In this review, we introduce you to a new feature of the popular TheGem WordPress…
8b is a newly released website builder that’s currently totally free to use. In this 8b review, we take a look at the best features of this website builder as well as walk you through the process of launching a site.
So if you’re looking for a quick, easy, and currently free way to launch a professional-looking website today, then 8b Builder could be the tool you seek.
But before you sign up, first take a few minutes to read our hands-on 8b review to find out if this is the website builder you should invest your time in.
About 8b Website Builder
8b is a browser-based website builder that’s currently free to use. After testing this website builder for our 8b review, it’s fair to say that nearly everyone reading this article should be able to get a professional-looking website online in a few hours or less with this tool.
With a good selection of templates available, as well as lots of sections that can be used to add more content to your website, 8b should be powerful enough for most standard website projects. Everything produced in 8b is fully mobile responsive so that your site will look great on smartphones. In fact, you can even use 8b on a mobile device to create a website on your smartphone.
You don’t even need a domain name to launch your site as 8b provides you with a free SSL subdomain for your site. There’s also the option of using your own domain name when you’re ready and even in this case you get a free SSL certificate for your website.
However, if you need to create something more advanced than an online portfolio, a corporate website, or a landing page, such as a membership site, discussion forum, or marketplace, then 8b probably isn’t the tool you’re looking for. But for everyone else, 8b could provide you with everything you need, all wrapped up in an interface that’s easy to use.
8b websites are based on Google AMP (abbreviation for Accelerated Mobile Pages). This is an open source HTML framework that makes your pages load quicker as to smartphones to improve the mobile user experience.
Best Features of 8b Website Builder
Hopefully, the above information in our 8b review has piqued your interest in this website builder. If so, here are some of the best features before we move onto our evaluation of the process for creating websites with 8b.
High-Quality Website Templates
To help you quickly create a wide range of websites with this tool, 8b includes an impressive selection of templates. In fact, there are currently 18 designs to choose from.
The templates are all fully customizable, giving you a good amount of control over how the homepage and other pieces of your website look.
The templates cover a range of styles or projects. However, they all share a fully modern and up-to-date design that will give your website a professional look.
While the templates have all been designed to a high standard, you can easily add to them by inserting any of the sections available to users of 8b.
Useful Library of Page Sections
When editing the templates in the 8b website builder, you can insert a range of sections into your pages. In fact, there are over 250 sections available at the time of writing. These sections cover a range of purposes, such as adding headers, feature tables, testimonials, and more to your site. Furthermore, there are multiple versions of each type of section, giving you lots of options for adding pricing tables, team member profiles, videos, and more, to your pages.
Like the 8b templates, the sections can be easily customized to match your website vision. We’ll cover exactly what the customization process looks like in the user experience section of this 8b review, suffice to say that it’s very intuitive.
More features are expected to be added soon. This includes the ability to turn your site into a mobile or desktop app, an option to export a full copy of your site that you can take away and host anywhere you like, and a white-label option that lets your clients edit content without any 8b branding getting in the way.
Intuitive Front-End Drag-and-Drop Editor
Perhaps the best feature of 8b is the intuitive website builder tool itself. The templates are great but if you can’t easily edit them and add your own content, then it would be hard to recommend 8b. As it is though, creating a website is very straightforward with this builder.
The next section of this review covers the user experience and interface of 8b in more detail. However, if you’d like to see it for yourself, you can sign up and start creating your website now for free.
8b Website Builder User Experience
Getting started with 8b couldn’t be easier. Simply visit the 8b website and login with your Google or Facebook account or sign up with an email address. Once you’ve gained access to the site, you can start creating your own custom website.
Choose a Website Template
To help you get your new website online as quickly and effortlessly as possible, 8b gives you a selection of templates to choose from.
As you can see from the above screenshot, 8b can be used to quickly create websites for the following projects:
- Online shops.
- …and more.
With most types of websites covered by 8b, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to create a suitable site with 8b.
Editing the Website Templates
Once you’ve chosen a template and given your site a name, you can start the customization work. As mentioned earlier in this 8b review, all the work takes places in your web browser. This means there’s no need to download anything. Simply click on a page element to start editing it.
For example, if you want to change the text content in your chosen template, just click on it and start typing. As you can enter the text directly into the page, you get a live preview of how your site will look when it goes live. This helps you format the text to look its best on your website.
If you want to change the other properties of your page, such as the background image of a section, then that’s very straightforward too. Simply click on the familiar gear icon and then you can see the section parameters.
Once the section settings are visible, you can then choose a background color or set a background image. As well as using the images provided by 8b, you can upload your own images to use as the background display. Another nice feature of 8b is that it makes it easy to apply a totally different layout to a section.
As you can scroll through the different section layouts, you’re never limited by the properties of the original template you chose when starting your site.
Although the controls for customizing a template are very easy to use, if you want more control over how your site will look, you can choose to view all the settings. For those totally new to building websites, these settings might seem a bit complicated. Therefore, it’s good to see that they are hidden by default. However, they really aren’t that difficult to get to grips with if you do decide you need more control over the properties of your page so don’t be scared to explore the settings.
