InMotion Hosting (along with their budget brand Web Hosting Hub) has recently launched "Boldgrid", a new website builder that works in companion with WordPress. The new website builder, developed in-house, allows webmasters the power to retain full control over their website while giving them access to all the powerful third party features and plugins users have come to expect with WordPress.
We believe that Boldgrid can be very influential on the website Builder Industry, especially within the WordPress ecosystem. You can literally, sign up to the website builder, choose from a range of designs and get a fully functioning website within around 15 minutes. You can even use the website builder with third party themes although we believe the real strength of Boldgrid is for users seeking an easy option for a great looking website.
What we particularly like, is that you don't get a website full of useless dummy information after the initial install, but instead useful content preinstalled on your new website. Of course, Google hates duplicate content so it will all need to be changed, but it is so much easier to adapt or rewriting existing content than starting fresh.
For more advanced users, you can take advantage of WordPress massive plugin library to extend the functionality of your website, and if required fully customize all the templates and CSS.
Powered by WordPress
Because Boldgrid is powered by WordPress, you can fully customize your website with all third party plugins that you are used to. Just install the plugin as you would normally.
Furthermore, because you are not limited to a closed system like other website builders, you remain the full owner and in control of your website.
The new website builder comes with a large selection of themes to choose from. These were developed both by InMotion Hosting, and third party designers. Furthermore, new themes will be added each month.
All the themes allow full customization, so you can match your existing business colors and styling perfectly. You can, of course, use Boldgrid with any third party theme as well.
All the themes are responsive, so will work well on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.
The Design Process
The design process consists of two major stages; the Inspiration Phase and the Customization Phase. Both of these phases can be accessed easily from within the WordPress dashboard:
We will look at each of these in turn:
Within the inspiration phase you have the following options:
- Install a New Site
- Install a New Theme
- Add a New Page
When you install a new website, you can choose from a number of different design categories. Choosing the correct category is important, as it will help ensure the result is populated with the right layouts, functionality and demo content:
Once you select your category, you will then be shown many "base websites" to choose from:
These are complete websites that can be installed in minutes, and include all written content, images and functionality (i.e. menus) aimed at getting you up and running as quickly as possible:
The final step of the Inspiration Phase is to choose "Page Sets". For example, if you select a home repair base website, you can install a particular set of pages specifically for that purpose. Likewise, there are specific pages available for Property websites. If you are just testing the new website builder out, you can always just install all pages by selecting the "kitchen sink":
InMotion Hosting recommends that you keep the website simple at the beginning, and then add more pages later. This ensures you can get up and running as quickly as possible.
At this stage, you can preview the website to see what the finished product will look like. The preview will show a desktop, tablet, and phone view.
This next phase is where you get to make your website unique. You can change colors, website name, images and just about everything on the website to make it your own.
In addition to the Boldgrid Customizer, you can then use the standard WordPress functionality (access to this has been added to the Customize menu for ease of use), to change menu items, widgets and to add manual CSS \ HTML changes.
When looking at individual pages, the drag and drop editor is very intuitive and makes changing any of the pages extremely easy, while retaining the look and style of the page:
Premium Themes and Images
The eagle-eyed among you may have spotted the concept of "coins" when looking at the screenshots of the themes above. With the new website builder, you get access to a marketplace. While many of the items are free, there are some items that come at a premium, and they use a virtual currency known as coins. We do not have any indication of the expected price for items such as premium themes or photos, but all hosting plans come with a specified number of coins for free.
You can see the different plans \ pricing below:
To get the promotional pricing above, you will need to use one of their promotional offers, which you can find here.