Website creation can be a daunting task, and to be sure, it certainly isn't easy with a lot of the available tools that are out there. Having said that, website creation can be easy if you're using the right tool, and that is what The Grid aims to be. A website creation tool that makes it super simple to set up a website/blog, write content, publish it, and make the site live for the world to see. It allows for you to create posts while mobile so you don't have to worry about needing to make a change but not having the ability to do so, and there are plenty of features available at your fingertips to make the most of whatever content you publish. Whether you want to write about cooking or in the case of this review, about games, The Grid makes things easy, and that shines through once you use the app. Let's see what it offers in terms of features and how it performs and functions.
Before you can start using The Grid and build your own website, you'll need to download The Grid from the Play Store and install it on your device. The app also requires a membership, and once that's set up an app invite is sent to your email followed by the ability to begin using the app. It's a fairly quick process, too.
Upon opening the app for the first time you're greeted with an option to give your site a name, and once you do so you're dumped right onto the home page that lists off the site's name at the top, as well as any collaborators you may have invited to work on the site with you. There are a few settings and options in the overflow menu, and this is also where you'll be able to open the site to see your published content as others see it outside of the app. Below the name of the site, there are a series of different accessible tabs. You have one for your published content as well as one for your unpublished content, a tab for navigation and a tab for design, where you can make quick design changes to your published site content on the go if you decide you want to switch something up with the style.
With the design tab, you can jump back and forth between the way the content looks on both desktop and on mobile devices with a toggle up at the top of the page, and if you tap the "redesign" button at the bottom you're first presented with a question asking you how you liked the layout, and a star rating allows you to answer. This first question is followed up by a series of other questions asking you how you liked other elements such as the typography and the colors used, all with their own star ratings. After you get through it all, the app delivers at least one redesign which you can review and then republish as you see fit, or scrap it if you decide to keep the original look.
Creating new posts is easy, and if you're familiar with Material Design you'll know right away how to create a new post as The Grid utilizes the Floating Action Button at the bottom to set one up. Tapping this button also offers up a couple more options which include taking a photo and adding a photo from your library.
Down at the bottom of the screen, there is a navigation bar for three different pages that take you to your account details, your sites, and your notifications. On the notifications page you'll see any changes that were made to your site, such as redesigns or new posts that were created, and you can clear these out pretty easily if things get too cluttered.
On the sites page, if you want to offer up more information to site visitors, you can do this with the "call to action" button that sits just under the site name, and tapping on this presents you with options for adding an email, a phone number, and external as well as internal links. You can also add links to another website from the nav tab on the sites page, and here you can also add a link to another post on your site, if you have multiple posts.
You can make changes to a post anytime you like, even after it's published, and the layout here is just the same as creating a new post, with a decent amount of options for things like bold and italicized text, hyperlinks, block quotes, bullets, and section headers. Unfortunately it doesn't look like there are options for different font types here. That being said, the reason for this is so the site has uniformity, and users do have an option to give the typography a lower score rating in the redesign section, which will give them two additional options for font choices after the fact, but what you choose will be the font choice for future posts as well.
When it comes down to it, The Grid is a robust little app for creating a blog, and there are loads of useful tools and options for managing the sites you create. There is even an option for managing and monitoring your analytics if you choose to set this particular functionality up, which can be accessed from the overflow menu along with the options for opening the site, or deleting sites you no longer want. There is not as much customization as some might like, but with options to change up the typography a little bit as well as add in images and videos to posts, you can create some content that looks good and is engaging. Of course, the best part about the app is that you can create all these posts and edit anything you like on the go.
- Speed (5/5) – The Grid is a really easy to use application for creating a blog site and setup was surprisingly fast.
- Theme (5/5) – The app utilizes Material Design and does it well.
- Features (4/5) – There are a decent amount of features to access here, and users should be pretty pleased.
- Overall (4.5/5) – A well-rounded experience that did not disappoint.
- Material Design theme made for some nice eye candy
- Extremely easy to use
- Plenty of tools on the post creation page
- Ability to add images and videos to posts
- Preview of how the site looks on both desktop and mobile from the "design" tab when you go to redesign a post
- Font for all posts has to be the same, however, there is an option to open up two additional font choices if you give the "typography" section a lower score rating from the redesign option.
When you get right down to it, if you're looking for a simple way to create blogs and be able to do it from your smartphone so you can do it while you're mobile, The Grid has some great options and creating a site was insanely easy and fast. While you do have some customization options, for the most part the app takes care of setting things up for you in the beginning, such as the layout, and from there you can take back over once you're starting to create a post. Editing was easy, and there is a fair bit of management functionality that allows for different things, which users will surely love. The Grid is definitely worth looking into if you're in need of a way to create and maintain a blog.