Zoho Sites Review
Zoho Corporation’s popular productivity suite has got a simplified website builder – Zoho Sites. It can be a great option for individuals and businesses alike when they need to set up a website quickly and with no coding knowledge or IT expertise.
Whether or not you should choose Zoho Sites as your website-building tool will become apparent after I provide you with a detailed review of the product. Let me shed light on all essential aspects of the solution – both positive and negative.
Zoho Sites Quick Summary
Zoho Sites is a cloud-based website builder tailored to inexperienced users since it doesn’t require a single line of coding to create a well-functioning elegant website. The solution introduces a number of amazing, highly customizable templates designed by professionals. Meanwhile, the user-friendly drag-and-drop editor will help you modify any template to your specific style.
Zoho Sites can also be great for business owners since it enables seamless integrations with plenty of products within the Zoho ecosystem. As a result, you can have an effectively functioning online store with increased traffic, leads, and conversions in just a few clicks.
Although Zoho Corporation was founded back in 1996 as AdventNet, it introduced the Zoho Sites website-building solution only in 2012. Today, it suits all types of users, yet best fits personal sites and small to medium size retail businesses that want to build a solid online presence.
Finally, the Zoho Sites tool is secure, and SEO optimized, offers a diversity of built-in powerful features and integrations that will seamlessly blend into your software infrastructure, and provides unlimited, reliable hosting.
Zoho Sites Price
Users with tight budgets will find Zoho Sites a convenient option thanks to its affordable pricing plans. Depending on whether you need a website for your business or agency, Zoho Sites can offer you a respective plan. The introductory Starter plan suggests creating a website with up to five pages, 500 Mb storage, 10GB bandwidth per month, five forms, files with up to 10 Mb, a gallery of five photos, and a wide range of other features.
The Pro account offers even better functionality at only $17 per month. With this tier, you can create a website with up to 50 pages, upload files with up to 100 MB size, a gallery of up to 200 photos, five menus, 301 redirects, and everything else included in the Starter plan.
Additionally, if you become a Pro account owner, a number of add-ons become available for purchase. The suggested extra services are Dynamic Content Hits, Contributor, Portal, and Page add-ons.
Opt for the Agency Plan with an annual subscription to get the full potential of Zoho Sites and not overpay. This plan is recommendable, especially for agencies with multiple sites, since it involves five sites in the bundle and offers a troubleless upgrade, streamlined billing, and immense flexibility. In addition, with this pricing tier, you can mix and match select Pro add-on packs, thus configuring the website for your specific business needs. Obtain all these services at $20 per month.
Zoho Sites pricing is more affordable than other similar tools, which is a great advantage for any startup or small business. And the 15-day free trial with no credit card requirement is completely enough for a new user to learn the ropes of the service before deciding on the pricing plan.
Building a Website on Zoho Sites
Zoho Sites website builder is a good choice for an entry-level user. However, creating one won’t take you long. Access your account, and you will be guided to build a website that best fits your business niche. Such options are available as Business, Portfolio, Education, Restaurant, Sports, Logistics, Hospital, Finance, Beauty & Spa, Travel, Law, Event, and General.
Come up with a website title and pick one of the suggested templates per your website niche. Zoho Sites allows trying a new look or altering the name at any time without losing the submitted content. Your site will load, and customization options will be suggested. The rest depends on how you picture your website and what your business presumes.
Zoho Sites Interface
Zoho introduces a supremely intuitive yet professional user interface that makes it easy to personalize a website and create a solid online presence with all the right features for a brand to thrive.
From an ease-of-use standpoint, Zoho Sites is not a bad choice. It features an improved block-based editor that allows for quite a high degree of customization and precision yet is rather simple to use, even if you have not previously dealt with a similar service.
The well-thought-out interface isn’t overburdened with buttons and links, which is rather soothing for unskilled users but boring and limiting for professionals. In the basic dashboard, you can see your websites and an option of creating another. Click on any of your sites, and it will open in the editor, ready to be modified in real-time.
The top right corner holds information about the available account users. You can invite colleagues or team members to join your account and create sites on the same platform if necessary.
Hit your avatar and choose Subscriptions to see what plan you are currently using, update it, purchase licenses, or even unsubscribe.
Zoho Sites Templates
Zoho Sites doesn’t offer much in the way of template selection since only 35 are currently introduced to a user. And yet, all of them are handpicked to meet the aesthetic needs of a meticulous client. With only a few templates looking a bit outdated, the entire collection looks fresh and sleek, aimed to make a business shine.
All Zoho templates are separated into categories, and there are not so many of them compared to other popular site-building platforms. The available selection involves Architecture & Interior, Restaurants, Photography, Events, Blogs, Services, Health, and Well-Being.
Approximately one-third of the themes are single-page variants that introduce the website content to visitors only through scrolling down. Regardless of the chosen niche or type, all templates here are mobile responsive and easily customizable. In addition, Zoho ensures whichever template you pick will preserve the same elegance and polished look across all devices – desktop, smartphone, and tablet.
Zoho Sites Website Design
Zoho Sites’ feature haul is pretty decent, but not without some missing pieces. Its limited scalability may appear frustrating for professional website developers and expert coders. If you are none of them, you will enjoy sufficient control over your website look and control.