Depending on the section you’re working on, these settings let you quickly enable or disable some of their components. You can also change the layout and other display properties. Each section has its own settings. This helps keep things simple by only showing you the controls that are relevant to the page section you’re working on.
Working on Smartphones
As mentioned above, 8b empowers you to build websites using a smartphone or tablet. In this case, creating a web page is not nearly as difficult as if you work on your PC. You just tap on the same buttons to get into the menu, open the section settings or the section panel respectively or tap on the text to change it or make it bold, italic etc. The app design is mobile though, it’s pretty much the same – very easy and user-friendly.
Adding New Pages
Once you’ve finished work on the homepage of your new website, you can start adding extra pages if necessary. As the templates in the 8b library would work well for one-page sites – thanks to all the different homepage sections – you might not want to add any more pages to your site. However, if you do, the process is very straightforward.
After you’ve created a new page – by clicking on the add page icon and giving it a name – you can start work on adding content to it. To keep things simple, the navigation menu bar from your homepage is applied to any new pages you create. 8b makes it very easy to build new pages. Simply click on the add section icon and then choose which type of section you want to add to your page.
Once you’ve chosen which type of section to add, you can then choose which version of that section you want to add. So for example, if you want to add a pricing table section to your page, you can choose from four different types of pricing tables. Some sections have more variations than others, but you always get a good range of options with 8b.
Once you’ve added a section to your page you can edit it as before, by simply clicking on it to customize the content. You can also click on the gear icon to edit the settings of the section too. Again, you can scroll through the available options if you want to change the version of the section you chose originally, such as a different type of pricing table.
The whole process from adding new pages to your site, populating those pages with sections, and then customizing those sections is very straightforward.
Editing the Menus
Once you’ve added a new menu, you might want to update the site-wide navigation bar. This again is very easy to do. Just click on the menu area, add a new menu item or click on an existing one, then choose how you want the link to work and where you want it to take the user.
A really nice aspect of the menu settings is that you can easily link to a specific section on a page. So if you want to take the user to the about page, but jump straight to the pricing table section on that page, you can just use the drop-down menus to enter these details. Adding links to external sites is easy too, as is linking to files that you can upload to your 8b website.
While you’re working on your site, you can quickly preview it in a smartphone-sized viewport. This is very handy as it lets you see what your site will look like to visitors accessing it on their mobiles. Thankfully, when testing this, the website looked great and everything was easy to read and navigate.
Publishing Your Website with 8b
When you’re happy with your website you can publish it so that it’s publicly available on the internet. As you might expect by now, publishing your website is a simple process. As mentioned earlier, all sites created with 8b are fully mobile responsive to ensure they look great on screen sizes of all sizes, including smartphones and tablets.
When it comes to publishing your site, you don’t even need to register a domain name as 8b will let you use their subdomain for free. Doing so will give you site an address using the 8b.io domain structure, such as https://23598.8b.io/ as was the case with the test site created for this 8b review. You can enter your own subdomain URL and see if it’s available so you’re not limited to using a string of numbers.
However, instead of using the free 8b subdomain, you can easily use your own domain name that you’ve registered through a site like namecheap.com.
When publishing your website, you also get the opportunity to submit the site for inclusion in the Google search engine. However, how well your site will rank for your target keywords and search terms depends on how well optimized your content is.
If you want to make any changes to your website after its gone live, simply click the publish button again to update the site.
As you can see, creating a website with 8b is quick and painless. Whether you’re new to web design or not, you should have no trouble using this tool to create a professional looking website.
8b Pricing Options
8b is currently free to use. This includes access to all the templates, sections and features. There are currently no paid upgrades available meaning you get access to everything on the free account. If you already have a domain name you can connect it with SSL certificate for free as well. However, if you want to buy a new domain name – you will need to purchase one elsewhere. Although you shouldn’t pay much more than $10 per year for a .com domain name.
8b Review Final Thoughts
8b is a surprisingly well-executed website builder. So often these tools can be bloated and difficult to use, with less than impressive results at the end of the process.
Thankfully, that’s not the case with 8b. Due to the good selection of templates as well as the library of different sections, you can create a stylish and professional looking website very quickly. As all the work takes place through an intuitive interface, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting started and finishing your website in one sitting.
The price for this user-friendly website building experience is a lack of options for extending your website. Unlike a platform like WordPress, there aren’t thousands – or any – plugins available that can add new features to your website. You don’t get access to the underlying code either so customizing your website beyond what’s possible via the controls available through the user interface isn’t possible either.
However, powerful tools like WordPress aren’t as easy to use as 8b. Those new to WordPress definitely won’t be able to launch a website that compares well to one created with 8b as quickly as they can with this service.
Therefore, if you want to launch a stylish website as soon as possible, or with as little effort as possible, 8b comes highly recommended. Just be aware that you won’t be able to carry out extensive customization work or add new features to your site. If you’re ok with that, why not sign up with 8b now for free and see what type of website you can create?