Strikingly is a new website builder that—like most site builders—enables anyone to easily create a website. However, unlike most, it’s available for free, and it takes a mobile-first approach to web design, setting it apart. In just five steps, you can build your mobile-friendly site that not only ranks in Google but provides a good user experience for site visitors. To start, create an account and select a template. Then, edit your site, and when you’re ready, click Publish.
Keep in mind that in exchange for the ease, Strikingly lacks a lot of design freedom that you see with other beginner-friendly website builders. If you’re looking to design a fully customized website on both mobile and desktop, we recommend heading straight to Wix instead.
Here’s how to build a Strikingly website in five easy steps:
1. Create Your Account
Creating your account on Strikingly is as easy as going to www.strikingly.com and signing up on the homepage. If you are still in the process of evaluating website builders and are looking to understand the steps before you make your decision, here is a quick breakdown of how Strikingly compares to the competition:
Strikingly at a Glance
When you sign up on the homepage, the service will automatically direct you to the Templates section. You can also head to your Strikingly dashboard to create more websites with different templates (the free plan allows an unlimited amount of free sites).
2. Choose Your Template
Strikingly offers more than 50 different templates and themes for different industries—each template is fully optimized for mobile with single-scroll design. There are six main categories on top of the Templates page: Store, Business, Startup, Creative, Personal, and Blogs. These are broad enough that you can most probably find a template with your industry. As an example, say you’re creating a website for a real estate agency—you can choose from templates under the Business category (Hill Crest and Excelsior are two templates that use real estate agencies for their content examples).
Keep in mind that these templates have general enough features that can be customized to suit your small business, just in case you can’t find your business’ industry on the list. Don’t worry about picking the wrong template as Strikingly lets you change all this in the editor.
3. Edit Your Website
Strikingly’s website builder is pretty intuitive. It’s by no means the simplest website builder out there. It makes use of sample content blocks with stock images and prewritten content, so you can really get a feel of where to put what. The menu to the right is where you can find everything related to your website. There are four main buttons at the very top, which serve as your main navigation. These include styles, store, audience, and settings.
Here’s how to navigate through these four main sections:
- Styles: Change your site’s template, font, colors, and other customization options. This is also where you can change the look of your header and navigation bar.
- Add Store: Strikingly lets you add one product to your store on the Free plan.
- Audience: This section is where you can find your orders, your store’s catalog, promotions, newsletters, search engine optimization (SEO), and analytics. Note that many of these promotional features are only available on the premium plans.
- Settings: Leads you to your settings (which is also located under the Audience category). Register a domain, enable payment gateways, fix your header and footer, and add custom code and different languages. Again, many of these features are only available on the Pro plan.
The sidebar also contains a list of the sections on your website. Add, delete, and edit sections, plus reorganize them by dragging and dropping. Strikingly’s templates are all single scroll, but content in sections, such as your blog or online portfolio, shows up as their own pages.
Remember that Strikingly automatically saves the changes you make on your website. If you’re making initial changes to a certain section, duplicate it first by clicking on the gear button beside each section. However, if you’re making large changes, we suggest cloning your entire website by heading to the dashboard. You can do this by hitting “Exit” at the very bottom of the sidebar, clicking on the gear underneath your site, and pressing “Clone.”
While Strikingly’s design user interface (UI) offers many cool features, its beginner-friendly editor falls short when it comes to actually editing the design of your website: Everything was created with simplicity in mind, and it didn’t leave much room for customization.
Strikingly’s editor isn’t a drag-and-drop; instead, you can edit or remove the content blocks already placed in each template. This format may feel especially limiting to users who already have an idea in their mind for what they want their site to look like. If you want more design freedom, we suggest picking a website builder with a true drag-and-drop editor, like Wix, with its extremely flexible design capabilities.
4. Preview Your Website
Once you’re happy with how your website looks, preview it on both desktop and mobile by clicking on the icons above the Publish button on the sidebar (this is located at the very bottom). You can keep editing your site before publishing, and you can even choose to edit it on mobile via their mock mobile editor. Changes made on the mock mobile editor are automatically reflected on the desktop version.
