What Does a 3-Minute Website Look Like?
Jimdo is all about ease of use, but does it offer enough features for us to take it seriously?
German-based Jimdo is definitely an easy platform to work with. It requires no coding knowledge or technical experience, and it’s so much fun to use, it doesn’t even feel like work. Seriously, it’s so easy, even my grandmother could get her first site online within three minutes.
But you are not my grandmother. Sure, you want a site builder that’s easy to use, but you also want to make sure you’re going to get a fully functional website that can do everything you need it to do. You want your site to look great, and you want to be able to customize it according to your specific needs.
You don’t want to waste a lot of time on the platform only to discover it’s overly simple or too restrictive, and you certainly don’t want to invest a lot of money in the wrong solution.
I’m here to help! I signed up with Jimdo and built my own 3-minute website, but I didn’t stop there. I checked the features, the templates, the plans, and the pricing, and now I have all the answers you’re looking for. Read on to find out if Jimdo is the right site builder for you.
Legends of the Hidden Templates
Jimdo’s templates are all customizable and mobile-responsive. The selection is quite limited, but not as limited as you’d think.
I’ll give it to you straight — Jimdo’s templates aren’t one of its strong suits. Initially, there are only about 15 to choose from, plus a blank template if you want to build your site from scratch.
However, once you’ve created your website, you can choose from more page templates through the Design menu in the editor. Here, you’ll find about 40 templates, and each one comes with several variations.
It’s a bit of a strange decision on Jimdo’s part to keep these hidden from plain view, but anyway, now you know where to find them.
As for the designs themselves — they aren’t bad, but they’re not very exciting either. They could be enough for a personal site or a brochure-style small business site, but they probably wouldn’t be appropriate for larger scale websites.
On the bright side, the templates’ simplicity makes them very easy to customize, and with Creator, Jimdo’s beginner-friendly editor, you should be able to tweak them easily.
You can add an element almost anywhere on the page with just a couple of clicks. You can change the text and style of the template by selecting an element and using the styling tools. If you want to add or replace images, you can drag and drop them directly from your computer.
On Jimdo’s pricing page, they say that only websites on the Pro plans or higher are mobile-optimized. But after using Jimdo myself, it seems that all websites are mobile-responsive, whether they’re free or paid.
Another feature I like is that you can preview your website in desktop mode as well as horizontal or vertical mobile phone displays.
With Creator’s drag-and-drop functionality, you can’t drop elements exactly where you want, but you can quickly reposition them while sticking to the overall page layout.
Jimdo Puts the Fun in Functionality
Jimdo offers a variety of user-friendly tools — but again, they are a bit limited.
Whether it’s SEO, e-commerce, or blogging — Jimdo provides tools to help build your site and drive traffic to it.
While these tools are pretty good, they are a bit lacking in depth. They’re great for beginners, or experienced users looking to build a simple website. But Jimdo won’t be your best option for a large e-commerce site or a world-class blog.
Another nice thing about Jimdo is that it supports seven languages, including English, Dutch, German, French, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish. And wherever you are in the world (well, almost), Jimdo provides country-specific settings for your store or website.
Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting features Jimdo has to offer.
Jimdo Dolphin is a new way of building your website with the help of AI. The Dolphin wizard will ask you for some business information and let you choose between a few styling options.
Based on your answers, Dolphin will come up with a complete website design for you in just three minutes.
However, the options are quite limited — as of now, you can only create sites in a few very specific business categories, even if you say you want to build a personal site.
There are a few other important differences between Creator and Dolphin.
First of all, Dolphin features an even simpler website editor. Instead of styling, positioning, and sizing every element on its own, you can pick from prearranged page sections or colors and fonts.
Dolphin doesn’t yet have blogging capabilities and its e-commerce and SEO tools are simpler than what Creator has to offer.
Dolphin also has its own pricing plans. More information on that below.
If you’re looking to get a website online in as little time as possible, then Dolphin is for you. You’ll just have to give up some of the freedom and control over styling that Creator provides.
You can find an in-depth comparison between Creator and Dolphin here.
Personalized SEO Guidance with rankingCoach (or Do It Yourself)
Jimdo gets the SEO basics right. You can customize your URLs, meta descriptions, and page titles — something not every builder allows.
It will also help you generate an XML Sitemap and get your website indexed on Google so it can start showing up in search results. You’ll also have a friendly statistics tools to analyze your performance.
Jimdo will even help you promote your website content on Facebook and provide analytics for it.
The real star feature is that you get rankingCoach for free with some of the paid plans. This is a premium tool that will give you personalized feedback on your search engine optimization and make suggestions to improve it. If rankingCoach isn’t included with your plan, you can also buy it as an add-on.
Create a Store in a Flash
If you want to start selling products online, Jimdo provides a quick solution. The e-commerce plans have all the essentials you need to run a simple, small-to-medium online store. You can create a store as a new website or add one to an existing Jimdo site.
