The first version of IM Creator website builder was launched in New York by Jonathan Saragossi in 2011. It is still available as «Creator». Much has changed since that time. Modern IM Creator (IM XPRS) is one of the best SaaS-platforms with a visual editor. It is meant for newbies willing to create blogs, online stores, business websites, portfolios and landing pages.
One of the interesting features of the system is its free premium accounts for non-commercial organizations, students and artists. Other users can also use IM Creator for free, but they don’t have an opportunity to connect their own domains to the websites created.
What’s surprising, eCommerce functionality is included into the terms of Free accounts. This is quite unusual. Any person can start selling products or services in terms of the platform without investing any money at all.
IM Creator initially seems a very interesting website builder. It is mature, appealing and offers solutions that are non standard for the niche. It looks like we have the leader of the WYSIWYG niche in 2018. The final decision depends upon the quality of realization, depth of functionality and convenience of use. Now we can analyze all the features of the service to draw the exact conclusions.
1. Ease of Use
IM Creator is a website builder with one of the most convenient visual editors. All websites are made of responsive blocks – stripes of versatile structure and functionality. By interchanging the required stripes and setting them up, you get a readymade website. There is nothing simpler than that.
There are no even widgets (separate elements) here, which are often considered too complicated for combination by many users. Due to the availability of the ready made blocks, the system ensures complete automatization. It’s impossible to spoil or mix something up here.
The interface is pleasant, the ergonomics is on the high level. Nonetheless, the editor abounds in options, icons and other elements. It is moderately simple and you have to be attentive when working with it. Otherwise, you run a risk to overlook menu access, a switch option or something like that. The majority of the settings panels come with tabs. IM Creator is a bit deeper and more complicated than you may think, when seeing it for the first time.
Generally, this is one of the most convenient and logically-structured systems. It is a perfect choice for newbies. It takes around 1-2 hours only to explore it. What matters most, IM Creator allows getting the required result quickly and effectively.
If you wish, you can publish your website on the registration day. This is real. Due to its approach to web page design, the system ensures reliable protection from any mistakes. Whatever you do, this will initially look nice.
2. Feature Set and Flexibility
The major functional element of this website builder is a stripe. Each page consists of interchangeable responsive blocks with versatile content. Depending on its purpose, each stripe has its own settings. The essence of building websites with IM Creator goes down to the right compatibility and design of such blocks. Their combinations and design edits will give diverse effect.
Websites created with the system will look similar and have the same conception because of a simple working process. That’s not bad as they have modern look, are quite functional and can boast appealing designs on any devices. Unification of the web creation process simplifies and speeds up the work, especially for newbies. Generally, IM Creator is a decent choice in terms of the organization of the working space and seamless approach.
Almost all the actions within the editor can be made with a mouse only. The borders of each block are clearly seen and you can move them to narrow down and extend the working area of a container. It is also possible to change the block places, copy and delete them. Apart from that, you can manually regulate the maximum block width, spaces, positions of inner elements as well as set up the display format. The system abounds in options and features.
To add new stripes, you should activate the “+” button between the neighboring blocks. You’ll see a beautiful animation and the list of the available stripes, which are sorted out by categories based on their purpose: header, projects, services, features, gallery, pricing, team, article, text block, bio/cv, blog, forms, slideshow, social, call to action, testimonials, logos, maps, widgets, elements. Each category contains around 5-10 block realization options.
It should be mentioned that stripes «widgets» category allows adding the Google event schedule list, SoundCloud audio player, OpenTable reservation form (which makes IM Creator an interesting solution for restaurants), PDF viewer and connecting Facebook comments. In other words, you can add blocks here, the functionality of which will differ from the combination of the standard elements (text, images, video etc.).
The basic principle is as follows: editor areas are subdivided into sections, by clicking which you get a menu of tools, options etc. The items you will be offered will depend upon the block and element type you will click. There are several variants here. Have a look at the example: some blocks come with a small “+” icon, by clicking which you will be offered an «Add a new element or item» menu to add videos, icons, links, dividers or blank containers.
By clicking a certain element (like slideshow), you will see a menu that allows choosing an overlay color, adding a link or getting to the section settings – a menu with a rich choice of options in the sections, namely:
- “Settings” offering a choice of visible section elements (button, title, subtitle, body), an opportunity to set up the alignment and vertical block position or activate its full-screen height;
- “Slideshow” allows setting up the slideshow duration and autoplay;
- “F/X” providing a choice of one of 11 effects for passive elements and mouse hover. It is also possible to choose a filter and shadow factors;
- “Pro” makes it possible to choose the maximum stripe and content area width as well as the space values (padding/margin, px) for each element inside a section.
