Canadian website builder Cubender refers to itself as a “creative platform for building exceptional websites.” If your results are anywhere near what Cubender’s home page looks like, they aren’t exaggerating when they call their sites exceptional.
Cubender offers a powerful building experience. Uing their clean, intuitive, and flexible editor, you can easily create beautiful websites even if you have don’t have design experience or technical skills. Their full-featured builder includes everything you need to get up and running with a blog, website, or online store.
Cubender acknowledges that there are many other website builders out there from which you can choose, but they claim that their personalized customer service and technical support makes them stand out from the crowd.
Find What You’re Looking For
In addition to supporting the latest web development technologies, such as HTML5, Cubender offers the following features so that you can build a site that meets the needs of your business and the demands of your customers.
Manage Multiple Sites
Cubender allows you to create multiple websites using just one administrative account. All of your sites will be listed on your Dashboard for ease of access. Note that you do have to subscribe to a plan for each of the sites you own.
If you’re creating multiple sites that are similar, you can easily create one site, duplicate it, and then implement the changes on a site-by-site basis.
All of Cubender’s sites are responsive by default. However, unlike some site builders that automatically turn your site into its mobile-friendly counterpart without input from you, Cubender lets you determine how you want your site to look to mobile users. Within the site editor, you can rearrange sections of your site and control what appears where when the site shifts to a smaller layout.
For example, the site builder might decide to move your About Me section under the header, with the footer following the header. You can change this, forcing the header to come first, followed by the About Me section, and finally the footer. This is a standout feature; often a site’s display for smartphone screens can really benefit from a few tweaks.
However, if you don’t care to spend time managing how your site appears on a mobile device, Cubender’s reflow engine will ensure that your site looks good no matter what.
Single-Page vs. Multi-Page Sites
While most of the templates (as well as the site builder itself) encourage you to build single-page sites where all of your content is located on one page and is accessible to visitors who scroll up and down, Cubender does support multi-page sites. While single-page sites are easier to build and maintain, multi-page sites are easier for search engines to index successfully and provide multiple landing points for your users.
Cubender isn’t a full-scale CMS, but its blog builder function makes it easy for you to create a blogging space. Having a blog on your site allows you to post entries chronologically, which spur interactions between you and your customers via Facebook or Disqus comments.
Cubender offers basic version control features, which means that you can go back in time to a previous version of your site. This is helpful if you’ve made changes which you aren’t happy with.
Having version control also means that you won’t lose all of your work if your browser crashes while you’re updating your site.
If you need to accept information submissions on your site (such as email newsletter sign up), you an easily create a form that captures the data you want, integrates into your site, and provides your visitors with a great form submission experience.
If you want to launch an online shop in addition to your website, you can do so using Cubender’s e-commerce features. You’ll need to upgrade to the highest-tiered plan with Cubender before you can build yourself an online store.
The e-commerce features allow you to display your products, manage your inventory, and accept payments from your buyers with the Stripe integration.
Once you’ve created your site using Cubender, you can take advantage of the white labeling feature to provide access to a third-party for updates or maintenance while you maintain sole access to billing and sole ownership. To do this you simply create a user account then you can make this account a “subscriber” so that they can manage any number of websites under your control.
Using the Cubender Site Builder
To get started with Cubender, you’ll need to sign up for an account. You can do so using your Facebook account, or you can provide your email address and a password instead.
Once activated, you’ll get a fourteen-day free trial to see if Cubender is a right fit for you.
You can begin building your site with a blank canvas, or you can choose a pre-designed theme. Cubender offers 18 different themes. All are modern, sleek, and professional-looking. Regardless of the industry you’re in, you’re sure to find one that reflects your brand.
Cubender walks you through the editor the first time you log in using a series of pop-up windows. You can exit the tour at any point.
The Toolbar and Design Panel
At the top of the editor is the toolbar. By default, the design panel that contains all of the options you can use to edit your site is hidden. To display the design panel, click on the plus icon located in the top center of the toolbar. If desired, you can have both the toolbar and design panel displayed as pop-up windows instead of embedded onto the top of the site editor.
Drag-and-Drop Website Editor
There are two subclasses of items you can add: elements and blocks.
Elements are individual features that you can add to your site. There are a variety of elements you can use, from social media integration to tables to images. Elements allow you finer control over the features you have on your site since you decide exactly what gets added and what doesn’t.
More specifically, elements are things like images, audio, icons, YouTube videos, social media integrations, content boxes, and so on.
To add an element to your site, simply drag and drop it from the design panel onto the appropriate location on your website.
If you’re uploading your content to your site, you’ll need to use Elements. You’ll add the element to your page, then double-click on the element to begin the file selection and upload process. You can think of elements as the container that encompasses everything you need for a given feature to work.
Blocks are sets of elements grouped together for a cohesive purpose. Some types of blocks include introductory headers, main page content, contact forms, social media widgets, and footers.
For example, you might want to add an About Me section onto your site. You can find a block for this purpose and add it to your site by clicking on the block itself in the toolbar. If the section occupied by the block isn’t correct, move it up or down using the arrows that appear when you hover inside the section.
By using blocks, you’ll have added multiple elements that come together to form a cohesive portion of your site, such as a header and a text area. Conveniently, many blocks also come with predefined style.
In our opinion, the blocks feature makes Cubender stand out from most of the other site builders available. The blocks feature a very powerful tool that speeds up the site building process that much more — when testing Cubender, we were able to create a complete site by adding just three blocks and editing the copy contained within the blocks. We did not have to worry about layout, design, or implementing the required back-end functionality.