Before publishing your sites, check the following:
- How it looks on desktop and mobile
- The accuracy of your site title (change it through Basic Information in Settings)
- If you’ve filled your site’s description (found in the Basic Information tab)
- If each section is properly filled with well-written content
- If each page is optimized with ranking keywords, proper title tags, and meta descriptions
- If your social media platforms are all properly connected (you can add these through the External Link portion of the sidebar or by enabling icons through the Header and Footer option in Settings)
5. Publish & Go Live
The final step to creating your website is to publish it by hitting the big purple Publish button at the bottom of your sidebar. There will be a red indicator on the button if you have any unpublished changes on your site.
As you can see above, Strikingly’s free plan comes with a very unprofessional domain. As a small business, your website should have its own domain name (www.yourdomainname.com vs the domain shown above). To do this and to access more features, you’ll need to upgrade your plan to one of the paid ones and get a free domain name for a year. You also have the option to connect an existing domain name on any of the premium plans.
Here are the plans Strikingly offers:
$8 per month
$16 per month
$49 per month
Number of Sites
2 sites with Limited features
3 sites with Pro features
5 sites with Pro features
Connect Custom Domain
Free Domain per Year
Storage per Site
CSV Product Import/Export
Chat (24/7), phone, and a dedicated account manager
*Strikingly offers discounts for longer billing cycles.
**For non-recurring payments (separate from gateway fees).
In addition to these features, Strikingly offers add-ons that you can purchase alongside any of their paid plans.
Strikingly also offers a 14-day risk-free trial for any of their premium plans, so take advantage of this before purchasing a subscription.
Not What You Were Looking For? Best Strikingly Alternatives
Strikingly is a strong website builder with many well-thought-of features that we don’t see in many other free site builders. However, Strikingly misses the mark when it comes to customization abilities. They have a wide range of beautiful templates that can get your website up, running, and looking good in less than an hour, but your site won’t be particularly cutting-edge.
In case you need more from your website builder than a good-looking website with basic features, here are three other site builders we recommend:
- Wix: Known for its customizable (and beginner-friendly) website builder with a fleshed-out mobile editor and true drag-and-drop features for full design freedom.
- Squarespace: A website builder with tons of third-party integrations, great built-in SEO features, and beautiful, yet customizable, templates.
- Shopify: Famous for its eCommerce platform, Shopify’s features are centered around selling physical products online. Integrate SEO to a beautiful web store, and easily market your products. Learn more about the best website builders for SEO.
There are tons of free website builders out in the market, so read more with our reviews for the best website builders to get a professional-looking website for your small business quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does building a website cost?
The costs of building a website largely depend on how and where you’ll be building it. Hiring a web developer can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands, depending on your budget. Although it can be pricey, web developers can help you build a 100% customized website for your business. To save money, you can build a website yourself through free website builders like Strikingly, where costs only factor in when you pay for a plan. You can also opt to hire a developer through sites like Fiverr instead of going for a more expensive agency.
What is the cheapest website builder?
Cost is relative: It all depends on the plan you pay for and the features you get. Compare cheap website builders and see which one offers the services that are most useful to your business. Aside from Strikingly, we recommend checking out Wix, Weebly, Webnode, and GoDaddy.
How can I buy my own domain?
Buying your own domain is easy—head over to a domain registrar, pick a domain name (that isn’t already taken), and pay the fee. Don’t forget that many free website builders (like Strikingly) offer free domain names for a certain period of time, so we suggest building a website through these site builders and paying for a premium plan before purchasing your own domain.
Need to build your web presence fast? Strikingly might just be for you. With its sleek selection of templates and thoughtful features, Strikingly is a great choice for small businesses that don’t need anything more than a basic yet good-looking website. It might not have the most cutting-edge design capabilities, but it can give you a professional and optimized website quickly, easily, and cheaply. Start building your Strikingly website today.