While web designers are still in high demand, not everyone wants or affords to hire one. Especially not these days, when technology made it so easy for basically anyone who’s ever touched a computer, to create their own website, using user-friendly website builders.
What are website builders?
Website builders are software that allows users to create websites without manually entering codes. They are user-friendly programs aimed to help out the less tech-savvy giving them simple to use tools such as drag-and-drop and WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors. Website builders eliminate the need to code everything yourself by giving you templates you can choose from and customize according to your needs. You can arrange all website elements in blocks, add your own images and videos and so on.
Main types of website builders
Based on their deployment, there are two main types of website builders: offline builders and online website builders.
Offline website builders
They can be used without being connected to the internet and they are basically programs you have to download and install on your computer. They are mostly preferred by advanced users, because they are deemed as more secure, complex, versatile and they allow you to create your website without the need of internet. However, that comes with its own disadvantage, which is the fact that they can only be used on the device on which they were installed.
You have to have CSS and HTML knowledge in order to be able to use offline website builders, and while you only have to pay a one-time fee for them, they are quite pricey and you also have to pay for hosting your website, which is not the case with online builders.
Online website builders
The most common online builders are the ‘all in one’ type. What that means is that they are usually offered by hosting companies and you get everything you need from the same provider: a website builder, a domain name, the hosting and maintenance service. You don’t have to bother with anything: you just subscribe to one of the plans offered by the provider, pay a monthly fee, create your website and they’ll take care of the rest. And in case there are any problems, you can contact the support team and they’ll assist you with any issue.
Online website builders may not be as complex as offline builders, but they are less complicated, too. They are customizable enough and they can help you create and get a site up and running within minutes.
Jimdo is a web hosting company from Germany. The company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Hamburg. The online website builder included by this hosting service is modern, quite popular and Jimdo claims it has been used to create over 20 million sites so far.
Jimdo has 5 plans to choose from, depending on your needs: Play, Start, Grow, Ecommerce and Unlimited.
Play: This is Jimdo’s free plan and it includes all the basic features and a free subdomain. It comes with 500 MB storage, a 2GB bandwidth and up to 5 website pages.
Start: It is priced at approximately $10/month and it includes a domain and premium support. You get 5GB storage, 10 GB bandwidth and 10 website pages.
Grow is the next available plan and it is billed at $17/month. It includes 15GB storage, 20 GB bandwidth, 50 website pages and it also includes SEO tools.
Ecommerce is the next plan and it costs $21/month. It is suited for creating online stores and it includes 15 GB storage, 20 GB bandwidth and 50 website pages. You are entitled to unlimited store products and it comes with 0% transaction fee.
Unlimited is Jimdo’s most expensive plan and it costs $44/month. With this plan you benefit from all the features included with Jimdo: unlimited storage, bandwidth and number of pages, advanced SEO and all the ecommerce benefits.
All the paid plans are billed annually, are ad-free and include HTTPS security.
Once you sign up for Jimdo (by creating an account or using your Facebook or Google) you can get started with building your site. You can choose between the 2 available methods: Creator or Dolphin AI.
The Dolphin AI is Jimdo’s smart automatic web designer and it basically creates the website for you within just 3 minutes. In order for Dolphin AI to work, you have to input some info and answer some guiding questions about your business and purpose of your website. Do you need an online store, a blog, do you want to promote an event, sell a product or service, etc. The Dolphin AI builder comes with some built-in industry-specific tools.
The other method you can use to build your website is using the Creator. That means you basically build your site from 0, using the standard website builder. You have to decide between the available options: blog, online store or regular website and choose your category (restaurant, bar, services, etc.) The next step is to pick a template. There are more than 40 paid templates and 15 for the free plan. They are all mobile responsive.
Editing with the Jimdo editor is easy. You get easily add and edit elements and the interface is pretty simple to grasp. Jimdo works great for creating blogs, giving you options like publishing in the future, allowing comments and more.
Ecommerce tools are also plenty for creating and running a store, although you only get access to them if you opt for one of their most expensive plans.
In case you want to get into coding, you can also edit in CSS and HTML.
Jimdo has a mobile app as well and it is compatible with iOS and Android devices. You can use the mobile app to edit your website from your mobile phone, which is quite impressive.
The only thing we didn’t really appreciate about Jimdo was the fact that it is a bit poor in features when it comes to its free plan and the Start plan, which is their most affordable paid one. SEO and ecommerce tools are only available for pricier tiers and you get a lot of limitations in storage and bandwidth with the free plan and the cheaper paid ones. If you truly want to benefit from what Jimdo has to offer and you want to use it to its full potential, you have to sign up for one of its pricier plans.