Review: Eden Platform

Website Builder: Eden Platform (affiliate link).
Pros: very simple to use; extensive dashboard setup;
Cons: Although the website is viewable using all modern web browsers, some administrative features in Eden only work with Internet Explorer 8 or FireFox 3.5.; advanced editing of templates available only through PHP code or as HTML / CSS via FTP
Price: A free 15-day trial is available, after that the Basic package starts at $10, the Entrepreneur package $20, Startup $35 and Small Business package costs $65 a month; difference between the packages is the number of pageviews included, with the Small Business package capping off at 10 000 views a month; For users who need more than that, there are the Professional and Enterprise packages, for which pricing is not published
Ideal for: Small Businesses that want to have an online brochure and are not expecting to use mailing lists, e-commerce, or social media

Eden Platform is a sitebuilder by Preation. The company says its mission is to “empower small businesses by offering cost-effective and easy-to-use software tools that allow them to get more results online.”

With that goal, the company targets the same market as sitebuilders like Homestead (see our review), SiteKreator (see our review), and Adobe Business Catalyst, to name just a few. So what makes Eden Platform different?

For starters, Eden Platform has a really extensive dashboard, with no less than 14 sections. Instead of organizing these section into logical groups, Eden Platforms just lists them in a horizontal menu along the top of our dashboard page, in alphabetical order.

Besides access to a Pages and a Themes section, where we edit the content and design of our site respectively, we have Affiliate, Albums, Authentication, Calendar, Files, Forms, Optimisation, Pages, Testimonials, Urls and Users sections.

Going through all of these is beyond the scope of this review and you may well find yourself using only a few of these tabs to begin with.

The two sections we used most to create our review website are the Pages and Theme Admin sections.

Eden Platform does not have an extensive collection of themes to pick from. It offers only 5 basic themes, but allows users to fully edit these themes. That is, for users who are not afraid to get their hands dirty with some PHPTAL programming. If you have no idea what PHPTAL is, this might not be for you.

Other than through programming, theme customisation is limited to changing a few default texts, uploading a different logo or header image, and selecting one of three standard layouts.

During our review, we were unable to find a way to change the background image, or change the colour palette or fonts used for the entire site, for example.

The Pages section gives us an overview of the pages in our site in a tree-like display. Handy for sites with a dozen or so pages, but it can become quite overwhelming when more pages are added to the site.

Editing page content is fairly straight forward. In the Pages section, we click on the icon for any page we want to edit and select Edit from the pull-down menu. Then, on the page itself, we have to right-click on the content we want to modify and select Edit from the pull-down menu.

Besides text and images, Eden Platform lets us add Forms, Testimonials and Calendars to our site.

Final Words
Eden Platform is a basic sitebuilder that still misses quite a few essential features if it wants to seriously compete in the market for business sitebuilders. The most obvious missing features are the lack of any kind of support for email marketing or newsletters, as well as a lack of e-commerce features.

The page editor is simple and straightforward, mostly because it lacks any advanced features.

The dashboard is poorly organised. Resorting to an alphabetically-ordered menu is a sign of poor user experience.

With it Basic package starting at $10 a month, it is hard to defend Eden Platform as the sitebuilder of choice for any serious use.

If you use or have used Eden Platform, we would like to hear your experience in the comments below.

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