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BoldGrid website builder review

Build a website with lots of editing options

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(Image: © BoldGrid )

Our Verdict

BoldGrid is a unique website builder based on WordPress so you can build a professional-looking website. The interface is very organized and easy to navigate. If you know a bit about web building and can choose a separate web hosting plan, then BoldGrid is an affordable place to build your website.

For

  • Based around WordPress
  • Quality templates
  • Free option (as long as you have hosting)

Against

  • Hosting not included
  • Takes time to learn

BoldGrid is a powerful drag-and-drop tool for building professional WordPress-based websites. The service doesn't include website hosting. The idea is that you build and test your WordPress site on BoldGrid's Cloud WordPress platform and then transfer it to your choice of web host (all the big-name hosts are compatible, and most of the smaller ones are, too.) 

While this is less convenient than other website builders, it also has lots of benefits. The WordPress platform is as reliable and robust as you'll get; it can easily be extended with a huge number of WordPress plugins; there are plenty of people and resources around to help you troubleshoot any problems, and your website can be freely migrated to another web host whenever you like (most website builders tie you forever to their own service.) 

Price

Here's a snapshot of the plans and prices  (Image credit: BoldGrid)

Plans and pricing 

You can use the BoldGrid free plan, which includes plugins and themes, as long as you have website hosting for your WordPress site. In order to use the free plan, you need to already have hosting for your website, but then you can use themes and plugins all you want. There’s an entire list of web hosting partners that work well with BoldGrids website building plans. 

The WordPress Page Builder plan is the main website builder BoldGrid provides. There’s a drag-and-drop editor that allows you to easily build your site without using any coding. It also comes with design tools so that you’ll have an easier time putting the right colors together. You can select from a list of widgets and add them directly into the editor interface as needed. 

This plan also includes WordPress Image Sliders - a feature that allows you to add text or images to your website on WordPress in real time and preview it before it goes live. There’s two main sliders you can use: The Content Slider (where the background stays in place but you can edit anything on top) or the Section Slider (allows you to edit and change the background). 

There’s two different versions of the WordPress Page Builder plan: Premium (which costs $2.50 per month) and the free version. The free version includes drag-and-drop editing and BoldGrid blocks, but if you want premium features (such as blog widgets and sliders) then you’ll need to upgrade to the Premium plan.  

Interface

Easily see what kind of website building you need (Image credit: BoldGrid)

Interface

BoldGrid’s interface is very organized. Simply scroll down on the website, and you’ll see a place to choose why you’re building your website. If you want something easy, BoldGrid will connect you to plans for beginners. If you’re a freelancer, then perhaps there’s a different option for you to look at. 

Sampling BoldGrid's abilities is easier than we expected. Sign up for a free BoldGrid account by handing over your email address, click a button and the service creates your very own Cloud WordPress installation as a BoldGrid testbed. Confirm your email address and the Cloud WordPress setup is yours forever. You can use this to try out most BoldGrid features whenever you like, but you won't be able to export your designs until you've purchased a subscription.

If you'd rather not be on BoldGrid's mailing list, you can choose not to confirm your email address. You'll still get a Cloud WordPress installation to try, but it will expire after a couple of days.

Features

Here's a snapshot of key BoldGrid features  (Image credit: BoldGrid)

Features

Once setup is complete, your site opens first in BoldGrid's Customizer, a one-stop module for configuring all site-wide options: title, logo, colors, background, fonts, menus and more. There's a lot more depth than you might expect to many of these settings. Adding a site title isn't just a matter of entering text into a box: you can customise low-level font details, set margins, line height, letter spacing, shadows, and more.

An Advanced section goes even further, with options to add custom HTML, JavaScript and CSS, as well as customize the header and footer with your choice of text and widgets. Head off to the page editor and you're able to customise the content of your site. This took us a little longer to use than we thought, but it was worth it in the end.

Explore the various menus and BoldGrid's power will win you over. Click in a text box, for instance, and you don't just get to edit the contents with the industrial-strength WordPress editor You can also adjust the text padding and margins, background images or colors, the border size and type, box shadows and more. There's a huge library of animations, you get the ability to add custom CSS classes, and an option to hide the current object when it's displayed on a particular device type (perhaps preventing a low-priority image from appearing in a mobile view.)

Competition

You need to purchase web hosting separately  (Image credit: BoldGrid)

The competition

Out of all the website builders out there (Odoo, Dreamhost, and Voog) BoldGrid is pretty unique. First because plans separate website building from web hosting. Most website builders offer both services together. Having the separation between the two can really be beneficial though because you’re able to choose your own web hosting plan from a variety of different options. (Plus, the web builder Premium plan only costs $2.50 per month.) 

Final thoughts

BoldGrid is a smart way to create stylish and configurable websites, particularly for experienced users who'll make use of WordPress. However, if this is your first-time building a website, then using BoldGrid will be a bit more challenging. Even if you are new to web building though and you follow the set up instructions, you’ll figure it out as you get to know the interface.  

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