Moonfruit Website Builder
Moonfruit is one of the pioneer website builders. It entered the market in January 2000, during the dot-com bubble. Initially, Moonfruit was supported entirely by advertisements. But when the bubble burst, this site maker became a subscription-based web service. Moonfruit is now running in its fifth version serving roughly 6 million customers worldwide (5.66 million as of end of 2012) from their headquarters in London, England, UK. On 16 May 2012, Hibu plc (formerly Yell Group plc) has acquired Moonfruit for £18M.
Although Moonfruit seems to be less advertised than its competitors, it is still a very popular web service that has firmly entrenched in its niche. Can it pose danger to the site building powerhouses like Wix, Weebly or Squarespace? Let’s look at it from within.
Ease of Use: Point and click, drag and drop, and see what you get 🙂 . Their admin panel is very intuitive and easy-to-navigate. Everything is always at your fingertips. Perfect for novice webmasters.
The builder is backed by the editor that works on the ‘absolute positioning’ editing principle (as opposed to those running on the ‘box’ or ‘module’ principle). This means you can place the elements anywhere on the page, but you can’t swap templates then.
Flexibility: Their HTML5-powered platform allows users create rather complex websites of different types: blogs, portfolios, e-shops, business websites, etc. Moreover, the system automatically optimizes your website for smartphones and tablets – nothing is required on your part.
Custom domain: Similarly to many other freemium website builders, you can use either a free subdomain to publish your website, or upgrade your plan to get a custom domain. Good news is that 3 out of 4 paid plans come with 1 or more free domain names.
SEO: Moonfruit offers a standard SEO pack where you can enter such Meta Tags as Keywords, Page Title and Description. They also provide you with an in-depth SEO guide giving you practical advice on how to define your site description, keywords, how to get your website indexed by the search engines, linking tips and more.
Designs: I think their template collection is really great. They’re all very stylish and modern. What about customization – you can customize practically any piece of their default templates with the pixel accuracy: you can layer them, make them transparent and crop them, as well as choose from hundreds of colors and fonts.
Technical support: In case you face any difficulties when using the system, you can either go to their Forum or submit a technical query. They also provide you with multiple guides and how-to’s.
Pricing: As for me, it’s a bit confusing. They offer a free plan, and 4 paid subscriptions. However, when you log in using their free plan, you see the message that your free trial expires in 15 days. Then, another message appears, saying that you can keep your account free in case you update it regularly. For more details visit their Pricing Page.
Possible drawbacks: I think that the only problem is their limited Free plan. You can use it to see the way the platform works and to get some experience. But you can’t use it for a full-fledged website: the storage is limited to 20MB only, saying nothing about Moonfruit branding. On uCoz website builder, for instance, Free plan comes with 400MB and ability to connect your own domain name (you may want to read our full uCoz review).
However, in case you’re about to build a lightweight website just to show your contact data and a brief service description, their Free plan will work for you.
Another disadvantage is that Moonfruit doesn’t open up the codes. You’re limited to using provided building blocks, but can’t make changes directly to the site’s code.
The strongest side: I think their most winning feature is the ability to run a full-fledged shop even when using their Free plan (remember that your storage is limited to 20MB only).
Moonfruit Review: Conclusion
Moonfruit is one of the most robust, reliable website builders. It has been serving millions of websites worldwide since 2000, and its experts definitely know how to cater the needs of the most demanding users. I enjoyed their interface, their great designs and the overall ease of use. However, their pricing details are a bit misleading 🙂 .
You may also test this platform yourself – it will take you less than 10 minutes to build a backbone of your website there. It’s free, so you risk nothing 🙂 . This article was inspired by the Moonfruit website builder review written by Howard Steele.
You may want to take a look at functioning Moonfruit website examples.