Yola Review: Its Strength Is Support

This website builder certainly lets its sunny South African and Californian roots shine through: the company has a very friendly appearance. Yola puts a lot of weight into its support by offering telephone support for new customers — something you don’t see with many providers.

Basically they seem to want to provide a simple, fool-proof option for beginners. In addition to the free plan there is Yola Bronze ($59.40 per year) or Yola Silver ($99 per year, domain name included). One of the biggest drawbacks of the Bronze plan is that Yola’s branding in the footer will not be removed.

They also provide an e-commerce option. The web store is based on the powerful Ecwid plug-in that lets you sell both physical and digital goods while offering a wide range of payment options. It’s $19.95 per month and includes all Silver features.

With Yola Gold ($199 per year, domain name included) you also get a Facebook-publishing tool, directory submissions and an application that helps you improve your SEO (search engine optimization).

We’re here to tell you if Yola is worth it.

See it in action here

info Test drive Yola for free by signing up here (link will open in a new window)

Yola in detail

Criterion Rating Comment
Ease of use
The editor is intuitive and well structured.
Choice and flexibility of design (templates)
Yola's templates have a nice modern look and can also be customized to a certain degree. The new mobile website version looks pretty good but is only available on Silver plans.
Advertisement-free yes Silver plan only. Yola Free and Bronze feature a pretty visible Yola ad in the footer.
Languages
Currently available in EN, FR, EP, DE, IT and PT. No special feature to create multilingual sites.
Your own domain name (e.g. .com or .net) yes You can point a domain you already own to Yola or buy a new one through Yola. Paid plans only.
Depth of navigation
Two levels deep but this is only supported by their premium templates—if your site grows this will be a limitation.
Widgets (small tools to add extra functionality)
Offers quite a range of widgets, most of them are integrations from third parties. It's also easy to integrate share buttons for social networks.
Monetization yes You can use their widget to integrate Google AdSense for example.
E-Commerce
Yola features a powerful e-commerce widget which comes from Ecwid.com. Find our detailled review of the online store here.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Title, meta and description tags are all customizable at page level. URL text is always created from the respective menu item.
Blog
Offers everything you need for a basic blog; comments can only be integrated with Disqus.
Visitor statistics
Yola Silver features its own tracking tool, which only stores data up to 30 days, or you can use Google Analytics (recommended).
Contact form yes Offers a very flexible and easy-to-use contact form builder.
Password protection yes You can either protect the entire site or individual pages.
Newsletter tool no No internal solution but they integrate with Constant Contact.
Add HTML code yes Allows you to add external widgets and other tools.
Storage space 1 GB+ Yola Professional offers 5 GB of storage, Yola Unlimited doesn't have a limit. Yola Free customers can upload up to 1 GB.
Forum yes Direct integration with Tal.ki which allows you to easily add a forum.
Support yes Email, phone and knowledge base. Support is one of Yola's strengths, however, after their recent updates we found a lot of links in the support section were not working anymore.
Fun Factor
It's fun to work with the website builder as long as you don't expect complex things from it.
Overall Rating
3.8/5
Fine for a simple and flat website due to its limited depth of navigation. The e-commerce widget makes it an interesting choice for creating a small online store.

Conclusion

We have mixed impressions of this website builder. On the one hand it is easy and fun to work with. On the other hand it is only suitable for very flat websites, due to structural limitations in its templates.

Its support was fast and reliable, so this product may be just right if you want to be able to talk to someone on the phone. For everyone else we would recommend one of Yola’s more affordable competitors which offer better value overall.

Yola’s new online store can certainly impress and if you are planning on getting involved in e-commerce now or in the future, this will be definitely something worth considering.

> Click here to try Yola for free

Yola Example Sites

Alternatives to Yola

Weebly
See review
Squarespace
See review

Yola FAQ

Can I really add up to 25 individual websites per Silver account?

Yes, but you will have to purchase the domain names separately.

How many pages can I create on the free plan?

Four individual pages is the limit, unfortunately.

Review Updates

14 Mar 2013 – We added information about password protection.
12 Feb 2013 – Yola essentially renders the free plan useless by imposing a three page limit.
07 Mar 2012 – Review of Yola’s online store added
11 Jan 2012 – Pricing updates, mobile website version
21 Jul 2011 – Complete update of the review

Last updated: 14 Mar 2013 | Robert Brandl

Your opinion and user reviews:

 
  • Debra

    Yola have conned my son terribly. They have charged him for another year, although he did not want it and was not aware that his subscription was due and then suspended and closed his account. So they have stolen money from him and have refused to allow his account to run for another year.

    • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

      Hi Debra, I am sorry to hear that. Please send me a message through our contact form and I will try to reach out to my contact at Yola and help you resolve this issue.

