Website Creator, also known as BoldGrid, is a standalone website builder product that was developed & sold exclusively by InMotion Hosting. This company is one of the most respected independent web hosting companies worldwide.
BoldGrid/Website Creator Current Plans and Pricing
InMotion Hosting is a web hosting company that has been around since 2001. They are independent, and focus mainly on small business website products. They place a strong emphasis on customer service and performance.
They still offer a wide range of hosting products (my inMotion Hosting Review), but they are quick to adapt to customer demands. That effort led to the creation of Website Creator.
In the past five years, website builders that are easy to use, bundleable, and drag-and-drop have been a huge demand. However, there are risks that business owners who invest in long-term projects may be exposed to with popular website builders.
Website Creator was designed for small business owners who want to quickly build their own website but are also looking at how to make it more flexible, adaptable, and long-term successful.
InMotion Hosting has been my hosting provider for many years. I decided to give their website creator, Website Creator, another try. It was a quick and small project that I wanted to do.
Let’s start with the basics before I get into the pros and cons.
What is a Website Creator?
Imagine website builders as a range of convenience and control.
Instagram is the ultimate convenience. It is super-simple to use. You have no control over the way your account looks or functions.
You have full control over the server. All HTML & CSS are written by you. This allows you to have maximum control but offers little convenience. The middle option is the most popular.
Self-hosted WordPress software is software you install on your hosting account. Although it requires some learning, self-hosted WordPress offers more flexibility and allows you to have full control over your files and server.
Wix is a popular drag-and-drop builder. It has a lower learning curve and offers more convenience than self hosted WordPress. They also need to restrict data exports and your server access.
Some small business owners do not like the tradeoffs – that is why Website Creator is focused on this slice. This will be covered in the Pros and Cons. Website Creator is built on top WordPress using a hosted account. It has all the features of a popular website builder like drag and drop, but it still creates files on a server you can access to export your website.
Also, you can think of a single-family house, a condo, or a townhome. A self-hosted WordPress site is one-family home. You own and are responsible for all aspects. Hosted website builders work in the same way as a condominium. You own the building and the contents, but the Condo Owner’s Association takes care of the rest.
Website Creator is a kind of townhome. Although you have hired landscapers and plumbers and joined a Homeowners Association, the final result is that you still own the land as well as the structure.
All that being said, here are the Pros and Cons of Website Creator as a general solution for website creation.
The benefits of using Website Creator
Here are the pros and cons of Website Creator, not only in comparison to Site123 or Gator but as a general website builder.
Convenience AND Control
Website Creator’s greatest pro is its ability to combine convenience and control. This is often where business owners must make a compromise when using website builders, even the best.
Website Creator is actually a package that includes hosting (on InMotion Hosting), website software (WordPress) and a drag-and-drop tool (BoldGrid). You get a self-hosted WordPress site with a drag-and-drop website creator (and tons more templates) that you can use. This is something that every marketer and developer can use. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to put together all the pieces or if you wait until you find the right web designer.
DIY is easy and you can rest assured that your content, design, and marketing will be up-to-date as your business grows.
Website Creator is a fantastic tool that gives users control, including ownership.
Website builders are something I think about in three ways.
First, brand asset and copyright ownership. No website builder can ever “own” your site. Instagram is not able to do that. You own the copyright to text, images, videos, logos, and other content. You own the copyright.
However, website builders may not be created equal when it comes down to the two other points of ownership.
The second aspect of ownership is “website design and feel”. Websites can be described as files that a browser can render. Your content is not the only thing that defines your website’s look and feel. It also includes the files that were used to create it. Here is where ownership becomes tricky. Many website builders don’t give you access to or copyright over the files generated by your content. Some sites grant you limited copyright. Some grant you complete copyright and unlimited access.
You would need to have full access. Let’s say that you wish to sell your website or transfer it to another provider. You cannot transfer or sell the website as it is if you don’t have access to the CSS or JS files.
The third is practical ownership. Even if your website is complete – JS and CSS, HTML, images, texts, etc. – you don’t have the ability to download it to your computer, or transfer it to another server. Are you really claiming ownership? This is where things get tricky. It doesn’t really matter until it does.
