Having a responsive site is a must now for anyone who wants to cater to a wider audience, no matter what device they’re happening to be on at the time. Responsive web designs detect the device a visitor is using, and alter the site to give the viewer the optimal viewing experience – so whether you’re driving traffic to your site when people are on the go on their phones or sitting at their computers, Striking.ly will handle the transition.
Striking.ly, which is like About.me on steroids, can be used to create a portfolio, a landing page, an online resume, a pitch deck, and more.
Choosing Your Plan
If you need just one site, the free plan might be more than enough for you. A free account will allow you to create two one-page websites, give you access to a selection of templates, page analytics, 500MB bandwidth and 100MB storage.
Upgrading to the starter plan will cost you $8 a month, analytics, 2GB bandwidth, 500MB storage, custom domains, Google Analytics, and access to all templates. The $16 professional plan gets you 10 sites, unlimited bandwidth and storage, and all the same features as the Starter plan, along with a custom favicon and removing Striking.ly branding.
Choosing Your Theme
After signing up for a free account, the first thing you’ll be met with is a list of six free responsive themes to choose from. While they haven’t been released yet, premium themes are on the way as well, but there’s no indication of how much they’ll cost. With the six themes available right now, there’s a little something in there for anyone.
Fresh is a great theme for a new business, non-profit, or startup. The menu at the top provides some ideas of how you can put together your site – to include what you do, who you are, what people are saying about you, and letting your visitors know where else to find you online.
Ivory is a great option for photographers, artists or any other kind of creative or visual artist. It offers the option of small thumbnails displayed in a grid, or larger photos that take up most of the width of the browser. It also makes it easy to create separate portfolios all available from the navigation menu at the top of the site.
Perspectives is a great way to showcase stunning photography by really taking the focus off of the template and putting it directly on your images using its full screen design. A navigation menu sits unobtrusively on the left-hand side of the site and allows you to create move smoothly from one photo to the next, and you can include a contact form giving visitors a way to get in touch.
Pitchdeck is the perfect theme if you’re just getting your startup off the ground and don’t want to waste time or resources on a site letting people know all about your service, product, and you. The PitchDeck preview will actually also give you a little bit of insight about the team behind Striking.ly. It’s always nice to know a little bit more about the people behind a service you use, so it certainly makes an interesting read.
For example, we found out that Striking.ly comes to us courtesy of three entrepreneurs, based in Chicago and Hong Kong, and that Striking.ly got its first paying customer in August.
Ion is another portfolio theme perfect for any kind of visual artist who wants a more prominent menu or sidebar. The site can easily be navigated from the large sidebar on the left, and like Ivory, it allows you to create individual albums.
Echo is the final template, also a portfolio, but one that seems to cater more to graphic designers. The site features a section to let visitors know who you are, a section to feature your work, and a section which gives visitors a way to get in touch.
Creating Your Site
After you choose your template, you get to choose a Striking.ly URL. Once that’s done, the WYSIWYG editor makes it easier than ever to get your information into the site.
While the templates give you an easy place to start by giving you ideas of how to use each section, it’s completely at your discretion to change the menu items and decide what kind of information you want to include and in what order.
You can simply rename menu items, upload new pictures to replace the existing ones, and replace the text. Images can be pulled in from your Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, and Dropbox accounts, or simply by searching for the image online or providing its URL. You can edit the image directly within Strikingl.y and add effects, with the feature provided by Aviary.You also have complete control over text formatting, including fonts and colours.
While you can edit the content already available in each section, the number of sections might not suit your needs. You can add and delete entire sections. Drilling down deeper in each section, you can make changes.
So for example, in the ‘Social‘ section in Fresh, you can remove the Facebook icon if you don’t have a Facebook page you want to share. You can also add more identical items – so say you want to share your Instagram page instead, you can do just that. You can also drag and drop items to rearrange their order.
Striking.ly is easy to use, provides users with a gorgeous professional looking site, and certainly lives up to its name. What more could we possibly ask for?
What do you think of Striking.ly for responsive web design? Let us know in the comments.
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