Yet, here I am, writing a Voog review, in order to find out whether this platform is somehow different from the rest of its competitors, and whether you should choose it for your next project.
So, without any further ado, let’s find out!
Voog at Glance
- Building Your First Site: *****
- Main Features and User Interface: ****
- Integrations: ***
- Customer Support: **
- Pricing: Website plan 8€/$9 / month (if chosen the annual plan) ****
- Overall: 3.6
- Verdict: So and so ... The features are great, but the customer support should improve (tested through the 30-day free trial). If you decide join Voog, click through this link.
- Shines on building websites for many languages.
- Free 30-day trial (no credit card is charged during that time).
- Mostly simple and easy-to-use user interface.
- Some workflows are a bit too complex (like adding new images).
- More integrations should be available.
- Customer support should improve
My Initial Expectations
I hadn’t used Voog before, although I knew it existed. But at some point, my interest started to grow, and I wanted to learn more about it and its capabilities.
So, after visiting Voog’s home page and hitting the Getting Started button, I was already on my way to creating my first website.
Once I had picked my theme, I was ready to give my credit card information. But to my happy surprise, Voog offered me a 30-day trial first. Only after this time would my credit card be charged.
Ok, so the starting process left me with a good impression with its simplicity, but I still wanted to learn about the platform itself. To be more specific, I wanted to know about the people behind the tool.
After all, when I see the real faces of those people running the service, I feel much more confident that this platform is actually a “real deal.” And indeed, I was able to find out more information about the people behind Voog:
Something else came up when I did my research: they provide you with 10 languages to build your site with (including my native language, Finnish!).
Also, Voog offers a self-hosted version of the platform. This is something I haven’t seen elsewhere with any other site builder.
So, my first impression of Voog? Very interesting!
Who Isn't This Sitebuilder For?
There is no way that Voog can attract every single person out there who wants to build a website. But in particular, here are some people who particularly would not benefit from using Voog:
- No need to run international versions of their site. In other words, if a website with the English language is enough, then there is no need to choose a builder which supports multiple languages.
- There is not a single template that pleases your eye (although there is a blank template).
- You’d like to have chat support. This particular option is possibly there, but I wasn’t able to access it. See the Customer Support section on this post for more information.
Then again, things could be different, and you could actually benefit from Voog. These people would be:
- Those website owners whose main objective is to be available to the largest audience on the web (not just an English-speaking crowd).
- Those who would like to have a relatively simple user interface to work with when building their websites.
Building Your First Website
There are three ways to build your online presence:
- As a website.
- As an online store.
- As a blog.
Each of these options provides templates that you can choose on your site. In this case, I chose a Website option and a Santiago theme:
Then I entered basic information regarding my site, like the domain I wanted to use:
Next, the setup wizard asked me to add some extra information related to my profile. This information was optional, and I skipped this part:
Finally, I was asked to subscribe to Voog’s newsletter, which I declined to do:
Once I had done these steps, my site - a barebones version of it - was live.
Also, I wanted to check right away was if was able to change the website template afterward. And indeed, it was possible, through Design editor:
Building Your First Site:
The creation process of a new site went through quickly and without any extra hassles. In addition, the fact that you could change your website template afterward was also a big plus, as this is not possible with every site builder.
Main Features and User Interface
After creating my first website, I started to explore the content editor that was part of the platform. So, after the setup wizard had finished creating my site, I was left with this kind of view:
At first, I felt that the editing mode was too stripped-down. But then, I started spotting interesting sections on the layout.
First, I noticed that some parts of the content showed boxes with dashed lines, indicating where the actual content could be added:
You could also add content elsewhere, by clicking the Add button on the bottom-left and selecting the type of content you’d like to add to your page:
However, not all the content areas had the placeholder text showing where the content could be added. This was a bit odd since it would have been natural to have this type of text everywhere.
The indicator in these other situations was a blue horizontal line, showing the location on the page:
Once you had added an element to the page, you could then get more (formatting) options related to that element.
For instance, with text, clicking the content area brought me options that I could use specifically with that element:
One basic feature, which was implemented in a complicated manner, was adding new images to the content.
In order to achieve this, first, you had to upload the image and add a text element to a page. Only then you could drag the image from the toolbar at the bottom of the page to your content area:
So, perhaps this feature could be simplified a bit?
