Yola is a reasonably priced (compared to some of their competitors) platform for building and hosting a website.
They address some of the issues we’ve had with certain competitors in the past, for example they don’t charge you an arm and a leg to have a website with multiple pages, nor do they charge a fortune if you add a store onto your site.
Overall, they’re really not a terrible option if you’re looking for a fairly basic and affordable platform to create a website, but they’re not perfect, either.
In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at Yola’s handful of different packages and comparing them, pointing out what’s great about them but also what they’re lacking, and also offering up some alternatives that we believe offer superior service when it comes to not only building your site and launching it, but keeping it online for the long-term.
There are certain things you need to consider, that aren’t readily obvious to beginners, so we’re going to cover everything we can to ensure that you’re armed with all of the vital information that you need to make an informed decision before you start your website.
But we understand that you’ve probably already been researching this for a while, and you’re eager to just pick something so that you can get started building your site already. Don’t worry – we get it – so feel free to skip to next couple of sections and to go right to our top Yola alternatives which will help you get your website online in a matter of minutes.
Let’s start this off by taking a closer look at what Yola has to offer…
Yola is an all-in-one package, where you pay for the hosting, and use their proprietary site-builder. These types of services gained popularity when it required a certain level of tech-savvy to create a website “the old fashioned way” by installing your own software on a server that you rented. By having an all in one solution, they removed one of those steps, which eliminated the biggest barrier to entry which was simply knowing how to install software on a server and set it all up correctly.
These days, that’s not as much of an issue anymore, which is highlighted by some of our top Yola alternatives that we’ll be looking at. You don’t have to be tech-savvy at all to start a website anymore, even if you aren’t using one of these all in one services. Some more traditional hosts have recognized the need for easier to use solutions, and now there are all sorts of open source platforms for building your website that these types of platforms like Yola are feeling a bit outdated, and unnecessary. None the less, as far as their category is concerned, we still think Yola is doing a decent job.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this type of service, we just think some of the alternatives have made so much progress in recent years that it’s hard to ignore them. But for now, let’s talk Yola…
As with most website builder platforms, Yola offers a free option. And as with all of the others, the free option isn’t worth using at all, especially if you’re taking your website seriously at all. The first problem is that Yola only allows a maximum of 3 pages, which realy doesn’t give you much to work with. We’re really not fans of any service that limits you to a certain amount of pages, it’s just a weird thing to restrict. Yola’s free plan comes with 1GB of Bandwidth, which isn’t a whole lot, and 1GB of storage. Also, your site has to use their subdomain, so when people visit your site they have to type something like “yoursite.yola.com” instead of just “yoursite.com”. We aren’t going to hold this against them all that much, because once again, it’s free and it’s not a bad way to try out the platform to see if you like it before going premium.
One step up from free, Yola has a Bronze package which allows for unlimited pages, unlimited bandwidth, twice as much storage as the free place, and the ability to use a custom domain name. For $5 per month on a yearly plan, or $7 if you pay month to month, it’s relatively inexpensive, but we have some MUCH better options coming up for you that cost about the same, or even less. The downside to Bronze is that you still have to display Yola branding on your site, and in our view, that’s simply not acceptable for a premium paid service.
From there, they have Silver and Gold packages for $15 and $30 per month, which offer things like not being forced to display advertisements for Yola, additional templates for your site, social media integration, and a bunch of other stuff that’s included in the base plans for much less expensive with the Yola alternatives we’re about to look at.
If you want to create an online store, you can add that functionality on to any of their plans for an additional $10 per month.
Yola’s site builder itself is decent, but it shares the same issues that every site builder has. You have a complete lack of control over it, lack of freedom, and you’re tied into Yola’s ecosystem. You become entirely reliant on their site builder, so if you’re planning on really building up your website and running it for years, you don’t just have to worry about your own site, you have to hope that Yola sticks around too.
Top 3 Yola Alternatives
We’re going to be looking at three different options that you may want to consider, instead of going with Yola. If you’re cool with everything we’ve mentioned about Yola and it sounds like a good fit for you, then by all means, it won’t hurt to give them a try… but if you’re already using Yola and looking for something better, or just getting started, make sure you check out these options, too.