It should be mentioned that Section Settings for different stripes may notably differ in terms of the character and structure of settings. That is why, you have to be very attentive, when working with IM Creator editor: there are no many options here at first sight, but new menus will start emerging as soon as you start clicking the elements and different screen areas. This is when a comparatively simple editor will start looking a powerful tool to set up all the required options.
Apart from that, there are also high level menus here, the settings of which affect the entire website or separate pages. In the left central part of a screen, you will find a «Website Style» settings icon that allows creating new web pages and choosing the existing ones for further editing. There are several sections of settings here, namely:
- “Style” that allows choosing website template type (wide or narrow), default fonts and web page background;
- “Menu”, which offers a choice of one of 9 menu layout types (center-oriented, sidebar, hamburger, hidden etc.);
- “Scroll f/x” providing a choice of one of 3 scrolling effects (slide, grow, fade);
- “Page widgets” that allows adding web page widgets (chat, share, feedback, loader, topper, ribbon, snow or custom code).
That’s not it. There is also a tool bar in the upper part of a screen, which grants access to backup creation, reference section, website copy save option, cancel feature, preview, publication. You will also find a web page management menu here (creation, copying, filling out SEO parameters) and an opportunity to add/set up popup elements (fields, text, position, width and height, display terms).
You will be able to add your HTML code in the site header. IM Creator also allows editing your website from a mobile phone (iOS only), having downloaded a brand AppStore application and connected to the website through the QR code.
IM Creator SEO
Websites launched with IM Creator have a clear quality code and are well-indexed by the search engines. Having created a website with this service, you can count on good promotion perspectives in terms of those factors, which depend on the system itself (speed of work, web page code validity, correct out-of-the-box settings etc.).
You can personally set up search engine visibility for each web page, add title, description and keywords, upload favicon and social image, connect Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel. Obviously, you can connect a domain name to the website, but only after you upgrade to the premium subscription.
Apart from the sections, which differ in the type of the displayed content only, Blog and Store cause extra interest. These are the stripes, the use of which can change your website type. Basically, these are independent functional units, which are wider than the rest ones. It makes sense to discuss their features in detail.
IM Creator Blog
You can choose one of 5 variants of the news feed structure. All of them look visually appealing: title, description, full publication button. They can be designed by various combinations of positions and visibility. Apart from that, it is possible to insert a video or something else into the content field (the part, where an image is inserted by default).
Just like any other section, a blog comes with its own settings block, namely:
- “Settings”, where you can choose a blog structure type, the number of elements and spaces in a line as well as the height of each of them. You can also remove a section header and a title with a description here;
- “Background”, where you can select the preferred colour, your own image or the one from the media center of the service;
- “Layout”, where you can set up the publication template output (format, alignment, boxed or stretched);
- “Effects”, which allows setting up the effects when a section appears on a screen or when you hover a mouse on it, choosing filters and opacity degree of the title images;
- “Pro” that makes it possible to set up section width, content part, spaces between the elements and neighboring sections as well as to activate the image download ban option.
You can view the posts list in this menu, change their sorting and add new ones. To edit the posts, you should choose a text and the «Edit Post» section in the opened menu. You will see an editor, in which you can prepare an article, using all the available IM Creator elements.
Blog functionality is organized in a peculiar way here. It is convenient to use it, but its options obviously lag behind those of specialized services. Its feature set will be enough for a business website, a personal website or news presentation.
IM Creator eCommerce
To add an online store, you should choose a corresponding stripe and add it to the page. The service offers 9 variants of show window designs that can be set up just like any other sections. To activate Store Settings, you should click any stripe area and a gear icon – the principle remains the same as in the rest of IM Creator sections. You will get access to the following sections:
- “Settings”, where you can select gallery type (regular, fit, mazonite), the number of products displayed in a line, distance between them and height of each item;
- “Background” offering the choice of a layout color that will be visible between product cards;
- “Layout” providing a choice of product card templates and types of content alignment in them;
- “Effects”, which allows setting up the effects when a block appears on a page or when you hover a mouse on it;
- “Pro”, where you can set up the maximum width of web store sections, separate items, content part and spaces between the elements.