You can set up multiple payment methods, including PayPal, Stripe, and manual payments. There are no transaction fees or limits to how much you can sell. With the Unlimited plan, you can sell an unlimited number of products.
Keep in mind that part of the reason why Jimdo e-commerce features are so easy to use is that the tools are very simple. There are no product categories or real-time shipping tools, product variations are pretty basic, and digital products are not supported (but check here for a workaround).
Ease of use
One of the Easiest Ways to Build a Website
The Jimdo builder makes it possible for just about anyone to build and manage a website, but if you have big ambitions, it might be too limiting.
I meant it when I said that even my grandmother could build a website with Jimdo.
With Dolphin, you can get your site online in just three minutes. I checked. It actually works. Then, I decided to take the longer route and use Creator. It didn’t take me very long to sign up, build a simple template-based website, and set up an online store.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect.
Building a Website with Jimdo
I’ve worked with quite a few website builders over the past few years, and not many are easier to use than Jimdo. Signing up and setting up your site shouldn’t take very long. You can see the step-by-step process here.
You can create new pages simply by editing your main navigation menu on any page and adding another entry. You can also activate the store features just by creating a new product, or activate the blog with just the click of a button.
As a new user, you’ll also be guided through the builder with tips and a step-by-step guide:
However, sometimes Jimdo can be frustratingly simple. Besides the limited design options, there isn’t even a ‘save as draft’ function. Any changes you make will immediately be live on your website.
On the positive side, I must mention the fantastic mobile app that you can use to manage and even build your websites from your phone or tablet.
An Intuitive Dashboard
As soon as you log in, you can immediately edit your website, view all your websites, preview your website, or access your account settings, or access support:
What I don’t like is the giant promotional block at the top of the dashboard. I’d rather have this out of the way, somewhere below the website panel.
If you go to Switch your website, you’ll see them color-coded — purple for Creator sites, green for Dolphin. It’s easy to upgrade, edit, or delete websites from here.
Adding Widgets to Your Website Is Easy
Although Jimdo doesn’t have an app store and the types of elements you can add to your pages are quite limited, there are a few useful ones, such as a table, a music player, a Facebook box, and a Twitter follow button.
Jimdo also lets you add other external widgets or apps like calendars to your pages using custom code.
But wait! You don’t actually have to know how to code. All you have to do is add a widget element to your page and paste in the embed code. You can then move it around or resize it just like any other element. Admittedly, I’m not sure if my grandmother could do it, but you probably can.
All We Need Is Just a Little Patience...
Jimdo only offers ticket support, and you may have to wait a while to get a response.
Jimdo only provides customer support through its knowledge base and an email/ticket system. For Creator, there are no guarantees about response times or availability. For Dolphin, response times are supposed to be 1-2 business days for most plans, but under an hour for Unlimited.
If you’re new to Jimdo, you’ll find the knowledge base very helpful. There are plenty of step-by-step tutorials waiting there for you.
However, as far as actual support goes…well, don’t expect great service. I was a free user for a while, and in all that time, I only got a reply once. I can understand why the company would prioritize its paying customers, but promising support and not delivering at all can cause a lot of frustration.
Once you become a paying customer, the service you get improves dramatically. I signed up for a Business plan and usually got a reply within an hour or two (during business hours).
One of the first times I reached out to support was to check if I’d get a free email account and whether I’d be able to change my Dolphin website to Creator and vice versa. The support agent was very polite and actually addressed both my questions — something you can’t take for granted these days.
If you write to support outside of business hours, you might not get such a quick response. A question I asked on a Saturday was only answered on the following Monday:
At least the answer came first thing Monday morning. I like how they provide a short step-by-step description as well as links to the documentation:
Budget-Friendly, but with a Few Crucial Limitations
Before you sign up for a Jimdo plan, be sure to read the fine print carefully to see exactly what you’re going to get. If you can find it, that is.
When it comes to pricing, all that ease of use goes out the window. It’s almost like they’re trying to make things as complicated as possible.
The first thing you should know is that Jimdo Creator and Jimdo Dolphin have different pricing plans. What could possibly be the reasoning behind this? I don’t know.
The second thing you should know is that you’ll only see the Creator pricing plans by default on Jimdo’s website. If you choose to build your site with Dolphin, the pricing will change.
You can’t switch between Creator and Dolphin once you’ve started building your site, and there’s no page on the Jimdo website where you can compare all the different plans before you get started. What could possibly be the reasoning behind that? Your guess is as good as mine.
Each one has a free plan and four paid plans. The prices are pretty comparable with most other builders, but I’d still say Jimdo is one of the cheapest.
