Pixpa Review: A Site Builder for Creatives, But Does it Pass Our Reviewer’s Test?

Are you an artist, photographer, or designer looking to build an online portfolio? Read our review of Pixpa before you choose your platform.

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Brenda Barron
Brenda is a freelance writer, business owner, and WordPress enthusiast. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

Last Updated on July 15, 2019

Pixpa is different from other site builders. It’s designed specifically for budget-minded creative professionals who need to build an online portfolio of their work. The themes are beautiful and modern, and you get powerful tools that all creatives need. For example, the e-commerce functionality rivals that of Shopify and WooCommerce.

If you’re thinking about using Pixpa to design a website for others, you’ll appreciate the client proofing tool which allows your clients to access your site design drafts and indicate which one they like the most.

Overall, the Pixpa Website Builder isn’t anything fancy, but it gets the job done for this niche. You can make regular blogs or business websites with the builder, too, but it’s clearly meant most for creatives like artists, photographers, and writers.

What Does the Average User Get From Pixpa?

When you sign up for Pixpa, you get the hosting and website builder. You have the option to upgrade to get other tools like e-commerce functionality and the client proofing system. But you’re left to fend for yourself when it comes to company (domain-based) email addresses and domain names.

PIXPA site builder review

That’s not a huge deal, but it’s a bit odd because most competitors provide these features. And beginners like to have everything in one spot.

Affordability

The Pixpa site builder is marketed as being easy on the wallet, and it lives up to that claim. Three pricing plans exist right now, and all of them look rather affordable, with options to be billed annually or monthly. With the annual billing, you save a little money in the long run, so keep that in mind when budgeting for your website.

All-Inclusive Pricing

The pricing is all-inclusive and honest, so there aren’t any surprises down the road when you get your bill. Not only that, but you can cancel your Pixpa account whenever you want.

Pixpa offers a 15-day free trial, allowing you to test out the interface and play around with the drag-and-drop editor before paying any money. This trial lets you test all of the Pixpa features.

pixpa site builder themes

What’s more, students and teachers get up to 50% off when building a website with Pixpa. That’s a nice incentive for the educational workers out there, since you may need a place to store all your digital resources (think: slideshows, images, and documents) for class.

Primary Features of Pixpa

Considering Pixpa, but not sure if it will fit your needs? We’ve taken a look at the top features offered by Pixpa–and there is plenty to look at.

Keep in mind there are different plans with different levels of functionality, but all of them include the following features:

  • The ability to connect your own custom domain
  • Responsive themes: this ensures your site looks good on any device screen size
  • A drag-and-drop site-building interface that removes the need to know anything about coding
  • Simple e-commerce functionality with Fotomoto
  • A connection to Google Analytics for seeing where your traffic comes from and what types of demographics are interested in your website
  • An integrated blog that helps you easily publish articles and post things like photos and video
  • Social media buttons that send visitors to your Facebook, Twitter, and other social pages
  • Unlimited bandwidth so your site loads quickly
  • Access to a large selection of themes, all of which look beautiful and modern
  • A website that’s search engine friendly
  • 24/7 support in case something goes wrong

pixpa review

Pixpa does a good job of providing you with functionality across every plan but there are some extras only included in the higher tiers. Here are some you can expect if you’re willing to pay more:

  • Support for at least 200 images and videos (the majority of plans have unlimited support for this)
  • Support for at least ten galleries to place these images and videos
  • At least ten pages and blogs
  • SEO and social sharing
  • SSL security regardless of your plan
  • Integrated apps for things like Google Maps, YouTube, and Vimeo
  • Integrated e-commerce with commission-free sales
  • Support for at least five products or services in your e-commerce store
  • Digital product support
  • Abandoned cart recovery for when you’d like to bring prospects back to your store
  • Backorders
  • Inventory management
  • Discount coupons
  • Manage shipping rates and taxes
  • At least 1 GB of cloud storage

The cheapest plan from Pixpa doesn’t have client proofing, but you can upgrade to get that type of functionality. This gives you private or public collections (groups of galleries), a branded landing page, a client access area and digital downloads. Furthermore, you’ll receive activity data and password protection for a more efficient client proofing process.

