- Author: Eric Renfro
In a website builder market saturated with me-too brands that bring nothing new to the table, BoldGrid aims to be usefully different: to bridge the gap between drag-and-drop website builders and the ever-popular WordPress CMS.
Offered through InMotion Hosting, BoldGrid gives you all the benefits of a Hosted WordPress Site with full drag-and-drop site creation and customization. WordPress CMS is the most popular website management tool on the market, providing the backbone for millions of websites, big and small. But despite its relative simplicity, it does require some technical ability to get the most out of it and can be quite intimidating to first timers. That’s why website builders have exploded in popularity – they make creating and maintaining a website possible for anyone.
The problem is that website builders, as powerful and flexible as they have become, have unavoidable limitations. Easy design tools inevitably lead to insurmountable limitations, the all-in-one hosting package provided by website builders can be quickly outgrown, and it’s impossible to move your website to a new host.
So, the question is: does BoldGrid succeed in marrying the approachability and ease-of-use of a good website builder with the power and possibilities of a hosted WordPress platform? Let’s find out.
Plans & Pricing
BoldGrid offers one premium package that costs $60 per year and comes with the following tools and services: premium support, 200+ beautiful themes, advanced customizer access and automated and secure upgrades and backups etc.
Features & Functionality
BoldGrid is currently available through InMotion Hosting, and offers the same hosting functionality as their regular WordPress Hosting Packages. Aside from the speed and uptime benefits that you get with a leading hosting company, you also get the advantage of complete site ownership. You can upgrade your hosting package as your needs evolve, and it’s easy to move a website to (or from) InMotion.
Free Marketing Content:
Unlike with templates on other website builders, you are free to use any of the industry-specific marketing copy that comes preloaded with any of the BoldGrid themes. Obviously, this may not be the best long-term solution but it’s a good way to get started quickly.
This is an advanced tool that you don’t get with other website builders. Staging allows you to work on a website separately from the active website that the world can see. This is really useful if you’re bringing an existing website over from another host, or if you want to get up and running quickly with a basic website while you work on something more comprehensive.
The WordPress Connection:
One of the standout features of BoldGrid is the freedom you get to utilize any of the themes and plugins available at WordPress.org. There are thousands to choose from, giving you the potential to include the kind of functionality that just isn’t available with other web builders.
If your plan is to set up an eCommerce site, then you won’t have any issues with BoldGrid. There are thousands of WordPress Plugins, from carts and payment processors, to product catalogues and shipping tracking.
Design & Templates
BoldGrid has divided site creation into two distinct stages – Inspiration and Customization. The inspiration phase begins with choosing a theme – the WordPress version of a “template”. You can kick off your site with any theme you like, although it’s recommended to choose a theme that corresponds to your industry. That’s because the theme you choose provides a basis not just of design, but also for page types, functionality, and -interestingly – content.
BoldGrid’s themes are filled with real marketing copy, which you’re free to use as you wish. All themes are fully responsive and you can explore how they will appear in tablet and phone view. Once you’ve chosen your theme you will be asked to choose a page set – basic, five page, or ‘kitchen sink’, which provides you with all pages available for the particular industry you chose. It’s probably better to start off with the minimum though, as everything is fully customizable and can be added or deleted later.
One thing you won’t be short of with BoldGrid is design templates. The creators have created a number of BoldGrid specific themes, as have third-party developers. In addition, you have access to all of the 10,000+ WordPress themes available on the WordPress marketplace. Although these haven’t been designed specifically for BoldGrid, the developers claim that most should work fine. Even if that’s only half true, the size and popularity of WordPress as a CMS, means you will have access to thousands of themes – both free and paid-for – to choose from.
This is just one example of the benefits you will have of using WordPress as a basis for a drag-and-drop website builder. Once you’ve set up the foundations of your website, it’s time for the customization phase. Clicking on the customization tab will take you out of the familiar WordPress CMS view to something more akin to other website builders, with a menu on the left and a preview window on the right, where you can view the changes you make to your template.
Adding pages to your website is an easy process. It will be familiar to anyone who has ever used WordPress, but with one key difference: GridBlock. This is a powerful drag-and-drop page editor that allows you to tinker and customize to your heart’s content. Again, you can also create and edit pages in the traditional WordPress view, so if you ever start to feel limited by GridBlock you have the option to break free and do pretty much anything you can think of.
BoldGrid has a rich knowledgebase available on its website but the company only offers dedicated support to its premium customers.
Pros & Cons
- Drag-and-drop WordPress website builder
- SEO analysis tool
- Support across 1000+ hosts
- Website can be created within 10 minutes
- A huge collection of themes or you can use your own
- No support for ecommerce
- No customization for mobile website
Ease of Use
Getting your account registered with BoldGrid takes only 3 steps where you have to enter your email and choose a password for your account. The theme selection menu is intuitive and allows you to browse and select with ease. Using the actual website builder is also very easy and even amateurs should feel no learning curve while using the tool. There are powerful drag and drop features that should allow you to build a very basic website within a matter of minutes.
FAQYes. There is a FAQ section though it is not extensive.
Community ForumYes. There is a forum where you can ask questions.
BlogYes. In the BoldGrid Blog you will find the latest details on company news, WordPress, events, patch notes, web design and more!
BoldGrid is still in its early stages, and it will be interesting to see how it develops. But one thing is for certain, it succeeds in bringing something new to the website builder space. If you think that a traditional website builder might limit you as your site grows, but you don’t feel ready to dive into the WordPress CMS, then BoldGrid is definitely worth your consideration. You get all the benefits of a hosted WordPress site with the easy drag-and-drop tools of a website builder. What’s not to like?
Our goal is to provide answers to all of your questions so you can make a confident purchasing decision. We welcome your feedback, so please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions and questions. We’d love to hear from you!