Strikingly Review – The Good and Bad for 2023
Sometimes you just need a decent-looking website and you need it yesterday. Whether it’s a landing page for an imminent marketing campaign, a professional portfolio for a job application, or an online store for your rapidly growing business, Strikingly offers the templates and drag-and-drop editor you need to quickly get a new website live. And, with great tools for understanding your audience and site promotion, Strikingly can help grow your business beyond where it already stands.
Strikingly Compared to the Best Website Builders
Strikingly belongs in the camp of easy-to-use site builders that don’t have a ton of room for scaling upward to global domination. If you’re looking for quick and easy, Strikingly can do the trick. If you need a bit more than that, consider some of the options from our full post on the best website builders.
Wix is a solid all-around choice, full of key features while maintaining seriously affordable plans. Sign up and start for free.
Squarespace is famous for its ability to provide users with gorgeous design options and templates, making it the best for displaying product photos or your portfolio of work. Explore Squarespace’s many plans for creators and businesses.
Weebly is one of the best options if you want to build a website for free and not have it look unprofessional. Build your Weebly site today and never pay a dime.
WordPress is what most sites on the internet run on and, while it requires some deeper site building knowledge, it offers the most flexibility and customization you can find. Get started on the most popular site builder today.
Strikingly: The Good and the Bad
As with many website builders that cater to beginners and those too busy to spend a lot of time on design, there are plenty of convenient features to tap into that can be somewhat mitigated by inherent limitations. Let’s dive into all the good and not-so-good aspects of Strikingly.
What Strikingly Is Good At
This is a platform designed to make everything easy, from initial site creation to marketing to and staying engaged with your audience. The main takeaway here is how little time it takes to accomplish most things in the platform, but some of Strikingly’s more novel offerings may surprise you in the best possible way.
Build and launch in minutes
Are you looking for the fastest and easiest way to create a professional website? We’ve looked at and used numerous website builders through the years and have found Strikingly to be one of the best options when it comes to quick and painless website creation.
You can launch a polished website in about 30 minutes or less. With Strikingly’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor and selection of templates, it’s as simple as choosing your website type, selecting a template that fits your needs, customizing the design with your brand colors and content, and then clicking Publish.
It’s a straightforward process that doesn’t require any coding or technical skills.
Often, easy site builders fail to impress in terms of the selection of templates on offer. We were seriously impressed by Strikingly’s template library, which offers modern, appealing starting points for online stores, portfolios, campaign and event landing pages, and blogs.
A uniquely helpful feature is the ability to add team members to work on your site alongside you in real time. And, job seekers looking to build a digital portfolio that wows recruiters will love that you can connect your LinkedIn profile and automatically populate your new site with the information from it.
If you’re ready to establish your online presence quickly and easily, Strikingly is your ticket.
Audience and promotion tools
For as easy it is to build a website on Strikingly, the platform doesn’t skimp on ways to market your new website.
Audience segmentation allows you to see how visitors interact with your site and group them based on factors like who signed up for your newsletter, booked appointments, or made purchases. You’ll gain valuable insight into who your audiences are and how to cater to them.
If your priority is building a list of fans or potential customers, capture emails and data with Strikingly’s slick pop-up forms. You can use them to encourage email list sign-ups, collect other contact info, run surveys and polls, and more.
Or, if you opt for a select Strikingly plan, you can even enable live chat on your website to engage more directly with visitors.
Once you’ve collected audience data, put it to work! Send targeted emails to re-engage customers or promote fresh content. The built-in email automation makes it easy to set up triggers based on user actions. And scheduled newsletters allow you to send regular updates to your subscribers.
Plus, membership programs and gated content unlock opportunities to provide exclusive value to your site visitors. Simply designate certain pages or content as “members only” to encourage new sign ups.
Good at simple ecommerce
Strikingly makes launching a basic ecommerce store as easy as starting a blog or a company homepage.
We were impressed with how quickly we got a functioning online shop up and running on Strikingly’s free plan. With just a few clicks, we added products, set up payment options, and were ready to make sales.
The built-in ecommerce features cover the essentials for small-scale selling. You can organize inventory into categories, manage shipping rates, process payments through Stripe or PayPal, and collect product reviews to build trust. Help drive sales with coupon codes and membership options for repeat customers.
While advanced sellers may quickly outgrow Strikingly’s simple commerce tools, newer online retailers will appreciate the intuitive platform and ease of getting setup at the outset. We found the sales dashboard easy to navigate and adding new products was a breeze. Strikingly even handles relevant taxes for you.
For bootstrapping your first online store on a budget, Strikingly delivers a lean and functional selling experience.
