Comparing OVH.COM, Striking.ly and Weebly.com website builders

We work at www.alt-f1.be with different websites builders depending on our customers. Now it is time to give an overview of the main site builders we use: OVH, Striking.ly and Weebly.com

First OVH.COM, it is a French Web hosting as well as telephony services provider. It is quite successful in Europe [5].

Striking.ly, a young company enabling you to deliver “the quickest, simplest way to create professional websites”; the websites are mobile-ready and we believe they are more suited to the media industry or startups.

Finally, Weebly.com “the easiest way to create a website”, started in 2006. They provide a web interface to design your website. It is quite powerful tool.

Executive summary

Our customers are mostly startups or SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) who want to have a website presenting their value proposition. Most of the time they need a multilingual website (2 languages minimum), an attractive design and the ability to update easily their pages.

Multilingual?

Striking.ly and Weebly.com do not provide a multilingual features anytime soon.

Open source CMS [1] implement this feature by default; if not, you can find a plugin that will address your need (Do not use the plugin as most of the time the plugins won’t run after an upgrade of your CMS)

This is not cost effective but If you want a multilingual website, you can develop two or more websites (you pay several times) and link them to each other (e.g. fr.alt-f1.be and nl.alt-f1.be).
Otherwise you can mix pages in different languages but we loose a bit of the user ergonomics http://www.amia-consulting.com.

Easy to use?

If you are experienced with another CMS, Striking.ly and Weebly.com can be mastered in 2 hours.

Open source CMS require high technical knowledge and a long training curve.

Attractive design?

Open Source solutions and Weebly.com do their job, they provide great, attractive layouts and should address 99% of your needs.

For example, Drupal runs The EconomistExaminer.com and The White House. Here are further case studies: http://drupal.org/case-studies

Weebly presents their latest templates on their blog: http://blog.weebly.com/2/post/2012/10/make-your-site-amazing.html

Striking.ly takes a different approach, they have awesome designs (that can’t be customised yet).
Those are the things we can deliver:

SLA (Service Level Agreement)

OVH.COM comes with very poor SLA; their servers are too slow to work efficiently. e.g. Drupal 7 is dramatically slow; sometimes 5+ seconds are necessary to open a home page or manipulate the administration console.

Weebly.com user interface is very responsive and the system didn’t crash during the design of complicated layouts (e.g. http://www.amia-consulting.com/simogga-gui.html).
The deployed websites didn’t suffer any delay (so far)

Striking.ly user interface is very responsive and the deployed website didn’t suffer any delay (so far).

Survival of the fittest

OVH.COM and Weebly.com won’t close their business anytime soon, they earn real money for many years.

At the contrary, Striking.ly “just started” and we don’t know if the company will still survive the next two years. The competition is fierce in that industry and it is hard to foresee any winner: slide rocket, slideshare, zoho show, squarespace, wixx, wordpress, prezi, smore, one pager, pitch engine, lauchrock, checkthis, etc.

Targeting specific sector?

Striking.ly is perfect for the media industry wanting a nice, sexy user interface to be used during marketing campaigns.

Open source CMS and Weebly.com should be used for your simple, corporate website or intranet, the tools aren’t made to attract new customers but to give a complete overview of your value proposition. Keep in mind that running your open source CMS on your server gives you access to the source code, file server and back-end system, you can do virtually anything!

Configuration management (the V-Model)?

Usually, we do use workflows to collect the customer requirements until the website is deployed [2].

The usage of open source CMS on OVH.COM do propose such workflows (e.g. a page is deployed only if the CTO has revised it – or – when the page is available in 2 different languages) but, you do need to master their usages and sometimes customise them.

Unfortunately neither Striking.ly nor Weebly.com implement professional workflows. Even worst, Striking.ly do save automatically your changes that are directly published on your production page!

Support?

Weebly.com claimed that “Our pro users receive the fastest response from our most qualified support staff” [4] but I haven’t received an answer to my questions after 4 days …I am still waiting… Weebly.com powers 2% of the Internet [3] they are maybe too busy to address their latest customers queries.

