Among the many options you have for creating a personal website or webstore, Jimdo is one of the proven choices today. About a year ago I described it as a platform with mediocre templates, unpredictable editor, yet impressive eCommerce capabilities. Things have changed a lot since then. Don’t fret, their eCommerce platform is still great 🙂 . Recently, the new Jimdo experience was introduced – ‘one that’s focused on speed, improved design features, and a more intuitive user flow’ (Jimdo Blog).
A lot can happen in a year’s time, especially on the web, so let’s test the all new Jimdo.
#1 Ease of Use
After completing a basic sign up form, you can start customizing your website in a WYSIWYG editing environment. Jimdo doesn’t require the user to know any programming languages to make things work. Its interface is quite clean and intuitive.
Though the control panel looks quite cohesive, I wish it had a separate dashboard and ‘content area’. In its current version, everything is merged into a single visual editor, compared to Weebly and Wix, which have separate dashboards where you can manage such things as domains, contributors, SEO and various applications. Based on my experience, such structure is more convenient.
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
When it comes down to the basics, Jimdo is like most of its competition – it allows users to customize ready templates using inbuilt editing tools and widgets. As for the bells and whistles, I’d like to point out their blogging and eCommerce capabilities.
With Jimdo you can create dynamic blog posts offering various user interactions: file download (FYI: you can enable synchronization with your Dropbox account), custom widget/HTML, form, Google Maps, flash animation (.swf files) and more. You can create drafts, but there’s no scheduled posting.
Jimdo’s eCommerce is also highly customizable. There are tons of properties to configure: product display, tax (you can set an individual tax rate for each item), item availability, shipping costs and time description, payment options, cancellation and return policies, custom salutation and email confirmation/completed checkout messages etc.
Each Jimdo site is automatically optimized for mobile viewing. Formerly, you could deactivate or change your site’s default mobile view – there were 13 non-customizable mobile layouts, and if you wanted to create a custom mobile experience, you could take advantage of their mobile view CSS editor.
During my latest test drive I failed to find these options. With the current version of Jimdo you can either turn on the Mobile Template or set up a professional landing page called ‘Mobile Express Page’ for the mobile version of your JimdoPro or JimdoBusiness website. This page will feature your company’s most essential information. In this case your mobile visitors will be redirected to this page, not your mobile/desktop website.
SEO. JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness users can override the automatically generated page names and specify the exact URL of a page (we wish that was possible for all users). Jimdo also supports URL redirects and helps beginners perform basic SEO fixes with the help of the rankingCoach add-on.
Speaking about mobiles, it’s noteworthy that Jimdo has a mobile app for iOS and Android. The apps allow you to write blog posts and update your Jimdo website on the go. The iOS one was named one of Apple’s “Best of 2013” apps. Read our review of the Android application.
The new Jimdo offers 30 customizable templates. Each new template comes in numerous pre-styled variations. Additionally, if you know a thing or two about coding, you can create a unique template for your Jimdo site using their Custom Template Interface (HTML/CSS editor + file manager). After your site is ready, you can change your template without losing any of your content.
Style by element. When customizing your site’s look, you’ll notice the Style by element toggle. The toggle lets you choose between applying changes to a single element or to all the elements of that type throughout the website. This powerful toggle helps you avoid lots of manual work.
#4 Customer Support
Jimdo has an excellent Support Center offering various forms of support, from basic tutorials to live chat and Community Forum. Their knowledge base is rather handy and easy-to-navigate. I also like its simple language.
#5 Pricing Policy
Similar to other website builders, Jimdo offers a free basic account allowing you to see how the system works (you can display and sell up to 5 items within this plan). In order to connect your own domain, as well as unlock more features and increase storage, you have to purchase either a Pro ($90/year) or Business ($240/year) plan.
It would be great if they could add user management options. These come in handy when you run a webstore. There’s no way to add multiple contributors.
Jimdo Review: Conclusion
Jimdo is an established website builder that powers roughly 12M websites from nearly every country on the planet. It has a decent blogging and eCommerce platforms. It’s suitable for creating personal blogs, corporate sites and also webstores. If I could change anything about Jimdo, I would certainly add user management options as well as the ability to add multiple contributors. Besides, I would divide the whole admin panel into two sections: design area and content area. And what are your thoughts?