That’s nice and all, but Jimdo is also one of the only site builders that will limit the number of pages your site can have. With the free plans, you only get five pages. Even the paid plans limit you to 10 or 50 pages. Only the Unlimited plan, which isn’t cheap at all, will give you an unlimited number of pages.
With the free plan, you can’t connect your own domain, and Jimdo will show ads on your website. You do get an SSL certificate, and low priority support is supposed to be available (although you’ll rarely get a response).
Since you do get full access to the website building tools, the free plan is a good way to take Jimdo for a test drive and see if you like it. You can build a very simple blog, personal site, or small online store (with PayPal and five products only). Upgrading to a paid plan is easy.
The paid plans come with more storage and bandwidth, a free domain, and priority support. You also get more SEO tools. Just keep in mind that the free domain is only valid for the first year. After that, you’ll need to pay a yearly fee.
Cancellations & Refunds
Jimdo offers a 14-day no-questions-asked refund policy. All you have to do is submit a ticket saying you want to cancel your account, and Jimdo will take care of the rest.
To see what happened when I cancelled my account and requested a refund, click here.
If you purchase rankingCoach as an add-on, it comes with a 16-day refund policy.
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There's always room for improvement but Jimdo simply works. It's the most robust website builder I've found and I've explored about thirty alternatives including some of the big names. You can actually build a very sophisticated site with the cheaper of the pro packages they offer, upgrade anytime if you require even more bells and whistles and the learning curve isn't too steep. They have servers on three continents and sites load extremely fast. Their online store options, included in each package, are powerful and include linkable product view sliders and numerous appearance/layout options. Jimdo templates are extremely flexible and a joy to work with. You can build anything from a few pages and a blog at pro level, to a massive site streaming thousands of videos with their business offering, as bandwidth and storage are both unlimited. SEO tools are included and of course you can add as many external widgets as you like with full the built-in html editor. They even have a mobile app. If you like to edit on the move and all their templates are responsive and resize beautifully on all devices - except toasters :) What's not to like!
We have loved the ease of use and beauty of customer service from Jimdo for years. But with their recent unwillingness to work with google for us, we view them with suspicion. Google has website providers who routinely work with website hosters for getting the clients good email addresses. Jimdo instead of working with google attacked us, and that is unacceptable. We are hugely disappointed in Jimdo and will be working on moving our website to another host provider asap. The ease of use of an email is critical to a business; Jimdo seems to have something to hide from google given all the work they went into trying to attack us for doing so. Wow, we are hugely sad at jimdo. If they think google is a competitor, they are not. If they want to battle google, they may as well battle the universe. We as a business who uses google's tools can't have a provider who battles google. Can anyone truthfully?
BTW, google gave us two phone numbers for jimdo to call them so google could help them with the process and coding. Instead jimdo turned on us as a client, ignored us/pretended to escalate during a chat but hung up on us, and had a senior manager email us his disapproval when we became mad. All we wanted was help to get a good google email. Instead our web host provider jimdo ignored us, hung up on us, attacked us. Not the best choice if you are a start up. We'll ask google who to go to now, someone who at least can work with them.
A great way to launch your storefront. Simple to use and easy to customize. Very search engine friendly and installing new plugins is a snap.
Jimdo was my first experience with a website builder tool and I must say, it was an excellent start into this area. I decided for Jimdo based upon it's shop features and it's ease of use. I wanted something that would take me a minimum amount of time to build and manage... and that I HAVE :)
On the down side, in order to build a "multi-language" site, you'll be forced to use the "menu structure"... considering that there isn't a huge choice of templates this really limits you in the possible looks the moment you want to build a multi-language site.
For the Shop, I think it's great, easy, there is a good tracking and order process system, on the other hand the templates... again down allow you to make the best possible use of this shop unless you use a bit of imagination to make it CLEAR that there is a shopping cart on your site ;)
In this review it also mentions that the shop is it's best feature... I have to say, I may not have found all the "options" or "features" but I don't think they are extraordinary and would be surprised if others are less?! But like said, I have not tried many others to date.
Jimdo is an absolutely useless piece of junk site creator. If you've never even made a website before and you know nothing about making a decent website, you might think it's fine. DO NOT USE THIS SITE IF YOU ARE A STUDENT! That is, unless you'd like to risk losing some grades because the site doesn't even work properly 99% of the time. Love waiting for a document to load for an hour? Then try loading one onto your Jimdo site. You'll wait forever, and guess what? It never loads! It'll stop at the very end of the progress bar and do nothing. Then you can call their incompetent technical support team and waste more time getting absolutely nothing done. STUDENTS NEVER USE THIS SITE. None of my professors can get to my page. I will change my password when it tells me it is incorrect and it took three times for the new passwords emailed to me to work. Three different passwords, because it to be changed three times before it worked. I feel awful for businesses who got sucked into using this. Probably the worst investment a business could ever make, ever. Or anyone for that matter.