CityMax Review

When you first go to the CityMax website, you’re immediately confronted with a clearly professional page that is modeled like many other Web-based business pages. It’s a bit busy, but it gets the point across that they are there to help you build the best website that they can, and it’s easy to feel confident about that. However, the busy design should be a sign that with great power comes great confusion, and it only gets more difficult to use as you go on.

EASE OF USE

It would be unfair to call CityMax “difficult” to use, so much as they throw so many options at you with no basic look at what you’re doing that it’s easy to get lost in the page. You can see what they were trying to do: translate the code, even some really complex code, into visual representations that can be manipulated by anyone, but the problem is that there is no live preview of what the page you’re making looks like. Instead, you have to sort of keep it all in your head as you scroll around the screen working on one element at a time. There is just far too much to keep in your head if you aren’t used to visualizing the parts of a website as separate elements. This is a classic example of over complication in the name of simplicity.

BUILDING

This builder is closer to template-based rather than drag and drop, but it’s not quite accurate to qualify it as either entirely. Rather, you choose certain design styles and elements then fill in boxes to populate them with content, but you also have sliders, buttons, toggles, and related ways to change those base designs. On the one hand, it’s actually very powerful in the sense that there is very little that you can’t control in building your website. On the other hand, it is amazingly confusing and would take hours of playing and reading documentation to really have anything approaching a full grasp of how this builder works.

One thing that can be said in its favor is that adding things is pretty easy. You may not know where they go, but putting a store on your website is actually pretty simple to do and part of the service, for example. Similarly, integration with Google and social networks is pretty simple to activate.

HOSTING

Hosting is done primarily as subdomains of citymax.com, which is a bit baffling considering that there are no free options. You can get a 10 day trial when you first sign up, but after that any work you’ve done gets taken down. Otherwise, you’re expected to pay over $20 per month for a subdomain with statistics that are difficult to find at best. You can get a regular URL for an additional charge through another service.

MARKETING

If there is one thing about CityMax that really stands out, it is that it has better marketing options than almost any other service of its kind. Signing up for this service gives you easy access to submit your website to the biggest search engines for indexing; it also gives you plenty of credits for paid advertising and mass emailing services; finally, it helps you find websites that make social media marketing easier, and a whole lot more. It even has quite a bit of information on how to do pay per click advertising.

More to the point, the tracking tools are fantastic. You get regular reports with detailed information that can be used to focus and target your marketing in order to get the best results. All of this is where you should think of your money going, since it’s more than worth it.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Support from this company is pretty good, at least from what I could decipher on their trial. They did spend a lot of time trying to get me to upgrade when I was asking for help with an unrelated question, which is annoying but not unexpected. Otherwise, their people are friendly and helpful, email was answered quickly, and common questions were easy to find on their searchable documentation.

PRICING

This is where things get tricky. It’s not really clear what you get with the pricing since it’s all one plan. Presumably, everything they offer comes with the single plan, but I had a hard time finding exactly what they’re actually offering. Like I said above, the marketing alone is probably worth it, but it would be nice to have an easy list of all the available features to take advantage of.
Beyond that, you can get a CityMax page for $24.98 monthly, $22.98 monthly if you buy six months, and $21.98 monthly if you buy a year.

THE GOOD

The marketing options available to you are top-notch, and a business website would really benefit from this

THE BAD

There’s only one plan and no easy way to see what it actually provides

AND THE UGLY

The interface is far too complicated for most novice webmasters to use

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