cindr site builder review

Cindr Site Builder: Easy to Use, Plenty of Options

Cindr is a British software-as-a-service company offering an easy to use site builder aimed at those who are new (or relatively new) to the web design and development world.

Features

The foundational “unit,” so to speak, of a Cindr website is a Bloc. Blocs are individual pieces of a site that contain content that you style individually, and by stacking multiple Blocs on top of each other, you’ll have created a multi-segment website.

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To get you started, Cindr provides over 100 pre-designed Blocs that you can use as is or customize to reflect your tastes. You’ll also have access to Blocs that embed content hosted on third-party sites, such as MailChimp, Soundcloud, and YouTube.

Mobile-Friendly Sites

All Cindr sites are responsive by default, so your site will look great no matter what devices your visitors are using (and you don’t have to do anything to make sure there’s a mobile version, like creating a separate design). Additionally, the Cindr site builder itself is responsive, so you can use any device to set up and maintain your site at any time.

Controls

There are four sets of controls you use to create and manage your site: layout, design, fonts, and control.

The layout controls allow you to rearrange and resize your Blocs, as well as toggle the options that allow you to get the feel you’re looking for. The design controls allow you to upload your photos and edit them using filters a la Instagram. The font controls allow you to choose the font style that best matches the style of your site, as well as text alignment. The controls tools allow you to duplicate, delete, or randomize the placement of Blocs on your site. With the duplicate control, there’s no need to do more work and create the same Bloc twice if you need something in two or more places.

Multiple Pages and Multiple Sites

Unlike many other site builders, Cindr does not limit the number of pages you can add to your final website. You can also manage multiple websites through one account.

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Custom Domain Names

All Cindr sites come with a free Cindr subdomain, but until you name your site, you won’t have a user-friendly URL. For example, our site URL when signing up to try out the product was h1mfgfku-dl7go5be5.mycindr.com. When we renamed our site to Taco Logo, our URL became tacoloco.mycindr.com. You can easily point a domain you own to your Cindr site, and you can also add more than one domain if necessary.

Other Features

All of the code underlying Cindr sites are optimized for search engine crawlers, and the Cindr team makes sure that your site is hosted securely.

You get Google Analytics to track and measure performance, and you have full control over the changes you make to the front-end and when they’re published. When you’re ready to share, you can easily announce updates to your social media accounts using the provided integration tools.

Using Cindr

Getting started with Cindr is simple; you can create an account by logging in using your Facebook credentials, or you can provide your email address (you’ll be asked for the password of your choice at a later point).

Using the Cindr site builder, you’ll work on one page at a time. You can add new content using the Bloc Library and manage your page’s SEO settings. Premium members can also manage their Site Settings or the Account.

The Bloc Library

Most of the time you spend building your site will be in the Bloc Library area. You can search for a specific type of Bloc, or you can browse based on Bloc categories, such as header, content, gallery, text, and list. Just moments after you click on a Bloc, the content appears on your site (with the most recently added Blocs appearing at the bottom of your page). To move a Bloc up or down, click anywhere on the Bloc and use the arrows at the bottom of the screen to move it. You can also change the shading applied to the Bloc’s background, the font used for the text displayed, and its size.

To edit the content within the Bloc, simply double-click on the area in the Bloc you want to edit. For example, if you want to change what a certain text snippet says, double-click on the text and the appropriate text controls will appear for you to use.

Saving and Publishing

You can save your changes at any time, but until you choose to publish your site, the changes you make aren’t publicly available. If you want to see what your changes look like to your visitors, you can use the View function to preview your site in a new browser tab or window.

Site Manager

The Site Manager area allows you to manage the sites you have associated with your Cindr account. You’ll get a full list of the sites, and each site comes with its own toggle so that you can take your site(s) online and offline as needed.

Cindr Pro Build

If you would like to purchase a website that has been professionally designed and build for you, Cindr’s Pro Build offering might be right for you. The Cindr team will build you a website, and the only thing you’ll have to do is update the site if the content needs to change. Your final website will have a maximum of four pages plus custom content (including professionally-shot photographs).

The Pro Build process involves four stages of work:

  1. Capture Brief
  2. Setup
  3. Design and Build
  4. Handover

To get started with the Pro Build, you’ll need to pay a one-time setup fee via PayPal. Once that’s been received, a Cindr team member will get in touch to capture a brief that allows Cindr to understand your requirements. Then, the team will set up, design, and build your site within five working days. At that point, the team will hand the site over to you for full control.

To maintain your site, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee. You may cancel your service at any time, but you will lose access to your site, as well as any designs created on your behalf.

Pricing and Billing

Cindr offers a free plan, which allows you to build your own site, though the final product will display Cindr ads. You’ll get free hosting for your site, basic support, 1 GB of bandwidth, and 500 MB of storage.

The paid, premium offering gets you (in addition to everything in the free plan) the ability to use custom domains with your site, Google Analytics, custom favicons, and premium support. You’ll also see no Cindr ads on your site, and your allocation of resources (number of pages, bandwidth, and disk storage) is unlimited.

If you want to manage multiple sites using one account, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium plan. Each additional site also increases the amount you pay on a monthly basis.

All Cindr plans are paid for on a month-to-month basis, and you are free to cancel at any time.

Charities and other nonprofit organizations may receive special offers when building its sites with Cindr. To get more information about this option, contact the Cindr support team.

Refunds and Guarantees

Cindr does not offer any type of refunds (including prorated refunds if you cancel your plan before the current month is over).

Support and Customer Service

Cinder maintains its documentation in a searchable knowledge base. If you need to speak to a Cindr staff member, you can use the live chat feature accessible from every Cindr page. The Cindr site doesn’t make any mention as to when the tech support team is available, but you can see via the live chat messaging window if there’s someone on the other end to answer your questions or if everyone’s away.

Cindr maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts, but it isn’t overly active on either platform.

Check out Cindr site builder »

Summary

Cindr is an easy to use site builder designed to help anyone, regardless of design experience or technical knowledge, create a professional-looking, responsive website. Everything is done via the interface of the drag-and-drop, what-you-see-is-what-you-get design area, and all of the technical bits associated with site hosting (such as web hosting and system administration) are taken care of by Cindr.

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Cindr offers a completely free option, but members with paid accounts get a few more perks, including premium support. If you want to fully outsource the work required to build your website, you can take advantage of the Pro Build plan, where a Cindr team member will set up, design, and build a site that meets your needs and reflects you or your organization appropriately.

Katie is a C# developer-turned-technical writer. She’s also an avid reader, swimmer, doer of the NYT Crossword Puzzles in ink, and sweater knitter. She has a love/hate relationship with JavaScript and thinks that package managers are the best things since sliced bread.

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