NuBook — Website Builder Review

With website builders, the sign-up page of the company is usually a pretty good indication of what you can expect from the service. What can be immediately said about the NuBook website is that it is clever, clean and easy to use. It puts a lot of its important information in strange places, but at the very least it can be accessed. What is more interesting, however, is that if the NuBook builder were used to make its own site, it would be pretty simple to change the theme within minutes with only limited manual changes. That is pretty unique.

Ease of Use

While not entirely the simplest platform available, the NuBook system’s failure is only in providing a lot of organizational tools that need to be learned to get the most out of the builder. In fact, once a user has gotten the hang of it, it’s easy to drag and drop pages around, group them as needed, create links, and mostly control the underlying structure of websites made with it.

Creating individual pages is not particularly difficult to do and is mostly drag-and-drop with a few side bar interactions and of course typing to add appropriate content. Almost anyone can use the system with a little playing around and practice, though experienced web builders will be frustrated by the lack of access to any of the code. While this is growing more and more common, it can still be irritating to have to learn how to use a system when it’s quicker to type something. A balanced approach to web building is best, and this platform locks the user out of that.

Building

The primary way that building is done with the NuBook builder is through bouncing back and forth between templates and drag-and-drop interfaces. Strangely enough, this seems to work, employing both methods in the ways that they are best suited. The templates are extensive, ranging in the hundreds with a great selection among them. There is an option to make custom pages if really necessary, but it seems to be pretty much for very specific purposes. In most cases, it’s fine just to use the templates made available.

Perhaps best of all is that if the user changes the template on an already existing page, the page will change around the content with very little to manually alter. This makes it easy to try new presentations. The caveat to all of this is that these are very simple pages. No blogs, no shopping carts, no additional spaces for Twitter feeds or the like. NuBook is just for the very basic designs to make something look professional and ideally point to a more interactive site.

Hosting

Building a page on NuHost uses the same format as many companies like it: allow people to host on a subdomain of the main site or use a custom URL if they have purchased one. There’s nothing particularly remarkable about their hosting other than that they don’t give any numbers for how much bandwidth is allowed per month or how much storage. Testing seems to indicate they are, like so many other builders, “unlimited until they aren’t.” In this sort of plan, a person is assumed to be using very little in the way of system resources, so the company doesn’t have to specify limits on those resources. If they get close to being a problem, they will be informed and given options to solve the problem. The vast majority of users will never get to that place.

Marketing

There’s nothing special about the marketing options at NuBook. It’s not that they’re bad, it’s just that they are nonexistent unless one counts the ability to easily make mobile websites.

Customer Support

NuBook approaches customer service with probably the laziest available option to help users: service via message board. There is very little worse than creating a board where a user can post their problems and hope that somebody from the company can see it, but will often have their question answered by another user. It’s a way of farming out service to paying customers rather than hiring the people to take care of those customers. It also has a fairly extensive Knowledgebase, but the primary way to get questions answered leaves much to be desired.

Pricing

NuBook likes to keep things simple in the pricing department. Users can sign up for a free 30 day trial without having to submit a credit card, which is pretty nice; but after that it costs either $10 a month or $100 a year. That includes making unlimited pages, hosting on the subdomain and access to all of their features. It’s a bit refreshing to not have to deal with complex plans or having to juggle price and features.

The Good

  • The NuBook platform is very well designed and easy to use
  • Plenty of templates available

The Bad

  • The types of pages that can be made are very limited, despite so many templates

And The Ugly

  • Customer service that relies primarily on message boards is little more than a way to slough off responsibility to helping customers onto other customers..

 

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