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Zyro review

Need to create basic websites with ease?

Hero
(Image: © Zyro)

Our Verdict

A nice looking service that allows you to create basic websites with more design versatility than expected, although marred by limited features.

For

  • Nice looking templates
  • Can edit in Desktop or Mobile views
  • Undo/Redo buttons
  • Interesting AI Writer feature

Against

  • No blogging tools
  • No e-commerce facilities
  • Some glitches
  • Slow customer support

When it comes to website builders, throw a virtual rock into the internet and you’ll likely hit three of them. There are so many companies vying for your business, it can be hard to choose the right one for your needs.

Thankfully we have an increasing number of them reviewed on TechRadar, and this one is for a new kid on the block, Zyro.

Like a lot (but not all) services, they offer a free option which, although limited in scope, will allow you to check out the features, and see if it’s a good fit for you.

Getting Started

Zyro has a very clean interface, which is reflected by its introduction (Image credit: Zyro)

Getting started

Registering with Zyro couldn’t be more straightforward - just give them your email address, set up a password, and you’re done. No credit card details are required, nor your physical address, nothing. They won’t even send you a message so you can verify your email address.

Choose a Template

Choose wisely, as you can’t change your template once you’ve selected it (Image credit: Zyro)

As usual, you start the creation process by choosing a template. You have twenty to be inspired by, and if the thumbnail doesn’t do it for you, each has a ‘Preview’ option which allows you to see what the template looks like in a sample site created with it.

Once you’ve chosen the one you like, click on ‘Start Building’.

It’s worth noting that there is no way to change your site’s template. If you changed your mind about its general appearance, you’d have to delete your site and start again from scratch, which is probably why the preview option is so important.

Multiple Websites

You can create as many websites as you wish using the same login, and can (somewhat) change the interface’s default language (Image credit: Zyro)

It’s also worth noting that you can create as many sites as you need within a single account (you’ll have to pay for each separately should you decide to purchase a plan - more on that later). Also of interest is the ability to switch languages, should English not be your native tongue. Although, not all parts of the interface are translated, leaving you with a bit of a mishmash in places.

Rectangular Precision

As you drag elements on the page, they will snap to these rectangular guides, limiting where you can put them (Image credit: Zyro)

Customisation

First things first: you don’t have pixel perfect precision when moving elements around the page, although it’s actually better than it sounds.

Many services who restrict where you can put elements, often limit them being to the right, left, or centred.

Zyro does things differently: drag an element and a series of light grey rectangles appear behind the section the element resides. These rectangles act as guides, and the element you’re dragging can slot itself within those parameters.

Drag an element down, and the section lengthens to accommodate.

So not pixel-perfect, but much better than many.

Additional elements

There are a limited number of elements you can add to your sections. These are conveniently found in the ‘Add elements’ menu, however your options are limited: you can add a text box, a button, an image, a video, or a map. That’s it. Drag the one you want anywhere on your page to once again reveal the grid layout mentioned above.

Elements do have some specific features to them. For instance, a button can be used to link to a page, a URL, a phone number or email address.

Photos and videos

Photos can display one of your own, or you can choose from a selection of free images. We appreciated the fact that any photo you upload goes to a central repository for your site, so if you wanted to use the same image multiple times, you wouldn’t have to upload it again, which saves on time and storage space.

You have no editing options save for cropping, and the SEO tab only allows you to add an alt text to your photos There are no filters, no effects, you can’t even create galleries or slideshows. It looks nice but it’s pretty barebones.

Fancy adding a video? Drag the Video element, find the URL to a clip on YouTube, and you’re done. Need a video from another platform? It’s a little more tricky. You can link to one from Vimeo, but you need to copy and paste its embed code. However this trick didn’t work for DailyMotion.

You cannot upload a video file directly onto your Zyro site.

AI

AI Writing is probably the most interesting and unique feature Zyro has to offer (Image credit: Zyro)

Using AI to write

It’s worth mentioning the Text element. As you’d expect you have access to all the basic features: different headings, text colours, formatting, alignment, and you can turn any part of your document into a clickable link. But the unusual yet interesting option is the AI Writer.

Click on it, then choose from a list of topics, narrow down your selection with a specific category, and select the type of paragraph you’re after. Next, click on ‘Generate Text’ and Zyro will offer you a selection of unique paragraphs to choose from. Copy the one you want, and you’re done.

If you don’t have a way with words, this might prove useful, or a quick way to generate a page without having to use the boringly tedious “lorem ipsum” random text we’ve seen all too many times in sample pages. At least the content will be more relevant to you with AI Writer.

Additional sections

Rather than extending a section for as long as you need, you can create multiple ones, although we were a little confused. Clicking on ‘Add Section’ showed us thumbnails of sections already present on our page. Choosing one would duplicate it, forcing us to delete the replicated content before adding new information. Sometimes this would delete the entire section, forcing us to start again.

Each section can have a different colour, or if you prefer, you can add an image as a background to them.

New Pages

Creating new pages should be simpler than this (Image credit: Zyro)

New pages

You also have the ability to create new pages. Doing so will automatically create a new menu at the top of each page to allow you to switch between them easily.

We weren’t able to create a blank page (despite what the instructions told us) but we were able to duplicate an existing one, delete the content and start again. It’s a tedious process and really feels that something’s gone wrong. It’s not a showstopper however, and hopefully this glitch will be fixed soon.

We do appreciate the site-wide undo and redo feature, which is not a given on most website builder services, and like that you can switch between desktop and mobile views with a click of a button. This allows you to check out how your site will look like on multiple platforms.

Edit in any view

You can edit your site whether you’re in Desktop or Mobile view (Image credit: Zyro)

Even better, this isn’t a preview-only switch: you can edit your site, alter the text, change images, add videos, etc, whether you’re in mobile or desktop views.

But that’s pretty much all you can do. There are no blog features, no e-commerce facilities. Zyro is designed to help you create simple basic websites with the minimum of fuss, hampered by the occasional glitch.

Support

The knowledgebase is always available - manned support will get back to you - eventually (Image credit: Zyro)

Support

If you get lost or confused, help is never far away: click on the big purple button, lower right of the page to access a knowledgebase (type your query and relevant articles will pop up), or if those don’t sort your issue, you can ask a human being, although we’re informed from the start that a response could take a few hours.

Plans and pricing

So what will all of this cost you? The great news is that you can start with a free plan. At that level, you can’t link your site to a custom URL, nor remove ads. You get 500MB of bandwidth and storage.

The Basic option ups the bandwidth and storage to 10GB each, includes Google Analytics, Facebook pixel integration and Messenger Live chat, all for $1.99 per month (at the time of writing it’s discounted from the usual $2.99).

And finally you have the Unleashed package which contains all of the above plus unlimited bandwidth and storage, which we feel is quite a deal for $3.49 a month (discounted from the usual $4.99)

Final verdict

If you’re looking to create basic no frills websites, with no support for blogging and e-commerce, but that look good nonetheless, and allow you a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to designing its layout, you might like what Zyro has to offer. As it has a free plan, you really have nothing to lose by trying it out.