Over the course of the last year, two startups, The Grid and PageCloud, have announced platforms that could potentially change the realm of web design forever. PageCloud, recent finalist in the 2015 TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York, unveiled some remarkable features of its platform that give even amateur web designers the tools to make top notch sites. The Grid takes an even more transformational approach by using an artificial intelligence system to design websites from content the user has supplied it. Both startups look to be game changers, but which one will wind up on top?
This Canadian startup takes the next step in web design evolution by creating a drag-and-drop platform that provides users a WYSIWYG environment for creating and modifying their websites. Although this type of platform can be found at more established companies like Wix and Squarespace, PageCloud has one particular ace up its sleeve to put it ahead. As part of his TechCrunch Disrupt presentation, CEO and founder Craig Fitzpatrick demonstrated his platform’s ability to take an existing website, analyze its components and build a copy on its system for the user to modify. In other words, the user would navigate to a site that they liked, click a button on the PageCloud toolbar and use the copy generated from it as the starting point for their own website. This feature eliminates what would ordinarily be a long and arduous process of building a website from scratch or using a template.
PageCloud is offering an incentive for early adopters with a promotional rate of just $99/year, billed annually, locked in for life as long as your subscription is maintained. Post launch, prices are reported to increase to at least $25/month per site. The subscription cost includes hosting for one site, domain support and use of the PageCloud platform.
Based in San Francisco, The Grid made a big splash last year when news about its revolutionary approach to web design started making its way around Silicon Valley. According to their CEO and Founder, Dan Tocchini, users won’t need to fiddle with their site designs ever again thanks to the algorithms he and his team have programmed into the system. All you have to do is provide The Grid with your content and select a layout/purpose for the site. The platform will arrange the content according to its “artificial intelligence” engine and coordinate palates, menus, layouts, etc. As content is accumulated, the appearance of the site evolves to accommodate new content. For example, when your blog has 5 articles, the site will look purpose built to have exactly that many. Each new article will cause the blog layout to shift so that everything is displayed in an aesthetically appealing manner. In other words, no more blank spaces or half empty rows! Users will also be able to switch to new layouts depending on their current objective and the site will adapt to the new purpose. According to their FAQ, layout filters will be the only method for customization, at least initially. This kind of restriction might be a mixed blessing though. While it may make building a website simpler for some, it could prevent others from being able to stand out in a crowd of Grid designed sites.
Pricing is about the only similarity The Grid shares with PageCloud. As with PageCloud, early adopters of The Grid will get locked into an annual subscription fee of $96, which includes hosting. However, this fee includes up to 7 sites compared to just 1 with PageCloud. Late comers will similarly face higher costs of $25/month and up.
While both PageCloud and The Grid aim to revolutionize the way we go about designing and building websites, they have drastically different approaches. PageCloud appears to be the more flexible solution, at least initially. However, The Grid is definitely more appealing to the masses who have been waiting for a way to create their own sites without the hassle of designing and building one. Both have received substantial pre-launch funding and are scheduled to launch near the end of this year, so we will soon see whether flexibility or simplicity will wind up on top.
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Sam Mindel says
You can get support from other like users who are just starting with this amazing platform. We now have a very interactive Facebook group, for all of us venturing onto this platform, with 100 new members joining just yesterday. Please join up so we can all collaborate & perhaps even have power in making changes & fixes occur as we discover them. It’s a great place to learn before you pony up and buy. http://on.fb.me/1TgNg1P
I have checked out brandit.me and appears to use the DIVI builder or full theme, on a scalable WordPress platform. Where, The Grid in its unique for could work very well, but may hold limitations for hardcore web developers. As for Pagecloud, some interesting features, like copying a site as a base, but feels to much like other platforms. Time will tell folks!
I’m about to lose my mind. First of all, theGrid does not use artificial intelligence and the most amazing thing about theGrid is how they’re getting everyone to repeat this nonsensical statement. What, theGrid can detect faces? Oh wow. Facebook has been doing that for years.
If anything, theGrid has done an AMAZING job at marketing. Getting millions of dollars in signups without even having to prove themselves is incredible. No demo, nothing. They’re even like 6 months late on delivery and people are still sucking on their digital teet. Incredible.
Now, PageCloud has now copied their model (as will everyone soon). I don’t think they’re having nearly as much success but that’s mainly because they claim to be doing amazing things – things that Cubender and Webydo are already doing…
I guess my point is that I’m tired of these companies coming out and saying “revolutionary this” and “artifical intelligence that”… it’s all a load of shit. You have an amazing app? Show me.
Don’t forget to check out Brandit.me. It’s a platform based on WordPress that offers the drag and drop functionality as well as the complexity that professionals will crave.
@Nick, shoot us a quick email at [email protected] and let us know a little more about Brandit.me. We would love to feature you!
Why not just talk to the guys at WpBakery…thats who they copied lol
If prelaunch is anything to go by I would say PageCloud will win this battle.
Based on what? theGrid has sold millions of dollars worth of pre-launch subscriptions.
Sean Grandstaff says
It looks like web development is going to be getting much easier with these two types of layout options. There will still be complex websites, but for a small business that is really just looking to get a page up, these are perfect.
I believe that CloudPage is a better solution for small business owners because it allows easy drag and drop organization of almost every element found in modern websites. It can’t get easier than that. It is also good that CloudPage makes the website mobile too.
Stop saying “CloudPage”