I had heard of Jimdo before, but I didn’t know what to expect. I assumed that this was just another online website builder like Wix or Weebly, but that’s pretty much it.
On the other hand, I thought that it must offer something spectacular because its name seemed to be pop up on a frequent basis on the web.To find out what the platform is all about I wrote this Jimdo review, so that you can learn more about it's pros and cons, before deciding if it's a good fit for you or not.
Jimdo at Glance
- Features and user interface: ****
- Building your first website: ****
- Support: ***
- Price: ****
- Integrations and extendibility: **
- Overall: 3.4
- Verdict: Register for a free plan
- Easy to use tools and UI.
- Multilingual builder dashboard.
- Jimdo Dolphin.
- No app marketplace.
- No chat support.
- Not enough templates.
Who Isn’t This Platform for?
With almost every online site platform, there are both pros and cons to it. However, how these pros and cons are formed depends on the person and their preferences.
Based on my tests of the platform, here are certain things that you might not like:
- No app store, something which you can find on Wix or on Weebly.
- You would like to have chat support. Like I have mentioned already, the chat support option is the best way to interact with support, thanks to its quickness.
- You’d like to see more templates to choose from.
- No export functionality to other platforms, like WordPress.
Jimdo follows the same proven path as other site builders: It gives you a “complete package” when it comes to building your website.
As always, you have the customer support, online site building tools and the maintenance done for you (compared to WordPress, where you have to do the maintenance yourself, or pay someone else to do it for you).
At first, Jimdo seemed like any other site builder out on the Web. However, when I started digging around, I started to see differences between it and other online site builders.
Building Your First Site
Getting started and registering your account is different than with other online site builders I have tested so far.
First, I clicked the sign-up button several times, but nothing seemed to happen. Eventually, I figured out the sign-up logic: You are not taken to a typical sign-up page (something which I expected). Instead, you choose your template first, and only then you are asked to create your user credentials with the service:
Once you are registered, you are then asked to choose a type of site you want to build:
This selection may be a bit confusing to some, especially if you don’t know the difference between a blog and a website. Anyways, here is a quick definition between these two: a blog displays frequently published articles in chronological order, while a website is often more content-heavy, with other pages included.
Now, even though I chose the Blog option, I’m still asked what type of website I wanted to create. And to confuse even more, a blog was one of the options:
Once the selection was made, you were then taken to the pricing page:
After that, you could hook your domain if you had one or use the one that Jimdo provides:
And after this step, the sign-up process is done:
I had two concerns with this approach (whether you want to use a blog or a website).
First, I wasn’t quite sure if I was able to change the type of the site afterward (for instance, selecting a blog first, but later decided that I wanted to run a website instead).
Another concern, like with Wix, was that I had to pick a template at the beginning and stick with through the whole design process.
To clarify my concerns, I contacted the customer support, and I was relieved: You could change the type of the site afterward, and nope, you are not forced to stick to a particular template, even when you have initially chosen one at the beginning.
Currently, Jimdo offers 40 templates to choose from. Still, I wished there were even more templates to choose from. It has the blank template option, but this requires design, HTML and CSS skills, to make your site look pretty and easy to use.
However, the number of templates is higher, since there are multiple variations of one template. Sometimes, though, the differences between themes were quite subtle:
Also, to make the template selection bit more refreshing, you could choose one by using The Template Filter:
With this tool, you were able to choose a template based on how the elements are laid out. For instance, you may want to find templates which have a sidebar on the left or which have breadcrumbs navigation.
Out of curiosity, I also checked which templates were returned, when the filter “Responsive” was selected: All did! In this case, perhaps this particular filter could have been left out if all the templates are responsive anyways.
You could find a Template Filter by going into a template picking mode in Jimdo Editor. Then, if you wanted to change your template, you would see the Template Filter it on the right:
Building Your Site with Jimdo Dolphin
Finally, there is also Jimdo Dolphin, which adds yet another layer to building sites with Jimdo:
Just keep in mind that with Jimdo Dolphin, they say that you can create a site in 3 minutes. This can be true, at least for the initial structure and the setup of the site. However, as soon as you start editing images and text, it takes longer to make your site publishing-ready. Jimdo Dolphin is just a starting point in your site creation process.
