The Creator is Jimdo’s main platform. If you’re familiar with website builders, it’ll be similar to what you’ve seen before.
Jimdo Creator is a fully fledged editing interface. You can add in your own content, resize things, and drag elements into different positions.
Jimdo Dolphin is an ADI (artificial design intelligence) solution. All you have to do is answer some questions about the type of website you’d like, and Jimdo will create the website for you!
Both are fantastic ways to build a website but cater to very different needs.
Jimdo Creator is for those who want to be in control; you get a decent say over your site’s layout, aesthetic and content.
Jimdo Dolphin is a lot quicker. You can pull things from social media or existing websites onto your new site instantly. It is limited, however, in terms of how much you can edit.
Here’s what we found to be the pros of using Jimdo — not just in comparison to popular website builders like Weebly and Wix, but as an overall website solution.
Straightforward Sign-Up Process
One of Jimdo’s best features is how quickly you can get up and running. Signing up for the platform is a simple process that involves creating an account, verifying your details through your email, and then choosing which website builder you’d like to use.
One thing to note here — if you’re looking for the easiest, most hands-off way to create your website, the AI web designer is probably your best option. It goes through a series of questions and then creates your website for you, but follows the process up with a detailed, step-by-step tutorial of how to customize your base template. It’s perfect for DIYers who are brand new to building a website.
Jimdo is also seriously simple to use, which makes it hard to mess up your website design. Once you choose a template (or have one created for you with the AI builder), you’re pretty much locked into the layout provided.
The DIY website builder is drag and drop, but it has its limitation — you can add new elements to the page, but only within the template structure you’re already given (and limited to the elements provided — but more on that in a bit).
And if you’re using the AI builder, you’re given even more structure (with that comes limitations, but again — we’ll get there). With this option, you have less drag-and-drop and more choose from what they give you. You can customize the styles on the page (like fonts and colors), and you can add premade sections and blocks, but you don’t get the ability to add elements willy nilly.
The whole setup is like painting by numbers.
There are obvious drawbacks to this setup, which I will cover in the disadvantages, but it is a real advantage to having limited but accessible design options.
Website Builder Options
Part of what makes Jimdo unique is they offer two design routes — you can either use their AI website builder, which gathers information for you and creates a template based on your answers to questions like “what is your website for?” and “what is your preferred design style?”. From there, Jimdo walks you through a step-by-step tutorial for customizing your assigned website template.
Or, you can take the DIY-approach. In this approach, you select your industry and are provided with a selection of website templates to choose from. Then, you can customize the template with Jimdo’s drag and drop editor. This method is slightly more advanced but still straightforward and controlled enough to keep newbies in check.
One thing to note if you’re going the DIY route — I found that your industry selection doesn’t matter. I was given the same templates to choose from whether I chose business or healthcare or skipped the industry question altogether.
Note: When using Jimdo for the purposes of this review, I created an additional Jimdo account through a new browser window to go through the sign-up process again and was automatically assigned to the AI website builder. Of course, there’s always a chance for user error, but as a brand new, inexperienced customer to the platform… it was confusing. It’s a potential con for using the platform, but not because of the actual user experience of the builder — it’s just a bit confusing and unclear when signing up.
Some Product Integration
Another benefit of Jimdo is their product integrations. Aside from offering DNS and hosting services, Jimdo also offers e-commerce functionality with their paid plan (one thing to note — in order to get e-commerce functionality, you do need to choose between the two higher-priced tiers.)
We’ll talk more about pricing in a moment, but just know that you could get the same (or better) functionality for less elsewhere.
For U.S. users, this isn’t really a pro or a con, but for those in the EU, Jimdo’s European presence makes it a strong competitor.
Jimdo is a German company and operates data centers in Europe. As a European company, this means that Jimdo’s data protection and privacy standards are much stronger thanks to the EU’s new laws on data and privacy.
Additionally, if you are a US company who needs an EU microsite for an EU audience, Jimdo makes GDPR a bit easier than some website builders focused on the US market.
But of course, no review would be complete without looking at the downsides. Every piece of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I found.
Plans + Pricing
Jimdo’s pricing and plan structure are a bit confusing. When first signing up, You can see that paid plans start at $9/month paid annually, which includes your own domain, free hosting but only a 10-page limit.
However, if you choose a free plan and want to upgrade (which I did), the pricing options appear differently from inside your account.
Aside from the convoluted information, the actual competitiveness of the plans and pricing structure leaves something to be desired (err, actually a *lot* to be desired).
Compared to competitors like Wix, Gator, and Weebly, Jimdo is more expensive and has more restrictive limits.
Their free plan doesn’t even offer mobile-friendly site design (a pretty standard design feature in today’s world), and you can’t get basic Search Engine Optimization features until their mid-tier plans. Even the mid-tier Grow plans have hard limits on the number of pages and on bandwidth usage (which to me seems like a double-limit). And I’m all for over-delivering on low expectations, but the support options are seriously deficient.
Plus, there’s no option to pay monthly, so you’re locked in for a year.
In short, using Jimdo is going to be more expensive than going with a competitor and more restrictive due to the design and technical limitations (more on that shortly), regardless of whether you’re using it for a year or just a few months.
Limited Feature Set – Design
With any technology product, there is almost always a trade-off between convenience and control (think Android vs. iOS)
And you can really see this trade-off with the Jimdo website builder. The convenience of their design setup is great. It’s straightforward, fast, and not confusing at all. It puts your focus solely on getting your content onto the premade template and adding additional elements within the template that may enhance your design/user experience.
However, if you want to go anywhere beyond the basics of design, you are limited with Jimdo. In the DIY website builder, you can edit the color, the font, and the general ‘feel’ of the design. You can also choose from a few variations of the template, which essentially just have different navigation styles.
With pages, you can delete and add sections and move them around, but you cannot add a page unless you add it to the navigation. You can alter the layout, but you certainly cannot edit the CSS, much less add any other design element outside of the pieces they give you.
And if you’re using the AI website builder, you’re limited even further. As I mentioned above, you can add sections and elements based on pre-built blocks, but that’s about it.
The best way to describe it is a ‘paint-by-numbers’ set up. It’s great to have the basics, but if you want to do anything extra or outside of bounds, then you’re out of luck.
If your website is growing, or becoming a bigger part of your business, the design limitations can be crippling. And unlike other website builders that attempt to solve this issue through apps, extensions, or access to the website code or HTML, there is no outlet for a Jimdo website builder website.
Limited Feature Set – Technical
The limitations on design also bleed over into technical limitations.
Technical limitations are features that you don’t know that you want until you want them, and then you find out you can’t have them.
These are things like integrations with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google Ads, social sharing options, blogging, and a whole host of every intermediate to advanced marketing tools on the internet. Now, as I mentioned above, Jimdo does give some integrations, like e-commerce and DNS/hosting services. However, there are a ton of technical features that Jimdo doesn’t provide or that are extremely limited.
For example, let’s look at Jimdo’s SEO features. I can edit the page title and description for individual pages, as well as assign noindex, nofollow, or noarchive settings. But aside from that, I’m pretty locked into what I have aside from editing the HTML in text sections on the page. There are no options for sitemaps, Schema, Open Graph settings – much less highly advanced options.