    • Abi

      Hi Debra
      My name is Abi and I’m a member of staff at Yola. I am sorry to hear about the issues you’ve been experiencing. In order for us to help you, please can you provide us with details of your account via our contact form https://www.yola.com/support/contact – Once we have more information, a member of our Customer Support team will help to resolve your issue.
      Many thanks

  • Gordon Ballantyne

    The YOLA scam – they get you on sneaky free website turns to little upgrades turns to $90 charges on your credit card 1+ years later that you didn’t know were coming. I call this a SCAM. Watch out for charges into the future. You can try cancelling yourself in their secure site but they don’t give you the option nor tell you to how to cancel subscription. You have to come to the I’ve been scammed and I’m pissed off forum. Beware of the YOLA SCAM CHARGES. Above in their official reply it says it is so that you have to be logged in to cancel- but they provide no way to do so- LIARS. SO I’m sending you your email and posting 10+ negative comments on beware of scams sites

    • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

      Hi Gordon, can you provide more details about this issue? What exactly did they charge to your credit card? I am happy to contact them on your behalf. Please let me know!

    • Abi

      Hi Gordon
      My name is Abi and I’m a member of staff at Yola. I am sorry to hear about the issues you’ve been experiencing. In order for us to help you, please can you provide us with more information about your account via our contact form https://www.yola.com/support/contact – Our Customer Support team will do their best to resolve your issue.
      Many thanks

  • MK

    Although this site builder is fairly easy to use, there are some elements that lead you to customer service for assistance. Since they’re apparently in South Africa, it takes time for them to respond. And maybe because of the language, there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding. I signed up and paid, after 5 days of not getting an answer to a pretty simple question, I asked for a refund. There site states that a full refund is available within 30 days, yet, after paying them $38, they’re only refunding $16. Unless you’re in S. Africa, stick with a local company!

    • http://WebsiteToolTester.com/ Armin

      Hi! Could you provide more details about this issue? What exactly did they charge and refund?

  • http://www.psychichealerchristine.com/ Christine Pohl-Peters

    I really wish that the store was included with your gold subscription. We are paying for a top level subscription but we have to pay $10 extra for the store.

    • http://WebsiteToolTester.com/ Armin

      We are not Yola itself so we have no influence on their price structure. This is just a review of the Yola website builder.

  • Harshit

    The YOLA scam – they get you on sneaky free website and charges on your credit card / paypal account.1+ years later that you didn’t know were coming. I call this a SCAM. Watch out for charges into the future. You can try cancelling yourself in their secure site but they don’t give you the option nor tell you to how to cancel subscription. You have to come to the I’ve been scammed and I’m pissed off forum. Beware of the YOLA SCAM CHARGES.

  • will

    I have been a yola.com user for 4 years. I am trying to cancel my account now. Their customer service has gone from good to horrible. If you don’t believe me I encourage you to try and call someone on the telephone there. The only person I have been able to talk to can’t put me through to any department or any other live person. In my opinion yola.com now sucks.

  • Mark Nobes

    Those who are claiming that Yola is a scam are wrong. I have been running my website http://www.simplyeighties.com for over five years with Yola on their Silver plan and I have not been ripped off in any way. Their customer service is fine and they have always answered questions to any problems I have encountered. As for SEO problems, my site is pretty successful and is on the first page of many searches. See the first photo of the orange Austin Allegro estate in the search for “80s Cars” in Google as an example.

    • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

      Thanks for sharing!

  • Bummed Out

    Most frustrating thing about this company is when you cancel your account they market your personal information (especially your telephone number) to hundreds of telemarketers and scammers. Had I known that I would never have done business with them in the first place. Totally satisfied with their web packages but not the bombardment of calls that are blowing up my cell on a daily basis.

    • Sanja

      Hello Bummed Out,

      I am one of the customer support reps at Yola. I am very sorry to hear that you are getting spammed. This is certainly annoying and frustrating. However, we take the utmost care to ensure our customer’s privacy and security. We would never divulge your private information to third-parties. I am wondering if perhaps you have purchased a domain and perhaps did not purchase domain privacy which would have kept your personal details hidden. Please could you email send us a email: https://www.yola.com/support/contact so that we can look into further.

  • Happyto Findout

    I was very disappointed to say the lease. I haven’t been on for months due to login issues.
    Something very fishy here…. Today while punching a few keys.. I found what looked like my history.
    Like; 6 changes from 3 unigue servers??? There were things written that looked as if it came from another party and shared things that were written without my knowledge I’m not able to login and haven’t for MONTHS but found my info that looks suspicious on a public site. I typed in my website to find out that it was no longer. I also noticed that the site has been updated 5/11/2014 and has been updating for months under my domain name or what was. The weird thing is that this very domain is up for grabs. So I called a number to see about what happened or is currently happening and question the site of my unpleasant findings, Reading the other comments, I must say that my questions and inner feelings have been answered.