Basekit Review

Basekit is a Web design toolkit for personal Web development that comes with the option of allowing others to also contribute to their own design in a variety of ways. They have thousands of registered users and setup is incredibly simple. There are 43 templates to work with, depending on your plan, and a lot of detailed ways to alter templates to serve your needs. The interface is intuitive and makes for a quick, easy way to get a website up and running.

EASE OF USE

You start with a free signup that gives you access to the 43 available templates as part of the Developers Plan. When you choose any of those, it will bring you to a drag and drop editor that you can very easily manipulate online.¬†However, their website is a bit lacking in the ease of use category. When you first go there, it’s easier to find their hosting partners than it is to find the sign up. Once you’re signed up, you can create your first website in minutes with a quick wizard, but then it becomes difficult to find where you can manipulate your account and change the options for your new site.

BUILDING

Building and publishing a website is a snap. Not only do they offer 43 different templates, you can also upload your own custom templates that you can then work within their editor.

The add-ons are impressive too, allowing you to do all sorts of things like adding a Twitter feed, connecting to services, and utilizing all the bells and whistles that you could want. Adding them is as simple as a few clicks and dropping them where you would like them to go.¬†Again, the failure here is not the building, but rather that it’s difficult to navigate to the editor and to manage your creations. The website is not easy to get around, and I can’t help but feel like any of their customers would be able to create one that is more intuitive using their own software. Just a few navigation links would make this a better service.

HOSTING

Hosting is free when you have certain plans and not with others, though there are a lot of details about this. Essentially, when you have the free Developers Plan, you can have as many Web pages as you would like published under the URL [websitename].bksites.net. The more expensive Basic plan allows you to publish 10 Web pages and store 250 MB of data under the same system. The even more expensive Business plan allows you to once again have unlimited pages, as well as a custom domain name for hosting the website.

Mostly, Basekit wants you to work with the over 120 hosting partners that they have made deals with, making it easy to integrate pages published on their service with hosting plans bought through these partners. The pricing and options vary, but most offer decent service for what you’re getting.

MARKETING

There are no specific marketing bonuses associated with Basekit. There may be some that come with their hosting partners, but the company itself doesn’t do much to help you promote or otherwise draw attention to your website, including not giving you access to the HTML so you can adjust Meta tags and page titles yourself.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Basekit shines it’s with customer support. Not only do they provide extensive documentation on how to use their service and have a powerful search feature to make finding the answer to your problem easy, they run an active forum with people who can answer your questions quickly and reliably. Their people are knowledgeable and professional. Generally, you will only have to talk to them in the unlikely situation that the searchable documentation doesn’t answer your question.

They’re working on video webinars to further teach people to get the most out of their system. This is an excellent move on their part and will help users quite a bit.

PRICING

There are three packages available:

Developer Package: The free service gives you unlimited pages and data storage, access to 43 templates, of the available widgets and beta access to new features.

Basic Package: This package costs 70 pounds a year and gives you 10 pages and 250 MB of data storage. You also get one free stock image and access to 15 templates.

Business Package: This package costs 120 pounds a year and once again gives you unlimited pages and data storage as well as three free stock images, one custom URL, a PayPal Button, an email address and the original 43 templates.

Not only is the free package better by every measure since you get more pages, storage, and templates and are essentially paying 70 pounds for one picture, which is an order of magnitude cheaper to buy on your own, but even the Business plan is far too expensive for what you gain. In reality, Basekit wants you to work with their partners who can offer so much more. Also, PayPal buttons are not only free on the PayPal websites, but can be easily added for free in the Basekit editor.

THE GOOD

Basekit’s editor is fast, easy to use, and can help you get a high quality website up online in minutes

THE BAD

The hosting plans are confusing

AND THE UGLY

The website is difficult to navigate and makes editing previously made sites, uploading pictures, or managing anything a pain

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