You will agree that most businesses or individuals delay in starting a blog or website just because they do not have the time to focus on the website development and hosting process.
But there are now many popular web hosts that offer reliable hosting services and literally hold your hand through the entire hosting process. They even offer quick support in case of any issues.
But this still does not help as much, as you will only feel the need to use a hosting account if you have a website.
Most of us fear the technical skills required to create a website from scratch. This is where easy-to-use drag-and-drop site builders prove as a boon.
One such free website builder is Moonfruit. This Do-It-Yourself (DIY) site builder provides ready-made and sleek templates that you can use to create your site in a jiffy with all the basic features that you can think of.
Whether you want an eCommerce platform, a blog or a business website, you can create anything of your choice.
No website builder platform is perfect! Similarly, Moonfruit also has its fair share of cons.
So, this article is an honest attempt to review the Moonfruit site building tool in order to inform you of where it stands against some of the other popular website builders.
We will take an in-depth look at the features of Moonfruit, its user interface, its pros and cons as well as the pricing of the Moonfruit plans.
Moonfruit Company Background
This company, with the unique name Moonfruit, came into existence around January 2000. In fact, Moonfruit is just a trading name of the SiteMaker Software Limited.
It is headquartered in London and was initially launched as a flash-based website builder. It also collaborated with Gandi, a French company that provides domain name registration services for Moonfruit. Gandi uses the Moonfruit SiteMaker software for its own customers.
Over the years, Moonfruit has gained popularity for its free website builder as well as due to its website building services.
In 2012, the company was acquired by the Yell group which is now known as Hibu. Slowly, the need to make websites presentable on tablets and Apple-based devices paved the way for HTML5 format instead of the flash-based platform.
Thus, it eventually became adapted at offering strong integration of social media, blog pages and eCommerce platforms.
The effectiveness of this platform can be gauged from the fact that more than 5 million sites have been built thus far using their site design software.
So let us now have a look at the detailed features of the Moonfruit site building tool (the SiteMaker website building software).
Moonfruit Customer Support
If you are a newbie as far as website development is concerned, you will rely on a strong support staff from such website builders to help you out in case of any queries or issues.
Even if you are an experienced webmaster who knows a few things about website development, you will still require support sooner rather than later. Generally, you associate strong customer support with companies that offer multiple ways of getting in touch with their support staff.
However, in the case of Moonfruit, you do not have the option of telephone support (for low-priced plans) or live chat support and still its support is considered as good enough for website owners using the SiteMaker software. Telephone support is available only for high-priced packages of the Moonfruit site building tool.
You can easily get help on any issues using Moonfruit’s email-based ticketing system, which enables you to get prompt resolutions.
At the same time, you may find solutions for your queries in the detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) database or by visiting their forum section. You also get access to several video tutorials that discuss most Moonfruit features in detail.
Thus, even though Moonfruit does not offer the quickest options to contact any customer support team, it does offer enough options to get help for your website building problems or queries.
Moonfruit User Interface
SiteMaker Live is the software that Moonfruit offers you for building websites. This point-and-click interface is extremely easy to use along with the wide variety of drag-and-drop templates for your website.
Moonfruit SiteMaker further offers you a clutter-free interface which is extremely easy to understand and work with. You have the total freedom to make things move on your page to any desired location of your choice with simple mouse clicks.
Such an easy-to-use and flexible interface will make you enjoy the site designing process. You now even get access to the HTML5 Version 6 of the online software.
Moonfruit Website Design Capabilities
This tool offers you access to several sleek looking pre-designed templates based on flash and HTML5. You can also choose to start from a completely blank canvas and add site elements as per your choice and you may add different standard features to your webpages.
These features can include slideshows, forms, image galleries, videos, widgets and even custom code snippets. All these features are furthermore readily available in an organised manner from the toolbar.
All you need to do is choose a widget, drag it to the page and drop it at the location on the canvas that you find suitable.
Moreover, this tool allows greater levels of customisation for your site with the help of custom code features. For example, you can easily add a SoundCloud track, a MailChimp newsletter sign-up form, a quiz or any other similar service that requires custom code to be generated and pasted into your account.
This site building platform also allows you to have an idea of what your website page looks like during the editing stage through quick previews.
SiteMaker Website Mobility
With the Moonfruit SiteMaker software, you get a mobile-optimised or mobile-friendly version of your site created automatically.
Additionally, it makes it possible for you to modify the look of your website on mobile devices with the used of the Mobile editor interface. You can even decide to hide certain elements from the display in the mobile version. The mobile preview option helps you understand what your site will look like on tablets or smartphones.
If you prefer not to go with the automatic mobile version, which is highly unlikely considering the importance laid to it by Google, you may even use your site’s normal desktop view. If you want to redirect the visitors accessing your site from mobile devices to a specific URL, you can also set this “mobile redirect” option from the control panel itself.
