Constant Contact has made a name for itself by being an awesome email marketing service. However, they also boast a website builder with eCommerce features.
How can an email marketing tool secure a place in the best website builders, I hear you ask. I signed up for Constant Contact’s website builder so I could weed out whether they truly are as good as they say they are.
When companies claim to be the best, it’s in my nature to put that to the test. If you’re interested to hear how they stood up against other website builders, continue reading for my in-depth Constant Contact review, including pros and cons.
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|ADI technology makes creating a website very easy, saving time and effort which is great for beginners or those in a rush||I’ve encountered several problems with the backend of Constant Contact, which seems to be a familiar issue with others|
|Their free plan is very generous in comparison to other website builders||Compared to other website builders, Constant Contact’s features are quite basic|
|If SEO is a concern for you, their analytics tool can provide you a great wealth of data that’s easy to use and interpret|
There are plenty of website builders on the market to choose from. Many of them have similarities, but it’s the differences that mean people have more choice.
If all website builders were the same, people would just choose the cheapest option.
Thankfully, Constant Contact isn’t the same, but that also means it might not be suitable for everyone.
Although you’ll find out more in my Constant Contact review, I will tell you now that if you’re looking for lots of customisation options and awesome SEO tools, you won’t find them here.
Constant Contact is ideal for beginners (or advanced users) who are looking for a quick-fix kind of website.
If you don’t have the time or can’t be bothered to wade through thousands of templates, Constant Contact’s ADI will be more than suitable. But if you do want that choice, you may want to consider one of its competitors.
Constant Contact uses Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI). Wix is another website builder that uses ADI, and honestly, you can see from my Wix review that it is something many people love using.
ADI makes creating a website simple and quick. Your website essentially gets generated for you based on the answers to a few questions.
Of course, you can edit and customise your site as much as you like, but it’s a good starting point for people who have less time to spend on their website or those who simply need some inspiration to get started.
Using Constant Contact’s ADI is easy; they’ll ask you what your site is about in order to start your website journey.
As you continue, you’ll get asked more questions, which is just the process to personalise your site. You’ll fill in details about your website’s name, logo, background image, font styles, etc.
By completing each section, you’ll notice a progress bar at the bottom which indicates how far along your website is in terms of being created. I thought this was a great little feature and created anticipation for the finished result.
Once your design has been created, you can choose to take a quick tour in order to get used to Constant Contact’s tools and features.
The whole process was easy and guided, which is great for beginners but may prove frustrating for more advanced users.
After you’ve followed the ADI process, you’ll be presented with your shiny new website. If you wanted to, bar editing some of the content, you could publish your website straight away.
However, if you are interested in customising what’s been created for you, Constant Contact offers some helpful tools.
Pages are made out of blocks; you can change the elements in each block if you want/don’t want the ones already there.
For example, if you need a call to action that doesn’t exist, you can create one. Or if you want to add another heading, you can do so quite easily.
The actual designs that get produced following the ADI aren’t outstanding, to be honest. If you’re looking for beautiful designs, check out my SquareSpace review and be ready to be wowed (I promise you, it’s worth it).
Anyway, back to this review. I feel pretty deflated when trying to think of positive things to say here. Constant Contact doesn’t produce amazing designs, but they’re functional and professional enough for people wanting a quick website.
If you do decide to stick with Constant Contact, you can be reassured that your website will be mobile responsive. In my testing, I haven’t yet come across a design that isn’t good on mobile. All designs can be viewed from a mobile standpoint, tablet, and desktop, so this is a handy tool they offer.
If you’re interested in fully customising your website, you’re not going to find much creative freedom with Constant Contact. For beginner users, or people wanting a simple website, Constant Contact is probably a suitable website builder.
However, it would probably be a nightmare for people who want control over what they’re creating. After all, there aren’t individual templates or themes to work from, only what’s created for you.
The website builder market is flushed with companies offering awesome features. For example, stunning video backgrounds with CTAs, a wide choice of stock images, and app centers.
When I signed up for Constant Contact, I did wonder what they’d have to offer in this department. Unfortunately, there wasn’t an app store, plugins, or a choice of template designs.
Given Constant Contact’s low pricing (which we’ll look at soon), I can let some of the features that aren’t there slide. However, there were some key things missing, for me anyway.
If you want to create a blog for your simple website, you can only create it in RSS feed format. What that means is that your blog will always diplay the most recent posts first.
You also can’t create categories like you can with WordPress, nor can you enable comments. These are essential elements of a blog and they simply don’t exist with Constant Contact.
On a more positive note, if you want to create a basic online store, you may be in for a treat. Constant Contact’s free plan allows you to sell up to three items.
Its eCommerce features are actually better than their ‘standard’ features, as well as an analytics dashboard (more on that in a moment), and integrated shipping and tracking.
There are three plans on offer here; free, starter, and business plus. All are under £15 per month, and one is free.
|Free domain (1 year)||No||✔||✔|
|Lead capture forms||✔||✔||✔|
|Ad credit offers (U.S./C.A.)||$200||$200|
|Order, inventory, and tax management||✔||✔||✔|
|Coupons and discounting||✔||✔||✔|
|24/7 chat and email||✔||✔||✔|
In terms of generosity, I think the free plan is very fruitful. The only things you won’t get with the free plan are:
These are fairly common things to be excluded from free website builder plans, so in comparison, Constant Contact are very good.
If you want to create a professional-looking website, you’ll need to upgrade to the starter plan, which is only £6 per month. And if you plan to sell products, the business plus plan will certainly suffice.
Constant Contact’s support is pretty good. First off, you can contact them via telephone and live chat, which is always a bonus in my opinion.
Their help center contains a knowledgebase with helpful guides and how-to tutorials. The knowledgebase itself isn’t a fancy design, but it’s functional and there’s an easy-to-use search bar at the top.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a forum, unlike Wix, which is a bit of a disappointment, however, the option of live chat kind of makes up for that.
On that note, live chat is only available in the U.K. and some other countries at the moment, but it isn’t available in the U.S.
If you want to contact them via telephone, the numbers are toll-free and available on all paid plans (not the free plan).
Many website builders come with their own SEO tools and features. For example, Wix guides you through each SEO element so you can update your meta title, meta description, etc.
I wondered if Constant Contact would offer similar features, as SEO is vital for encouraging new visitors to your website.
Unfortunately, I hit a brick wall at this point. For more advanced users, SEO can be done through the backend. However, if you’ve never heard of SEO before, there’s absolutely no guidance on this.
Essentially, if you’re a beginner and you want your website to be found on search engines, Constant Contact isn’t going to help.
Constant Contact is definitely an up and coming website builder, but if I had to summarise, I’d say it’s not quite there at the moment.
There’s certainly potential, and after all, their main target market is people looking for email marketing software.
Saying that, if you want to create a website with little time and effort, Constant Contact’s ADI may be a godsend. It’s certainly quick to launch a website with them, and their designs are good enough to go live with.
Constant Contact’s lack of customisation, in-depth SEO tools, and features make it hard to love it. However, when you consider the price against its competitors like SquareSpace and Shopify, it’s definitely a winner.
In most areas, it performs averagely, and in some, exceptionally, but unfortunately that’s just not good enough to make it in our top 5.
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