Mobirise Review

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Date Established
2015
Location
Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Pros

  • Core product is free
  • Easy to use
  • Editor is well-designed
  • Inexpensive eCommerce

Cons

  • No blogging tool
  • No manual/FAQ
  • No prefabricated templates
  • You’ll have to find your own web host

Overview

Mobirise is a free, responsive website builder that fundamentally differs from its contemporaries. Rather than follow the freemium web-hosted model that has practically become the industry standard, Mobirise is an offline program, available as a free download. It is the first serious offline website builder I’ve come across (Yahoo SiteBuilder doesn’t count), so I was happy to be able to explore something that differs fundamentally from the pack.

Based in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Mobirise officially released its website builder in August of 2015, so it’s relatively new to the scene and is likely to become more fully-featured as time goes on. The fact that Mobirise is an offline program can be seen as inconvenient, though this arrangement isn’t without its benefits. Though many on-the-go startup owners won’t be enthusiastic about the need to find a web host for their Mobirise site, others will be pleased to be able to change hosts at will – with many hosted website builders, you can’t take it with you.

Let’s find out how this unique website builder gets on.

Pricing

Mobirise is free to download and use. However, the company does hope to actually make some money, so certain features are only available for purchase:

  • PayPal Shopping Cart – $29
  • Icon Extension – $29
  • Code Editor (HTML/CSS) – $69
  • DirectM Theme (basically a fancy template) – $29
  • SpaceM Theme – $19
  • ColorM Theme – $29
  • Block Pack for Mobirise 3 Theme – $39
  • WOW Image Slider – $29
  • All-In-One Kit (includes all Themes + Code Editor, PayPal Cart, WOW Slider & Icons) – $149

mobiriseThe Code Editor, in particular, is a tad pricey, though keep in mind that these are one-time charges, as Mobirise is not a subscription service. However, it’s easy to see a future where Mobirise expands its feature offering but reserves the good stuff as paid downloads – bringing the video game DLC model to website builders. Payment is accepted via credit card, PayPal, and something called “Cash at 7-Eleven/ACE”.

Web-hosted or Licensed

Mobirise is an offline program, free for personal and commercial use.

Hardware/Software Requirements

Mobirise is available for Windows (XP or newer), Mac (OS X 10.7+), and Android (4.4+).

Business Types Supported

Apart from the premium themes on offer, Mobirise doesn’t really have templates, so it’s hard to say which particular businesses are in Mobirise’s wheelhouse. Your Mobirise site will be comprised of one of the three available full-screen headers, along with whatever content blocks you wish. This simplified approach to responsive website building lessens the need for a large selection of templates, as a personalized site can be so easily created without one. The funny thing is, some of the features, such as the pricing tables, would be well-suited to selling subscription services online – ironic, as Mobirise eschews the subscription model!

Ease of Use

I’d be hard-pressed to name a website builder easier to use than Mobirise. Upon starting, you are presented with a video demonstrating the creation process. I found the MIDI-esque public domain music slightly distracting.

It’s doubtful you’ll need the help, though, as Mobirise makes the website creation process about as easy as it could possibly be. Click the “Add Block To Page” button in the bottom right of the screen, and every addable element pops up in a scrolling menu. Just click on any of the content blocks and it will be affixed to the bottom of your stack of content. From there, you can drag it up or down the page as you wish, making Mobirise more of a “drop-and-drag” than a “drag-and-drop” website builder, if you want to get pedantic. And who doesn’t?