See Pixpa plans

Additional Add-ons, Upsells, and Other Features

Not every plan gives you everything you need for making a full website. A basic site, yes. Therefore, you’re going to have to pay a little extra for these on a monthly or yearly basis.

Other than that, you can decide to upgrade with some of the following add-ons:

Build a Full E-commerce Site

The e-commerce functionality isn’t as powerful as WooCommerce or Shopify, but it’s better than the majority of basic website builders out there. The ability to sell digital products is a huge advantage, making Pixpa standout. And the pricing is reasonable enough to potentially justify the shortcomings.

pixpa review e commerce features

So, you can sell anything from music to software; videos to e-books. The physical product support is there as well, giving you a beautiful product gallery to convince your customers to buy. Pixpa e-commerce also provides tools for selling services like classes, assignments, and projects. This is one of the main reasons students and teachers get a cut on the pricing.

You also might be able to set up a service business and collect your payments through here.

Easily Manage Products & Inventory

The e-commerce solution lets you create products with variants, so you might sell different colored shirts or maybe a bunch of shoes with different sizes. The product variants are easy to manage, and you’re able to link up certain product images to correspond with the variants.

Inventory management looks as smooth as a full-fledged e-commerce service like Shopify. Feel free to collect preorders or backorders, too.

Cart Abandonment & Marketing Features

Since the vast majority of shopping carts get abandoned, all e-commerce stores need to utilize abandoned cart tools. (An online “cart” is considered abandoned with the buyer begins a transaction but fails to complete it.) These help you grab information from users who use your shopping cart. Then you can send them an email with coupons or other items to entice them back to complete a transaction. Pixpa has this type of email marketing and retargeting.

Along with sleek order processing, discounts, categories, and product listing pages, the Pixpa website builder for e-commerce looks more akin to a full-fledged e-commerce platform.

Choose From a Wide Theme Selection

Upon writing this article, the Pixpa theme library has around 30 themes. It’s not a huge collection, but it gets the job done for bloggers, portfolio builders, and small businesses. Pixpa also has some unique themes for things like weddings and events.

That said, the themes appear modern, clean and elegant enough so that visitors will think that your site is professionally designed.

You don’t have to pay for any of the themes, so this is more of an add-on that’s required during the design process. Swapping themes in and out is no problem, but you should most likely stick with a theme after you’ve started creating your content and publishing it online to avoid extra revisions.

Integration With Popular Tools

You can extend the functionality of your Pixpa website by adding on features from many popular tools. By integrating other web services, you can accept payments, add live chat features, integrate with social media, translate your site, increase security, and much more. Here are 10 of the most popular integrations you can add to your Pixpa site:

  1. Paypal
  2. Google Translate
  3. MailChimp
  4. YouTube
  5. Instagram
  6. Google Webmaster Tools
  7. Shopify
  8. Chatra
  9. HelloBar
  10. Disqus

Whatever feature you need, there is a good chance there is a tool to do it for you. Keep in mind, these tools are not free apps and may include additional charges. This feature simply makes it easier to add them to your site.

The History of the Pixpa Website Builder

Currently, Pixpa has a headquarters in India along with a second office in Wilmington, Delaware. There’s not much information about Pixpa online, and the website doesn’t have an About Us page.

From what we do know, the Pixpa website builder company was founded back in 2013. Gurpreet Singh and Anuj Sharma founded the company in New Delhi, but it eventually expanded to include the US office. Pixpa has become an international brand, so many countries have access to the website builder.

Browse Pixpa features

As for the internal side of the business, it has no more than 10 employees. Gurpreet Singh is the current CEO, and it’s clear that the company has expanded into several additional areas, such as an impressive e-commerce platform and plenty of workflow tools.

It seems as if we have lots to learn about the young Pixpa company, since there aren’t many interviews or blog posts about it. We don’t have the exact number of users it has, nor are we sure about where the company’s direction is headed.

However, it is clear that Pixpa has made improvements over the past few years, so the company does respond seem to user requests and are on track to build a wonderful website builder that competes with the best.

pixpa review
Production designer Charlotte Newman –whose clients include Disney and L’Oreal–created her site using Pixpa.

