Some time ago I was invited to test and give review on a new free revolutionary website builder based on WordPress – BoldGrid. In short, BoldGrid allows you to easily and quickly create stunning and mobile-friendly websites without coding knowledge and without using a dedicated website builder. It comes with stunning templates and automates many web designer tasks and is ideal for both amateurs as well as professional designers alike. And – as BoldGrid is built on top of WordPress – so you can use any of thousands of WordPress themes and plugins.
How BoldGrid works?
There are 2 stages of website creation with BoldGrid:
- First is “inspiration” stage, where you choose the type of theme you want.
- Second stage is the “customization” stage, where you actually change all the elements in the theme and customize it to your liking.
So let us walk through all the steps to see just how easily and quickly you can make a website with BoldGrid.
At Inspirations section you can choose the category your website will be in. At the moment the options here are:
- Portfolio, which contains Design and Photography
- Home & Property, which contains Home Repair, Property Management and Real Estate
- Entertainment, which contains the Music category
- Universal, which contains Default and General categories
- Health & Beauty, which contains Fashion and Fitness categories
- Business, which contains Consulting and Marketing categories
- Food & Drink, which includes the Restaurant category
Of course, not every possible category you may want is presented; though more and more will be added with time. So you have to choose as close to one you need as possible and remember – at the end you’ll have a possibility to fine-tune everything as you please.
When you have picked a theme that you like you are taken to the “Pages” section, where you need to pick how many pages your website will have. The re are three options:
- Base – it includes the standard pages in the theme,
- Five Page – installs 5 most commonly used pages in the category you’ve chosen for the site, and
- Kitchen Sink – which gives you all the possible pages you can have inside a given category.
You can always add new pages or delete ones you don’t need, and customize menus as necessary.
After you have chosen page set, installation of site and Inspiration phase is finished and you can now customize your new site in Customization stage.
When you have set up the look of website you can create and edit the pages like you usually do that in WordPress. Instead of standard WordPress editor youy now see BoldGrid’s visual drag-and-drop editors which you can use to design your pages. You can add, delete and move around website blocks as photos, text blocks, audio and video playlists, maps, galleries and much more. While doing so you can instantly check how your site will look in different devices: computer, tablet and mobile.
One of the best things about BoldGrid is staging – it is functionality that allows you to create and work on an entirely new version of your site, all while keeping your current site active, and then switch to new design instantly. So you can build and fully customize new site or site design alongside old one without needing separate development environment or keeping site down while uploading and adjusting new design. When you’re happy with new site looks and functions, make it live with just one button click.
Section for advanced developers
One of the pros to BoldGrid is that there is a major section dedicated developers and designers. This is a chance for you to see the BoldGrid layers, the required hooks, the menu locations, and more. If you want to submit themes and design components, you will want to know about all of this.
I should mention that BoldGrid has “in app” purchasing system that uses “coins”. This is really like credits which you use to purchase additional things (usually stock photos coming with template) inside your BoldGrid-enabled WordPress admin panel. You don’t have to use coins or pay additionally if you don’t want to – just replace stock photos with your own (or find free Creative Commons licenced photos).
Why to choose BoldGrid?
Here are just some reasons why to choose BoldGrid over other website builders.
1. BoldGrid is a premium website builder with easy drag-and-drop editor, allowing you to quickly build stunning, responsive (mobile friendly) websites.
2. It Comes with lots of stunning templates. Still, if you don’t see a template you like you can request one free, or pay InMotion or one of its contractors for one.
3. Boldgrid is built on top of WordPress that allows to enjoy all benefits of it:
- it’s free — no monthly fees you are would normally be required to pay if you were using a website builder;
- you can use any of thousands of plugins and themes developed for WordPress;
- you keep 100% ownership and complete control of your own site – you can download and move your site to another host if you wish so;
- because of huge WordPress community it’s much easier to find a developer or tech assistant who can help with your site than if using other CMS or website builders.
4. BoldGrid comes with Staging function that gives possibility to develop new site alongside existing one, and deploy new site instantly, without downtimes and manual copying of site and databases.
5. Good SEO optimization.
6. Built-in image search – for easy image search and download – with option to search only for free, Creative Commons licenced images.
7. BoldGrid includes good tutorials set to get you started.
If there is any functionality not covered by BoldGrid, you can easily achieve necessary result with appropriate WordPress plugin.
And here is a good comparison chart that shows how BoldGrid competes with other popular site builders. Not bad, right?
BoldGrid compared with other top website builders.
Who should use BoldGrid?
- Beginners. BoldGrid is the best do-it-yourself website builder for someone who is new in website building and just want build their first site without hassle. BoldGrid comes with broad selection of stunning and professionally designed themes and has intuitive drag-and-drop website editor. No coding or web designer skills required.
- WordPress users. If you are familiar with WordPress, then BoldGrid will be easy for you. Since BoldGrid is built on WordPress, the platform is already familiar to you and BoldGrid just adds new templates and easy to use drag-and-drop website editor.
- Web developers and designers. As a designer with BoldGrid you can quickly create beautiful websites on WordPress for your clients. Save time time taken for demo websites by building websites with the drag-and-drop website editor in BoldGrid. Make best use of templates, design blocks, staging areas as well as familiar features of WordPress to impress your clients.
How to get BoldGrid?
BoldGrid needs a web host to work and InMotion Hosting is the only webhost to offer BoldGrid site builder as part of it’s web hosting plans (well, it’s their product). After getting any InMotion hosting plan you will get BoldGrid pre-installed for you and then you can start designing your websites. However, InMotion Hosting is worth to have – it is fast (runs on SSD), reliable, with good support team (it has A+ service rating that is the highest given by the Better Business Bureau), and it is really affordable. Just look at the prices.
You also get free domain, unlimited traffic and disk space, daily backups and more. InMotion Hosting is already WordPress optimized so your website will be faster than competitor’s. And they provide 90 day money back guarantee. So you have enough time to check everything out and will get your money back if you don’t like something – no questions asked.
BoldGrid, of course (like any web builder), comes with its downsides, too. One of the cons to using BoldGrid is that to use it you need to have a host (you can’t use it on wordpress.com) and the only host you can use it is InMotion Hosting. However, as I already mentioned, InMotion hosting is very affordable, reliable and fast – it is well recognized by many web professionals and good choice for your website.
Another con (which actually is benefit) – while some other web builders offer only 25 or 50 designs, BoldGrid comes with thousands of available designs, so it can be overwhelming to choose a right one. However, BoldGrid has tried to compensate for the variety of designs by offering the inspiration phase where you can search different designs based upon industry and the type of layout that you desire based upon what you want your website to be able to do.
BoldGrid is a great and easy to use website builder.It comes with some downsides, but they are massively outweighed by benefits of using BoldGrid. I would even say that BoldGrid is one of the best Web builders on the Internet; or at least the ones I have used. It makes it possible to create a modern, functional and great looking websites that works on all computers, tablets, and mobile devices in minutes. You don’t have to spend days and weeks, or even months, anymore. Everyone can use it – you don’t have to be web designer or developer anymore. Create your website without the knowledge of any computer language or web design skills.