- Possibly the easiest to use eCommerce website builder
- Automatically optimized for mobile
- Lacks customization
- Is very dated
- Not a lot of customer support
- Is not competitively priced
- May trick users with their “Free” package
- Website: www.simplesite.com
- Headquarters: Copenhagen, Denmark
- Year Founded: 2007
- Employees: 20+
- Categories: Website Builder
- Services: Web Design Cloud Software, Web Hosting
- Free Trial: 30 Days
What can we say about SimpleSite? If we’re trying to be nice, we will say that it is incredibly easy to get a simple website or online store up and running. If we aren’t trying to be nice, we’ll say that the whole thing feels very outdated and ugly.
Although when you land on the SimpleSite website, it looks professional and clean, once you sign up and start using the platform, you may, in fact, think that the editor hasn’t been updated since 2003. The color combinations, fonts, and layouts look like they may even have been developed in the 1990s. It’s not a good look compared to some of the amazing competition out there.
And it’s also not a good deal. There are plenty of better platforms available that are more competitively priced than this clunky relic.
So can you name something good about it?
Definitely! SimpleSite has got to be the quickest way to set up a site. Your website is online in under 5 minutes flat. There’s not a lot of customization options to worry about,and the whole thing is so simple that a two-year-old would probably be able to use it.
Setting up an online store with SimpleSite is also super easy too.
Who is SimpleSite a good fit for?
SimpleSite may be a platform to consider for people who need to set up a non-professional looking website in under 10 minutes. It might also be for those who have very limited computer skills but still would like to make their site.
And who should stay away from SimpleSite?
For anyone not included in the two categories that we’ve named in the paragraph above, we would recommend staying away from SimpleSite like the plague. There are much better platforms available, even if you want something simple – check out Yola for a super easy builder.
How scalable is a SimpleSite website?
With SimpleSite’s Pro plan, you have an unlimited amount of pages, images, and videos, so in theory, your SimpleSite page is a scalable as you wish. The Basic free trial and Pro accounts give you up five items in your online store, which bumps up to unlimited in the E-Commerce plan.
What’s SimpleSite reputation?
There’s not a tremendous amount of user reviews floating around about SimpleSite, but from the ones we’ve seen they’d mixed. They have a lot of happy customers that are pleased to be able to set up websites so quickly and easily, but they also have a lot of unhappy customers that have complained about the lack of help available and pricing issues.
Do they have a money back guarantee?
With either the paid Pro or E-Commerce plans there is a 14 day cooling off period, during which time you can choose to cancel your subscription and have your money refunded.
Has SimpleSite won any awards?
SimpleSite were among the winners of the 2015 Red Herring 100 Europe Awards, which recognizes technology startups. They’ve also started the Nordic Growth Hackers group, dedicated to growth hacking.
- Hundreds of Unique Layouts and Designs
- Personal Domain Name
- Web Store Integration
- 24/7 Customer Service
- Optimized for Mobile
- Social Sharing Integration
- Free Domain Name
- Unlimited Storage for Paid Plans
- PayPal Gateway Integration
- Supports Multiple Languages
- Simple Blogging Page Layout
- Video, Music, Games, and Map Integration
Experts on SimpleSite
Industry Experts Verdict on SimpleSite
In the case of SimpleSite, it seems that the experts have higher standards than consumers. Critics are used to navigating website builders and have higher expectations when it comes to performance. For most, SimpleSite is too simple. It doesn’t offer enough features and lacks a certain level of customization that has come to be expected. The editor isn’t just basic. It is out of date. This means that customers may not be able to create the website they envision and will have to settle for working within the limitations of the program. While this might be enough for some users, it is cause for a low overall score from experts.
Furthermore, critics conclude that SimpleSite is too pricey. Considering the available tools, it doesn’t not offer an attractive value. There are better options available that will provide updated templates, tools and features for a much better price.
