Are you looking for a good hosted CMS solution for designing your next website? If so, a good option for you to consider might be Breezi.
Breezi is a visual CSS Editor and Edit-in-Place CMS meant especially for designers. The Breezi CMS is supplemented by to-the-mark style control and multiple apps that lend great functionality to your website.
- Edit-in-Place: To begin with, Breezi CMS lets you edit your website simply by clicking on the item that you intend to change. Thus, you can change your layout, styles and content – all by simply clicking on respective regions.
- Control Over Style: Breezi provides precise control for many design features such as drop shadows, line-heights, opacity, etc.
- Working with Images: Breezi lets you edit and resize your images in a simple drag-and-drop interface. Of course, the standard functionality such as crop and/or zoom is there as well
- Applications: Breezi’s apps are, to a great extent, the equivalent of WP’s widgets. You can add them to your website to provide enhanced features, such as Facebook boxes, live Tweets, forms and so on. Apps can be added via a drag-and-drop interface, and the number of apps is growing at a steady pace.
- WYSIWYG: Breezi’s WYSIWYG Editor lets you edit text and other content quite easily. Apart from standard WYSIWYG features, the Editor also lets you adjust factors such as drop-shadow, line-height and letter-spacing. Plus, you also have many website backgrounds at your service!
- Map Your Own Domain: Even though Breezi is a hosted CMS, and it provides you with a sub-domain for your site, chances are you’d prefer to use your own domain. You can easily point the domain to your website.
- Fonts and Forms: Breezi offers many fonts from the Google Font Library. Plus, you can use the Breezi Forms app to create as many forms as you like.
- Pages and SEO: Breezi allows you to have unlimited number of pages for your website. Of course, you also get to configure SEO settings such as meta keywords and description.
- External Embeds: Don’t like the default functionality within Breezi? You can embed code from other services using the Embed app. For instance, you can embed code from services such as MailChimp for newsletters, and/or Google Analytics tracking code for site stats.
- Support: Support is offered via Live Chat, email, video tutorials and Knowledgebase articles.
At present, Breezi has just one pricing plan – $12 per month. Comparing it with other hosted CMSs, the pricing is reasonable, though not super-cheap. There is a 30-day free trial, so you can check things well before deciding to spend money.
Currently, Breezi is still in BETA, so there aren’t many themes. However, for a simple website, the available options will suffice. In the screenshot given below, I decided to go with the Minimal theme. As you can see, there are blocks in place for adding images and other widgets.
When it comes to adding Apps, your options include Text/Photo Block, Image Gallery, Video Gallery, FB Fan Page, RSS, Twitter, Scribd, Contact, Embedded HTML, Slideshow, and few others. All in all, you have the required ingredients for a decent website.
You can also edit the layout or add new pages from within the same toolbar.
The sitewide settings page is rather bland – your domain, administrator’s name and email, and Analytics code (if any) are the only options.
So, is Breezi worth it?
Well, at $12 per month, it is a decent deal when it comes to hosted CMSs – the pricing includes the CMS features and addons, as well as web hosting. If you are a designer who’d like to use a hosted CMS for managing and creating websites, Breezi should be definitely considered, though you should also bear in mind the fact that Breezi is still in BETA. Further more, considering the fact that Breezi is still in its infancy and there are many new features yet to be added, it surely looks to be an interesting CMS in near future. In my opinion, Breezi’s popularity can be further enhanced if they offer a free package for their CMS, perhaps with limited number of websites per account – much like CushyCMS does.
However, on the downside, a hosted CMS is not everyone’s cup of tea. Often times, you find them lacking in terms of functionality – there is no PHP to dig into, no grand CSS tricks to perform magic! While such drag-and-drop functionality can make life easy for you if all you need to do is build websites for the average user, and the applications can help you implement even a decent looking blog, at the end of the day, if you need highly advanced features and customization, you’d be better off without Breezi (or any hosted CMS for that matter).
Of course, you can try Breezi for free for 30 days to decide whether it is meant for you.
Sufyan bin Uzayr writes for various magazine and blogs, and is the author of "Sufism: A Brief History". He blogs about technology, Linux and open source, mobile, web design and development, typography, and Content Management Systems at Code Carbon. You can learn more about him, follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook and Google+.