Would you Pay $20 per Month for Soholaunch?

Soholaunch is an intriguing, if ultimately disappointing, web site builder.

It might be easy to misinterpret the title of this Soholaunch review and imagine that Soholaunch’s pricing plans require you deposit one human soul, so don’t get me wrong: Soholaunch is not a bad service. But at $20 per month and higher (or lower, if you go with an annual plan), there is one glaring problem with the entire Soholaunch model of website building.

It’s just too gosh derned expensive.

But before we go on and on about the price of Soholaunch (and, to be fair, there is a free version available), let’s talk about the service as a whole. It’s actually quite comprehensive. The free version of Soholaunch won’t send you into fits of pure excitement and joy, but the paid version should satisfy most people’s Internet ambitions. Other prerequisites of a good website builder – simple, easy to use, easy to sign up for – are all there. So why start out this Soholaunch review with a diatribe against its price?

Well, let’s start off by addressing the elephant in the room.

Price: When Size Does Matter

I won’t lie to you: you can take a look at the Soholaunch prices yourself. You might say that I grimly approach the issue of Soholaunch’s prices, as if Soholaunch once robbed me and left me for dead. But when you’ve reviewed the likes of Weebly, Intuit, uCoz, Yola, and other ridiculously free-or-cheap website builders, you start to get an idea about how website builders should be priced. One develops high standards.

That’s when looking at the Soholaunch “Website licenses,” as they’re dubbed, can get a little dicey. $20/month for a single “license”? And hey, why are they called “licenses,” anyway? Isn’t that just a fancy way of saying “you should pay us for each web site you create?” Even if $20/month doesn’t sound like a lot to you, it’s a far cry from being able to create multiple web sites for a small flat fee. Soholaunch might be able to pull the wool over the eyes of a newbie, but I’m a cautious cat. I’ve been around.

Chances are if you’re an avid Clickfire reader, you’ve been around as well. And it probably won’t take you very much convincing to side with me on Soholaunch’s prices. $90 monthly for a ten-pack? Please. We know Soholaunch works just as hard whether we build one web site or ten.

Even if you’re as turned off by the pricing structure as I am, it will interest you to know that Soholaunch does feature a free version of its website builder. The problem with free versions, of course, is that they’re always the lesser versions. This is true at Soholaunch, where you can’t even integrate eCommerce – period! – into your website. Well, if that’s the case, I’d rather spend my zero dollars somewhere else.

If you’re a stingy customer who doesn’t like to hear that something isn’t worth the price, you can probably just stop reading this review right here. But I’m open-minded enough to realize that Soholaunch can’t all be bad. If you pay that much money, there’s probablysomething you get in return. Hopefully I won’t have to dig too far to find out what that is.

The Positives, and Yes There Are Positives

Hey, I’m not alone in making fun of their free version. Even Soholaunch.com acknowledges that:

The real power of Soholaunch is in the full (paid) version.

See? Told you. Your humble reviewer does know a thing or two. If you do swing for the fences and avoid the almost-worthless free version, you will find that Soholaunch is a capable website builder on par with juts about anything else out there. Integrating eCommerce including PayPal and Authorize.net? Check. Build web forms? Check. Record analytics and study up on who your customers or readers are? Check. Build a blog? Check. Member logins? Check…and, nice!

In other words, there are about a zillion different things you can do with Soholaunch once you decide to spring for the paid version and purchase one of their “licenses.” It’s really simple to get started, as well, as the easy-to-use Soholaunch site holds your hand through the registration process and doesn’t make overtly cheesy or pushy sales pitches ala GoDaddy.com or SiteCube.com. That’s not a major plus, but it’s a nice relief.

There’s something else about Soholaunch.com that makes it unique in my eyes. They take the time (and menu space) to focus some of their attention on web hosts. Most people aren’t web hosts, so this information won’t be very relevant to them, but it’s worth exploring briefly. Soholaunch markets itself to web hosts that want to offer Soholaunch licenses – in other words, web hosts that are interested in selling a website builder to their customers. Okay, so maybe this is a little schemey to do right off of Soholaunch’s main site, but it’s an intriguing proposition if you’re someone in control of such things.

Just one question: if you’re a web host, don’t you want to recommend a better site builder than Soholaunch?

Should You Buy a License?

So we come to the ultimate question in this Soholaunch review: whether or not you should make the leap and purcahse a website license of your own. If you ask me, the answer should be no. There are too many good, quality website builders out there that will charge you a lot less for a lot more functionality. You can easily add shopping carts in other website builders, so Soholaunch is not a major innovation at the small business level, either.

Whether you’ve got a blog, a store, a photo album, a portfolio, or even a list of recipes to publish, Soholaunch.com should not be your sitebuilder of choice. If it should have a place in your list of online tools, I’m not sure where it is. Do yourself a favor and check out a site like Yola.com if you want to create a website quickly. You’ll be glad you did – and your credit card statement will thank you at the end of the month.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Dan Kenitz

Dan Kenitz is a former professional Search Engine Optimization specialist and current freelance writer, commentator, and all-around entrepreneur.

3 comments

  1. Karen Mc

    I’m just a beginner with website stuff, but I have started using the free Soholaunch offered through my web host. I notice when this article was written, but there is a fully functional eCommerce eStore application in the free SohoLaunch web builder.
    Maybe you could update your review.

  2. Lazarus

    Just FYI, I tried (and immediately cancelled) Yola – as suggested in this review as one of the super cheap ones. It is also a whopping $20 a month for an online store (although it’s nearly impossible to find that out up front)which is the same as soho, so I don’t think that’s really a good alternative.

  3. Emory Rowland

    Sorry we missed that Lazarus. Thanks for bringing that to light.

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