Gutensite Review

Gutensite is a bit confusing as far as what it is that they are trying to accomplish. On one hand, they have an excellent interface and a great tutorial, on the other hand they are fairly expensive for what you’re getting and limit the user in the strangest ways. That being said, Gutensite offers an interesting approach to website design and does give the user a number of options to work with in creating high quality pages with business in mind.

EASE OF USE

One of the first things that you’ll notice upon signing up for Gutensite is that they provide a lot of detail-oriented tutorials and on-screen guides to help you get the idea of how to use their site. While this is a worthy and admirable thing, it also runs into the problem that they are somewhat necessary in order to use their builder. There are hints of an intuitive design there, but the way they created their editor, you need to have that initial training in order to work it properly. Once you get the hang of it, it works fairly well and having access to the code at any level of service is a good idea if they want people to be entirely satisfied with the website they end up creating.

BUILDING

The way that you actually build is not very intuitive and, despite the extensive tutorials, has a learning curve of at least a few hours of dedicated work. It looks as if the developers at Gutensite wanted to create a fast, stripped down design system that would get to the basics of creating a Web page, but they went too far and now; it’s incomprehensible at first glance. Sure, a site map is a great visual for how a site is built, but only when the user understands what it means. That being said, once you figure it out, you can do some really spectacular stuff in their editor. There are very few limits to the possibilities for apps, widgets, and modules of all sorts. Simple animations are no problem to do, and you also can easily adjust your website to make a mobile version.

HOSTING

Hosting is something that Gutensite does well in that they give you a lot of opportunity to publish your site. One thing putting them ahead of their competition is that their lowest priced plan gives you roughly five times the amount of stuff that you get with the basic plans of other sites as far as hosting goes. Then again, the basic plans for other sites are free and this one charges a monthly fee. Still, the number of pages, domains, and admin accounts gets to “unlimited” on the hierarchy of plans pretty quickly, which is a good sign. It’s fairly easy to map a URL to your creation if you want to buy a domain or host most of your stuff elsewhere and just build through Gutensite.

MARKETING

Gutensite thinks of things like search engine optimization and other forms of Internet marketing. While you do have to pay for every plan, you get plenty of marketing tools that increase with every level. No matter what plan you get, you’ll have control over your SEO and an email marketing program that you can work with in order to build a database and get a regular mailer going out. It’s all very well-designed.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

It cannot be stressed enough that their customer service is among the best out there for this kind of site. Not only do they have some of the most detailed and well put together tutorials and guides, they also have searchable documentation, forums, Twitter help, live chat, and an actual phone number that people can call for support or help just getting started. Again, there’s a learning curve to using this site, and a good support infrastructure is necessary, but this is going above and beyond even that to make sure that their customers get the help they need when they need it.

PRICING

There are four plans available through Gutensite:

Brochure: This plan costs $15 dollars per month and comes with everything you need to make a detailed, professional website. The most impressive thing about it is that you get the email marketing option with this, the basic and least expensive plan, and there are far too many features to name.

Growth: The next level up gives you everything at the previous levels plus some extras. In this case, for $55 per month, you can also enjoy things like more pages, admin accounts, storage, and bandwidth, as well as many more advanced options to add to your website.

Pro: At $95 a month, you should expect a lot out of this package and you get it. The advanced marketing tools alone make it worthwhile, though there are some great benefits to having a Dedicated Webmaster Assistant.

Premium: This plan costs $245 a month and they don’t even list all of the benefits on the website. In fact, you have to call in for what they call a “consultation” in order to learn everything.

THE GOOD

This is a powerful system that gives you a whole lot for your money

THE BAD

There should be at least one free plan available

AND THE UGLY

Detailed guides aside, it is too difficult to learn quickly and the design is so bare bones that it becomes hard to use

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