With another week ahead of us, I have a new review to share with you. This time, I decided to test Jimdo. One of the reasons I decided to review Jimdo is because there have been a lot of discussions about this website builder. Namely, Jimdo is recognisable as one of the easiest-to-use website builders that helped create over 20 million sites. The Jimdo team has been around for eleven years, and this fact alone deserves a comprehensive Jimdo review.
In today’s website-building climate, it’s impossible to stay in business for long if you’re not delivering top-notch products. And Jimdo seems to be doing many things right. Now, as you know, my reviews are not based on how something seems, but on how it actually is. So in order to write this review, I created a website with Jimdo, and now I’ll guide you through all Jimdo’s exciting features, as well as through this website builder’s pros and cons.
As I’ve already mentioned at the beginning of my Jimdo website review, the website creator was launched eleven years ago. What I didn’t mention, though, is that I was convinced that at least one of the three Jimdo founders was named Jim. The website creator’s About Us page proved me wrong, and I found out that Jimdo was created by Matthias Henze, Christian Springub, and Fridtjof Detzner. The company has data centres in Japan, Germany and the US, and it boasts about being one of the best website builders today. The Jimdo team employs around 200 people from 30 different countries. Now, let’s see how good Jimdo is.
Ease of Use
One of the first things that I pay attention to when reviewing site builder software is the level of intuitiveness. With Jimdo, I could cross user-friendliness off my checklist after just a few minutes. I have to say in this Jimdo review, finding my way around Jimdo was a breeze.
Once I registered for an account, the site creator presented me with three types of websites I could build upon, namely a website, blog, or a store. After opting for a website, Jimdo offered me the option of either building my site with their original site builder or letting Jimdo’s intelligent technology do the heavy lifting for me, i.e., create my site for me.
The second option relies on Jimdo’s Artificial Intelligence web builder called Jimdo Dolphin. So once you start the wizard, you answer a few questions and connect your Facebook or Google business page with Jimdo. After the entire process is over, you can customise your site to your liking.
I, however, like the option of working with the Jimdo Creator better. This way, I could explore all the site building tools Jimdo offers, and based on what I’ve seen, it offers a lot. I selected the type of website I wanted to create, a template, and I’ve set my free domain name. At last, I entered the Jimdo Creator. I could start editing elements on my site or visit my Jimdo Dashboard from the left-side menu and create another website.
Drag and Drop
Let’s suppose you want to move the elements of your site around. Jimdo lets you rearrange your content by dragging an element to the desired position. If you want to add an element, you just need to hover over the existing elements, and you’ll see the plus sign icon. Jimdo lets you add anything from videos, images and galleries to headings, text and HTML elements.
One of the tools I’ll point out in this Jimdo website builder review is the image editor. The site creator uses Adobe’s Creative Cloud Image Editor, which allows you to add various effects and frames to your images. The editor also features different tools for enhancing images.
When it comes to cropping, Adobe’s editor offers several cropping dimensions (3:2, 4:3, 5:4, 16:8, etc.). You can also crop the image by typing in the desired width and height with the option of locking the dimensions. With such powerful image editing software, you can easily adjust your images to your liking.
In the next part of my Jimdo review, I want to focus on the content editing options Jimdo provides. In the content editing department, the site creator is not like most of its competitors. The difference between Jimdo and other website builders is that Jimdo allows you to build your content page by adding different types of elements separately. With other website builders, you usually get a text editor with the option of adding images, videos and other types of media in the editing area.
Jimdo, on the other hand, gives you creative freedom in organising your content. With this site builder, you’re building your content as you go. Now, it’s only fair to mention in this Jimdo review, this can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Jimdo’s way of adding content isn’t like standard content editors. If you don’t have the exact outline of your content, you must hover over the elements on your webpage and look for places to add images, videos, etc.
On the other hand, because content editing with Jimdo is so flexible, you eliminate the need to constantly go in and out of a content editor every time you want to add or remove an element. Everything happens right before your eyes on the page you’re editing. Additionally, in the uppermost section, Jimdo websites have a separate area where you can place different page elements, and then relocate them to another page. It’s like a minibus for website elements. How cool is that?
