Strikingly is quite a popular website builder because it was designed to serve those who are complete novices. The websites take just minutes to create and are fully mobile optimized. The company believes that mobile should come first, which means that their websites are all enhanced for the best possible viewing across devices such as smartphones, tablets, and desktops. The company is Chinese and the first of its kind to graduate from the Y Combinator seed accelerator.
History of Strikingly
The company was founded by David Haisha Chen, Defeng Guo, and Teng Bao. They are still at the head of the company, where they serve as CEO (Chief Executive Officer), CTO (Chief Technology Officer), and CDO (Chief Design Officer), respectively. The beta platform was released by Strikingly in August 2012. By June of the next year, they were chosen for the Mountain View Y Combinator’s winter startup program. A few months prior to that, in April, they had managed to raise $1.5 million in seed round funding from 16 different investors. These included a range of prominent venture capital firms, such as Innovations Work, ZenShin Capital, Infinite Venture Partners, Funders Club, Index Venture, and Y Combinator. They also receive funding from SV Angel founder Ron Conway.
The main goal of Strikingly is to be an online, free website builder. This website builder includes SEO (Search Engine Optimization) features, page analytics, social media plugins, and email and form collecting functionalities. The product focuses on small businesses and individuals alike. To date, the most popular categories that they service are digital resumes, portfolios, personal branding websites, and startup projects.
They have also launched a one click site builder that is integrated with LinkedIn and Facebook, which they launched at the start of 2014. Through this, customers are able to rapidly build a mobile optimized website. This is achieved by pulling information out of the social media accounts, including location, profile pictures, work experience, and contact information. This is then used to automatically and intuitively create a website that is fully mobile optimized.
Strikingly offers a number of key features. These include:
- Domain names, enabling users to register a brand new domain name. Those who have an upgraded account can also use the domain name they already own and migrate it to Strikingly.
- Simple stores, enabling people to access full ecommerce functionality in order to sell a variety of products. Uniquely, Strikingly doesn’t charge its customers transaction fees, which is making this a very popular ecommerce solution.
- A simple blog, which is very important for website owners, as it allows them to keep their visitors up to date at all times. Every blog post is placed on its own page. Blogging is also a very important tool in terms of SEO.
- Full analytics, which is built into every website. Users can access a range of easy to read charts, which can demonstrate who has been visiting and how they behaved while on the website.
- Contact and signup forms, which are particularly useful for those who have started a new service or product and are looking at receiving feedback. The forms can also be used to request a call back or contact, to sign up to a newsletter or service, and more.
- A full social feed, integrating all the popular social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These then feed directly into the website.
- Video backgrounds
- Custom colors
- Media sliders
- Password protection
- A fully intuitive editor that offers modern, slick designs
- 24/7 customer support, which can be accessed through live chat or email. Strikingly has established the ‘Happiness Team’ in order to deal with any issues that customers have. Their goal is to make sure people can build something successfully every step of the way.
The exact features that you will receive depend on the package that you sign up for. As such:
- The Free package is free for life and comes with a strikingly.com domain name. People can access an unlimited number of free sites. They also receive 5GB of monthly bandwidth. Strikingly also offers a Simple Store even to free users, although they can only list one product per website. Strikingly is one of the few website builders who offer this on a free package.
- The Limited package, which costs $8 per month and is billed yearly. For this, people can connect their custom domain and have two limited sites. They can also have an unlimited number of free sites. For $8 per month, users have 50GB of monthly bandwidth and a free Yearly! Domain name. The Simple Store is able to hold five products per site.
Interestingly, Strikingly also offers sponsorships for nonprofit organizations. They are a company with an ethical vision and mission, which is where this comes in, but also the fact that people can use the Simple Store even on a free package. Yes, they can only host a single product, but for many, that is actually enough, particularly if they are just entering in the world of ecommerce and don’t want to make a large investment.
When working with Strikingly, it is very easy to see how they are a company that is truly representative of the 21st century. They are dynamic, and offer the things that people actually need. With that, great things are expected from Strikingly.