Mobirise continues the trend of simple, block-based responsive website building seen in many contemporaries. It’s a formula that makes it easy for even the least tech-savvy web jockey out there to get a website going, though it does result in a generation of websites that all look fairly similar to one another. That’s not likely to be the foremost concern of the average emerging business struggling to gain a foothold, though. Clarity and mobile responsiveness, by contrast, are likely to be primary concerns, and Mobirise seems to recognize this.

mobirise

  • Preview Mode: Naturally, Mobirise allows you to preview the look of your site. Buttons along the top bar let you preview your website in desktop, tablet and mobile mode. Additionally, a button in the top right corner will open your site in a browser tab.
  • Undo/Redo: Here’s the thing about Mobirise’s undo/redo buttons: they don’t exist! For a website builder focused on user-friendliness, the ability to undo and redo edits you’ve made to your site would seem to be a no-brainer. The lack of this essential editing function means Mobirise loses a few ease of use points, in my opinion. Mobirise is a young product, though, and hopefully, we’ll see this feature added in the future.

When the time comes, click the Publish button in the upper right corner to bring up a set of three options for publishing your site.

mobirise

Features

Mobirise doesn’t have a particularly deep set of features, as their focus seems to be on visual clarity and seamless mobile responsiveness. Still, a number of features are included.

  • Contact Form: Mobirise’s contact form is rather basic in comparison to the leading website builders in the field. You can either include or not include name, email, phone and message fields, and that’s about it. You can’t include more than four fields, and you can’t add radio buttons and the like. Given how important a good customizable contact form can be to a business, it’s unfortunate that you don’t get more options here.
  • Media: Blocks are available that allow for the easy insertion of images and video into your website. Video will have to be added via a YouTube or Vimeo link, however – you can’t add your own video directly.
  • eCommerce: Available as a paid add-on, the PayPal Shopping Cart will allow you to offer both physical and digital products to your customers. At $19, it’s not a bad deal, considering that’s about how much you’ll have to pay per month for an eCommerce website with many competitors. Mobirise provides a how-to page for the PayPal cart, which helpfully includes a video walking you through how to use the feature. The video is accompanied by another set of some of the finest tunes the public domain has to offer. Pay special attention to the particularly stirring rendition of “Old MacDonald Had A Farm” starting at the 2:54 mark.

Features notably absent from Mobirise include blogging, a photo editor (I guess there’s no offline version of Aviary), and a newsletter tool. Mobirise is still young, so I would expect to see more features introduced in future updates.

Web Design and Editing

  • Templates: Mobirise seems to point towards a post-template website building world. With customizable image-focused headers and easily added content blocks, the need to start from a pre-arranged template is reduced. However, this also means that particular industries won’t find a lot of content pre-formatted for their individual needs. Compare this to a builder like Wix, where hundreds of templates are on offer with aesthetics that complement a wide variety of fields.
  • Mobile Editor: Disappointingly, Mobirise doesn’t have a mobile app for editing. Mobirise’s website editing format would be ideally suited to mobile devices, so hopefully, they’ll introduce a mobile editing app in the future.

Integrations and AddOns

Mobirise isn’t an integration-heavy website builder, but you will get the (premium) PayPal Shopping Cart, along with SoundCloud integration, Facebook comments, Twitter feeds, Google Maps, and Google Analytics.

Customer Support

Mobirise’s customer support is provided via email, tutorial videos with jaunty music, and user forums. An actual manual would have been nice, but the email support is fairly prompt. What’s more, the user forums seem to be pretty active, which is a good indicator of popular interest in the product. If you find a website builder with near-empty user forums, they’re usually empty for a reason.

Negative Reviews and Complaints

As Mobirise is relatively new, user and reviewer feedback on Mobirise isn’t plentiful. However, those who have reviewed Mobirise have had the following nits to pick:

Furthermore, one user who purchased the code editor noted that the master code is not as customizable as you would think.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials

On the whole, reviewers seem impressed with the core product, and have had the following compliments to pay to Mobirise:

Final Verdict

Mobirise has the makings of an excellent website builder, and though the offline approach has its pluses and minuses, it’s good to see some variety in a field largely populated with barely distinguishable products.

However, the level of features provided by Mobirise at this point doesn’t put them in the same class as the heavies of the industry. There just isn’t enough there yet. Given the undeniable potential of this fledgling product, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if the feature gaps are filled in time. Hopefully, this will happen, in which case I’ll gladly boost Mobirise’s three-star rating.

Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers is a writer and cereal chef from San Diego. He graduated with a Political Science degree from San Diego State University in 2001. He's been writing about website builders, crowdfunding sites, online lenders, and credit cards for Merchant Maverick since 2015. Additionally, Jason can't eat raisins.
Jason Vissers
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20 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Michael Folorunso

    Organization Name: XcelData Web

    the product is not as good for use when saved on local drive, a lot of the critical files did not get saved to the Assets folder.very sad …

    1
    • Organization Name: XcelData Web
    Joan

    I have used Mobirise for a year or so, and have not had my webiste picked up by google yet! I think is because all the css files go to mobirise.com – Do you know if it is possible to change css files to go to own website. thanks Joan

      Jason Vissers

      Hi Joan! I apologize, but I’m not sure how to do what you describe with the CSS files. However, if you pose this question to the forums on Mobirise’s website — found at http://forums.mobirise.com/ — you’ll likely get a more helpful response than what I can provide.

      Cheers,
      Jason

        James Young

        Organization Name: Corralejo Excursions

        I started using Mobirise about 3 months ago – I built a fairly simple site for one of my business – I had a few issues – as mentioned above there are links to Mobirise all over the place, which as I have paid for a package I find unacceptable – However I then built a more complicated website for a second business to promote my shop – this has been OK although the forms are totally inadequate, and integrating pages created outside Mobirise in a nightmare.My big problem is I have created a large ecommerce website to sell excursions – and suddenly I could not get access to it – Mobirise could not find it – I have been on to their support several times – it is now 7 days and they still have not found a solution – meanwhile my business is losing money – as I need to update, fix errors and integrate proper enquiry / booking forms I have created outwith Mobirise -There are some things that you cannot access with their code editor – I have also found that it is sometimes necessary to edit the CSS – as when you don’t want one of their buttons or little displays – if you leave them blank they still have space allocated – you need to then find the CSS which creates them and remove it.I have also had problems with updating my sites – it sometimes takes several attempts to upload changes – and I have frequently had to remove and replace and redo a block before the changes take affect. There are bugs, but on the whole if you want a simple website – this is easy – perhaps I am expecting too much.

        1
        • Organization Name: Corralejo Excursions
        sally Field

        your review is good. You missed the fact that Mobirise adds self promotional links both in default settings and in javascript that add more self promoting links. in a 5 page site, the number is over 100 and in some cases many more. In the assets javascript folders there are snippetes that add “external links” back to the mobirise site. Many users are unhappy with the self promotion and while okay in a free builder, authors paying $200-$300 a year for all the addons, this is not the way to support authors.Additionally, Mobirise has poor support, responding to questions submitted with the program but for the most part never answering any questions.Finally, Mobirise say you pay for the add ons like “code editor” like $69, then after a year they promise it will renew for 50% off, then they ask for a full fee of $69 again. That is 1- fraud in advertising, 2-ripping off customers.Last thought – mobirise has good intentions, but their product remain in a BETA product. Each new version released creates new bugs. The Mobirise team out of the netherlands launches new themes and extensions to keep the money coming in, while any focus on getting the product to work is “we’ll work on that later.”If you are looking for a site builder that works and is professional, Mobirise should not be on you list to consider.

        3
          Debbie Zedlitz

          Organization Name: East Texas Floor Care

          Our only problem so far is that the shopping cart doesn’t work. Paypal allows you to add many items to your cart. Their paypal cart will not allow the custonerous to add past one with Mobirise. So frustrating.

