Summary of the Yola Review
Yola was founded in Capetown, Southafrica in 2007 and is today based in San Francisco. Yola claims to have more than 7 million users worldwide.
Besides simple static Websites, Yola also offers E-Commerce, Blog and mobile functions. All over all it’s a pretty solid product but compared to the competitors there are some points to criticize, points which other website builders offer better solutions for. You find these points detailed within the table below.
Overview of the review
|Ease of use||4/5||Unfortunately the editor of Yola is not self-explanatory; therefore you should take the offered explanation tour to get a sense of the basic features. After getting used to the editor the functions are pretty easy to handle.|
|Pricing||4/5||There is a free test version for beginners. The premium plans with an individual domain are priced between $4.95 to $19,95. On top you can choose some more features with costs like the “Traffic-Generator“ or the “Yola Yellow Pages“, which can be selected as options. What is not answered, however, is what added value do you receive for the money paid.|
|Setup Speed||4/5||Fast registration process with name, e-mail address and password. Through a registration wizard you’ll get to the editor pretty quickly, but the process still can’t beat the Jimdo setup speed.|
|User Interface||3/5||The user interface is a bit overloaded, or rather you feel a little lost in the beginning. Clear user guidance is missing. This is due to the small editing section, which is scaled down from the editing options that frame this section. A feeling for the overall site is somewhat lost though this design flaw.|
|Customizable||3/5||If you just use the drag and drop editing with the given widgets you’ll reach the limits pretty quickly in sense of an individual website.However, Yola also offers the possibility to edit the HTML and CSS code of the whole site, for which you have to have some technical skills.|
|Designs and Templates||4/5||There are a bunch of designs within the free version. The designs seem to be a bit old fashioned and are not categorized and there is no opportunity to filter.The designs for which you have to upgrade are mixed with the free designs, which can be confusing.|
|Going mobile||4/5||A mobile version of your website can be configured easily within the main settings, but it’s not included automatically. Unfortunately this function is available only in the premium version.|
|SEO||4/5||In the editing menu at the end of the site you can read the word „SEO“. But after clicking the link there is just a note for the option “Traffic Generator“, which is about $10 per month. To find the “real“ SEO options you have to search somewhere else: click on “sites“ and then on “site properties“ – there you can edit your OnPage SEO functions.|
|Analytics||4/5||Yola does not offer a tracking tool, but you have the chance to easily implement your Google Analytics Account. Another option is to connect your Webmaster Tools account to your site, this is an option other builders don’t offer.|
|Special Features (z.B. Widgets)||4/5||Third HTML widgets can be integrated easily, but Yola offers also their own Widgets like a calendar or professional forms. Some of the widgets are offered by Yola partners, which come with extra costs besides the normal pricing – this is not optimal.|
|Total Score||38/50||The website builder from Yola is a functional and good base for your website, bit directly compared to the competitors it lacks quality in some areas. With the free version you can get an idea for yourself.|
Sign up: On the Yola homepage you’ll be able to figure out what to do very quickly. Besides the sign-up-button there are some example sites shown in the slider that are created with Yola. With that you get a sense of what is possible. After clicking “start now” a form pops up where you have to enter your name, e-mail address and a password.
Registration Menu: After signing up you’re guided to the registration menu in which you choose a website name and the industry for your website. In step two you’re asked for your business address, which is optional. Save and finish – now you can start to work on your new Yola website.
Explanation of functions: When you get to the editing mode you should take the offered tour through the functions to get an idea of the opportunities. Here you’re guided step by step through the functions, which eases access to the product. The following elements are explained in the tour: design change, add elements and main settings. The tour ends in an extensive support section with a variety to contact opportunities when help is needed.
Outside of the tour clear guidance within the editing area is missing, meaning you’ll struggle to intuitively find the functions you’re searching for.
Add new elements: In the editing mode you will find a small plus sign (see red arrow). By clicking this sign a palette of elements opens which you can add to the site, e.g. text content, pictures, videos, forms, Google maps, HTML Widgets, etc. The newly integrated element will appear directly below the last element and you can change its position by simply dragging and dropping.
Navigation and adding new sites: When you want to add a new site, scroll with the curser on the navigation of your website – a new window will pop up with the question “Edit navigation?”, after clicking the question the editing mode for the navigation pops up and new sites can be added, site names changed and the whole structure of the site can be edited (see screenshot).
Editing: Working on your website isn’t as easy as, for example, Jimdo. Yola frames the site you’re working on with some navigation-, editing-, and upselling-menus. Due to this the appearance of your site is pretty small and you loose the sense for the whole site. When you want to add new elements to your website you can find the function in the menu-point “widgets”.
Pricing: Upon first glance the pricing of Yola is clear and simple. There is a free basic version and 3 different premium plans. The premium packages are priced between $4.95 up to $19.95 per month. What’s not clear within the pricing plans are the optional functions with costs like the Traffic Generator or the Yola Yellow Pages. What the additional value of these options for your website is, isn’t clear.
Conclusion: Yola can be classified as an average product within the segment of website builders. What is bothering is the pressure to upgrade within the free plan (designs, SEO, etc.). The pricing is a bit uncertain because of the additional options and costly partner offers, with which an additional business should be generated besides the normal pricing. From the user perspective a crystal clear pricing without hidden costs is much more trustworthy, or else you’ll always have the question: “Does this function costs extra?“
review date: 2013-11-06 | last Update: 2013-11-06 | reviewed by Dirk Fuhlhage