Vistaprint Review

Vistaprint is a well-known and respected company with a big name in the business world, mostly in regards to their physical printing services. And their reputation is well deserved in printing, without a doubt, but one has to wonder if that same quality can transfer to a website builder and site hosting. In a word: yes. Like with many of its other services, Vistaprint has managed to integrate web building into a larger system, making it easy to not only create a website and host it, but also to make sure that it matches other materials printed via the company. While much of what is being offered is simple and the prices are commensurate with the rest of their products, for a small company that is looking to gain the additional reach and credibility of a website, Vistaprint is probably a good way to go.

Ease of Use

This is the primary feature that Visatprint would like to push, not just in terms of how easy it is to use the builder, but to stress the inter-connectivity of the service, which is actually quite impressive. Perhaps the best thing about websites created using this builder is that they are intended to match the templates that are used to create business cards and stationary, creating a consistent vision for a company as well as a professional look.

Building

The builder itself is very simple to use for people with very little or no website creation experience. It starts with choosing a template with which to work, then has an easy point and click interface in order to upload photos and customize the copy on the page to suit the user’s business needs. Perhaps the biggest drawback is that it is highly restrictive. This was obviously created for the average business owner and not one that is accustomed to website creation as it gives no access to HTML and CSS, nor does it allow very much wiggle room as far as the formatting goes. Users are locked into the layout of the template that they choose, making the pages feel a little cookie cutter. They’re well designed, but it’s difficult to anticipate what would be useful for a particular type of business, especially when matching other media becomes involved.

Hosting

This is where the price differences come into play, which will be covered in more detail below. Essentially, a basic website is given a subdomain for the smallest package and a standard domain for the rest. Domain Pointing can be used if the person buying the basic package already has a domain name, though, so at least that is available. The user will have unlimited pages on all of the available packages, but only get the mobile site on the second and third tier plans. One of the big perks is that Vistaprint also offers unlimited websites on any package, a good sign that the company wants people who own multiple businesses to work with that system. Vistaprint’s servers are not outright discussed, but they seem to be high quality and provide rapid loading at various times during the day. Further, there doesn’t seem to be a monthly bandwidth limit, another excellent benefit for those with growing businesses.

Marketing

All of the marketing tools seem to be reserved for the top tier package which, while affordable, shouldn’t really rely on these. The SEO tools are good and the social media marketing simple to use if mostly just a shortcut for things that can be done for free with some extra work. That being said, the company does seem to code the HTML tags properly at all levels, which is a good sign.

Customer Support

Support is absolutely fantastic from Vistaprint. It already had the infrastructure in place when the program started, so it was pretty easy to make sure that phone support was available. Further, the online resources are detailed and easy to understand. Perhaps the most impressive thing is how proactive the company is. On the main page, customers are able to review the company and its service. Under every one star review is a comment from somebody at the company apologizing and asking for a phone call so they can help solve any problems. That is high quality service.

Pricing

There are three packages offered by this service. All start charging after a one month free trial.

1. Basic – For $3.34 a month, users get unlimited pages, a basic web address (subdomain), one email address, basic phone support, and basic site activity reports.

2. Standard – For $10 a month, users get everything above plus a premium URL, 12 email addresses, search engine submissions, and a mobile site.

3. Premium – $16.67 a month gets users the addition of unlimited email addresses, premium site statistics, a shopping cart, SEO tools, and social media marketing tools.

The Good

  • This is high quality website building with a focus on creating a consistent business look.
  • The customer support structure is top-notch

The Bad

  • SEO tools should really be part of the second tier plan.

And The Ugly

  • Attempts to make everything consistent has seriously limited the ability to customize the site.

 

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