          5
          • Organization Name: East Texas Floor Care
          Dale

          Organization Name: CRAIM

          Hi there,
          Some background on me. Started using FrontPage in 2000, transitioned to paid version of Expression Web before it became available for free. More recently used Wix and for almost 12 months have been using a fully paid version of Mobirise.
          I have discovered the limitations with this software because I have used it extensively. On the surface it appears to be outstanding because it doesn’t conform to what is the norm. Everything seems so simple.
          That is until you get to know the software better.
          For example, it saves your website to the most obscure of locations – C: users/… /AppData/Local/Mobirise.com/Mobirise/projects/
          Another issue is the Google tracking software doesn’t get placed in every page even when you go through the process of placing it. When you check your uploaded site it doesn’t appear on every page. In addition to that it places the Google tracking software after mobirise data (it’s preferable for Google tracking code to be placed immediately after the
          Another issue is when placing hyperlinks through module/block templates the hyperlinks often have to be placed twice before they appear.
          Another issue is when you log out of your software (i have a bought version) sometimes you can’t get back in again with help from mobirise.
          Okay all good and said but hang on a minute. Mobirise do not have the support of a large organisation because they can take days to turn an email around. If you’re sitting on an important project this can be a real pain in the neck…
          Another issue is that when you choose to use a particular theme you’re stuck with that theme only. I haven’t seen any way that blocks/themes can be imported from outside of the chosen theme.
          Another issue is that when you agree to update the software you will lose your mobirise website. So be warned and make sure you keep a current backup.
          Another issue is if the heading font size is changed it can often not become responsive when viewed on a smaller screen size. And the best way around this is to import the block again, and again, and again sometimes until it behaves. Believe me I’ve done this and at least a dozen times or more…
          All of this aside the software still has some appeal for me. But I think Mobirise are undercapitalised and asking full price for a product that is really still in beta stage.

          • Organization Name: CRAIM
          joy

          Organization Name: Smartphone fan club

          The review was totally detailed oriented I also tried Mobirise and it pretty much looks user-friendly.

          • Organization Name: Smartphone fan club
          Denis

          Organization Name: Rhombus advertising / Raute Werbung

          Hello, we are about 5 years in the business and have this as a small sideline, are 4 weeks Let’s put our old shop was not too great, but each month has cost us 19.99 + 5 server fee, me Shopping cart by Mobirise around, and are still building on the new page since we all articles without size information must enter. Despite all this, we are super satisfied and can only recommend it further. From then on the Mobirise is indeed weiterentwikelt and remains not standing.Hallo,wir sind seid ca. 5 jahren im Geschäft und haben dieses als kleines Nebengewerbe, seid 4 Wochen Setzen wir unseren alten Shop der auch nicht so toll Ausgesehen hat, uns aber jeden Monat 19,99 + 5 Server Gebür gekostet hat, mir der Shopping Cart von Mobirise um, und sind auch immer noch am Aufbauen der Neuen Seite da wir alle Artikel einzelt ohne Größen Angaben eingeben müssen.Trotz all dem Sind wir Super zufrieden un können es nur weiter Empfehlen.Davon ab wird das Mobirise ja weiterentwikelt und bleibt nicht stehen. 😉

          5
          • Organization Name: Rhombus advertising / Raute Werbung
          Mike Malsbary

          I’m only 5 hours into re-designing my the old static site taowriter5000 above. Using the free Mobirise software is fine, but I will need to upload the final site design and all its files to MY EXISTING SERVER now hosting the old site. (don’t need hosting or domain name). I notice there is a fee for almost everything. How do I know what my tab is as I continue to ca-ching along on my design work? Also, can I upload this project to MY server? Thanks, Mike

          4
            Jason Vissers

            Hi Mike! Unfortunately, Mobirise doesn’t keep track of your total tab as you buy extensions and add-ons. And yes, you can upload your site to your own server. Here’s some info as to how to do that: https://mobirise.com/help/is-it-possible-to-publish-a-mobirise-site-to-my-own-provider-46.html

            Cheers,
            Jason Vissers, Merchant Maverick

              Fingerprint

              Thanks for the great tips! I do have a question however that I think you
              could probably answer. I was wondering, I want to learn web design to do freelance
              work online. Where can I get free and up to date information about it?
              Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

                Jessica Dinsmore

                Fingerpoint,

                Take a look at this article on website design. It may help give you some insight and a few more resources. Good luck!