Wix is our top choice because it’s a similar type of platform as Yola, so if that’s specifically what you want, then we urge you to give them a try as well. They, too, offer a free plan. As with all the free plans, they’re good when it comes to getting a feel for the platform, but not really suitable to use beyond that, and you’ll want to upgrade to a paid plan, regardless of which platform you decide to go with.
We like Wix’s site builder better, it feels easier to get a great looking site setup, and just feels a bit easier to use. You may prefer the templates provided by one service or the other, but overall, Wix’s seem to have a more modern look to them (Modern in terms of web design, user-friendliness, and accessibility.)
Both Wix and Yola are relatively similar on paper and comparing their plans, and they both offer very basis free plans, but once again – it’s pretty important to get the paid plan if you’re taking your site serious, or using it for a business in particular.
Remember, adding a shop with Yola costs $10 per month on top of whatever plan you’re paying for, and with Wix it’s a minimum of $17. For a Yola store without any Yola branding on your site, you’re looking at $20 and up. It’s pretty close in either direction, so budget shouldn’t be the defining feature here – quality should be – and that’s why Wix gets the nod from us, and why the following two options are also excellent choices if you’re looking for the best way to get your website online.
This is a different type of platform, and much more standard of a choice for seriously websites. There was a time when this type of more traditional platform was a lot more difficult to setup, to build, and then to manage… but these days, it couldn’t be any easier, which kind of eliminates the need for platforms like Yola, even for people who are total beginners.
The major difference is that with Yola and others, the website builder and the hosting platform are tied together. That means you can’t decide to host your website somewhere else down the road, you’re tied to Yola. With Bluehost, on the other hand, you’re using Bluehost to host your site, but you’re using WordPress to build, create, and manage it. Why does that matter? Easy…
WordPress is an open source platform for creating websites, as opposed to a closed-off platform like Yola. This means you have a ton more freedom when you’re using WordPress, that you can do infinitely more cool things with your site, that you’re in total control, and that you don’t have to rely on one single third party, since WordPress is open source and you have the option to change hosts any time you want.
With the type of hosting that Bluehost offers, you can install any platform you want. You aren’t stuck with one, from one company, there are hundreds to choose from, or you can even just make a site from scratch, if you want. WordPress is the most common option to go with, and the best, in our experience (And the experience of the millions of people who use it.)
The reason we like Bluehost in particular is because they’re an established hosting brand, they offer comprehensive packages with all the features you need, for super reasonable prices.
Bluehost offers excellent support for all of their products, and they have engineered their hosting platform to work exceptionally well with WordPress, making them a great pair.
Bluehost isn’t the only company offering hosting for WordPress, and the final option we’re going to be featuring today is another strong contender. The next company, Siteground, is the same type of hosting company as Bluehost, not an all-in-one platform like Wix or Yola.
Finally, Siteground is another hosting company more along the lines of Bluehost, who also make it surprisingly simple to setup and get your website running, whether it’s a store, a blog, or something else. You don’t have to pay extra if you want to run a store, there are free options available.
Siteground and Bluehost offer fairly similar plans, the big difference is that Bluehost offers unlimited packages, whereas Siteground gives you an actual number of roughly how many monthly visitors your website can handle. Even with “unlimited” plans, if you’re using too many resources, you will eventually get cut-off or told to upgrade. In that sense, it’s nice to know exactly what you can expect with Siteground, so you can actually plan ahead accordingly as your site grows. This can also help with performance, and these servers are fine-tuned for WordPress as well, and they have everything you need to get started.
Whichever option you decide to go with, it’s possible to get signed up, and be working on your site in a matter of minutes. From there, it really doesn’t take much longer until your website is actually live on the internet, ready for people to start flocking to.
Setting up an online store requires a few more steps compared to building a regular website, but all of the platforms mentioned on this page make it quite easy to accomplish. There’s no huge learning curves here, especially not like there used to be.