Strikingly is a website builder with a difference. This relative newcomer emphasizes simplicity of site building and beauty of design, and it takes an innovative approach toward both those ends. Strikingly relies on a scrolling single-page design with sections to which viewers can navigate. I like this new thinking, but I expect many people want greater control over their sites, such as that afforded by Duda and Wix, which are our Editors' Choice website builders.
Getting Started and Pricing
The first page you land on in strikingly builder invites you to get going on your website right away by filling in a simple three-box form asking for first name, email, and password. If even that's too much for you, you can click the Facebook button to sign up using your information from the social network without any typing. You can be off and running for free, without having to enter a credit card number.
Free accounts get a yoursitename.strikingly.com address, show a Powered by Strikingly badge at the bottom, let you sell one product, and limit you to 5GB throughput per month. For $8 per month (billed yearly), you can attach your own registered domain, increase the monthly bandwidth to 50GB, and raise the product maximum to 5. The $16-per-month Pro account makes bandwidth unlimited, increases the number of products you can sell to 300, and removes branding. Importantly, only Pro lets you create multipage sites. It also lets you use the full app store of third-party widgets and lets your mobile site include actions like phoning or sending email—both of which are included with all Weebly and Wix accounts. The VIP account level ($49 per month) adds priority phone support and 500-product stores. Committing to a year of paid service gets you a year of domain name registration, similar to Squarespace's $12-per-month plan. Strikingly now offers HTTPS with all domains, a boon to security and SEO.
As with most online site builders, your next move is to choose a template. Strikingly offers 29 choices, up from 25 the last time I reviewed the service. Not only are they very good looking, but they also seem more varied than those of some services that offer a much larger number of templates. Wix, for example, has hundreds of templates, and Duda has over 100. Buttons in Strikingly's template chooser let you narrow down your choices to those suitable for business, personal, and portfolio sites. You can either start editing right away or see a preview. The former doesn't show how the sample site looks on mobile specifically, but you can narrow your browser to get a good idea. I tried the Bright template, which, like many Strikingly templates, uses scrolling effects and a top menu bar that elegantly reformats to a fixed position after you start scrolling down.
One cool capability is the ability to build a personal website instantly based on your LinkedIn account. The ADI feature in Wix$4.08 at Wix is similar, though that scours the web for other services and sites with info on and images of you or your business. Jimdo and Simvoly now also include automatic site builders, though Wix's remains the most potent. My automatic Strikingly site was not bad looking at all, and all the standard editing tools of free Strikingly accounts are available for customization.
Web Design Tools in Strikingly
Strikingly takes a fresh, perhaps even unique, approach to site design: It's the only one of the dozen or so sitebuilders I've tested that uses a single-scrolling-page format. As mentioned above, Pro accounts can now add up to 20 of these scrolling multi-section pages per site, but that's not really the point of Strikingly. The intention is clearly to make the process as easy as possible and to ensure that the design is attractive. This comes at the cost of customization and control. The Editor Panel along the left doesn't offer page elements as most other site building services do. Wix and Duda, for example, let you choose the exact elements you want; for example, a button, image, text block. Instead, it lets you switch among and add sections, which show up as you scroll down a page. Within a section, you can only add elements dictated by the theme.