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Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea behind The Grid; a website builder that can build websites on autopilot sounds great. I just wasn’t convinced that they would be able to execute it properly.
The Grid then entered a long period of beta testing, which ended this week. Here's their launch video to introduce you to The Grid.
A Stuttered Launch & A Pricey Pro Plan
Because I signed up to their newsletter, I received an email with the big news.
They used their email to link to their only plan (which I will discuss later), but when I visited their website's homepage, nothing had changed. It was the same pre-launch website I explored last year. Which was odd.
However this stuttered launch only lasted for a few days, as The Grid's new-look website is now in full flow.
Currently, there's only one way to use The Grid, and that's by signing up to their Pro Plan.
You pay $249 per year ($20.75 per month) for:
- 1 year pre-paid subscription to The Grid
- 7 different sites with hosting
- Custom domain support
- Hosting, storage, and bandwidth included
- Multiple collaborators when available
- Commerce engine (not yet available)
Weirdly, The Grid team hasn't specified just how much storage and bandwidth you're entitled to on this rather pricey plan. To accomodate seven websites, you'd hope it to be a substantial amount.
Furthermore, I'm not a fan of having to pay for a yearly subscription up front. The lack of a monthly contract and a free trial just makes The Grid seem unapproachable.
My Gripe With The Grid
A self-building and self-evolving website sounds like just what the doctor ordered. It is 2016, after all.
But I can't help but see long term issues with this method of web design. No matter how many “Filters” (otherwise known as templates) The Grid uses, it surely won't be long until it start churning out websites that look similar to each other.
If two separate food bloggers want to use The Grid to build a cake recipe website, will their websites look the same if they select the same filter? These are questions that time (and a large user base) will answer.
I'm hoping to get my hands on The Grid very soon for a hands on session, so stay tuned for more coverage on the world's first artificially intelligent website builder.