As web developers, many of us have taken a peek at using a website builder. If you're more of a developer than designer, then a template or something like Simbla's website builder would be right up your alley.
While there are many options out there for website builders, one of the newest to hit the market is Simbla. Don't let their youth fool you though, Simbla offers one of the best website building experiences available.
Simbla offers a lot of great features such as:
- Built on Bootstrap 3
- Web based interface (no installs necessary)
- Drag and drop site builder
- Fully responsive
- Ability to embed your own code
- SEO features
- Easy mode and a pro mode for those that still want to dive into the code
Drag and Drop
Simbla makes it easy for those that don't want to deal with the HTML/CSS side of things to drag and drop exactly the website they want.
In addition to the drag and drop builder, everything is responsive ready so you don't have to worry about how your site will look on mobile, tablet, and desktop. It just works.Essential Reading: Learn React from Scratch! (2019 Edition)
Another big feature of Simbla's builder is that it is SEO friendly. SEO should not be underestimated and much time should be spent perfecting your site for search engine optimization. Luckily Simbla already has us covered with:
- Semantic HTML5 markup
- Generated sitemaps (XML)
- 301 references for redirects
- Metadata description, title, and keywords
- Friendly URLs
- Sync with Google Analytics
Bootstrap 3 Based
One of the most highly used CSS frameworks, Bootstrap 3 is the basis for Simbla's designs. This is a good thing because it gives a solid foundation and starting point. From here, any designer that knows Bootstrap can step in and make adjustments if they are needed with minimal effort.
Having a standard foundation goes a long way to quicker and sustained development.
Rest assured that Simbla also invests lots of resources into its security practices and secures its client's information.
Building a Site
Now that we've gone over the different features, let's see how fast we can get a beautiful and responsive site up and running.
Go ahead and create your free account.
Once you signup, you'll be given a very simple setup process. Start with a template or start with a blank slate (for pro users).
We're going to start with a template since we want to get up and running quickly. Upon selecting template, we'll be treated to a whole array of available options. Go ahead and pick one that suits your needs.
For this demo, I think I'll make the photography site I've always wanted to make. I'll be using the
Mike Photography template. Click on Preview and you'll be able to see your template design before selecting it.
Once we select a template, we'll be given the option to create a new website. In Simbla's eyes, this is also considered a project.
I'm going to name this site Photo City and then we'll be given an option for hosting this site. I'll go ahead and select the free plan for this demo but select the plan that works well for the traffic you anticipate. You can also upgrade your plan whenever, so don't worry about selecting the 100% correct plan right now.
Once we've selected our template, we'll be brought to the site builder! Here we can drag and drop to our heart's content.
Along the top of our page, we have all the tools we need to design this site.
Under the Website menu item, we have the ability to handle site settings, pages, menus, and more.
We can handle the overall layout of the site here by creating menus and adding pages. We'll keep the main pages that are already created for us.
Under the Page menu, we'll be able to handle page specific things, like SEO for this home page.
You can also click on the pages dropdown in the top middle to get to the different pages of your site. Each page will be different so go ahead and design as much as you want.
There is also a pro option that gives us a little more fine grained control over our designs. Here's a comparison of easy vs pro
So go ahead and design your site the way you want it. The drag and drop builder makes it very easy. Here's what the interface looks like when we try to add an image gallery.
This let's us easily select images for a gallery. Simbla even offers a multitude of options and images to choose from right from their image selector modal.
Finally, Simbla makes responsive easy by letting us preview desktop, tablet, and mobile versions of our site.
Simbla makes it very easy to design, customize, make SEO ready, and host the site that you want.
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