One of the strategies to keep your small businesses running is to carve an online presence in its own niche such as getting your brand out there and building a social following. If you haven’t got a website yet, this Rocketspark website builder review might interest you.
What Is Rocketspark?
Rocketspark is a web hosting and an eCommerce software company that was founded by a team of web developers from New Zealand. Since 2009, their mission has been to help small business owners build a bigger audience through an easy to set up, cost effective and professional looking website.
Here’s a quick overview on what’s inside.
It’s basically a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) type of platform which means, the backend of the web editing is pretty much the same as what you would see when the site is published. Organizing any type of content is pretty intuitive as it uses functional blocks to position and execute a certain element.
Depending on what you are building, there are two main hosting plans to choose from;
- Business website – $39 NZD/month (about $27 USD) or $399 NZD/year ($280 USD)
- Business website plus eCommerce;
- 10 products – $39 NZD/month
- 400 products – $49 NZD/month
- 800 products – $59 NZD/month
- 800+ products – $89 NZD/month
Now let’s see what are the features that you can benefit from this software.
What I Like
1) Unlike other website builders, I find that Rocketspark’s editing dashboard is well-designed; it’s not confusing, doesn’t have a ‘slippery’ interface and loads fairly quick.
2) The platform is built with SEO in mind and all the on-page factors are integrated into the system to help a website rank on Google.
3) Their support center is full of resources from how to use the builder effectively to setting up a payment processing online. What I really like is that they provide an SEO guide which teaches how to optimize your site from the ground up. Again, not many website building platform has this information readily available.
4) Heck, they even show you how to list your business on Google, which is almost like an additional advertising channel. In case you don’t know, this is a free feature provided by Google which enables your web business details to show up whenever someone performs a local search.
Once verified, your listing would look something like this;
5) In the hosting packages, two things stood out to me; unlimited storage and unlimited blog posts. Why is this important?
Because you get to publish unlimited content (good SEO practice) that can help your business website to rank and attract readers. Many companies would have restricted these features and get you to upgrade plans for more access, but that’s certainly not the case with Rocketspark.
6) To make a website multipurpose, the company has integrated many third-party services that will enable businesses to do online bookings, process payments, conduct customer reviews and etc.
These are all great add-ons which I think will make an online business stands out and engage with their customers more effectively.
What I Dislike
As great as this software might sound, it does come with some drawbacks that you need to be aware of.
1) While it seems like a good deal to get a free domain for the first year of subscription, the domain renewal fee – at about $35 per year – is fairly expensive. Other web companies could offer lower pricing.
2) To build a website, you need to have a template and with Rocketspark, there are only 24 designs available. That’s not a lot to choose from when you consider the variety of niches that could exist in the small business industry.
If you are using the WordPress platform, this wouldn’t be a problem because there are thousands of selections with new ones being added every month.
3) The importance of using keywords in the content was mentioned in one part of the SEO guide, but the actual keyword research process was not demonstrated thoroughly and I don’t find it effective to use Google Keyword Tool (as per their recommendation) as the sole reference.
You’ll need a more refined tool such as Jaaxy that can show competition metrics because this is the value to refer to if you are looking to rank on the search engines.
4) Last but not least, the web commenting system uses Disqus, an add-on service, which I find rather inconvenient because one has to create an account before he/she can engage in a comment. Remember, not all our readers are web savvy or keen to sign up for services that they don’t use a lot (or at all).
So, Can Rocketspark Help Your Business to Grow?
Overall, I find that Rocketspark is very transparent with their offers. The simplicity of the software clearly has non-techie people in mind and they don’t try to confuse you with upsells. If you want a simple way to build a website that can potentially be found online, this is a good place to start with.
However, growing a web business isn’t always a linear process. You need to keep up SEO and PPC knowledge to sustain and make profit for the long term. Unfortunately, such hands-on approach can’t be found within the Rocketspark resource guide.
A better place to acquire this knowledge is through the tools and training courses provided by Wealthy Affiliate. For about the same amount of web hosting fee, you are benefiting from these advantages;
- An affordable all-inclusive in-house domain for $13.99/year.
- Elaborated tutorials and video training on keyword research.
- A free in-house keyword research tool that will help your web pages to rank.
- Step-by-step on how to set up a WordPress website which I think is a more powerful platform for building an online website.
- Plus, all these helpful features when you become a yearly member.
I hope you’ve benefited from this Rocketspark website builder review and are now more informed about which platform that might suit your business needs. If you have any questions or thoughts about starting an online business from scratch, feel free to leave your comment below and I’ll get back the soonest.
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