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Reviews and expert opinion Homestead

Donna Moses Donna Moses Website Development Expert

Homestead is a veteran in the website builder market. To its credit, it has acquired quite a following among those who just want a simple small business site. This builder has some strong features including a super-easy editor interface, SEO tools, and powerful reporting.

Overview

homestead-overview

Homestead makes building a website relatively easy but there’s plenty of room to step up

To compare the best website builders on ease of use, templates, customer service, and value for money, we tried to build the same site on each platform. Check out the results here.

Homestead is one of the oldest website builders but it still boasts some useful features for creating functional small business and personal websites. For starters, Homestead is cloud-based hosting, meaning you can access your website and edit it from any desktop or browser.

This site builder has a simple interface, so just about anyone can use the available tools to build a website from scratch. Although Homestead has pretty good site analytics and some e-commerce functions, it lacks the seamlessness and flexibility of newer site builders. Sorely absent is the ability to build a mobile responsive website, a feature that is completely necessary for today’s increasingly mobile world.

Setting up an e-commerce storefront is not as straightforward as it is with other modern site builders and the additional costs quickly add up. So, if mobile optimization and selling online are important to you, you might want to look elsewhere.

It is commendable that Homestead provides hosting but the downside is if you want to transfer your site to a different hosting service, you’d have to start building and editing your site from scratch. Luckily, Homestead has a generous 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test out this site builder before fully committing.

4.3

Templates

homestead-templates

Hundreds of Customizable Templates with HTML Access

Templates for every business: Whatever your niche is, you will likely find a template that works just fine. Even then, Homestead’s templates look and feel a bit old-fashioned so you might want to look at other builders if you need templates with a more contemporary vibe.

Customizable: Luckily, Homestead lets you customize templates so you can change anything from the colors to the layout, images, and copy. Advanced users will love the idea of adding custom HTML code to edit specific sections of the website. It’s also possible to add videos and Flash animation.

Mobile responsive: The templates here are not mobile responsive and this is a serious deal breaker for anyone who knows what they want from a site builder. What Homestead has done on this one is to link up with another site builder, Duda, so you can use its editor to build a mobile website. But, there’s a catch…you’d need to pay an additional fee to use the Duda editor so you might as well just use Duda to build your website from the get-go!

4.5

Features

Solid Tools to Get Your Business Online

SEO: In spite of some of its shortcomings, Homestead is really serious about business – its mission is for you to ‘get a site, get found, get customers.’ It does just that with its robust SEO tool that lets you add meta tags, meta titles, and keywords to make your website visible on the search engine pages.

Blog: The blog manager module lets you add a decent blog page. Blog posts can be saved as drafts to be published later, but it would have been better if it were possible to set posts to publish at a specific date and time, as is standard with other site builders. You can easily add a comments widget and social follow buttons to your posts.

Site analytics: Homestead has some pretty neat reporting tools that let you see your website’s performance in real time. You can keep track of the most popular pages, the source of site visitors, site visitors’ navigational path etc. These metrics are a huge plus for any business.

4.3

Ease of use

homestead-ease-of-use

Take Your Business Online With a Few Clicks

Although Homestead feels a little bit outdated, its simple and clear editing interface removes many of the hassles of building a website. Adding or editing page elements only requires you to select the appropriate area and a click of a button allows you to apply the changes to all pages.  Compared to some site builders, Homestead’s editor makes it pleasantly easy to move elements around the page and to resize most objects to your preference.

4.6

Support

homestead-supportHomestead’s support stacks up really well in comparison to some of the newer builders. You can speak with a support representative on live chat for an immediate response or reach them on phone. There is no email support, but that does not seem to me like a real deal breaker – after all, the in-depth tutorials and online community forum are good sources of information for many common questions.
4.3

Pricing

What Does It Cost to Get a Site, Get Found, and Get Customers?

While you will not get a free-for-life account with Homestead as is the norm with other popular builders, you have up to 30 days free to get a feel of the features, after which you will be automatically billed if you do not cancel your chosen account.

There are three plans available with the Starter plan being the cheapest. This one gives you up to five pages, 5GB monthly bandwidth, 25MB worth of storage, and one domain.

The Business Plan offers 5GB and 100GB of storage and bandwidth respectively, supports up to 100 pages, allows 5 email address, and 3 custom domains.

Upgrading to the Business Plus plan gets you 10GB storage, 500GB bandwidth, up to 50 email addresses, three domains, and an unlimited number of web pages.

All three plans give you access to thousands of royalty free images, site analytics, and customer support. However, if you want to build an online store, e-commerce plans incur additional costs.

Comparison

How does Homestead match up to the competition?

WixCompare4.9Compare
SquarespaceCompare4.8Compare
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SimpleSiteCompare2.5Compare

Homestead REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

Homestead is a veteran in the website builder market. To its credit, it has acquired quite a following among those who just want a simple small business site. This builder has some strong features including a super-easy editor interface, SEO tools, and powerful reporting.

However, the fact that mobile/responsive templates are not available is a complete letdown. This issue alone will cause many people to look at other site builders instead. There is no denying that mobile is a big deal—if your website cannot seamlessly fit on the small screen, it’s likely that potential customers will be put off and you’ll be losing money. Homestead also needs to look into upgrading the design and feel of its templates, to offer contemporary choices. So, if elements like mobile, e-commerce and stunning templates are important to you, it’s best to consider other site builders.

Before you make a decision, read my colleague’s comparison of the best website builders to make sure you’re not missing out on better alternatives.

Donna Moses Donna Moses
Donna is a passionate writer who is all about creating engaging and thought-provoking content for the tech and online world. She is an avid lover of new technology and internet trends.
3.8

User reviews

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Long-time user

I have been with Homestead for years. I started when it was free. It has changed a lot in that time and for me, not for the good. My site is suddenly not secure and I have spent hours building on the new platform only to discover that many of the options I have used for years are no longer available. Forms and guest book are a few. I always had unlimited pages, but it looks like I am going to be limited to 5, according to this article. I'm deeply concerned. Authors and seniors on a limited income are gradually being weeded out. Long-term customers are no longer appreciated?

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Linda L Rigsbee, USA
June 12, 2022
3
Homestead does have mobile built in

I don't know what you're talking about when you say homestead doesn't let you create a mobile version. It automatically creates a mobile version and you can edit it independently. The only thing that costs more is to add a store to your site. If all you want is to sell a few things, then you can just add the paypal buttons they have and you don't even need to add a store.

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Egghead, USA
April 29, 2020
5
Homestead site builder does not offer help

When Homestead first began it offered live chat, helpline. Now after a reboot those options have disappeared from their website. You cannot get help other than posting on a forum and hoping somebody knows a solution. Desktop and mobile used to be available for one price now separate . Mobile site is more difficult to set up now that they have changed.

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anonymus, USA
January 14, 2020
3

I agree, while you can setup your website fairly quickly, I a bit disappointed their is no live support, particularly at the business level subscription there should be live support.

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anonymus , USA
June 02, 2022
I am very pleased with Homestead

Homestead provides modern Templates and excellent support via phone. They are using Websitebuilder as their builder. The downsides are a more than bare bones forms creator, they only support Google for site search, and their "online community" isn't all that useful. I have been very satisfied over the past 5 years.

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Michelle Vine, USA
March 04, 2018
4
Family sharingMulti User SharingExpert SupportBackupSmart syncPersonal SolutionBusiness SolutionTeams optionsOffline foldersFile history and recovery
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