Visual show window set up is organized in the same way as for the rest of the stripes. You can access the Store Dashboard from the section menu. The dashboard contains the major parameter sections, including:
- “Summary” with the general info on the amount of active web store sections, products, orders and profit;
- “Sections”, where you can get access to all the published sections with products and their settings: the choice of product type (physical, digital or service), cost edit option, SKU, names, subtitles, descriptions and upload of new products to the chosen section. You can also change product display order, add the discount in percentage, shipping cost or assign a «sold out» status.
- “All Products”, which offers a list of products from all the published web store sections. The settings are the same as those applied for the products of a separate section;
- “Orders” enlisting the orders with customer data, dates etc.;
- “Communication” offering the settings of email formats automatically sent to the clients from a web store;
- “Transfers”, where you can add the payment details to accept online payments. Bank account, PayPal and Stripe are available here. You can also have a look at the turnover rate of your web store;
- “Settings”, where you may find fields to provide your web store name, currency, shipping cost and email for notifications.
It makes sense to point out an important nuance: any item has a default «buy» button, which comes with a link to the shopping cart. That is, a popup window will appear after you click on it, which will offer you to provide your credit card data and email to confirm the payment as well as an opportunity to send notifications about an order status.
Helpful Tip: if you wish to open a separate page with product description, you should tick a «description» box in the «Products» section. You can also add or replace an image there. These data will be displayed on a separate product page.
IM Creator online store is quite simple. Show windows look appealing, it is easy to edit them and add products. They offer basic currency, payment and shipping settings. This solution will come up for trading platforms with a limited product list. For example, you can create several pages and add product categories with 2-3 show window screens on each of them. Such e-store will function and look well.
|Number of Themes:||More than 100|
|Professional Templates:||✔ YES|
|Free Themes:||✔ YES|
|Responsive Design:||✔ YES|
|Sort by Industry:||✔ YES|
|CSS Code Editing:||✘ NO|
IM Creator templates consist of stripe-related tools you get along with an editor. Obviously, design will matter a lot here. Ready made designs look very nice.
You cannot call them stunning as we still deal with a typical responsive structure, which features standard tendencies and consistency. Nonetheless, the choice of templates is appealing due to their quality and versatility of section design approaches.
It should be pointed out that you cannot change a template when working with it. If you edit the content and save it, then you’ll have to create a new website to change a template. So, it makes sense to choose the design that will be maximally close to your goal right from the start.
Category names give a hint on the niches IM Creator works best for. It makes sense to highlight restaurant, wedding and real estate business. By the way, eCommerce designs also have decent look. Let’s say, you will hardly find a customer, who will refuse to place an order in such a web store, if a product comes up to the requirements and preferences. We also liked music templates: they are attractive and make it possible not only to present your creativity, but also to sell music or video.
Design customization options are quite extensive: you can add or delete the sections, change their positions, set up the structure of each of them, spaces, inner content etc. All these features make it possible to get quite versatile websites.
There is also an opportunity to add your own widgets as a code. To do that, you should choose «Raw» in the «Website Style» options block and then access the «Code» tab in the menu you are offered. This is where you can write any HTML, JS and CSS code. You can also select «Raw» widget in the «Elements» section and do the same.
Generally, IM Creator websites look modern and attractive. The animated preview mode will surely appeal to many users. Nonetheless, you cannot change templates on the go and edit the codes of the available stripes or items.
However, you can add HTML code to a header or integrate your own widgets into a website. This surely requires coding skills and not everyone needs that. The majority of users will be satisfied with visual design editing tools and results.
4. Сustomer Support
There is a “Help” link in the IM Creator editor header, where you can activate tips, view a short informative video on how to work with the system, visit the Knowledge Center (a detailed FAQ with sections and search option) or get in touch with the tech support team, leaving your Email for feedback.
When it comes to customer support, the service features a standard for the first-class projects level: everything you need is available here and works on a decent level.
5. White Label
Apart from standard premium accounts, IM Creator offers extended licenses for resellers, hosting companies and professional designers. White Label license model grants user the right of the unlimited use of all the website builder resources.
You can use the service under your own brand name without mentioning the third-party representatives and launch your own SaaS projects to make profit with them. This can be beneficial for independent web designers, who need the unlimited access to the website builder, web studios, hosting companies willing to launch their own website builders or corporate clients, who have the intention to establish their business presence on the web.