Now, let’s talk about Jimdo’s design options. From the design tab of the Jimdo Creator, you can change a template, edit the style of each site element and alter your site’s background. For styling options, you can change most elements by modifying their font settings, letting you experiment with different font types, sizes and colours. In other instances, you’ll be able to change the background, and if you get carried away, you can always revert changes to the default template settings.
Number of Themes
When it comes to Jimdo themes, the website builder features a small collection of templates. All users can initially choose between 15 different templates. Once they opt in for a specific one, they can browse through that theme’s variations. Each theme has several variations, while template categories include business, portfolio, personal and store. Additionally, if you want to start fresh, you can also start building your site with a blank template or even build your own theme with the Jimdo design kit.
Jimdo templates also include a special template tool for those who are indecisive or have a clear vision about their site’s components. Namely, the site creator lets you use their Template Filter tool, which can save you some time in finding the perfect theme for your website. You adjust your search to show templates with a specific type of navigation, header or content area. This tool will also weed out non-responsive Jimdo templates, i.e., ones that don’t automatically adjust to different screen sizes.
Are the Themes Responsive?
Don’t worry about your site not working flawlessly on multiple devices. While some previous Jimdo templates haven’t been optimised to fit all screens, you can now filter those out with the Template Filter. If a template is named after a city, it’s optimised for different devices, whereas random numbers and letters in the template’s name suggest otherwise. Either way, you can upgrade your template to be a responsive one.
One of the great things about Jimdo is that regardless of the plan you choose, you’ll get full access to all the blogging tools that help launch your Jimdo blog in no time. On the left-side menu of the website editor, you’ll find everything relating to your blog. This area will allow you to add blog posts, categories and tags. You can also manage some general aspects of your blog, such as selecting a date format and share buttons. The available commenting systems include Jimdo and Disqus with the option of disabling/enabling your blog at any time.
We’ve already touched on the subject of adding content to your Jimdo site. It’s essential to explain how the content editing options work in this Jimdo review. Otherwise, the blogging part might get a bit confusing. So, in the blog settings, you’ll have the option to add a new post. This means that the blog tab enables you to set the title of your posts and add a preview image and summary, among other things. The option of setting a custom URL for each blog post is also available. After that, it’s time for the creative part, which takes place directly on the webpage.
If for any reason you don’t like the way Jimdo blogs work, I invite you to take a glance at other site builders I’ve reviewed in the past. You can start with any review, like my reviews of Wix and Ucraft or my Weebly review.
I was quite curious about whether free Jimdo sites have an SSL certificate. Once I created my site, I checked the padlock icon in my address bar. I was informed that my connection was secure and that the SSL certificate from Jimdo has been verified by DigiCert, while the expiry date was March 2020. I double-checked that info on Jimdo’s pricing page, where I discovered that all Jimdo plans, paid and free, use HTTPS encryption. Nice job, Jimdo!
When it comes to the email services provided by Jimdo, you have the option of using the site creator’s webmail as well as setting up a custom email address. If, however, you’re using a Jimdo Free plan, neither of these services will be available to you.
So Jimdo, in partnership with Rackspace, allows paying users to create a custom email address. This service is not included in the Pro or Business plans, but it’s an add-on users can purchase for $12 per year. There’s also the email package offer, which includes 10 email addresses and 20 forwarding addresses, and the cost of this package is $60 per year.
Apart from Jimdo email servers, you can connect your Jimdo domain with other email service providers, including Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite. Additionally, you can use custom MX records.
One of the many elements you can add to Jimdo websites is a form. Jimdo’s basic form includes Name, Email and Message fields. You can set a confirmation message, as well as enable CAPTCHA on your form. That’s not all, however. You can expand a form by adding single- or multiple-line text. This will allow you to add custom form fields. Other elements you can add to a form include checkboxes, drop-down lists, numbers and radio buttons.
If you want to use another form builder, you can do so as well. Jimdo allows you to embed codes via the Widget/HTML element. This means that you can select a form builder and simply insert the form code into the Widget/HTML element on your site.
