As the Jimdo home page points out, there are thousands of reasons why people use Jimdo to build their website. A quick browse through the site and I can see why so many people like this web builder service. While it promotes benefits that are comparable to other free website builders, such as no coding experience needed, creating a website in a few clicks, lots of design templates and automatic search engine optimization, I immediately saw some nice extras with Jimdo’s free website building service. The best one is the inclusion of an online store interface with the Jimdo free website builder service, a feature typically not included with the free plans of other website builders. But it gets better. Jimdo’s free plan also includes five items to sell in your store and store payment options.
As with other free website builders, it’s pretty quick and easy to get started with Jimdo. For example, to sign up, I had to decide on a name for my website. Like other free website creators, my website name will be a sub-domain of Jimdo.com unless I upgrade to a premium plan. Next, I provided my email address and within seconds Jimdo sent me an email message containing a link to my new website and a password. From there, I could get started using Jimdo’s website building tools.
I like any website builder that is either intuitive or uses an editing platform that mirrors the toolbar of Windows programs. Jimdo gets high marks for delivering on both, plus extra credit for providing comprehensive support options. If you’re new to creating a website, I highly recommend using the Getting Started tutorial accessible from the Help link on the main navigation bar. Jimdo nicely presents the process in five easy, non-intimidating steps.
Choosing a layout is the first step in building a website with Jimdo. This is where you get to see the full complement of available design templates. While the number of templates and styles are adequate, I would like to see the templates organized by category, rather than scrolling down to preview them. It should also be noted that not all of Jimdo’s design templates are available under the free service. Jimdo reserves certain templates for those who select its Business and Pro plans. Nevertheless, with the extensive layout tools provided, you can do a lot to change the layout and make it your own. If you plan on doing this though, be sure to choose a layout that allows you full design flexibility, such as adjusting the layout, changing background and header colors, expanding or decreasing header size, customizing fonts and switching navigation background colors. Jimdo offers some examples of what others have done to change the design of a particular template, which I found very helpful. You can access them by clicking on the Pages link from the main navigation bar, then Templates in the sub-navigation bar, then select a template category.
Jimdo has done a nice job presenting its layout and style menus along the right side of the web page for easy access. It uses a point and click function for selecting design elements and changing them. I also like how the Jimdo’s video tutorials explain website terminology, such as header, footer, etc., truly catering to those with little or no experience in designing a website. So that the toolbars are not overwhelming with multiple selections, Jimdo hides tools until you need them. For instance, I wanted to change the header, so all I had to do was click on my header and then the Edit Header tool appeared. When I clicked on it, I got lots of other tools for accessing the Jimdo photo gallery, patterns, logos, or uploading my own photo. Whichever option I chose, the applicable toolbar menu appeared. I really found that so much better because there’s no time wasted trying to figure out the functions of all the toolbar elements at once.
Adding and deleting pages and subpages and changing my site navigation were also quite easy to do using the Edit navigation tool. All navigation tools, like hiding a page, changing the order of pages and creating levels of pages, are concisely located in a pop-up box. Adding content to either the main page or sidebar is equally simple and easy. Text, photo galleries, videos and other building blocks can be added or changed effortlessly by clicking on it and making your selection from the Option menu. Placing elements can be done quickly by dragging and dropping. What I particularly liked about Jimdo is that for every element necessary to create a website, there is some form of tutorial for it that shows you how to do it or offering tips on how to enhance the element.
With the Jimdo Free Plan, you can keep the free site you created forever because there are no requirements to sign up for a premium plan within a specified time period. Jimdo Free includes web hosting; limited design templates; custom layout interface; 500MB storage; unlimited pages and subpages; widgets for integrating external services; up to 12,500 image galleries for your website photos; 10MB max for file downloads; 1 password protected section; online store interface; 5 store items; PayPal store payment option for credit cards only; search engine optimization; blog feature; guestbook section for visitor comments; RSS feed; ability to add Flash files; and support team assistance. However, with the free website option, Jimdo will add its logo and advertisements in an ad box located in a sidebar on your website.
If at any time you want to upgrade your plan, you can do so without losing the original design and content of your free site. Jimdo gets kudos for making it a seamless conversion from free to premium plan by simply logging in to your account and clicking on the Upgrade button on your Jimdo account page. Once you upgrade to a fee-based plan, Jimdo removes its logo and advertisements from your website.
