This is a non bias review of the website building tool SiteMaker Live provided by Moonfruit.
What is Moonfruit?
Moonfruit is a flash based online website building tool that was founded back in 2000. The site is one of the oldest site building tools on the web, having survived the dot-com bubble, today there are more than 5,000,000 small businesses using Moonfruit to reach out to their audiences, including myself.
In this review I will properly highlight some of the pros and cons of using Moonfruit and what it can offer the small business owner. Does the old veteran of site building tools Moonfruit still have a place in the in a modern internet world where technology is continually evolving? Let’s find out…
Moonfruit Review 2012
Moonfruit uses a point-and-click interface and drag-and-drop templates, to provide its users, (users with zero website building experience), the power to create a stunning professional website in a just a matter of a few hours and not months. The idea of paying for a premium monthly fee for a professional website, complete with hosting, your own domain and ample of web space, appeals to many individuals looking for an easy and affordable way to get their business online.
You see the problem is that not everyone is a tech savvy web designer. Running your business is one challenge in itself, learning how to build a website is another. This is where Moonfruit comes in… Moonfruit SiteMaker offers a clutter free self explanatory UI; giving you the complete freedom to move things about on your pages with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Absolutely anyone can create the website of their dreams with this type of editing power.
- Clutter free
- Easy to use
- UI Cross browser compatible
- Heavily dependent on flash
- UI a little dated compared to many interfaces of other site building tools
- Loading times can get a little long, depending on your connection and the amount of objects you have served on your web page, even though Moonfruit site’s are now served from CDN’s
Moonfruit SiteMaker has a vast library of pre-design templates for you to choose from alternatively you can start from a complete blank canvas. Customizing your Moonfruit site really is limitless, the options available to you is overwhelming at the best of times.
As I mentioned earlier Moonfruit SiteMaker uses a point-and-click interface and drag-and-drop templates, which can make designing your website fun. Aligning objects on your page can prove quite challenging at first; however there are a few keyboard shortcuts, tips and tricks that can help you achieve perfect alignment for anything on your page. For example using the outline of a box shape as a guide can really be of great help.
- A vast library of design elements, shapes, effects, fonts, titles, social tools, ecommerce tools plus much more at your disposal
- A vast library of pre-design templates to choose from
- Upload your own images, videos, PDF’s etc
- No grid means aligning objects can prove challenging in design
Mobile & Social Integration
Moonfruit’s software automatically creates a mobile optimized version of your site. You can also edit how your site looks on devices via the Mobile Editor Interface; Moonfruit will also push your entire shop into your Facebook page with easy Facebook integration options in Shop settings.
- Customizable mobile version of your site
- Integrate your shop into your Facebook page
Moonfruit offers a FAQ page and support via ticket. The support is quite responsive as on two recent occasions they responded within 24 hours of submitting a query. There is also a blog and community forum where you can find answers to your queries most of the time.
Whilst Moonfruit is still dependent on Flash I would love to see them steer towards HTML5, but for now that’s not likely to happen. However having said that Moonfruit still offer exceptional tools and features to the novice website builder and at good value for money too, even in 2012.
Whilst there are other options for building a website on the cheap, Moonfruit is still one of the best in the field. I have been using them for the last 8 years so it’s hard for me not to recommend them to someone looking to build a website on the cheap and without too much technical knowledge. I’ll leave you to decide. Check out the video below -