Mobirise website builder review

A beginner-friendly builder with excellent editing power

Mobirise's homepage
(Image: © Mobirise)

Tom's Guide Verdict

Those looking for a powerful yet beginner-friendly website builder will appreciate Mobirise. With an advanced block-based builder, great integrated features, and a selection of attractive premium themes, there’s a lot to like here.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent offline website builder

  • +

    Powerful block-based editing

Cons

  • -

    Blogging and ecommerce are limited

  • -

    Poor customer service

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New website creation platforms enter the market every year, which makes it extremely hard to keep up to speed with the best website builders (opens in new tab) available. Mobirise (opens in new tab), founded in 2015, is a popular offline website builder that has caught our eye recently.

It claims to be the eighth most popular builder (opens in new tab) in the world, outpacing platforms such as Webflow (opens in new tab) and Strikingly (opens in new tab). In our Mobirise review, we put the platform to the test. By analyzing every aspect of its editor, features, prices, and more, we aim to help you decide whether it’s as good as it appears to be. 

Mobirise: Plans and pricing

Mobirise's webpage promoting its full unlocked builder kit

Unlock all additional features for $149 a year (Image credit: Mobirise)

To start with, we found Mobirise’s advertising and pricing structure quite misleading. Initially, the platform advertises a completely free version of its website builder. And while you can indeed use the platform for free, there are plenty of limitations with this plan that didn’t come to light until later. 

For one, you can’t connect a custom domain name to your site unless you upgrade to a premium subscription, which costs $29 a year. The most frustrating thing here is that we weren’t made aware of this fee until we went to publish our Mobirise site. By then, we had already spent hours designing and fine-tuning our content. 

On the plus side, you can export your Mobirise site for free. This is a great option for those who want to use a third-party web hosting provider. There’s also a 14-day money-back guarantee for those who aren’t satisfied after upgrading to a premium subscription. 

Another issue is that you have to pay to unlock premium themes and extensions. You’ll only have access to a very small number of free themes when you sign up to Mobirise. There are over 100 premium options available, but these cost $49 each if you buy them individually. 

Fortunately, you can unlock all premium themes and extensions for just $149 a year. Note that the confusing advertising makes it appear as though this is a one-time licensing payment, but it’s not. 

Mobirise: Features

Mobirise's webpage discussing the platform's features

You get to choose where you host your Mobirise site (Image credit: Mobirise)

Mobirise’s website builder is backed by a suite of excellent features which are designed to streamline the site creation process, regardless of your skills or experience. Blogging and ecommerce tools are limited, but there’s little else to complain about here. 

Many website builders use a drag-and-drop, block-based editor, but Mobirise stands out from the crowd. There are more than 4,200 different blocks to choose from, which means that you can add virtually any feature imaginable.

Another standout feature is the powerful mobile-first editor. As internet use has transitioned from desktop to predominantly mobile over the past few years, mobile-first design has become increasingly important. With the Mobirise editor, you can actually customize the mobile version of your site directly, ensuring all visitors have an optimized experience. 

One of the best things about Mobirise is that it lets you host your website anywhere. At the simplest end of the spectrum, you can publish your site to a Mobirise subdomain for free. Upgrade to a paid subscription and you can connect your own domain, or export your site’s files and use your own web hosting platform.

Mobirise: Interface and in use

A demonstration of Mobirise's website builder in use

Add extra features to your site with thousands of built-in blocks (Image credit: Mobirise)

The Mobirise offline website builder app is available on both Mac and Windows. Once you’ve downloaded and installed it, you’ll be able to start creating your site instantly. 

As we’ve mentioned, Mobirise uses a block-based editing interface, which makes it super easy to build an attractive, highly functional site. There are more than 4,200 blocks to choose from, including everything from social media links to photo galleries and more. 

Design flexibility is a little limited, as you won’t have pixel-perfect editing capabilities or native code access. However, you can export your site’s files when you’ve finished designing it. You’ll then be able to access the code to make minor adjustments before uploading it to your web hosting account. 

Mobirise: Support

Mobirise's online support index

There are decent self-help resources to get you started (Image credit: Mobirise)

Unfortunately, Mobirise's customer service is quite limited. On the live support front, you’ll only have access to email help. However, there are Mobirise community forums where you can get support from more experienced users, along with a knowledge base containing a decent selection of self-help resources. 

Alternatives to Mobirise

Website builders, compared

• WordPress vs Wix vs Squarespace (opens in new tab)

• Wix vs Squarespace (opens in new tab)

• GoDaddy vs Wix (opens in new tab)

• Wix vs Shopify (opens in new tab)

• Wix vs Squarespace vs Weebly (opens in new tab)

• HostGator vs IONOs vs GoDaddy (opens in new tab)

• Shopify vs BigCommerce (opens in new tab)

• Squarespace vs Shopify (opens in new tab)

Mobirise is far from the worst website builder we’ve used, but there are plenty of good alternatives that are worth considering. 

For one, Wix (opens in new tab) is an industry leader when it comes to design flexibility. With a huge selection of editing tools and a pixel-perfect drag-and-drop interface, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. It also has a great free plan, although premium subscriptions are a little pricey.

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly option that will enable you to get online in just a few hours, we’d suggest Site123 (opens in new tab). It is a little basic, but it comes with enough tools to create a high-quality, attractive site with minimal skills or experience.

Mobirise: Final verdict

All things considered, Mobirise is certainly a decent option for creating a simple website. Its builder is powerful but easy to use, its free plan is excellent, and there are numerous advanced features on offer. The poor ecommerce and blogging tools will put some people off, but there’s a lot to like about it aside from that.

The bottom line: Mobirise is a great option if you’re looking for a free, beginner-friendly website builder with excellent editing power.

Further reading on website builders

Read our 10 tips to follow when you build a website (opens in new tab), and our buying guides for the best ecommerce website builders (opens in new tab) and the best small business website builders (opens in new tab).

Daniel is a freelance copywriter with over six years experience writing for publications such as TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, and Hosting Review. He specializes in tech and finance, with a particular focus on website building, web hosting, and related fields.