Striking.ly team do answer fast to our requests but they haven’t a lot of customers for the moment.

Open source CMS comes with a large community who can help you for free (Documentation, Blog, Forum, Twitter, online training, etc.) or not (customised consultancy, training) depending on your needs.

What cannot you do with those tools?

Weebly.com

Using Weebly.com, you can’t:

  • design a multilingual website (Americans believe everyone speaks one language while Belgium has 3 national languages: French, Dutch and German)
  • create a table without writing html code
  • preview your website without deploying it
  • backup a website and restore it in its previous state
  • there is no way to upload an already existing content (besides copy/pasting your html piece by piece)

Striking.ly

Using Striking.ly, you can’t:

  • design a multilingual website
  • create a table without writing html code (only available to premium users)
  • preview your website without deploying it
    • even worst: Saving or Publishing do publish your website! Add the fact that there is an auto saving and you understand that you can’t use the tool for business purposes if you have already deployed your website
  • backup a website and restore it in its previous state
  • there is no way to upload an already existing content (besides copy/pasting your html piece by piece)

Our conclusion

Today, we need to deliver fast, ergonomic, cost-effective solutions to our customers. Mixing Weebly.com and Striking.ly even if they won’t address completely our customers’ needs are sufficient to start.

Open source or commercial solutions available on the market requires too much knowledge to be cost effective (today) but …  their have a different purpose.

For your information, at http://www.alt-f1.be, we do deliver all those solutions:

Documentum Drupal Joomla
Interwoven Plone Alfresco
Weebly.com Striking.ly

Links – Comments

[1] CMS: Content Management System : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_management_system

[2] Configuration management (V Model) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-Model_(software_development)

[3] Weebly power 2% of the internet: http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Startup-Weebly-takes-profitable-leap-forward-2335262.php

[4] Free vs. Pro Service – Which One is Right for You? http://kb.weebly.com/faq-pro.html

[5] Please, note that we leave OVH.COM due to a lack of their support quality. Indeed, they close – successfully – their tickets if no answer is given after 10 days while it should sent to their N+1!

If you want further information, read the following

The features comparison

Website www.ovh.com www.striking.ly www.weebly.com
Licensing Open source solutions:

Proprietary Proprietary
Discounts for
  • not seen
  • Student
  • 501(c)3 non-profit organization
  • teachers
Technical specifications OVH Pro spec striking.ly spec weebly.com spec

 Pricing comparison

OVH Strinking.ly Weebly.com
4.99€ VAT excl per month 8$ to 20$ per month 2.99$ to 4.99$ per month
Shared hosting striking.ly/s/pricing

Striking.ly / Weebly.com features comparison

Feature Striking.ly Weebly.com
Multilingual NO NO
Undertaking of the Website builder Easy Easy
Robustness of the Website builder Don’t know yet, not enough tested Awesome, independently of the complexity of the pages
Drag & Drop Website Builder YES YES
Professional Themes 10 Great themes for the media industry 100+ templates but

  • too many templates are similar
  • They are most of the time unusable as contrast is very poor, user has difficulties to read the text on the page
Powerful Hosting YES YES
Fast & Helpful Support YES YES
Easy Blogging NO YES but far from the quality of WordPress
Photo Galleries & Slideshows YES YES
Video & Audio Players YES YES
Easy Form Builder NO YES
Image Editor
  • ImagePerfect (proprietary)
  • Too few amount of effects
  • completing with GIMP.ORG is a must

 

Detailed Traffic Stats YES, through Striking.ly or Google Analytics YES, through Weebly or Google Analytics
Free Domain Hosting only if you pay premium fees YES
No Forced Advertising YES YES
Search Engine Optimized YES, but limited YES
E-commerce Features NO YES
Automatic Mobile Sites YES YES
Password-protected pages NO YES
Full HTML/CSS Control NO YES

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s