In this hands-on Mobirise review, we’ll be looking at a free web design tool that’s suitable for beginners who want to create their own websites with ease.
Mobirise runs on Windows and Mac devices and can be used on or offline to create entire websites, landing pages, resumes, portfolios, and most of the other types of online content you can think of. There’s also an Android version available, which you can use on smartphones and tablets running this mobile operating system.
As we’ll see in this Mobirise review, this website builder has been created to be easy to use for non-coders, while also aiming to enable developers to work faster. It’s also free to use, with premium extensions available if needed.
Therefore, if you’re seeking a tool to help you create professional looking websites more efficiently, this solution could be just what you’re looking for. To find out if this is the right web design tool for you, let’s start this Mobirise review with an overview of the features, before checking out the user experience.
Mobirise Review: Features and Functionality
As mentioned in the introduction to this Mobirise review, this web design tool is an offline app that can be installed and run on Windows and Mac computers, as well as Android devices. The aim of Mobirise is to cut down the development time involved in building web pages and enable non-coders to create attractive websites as quickly as possible.
So let’s take a look at the Mobirise features that will help you to create stylish, modern websites with ease.
Drag-and-Drop Website Builder Interface
One of the key features of Mobirise is its drag-and-drop, point-and-click user interface. Once you’ve fired up the app, you can simply start creating your web page designs by clicking on the canvas and then interacting with the context-sensitive controls that are displayed.
For example, clicking on a text area allows you to start typing to directly edit the existing content or begin adding your own. While working, a handy text-related tool bar is displayed, giving you instant access to formatting controls.
Clicking on the other elements that make up your designs, such as a button, displays the controls for that type of element. Depending on the element you have selected, these controls could let you change its appearance, such as the color, or the way it functions, such as the link it will take a user to when clicked.
As Mobirise uses a block system, you can easily add new blocks to your page design, simply by clicking on the appropriate icon. We’ll look at the pre-built blocks in more detail in the next section, but in short, they provide a quick and easy way to add popular sections to your pages, such as headers, menus, and footer areas.
Each block or section of your page can be dragged into a new position. These blocks also have their own settings that allow you to change their parameters or properties. Depending on the block being customized, these parameters could cover their background image or video, scrolling effects, the title, and other properties.
While working in the Mobirise app, you can instantly preview your page design in a web browser by clicking on the appropriate icon. You can also change the viewfinder size in the app interface, allowing you to get a better sense of what your page will look like on a tablet or smartphone screen.
Selection of Pre-Built Page Blocks
As mentioned, web pages created with Mobirise consist of one or more blocks. There’s a good selection of pre-built blocks to choose from, each of which can be dragged-and-dropped into your designs to build your pages.
These blocks are divided up into a few categories including menus, headers, sliders, media displays, content areas, article content, info panels, testimonials, social media sections, pricing tables, forms, maps, and footers.
Depending on the block category, you might have multiple options to choose from, such as five different header layouts or three different types of Google Map blocks. This gives you plenty of flexibility covering, how the different components of your pages, such as the content areas or image galleries will look.
This means that when adding a header section to your site, you’ll have a few different options to choose from. The Mobirise selection of header blocks combine text, images, and buttons in different ways, helping you to choose the right design for your web page.
Adding responsive image galleries to your page designs is easy with Mobirise. This is again thanks to the selection of blocks on offer. When creating an image gallery, you also have the option of setting your images to open in a lightbox window, improving the user experience for your visitors.
There’s also a good selection of content blocks to make use of. With Mobirise, you can mix and match the different blocks or reuse them multiple times on the same page. This means there really is no limit to the form your designs can take.
Once you’ve dragged a new block into your page design, you can then customize it by clicking on the parameters icon. Then, depending on the type of block, you can personalize how it looks and functions in a number of different ways. This could include changing the background image, adding your own content, turning certain elements on or off, or customizing it in some other way.
As the whole Mobirise user interface is based on the drag-and-drop, point-and-click system, changing the order of your blocks or customizing their content is very straightforward.
Fully Responsive Design Built on the Bootstrap Framework
In this day and age, every website needs to be mobile-friendly. Ensuring your website can be easily accessed on a small screen mobile device not helps deliver a positive user experience, leading to more interactions and conversions on your site, but it can also help improve the rank of your content in the search engines. This, in turn, can lead to more traffic to your site.
Thankfully, the websites and pages you can create with Mobirise are built on the popular Bootstrap framework. Bootstrap is a fully mobile-responsive codebase that ensures your designs will look great, no matter what screen size they are being viewed on.
When using Mobirise, the mobile responsiveness of your website and its pages extends to all aspects of your designs. This starts with the layouts of your pages, but also goes through to the individual elements that make up your designs.
This means that your sliders, image galleries, menus, maps, and more, will all be easily accessible on smartphones and tablets. The best part of this is that you really don’t need to do anything extra to create truly mobile-friendly designs – Mobirise is mobile-friendly by default.
