The Grid I have been blogging for a little while now - since 2008 to be exact. I have used blogger and then upgraded to WordPress. Now, I`m actually in the process of having my whole site being rebuilt and will be working from Joomla (this should hopefully fix all the crash issues). I remember growing up even playing around in Microsoft with their web design software. I never published anything using it, but I remember just how neat it was. This was the late 90s early 2000s I`m talking about. The point is, I`ve worked on quite a lot of blogging platforms. Well, recently, I was approached to check out The Grid. I had never heard or used this site before now so you are getting a first-hand account of using the site and as someone who considers herself rather "advanced" in the blogging world, what I like and what I don`t like about the site. So starting off, you sign up. This process is easy. You get 3 options to choose from: Biz ($384/yearly), Pro ($144/yearly), and Starter ($96/yearly). Once you choose your option, select to "buy now" to get started. After signing up, you need to select a name and then from there you can select the color coordination of your site. I had some issues with this where I kept getting an error. Luckily, their support is great, but the issue seemed to fix itself once I opened a new tab in my web browser and logged into my account to pick up where I left off. From there, I was able to get started. Basically, the basics are rather easy. You can see the site I made here. While the overall use of the site is pretty easy, it can be a bit difficult to figure out to start off with - but then again, what isn`t?! I love the ease of use, however, I don`t really like that I feel limited either. I`m used to being able to move things and have them how I want them with WordPress, whereas The Grid, can be a bit more difficult for someone similar to me. For instance, the color design, I love being able to easily select colors or even use an image to inspire the color layout. However, I do not like that I cannot customize what specifically I want colored where. Same goes for fonts and layout design. If you don`t like the design you can always use their star rating system on how much you like/dislike an option and have them re-design it - which takes just a minute or so to do. However, it`s just a bit of a pain if once you get colors in place you see what you want to change and where. Once you are satisfied with your site design, begin posting. You can make a plain written post, image post, or a typical blog post. When you`re done, click save changes then press the X to close out and bring you back to your dashboard. It`s that simple. Some of the features of using The Grid are:

Smart Phone - Meet, Smart Site

What’s possible when Molly does all the hard work? You can get things done, even on the go. Drag-n-drop builders don’t play nice with fingers on phones, but she works anywhere.

Multi-user collaboration

Mind-meld with your team to get a site like this up or tap real-time shares from event participants like the lovely ladies behind Yellow Conf. Collaboration is available on our Android app, coming soon to web & iOS.

Built for effortless sharing

As-easy-as-a social network! A snapshot of a special moment, a link from Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Google Maps or NYTimes; throw it in and let Molly do the rest.

Built for serious writing

An epic blog post may not be an everyday thing, but it is a staple of the authentic Internet and an important ritual to express the nuanced & the deep.

Overall, this isn`t too bad for a basic site, however, it also seems a bit more complex/confusing compared to other sites. One thing I would recommend is some basic information on their web site. As a potential user, I couldn`t get much from the homepage. As someone who wouldn`t know any better, I`m looking for:
  • What is an AI website?
  • What makes this better compared to the other options?
Yes, they do have a brief info - but someone who accidentally stumbles upon your site may not look at the video. Also, I know I could do an internet search and get these answers, but this is something as a possible new client I`d love to see right there on the homepage. Not just bits of features that I have to piece together - you know? I think the site is great; with a lot of great features and definitely a lot of potential. I also believe it could use some improvements as well. Maybe this is just a bit too advanced for me which is why I`m left a bit confused or even a little frustrated trying to figure it out. Here`s what I would love to see available (or if it is available, easily noticeable):
  • Better site layout/color/customization options - I love the font and colors of my site, but I hate the layout that it keeps giving me. I would love to have "templates" that I could select instead.
  • An option to auto select which post option. In my case, Both homepage and "on its own" page would be selected all the time. I would deselect in special circumstances only.
  • Maybe as a new user - those tip boxes that pop up - you know, the ones letting you know "HEY You can do this!" type boxes.
Like I said, it`s got a lot of potential, I plan to keep fooling around with it a bit and see if I get better at it as I go. It seems like a fun little hobby site for me, but as of this moment, I just cannot see it being a site I could use for a business. Have you given them a try? I`d love to know your thoughts or if you have any tips/tricks for getting started. Feel free to share them with us on Facebook. Need help? Contact The Grid Support team!