                  Guest

                  Hello. I am not tech savvy so I am pleased to be able to have MobiRise to set up a website. I just started and has been good except for this: I was halfway through with my content but decided to preview it before taking a break and continuing. Later, when I clicked start to continue , the page was blank. I looked for it in the left section under html index but nothing. There were two files named ‘project json’ under Recent Projects which are not mine and unable to open anyway. This happened twice.

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                    Bruce

                    “It is the first serious offline website builder I’ve come across”

                    You should try Coffee Cup Responsive Site Designer. Along with the rest of the Coffee Cup software is is excellent at a very reasonable price.

                    I have been happily using Coffee Cup software since the late 1990’s.

                    I’d be interested in a review of Responsive Site Designer to see how you think it stacks up.

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                      Jason Vissers

                      Thanks for the comment Bruce! I’ll look into them!

                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                        Nancy F

                        Hi!To Ron and K2 – you’re trying to use the Mobirise as an alternative of heavy website editors like Dreamweaver. But I think the Mobirise is not for this. I use the free version only (without Codeditor ) and love it. Corrections:>Mobile Editor: Disappointingly, Mobirise doesn’t have a mobile appMobirise has Android version but it looks outdated:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobirise.mobirise>Undo/Redo: Here’s the thing about Mobirise’s undo/redo buttons: they don’t exist!Undo works with standard shortcuts (CTRL-Z on Windows)> Offer an affordable hosting plan for those who want it. Now they have a very easy “Publish to Github” option – brilliant idea – it’s free and allows to use your own domain additionally to default subdomain “yourname.github.io”

                        5

                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                          Ron

                          I agree with many of the same comments listed. As of the latest release 3.10.8 and slightly earlier, I think back to 3.10 or 3.10.2, I believe one can now open the HTML extension without compromising the integrity of the parameter editing in the blocks. In other words, the old HTML editor, once unlocked, blocked you form standard visual editing of a block. Now, I think you can do both.Yes… they need to add the following in my opinion:1. Undo/redo toggle button or control.2. Back to top link with the ability to control the link’s position, color and shape, for those site that contain long pages.3. Ability to custom name each of the blocks, for easy editng and organizational purposes.4. Ability to mix and match blocks from different themes, if possible. This may be restricted however by the unique CSS rules in each theme.5. More features, styles and design control for the nav bar. Every navbar pretty much looks the same. Very frustrating!6. A fully featured mobile editing app for Android and iPhones7. More features, styles and design control for the footer, along with the contact/submission form.8. Ability to save custom or favorite blocks from theme to theme for any project.9. Offer an affordable hosting plan for those who want it. They already have the market share.Update all of the above items and I would probably give it a 10!

                          3

                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                            K2

                            Good article. I have been using mobirise for about 3 months and recently purchased a bundle which included the code editor. The code editor isn’t just available. You have to unlock it for each block separately. It’s not like looking at the code in dreamweaver. All you is the code for that particular block. Also, once the editor is unlocked for a block you can’t lock it back up and use the block edit features.Another annoying thing is that it generates multiple copies of image files. If you use one image it puts it into the images folder within the assets folder. If you later you decide not to use the image it keeps it in the images folder. Then if later, you decide, “hey, I want to use that photo afterall”, and you go get it from where you know it’s located on your computer, it will add another version of the same image instead of just using the image that’s already in it’s asset folder.Lastly the parallax doesn’t work with mobile devices which isn’t a bad thing but it doesn’t handle the conversion to static image very well all the time.Otherwise I find it very easy to use with a very small learning curve.

                            4

                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                              jsDevelop

                              Hi!Nice review! Just tried this mobirse builder – and really like it. Yes, it doesn’t have many styles and blocks – but for me it covers all my humble needs ). Also I noticed the app itself and the site https://mobirise.com/ look different comparing your screenshots, probably because of new version 3.

                              5

                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

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