By Top10 Staff
Jimdo is a German-founded website builder, launched in 2007. Started by teenage coders, Jimdo has now built 15 million sites and has offices on three continents.
Jimdo may have been around for nearly a decade, but the site looks very up-to-date, with the very latest in tablet-friendly design. The site is very easy to use right from the off, and support is never far away.
Jimdo says building a site is “so easy that it’s fun!” It also offers an always-free pricing plan and apps to let you manage your site on the go. How well do these features work? Let’s find out in our comprehensive review…
E-commerce tools are among the best in the business.
Dropbox integration. Wherever you go in the design screens, a friendly little box invites you to add elements from Dropbox. It’s a natural feature and a big plus and I’m amazed more web design sites don’t have it yet
Excellent support includes beautifully written and well-thought-out FAQs, a library of cracking articles and YouTube videos. You have to sign up for paid-for options for the full support package though.
A free package that really works. You may well want to add extras and ditch the Jimdo from your web address in time, but you can get a simple but effective site for nothing.
Quick and easy design means that you shouldn’t be scratching your head too much. If you’ve got any experience of desk top publishing or even word processing programs you’ll start to find your way around pretty quickly.
Why not jump in and try Jimdo now, by clicking here
Jimdo looks very nice with the giant images that are currently so fashionable all over its front page. It’s got the sort of laid-back design feel that many users will want to reflect in their own sites and the young team behind it are just the sort of people who are going to be using it. There’s a real feeling of connection with Jimdo.
There is an always-free sign-up at Jimdo. If you want extra features you can stump up for a “pro” or “business” plan. Pricing is very transparent and honest and there’s no pushy selling.
Free is always great value, but the paid-for plans (kudos for the clear pricing and features sets) are good value too.
Hosting is also free with Jimdo. Pay for a plan and you’ll get more services, which are clearly explained as you sign up. If you want a website but don’t want to learn a single technical skill in your life you can have it that way.
Free sites with Jimdo will be a good starting point for personal and portfolio sites.
Small businesses will love the strong e-commerce features, and yes, you can run a decent business site for free, and do it in under 10 minutes.
Website builders often offer fantastic looks with limited functionality. Jimdo is slightly different. The design here is not the site’s strongest suit - there are a limited number of templates, and if your business really needs to stand out you may not find what you need.
With access to Jimdo’s HTML and CSS editor just a click away, if you are a coder yourself you have a very powerful tool with free hosting thrown in.
There are 41 templates at Jimdo. It’s not a huge number, but they have been chosen well. The templates are categorized as blogs, business sites or portfolios, but all can be used for any type of business with loads of customizable options.
You can change your template easily without losing any of your content if you change your mind.
The templates are very simple to understand with just four elements to each page: header, navigation, content area, and a sidebar. All of these areas are very flexible: the “sidebar” can be a footer for example.
The editor is not drag-and-drop. It’s easy to play around with the elements that are already in place in your template, but less intuitive to add items. You can choose a blank template though if you want more control.
Jimdo have been very open that while their site can be an alternative to hiring a web designer, it’s also a great tool for a designer to use in collaboration with a site owner. Just click the “edit HTML” button wherever you are and you’re in coding business.
You should be inside and working on your new Jimdo site in just a few seconds. You are invited to choose your site name first, but this can be changed easily enough. Otherwise, flip through the template galleries and take your pick before starting to tinker to your heart’s desire.
Hover to add an element to open a pop-up of common items – text boxes, photos, videos, social media buttons, and so on – with more options below, including RSS feeds, download buttons and flash players.
If you don’t like what you’ve made there’s always a trash can icon easily at hand.
Free-forever sounds great doesn’t it? There don’t appear to be any catches here either. And, there are no hard-sell pop-ups inviting you to get the paid-for version. The option is there – and easy to find – but it’s not in your face in the distasteful way that it is with some other site builders.
The limits to the free version include a Jimdo domain and an ad – and quite a prominent ad – on your page. They’re clearly signposted though; it’s up to you if you want to accept them. The feature set you get for nothing – social media, 500MB minimum storage, Google maps and much more – is very impressive indeed.
