Strikingly is a relative new website builder. It launched in 2012 and since then it has carved out a niche for itself in the website builder market.
Initially it marketed itself as the best solution for building one-page sites. It is still best known as one page website builder, however lately they have added features to add extra pages, a basic blog and eCommerce store.
In this post I will take a closer look at the Strikingly Website Builder.
The Strikingly lets you create website using drag and drop editor. These days drag and drop editing is a standard. Lets take a look if the editor is easy and feature rich.
1: Ease of Use
The editor is laid out in 2 logical sections. The left sidebar and the site canvas. The left sidebar lists all the elements which can be added to the site canvas. The Strikingly editor reminds me of the Weebly Editor.
The Editor uses a section based approach. The website page is divided into sections. You can easily add / delete new sections on the page. Strikingly gives you a library of pre built sections which you can easily add to the page. Once you add a section you can easily switch the section layouts or section background image.
Overall, I find the editor very easy and intuitive. I would say it is one of the easiest editor around.
2: Theme Switching
You can easily switch theme any time during the website building process. You can search for a new template form the Style Settings in the sidebar, preview it and install it.
Strikingly also lets you inject custom code to the header and footer section of your website. However this feature is only available in paid plans.
As of now, It is not possible to create and upload your own theme to Strikingly.
3: Site Revision and backup
Right there is no way to backup a certain version of your website. So if you end up making a mess of your website, there is no way for you to restore your website to a previous working state.
4: Image Manager
Strikingly has a basic image manager which lets you access uploaded images at one place. You can add images to Strikingly image manager by uploading or directly from web url. Its a very basic Image manager and there is no way to search for uploaded image or categorize them.
Strikingly also gives you access to a collection of images through its library. Its library is powered by Unsplash.
5: Mobile Specific Elements
This is a handy feature offered by Strikingly. It lets you add elements which are only visible on specific devices.
So for example. this features lets you add mobile specific CTA. Take note that this feature is only available in paid plans.
Overall, I find the Editor very easy to use. The editor is laid out neatly and intuitively. It offers all the basic features like Drag/ Drop editing, Theme Switching and a basic image manager. I specially like the mobile specific elements feature.
Strikingly has a decent collection of templates. They are neatly organized into various categories and chances are you will find one which suits your need and use case. All templates are responsive by default. Currently it is not possible to create and upload your own templates on Strikingly.
New themes are released on a regular basis. If you are a small business, chances are that you will find a theme which suits your use case.
Strikingly offers a very basic blog module. It lets you add posts, assign categories, add images / text to the posts etc. However I find it quite limiting. Here is an analysis of the features offered in blogging module.
#1. Creating a Post
Creating a post is simple and straightforward, it lets you create rich posts with option to insert media like images and video. The editor is basic and it suited for creating simple blog posts only. It is possible to add blog categories. However there is no support for featured images, featured posts, post scheduling etc.
2. Blog Authors
There is no way to add additional blog authors. So it is not possible to create a multi author blog. This is not a critical feature unless you plan to take up blogging professionally.
3. Blog comments
The native commenting is a bit limited. However, you can easily integrate with commenting platforms like Disqus or Facebook comments.
- AMP is supported for blog posts.
- Not possible to setup permalinks on a global basis.
- The blog url is hard coded and it cannot be edited.
- No easy way to setup pagination
The blogging functionality offered by Strikingly is quite basic. It is geared towards basic bloggers and it is not suited for advanced bloggers. It is missing quite a few important features like pretty permalinks, pagination, multi column posts etc. It is evident that the blog module is not a major area of focus for Strikingly.
Is Strikingly good for SEO?
On the first look, yes, Strikingly appears to be an SEO friendly platform. In-fact I would say that these days, most website builders are SEO friendly.
They support most of the SEO features out of the box and Strikingly is no exception.
Important SEO Features
- Meta Tags and Description – You can easily edit the meta descriptions and titles on every page and blog post.
- Custom Url’s – Short and readable url structure like (mysite.com/this-is-a-post) are recommended from SEO perspective. Strikingly lets you easily edit the url on page by page basis. It does not offer global url settings.
- SSL – Google recently confirmed ssl as a ranking factor. Strikingly has this covered as all paid plans have SSL enabled by default.
- Image Alt Text – You can easily add alt text to the images on your website. In order to add alt text, all you need to do is select the image and add the alt text.