When you create a new site, it will only have one page. You can easily add additional pages or sub-pages (which are nested under Pages themselves) using the Pages drop-down in the upper-left corner of the website builder. This is also the area where you can manage existing pages. The site builder asks you to provide basic information about the page you’re creating, and whether you’d like it public or not. By default, Cubender adds all of the new pages you create to the overall site navigation.
You can add pre-built sections to a page. For example, your home page might have a section for a large photo banner, a section welcoming your visitor, and finally, a section with your business’ contact information. This part of the editor lacks drag-and-drop features, so to move sections around, you use the up/down arrows that appear when you hover over a specific section.
At any time during the building process, you can preview that changes you’ve made to see how they will look to visitors navigating to your website. After saving any changes that you’ve made, you’ll see your site preview appear in a new pop-up window.
Save and Publish
While many other site builders treat the save and publish options as the same, Cubender doesn’t do this. You can save your changes at any time, but until you publish your changes, your audience won’t see the updates you’ve made to your page.
Pricing and Billing
Cubender offers a free, 14-day trial to all new users. Once the trial period of over, you can upgrade to any of the four paid plans offered.
Note that all plans come with unlimited bandwidth, which means that there aren’t limitations on the number of visitors that can visit your site each month.
The Venus plan is Cubender’s entry-level plan. You get 500 MB of storage for your site, and visitors can access your site via your Cubender sub-domain (for example,
mySite.cubender.com). Unlike many other site builders, there will be absolutely no tags, banners, or ads on your site indicating that you built it with Cubender.
The Earth plan allows you to use your custom domain, adds blogging features to your package, and gets you 1000 MB of storage for your site.
The Saturn plan gets you blogging and form creation features, ability to use your custom domain, and doubles your storage to 2000 MB.
The Jupiter plan, which is the highest-tiered plan offered by Cubender, gets you blogging and form creation features, an online store, and 5000 MB of storage.
None of the Cubender packages come with a custom domain. If you don’t want to use the Cubender sub-domain as your URL, you’ll need to purchase your domain, upgrade your Cubender subscription package, and connect your custom URL to your Cubender site. Cubender is not a domain registrar, so you’ll have to purchase your domain name elsewhere. Furthermore, if you want to use your domain as your email address, you’ll have to go to yet another vendor (if your domain registrar doesn’t offer email-related services). While this process doesn’t have to be overly complex, it is something to keep in mind, since these are steps you’ll have to do on your own.
You can choose to pay for your subscription on a monthly basis or upfront for the whole year. If you choose the latter option, Cubender will knock 20% off your total fees. If you’re using Cubender for multiple sites, you can get up to 20% off your subscription plans for your sites.
Refunds/Money Back Guarantees
If you’re unsatisfied with your current plan, you can upgrade or downgrade using the Dashboard at any time.
Unfortunately, Cubender doesn’t offer any money-back guarantee or any refunds for service fees paid. You can, however, cancel your plan at any time without paying any surcharges, and you have 14 days to test out the site builder.
The only issue with Cubender’s policies is if you’re looking to test the blogging or e-commerce features you can only do so with an upgraded subscription plan. So you’ll have to pay for at least one month of service to try these out features and see if they’re a fit for you. If they’re not, you can cancel your subscription with no hassle.
Technical Help and Customer Support
If you find yourself stuck and are in need of assistance, you can contact the Cubender tech support team using the contact form provided on their site. The contact page indicates that most customers receive a reply to their message within 24 hours. However, we noticed that they make no promises regarding when you’ll receive a response to your question.
Cubender claims that what makes them stand out is their personalized customer service. However, we notice the dearth of options when it comes to contacting the Cubender team. Many other providers offer some combination of email, live chat, phone, and site-level support, but Cubender only provides you with one option: their site’s contact form.
Cubender also maintains a robust self-help section: you can search through the existing docs for an answer to your question. The Cubender Blog, in addition to ideas, product updates, and announcements, also has useful how-to guides, such as “Designing with a Fullscreen Canvas” and “Working with Multiple Pages.”
Cubender has profiles on the following social media platforms: Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter. Unfortunately, none of these have been updated recently, so we don’t recommend reaching out to the company using social media.
Cubender doesn’t publish any information about their uptime/downtime. If you require high availability (important if you’re operating an online site since downtime can lead to lost profits), you might be better off with a website builder that offers an uptime guarantee and provides compensation if they don’t meet the guarantee.
Conclusion: Is Cubender Right for You?
Cubender is an easy-to-use website builder that offers a variety of options and subscription plans.
Their website building, blogging, and online shop features mean that you can create almost anything you’d want to, without the hassles of wading through a complex CMS.
You can be up and running in just minutes with Cubender due to its easy-to-use themes. If you choose to create a site from scratch, Cubender’s powerful pre-designed content Blocks feature can help you scaffold one up quickly. This is probably one of the most powerful features included in the website builder.
All-in-all, Cubender is one of the most powerful site builders out there. You can get up and running in just minutes, and if you ever get stuck, Cubender’s well-maintained help section has plenty of articles to guide you back on track. Prices are fairly reasonable but note that you will have to upgrade if you want blogging and e-commerce features. The package containing ecommerce features, in particular, can be cost-prohibitive if you’re just starting out with a site. Regardless, Cubender offers solid features and a well-developed, modern interface that makes site building easy even if you’re a novice.