This point doesn’t really matter if you have a website with 10 pages for your dental practice. It could be important if your organization is building a reference website that will eventually contain thousands of pages.
Website Creator allows you to access and download your website’s files from a server. This means that you are fully responsible for all aspects of your site. It is a great feature to have if you ever need to move it or create it elsewhere.
Website Creator’s other advantage is its ease-of-use once it’s set up. Website Creator uses BoldGrid (a website builder) to create your website.
BoldGrid doesn’t actually allow you to drag and drop. BoldGrid doesn’t allow you to drag and drop elements. BoldGrid uses Inspirations instead, which are your base templates.
You can edit the branding, add pages or delete them. You can also change the fonts and colors, or add widgets to individual pages.
There are many customization options available. Website Creator supports plugins. These pieces of software “plug in” your website to add functionality. This allows you to create almost anything you need, including ecommerce, appointment scheduling, and flying unicorns.
BoldGrid’s Inspirations and the customization options within them allow you to create something unique without needing to build it from scratch.
The ability to integrate plugins into Website Creator is an important feature. WordPress is the most widely used CMS platform, so the possibilities for integration are virtually limitless.
There’s a good chance that a plugin exists to accomplish what you want your site to do. If it hasn’t been developed yet, there are likely developers who can create it.
You can also integrate with any analytics or email service provider you want, because you already have a hosting account that runs Website Creator.
Register + Customer Service
This could be either a pro or con depending on your needs. It takes some time to sign up for Website Creator. They actively work to remove spammers, so they check accounts before granting access. Although they claim that it takes a few minutes to receive a confirmation email from them, we were unable to wait for over an hour before calling support to have our account approved.
This is a positive because you are dealing with a company who takes their software seriously and actively attempts to preserve its integrity. They won’t allow spammers in and their customer service team is willing to speed up the process if they reach out to you and explain how your site will be used.
Website Creator is a unique website builder that offers so many options. This is the best example.
Website Creator allows you to use WordPress themes/custom themes other than BoldGrid.
You can have your own fully customizable WordPress site. However, you also have the option to use an all-inclusive web builder with pre-built themes and simple-to-use customization options. It’s a win/win situation.
There is a learning curve involved in using Website Creator. InMotion Hosting’s training and onboarding resources are outstanding. Every piece of software has a moment where you wonder “What’s next?”
InMotion Hosting covers all bases. Once your account is approved, you will be given instructions on how set up your account, create your website and get started.
The account dashboard is simple and refreshing.
You can also get training in WordPress.
Cons of using Website Creator
There are always tradeoffs, just like any piece of software. Here are the cons to Website Creator
Sign up process takes longer
Yes, it is possible for spammers to be caught by Website Creator. Why? This is because the sign-up process is more slow.
It took us about two hours to set up our account. This is not a great time if you need a quick solution to quickly get a website online.
After you have completed the sign-up and installation processes, BoldGrid can be used easily. InMotion Hosting also offers tons of resources to assist you. However, Website Creator can be difficult to use. Both the sign-up process and installation are more complex than other all-inclusive websites builders.
Before you can even get started, you need a domain name. To get started with WordPress.com, you cannot use a subdomain for free.
You will need to install BoldGrid to access WordPress for editing.
InMotion Hosting’s training is excellent, but it’s worth taking the time to learn. Wix, Squarespace and Shopify are all popular pure-play website builders. In-screen onboarding will show you how to build your site while you’re building it.
Website Creator is not the right choice if you want to jump in and build a website without any prior experience.
BoldGrid Website Builder Review Conclusion
Although Website Creator has a steep learning curve, it allows users to customize, be flexible, and take control of their website. It offers the best of both worlds, a self-hosted WordPress site without having to manage your website builder and hosting.
BoldGrid/Website Creator: Current Plans & Prices
There are some trade-offs that you should consider. Website Creator is not the right choice if you are looking for an intuitive, quick and easy website builder you can use to create a project quickly.
Instead, take my quiz to determine which website builder is best for you based upon your preferences.