IM Creator offers 3 types of White Label licenses:
- Standard White Label ($350/year) – Unlimited Licenses, Remove IM Creator brand & replace with yours, Full billing & pricing control, Full control over users, Show your own templates.
- Host It Yourself ($2500/year) – offers the features provided by the Standard White Label plus cPanel Integration, Get downloadable version, Host websites on your servers, Editor’s CSS control, Your own domains API.
- Servers Control (25K/year) – provides the above-mentioned features as well as Login APIs, cPanel & API, Server ownership.
The purchase of a standard license version makes it possible for an ordinary user to create the unlimited number of websites within the system. You will be offered a feature set at the 3.5-year rent cost on the terms of a standard premium license. This will surely be beneficial for web designers.
The second plan will come up to the needs of cloud hosting companies and web studios. The most expensive plan works well for classic hosting companies. Thus, the White Label IM Creator price model encompasses the entire niche segment of this service type.
6. Pricing Policy
Students, artists and non-commercial websites can get premium IM Creator for free. With this purpose, they have to get in touch with the tech support team of the service by email, having provided the domain name of the website or other proofs of compliance with the terms of the loyalty program.
Others may use the system for free for the unlimited period of time, having availed all the features of the editor. In this case, however, it will be impossible to connect your own domain and remove the system ad from the footer. These restrictions are removed after the purchase of any premium license.
We recommend considering IM Creator a paid service to all those users, who are going to make profit with it. Free account won’t work well for business management not only in this system, but also in any other competitor. It can be used to test the functionality of the service only or create a website, but then you’ll have to buy the required license:
- Annual Licence ($8/month) – one-time yearly payment ($96/year), 1 domain, 1 website, unlimited bandwidth, storage space, premium tech support, eCommerce;
- Biannual Licence ($11/month) – one-time half-year payment ($66/half year), 1 domain, 1 website, unlimited bandwidth, storage space, premium tech support, eCommerce;
- SSL Protected ($21/month) – features of the above mentioned plans plus an opportunity to connect the SSL certificate to one domain name.
When it comes to functionality, IM Creator doesn’t have any pricing plan distinctions. The question is about the period you’d like to pay for and the need for SSL. As a rule, a longer term rent is eventually more beneficial.
It is also important to specify the eCommerce billing nuances. All the sales profits are accumulated on the inner account of your plan. The money can be further transferred through Stripe, PayPAl or Wired with a 5% IM Creator commission fee for the payment transaction.
Generally, the cost of using IM Creator is more than affordable. For around $100/year, you can run an appealing business website or even a web store. This is one of the most beneficial niche solutions that features decent price/quality correlation.
7. Pros and Cons
IM Creator is a quality WYSIWYG website builder that features brand style and approach to the web building process. When testing the service, we have pointed out the following advantages of the system:
- You can start building a website even without registering with the system;
- Appealing responsive templates, an opportunity to add your code to the website;
- Abundance of stripes, convenient customization of sections;
- Wide array of business niches, including restaurant and real estate;
- Practical and affordable White Label model;
- Moderate cost of a yearly premium license;
- An opportunity to get a free premium license for non-commercial projects;
- Quality Knowledge Center.
Convenience of use can also be referred to the benefits of the system, but we didn’t do that. Anyway, the abundance of similar visual menus with versatile settings, which appear after clicking any area, may seem complex at first sight. You need to get used to it. There is nothing complicated about that, but IM Creator interface sometimes lacks ergonomics. This is one of the few noticeable disadvantages of the service. The rest are as follows:
- Paid templates look weird after the purchase of the premium plan in a WYSIWYG website builder;
- The abundance of transition effects slows down the work of the editor;
- Blog functionality could be better.
As to the rest of parameters, IM Creator creates the impression of more than a decent system. This is especially true, considering the low cost of the service and an opportunity to open a web store for $100/year.
IM Creator is a great value for your money. The service will initially come up to the needs of small and medium businesses. Musicians, lawyers, real estate agents, restaurant owners, artists, photographers and other users will be satisfied, when using it.
The system will appeal to practical people, who value the result above all. Yes, the model of creating web pages out of stripes implies certain website similarity. owever, it is easy to launch them, the design is appealing and the websites are perfectly displayed on any mobile devices.
In our opinion, IM Creator is a decent product that may be of great interest for many users. It also makes sense to consider the White Label Standard solution, which offers beneficial terms for the developers of client websites. The disadvantages of the service are minor, while the advantages are substantial. We definitely recommend it.