What Makes Pixpa a Truly Special Site Builder?

Pixpa is a site builder made with the needs of creatives in mind. To that end, it offers e-commerce features so you can sell your work, the ability to easily search your site, the ability to hide navigation buttons for a clean, uncluttered look. There are dozens of features that creatives will love, but a few stand out.

E-Commerce Functionality

One thing makes Pixpa truly standout is its e-commerce functionality. We’re amazed at how powerful the e-commerce pages are, with support for digital sales, along with physical products and services. You typically need two or three plugins when doing this through WooCommerce.

Create Beautiful Portfolio Sites & Upgrade as You Grow

So, if you’re a creative (like an artist or photographer), then we highly recommend looking into Pixpa. You can get the ball rolling by starting a nice portfolio, then when the time comes it has all of the tools needed to sell your items or services. Just take a look at the beautiful templates and product pages. And the combination of the full blog, portfolio, and website makes it even better.

Affordable Plan Rates

Pixpa also has wonderful pricing, which is essential when making a hobby or creative website. The pricing for the hosting and website builder is a little cheaper, you’re able to select the email provider you want, and you’ll probably be able to find a cheaper domain seller.

Free 15-Day Trial

If you are interested in trying Pixpa out but not ready to commit, you can try out all the features for yourself.

Variety of Themes & Tools

The themes are rather impressive as well, with several built-in tools like social media buttons, galleries, portfolios, and more. The media support is the true winner here, since you’re easily able to upload your images and videos, while also keeping your website professional looking for clients.

The Client Proofing Feature Stands Out

Keeping that in mind, the client proofing system from Pixpa is something you won’t find anywhere else. It’s made to work perfectly with your portfolio, where you send out designs, communicate with your clients, and receive feedback, and even deliver digital prints, all through the convenience of your own website. Your clients will love this and so will you.

pixpa client proofing feature review
Swiss designer Oanh Tran’s site is built with Pixpa and features original stationery gifts, as seen in this product screen grab.

The unified control panel lets you generate private or public collections just in case you’d like to keep your work secret. After creating a collection, you receive a unique link that you can send out to any client of your choice. A beautiful landing page is generated when someone clicks on the link, so the majority of the proofing process is handled for you. You can manage access to the entire collection and keep track of which clients are looking at it.

Furthermore, the client proofing lets your clients click on the items they like the most. Then they share the feedback with you or send the projects to friends or family. This is one of the more advanced digital file delivery and proofing systems on the market, so you might want to take advantage of it while the pricing remains low.

What About Pixpa Customer Support & Their Knowledgebase?

The Pixpa site offers a full knowledgebase where you can easily search for keywords and read articles. Topics covered include website navigation, accounts and billing, SEO, CSS override, and many others. If you are okay with digging for information and troubleshooting your own issues, Pixpa’s knowledge base is extremely useful.

pixpa knowledge base

As for support, an email address is provided and a live chat module hangs around when you’re searching around the website. I tend to think this is more for sales, but you could try it for tech support. Other than that, you can find a full blog and social media outlets to stay up to date and in the loop with everything Pixpa.

Also, Pixpa has no direct support phone line.

How Does Pixpa Compare to the Competition?

Pixpa is definitely a niche site builder. If you are not an artist, designer, or photographer, Pixpa may not be a good fit. If you are looking to get a site online fast without concern for specialized functionality, a site builder like Wix or Weebly is going to be a better fit.

However, if you are a creative and want to be able to build your own site and offer clients the unique ability to offer feedback through Pixpa’s client proofing feature, this site builder might be a good choice. It gives you enough control to build a site that meets your aesthetic but doesn’t require you to learn how to code-unless you want to.

Are You Going to Use Pixpa?

While Pixpa will work for most simple websites, it’s really designed for creatives with portfolios. So, if you want gallery options, a client proofing system, e-commerce support, the ability to add a blog, and a straightforward drag-and-drop builder, this is the right choice for you.

If, on the other hand, you need something more advanced, with the ability to customize your site’s files, and an included domain name and email address, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Pixpa are currently offering a 10% discount on all plans for the first year.

Now, go forth, and build beautiful websites!