Central.ly lets business owners build a centralized virtual location to share with customers. The application provides users with social business websites that can link to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Yelp and other social networking profiles as well as company blogs. The user begins by supplying the business information they want displayed and choosing a theme. After linking profiles, the user can share their Cantral.ly page to make it easier for customers and consumers to find and interact with them on the web. The site focuses on local businesses that are growing their customer base in a limited service area. Central.ly also provides users with helpful analytic tools so the business can monitor who is coming to their site as well as traffic patterns over periods of time.Show more screenshots »
Central.ly was founded by Arrel Gray, Edward Robertshaw and Chris Bennett in the spring of 2011. The trio focused on supplying small businesses with the tools they need to reach out to local communities. Central.ly hopes to innovate the way a small business grows and expands its customer base using the internet. The application currently supports linking to many popular social networking website as well as the user’s company resources to create an all-in-one business to consumer communication hub.
At first glance, Central.ly seems to be a simple website builder for small businesses. What makes the application appealing is the way it allows local businesses to provide convenient service and interaction with customers. The websites built with Central.ly give the user the tools they need to link all of their company’s social networking profiles and other resources. The user can share one link to give potential and existing customers many ways to start conversations with the business and those associated with it.
Central.ly offers users a light atmosphere that edges towards elegance. The clean design favors light colors with a hint of lime green and dark brown throughout. The result is a warm, almost refreshing appearance that contains no clutter or distractions to detract from the user’s overall experience. The sites built by Central.ly can be customized many ways so that no two business sites look alike. Available templates vary from very dark, deep hues to lighthearted, upbeat styles.
Central.ly has placed its registration form right on the homepage so new users can get started without lingering. The short form, which appears near the top, left hand side of the homepage, asks for the user’s email address as well as their desired Central.ly URL. After clicking the green “Go” button, the user is advised that they must check their email inbox for an invitation message to complete registration. The user is also asked to invite friends to try Central.ly. Users who invite three or more friends are given priority on the access wait list.
Central.ly provides all users access to its website builder for free. The site does not currently list a free for account access however it does state users will be given economical hosting options. Those options are not made available. Users interested in creating a Central.ly website should register for an invitation to stay updated when the application shares more information on hosting options and prices.
Central.ly was built specifically for small local businesses that want to find ways to reach out to their customers and potential customers. The user can create and link to social networking profiles as well as company sites and blogs to keep all of their social media accessible from one location. The application is easy to use and eliminates the need for coding knowledge when building a functional social website.