- author: Eric Renfro
Impress.ly takes web building to new levels of ease. This brand may be new on the block (only launching in late 2015) but they’ve pulled out all the stops to deliver a supremely intuitive website building platform. Impress.ly is the first automatic website builder to hit the market that provides outstanding web and app-building simplicity.
The brand is partnered with Endurance International Group (EIG), and Dutch developers AppMachine, making it a brand to be reckoned with in the world of user-friendly web building.
Impress.ly is a mobile-centric website builder that finds the content for you, layering it into a workable site or app without the nonsense of web coding or any difficulty at all (to be more precise). The bulk of the site creation is done for you. It connects your Facebook Business page or existing website and pulls the content before ‘automagically’ creating an app-like responsive site with fantastic social media integration, catchy colors and no user worries.
It’s a time-saving site builder at its very best, giving you a fully functional site in just a few clicks of your mouse or a few taps of the screen. What’s more, you can update and manage your site from your mobile device, allowing you to play with your web content on-the-move.
One of the standout features of this web builder is that you can build your own mobile app as well as your very own personal or business website. There’s no need to seek professional help, anyone can create an app with the Impress.ly builder.
Plans & Pricing
Impress.ly allows you to build your site and explore features without the need to pay. However, you’ll have to dig into your pockets for a web package before you can publish the site. This is a nice little touch as it gives users the chance to test the product before committing to a purchase. The value for money seems very fair. With the free package, you can make an HTML 5 site for smartphone, tablet, and desktop, plus receive a domain name.
Starter: The $9 per month (billed annually) Starter Plan adds basic analytics, social feeds, and reduces the Impress.ly branding.
Business: The Business package, at $14-a-month (billed annually), removes all branding and includes e-commerce and reservation software on top of many more perks.
Features & Functionality
Blogging tool – Impress.ly notes that most web users want to add blogs to their sites. The blogging tool is effortless to use on mobile and desktop, and you can even add an RSS feed to your blogs. Further functionality allows you to display posts from a WordPress site, however, there’s no room for customization here.
Restaurant tool – The Impress.ly web builder offers a number of useful features for restaurant websites, such as menus, a reservation tool that enables third-party bookings, and a delivery feature that can establish food deliveries through a third-party food company such as GrubHub and iFood.
Contact Form – You get the basic contact form with Impress.ly, with an option to set up one to eight contact fields. It’s very simple, but that’s all you really need with a contact form.
Other features – There’s an array of unique features such as a coupon creator, a weather feature (that displays the weather of a chosen location), music add-on for audio streaming links, a lock feature that password protects pages, and a tip calculator.
Design & Templates
The Impress.ly templates are referred to as “skins,” and there’s not a huge number to pick from. When you’ve signed up and allowed your Facebook page or other social media site to be linked, you’re offered a choice from among 10 skins. This may seem like a low number but it keeps things nice and simple, and who knows, maybe more will become available in the future. These skins customize the menu design. There’s a range of colors, design features, fonts and photos that you can select.
Impress.ly uses template skins that feature a sidebar menu placed on the left of the site. This can be toggled from screen to screen but there’s no room for intense customization here. It is an enjoyable process to build your app or site with such simplicity but options to add a personal touch are near non-existent.
A big positive for us was the automatic cropping and processing of any images you upload to the site. It’s always a painful process to optimize images for a website, but Impress.ly takes care of all of that for you.
There is no drag-and-drop functionality with Impress.ly. This may put some users off, but this website building program has been designed with mobile end-users and mobile designers in mind. You can make simple changes and update content with ease, just like everything else.
You can access the style editor by clicking the Edit Style button in the upper left of the screen or from the top drop down on mobile devices. This is where all your site appearance options, including the skins, are placed. Here you can arrange your navigation and page links, not to mention the header, titles, background, logo and everything else. It’s been dumbed down to the max, so you’ll literally have your website built in a matter of clicks.
Users may feel some constraints, as Impress.ly doesn’t really let you have any granular control over your website. That’s because more choice means more work, and that just leads to more problems. This no-nonsense site builder gives its users a clean, simple design that puts everything on a plate for you.
The Content Editor brings up all your site pages for editing, enabling users to update contact information, edit the menu, and add social media feeds, photos from Instagram, and YouTube content. At the moment there is no undo and redo options which can be frustrating but the Impress.ly website builder is still new, so we hope it will be addressed in a future update.
You can preview your site across all devices before it’s published so you can get an idea of how the site will look once it goes live. Another thing to mention is that Impress.ly has a free-to-use editor but it will push a sale on you with popups and prompts to purchase for further access to features.
Impress.ly is an easy to use website builder, but you may still find that you want some extra support at times. On the Impress.ly Help Center page, you can access a quick start guide, FAQs, and information and tips regarding features, store, domain & email management, and news & updates. The Help Center articles are thorough and provide screenshots to make it easier for you to follow their instructions accurately. You can also contact Impress.ly via email for further support and assistance. There is no live chat option nor can you find a phone number on their site.
Pros & Cons
- App-like beautiful websites.
- Key social feeds, web content and reviews found automatically.
- Phone-first websites.
- Perfect domain name and branding for your business.
- Add an e-commerce store within no time.
- No backup features and can’t undo edits.
Ease of Use
Impress.ly is fun and easy to use. Its way of creating sites for mobile allows you to pull data from your Facebook Business Page as well as your website and Impress.ly will generate 10 unique mobile site designs. All you need to do is make a choice and it’s yours. For a slightly experienced person, designing a website from scratch should not take more than a few hours.
24/7 Help & SupportYes. 24/7
Phone SupportPhone support is available.
FAQFAQ available on various subjects, in the help center - https://support.impress.ly/hc/en-us/categories/202408968-FAQ
Though Impress.ly is not overly packed with features, it has the bare essentials and as it’s still rather new to the market, it’s likely that many new features will be implemented in due time. Impress.ly does have great appeal to those who want to create a quick and easy, mobile-friendly website or app for their business. It’s a lot of fun to use and a unique experience altogether that does impress. The ability to create apps for download in the App Store and Google Play has never been so easy.
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 service@ top5-websitebuilders.com with suggestions and questions. We’d love to hear from you!