Citymax is an Easy to Use Site Builder But Offers Few Options for Customization
Founded in 1999, Citymax is among the oldest website builders in the market today. This builder takes DIY (Do It Yourself) website creation to a whole other level with its super-simplified three-step formula: just choose a template, add text, images, and products and then go live! While is this is one of quickest builders you might come across, there are several limitations to contend with.
For starters, there is only one pricing plan, so you take it or leave it. This monthly plan comes with a domain name, e-mail marketing, integrated shopping cart, and plenty of generic web designs.
While there are several templates from which to choose, most feel outdated but will get the job done if you just want a basic website. Citymax fails miserably where mobile design is concerned. The mobile format of the website is slow to load and when it does, it is not optimized for the small screen.
While drag-and-drop interfaces are now the norm, Citymax is still largely template-based in that building a website involves filling a form and the progress cannot be previewed live. The only way to change the look of your website is to change templates entirely.
This does builder has some good things going for it, however. Adding elements to the form-based editor is a breeze and the shopping cart lets you sell physical and digital products, and to accept payments via MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal. You can export a file of your products, which makes it easy to place your online store products on other sites. There are also some pretty useful marketing tools that can be used for branding and search optimization.
Plenty of templates: Citymax has a good number of themes to choose from. But, if you are keen on a contemporary look for your website, you might want to look elsewhere. The themes here feel basic, old-fashioned, and a little bit too busy. Not much has been done in the way of updating the fonts so instead of modern and appealing web fonts you are left to choose from less than ten generic fonts such as Arial, Calibri, and Times New Romans.
Customization: Only a few elements such as the background, colors, and buttons can be customized. Customization can only be done on a separate form but there is no option for live preview, which makes the entire process cumbersome. Modern site builders offer more flexibility for customization, so too many limitations on changing the look of your website is quite a letdown.
Responsiveness: In today’s world, mobile is a big deal but Citymax seems to really lag behind on this crucial element. There’s little reference to mobile and the templates seriously lack seamless mobile responsiveness. There is a risk that customers who view your website from a mobile device will be annoyed by the awkward format.
Blog: Citymax lets you set up a blog and even though the WYSIWYG editor is quite archaic compared to what modern site builders offer, it does get the job done. You can save posts, set future publishing dates, and allow comments on the site. However, there is no option for social media integration.
E-commerce: Citymax’s e-commerce feature has some good things going for it. While some site builders offer a script for installing software such as Magento to create an online store, Citymax lets you build an actual online storefront as part of your website. However, because you can only use a form-based editor instead of a drag-and-drop interface and because the templates are a bit outdated, building an e-commerce store can be complex. While you can sell physical and digital products, there is no option for categorizing products or sending customized emails to customers.
Marketing tools: One of Citymax’s biggest selling points is its range of marketing tools. Your website comes with user-friendly meta-tag editors and custom page URLs for SEO, promotional discount codes for sales campaigns, and a HitsLink account that aggregates site metrics such as popular pages, where customers come from, and best performing keywords.
Other great features include an easy-to-set-up newsletter, a contact form, and Google Maps integration, all of which can be especially helpful in your marketing efforts.
Ease of use
Build Your Website with a Form-Based Editor
The Citymax editor is form-based and even though it is generally easy to add elements, it is not as seamless as a modern drag-and-drop interface. The editor lacks a live preview so you have to keep switching to the website to see any changes and then back to the form to continue to make changes, which can become extremely cumbersome. A drag-and-drop interface is a must-have for any modern site builder.
Citymax does a generally good job with its support. Once you sign up, you have access to a personal dedicated web coach who will get you up to speed with how the site builder works, there is also a bunch of helpful video tutorials and online how-to guides that explain everything you need to know to set up your website. There is no phone support or live chat, but the customer representatives are friendly and answer emails promptly.
One Pricing Plan for All Users
While most site builders offer several packages to cater to the different needs of users, Citymax has just one plan. For some, this could be a plus as it simplifies things, but I feel that it is always better to give users some control over the features they want to pay for.
Under the single monthly plan, you get a domain, hosting, website design, online payment integration, shopping cart, and email marketing tools.
You can try the service for up to ten days for free, after which you will be billed for the monthly plan. The plan can be canceled anytime without a penalty.