The idea reminds me of Wix ADI: You answer to a couple of questions related to what site is about, and then the system creates a “good looking” site for you. Of course, Jimdo’s definition of good looking might differ from what you think of good looking.
The main selling point of Jimdo Dolphin is that it creates the entire site for you easily and quickly. With Jimdo’s original site building engine, you have more control over to how your site looks. Also, you can’t create a blog or an online shop with Jimdo Dolphin.
Building Your First Site:
Setting up the site is simple, and you can choose between two ways, by using the traditional route, or by using the Jimdo Dolphin.
I was initially going to give this section three stars, but the Jimdo Dolphin gave it the fourth star. It’s a competitor to Wix ADI, and the future shows if other site builders are going to implement their own “dolphins or adis” at some point.
Features and User Interface
I was a bit confused with the editor’s user interface at first.
Ok, so I could easily see which part of the page were editable. This was indicated by hovering the mouse pointer over a particular area on the page, and then the editor toolbar came visible:With every plan, there is a basic set of functionalities included, like Google Maps, social media integration, photo galleries contact forms or password-protected pages.
I could change the location of elements, by dragging or dropping them, moving them vertically (but not horizontally!), by deleting them or duplicating them.
But now the confusing part: How on earth was I going to be able to add new elements to the page?
Fortunately, after playing around with the user interface (UI), I found the way: I had to move the mouse cursor either at the top or bottom of the existing element. Then, a text Add Element text would appear:
After clicking this text, I was greeted with Add Element box, which helped me to add new element to a specified location
Other than the inline editing, the UI had more options to choose from. You could access them by clicking links at the top of the page:
The Menu toolbar gave me also more options to display:
The Menu options gave me everything I needed to control my site. However, I noticed that some of the features were premium features (like SEO options) and you had to subscribe to a premium plan to access these.
Finally, one nice feature was Jimdo’s built-in image editor. While it didn’t necessarily replace my need PhotoShop or Sketch, it still gave me some basic editing functionality, without exiting Jimdo editor.
One of the strengths of Jimdo was its ability to have your site’s dashboard translated into various languages. This was something that I had never seen with any other site builder before, and I was pleasantly surprised by this option.
If you wanted to take the localization path even further, you could also create a multi-lingual site with Jimdo.
The level of SEO functionality depends on the plan you have.
With Pro subscription, you get the basic set of SEO functionality. This includes features like editing Site Title, Page Title or Meta Descriptions. You can also create custom URLs for improved SEO.
Advanced SEO functionality is available in Business and Platinum packages, and it adds the ability to edit robots meta tags. Naturally, if you are a Business or Platinum user, you also get all the SEO options that the Pro plan has.
JimdoFree plan users can only modify Page Title and Page Description only on their homepages.
There is no out-of-the-box solution when it comes to newsletters with Jimdo. In fact, Jimdo recommends using MailChimp as your email service provider. Other services could probably work too.
You can also set an online store with Jimdo. However, the functionality depends on the plan you choose. Most of the features you get with the Business account:
With every plan, there is a basic set of functionalities included, like Google Maps, social media integration, photo galleries contact forms or password-protected pages.
Features and User Interface:
Jimdo Editor is easy to use, although it can’t (at least yet) compete with Weebly’s user experience. All the functionality can be found relatively easy, and you can also fine-tune your pages easily.
Also, there are plenty of SEO functionalities to get your pages ranked on search engines.What I liked the most, though, is the fact that the administrator’s UI is available in eight different languages. This makes getting into the platform more accessible, considering that you speak any of the languages listed.
Integrations and Extendibility
This is where Jimdo differs from its competitors, Wix, Weebly or Squarespace: There is no app marketplace at all. This is a shame since I’d wanted to see how I could extend my site with external applications.