Next in our Jimdo review is the site’s navigation. Under the standard navigation, Jimdo lists vertical menus displayed on either side of a webpage. There’s also a dropdown menu, side (pop-out) menu or breadcrumbs menu. The good thing is that Jimdo lets you change your template at any time, so if you’ve selected a template with a menu you don’t like, you can change the menu by changing the template.
When I started editing my site, I noticed the template I’d selected uses a top horizontal menu. I didn’t see the option to change the menu type, so I started looking at Jimdo website examples. I noticed that different templates use different types of menus. This was when I realised that Jimdo’s Template Filter could help me discover which types of menus are available with the website builder. I launched the Template Filter tool and found out that there are four menu types you can use with Jimdo.
One of the main reasons for a number of Jimdo user reviews with negative feedback is that the site creator doesn’t offer integrations in a traditional sense of the word. Jimdo doesn’t have an app market where you can find the apps you want to add to your site. Instead, the platform relies on the Widget/HTML element to help you connect your site with different apps.
Jimdo lists widgets it recommend connecting to your site. From the Photo, Video and Audio category, the website builder recommends Vimeo, SoundCloud and 99Designs, among other widgets. The Tools section features widgets such as Google Translate, Google Custom Search and AddThis, while Spectoos and Payhip are Jimdo’s top recommendations among ecommerce tools.
There’s a dedicated live chat Jimdo app for both Android and iOS mobile device users. The Live Chat app allows you to have live chat customer support while you’re on the go. And it’s a free messenger app.
If you don’t want to download an app with the live chat functionality, you always have the option of using the Widget/HTML element. If you opt for this solution, Jimdo recommends Tidio Live Chat for enabling live chat facility on your site. However, based on other Jimdo reviews, the app performs rather well.
When it comes to options available for managing your user base, Jimdo offers the option to password protect specific areas of your site. The website development platform also has a Newsletter Signup element recommending its users add a MailChimp newsletter signup form to their site. Moreover, Jimdo supports POWr plugins, allowing you to add a Membership Form to your site for free.
One of the advantages you’ll find in many Jimdo reviews is that the website builder allows free plan users to launch an online store. To start adding products to your online store you should add the Store Item element; there’s also the option of adding a store catalogue.
Now, under the Store tab, you’ll find your store’s inventory and pending orders. If you’re using a free plan, the only payment option available is PayPal, whereas upgrading your account will unlock more payment options. Under the same tab, you can customise the checkout form, your store’s policies, and shipping costs.
From my point of view, Jimdo offers a solid ecommerce solution. It all, however, depends on what your main criterion for selecting a store builder is. When I compared Jimdo vs Wix, Jimdo won from the financial point of view, as it, unlike Wix, offers the option of building a store free of charge. Then again, in terms of ecommerce features on offer, Wix could easily come out as the winner of this round.
All things aside, Jimdo’s ecommerce functionality cannot compare with that of Shopify or other store builders, but it provides you with a basic set of features for building an online store.
Jimdo Website Performance
This Jimdo website review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t take page speed into account, since it’s one of the ranking factors in search engines. Therefore, I took Jimdo for a test drive on both GTmetrix and Google’s PageSpeed Insights. The results have shown that Jimdo’s performance is somewhere in the middle ground. The website builder’s speed is average, but there’s more room for content optimisation. According to GTmetrix results, Jimdo’s page speed score is a B, which is above average.
However, my research didn’t stop there. Because WordPress boasts about powering 31% of the internet, I decided to test it against Jimdo. In the Jimdo vs WordPress battle, Jimdo’s performance proved to be slightly better than the performance of WordPress. The world’s most popular content management system got a C as a pagespeed score.
How SEO Friendly Is the Site?
In the SEO department, Jimdo offers various tools to help you optimise your site for search engines. Free plan users have fewer SEO tools at their disposal, though. So, with a free plan, you can add and modify your site’s title and description, but only for your Home page, whereas premium plan users can do the same for each page on their site.
With this website builder, prices play a significant role in users’ ability to make their website SEO-friendly. The Jimdo Statistics feature is reserved for JimdoBusiness and JimdoPro plan users only. Furthermore, the option of connecting your Jimdo site with your Google Analytics account is available to paying customers only, but if you have a Facebook Business Manager account, you can track your site’s statistics for free via Facebook Pixel.