- SiteMaps – Strikingly automatically creates a real-time sitemap for your website. So whenever you make any changes to your website, the sitemap gets updated. There is no way to edit the xml sitemap . In fact no hosted website builder provides users access to the xml sitemap file.
- AMP– Strikingly provides an inbuilt AMP feature. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile pages and if mobile traffic is important to you, then you will find the native AMP useful.
- Redirects – As of now there is NO Way to redirect an old url to a new url. This is a very important feature if you plan to build a large site. However Strikingly does not offer this basic SEO feature.
Overall Strikingly is an SEO friendly platform. However I dont think SEO is or will be a strong suite for a website built on Strikingly platform. First, It is missing some important features ans secondly, one page websites (which Strikingly is known for) are hard to rank on Google. If search engine traffic is very important for you, then I would say you have better options than Strikingly.
How good is Strikingly Ecommerce?
Strikingly offers an Ecommerce addon which lets you add ecommerce features to your single page website.
#1: Adding Products
Adding products is quick and easy and you can add a product directly from inside the editor. You can easily setup product prices, weight, inventory, description etc. However there is no way to add digital products or booking products.
Also, it is not possible to import products in bulk.
#2: Inventory Management
Strikingly does not offer inventory management features. So if you want to find out if you are running out of product, you are out of luck. You will need to open every product and view its inventory count there.
#3: Product Display and organization
You can easily embed a collection of products to a particular page. You can list all products or you list products from specific categories. However the design options are limited and there is serious lack of customization when it comes to managing single product display.
One big issue is that there is no way to add meta tags or edit the url of a single product. This is a glaring omission and is something which should have been there.
Lack of pagination means that there is no way to breakdown a large collection of products in multiple pages.
#4: Payment Gateways and Transaction fees
Strikingly supports three payment methods.
- Offline Payments
So effectively Strikingly only supports 2 payments gateways. This is a bit of a downer. Stripe has limited availability across the world. So if you are in a country which does not have Stripe, Paypal is your only option.
One good thing is that Strikingly does not charge a transaction fee on any of its plans.
#5: Apps and Integrations
Currently, Strikingly does not integrate with eCommerce specific apps. Only apps available are apps related to widgets , forms, maps and comments.
Ecommerce is not a strong suite for Strikingly. You can use the eCommerce module to run a very basic store but even then chances are that you will run into a lot of limitations. Even if you are a small eCommerce business, I will not recommend using Strikingly. If you want a good looking website with a basic store, I would recommend you to go with Wix, Weebly or Squarespace.
Strikingly Pricing Plans
Strikingly offers 3 premium plans. The pricing depends upon if you are on monthly payment of annual plan.
- Limited– $8 / month when paid yearly (includes 2 basic sites)
- Pro– $16 / month when paid yearly ( includes 3 premium websites)
- VIP – $49 / month when paid yearly (includes 5 premium websites.)
- If you want to remove Strikingly branding then you will have to upgrade to Limited Plan. So you have to shell out 200 / year to remove the Strikingly branding
- The Pro plan and above give you access to mobile specific elements.
- The Pro plans and above lets you insert custom code to site header and footer
- The Limited plan lets you add 5 products per site, Pro plan 300 products per site and VIP plan – 500 products per site
- VIP plans give you access to a newsletter tool also.
In addition to paid plans, Strikingly also offers a free plan which lets you create a basic site on their sub domain.
I find Strikingly a bit expensive for the feature it offers. For example the most expensive Squarespace plan goes $40/month and offers more powerful features. On the other hand the $49 plan offered by Strikingly offers lesser number of features.
The main benefits is that Strikingly lets you build 5 premium website in the $49/month plan. So, if you are a reseller and build a lot of websites for clients, then you will find value in Strikingly. So effectively, at $49/month, you can support 5 clients.
Strikingly is ideally suited for creating one page websites. The editor is super easy and offers a nice set of features. I am not a fan of one page sites, but if that is what you are after, you must check out Strikingly.
Strikingly started its life as a single page website builder but they now also support adding multiple pages on your website. If you are after building a multi page website, then you have better options in Wix, Weebly and Squarespace.
Strikingly is ideal for
- Creating one page websites
- Beginners wanting to quickly create a website
- Building a basic portfolio website
- Resellers who build website for clients
Strikingly is not suitable
- If SEO is an important part of your website strategy
- If you plan to run a medium sized eCommerce store
- If you plan to take blogging seriously