However, you can integrate Jimdo with other services on the Web:
Integrations & Extendibility:
To be honest, this part of Jimdo was disappointing. Although you can use third-party services to integrate extra functionality to your site, there is no Jimdo’s own app marketplace, which could offer easy-to-add functionality out-of-the-box.
Jimdo offers a couple of ways to get support for your requests.
First, you can check out the knowledge base articles or FAQ’s, where they document most frequently asked questions that you might have.
But if either one of those ways doesn’t solve your issue, you should contact the support directly. With Jimdo, a plan divides the support channels, and whether you purchased a Jimdo website through the 99Designs contest, or if there is a Jimdo site with inappropriate content:Right now, you can only contact the support through email. This bugs me a bit since a chat option would be so much more convenient (and faster).
Based on my experiences, the support worked well, and the expectancies were set straight on their pricing page.
In other words, with the free plan, you get friendly and personal support. However, if you choose any of the premium plans, you get fast (or faster, if you have a business account), friendly and personal support:
In my case, the support returned to me typically within 24 hours. I don’t how much faster it would have been with either Pro or Business accounts. But for now, the response time was sufficient.
Support works well, and I got the aforementioned friendly replies from them. On the other hand, I would probably give one more star to this section if they had the chat support available.
Pricing and Guarantees
Compared to Wix, Jimdo’s pricing model is more straightforward. Also, it’s probably less expensive than other online site builders, so that’s great too.
One of the things that Jimdo mentions on the pricing page is that the prices shown are, in fact, annual prices:And like with any other site builder, if you want to have multiple sites, you need multiple plans. This will increase your monthly costs, especially if you have more than one website to run.
In other words, if you choose a Jimdo Pro plan, which is at the time of writing 6,50€/month (based on annual pricing), what you end up paying 78 euros at once:
To be honest, I’m a fan of the month-to-month billing cycle, even if it doesn’t necessarily save me money in the long run. So, realizing that this option is not possible with Jimdo, let me down a bit. On the other hand, the price includes a VAT (Value Added Tax), so this is different than say, on Wix platform.
Also, what’s worth noticing is that when you look at the pricing table, you might come to the conclusion that SEO options are not available with Jimdo Pro. Fortunately, this is not the case:
Jimdo offers a free plan, but you’ll have to display ads on your site. They also offer free trials for JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness, and this is great if you want to evaluate these plans before making a final purchase.
You also get a refund if you cancel the subscription within 14-days of the initial purchase.
Pricing and Guarantees:
I like the pricing model since it’s simpler when compared to its competitors. Also, you can test Pro and Business plans, to get a better idea if they are a good fit for you.
Is This the Right Tool for You?
Whether Jimdo is right for you or not, depends on your personal preferences.
For instance, if you don’t like the website design process that much and you’d like to take the quick route from zero to website instead, then Jimdo is a good fit. With Jimdo Dolphin, you can create a site in minutes.
Also, I think that with multiple languages on the admin UI is one of Jimdo’s strongest points. This is where this platform rises above the rest of the site builders.
On the other hand, certain things might be a turn-off.
For instance, if you’d like to more templates to choose from (like, when compared to Wix), then Jimdo falling behind in this race.
Of course, you can always use the blank template option, if you want more control of how your site looks. Then again, for most people, building the site this way is not possible, since they don’t necessarily have necessary skills with HTML or CSS.
Also, the non-existent app store option could also be a deal breaker for you. This is, in fact, something that you see with Jimdo’s competitors, like with Wix or Weebly.
Finally, even though you get faster support by buying any of their premium plans, the non-existing chat option was something to be desired.
Like with any platform, I encourage you to take Jimdo through a test drive first, to see how well it fits your situation.
Ok, so I told you what Jimdo is all about. But what if you are not satisfied to Jimdo? In that case, I have couple of alternatives for you:
- Wix: The biggest online site builder on the web. Plenty of features to choose from, plethora of templates and plugins, that make your website shine.
- Weebly: The easiest to use site builder I have used so far. I really love the user interface of this builder!
- Ucraft: Not necessarily so well-known, but I was surprised of it's features and ease of use. Definitely worth checking out. And the price isn't that bad either!
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