SimpleSite’s objective is pretty clear: to provide anyone from any technical background an opportunity to take advantage of the web’s endless potential. As you can guess from their name, they’ve tried to do this by creating a platform that makes the process of creating a website as simple as possible.
This begs the question: Can SimpleSite achieve this honorable goal while providing enough power and control to their customers? That’s for you to decide based on whether SimpleSite’s features can meet your specific needs.
SimpleSite is Really One of the Simplest Ways to Build Your Website
Although there are a few more steps than usual when signing up and first creating your SimpleSite website, the platform provides an incredibly handy step-by-step guide for beginners. You begin by selecting the purpose of your website. The first few steps cover choosing your website’s basic color scheme, a background image, and then a nice picture for the leading article on your home page. Then you’ll enter the title of your website before going through the sign-in process.
Once you’re done, the guidance isn’t over, as there’s a follow-up tutorial to show you how to add content to your webpages. The builder itself is almost laughably easy to use, with little-to-no learning curve required. Your main ways of customizing your webpage layouts are through adding or removing content blocks (which could be text, images, slideshows, dividers, etc.), and then moving them up or down to sit above or below each other. Anything can be edited simply by clicking on it. For example, a text block will be opened in a simple text editor.
The whole initial experience of using SimpleSite is just as welcoming as you can possibly get.
But… It’s Very Limiting
It won’t take you long to start noticing the limitations of the SimpleSite website builder, and you might even get frustrated by them. Despite what a great platform it is for beginners to get a fairly decent-looking website up and running, it’s probably one of the most limiting builders around.
First, there’s no real drag-and-drop functionality as you’d get with Wix or Weebly. To learn more about these platforms’ drag-and-drop features, feel free to read our Wix review here , or our Weebly review here .
Second, there’s a very limited set of content types that you can add to your webpages. It’s better and more interactive than the default WordPress.com builder, but that’s not saying much. That’s why SimpleSite includes the handiest things like simple slideshows, text blocks, signatures, and maps, but there’s little variety in your options, and you don’t have much freedom to customize them.
The crucial thing to realize is that SimpleSite’s purpose is to make it as easy, convenient, and stress-free as possible to create a website. That, unfortunately, means taking away some control so that any user with any level of expertise can build his or her website without fear.
There Are No Templates
I simply couldn’t beat around the bush with this one. If there’s one reason not to join SimpleSite, it’s that you won’t be able to start with gorgeous and feature-rich templates on which to build your website. For the same reason that you don’t have much control when customizing your website, to keep the process as simple as possible, the themes themselves are also quite basic.
Everyone starts with the same basic template with the styling options applied that they chose in the creation process. The most powerful way you can then customize your webpages is by selecting from a list of layout variations for the webpage you’re editing. You also can’t custom-build a template by coding it from scratch.
This is in stark contrast to many similarly priced or cheaper website builders that are popular in the market today. For example, you can get instant access to 30-50 templates in the case of Jimdo and Weebly, or hundreds of templates in the case of Wix or WordPress.com.
You Can Run a Very Simple Store, Completely Free
Probably one of the best aspects of SimpleSite’s pricing is that they offer one of the most generous free plans — so generous, that you can build a store and sell products on the free plan and without any transaction fees. This is almost unheard of.
Of course, there are some restrictions. For example, you can have only five products, and this number increases to unlimited only with the most expensive E-Commerce plan. There are also no e-commerce specific templates to take advantage of, although there are basic product listing webpage creation tools.
The other traditional e-commerce features are also very simple, with very basic reporting tools, simple order management, and PayPal as the only payment provider. The interface is a bit basic, but it’s in line with the ease of use and simplicity of the rest of the platform and will literally empower anyone to start selling online. Sure, you’ll definitely need to upgrade to the e-commerce plan soon if you have even modest ambitions for your website, but there’s no better way to get started than for free.
Is SimpleSite Too Simple for Your Website?
Pun aside, SimpleSite’s offering is very much a double-edged blade. On the one hand, they’re most likely the easiest, most accessible, and least daunting option for beginners. Even more attractive for these customers is the fact that they can even put together a basic store and start selling products without any commitment or payments. You also won’t have to worry about storage or bandwidth limits with any paid plan.
On the other, it’s also one of the most restrictive platforms if you take into account that there aren’t any templates, plugins, or advanced customization tools (including custom coding).
What this means is that SimpleSite very clearly caters to a very specific customer base: those who want, without any earth-moving ambitions, the capability to start a website, blog, or online store, even with little-to-no experience building or hosting a website.