- April 20, 2016
SimpleSite Positive Reviews
Positive Consumer Reviews and Testimonials on SimpleSite
Those who weren’t blindsided by unexpected charges were very happy with the actual functionality of the website building tools. Users report that SimpleSite truly is simple to use. Beginners can easily create an attractive website. The tools offered are very basic and straightforward. For some this is an ideal setup:
“Only knowing how to perform the basics when it comes to computer technology, I was amazed at how simple it was to set up my own website and am delighted with the results!”
If you don’t want to have to learn complicated design tools and want to launch your site as soon as possible, then SimpleSite can help. The clean user interface will help you focus on the most important sections of your site.
Negative Consumer Reviews and Complaints on SimpleSite
A quick look a consumer reviews and one common theme starts to take shape: problems with unauthorized charges. There are quite a few complaints from customers who thought they were going to pay a nominal fee, but then had their accounts drafted for much larger amounts. Some may chalk this up to customers simply not thoroughly reading the terms and conditions, but if so many people are having similar problems, then SimpleSite may have to work towards being more transparent with their billing policies.
Once customer brought these complaints to SimpleSite, the company was unwilling to help resolve any confusion and/or refund money. Users also complained about frequent and aggressive upselling practices. All of these factors combined certainly chip away at the trustworthiness of SimpleSite.
Design & Customization
Go from SimpleSite’s homepage to create your published web page in less than five minutes.
All you’ll have to do is click on ‘Start here’, choose ‘personal/blog’, ‘business’ or ‘other’, a subcategory page, a color scheme, a feature image, a background, a title. Then a username (domain name), password, your email address and you’re ready to go – your site is live.
|Website Templates||There is only one base layout that you can customize from there. Customization is very limited.|
|Website Builder Interface||Displayed on your landing page you will have your page how it appears on the web, along with annoying banners splashed along the top and the right side reminding you to upgrade to the Pro version. Along the right side, you will also have options to ‘Edit page’, ‘Add a new page’, ‘Add an online store’, and ‘Settings’ (which includes ‘Manage Pages,’ ‘Edit design’ and ‘Account’). Clicking through to each of these reveals a new screen. Under ‘Manage Pages’ you can find things like ‘Stats’ and ‘Tell a friend’ which allows you to send out simple emails about your website to up to 100 recipients.|
|Page Style Customization||You can customize your SimpleSite site by selecting ‘Edit design’ to change coloring and fonts and such. ‘Edit this page’ will give you the option to change the page name, add text, photo, video, slideshow, columns, news, signature, or documents elements, text sections or photos. You can choose to add different page types to your websites like the standard page, photo album, guest book, blog or price list. The layout isn’t drag and drop, and you can only perform a very limited range of actions.|
|Site Navigation||You can easily traverse through your pages under the ‘Manage pages’ option in the ‘Settings’. Here you can view, edit or delete pages and add subpages.|
|Content Management||There is no content management system available in SimpleSite. All media needs to be uploaded again if you want to put it in another place on your site.|
|Photos and Galleries||You can add in pictures, or up to a five photo gallery. There is no photo editor, and you will not be able to change photo sizes or where they appear in the layout.|
|Mobile Site Building||SimpleSite websites are all fully responsive, so they all work brilliantly on mobile devices without any further work|
|Social Sharing Integration||Share on Facebook, Share on Twitter and Share on Google+ buttons all appear automatically on each page of your website.|
|Design Services||No design services are offered – although to be fair if you need help to build your site with SimpleSite you’re better off going elsewhere anyway.|
Features & Tools
What are the features of the SimpleSite builder? Check them out below.