Additional Extensions and Themes
Although the core Mobirise software is free, including the great selection of pre-built page blocks, this web drag-and-drop design tool can be enhanced by installing the additional extensions and themes that are available for it. Some of these upgrades are free to use, while others can be purchased for a small fee.
It’s always good to have additional options on offer when using a tool like Mobirise. However, the current selection of upgrades is quite small. While there are useful add-ons already available, hopefully, the library will be expanded in the future to provide even more options.
The process for installing the add-ons is as easy as clicking on the appropriate icon and then making a payment if necessary. After doing this, you can then add the new block to your web page designs, or in the case of the Purity theme, use the new style in your project.
Part of the rise in popularity of WordPress, the number one web publishing software, is the large number of third-party plugins and themes available for it. Therefore, adding more themes and extensions to the list should help Mobirise become a more useful, and in turn, popular tool.
Shopping Cart and Ecommerce Capabilities
You might’ve noticed that one of the optional add-ons for Mobirise is the PayPal shopping cart extension. This recently released module allows you to list items for sale on your Mobirise-created website and collect payments via the leading PayPal payment processor.
The ecommerce capabilities of Mobirise and its shopping cart extensions can’t compete with open source, online store builder software like WooCommerce for WordPress or Magento. However, for simple online stores and product listings, it’s a good option.
By combining this feature with the pricing table content block, you can easily use Mobirise to sell your products and services online, in style.
Mobirise Code Editor
Another of the optional upgrades for Mobirise is the premium Code Editor extension. Activating this extension on your website allows you to click on a block that you’ve added to your page and then edit the underlying HTML and CSS. The Code Editor feature also includes a nice preview mode that allows you to see what effect your changes will have, before you save them.
Unlike the rest of Mobirise, this feature isn’t for beginner web designers. However, it does open up a whole world of new possibilities for those with some HTML and CSS skills. From tweaking the existing HTML and CSS of the blocks that make up Mobirise, through to creating your own designs by hand, this is another really useful upgrade that those seeking more control over their pages will appreciate.
Saving and Publishing Your Work
As mentioned, you can preview your web page designs at any point, simply by clicking on the preview icon. This opens the page up in your system’s default web browser. Once you’re happy with your work, as well as during the design process, you can save your page designs at the touch of a button.
Furthermore, Mobirise makes it very easy to publish your work. By clicking on the publish button, you can save your work to your Google Drive, upload it to a webserver via FTP, or save the files locally.
If you do want to upload your web pages to your web hosting server, in order to make them available on the internet, you can do so from within Mobirise. After entering the details of your FTP account, you can upload your files at the touch of a button. The Mobirise FTP manager makes it easy to store multiple accounts, for the different projects you are working on.
The internal FTP tool is a really handy feature of Mobirise. It removes another step from the traditional process of uploading web pages to a web server, helping to save you time and effort when publishing your work.
How to Create a Website with Mobirise
OK, so now that we’ve covered the features of this free drag-and-drop website builder tool, you’re probably wondering how easy it is to use? Well the good news is that Mobirise is exceptionally easy to create a website or individual web pages with.
After downloading and installing the free app, you can start creating your web page designs, whether you’re connected to the internet or not.
Once you’ve fired up Mobirise, you’ll be presented with a demo web page that you can either use as the foundation for your site or discard completely and start from scratch.
Creating new pages is easy and when doing so, you have the option of cloning an existing page or starting with a blank canvas.
Whether you use the example page or not, you can begin building your page by dragging the available blocks onto the workspace. Then you can use the point-and-click interface to select an item and start modifying it so that it better meets your needs.
You can also customize the general settings of each block. This includes what components are displayed, or which background image is used.
If you’ve chosen to enable the optional code editor extension, you can also modify the underlying HTML and CSS to get a custom look for your website.
Once you’re happy with your web page, you can either save it locally, upload it to your Google Drive, or publish it online via FTP. Then it’s just a case of creating the additional pages for your website and linking them together via the menu blocks.
Mobirise Review Conclusion
Mobirise is a very easy to use free website builder tool. It’s a lot easier to use than WordPress, another popular free online publishing tool. However, Mobirise is much more limited in terms of the type of websites and pages you can create with it.
These limitations aren’t all bad, though. One benefit of them is that there’s less that can go wrong and fewer opportunities to go off course when creating your pages. However, if you have more advanced needs or non-standard requirements that aren’t covered by Mobirise, you don’t really have many options for getting the results you want.
Another point to consider is that Mobirise isn’t an all-in-one web design solution like Squarespace. Hosting isn’t included as part of the service. This means that you will have to make your own web hosting arrangements. This is neither good nor bad. As you can use Mobirise with any web host, you get plenty of freedom to choose a service that meets your budget and requirements. However, it’s another step that needs to be added to the website creation process when using Mobirise.
Overall, the pages you can create with Mobirise will have a modern look and feel. The selection of blocks is relatively small, but they definitely cover all the standard elements a typical website will need. There are limitations, but these actually help to make Mobirise easier to use and a tool that even those new to web design will be able to use to make an attractive website.