Ecommerce Capabilities of Moonfruit
In this age of the eCommerce boom, you may feel the need to have a dedicated online store or add one to your existing website. In either case, Moonfruit has the right set of built-in eCommerce tools to meet your requirements.
Some peculiar features to help you build a comprehensive eCommerce platform include shipping settings, low stock notifications and various product options.
This tool even empowers you to generate several types of promo codes, such as percentage codes and fixed discount amounts, for online shoppers and allows you to offer free shipping.
Moonfruit also makes the PayPal mobile checkout option (as a widget) available for your online store.
This tool further offers access to several comprehensive tutorials to help you start selling online and generate considerable revenues from your eCommerce site.
Blogging has fast become a great necessity, not only for individual passionate writers, but also for businesses. Blogs help all types of businesses to connect to a different set of audiences and increase their customer base.
So, even if you are building a full-fledged site, you may feel the need to have a separate blog created for your business. Moonfruit can help you fulfil this requirement since it offers various blog-based features, for example, well-formatted blog posts, a commenting system with moderation capabilities and article scheduling.
You will realise that your task is only half done after you have managed to create a great site and have hosted it on a reliable platform. A major challenge that still remains is to get your site noticed by your target audience.
This is where you need to add Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to your site, which increases the chances of your site coming up in search results of various popular search engines like Google and Yahoo.
With Moonfruit, you get access to several SEO tutorials that can guide you in effectively using it. Also, different Moonfruit SiteMaker packages offer optimisation features with Google listings and metadata.
In addition, you can integrate your shop directly to your Facebook page and start selling your products or services to customers with the “Buy it Now” PayPal buttons embedded on that Facebook business page.
Moonfruit Website Builder Plans and Pricing
This website building tool offers you a free plan to build your site, but it will then contain several advertisements and Moonfruit branding.
Apart from the free package, there are around four Moonfruit plans (free of advertisements) available to you with a paid subscription. The common features available with all these paid plans are listed below:
- Free hosting
- Free of advertisements
- Online support consisting of FAQs, tutorials, forum Discussions and so on
- A Free Google Adwords coupon for annual subscription plans to enable paid advertising on Google
- Convenient shifting of already available domain name to Moonfruit
But let us now compare the four plans offered by Moonfruit in terms of the features that they offer.
|Price||Storage||Bandwidth||Number of Sites||Other Key Features|
|Lite||$4.5 per month (annual subscription) or $6 per month (monthly subscription)||500MB||10GB||1||None|
|Standard||$9 per month (annual subscription) or $12 per month (monthly subscription)||1 000MB||20GB||5||One free domain voucher|
|Plus||$15 per month (annual subscription) or $20 per month (monthly subscription)||5 000MB||Unlimited||10||Two free domain vouchers and telephone support|
|Max||$26.25 per month (annual subscription) or $35 per month (monthly subscription)||10 000MB||Unlimited||20||Three free domain vouchers and telephone support|
Moonfruit Website Builder Advantages
- It offers a free version access to the SiteMaker tool for designing websites. The best part is that even this free option provides you with access to the entire website builder along with all its functionalities.
- The user interface of Moonfruit exhibits cross-browser compatibility, which makes it easy for your site to be seen across different browsers without any special coding.
- With the Moonfruit paid packages, you get all the services in one place, including the site builder, web hosting and domain name registration. It is a one-stop shop for creating your website from scratch and for its long-term maintenance.
- You get Google Analytics and Google Webmaster features integrated so that you can keep track of your site’s statistics in terms of traffic, the number of visitors and so on.
- Apart from HTML5, this tool also offers support for flash sites.
- You can make use of the 14-day free trial period offered by Moonfruit before deciding to go for the free plan or any of the four ad-free paid packages.
Moonfruit Website Builder Disadvantages
- It lacks an appropriate grid for your master site editor which makes it a little difficult to align the various objects during the webpage design. You need to be aware of the various tips and tricks to get used to this alignment process.
- It is not possible to change the themes offered by Moonfruit, so you may feel restricted at times.
- There is no access provided to the site’s HTML or CSS for webmasters who may wish to do a bit of coding.
- It lacks typical customer support options, such as live chat. Even the telephone customer support feature is only available with the Moonfruit Plus and Max packages.
Moonfruit offers a lot for a simple drag-and-drop website builder and can meet most of your site design requirements without you being expected to know any coding skills.
This simple site builder is best suited for building a personal blog, business site or even an online store. If you have a medium to large business, you may want to consider other site builders with better hosting resources. In any case, you can always try out the Moonfruit site builder package on a free trial and review its performance for yourself.
We hope that the information shared in this article about the Moonfruit SiteMaker tool helps you make an informed decision about your website builder. Thanks for reading!