However, advanced users can access their websites’ HTML and CSS snippets to control their websites more easily. Though Zoho Sites won’t let you turn the website design upside down and will oblige preserving the style of the chosen template, you can still play with the site’s appearance.
Personalization options are organized into several sections and highlighted at the editor’s top. These are:
- Sections: Zoho’s over 150 pre-designed layouts will let you design your site content quickly. Add newsletters, boxes, carousel images, or even Google Map.
- Elements: Zoho Sites introduces various elements to add images, text, icons, buttons, containers, dividers, audio, video, and other content to the new site. And each of these elements has its customization options for an extra flexibility level.
- Forms: The tool allows adding system or integration forms such as Begin Forms, CRM forms, and Zoho brand forms.
- Apps: To enrich your site with apps, Zoho suggests integrating dynamic content, Instagram, social share, bookings, and comments box functionalities.
Zoho Sites also offers other design customization tools to enhance the website’s look and feel. You can use around 25 shaper designs ranging from funny to professional, play with the dynamic backgrounds with the fix and scroll options (you can fix the background image to create a parallax effect while visitors scroll over the site), etc.
Find more customization tools in the visual editor, including blog posts, headers, banners, presets, breadcrumbs, etc.
Whatever changes you apply to your website will be done with the user-friendly drag-and-drop editor. Add, delete, and move around sections, forms, maps, etc., by simply dragging the required element and dropping it where you want on the site since there are no pre-disposed areas.
Zoho Sites Online Store
In terms of eCommerce, Zoho Sites doesn’t offer much functionality. And yet, creating an online store is as easy as doing anything with Zoho Sites. So for a small to medium-scale business, you should integrate Zoho Commerce which contains all the required tools for creating a website, accepting orders, processing shipping and payments, marketing the brand, and analyzing the data. Surely, this doesn’t come at no cost. Zoho Commerce is available in three plans – Starter at $22/mo, Professional at $60/mo, and Advanced at $140/mo if billed annually. The possibilities of the Advanced plan are almost limitless – the tier is ideal for an enterprise-level plan.
Using the drag-and-drop editor, you can set your store order management, payment gateways, SEO, product catalogs, etc. Advanced analytics and sales reports that the software generates enable users to make informed decisions and increase sales.
With Zoho Sites, you can create custom landing pages on the site, run targeted campaigns, and list promo products to improve engagement and conversion.
Zoho supports multiple currencies, which is a great advantage for anyone who intends to sell internationally. You should remember to select the currencies your website will support during the site setup phase.
The same diversity of options can be viewed when the matter refers to payment solutions. The available gateways to incorporate into your website are Razorpay, Stripe, Mercado Pago, Authorize.net, WorldPay, PayPal, Forte, and PayPal Payflow Pro.
On the other hand, eCommerce features lack such important elements as a checkout system, product categorization, and email receipt customization. So, if you have set up your mind to create a small or medium-sized online store with Zoho Sites, the integration of Zoho Commerce is unavoidable.
Zoho Sites SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimization uses those words you have used on the site that are the most relevant to your query. Those results which contain related headings and keywords appear at the top. Your site must be well-optimized to be search-engine-friendly.
In the scope of connection with Google Analytics, Bing Webmaster, and Google Tag Manager, Zoho Sites provides its users with a good array of basic SEO options. For instance, you can optimize your website by adding tags, 301 redirects, meta titles, a sitemap XML, and robots.txt. Find them at the bottom of the page from Settings.
Zoho Sites provides its users with a moderate amount of SEO tools to boost their website visibility in web searches. And yet, you shouldn’t expect the SEO depth that competing companies such as Wix or WordPress offer. If you need robust SEO functionality, probably you’d better go with another, more powerful CMS.
Zoho Sites Technical Support
For both new and registered customers, Zoho Sites has set up a good selection of tutorial videos, an extensive FAQ, and knowledge base sections. The Beginners Guide aims to instruct all the necessary steps for a new user to set up their website easier. The Guide involves all essential phases of site creation, from creating an account at Zoho Sites to building the website and adding pages, etc.
The FAQ section can also be highly helpful, with over 160 articles in FAQ and 194 in the Help Guide sections, respectively.
Nevertheless, if you still prefer the tet-a-tet form of communication and want the Zoho Sites support team to answer you back individually, contact Zoho experts through email, live chat, a request for a remote assistance season, or through a call. These are Classic Support means.
Premium support options involve scheduling one-on-one guided onboarding sessions with the company’s experts. This will help you successfully configure and roll out your new site, irrespective of the website’s purpose.
And finally, Enterprise Support offers an all-in-one service with priority issue resolution combined with Strategic Management and insight-driven guidance.
Zoho Sites Review: Verdict
We need to base our investigation on a comprehensive approach to see the overall picture of how worthwhile Zoho Sites website builder is. And as you have already concluded, some aspects of Zoho Sites are more weighted than others. For instance, the level of customer support, the ease of use, the selection of integrations, and the overall customization level are on top. And yet, eCommerce functionality isn’t powerful enough without the integration of Zoho Commerce service, and the selection of templates could be bigger.
Zoho Sites’ customization level may be up to par for small businesses, freelance workers, hobbyists, and small-scale bloggers. It is the right choice if you want to showcase your work or service on your website – be it a company, blog, or artwork without serious plans of monetizing the website.