Are you a business owner who feels it’s time to move from traditional to online marketing? This Vistaprint website builder review is going to be very relevant read on how your goals can be met. Today, we are going to explore some cool features provided by this company and find out how far it can go to boost your local business presence.
Vistaprint at a Glance
In 1999, Robert Keane started a service by just printing brochures and name cards for small businesses. The company later grows to become Vistaprint that operates from various offices around the world. Today, they not only produce physical but also digital marketing products, one of which is the website building platform that I’ll be discussing in this article.
To get to the builder, you need to first sign up as a member with Vistaprint (it’s free). At the homepage, search under Digital Marketing > Websites and that link will ask whether you want to do it yourself OR engage with their team to build one for you.
When creating on your own, there are three types of hosting packages to choose from;
- Starter – $5/month
- Standard – $18/month
- Premium – $25/month (with an online store and social marketing)
For the purpose of this review, I decided to check out the Premium package as it comes with an online store and social media marketing feature which I think is something that may interest you.
Key Features of Vistaprint Website Builder – The Pros
There is a lot of stuff that I really like about Vistaprint so let me start with the first one first.
1) If website building sounds like a daunting task, you’ll be pleased to know that the editor is very intuitive and it also comes with a virtual guide on how to construct the site step-by-step. It uses content blocks which are specific elements to build a page. Business information such as maps, videos, customer reviews, and events can be easily added using these blocks with flexible arrangements. There are absolutely no coding skills needed.
2) Having reviewed other companies, I found that their templates (website design and layout) are quite professional looking and there are plenty of varieties to choose from. If you specify what business niche you are in, Vistaprint will narrow down the choices and presents the most suitable templates to be used.
3) Since there’s no limit to how many items you can put up on the online store, this means you get to sell more products and increase the business revenue. This is an added advantage, considering how other companies would often restrict the number of product listings according to hosting plans.
4) The in-house domain service is included within the Standard and Premium package so if you have yet to purchase a business domain, the process of connecting the new domain to a business website can be easily done within the program. Again, one less technical step to worry about.
5) Imagery is very important for any online businesses to attract readers, but not everyone can afford to purchase or knows how to take professional photographs. Fortunately, the website builder comes with a free image library where you can find pictures that are most relevant to your niche. This is a huge time and money saver, especially for those who are on a budget.
6) Unlike other companies that require an upgrade in order to remove their logos,
Vistaprint has been generous enough not to publish them regardless of hosting packages. That way, you can truly shine with your own business without any conflicting logos.
7) Since the company also does the printing for business cards, stationery and merchandise, it’s a convenient solution for those seeking to expand their business branding through these marketing materials, instead of having to go through different services.
8) Moving on to something more advanced, it’s good to see that the builder comes with a blogging feature that includes a meta title and meta description for each post that will prompt the search engines to discover your business website through keyword searches. Likewise, you can also do the same for images through the use of ALT Tags.
9) Besides that, the program also enables visitor tracking with Google Analytics and optimizing website visibility through Google Search Console. Both of these free Google services work great, especially if you are using content (i.e blog articles) to attract new visitors from the search engines.
10) For an additional fee of $20/month, Vistaprint integrates with Constant Contact (a reputable marketing company) to allow your business to send emails up to 500 subscribers. Again, a convenient add-on that comes with guided steps on how to start your first email marketing campaign.
11)Last but not least, the program also helps your business grow some social presence by setting up a Facebook page. With this feature, you can easily post activities, get customer reviews as well as selling products through social marketing.
What The Builder Lacks – The Cons
As much as I like the diversity of the website builder, there are some features that can benefit from certain improvement.
1) Firstly, there’s no direct login for the website. You always need to sign in through the homepage, click through the Digital Marketing tab, before you can find the access. The extra steps just create more waiting time, if you don’t mind that.
2) The blog editor has very limited features. One of which that I don’t like is the inability to truncate an article for blogroll viewing. Hence, if your article is about 800 words long, the entire length will be shown on the page, followed by the next article. This makes the page view very long and somewhat disengaging to read.
3) In comparison to other eCommerce solutions, Vistaprint’s online store system isn’t really the best out there. The product page only allows one image view, PayPal is the only checkout option and most importantly, there’s no provision of SSL certificates to keep the customer’s and the business’s information safe online. This makes your organization more succumb to internet hacking and less desirable for consumers to shop at.
So, Is Vistaprint Website Builder Worthy of Your Time
Considering the growing percentage of local businesses striving to create an online presence, the feature on Vistaprint does makes it easy for owners to create and manage their business websites from all over the world. At the most basic, it’s less challenging to set up and way more affordable too.
However, you will also need to think about getting more new customers, selling more products/services and building a trustworthy business brand for long term success. This crucial information certainly doesn’t come with hosting plans and it’s something you need to learn or engage professional services to do it for you. In that aspect, I find that Vistaprint website builder can only deliver about 70% of what your local business needs.
I hope this review has given you something to think about in terms of scaling up for your business organization. If you prefer to do things yourself- building a website and picking up some bits and pieces of marketing skills – sign up to this awesome training community and you’ll be on the way to become a successful online business owner.
Question: Have you ever used Vistaprint website builder or something similar? What do you think are some of the best ways for local businesses to market their brands online? Please share your comments in the space below.