Jimdo offers two premium plans: Jimdo Business and Jimdo Pro. I like that Jimdo has a Compare chart under Pricing on the main navigation bar so you can compare the features and services included in the price. It should be noted that unlike many website builders that offer monthly price plans, a Jimdo subscription is for one year.
Jimdo Business costs $240 per year and includes web hosting; 2 domain names through which your website can be accessed; 20 email accounts at 10GB each; unlimited email forwarding; access to business design templates; custom layout interface; unlimited pages and subpages; the ability to add your company logo; over 1 million images galleries for your website photos; 100MB for file downloads; widgets for integrating external services; unlimited storage; unlimited password protected website sections; online store interface; unlimited store items; PayPal store payment options that include credit card, check and invoice; the ability to turn off the administrative log-in link on your website to give it a more professional look; the option to remove print, sitemap and about links in the website footer and add the links you prefer; access to the Jimdo email newsletter system; detailed analytics for your website; search engine optimization; meta tags for each web page on your site; automatic site optimization for mobile viewing; blog feature; guestbook section for visitor comments; RSS feed; ability to add Flash files; and support team response to your submission within 24 hours.
Jimdo Pro is $90 per year and includes web hosting; 1 domain name; 1 email account of 10GB; 3 email forwarding aliases; access to pro design templates; custom layout interface; unlimited pages and subpages; the option to add your company logo; up to 125,000 image galleries for your website photos; 100MB for file downloads; widgets for integrating external services; 5GB storage; 5 password protected sections on your website; online store interface; 15 store items; PayPal store payment options that include credit card, check and invoice; the option to turn off the administrative log-in link on your website; the ability to remove the default links in your website footer and add your own; use of the Jimdo email newsletter system; detailed statistics regarding your website; search engine optimization; meta tags for individual web pages; site optimization for mobile viewing; blog feature; guestbook section for visitor comments; RSS feed; ability to add Flash files; and support team response to your submission within one to three days.
Platform – HTML
Free Plan Includes – web hosting; limited design templates; custom layout interface; 500MB storage; unlimited pages and subpages; widgets for integrating external services; 12,500 images galleries; 10MB for file downloads; 1 password protected section; online store interface; 5 store items; PayPal store payment credit card option; search engine optimization; blog feature; guestbook; RSS feed; Flash files; support team assistance
Premium Plan Prices – Jimdo Business: $240/year; Jimdo Pro: $90/year
Domain Registration Cost – Included in premium plan prices
Number of Templates – 120
Bandwidth – Unlimited
Storage – Free plan: 500MB; Jimdo Pro: 5GB; Jimdo Business: Unlimited
Shopping Cart – Included
Support Options – Online help; text and video tutorials; keyword search; webinars; support ticket; Jimdo community board; FAQs
Free Trial – No
What stands out about Jimdo is the manner in which it really simplifies the process of building a website. I really liked using Jimdo. All the information and what you can expect when signing up for the service is given to you upfront so you’re aware of the process beforehand. More importantly, Jimdo is a really good value, especially when you consider all you are receiving, even with the free plan. Of all the free website builders I’ve reviewed, I don’t recall any that include a free ecommerce solution. To get a good idea of what Jimdo offers, click the Tour link on the navigation bar of the home page. The Tour is rather helpful because you can make a decision from it on whether Jimdo is the website builder for you.
Jimdo excels in its website builder platform. The design and editing functions are extremely easy to use because the interface is intuitive. As added bonuses, the toolbars are similar to a Windows environment and there are point and click and drag and drop functions for most elements. All of these combined made creating a website with Jimdo super easy. And I’m not talking about just a basic website. Jimdo enables you to add in a wide assortment of widgets and other enhancements so you can create a really professional and functional website.
I would, however, be prepared to do some customizing on whichever design template you choose. While the selection of templates with the free service is limited and the quality is okay, they do look a bit generic. But the layout and style tools are quite simple to use so you can easily turn the ordinary design template into something extraordinary that reflects the purpose of your website.
By far, Jimdo is one of the most inclusive website builders and the prices of the premium plans are competitive with other website builders. However, I believe Jimdo is the better deal because of all it offers for the price. Take a look at the Compare chart under the Price link on the home page navigation menu to see what I mean. There’s no denying that Jimdo is right up there among the top five of website builders for its intuitive website building platform, its all-inclusive services, its extensive support options and its low price. This is definitely one website builder worth checking out.