Lunarpages Lunarpages
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Lunarpages Review

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Rating:
Bottom Line:
Building tools and site as a whole aren't user-friendly; old templates and fonts offer limited customization; poor customer support and help tools

Full Review:
Lunarpages offers many services, including web hosting, IT infrastructure and management and cloud hosting services. Its website building component, however, is definitely not where the company shines, as it lacks modern templates and other website building features that are standard with other website building services.


Plans and Pricing

Lunarpages offers no free trial and no free plan. It uses a company called Parallels for its website building capabilities, but before you can use that tool, you must first sign up for a Premium Business account with Lunarpages. The Premium Business plan costs $22.95/month if you sign up for one year or $24.95/month if you opt to pay on a monthly basis. This plan gives you 20 GB of disk space and 200 GB of bandwidth. You can add on other features, such as the SecureLive Protection, but it will cost you an additional fee of $9.95/month. The Web Presence Builder, which is supported by Parallels, can be added to your plan for $7.50/month. This tool is necessary if you wish to build a website with Lunarpages, according to the information on the sign-up page.


Getting Started

The sign-up process with Lunarpages was fairly simple and quick, however, it was frustrating that we couldn't immediately log into our account. You are prompted to enter your name and email address, select any additional features you'd like to add to your plan and either choose a new domain or sync to a pre-existing domain. Then you will enter your billing information and wait for an email with your username and temporary password. We immediately received an email that informed us that our order was being processed, but this email did not contain our login information so we were unable to begin using Lunarpages. We didn't receive the email with our login credentials until almost an hour after signing up.


Creating Your Website

Once we finally received our login credentials and temporary password, we were able to sign in and access our account, where we were immediately prompted to reset our password. Your account dashboard allows you to access things such as your contact and billing information, your domains, the site builder tool and other settings.


When you click on the site builder tool, you have to option to choose between using Parallels' Web Presence Builder (a service we already paid for at sign up) or Weebly, which is a free website building service. We made our selection with Parallels and were taken to a page to select our website topic or theme. This was a little different than other website builders we review, as we didn't get a visual display of what the different categories looked like. Instead, it was in list format, but still had a broad range of topics to choose from.


There were several main categories with more detailed topics under each one. Services, for example, listed options for websites for accounting services, businesses, appliance repairs and cargo delivery. There were also categories for retail businesses — such as coffee stores, clothing stores or souvenir shops — and entertainment and leisure — such as cafes, nightclubs, hotels and restaurants. You also have the option to select a topic for an organization (charity, library or town site) as well as personal websites for birth announcements, weddings, travel blogs and generic blogs. After you make your topic selection, a pop-up window will prompt you to prefill your website information, with things such as your site name, company name, address, phone number and email address for the "About Us" page; you can skip this step or edit this information at any time.


Editing Your Website

After you've selected your topic and start to edit your website, a short video will pop up to introduce you to Web Presence Builder. This video does not automatically start playing, so you have the option to close it out or come back to watch it later if you wish. The interface for its editing tools isn't nearly as modern as other website builders, as it feels very dated and looks more like an old computer operating system's platform than anything else. Lunarpages' website builder is also different in the sense that it preselects a template for you based on your selected topic. To view your other options, you must select the Design tab and click on templates. Also, unlike other website builders, you do not have the option to preview a template before selecting it; the template automatically changes when you click on a different one, but you can still go back and change it anytime.


There's a good number of themes to choose from but, similar to the Web Presence Builder itself, they looked outdated and had fonts that you would expect to see on a website from a decade ago. Other things that the Design tab allows you to edit are the header and footer, website width, color scheme, fonts and text colors. The fonts were also very standard and dated. Lunarpages will automatically generate pages for your website, depending on which topic you initially selected. With our restaurant selection, for example, we had pages for home, cafe, special offers, order online, testimonials and contact us; you can add, edit or re-order these pages at any time under the Pages tab. The Modules tab lets you add text and images, either single images or a gallery or slideshow, giving you the option to upload images from your computer and add a description. You can also embed videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Myspace or Dailymotion. This is where you can add contact forms, social sharing widgets and an online store.


Other Features

Though Lunarpages has other features and tools to enhance your website, only some of them actually work, which was quite frustrating.

Social Media
This tool allows you to connect to your social media accounts, so visitors can "follow" or "like" your pages, and gives you a "share" option as well, where visitors can share information from your website directly with their personal friends and followers. It gives you four different options for appearance displays and you can connect your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and hundreds of other platforms. This was a really nice touch, because it gives you the option to connect more than just social media accounts. There's also a tool that allows you to add a real-time live feed of your tweets from Twitter.


Online Store
Lunarpages has a tool for you to add an online store to your website, however, we were unable to get this tool to work for us. No matter how many times we tried or which web browser we used, we were never successfully able to add an online store. It also has a tool to add your Amazon store to your site, but you must have an account with Amazon that's already set up for you to sell your products.

Analytics
Lunarpages does not have its own way to measure traffic and analytics to your website as most other website builders do. Instead, it gives you the option to connect to your Google Analytics account. So, you must either create a new account with Google, or sync your pre-existing one.


Language
Despite lacking the ability to use other tools on Lunarpages, it does allow you to set a different language for your website. Some languages, such as Dutch, Spanish, French and Italian, provide full localization of its website module elements while other languages, such as Greek and Latvian, provide only partial localization.


Customer Support

Customer support can be reached via email, live chat and phone, which is available from Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. It also has a help desk that allows you to submit tickets for help and features a knowledge base. When we clicked on the knowledge base, the company's Wikipedia page pops up, which wasn't very helpful at all. Additionally, submitting an email just generates a ticket with the Lunarpages help desk, which requires you to create a separate log in username and password to view and keep track of your ticket's status. This process was tedious and time consuming, though our email/ticket was answered in less than 12 hours. The representative we spoke to on live chat wasn't very helpful and directed us to use email support when they couldn't help us with our questions.


Conclusion

Compared to other website builders we've reviewed, Lunarpages doesn't measure up at all. Its monthly pricing is rather expensive, and if you wish to use its online website builder, instead of inputting your own HTML coding, you have to pay an additional monthly fee. The layout on its home page as well as its Web Presence Builder are extremely dated, and so are the featured templates. Because of these things and our frustrating experience with its customer support team, you're better off using a different service to create your website.

Sign up for Lunarpages | Compare to Other Website Building Services

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Service Details

Free Trial:None
Cheapest Plan:$24.95/mo or $22.95/mo (w/annual plan) +$7.50/mo for website builder
Page Allowance:Unlimited
SEO:Google Analytics; must connect existing account
Additional Apps/Features:
Customer Service:Email, phone, live chat

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