Truly helpful support
Strikingly’s stellar customer service team, staffed by people playfully known as “Happiness Officers,” has your back every step of the way.
We were consistently impressed with the dedication and care shown by their support staff. The Happiness Officers truly live up to their cheerful name.
Whenever we reached out with questions or issues while building our site, Strikingly’s representatives responded promptly with thoughtful troubleshooting and tips tailored to our questions and concerns. Their expertise made an easy website creation process even smoother.
You get multiple ways to access support on select plans. Live chat is available 24/7 on all paid plans, but higher-end tiers also unlock phone-based support.
When you choose Strikingly, you’re not just getting a quality website building tool—you’re also getting web experts who want you to succeed.
Want an easy way to create professional websites for your clients? Strikingly’s Reseller program is the perfect solution.
We were thrilled to discover Strikingly’s dedicated option that includes collaboration and client management tools for building sites for others. And, with bulk site pricing, the more websites you purchase, the cheaper each one becomes. This volume discount enables you to deliver affordable sites to clients at scale while maintaining healthy profit margins.
Share site access to collect client feedback, allow clients to make edits themselves to facilitate quick revisions, and stage websites to present them to clients for final approval. You get all the features you need to enhance the service that your agency provides.
Whether you’re a freelance designer or full-fledged digital marketing firm, Strikingly’s Reseller program will maximize your productivity and profits.
One of the more unique offerings from this provider is its Kickstarter program. This can help you build a professionally designed website in just three days without lifting a finger.
Here’s how it works.
First, simply provide details about your business and select some reference sites you like to serve as design inspiration. Then, choose between the single page ($59) or multi-page ($159) design packages.
Then, within 72 hours Strikingly’s team of expert designers will deliver a completely custom site tailored to your business needs. All you have to do is sign off on the design and your new website is ready to launch!
We love how Strikingly’s Kickstarter program removes the hassle and learning curve of DIY site building. For a surprisingly affordable price, pro designers handle all the heavy lifting involved with creating a polished website that establishes your brand and engages your audience.
And since these websites are built on Strikingly’s platform, you still benefit from the user-friendly editor to make any updates without stress. You retain full ownership and control over the end product.
If you want a pro-quality website ASAP without the slog of tackling it yourself, Strikingly’s Kickstarter service is the perfect solution.
iOS and Android apps
More of roving entrepreneur than a desk-dweller? Strikingly lets you manage your site on the fly via its iOS and Android apps.
These let you do almost anything you could accomplish on your desktop device. Make text and design changes seamlessly through the intuitive editor. Review analytics to understand visitor behavior. Manage store orders and form submissions. You can even chat with customers in real time.
We love the flexibility these apps provide. Whether inspiration strikes you during your morning commute (just don’t design while driving!) or you need to make quick changes while you’re in a client meeting, Strikingly enables you to jump in and update your site anywhere, anytime.
Strikingly’s Potential Drawbacks
While so much of the Strikingly platform is easy to use, getting out of a plan or getting any money back from them is anything but easy. On top of that, there are some serious limitations to what Strikingly sites can accomplish that may put a damper on your plans for growth.
Difficulty getting out of plans
If you value clear billing policies, you might want to proceed with caution when considering Strikingly.
We were disappointed to encounter multiple reports concerning Strikingly’s cancellation and refund practices. By all accounts, canceling your Strikingly subscription can be an opaque, difficult process designed to retain customers at the expense of their happiness.
User reviews describe being unintentionally charged for renewals after struggling through Strikingly’s convoluted cancellation flow. And the Happiness Officers we were so pleased with while using the service apparently provide little help facilitating account closures.
Strikingly also enforces a strict no-refund policy under any circumstance, even in cases of accidental renewals or unwanted upgrades. The best-case scenario users have reported is receiving plan credits after a lengthy battle with customer service. But none can say they got their actual cold, hard cash back in their bank accounts.
Adding to the inconvenience, your website is deleted immediately upon cancellation, even if you paid for the remainder of the billing cycle or year. So, plan ahead if you try to jump ship but want to port your site content elsewhere.
If Strikingly’s simplicity concerns you, be aware that there are few integration options for extending its capability.
We were disappointed by the limited selection compared to other website builders. By our count, there were only around a dozen tools Strikingly plays nicely with. And your utilization of those connections is pretty limited, as well, as they all pretty much limit you to embedding an element on your Strikingly site.
On top of that, there isn’t even an option for building custom connections through Zapier. In order to integrate your site with popular email services, analytics platforms, calendars, and such, you’re forced into costly, time-consuming workarounds involving custom HTML code.
For many modern businesses, leveraging no-code connections across integrated apps is an indispensable web strategy. If you foresee needing to sync your website with other tools down the road, an alternative provider may prove more flexible.
