Yola's Website Builder is Easy, but it Comes at a Cost
Yola presents a very good first impression right off the bat. But, do first impressions tell the whole story? Yola entered the market in 2007 and it is commendable how it has managed to maintain a very easy-to-use, modern interface that allows anyone to build a website even without any programming knowledge.
Yola tempts you to build your website with them by offering a free site-building option. While this is an impressive marketing approach, do not expect much from the free plan. It is fine for testing out Yola’s capabilities, but being limited to 3 pages means you will need to opt for a paid plan for a real website.
On a positive note, the guys behind this site builder put in a lot of work in developing a sophisticated e-commerce site builder based on the Ecwid shopping cart that allows you to sell both digital and physical goods.
There isn’t a very wide array of templates to choose from – especially on the free plan – but you can switch from one template to another at any time without losing any of your content or edits. The paid plans do have more template options, but some of them feel a bit old-fashioned.
While there are some pretty solid things to like about Yola, such as the affordable pricing and easy drag and drop interface, this builder lacks crucial elements such as blogging functionality and mobile responsive templates. If you are looking to build a really simple site, Yola might be a good place to start.
Reasonable Customization Options PlusAdvanced HTML/CSS Editing
Switchable templates: Yola has some decent templates but you are limited to only about nine choices on the Free account. Upgrading to a paid plan unlocks more template options. The cool thing here is if half-way through the site editing process you decide that you do not like your initial template, you can just switch to another one and your edits will still be intact.
Customizable: Newbies will find Yola’s customization options quite straightforward. Elements such as text, color, fonts, background and the banner are customizable. There’s a CSS/HTML editor for advanced users who can change the code directly to customize certain elements. When compared to other well-known builders, the customization options that Yola offers are a bit limited and this may be disappointing if you are looking for advanced functionality without having to start writing code.
Multiple categories: Yola is not for business websites only—there are dozens of templates available in other categories including Art, Photography, Fashion, Food and Restaurant, Building and Construction etc.
Get Your Business Up and Running with the Right Tools
E-commerce: Thanks to the integration with the Ecwid store builder widget, Yola offers quite a neat e-commerce solution. There is a wide array of things you can do with your online store, including selling physical and digital products, accepting multiple methods of payment, and even integrating with UPS and FedEx, for shipping. The e-commerce feature costs an additional $10 per month.
SEO: While Yola offers pretty solid SEO functionality, these optimization tools are only available to users on the Gold plan. SEO is a standard feature for most other site builders so the fact that this function is only available on the most expensive plan is disappointing. What you get here is a full-site search optimization scan report, automatic SEO monitoring, as well as keyword usage and traffic reporting.
Mobile optimization: Recently, Yola developed a set of beautiful responsive templates to make your website mobile friendly. This feature was only available to Silver and Gold users but Free and Bronze users can now republish their websites with the new responsive themes to optimize their sites for mobile.
Yola does not offer extraordinary functionalities but they do include features such as social integration with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, contact forms, Google Maps, and site statistics.
Ease of use
Drag and Drop to Build Your Website
Yola’s site editor is relatively easy to use thanks to the drag and drop functionality. To build a page, simply drag an element onto the page and proceed to edit. The only caveat is that you cannot just add elements anywhere on the page – you can only drop elements on designated sections so your design options are limited. It would be safe to conclude that even though the drag and drop interface is easy to use, it is quite outdated if we were to compare it with builders such as Weebly or Wix, which let you add elements pretty much anywhere on the page, as you see fit.
Top of the Line Service
If Yola seems a little soft on features, it’s probably because the guys behind this site builder have put all their energy and focus into customer support.
Phone support does not usually come by easily for most site builders, but Yola has broken away with this norm and provides phone support to those who need it the most – first-time users.
Unfortunately, live chat, which should be a standard support feature, is only available to paid users.
The support team can be reached via email as well to which they respond quickly, based on my own experience.
Yola also provides comprehensive tutorials, videos, and blog posts, as well as an automated help tool to make it easy to learn everything you need to know about the site builder.
Set Up Your Website Fast and Inexpensively
Overall, Yola prices are comparably lower than those of other popular site builders such as Weebly, Wix or Duda but this comes at a cost – limited features and customization opportunities. The plan options include Free, Bronze, Silver, and Gold plans.
The Free plan offers just 3 pages, 1GB storage, and 1GB bandwidth. No custom domain is included here—you get a Yola subdomain instead.
With the Bronze plan you have access to unlimited pages, unlimited bandwidth, 2GB storage, a custom domain, and premium support.
The Silver plan seems to be the most popular and comes with some business-friendly features such as a custom domain, no Yola branding, advanced editing, a mobile-ready website, social media integration, and premium support.
Bump up to the Gold plan and you have access to some pretty neat features such as automatic SEO monitoring, site traffic analysis, social integration, and a mobile-ready website. Basically, upgrading to Gold mainly affords you crucial SEO and site analytics tools. It would have been great if these tools were available at least for Silver users.
Yola offers a 30-day money back on all premium packages so you can test-drive this builder before fully committing.
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Not Great service - avoid
The response is not good. I have paid to have my new domains with Yola. However, I am not able to publish to domains even though I own them and they are managed by Yola. I have tried the online chat in working hours to be told I am outside and there is no response on the contact form and no number to call. Shocking service.
I have had the worst experience ever with Yola. I have spent hours online and on the phone (no exaggeration) with their customer support (which seems to be overseas) going round and round trying to get help with something really simple. Not only do both the online and phone customer service people simply read (or type) a generic script in response to questions, they also don't seem to be at all familiar with the information on their own website.
In addition, there is outdated and downright incorrect information on their site. In regards to a simple task I needed to do (use a previously purchased domain name with the site I made with Yola), the tutorial on their site directed me to use the free version of an unconnected, outside company. When I had trouble with this, customer service was unable to help me and suggested I contact the outside company (which has no relationship with Yola). I did and was informed by the company's customer service that they no longer offer the service Yola refers to.
Sigh! Anyway, this is the worst experience I've had with a a company in a long time and cannot recommend enough that you steer clear of Yola.
I have been using yola for several years for my web site. When they offered email, I added that, also. I found out the hard way that if you do email blast to your customer base and it is over 500 emails a day, they shut you down without any notice, or that is what they did to me.
I was told that it is all automatic and they did not have control to change it because they use a third party source.
I explained it was not SPAM and only emails to my customers relaying time-sensitive information like pricing and program changes. It took them three days to sort this out,. I got an email from their support team saying all is fixed and I can continue to use my yola mail, not so.
Three days later it is still not working. I called back and was told to give them another 48-72 hrs to fix. So another two to three days or a total of 5-6 days not being able to communicate with my customer base.
NOT A RELIABLE EMAIL SOURCE, in my opinion.