Website review

Canva Website Builder Reviews | Tech Radar

We explored Canva Video, Canva’s video editing feature some time ago, an interesting and unusual way to create and share videos online, but would you believe that this very versatile company also offers a video editing service? website ? Well, they do, and we’ll explore it in detail here.

Models

Canva’s Website Builder service starts with a selection of templates (Image credit: Canva)

To start

To use Canva, you need to create an account, but all they need is your name and an email address to create one. Once logged in, go to website creation section from the Canva website and you’ll be presented with 162 templates, which you can narrow down not by category, but by their primary color. It’s a bit unusual, but it seems like your only option other than scrolling through them all. You also have the option of starting with a blank website, if you prefer.

When you click on various templates, you’ll notice that some say they’re “free to edit and download,” while others are “included in Canva Pro.” Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell which are which outside of clicking on them. Don’t worry too much though: if you’re testing the service, you can always select and experiment with a “Canva Pro” template – you’ll just have to pay for it before publishing.

Once you’ve chosen the one you like, you’ll enter the actual editing process.

Personalization

There are many customization options including many editing tools (Image credit: Canva)

Modifying the model

The interface is divided into sections. The main displays the currently selected page. You have thumbnails at the bottom, representing all the pages on your site, on the right are the pages available for the selected template, and on the far left is a sidebar, giving you access to all the tools you need to personalize your website.

Mix and match designs

You can mix and match the models according to your needs (Image credit: Canva)

You’ll notice that just because you’ve chosen a particular template, you’re actually not limited to it: you can choose another template and add one or more of its pages to your project, allowing you to design something really unique.

Text options

Add some sparkle to your site with pre-designed customizable text graphics (Image credit: Canva)

All placeholder text and images can be edited or replaced. Click on a text box and the relevant editing tools appear at the top, allowing you to change font, size, color, alignment, and more. You can apply different styles, or even place your text on a curve. There are also animation options to make your selection appear on screen in a particular way (premium effects have a little crown logo on their thumbnail).

Image bank

There is a huge range of stock images, but many come at a price. (Image credit: Canva)

When it comes to images, you have tons of tools to edit, edit, and enhance them, right from the app. These range from basic image adjustment tools such as brightness, contrast, saturation, etc., to 20 filters whose intensities can be changed, to a long list of effects.

Each element (except background images) can be repositioned where you need it with a simple drag and drop.

This is where you can add more elements to your pages. Downloads stores all the personal media you have downloaded, be it photos, videos or audio. Photos gives you access to thousands of stock images (not all of them are free though: some are chargeable – more on that later).

The rest of the sidebar is pretty self-explanatory. There is a category to add things like lines, shapes, animated stickers, etc., Text lets you add extra text boxes to your pages, or specially designed text effects to add some Extra pizzazz, Audio is where you get background mood music, Videos are a selection of stock clips, and Backgrounds are stylistic images. There is also an apps section where you can integrate Google Maps, Instagram and many more.

Editing

The edition offers some interesting options, as well as a possible invoice (Image credit: Canva)

Sharing and publishing

There is a cool feature that lets you share your creation with others, allowing them to edit and collaborate with you on your work.

When it comes time to publish your design, Canva offers an interesting list of choices, including turning all of your pages into a single scrollable page or adding a navigation bar so visitors can click each one, for example. There are four choices available to you which you can preview one after the other if you wish, to help you select the one that suits you best.

You’ll notice that unlike most website builders available these days, Canva’s offering isn’t responsive, meaning the design doesn’t change depending on what screen your site is viewed on ( whether from a desktop, tablet, or phone), which makes the service feel a little behind.

This section also tells you how much you will have to pay before you can publish your creation, depending on how many images, videos or premium templates you have used. This is the case if you work with the free plan.

If you choose to go with Pro for $12.99 (£11.99) per month or $119.99 (£99.99) per year, all premium models and stock media are available at no additional cost. You also get 100GB of online storage (a huge jump from the 5GB on the free plan) to store your own media.

the business plan is intended for the professional company and is made to accommodate a team of designers. As such, this plan will cost $30 (£24) per month per person, and includes the ability to add your own logos, colors and fonts to your design palette, a workflow allowing designs to be approved before publishing, for example, and you even get unlimited online storage.

It’s worth noting that both paid plans can be tried for free for 30 days, and classrooms and nonprofits can use Canva for free.

final verdict

Canva has some cool features. We liked the ability to collaborate with others for example, as well as some of the text options and all the image editing tools on offer. The fact that the service is free for educational institutions and charities is very generous, and you can design beautiful pages with it. But there’s no blogging tool or e-commerce facilities – the service isn’t designed that way, and the fact that the end result isn’t responsive is disappointing.


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