• No technical skills needed
• Free to create and host a website
• Over 100 ad-free templates
• Excellent help and support
• Coding needed to add some widgets
• Additional features come with a charge
Yola offers all you need to create and host a website, and it’s free. You pay extra for features and added customization but the basic package is good enough for a good quality site for your organization or small business.
Yola seems to offer a good option for cheap and easy website building. Will Yola replace traditional web creation software? We looked at the Yola service to see how it stacks up to some tough competition.
The free Yola plan provides you with enough features and capability to create a good quality website in a short amount of time. You need to provide a full name, email address and password and you’re up and running. You can create multiple websites under one account.
There are other plans available, which are all charged. The Yola Silver plan is quite expensive compared to other similar plans, at nearly $100 a year. But the plan includes a custom domain name, access to premium style templates, no branding and a greater amount of storage. Yola Mail gives you email for your custom domain with up to 2GB of email storage.
Yola has more than 100 customizable templates and they all come without ads and pop-ups. The templates are designed in a huge range of styles to suit businesses, organizations, and individuals. Once you’ve chosen your template you can add your own elements to make the site your own. You can upload photos, graphics, PDFs and other large files to your website with Yola. Stock photos can be bought to brighten up your site and you can link to YouTube to show your videos.
The Silver Yola package (paid-for) comes with Premium Styles that give your site a more unique look than the often basic-looking templates available in the free version.
The templates are customizable so you do have some creative control over your site without having to use any code or complicated procedures. Add a logo, add your own text, and drag-and-drop elements into your site. You can create multiple pages, edit the navigation between pages and if you want to change your background you can apply it across every page with one click. If you like, you can also edit the HTML and CSS to produce a more individual website.
According to Yola, there are over 60,000 widgets available in the Yola WidgetBox. Some you will need to code, others you can drag-and-drop straight from the sidebar into your web page. Add videos, maps, forms, texts and images. Yola is good for connecting socially with your readers and potential visitors. Add a chatroom to your site, RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Linked In, MySpace etc buttons, and Google Friend Connect. You can also add Favicons, photo galleries, calendars, forms and a blog.
Traffic statistics – The traffic facility on Yola allows you to see the number of visits your site received in the last seven days. The traffic statistics aren’t very sophisticated but they give you an idea of how popular your site is at certain times.
Ecommerce – Google Checkout isn’t integrated into the Yola site but you can add it using HTML. You can create a store with PayPal facilities using the integrated widget. You can also make money from your site by adding Google AdSense.
SEO – Yola sites are created with SEO in mind but you can also edit your meta data in order to enhance your SEO.
Hosting & domains
When you create a free website with Yola you can publish it to the web immediately using a free sub domain of Yola, for example www.newsite.yola.com For a more personalized site, transfer an existing domain of your own or buy a domain through Yola. Domain purchase is competitively priced. The hosting comes with unlimited bandwidth.
Ease of use
Yola is easy to use – that’s one of its key features and selling points. If you can navigate a simple website, click on elements and type, you can set up a site with Yola. The process is logical, clear and easy and it is very much designed for beginners. However, the more advanced features all require coding so if you want a premium-style website you need a little technical knowledge.
Help & support
Yola has got its support system sorted out. You can email customer support with your queries. The paid-for subscriptions come with premium telephone support. For a less personal, but often quicker, response type your question into the search box and look through the many FAQs and articles displayed on the site. Yola also has a large collection of support articles as well as video tutorials and you can ask a question in the Forum.
Yola offers a good quality, all-inclusive package that helps even the most technically-frightened person build their own website. The results may not be the most sophisticated in the world but if you’re looking for a simple site for your business, organization or personal use then Yola makes sense.
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