The Settings Bar
The main settings bar (as you saw when adding new content) is where the most important settings are located when constructing pages.
By default, the settings bar shows only a portion of what it has to offer:
However, when you click the Add button, you’ll see what this bar actually includes:
You can then add specific content to your pages by clicking any of the revealed icons:
- Text: Add text content.
- Gallery: Add a photo gallery.
- Video: Add a video.
- Map: Add a map to your page.
- Form: Add a contact form.
- Embed: Add a video link or embed code.
- Social: Add social icons to your page.
In addition, there were some other sections on this menu that could be accessed next to the Add button:
- Files: Add files to pages.
- Content: Manage different types of content on your website. This selection revealed multiple sections to choose from (like Structure, Blogs, or Store).
- Stats: An overview of visitors on your site.
- Settings: Kind of a dashboard for your site, where you could access different site-related settings.
The placement for these settings is clear, but you have to get used to the user interface a bit. But I guess this is pretty much the same, no matter which system you use for the first time.
What was a bit of unclear to me was how could I delete an element after I had added it to the page? After moving my mouse pointer around a bit, I noticed that at some point (at the edge of the area)it had changed to a hand icon:
Then, I could just drag the element on top of the support (chat) icon, which changed into a trash can:
The General Settings
The right side of the settings bar is where you can access some common, site-wide-related settings when building your pages.
The functionality behind these items is as follows:
- Save: Save the changes you have made to your content.
- Preview: Shows a preview look of the page. Very handy, especially during the development phase of the website.
- Page: Set page-related metadata here.
- Help: Access the customer support or the knowledge base.
- The smiling face icon: Create another website, edit your personal profile settings.
Naturally, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with these settings until they become second nature to you.
However, what is good about these settings is that they are always visible, and you don’t have to spend time figuring out where a particular setting could be found.
Where Voog really shines is its internationalization features. As they state, you can run 10 different language sites in parallel (three languages in the Standard plan) and naturally, this increases the reach of your site.
After you have created your site, you’ll notice that there is a flag on the upper right-side corner of the website:
Since my test site was using the English language, it showed the flag of the United States.
When you click the flag icon, you’ll see a list of languages you could use on your site. So, if you want to add support in another language, just click the Add button on the menu that shows up:
Then, you’ll have to enter some basic information related to your new supported language and just click the Add Language button:
Once the previous step is done, you’ll see this new language listed under the languages menu:
Naturally, you’ll then have to do the translation of these new language pages. Also, if you want to drop support for a certain language, you can do that too, through the Content menu at the bottom, and then by clicking the Structure option at the top:
Voog provides pretty basic functionality when it comes to SEO, like changing the title and the description of your pages. You can do this change by choosing the page-level settings, by going to Pages menu at the bottom-right of the page:
You can also change the website title, to improve your SEO visibility, by opening the site-level setting under Content > Structure at the bottom-left of the page:
Naturally, what parameters you set on your pages is just one part of the story. But don’t expect that you’ll dominate the #1 page on the Google (or on other search engines), by just adding the title or description to your pages.
Titles and descriptions are of course part of the story, so it’s nice, that Voog helps you to change these properties.
Features and User Interface:
I was pleasantly surprised with the well-thought-out user interface. Every necessary item was simple to reach, and the UI was quick and simple to use.
The support for major languages (and minor ones, too) was also a pleasant surprise.
In my opinion, what needed improvement was how images were added to the page, as this functionality was made a little bit too complicated.
The platform contains some integrations that you can use to extend the functionality of your site. The list of these integrations can be found on Voog’s website:
As soon as you visit the page, you’ll see that the list of possible integrations is way less than with Wix or Weebly.
However, there is actually more integrations available than you would expect. This is because of the widget called Widgetic, which contains plenty of apps of its own, which you can then add to your pages:
It is not possible to create your own apps. However, if you are a developer, you can extend the functionality of your Voog site by working the API.
According to Voog:
“Basically, everything you can do with our online tools is also usable over the restful API. Therefore, you can interface any web app to push, pull and manage bits of any of your websites’ content, templates, files, data, settings and user rights.”
Voog doesn’t have an app store, something that some of its competitors have. However, if you are a developer, you can always extend your site with an API.
There are a couple of ways to get help to your pressing Voog questions:
- By phone
- By using the knowledge base (KB)
- By Email
- By reading the FAQ
- By chat(?)
