if you need additional people to help you manage your content, as your brand awareness grows.
Pro also lets you pay for add-ons to further extend your functionality. You can add 1,000 new members for $ 60 per year. Need more pages? Add 200 more for $ 60 per year. And if you need more contributors, you have that power, at $ 24 per contributor, per year.
Zoho is a good website builder and host. You have plenty of design options available to you, and all plans come with an SSL certificate for added security (that’s pretty much a must these days). Since the Starter plan is so cheap, it’s easy to build your website without breaking your budget. Whenever your site needs to grow, Zoho’s Pro plan provides add-ons so you can keep everything in one place, for a fee.
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