A reviewer's TWO suggestions

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I did reviews on both Yola and Weebly recently and conversed with Monique from customer service about this but I figured I'd make it public.

I think the Yola website builder is more robust than Weebly although both are very good. Here are two areas where I think Weebly has an edge which are areas for Yola to improve on (one is big, and one small):

1. The small one is the column divider. Weebly allows you to add multiple columns but Yola only allows one. This was a slick little feature in Weebly that allows great flexibility in laying out the page. I've heard you can nest column dividers to achieve this in Weebly but I think that will cause vertical alignment problems

2. The second thing is a larger issue. I think the Yola designs are good but the Weebly designs are a bit more modern, creative, and attractive. This is one of the most important aspects of a website builder so whoever wins this design battle may win the war....assuming there is a war going on ;)
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Web Eminence

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Posted 5 years ago

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Gop

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Hello Web E,

It's great to get outside views on the Yola sitebuilder and always brings in a fresh perspective. You are correct saying that with Yola you can nest column dividers and are concerned regarding vertical alignment. I have used this ploy countless times and the vertical alignment issue is real but as implied not insurmountable. I never thought laterally enough to query the design based on this and think that the highlighting of this is very helpful. Thanks and i hope that Yola can give thought to an easy users solution.

I agree with you regarding the template designs and think that they are noticeably "coned-in" as have a number of other users at various times. As a work-around users employ specific modifications to their templates by way of the new site designer which allows site wide tweaks of the template, this is more appearance than substance. Of course that is an experienced users tool. It would be nice to see some new concepts of style introduced by the designers, so here's hoping for this as well.

Thanks for your efforts and communication on this Community forum.
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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Hi Web Eminence

Thank you very much for your excellent review! I hope you don't mind but I would like to post a link to it here as I am sure our community will find it very interesting and helpful: http://webeminence.com/yola-sites/. I particularly recommend your excellent screencast as it provides a very helpful and comprehensive overview of the Yola sitebuilder.

Although we have discussed this in detail via email, I would like to respond to the 2 points you raised on this thread as well for the benefit of the wider conversation.

1) A multi-column widget as opposed to a 2-column widget. This is a feature which we would very much like to support. As you rightly point out it would give users greater control over their page layout without having to deal with vertical alignment issues when nesting multiple column divider widgets. As such the feature is on our roadmap and it is a matter of time until we release it. Like everyone, I hope it will be sooner rather than later and I know our team will work hard to fit it in along with our other priorities.

2) With regard to our template library - while I agree that this is critical and we can and will work continually to improve our template offering, I actually do not think this is where the war will be won or lost. In this regard I see things somewhat differently to Gop. I believe that the contest to release the best looking templates is one in which any player will be able to win some of the battles but never decisively win the war. Instead, what is most important is to release templates that are attractive in and of themselves, but highly flexible such that hundreds of sites could be created starting from the same basic template but look nothing like eachother because of the level of creativity the user is able to bring to bear to customize the template to reflect their personal requirements and taste. As such the Style Designer is not a workaround as Gop has suggested but the key to unlocking this flexibility. What is true is that the Style Designer cannot be used to full effect on many of our older templates. The template which best demonstrates this level of flexibility is a new one called "Super Flat" and future templates will follow this model. For example when both these sites can be built on the same template, I feel that we are moving in the right direction: http://www.sculpturesonparade.com/ and http://www.hutchinsonweddings.com.

Of course not everyone has this level of design flair and the option also exists to select from a variety of presets to customize the template with a single click. The presets we display for Super Flat are a small sampling of the diversity that can be achieved by using the Style Designer to create a comprehensive color palette and font family. In other words, the aim is to allow as little or as much design input as the user wishes to invest, but always to produce an attractive and professional result.

We believe this is the key to designing consistently stylish and modern websites without having a degree in graphic design. We look forward to continued innovation and development that will serve to distinguish Yola as the best and most complete solution for any business to manage their web presence.
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Gop

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I think the following examples illustrate the diversity of template design rather than the focused template of: menu; banner; mid aligned and separated work-space, even the Super Flat.

http://www.squarespace.com/stories/#j...
http://www.shopsanctuaryt.com/
http://rule-of-three.co.uk/
http://www.cirq.com/
http://www.studioairport.nl/en
http://www.diehlgroup.com/
http://inze.it/
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KanThaiDecor

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I just tried something on the custom panels that didn't work but I think it would be awesome. When we up load a background to use for a custom panel could Yola engineers make it possible to preserve the transparent background on a png image? I am sure most of you if you think about that, you can see how creative possibilities would abound.
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Stefan, Official Rep

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Hello John

I think this works already. To see an example, please go to this test site. The first Yola badge has been added via the Picture Widget, the second one as a background image of a Custom Panel Widget.

Have you removed the colour codes of the background section in your Custom Panel Widget Editor? As soon as I do that, the background becomes completely transparent:

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KanThaiDecor

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Yes I was going to post that I had figured it out.....The setting allows exactly what I wanted. Thanks Stefan
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Web Eminence

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Thanks for the replies GOP and Monique. This is a good discussion. I could probably say more about the design topic but I'll leave it alone for now. It's a complicated issue but we all agree it's very important. I'll be watching to see what Yola does in the future with designs themes.