When it comes to sitemaps, Jimdo websites automatically generate both an XML and HTML map for your site. If you’ve hidden pages on your site and you’re using a free Jimdo plan, you won’t be able to include these pages in your sitemap. This feature is once again reserved for paid Jimdo plans, along with the option of creating and managing URL redirects. If you want to control how search engines interact with your site, you need access to Advanced SEO and robot meta tags settings, which are again available to JimdoBusiness users only.
Taking all SEO features into account, free Jimdo sites don’t have much room for search engine optimisation. Because of the limited capabilities of Jimdo’s free SEO tools, it might be worth checking the cost of Jimdo Business and Pro plans and deciding whether it pays off to upgrade your site.
Next let’s talk about these Jimdo plans. There are three plans: free, business, and pro. All three plans come with basic features. These features include the option of adding videos, images and other types of content to your site. HTTPS encryption, templates and the option to implement social media tools into your site also fall into the group of basic features.
Now, the bandwidth and storage limit differ from one Jimdo pricing plan to another. Free plan users have 500MB of free storage and 2GB of bandwidth. With the Pro plan, the storage space increases to 5GB, and bandwidth to 10GB, whereas with the Business plan, both of these features are unlimited.
Customer support also varies depending on your chosen plan. Pro plan users are guaranteed to hear from the support team within 1 to 2 work days, and Business plan users can expect to get in touch with the support staff within several hours. Advanced SEO and online store settings are reserved for Business plan users as well.
According to the Jimdo pricing page, purchasing a one-year subscription for the Business plan will cost you $20 per month, while the same subscription for the Pro plan is priced at $7.50.
The website creator doesn’t have any hidden costs. Moreover, Jimdo provides detailed information on features that are not included in any of the paid plans. So, email accounts range from $12 to $60 per year, while depending on the category of a domain extension, you can expect to pay between $20 and $120 per year. You can also use a Jimdo promo code and get 5% off JimdoBusiness and JimdoPro plans for the first year.
While we’re on the topic of domains, the good news is that with Jimdo’s paid plans you get a free domain for one year. The pricing page lists all domain extensions that qualify for this offer, and after the first year, you can renew your domain for $20.
Jimdo offers two types of subscriptions: a yearly subscription and a two-year subscription. If you want to cancel it, be sure to do so four weeks in advance; otherwise, you may have some trouble. When it comes to the payment methods available, Jimdo accepts PayPal, Stripe, and Ingenico.
Before wrapping up my Jimdo review, 2018, I want to discuss Jimdo’s customer support. Users can get in touch with the Jimdo support team via email, while phone and live chat services are not available. As I already mentioned before, paying customers get priority support, so if you’re on a free plan prepare for some waiting.
The fact that the support business hours are Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. CET doesn’t help either. If you experience a problem on Friday, you’re likely to get the answers you need after the weekend. In some situations, it’s not possible to wait for so long. This is why I believe adding live chat support should be a priority for Jimdo. If nothing changes in this regard, we may see more Jimdo reviews with negative feedback from users.
I contacted Jimdo’s email support on two different occasions and received an answer earlier than expected, i.e., in 19 hours and 14 hours. The support team was polite and friendly, and they gave me the answers I was looking for.
Apart from email support, Jimdo has an extensive knowledge base where you can find a lot of useful information. Additionally, the Jimdo magazine, 8Days, offers a wealth of information about website development and small businesses. To start exploring Jimdo’s magazine, you don’t even need to use your Jimdo login credentials to access the platform. Simply visit their blog page, and you’ll be up to speed with the latest web development trends and tips in no time – with or without a Jimdo account.
We’ve come to the final part of the review. So, here’s my verdict about Jimdo. The website builder is easy to use and quite generous with the features that come with the Free plan. You can also build an online store with great ease and for free, which is pretty cool.
Now, my Jimdo review wouldn’t be complete without highlighting the cons of using this website development platform. First of all, I don’t like that they don’t have live chat support. Secondly, their ecommerce options are far from ideal for medium and big businesses. SEO tools attached to a free plan are more than limited, and adding widgets via embedded codes can be time-consuming. I hope the Jimdo team is ready to work on these areas, as the overall quality of their website building product is at least high above average.