Not built to scale
While Strikingly excels at launching simple starter websites, consider its limitations if you’re planning on ambitious growth.
We found the platform struggled to support sophisticated needs as a business expands or a website becomes wildly popular. While appealing, the templates make achieving truly custom designs challenging, unless you opt for the Kickstarter program. And, site performance tends to lag behind Strikingly’s rivals when a site receives a large influx of visitors.
On top of that, core ecommerce and blogging features lack the advanced functionality needed for growth. For example, Strikingly’s SEO tools are barebones compared to many other builders that help you seriously optimize content and other elements for organic search visibility.
Strikingly Plans and Pricing
Like most website builders, Strikingly offers tiered pricing plans that unlock more features on higher tiers. On top of that, you have options for choosing a longer billing cycle, which can reduce your monthly rate significantly. Beyond the site plans themselves, there are some interesting add-ons for audience engagement, domains, and custom email inboxes.
Strikingly offers four plans for accessing its site builder.
It starts with a free-forever tier which allows for unlimited sites, but all are stuck with Strikingly branding and limited features. You get 5 GB of monthly bandwidth, 500 MB of storage, and the ability to sell just one product (with a 5% transaction fee on any sales).
Paid options kick off with the Limited plan. That’s $12 per month for up to two sites, but you can lower that rate all the way down to $6 per month if you commit to five years of service at checkout. Strikingly also offers term lengths of one, two, or three years.
At this level, storage increases to 1 GB per site and bandwidth to 50 GB per month. You’re still limited to five pages, Strikingly branding on those pages, and one product per site with a 5% transaction fee on sales. A key addition here is one free year of a custom domain included with your plan purchase (plus free SSL).
The next level up is the $20-per-month Pro plan (which goes as low as $11.20 per month on a five-year commitment). Storage space expands to 20 GB per site and this is the first tier to offer unlimited bandwidth.
Here is where you’re starting to get real value for what you pay. On this plan, you get:
- Unlimited websites
- Up to 100 pages per site
- Sell up to 300 different products
- No more Strikingly branding
- Custom forms
- Site memberships
- Site search
- Site pop-ups
- Custom code injection
- Lower transaction fees of 2%
Finally, there’s the VIP plan. This runs $59 per month on typical month-to-month billing, or as little as $34.40 per month on a five-year term.
Your storage allotment goes all the way up to 100 GB per site, while a ton of key features now become available to you:
- 2,000 active contacts
- Unlimited products
- No transaction fees
- Membership tiers
- Automatic site content translation
- Live chat
- Phone support and priority customer service
On top of that, you get a dedicated Strikingly manager assigned to your account who’s there to help you maximize your usage of the platform.
Strikingly offers a unique add-on in its Audience plan that helps you better engage with visitors after launching your site. For $10 per month, it unlocks some clutch marketing tools.
This add-on augments your core website capabilities with features to convert visitors into loyal fans. You get enhanced live chat to hold real-time conversations with site visitors, the ability to create gated content and benefits unlockable through paid visitor memberships, and newsletter sending capability to keep your fans in the know.
These tools go a long way towards helping you cultivate a devoted audience that keeps returning to your site. And, with the ability to segment users based on their engagement, you can craft targeted experiences for different visitor groups.
If simply launching a website isn’t enough, the Audience plan provides the next step to actively grow and manage your community.
Strikingly offers the ability to connect a custom domain to your new site.
Select annual (or longer) plans offer you one year of domain registration for free, or you can purchase one through Strikingly for $24.95 per year.
While that price is more expensive than a lot of domain registrar’s first-year promotion pricing, keeping the rate at $24.95 per year makes renewals more affordable and predictable.
You can choose from a wide variety of domain extensions like .com, .net, .org, and more, to find the perfect URL for your brand while keeping your primary keywords in the root domain name.
Once you’ve selected an available domain, Strikingly will walk you through quick and easy process to connect it to your site.
Once you purchase a custom domain with Strikingly, you can further enhance your online presence with matching email addresses.
After setting up your custom domain, create professional email addresses that align to your brand’s new URL. For example, you could place an email address of [email protected] on your site’s Contact Us page.
The cost to enable custom email through Strikingly is an additional $25 per year. You can create multiple email aliases to assign to team members as your business scales.
Strikingly is a solid option for a website builder if you need something fast and easy with no need to code. If you require something with greater scalability and customization, though, you may want to look at some of the alternatives we listed earlier in this post. While their rigid cancellation and refund policies are concerning, you can rest assured that Strikingly’s platform can support simple websites for as long as you need them to exist on the internet.