The Pro plan at $7.50-a-month includes a custom domain, custom email, more support, stats, a 15-item store and more.
The Business plan boosts these features and adds plenty of extras, like mobile optimization, priority support, business email, and an unlimited store.
|JIMDO FREE||Completely free, forever|
|JIMDO PRO||$7.50 monthly|
|JIMDO BUSINESS||$20 monthly|
The business of creating websites with no technical knowledge is getting simpler and simpler all the time. It’s also getting increasingly homogenous, with few sites standing out from the crowd or offering anything genuinely new.
Jimdo fits into this easy-to-use, but not revolutionary pattern. If you can’t build a functional site within a couple of hours on this platform, than you’re probably doing something wrong.
The process of adding site elements is easy. Tweaking them is too. As is moving them around the page. Working from a menu rather than from a true drag-and-drop editor is a slight change to the usual pattern, but it’s hardly a problem.
The templates at Jimdo are fine, well-designed and they work, they’re not too inspiring though. Perhaps that’s where the access to the back-end for designers to use comes into its own.
Jimdo has really made a name for itself with its easy-to-use ecommerce tools. They’re as good as their reputation suggests – do believe the hype. Even in the free version, it’s possible to set up a shop selling to a world-wide market with no transaction fee very quickly.
Blogging is also a short-cut process, and quick and easy to get started. If you want a really good looking blog site, Jimdo is certainly up there with the best of specialist blogging platforms.
There is mobile optimization for all sites, but it is not responsive. That means that there’s a resized version of the site available to mobile browsers. It’s not the state-of-the-art solution, but it does work. You can also set up a “mobile express” view (for pro and business users only) that puts the information most browsers are after – your contact details for example – up straight away. That’s a nice touch.
Jimdo doesn’t block third-party widgets and coders have access to the code very easily, so if you see something on line that you like and want it for your site it’s probably going to be very easy to add it.
Styles are edited in a separate set of menus with hundreds of fonts classified by type – serif, sans serif, handwriting and fancy – available. These, and your choice of colors, usually make global changes unless you opt to alter individual page elements, which you do with a simple toggle switch. It’s all very easy to use.
I enjoyed using the editor, and I think it encourages creativity. As the templates are somewhat limited, it’s something most users will want to get on top of.
|Among the best e-commerce set-ups||Limited range of templates|
|Lots of strong features for free||Editor is not familiar drag-and-drop style|
|Free-for-ever pricing plan with no upselling||Mobile sites are limited|
Click “?” while you’re working away to open a very large and easy-to-use support center. The FAQs and articles provided are really well put together. Head to YouTube for a fantastic set of tutorial videos. Contact is via an email form. Free users have to wait “a few days” to get a reply, but paid-for accounts have guaranteed reply times of 1 business day, 7 days a week, 9AM to 5PM Pacific Time for Business users, and 1 to 3 business days for pro users.
Jimdo is a strong addition to the range of website builders and will be adding to its millions of users.
It might not be drag-and-drop, but it’s still easy to use. Free users will want to upgrade to the paid accounts not because they can’t do anything without paying, but because they’ll love the experience of putting their site together and want more power – an approach more site builders could learn from.
Jimdo’s builders are young and there’s something exciting about the site. It feels transparent, honest and fast moving – the blog and YouTube videos are really top notch – with new features being added all the time.
It’s already a favorite for small to medium ecommerce sites and the access to code for designers adds a whole new level of adaptability.
There are limits of course. If you want to set up a brilliant business site for nothing you’re going to have to compromise.
Jimdo doesn’t provide the best templates in the world, so if you’re really a beginner or not a digital design natural you might want to search for a nicer set of starting points to get you going.
Jimdo has the potential to be very powerful and to handle even quite large stores at a very good price. International users will be impressed with the eight languages it allows users to work in.
Jimdo is certainly a site you should consider if you’re thinking of going the DIY route with your site, take a look here.
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