In my case, I started searching for information by browsing through knowledge base articles:
In the KB, articles have been divided into different categories, and you can either browse the topics or search for a specific one.
I also contacted support by email. For some reason, I didn’t get an answer to some of my questions at all. However, after sending one of my questions again, a reply to that question came the next day.
According to Voog, they answer support questions 7 days per week. However, there are no signs whether this means that the support personnel is on duty 24/7 or only at specific times during this time.
The only place which indicated times for support availability was phone support. However, the information was a bit confusing since there were two call times shown on the website.
First, on the support page, the call time was from 7 pm to 4 pm (Berlin time):
Then again, on the sidebar on the right, the call time was between 9 am to 5 pm:
Although I think that these support options are sufficient enough for any Voog subscriber in general, there is just one channel that is missing: chat. Or, that’s what I thought.
There was this chat-like icon on the bottom-right of the page:
However, when I clicked on it, it always showed the same text:
I assumed that the chat was there, but I was never able to access it. And if the chat was actually there, well … I would definitely use it since it would give the fastest response to my questions.
Voog provides plenty of customer support channels to choose from. Then again, the call times should have been made easier to understand.
Also, I wasn’t able to access the chat support (if it existed), which, in my opinion, is the most important and modern channel there is nowadays.
Finally, not all the questions were answered - something that should be done always, whether you have a paid plan or not.
Currently, Voog comes with three different plans:
The plans are set with the same principle as any other online site builder: the more money you put in and the more committed you are, the more and the better features you get with a lower price.
Also, on a higher plan level, you get all the features of a lower plan, plus the features of that higher plan.
The prices are shown, both as annual prices, or based on the month-to-month billing cycle. This is great because not every site builder shows their prices like that.
What the pricing page didn’t show, however, was the prices between currencies. I suspected that this was because some automated detection thingy was going on in the background, and it detected that I was coming from an EU country (thus, showing the prices in euros).
What I really loved about Voog’s approach was the 30-day free trial that they give you. In other words, as soon as you sign up with them, you can build and test your site, hassle-free for a month. And once that time has passed, only then do they start charging your credit card.
With the Plus plan (10 euros/ 12 euros when paid annually) per month, you get a complete e-commerce store. And if you want to upgrade to a Premium plan, you can even get access to priority support and a custom SSL certificate.
Registering domains through Voog is a bit more expensive than through a “regular registrar.”
At the time of writing, the pricing for a domain for one year starts from 12 euros (which is close to 14 US Dollars at the time of writing this).
On the other hand, when you subscribe to Voog, you’ll also get a domain for one year for free. This seems to be the common practice with many site builders.
So, rather than registering through Voog, instead, try using NameCheap (the service that I have used for years). It’s cheaper, and you can still connect your registered domain to your Voog website.
Voog is relatively cheaply priced. Naturally, you get the lowest price if you choose the annual billing plan.
What I really loved about the pricing was the 30-day free trial that starts immediately after you sign-up with them. And once that time has passed, only then will your credit card be charged.
Is This the Right Tool for You?
Voog left me with a positive impression as soon as I started using it. It was easy to use for the most part, and you could create your website easily.
I think that some aspects of customer support should be simpler, like how to access the chat. Also, you might get confused about the call times, as they have two versions mentioned on their website. The bigger issue is that not all the questions that I sent were answered.
But who knows, perhaps the support experience is better if you are a paying customer?
So, should you sign up with them? Well, since you have a 30-day free trial first, it should give you a better idea of whether or not the platform is for you (and whether you get responses to your questions in a decent time frame).
Now you know that Voog is all about. But, if for some reason you learn more about its alternatives, here are some options:
- Wix: The biggest online site builder on the web. Plenty of features to choose from, plethora of templates and plugins that make your website shine.
- Weebly: The easiest to use site builder I have used so far. I really love the user interface of this builder!
- Ucraft: Not necessarily so well-known, but I was surprised its features and ease of use. Definitely worth checking out. And the price isn't that bad either!
- Free vs. Premium WordPress Themes: Which One Should You Pick for Your Writer Website? - April 2, 2020
- Self-Hosted WordPress vs. WordPress.com – 9 Key Differences (+ My Pick!) - February 15, 2020
- 11 Must-Have Plugins for Your Freelance Writer Website - January 20, 2020