|Setup||All you need is an email address – that’s it! Your site is up in under 5 minutes.|
|Web Design||There are very, very few design options available in the editor. You’re pretty much locked into the one format.|
|Custom domain name||Your domain name is free with either of the paid plans, and you will also get your custom email addresses – five with the Pro plan.|
|Depth of Navigation||There is one level of depth in the navigation.|
|Widgets and Apps||There are no widgets and apps other than the standard video, photo, etc.|
|Monetization||No monetization unless you add affiliate links or the like.|
|Visitor Statistics||You can view page views, comments from visitors and thumbs up for each page in the Stats section. It also shows the number of overall website views.|
|Photo,Video,and Audio||You may add audio, video, and photos.|
|Blogging||Simple blogging page layout is provided.|
|Social Media Integration||No. Visitors may only share the page to Facebook, Twitter or Google+.|
|Forms and surveys||No.|
|Storage Space||Unlimited amount of storage available with paid plans.|
|Newsletter Tool||Simple email out feature provided with up to 100 recipients.|
|E-Commerce / Online Store||A five-item store may be included in the Pro plan; the E-Commerce plan gives you unlimited products.|
|Gateway Integration||SimpleSite uses the PayPal gateway. There are no other options.|
|Site Limited Access (Password Protection)||No.|
|Website Security||Data is stored on SimpleSite’s servers.|
|Multiple Languages||The editor comes in English, Indonesian, German, Spanish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Greek, Malaysian, Danish, French, Dutch, Finnish, Turkish, Czech, Italian, Polish, Swedish and Russian.|
|Mobile Optimization||Each template is totally responsive, so it has been optimized for mobile already.|
Plans & Pricing
Where do we start with SimpleSite’s pricing plan? Well, for a start, it has plastered all over their landing page that you can, “make a free website or blog”, “create a free website”, and “it’s free”!
The crazy thing about this is that it is simply not true. The site is only free for 30 days, after that, you will need to upgrade to the Pro or E-Commerce plans to continue using the service.
The free version of the platform is simply a free trial. With it, you get 15 pages, up to 300 images and 10 minutes of video, a yoursite.simplesite.com web address, a web store with up to five items with a PayPal gateway and SimpleSite advertising on your page.
US$11.95/month, US$29.95/3 months.
The Pro plan lets you have unlimited pages, images, and video, and throws in your domain name along with five custom email addresses. Advertising is removed from your page too
US$26.95/month, US$74.95/3 months.
The E-Commerce plan gives you everything in the Pro plan along with an unlimited number of items in your online store.
Or should we say, “What customer support?” The lucky thing about the SimpleSite editor is that you probably won’t need any help with getting your site up and running. The only real customer service avenue available for users to pursue is the email customer service account.
You can expect up to a two-day wait for replies to your emails, though, so it isn’t very helpful if you need an answer to a question now.
No telephone support.
- Support email
You can email the support team – replies will have up to a two-day turnaround.
No live chat facility.
- Knowledge Base
A very, very basic Q & A section on the website
- Video Tutorials
No video tutorials available.
- Support Forum
No user support forum.
- Additional Options
No other help options available.
Ease of Use
Here is one area that SimpleSite excels at ease of use. The whole process is so, so, so simple. You can have an entire website with useful content in it up and running within 10 minutes.
The layout is clean (because there are hardly any options to choose from). Navigation between pages is simple once you have a few clicks around. Adding and managing an online store seems very easy. Email mail outs work well.
The only stumbling block that some may have is that it isn’t a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor. This means that when you are editing pages, you don’t get to see how they will look when they are live while you’re editing.
Most other website builders now give you a WYSIWYG interface as it removes that ‘editing and then going back and checking how it looks’ loop that can be quite time-consuming.
That being said, it’s a minor issue since you don’t have many options to customize your page anyway. For all its flaws, SimpleSite stays true to its namesake.
SimpleSite is outdated, limited in functionality and customization, has only one real avenue for customer service (that can be slow), and, on top of all that, is comparatively expensive! Their hidden pricing and constant reminders to upgrade your service are an unwelcome addition to the platform, too.
The only reason that you would go ahead with SimpleSite as a website builder is if you want to knock up a working website in ten minutes, or you’ve got very limited computing skills. For everyone else, you will want to steer well clear of this builder.
SimpleSite should’ve been left in 2003, where it belongs. For anyone searching for a simple website builder that makes your content look decent, we recommend looking elsewhere. You can check out other builders such as Wix and Yola if you’re after something simple to use.
SimpleSite just doesn’t stack up to the competition.
The criteria for AWA Website Builders Score has been calculated based on the most valuable components required to build and manage a successful website.
- 34% Design & Customization
- 19% Features & Tools
- 16% Plans & Pricing
- 14% Easy Of Use
- 17% Customer Support