PageCloud bills itself as the “world’s most innovative website creator.” The PageCloud platform combines the functionality and features of a content management system (CMS) and a site building/design tool. While PageCloud markets itself to many different audiences, we think that the flexible, easy-to-use platform would be a great fit for individual entrepreneurs or small businesses looking for an easy way to create their own professional-looking website on a budget. Despite being just a few years old, PageCloud supports sites for thousands of businesses in over 100 different countries.
Apps and Themes
PageCloud’s themes and apps form the “core” of your site, so to speak.
The PageCloud themes are the starting point for all of your websites, but since you can keep, delete, or edit any of the included features, there aren’t any limitations on how you can customize your site. Rather than boxing you in based on where PageCloud thinks your content “should” go, you can think of PageCloud themes the way that PowerPoint slides work: fully changeable.
If you’re design savvy or technically minded, you can make the appropriate elemental changes (PageCloud exposes the source code of the theme in the editor). If not, you can use the Elements features, which are pre-built objects designed to make it easy for you to add buttons, forms, navigation tools, and more. PageCloud sites aren’t mobile-friendly or responsive by default, but the editing tool makes it easy to convert your desktop-friendly site into one suitable for mobile devices. You get full control over how your content reflows and resizes on smaller screens.
To extend the functionality of your site, you can integrate any of the apps available (PageCloud claims that its product “integrates with everything”). PageCloud offers apps for all kinds of features, such as image and video handling, social integrations, event management, website analytics, and e-commerce tools. Depending on the needs of your site, you can eschew apps entirely and build a static website, or you can build a fully-fledged online store complete with detailed product catalogs, high-res pictures and videos, and multiple channels of communication between you and your customers.
To “install” an app for use with your website, you can either drag-and-drop the app onto your website, or you can copy and paste the appropriate app installation code snippet onto your theme.
If PageCloud doesn’t currently offer an integration in which you’re interested, you can open up a request for the PageCloud development team to create it on your behalf. There’s no guarantee that the team will implement your request, however.
As an entrepreneur or a small business, you’re probably interested in the e-commerce tools included with site builders. Currently, PageCloud comes with apps allowing you to integrate with Ecwid, Gumroad, PayPal, and Shopify. Gumroad is a great option if you’re selling downloadable items, while Ecwid and Shopify allow you to add a store to your website with just a few clicks. PayPal, as a payment processor, can easily be used with any of the other options (or you can simply collect fees or donations).
PageCloud claims that their editor is the “only true drag and drop,” since you can “drag anything from anywhere and place it exactly where you want.” Furthermore, you have complete control over your page, so you can layer, resize, rotate, and stretch your content (no matter the type) so that your site looks exactly like what you want.
All PageCloud users get access to a font library containing over 2,000 fonts, which is akin to having Google Fonts and Adobe Typekit at your fingertips. In addition to allowing you to copy and paste into text editors while also preserving your formatting, you can customize fonts you’ve chosen from the library as much (or as little) as you’d like.
In addition to built-in content editing and management, such as automatic image resizing and image optimization, you get access to custom image galleries, can create photo albums with the available apps, and can integrate your site with various social media channels so that the content you share on your site will be automatically posted on your social pages. If you have multiple versions of your site (such as one for those viewing your site on larger screens and one for those on mobile devices), PageCloud automatically adjusts the size of your images so that you don’t have to worry about creating and keeping multiple copies of an image on hand. If you have audio or video to share, you can add clips from YouTube, SoundCloud, Vimeo, and more.
All PageCloud sites come with a free, PageCloud subdomain, but you can easily use a custom domain instead. Users who sign up and prepay for a one-year subscription to PageCloud will receive a coupon for a free domain name from Hover.
PageCloud automates all search engine optimization-related tasks so that you don’t have to do handle this on your own, though you can easily manage your metadata, page titles, alt text, and more by yourself if desired.
To add professionally-branded email and productivity tools to your website, you can integrate with Google’s G Suite product. Like the free custom domain name from Hover, those who pay upfront for a one-year Page Cloud subscription will get a free year of G Suite access.
PageCloud takes care of everything on the back-end, so you don’t have to worry about website hosting or security. You’ll get SSL support, and you can take advantage of PageCloud’s partnership with CloudFlare free of charge, so your sites load faster for your users.
Pricing, Billing, and Guarantees
All new PageCloud users get a free, fourteen day trial upon signing up (no credit card required). At the end of the trial period, you’ll pay a flat rate for all of PageCloud’s services — the company offers only one pricing plan that gets you everything offered:
- Fully-managed web hosting for your site (including website security)
- Unlimited pages for your website, as well as unlimited disk storage for your pages, media files, and so on
- Customer support via live chat or email.
You can choose to pay for your PageCloud subscription on a monthly basis, or you can pay upfront for an annual subscription. Annual subscribers receive a discount on their monthly subscription fees, as well as a free domain name from Hover and a free one-year subscription to G Suite.
If you’re unsatisfied with PageCloud, you can cancel your subscription at any time. You’ll have access to your account until the end of your billing cycle (which basically means that PageCloud doesn’t offer any refunds if you choose to cancel your account before the end of your monthly/ annual billing cycle). At that point, PageCloud will close your account and take your site offline.
PageCloud offers no Service Level Agreements (SLAs) or uptime guarantees, so if you’re looking to build a mission critical site, you might want to look elsewhere.
Technical Support and Customer Service
All paid subscribers can get in touch with the well-regarded, responsive PageCloud customer service team via live chat or email. You can also refer to the in-depth knowledgebase or crowdsource answers to your questions via the PageCloud Community.
As a startup, PageCloud maintains an active presence on AngeList, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It also posts regularly to the company blog, where you’ll see content related to web design, business updates, and other site-related sundries.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use site builder that offers you the functionality and versatility of a content management system, PageCloud might be the right option for you. You can build both simple and complex websites with ease, and because the PageCloud team takes care of everything on the back-end, including web hosting and website security, you only need to design and build your site and keep your content up-to-date. All of this, combined with the simple pricing scheme, where a fixed rate for all users gets you every feature available — no more deciding between similar-yet-different packages, wondering if you’ve purchased enough to build the site that reflects the needs of your business.