Jimdo Website Builder Review 2022: Websites Without the Effort?
Thanks to site builders like Jimdo, the Internet has become more accessible than ever before. No longer is it necessary to feel your way through the back end 'jungle' to create a website. In this review, we'll assess the merits of one of Jimdo's marketing slogans ("Websites without the effort") and see if the service is all it makes itself out to be.
What Is Jimdo?
Jimdo is a website builder developed by the Hamburg-based Jimdo GmbH. According to its creators, the first version of the platform was hashed out on an old farm in the north of Germany. No longer working out of a pigsty (literally), the company now has offices in Tokyo and has helped launch more than 32 million unique websites.
The service's drag and drop interface visualizes processes that would otherwise be accomplished through inputting lines of code, fully embracing the "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) principle. This means that the elements you create, design, move, or delete in the editor appear exactly as they do on the finished site. As a result, Jimdo is more than suitable for beginners, but don't let that fool you, it has a lot to offer experienced users as well.
Pros and Cons
Easy to use
Two editors for users of varying levels of experience
Nearly automatic AI-assisted site creation with the Dolphin editor
Supports the integration of third-party apps and extensions
Poorly conceived e-commerce features
No third-party app center
Support only via form and limited to paying subscribers
Configuration and Usability
You'll need to create a Jimdo account to start using the platform. This is easy enough to get, requiring only an email address and password (or a Google/social media login). After that, Jimdo gives you the choice between creating a website with or without coding, depending on how familiar you are with the technical aspects of making a website.
Jimdo is designed for users of all levels of experience, however, the focus on simplicity and accessibility is apparent from this point on, when you'll be given the choice between its two editors. The standard editor, "Jimdo Creator" is beginner-friendly and versatile, however, allows advanced users to work directly with code. The other option, "Jimdo Dolphin", makes creating a website even easier, automating processes and promising eye-catching designs in a matter of minutes.
Jimdo offers two editors "Dolphin" and "Creator", although, it doesn't refer to either by name at this point.
To assess the service more thoroughly, we tried our hand at making a website using both of its editors.
Dolphin, powered by an AI engine, begins by asking a few questions about your project, goals, and design preferences. After this, it will churn out a website that you can load with content and slightly modify to reflect your tastes.
What do you need your website for? Which products are you going to sell? What stage is your business in? This is all the information Dolphin needs to create a website for you.
After your website has been prepared, you'll be offered a 15-20 minute, live step-by-step introduction to Dolphin with a support staffer via video chat. During this, it's possible to share your screen and have the staffer walk you through the editor's ins and outs. This free service is targeted at beginners looking for a bit of extra help.
Little room for creativity
There isn't all that much to explain in the Dolphin editor, since its customization options are limited. From the upper main menu bar, you can make alterations to some basic aspects like the color palette and fonts (in the "Design" area), or add new pages (under the similarly titled heading). To make sub-pages, such as those for portfolios, teams, or contacts, ready-made templates are offered. The layout of each sub-page can be adjusted through the menu bar off to the left.
Content can be edited directly in the center of the platform's working area. When adding new content blocks, you can choose from slideshows, lists, or banners. Some specialized content, such as an appointment calendar or restaurant menu, is offered, however, the selection is fairly limited.
The Dolphin editor does limit creative freedom, however, the trade-off is its ability to easily and quickly create a website.
With Jimdo's Dolphin editor, you'll largely have to paint by numbers. This makes it easy, even for beginners, to create and launch a professionally-looking website in a very short amount of time.
When using the other editor, Creator, you'll first be asked which branch your business is in, before being taken directly to the template gallery. There, you'll be able to select a design that suits you (this can be changed later on), after which you'll wind up in the editor.
Creator is certainly more elaborate than Dolphin. Broadly speaking, you can make changes to nearly any content element directly in the interface's working area. To add new pages, go to the main navigation menu, select "Edit menu", and click on "Add a new page". Next, you'll have the choice between inserting an empty page or selecting from one of the page templates, thereafter filling it with content.
Even though it's more complicated than Dolphin, Jimdo's Creator editor is highly intuitive.
By clicking on the menu in the upper left of the screen, you can access your site's blog, activate e-commerce features, and change your website's appearance, all of which offer an increased number of possibilities when compared to Dolphin.
Should you be familiar with HTML and CSS, you'll be pleased to learn that you can tinker with either in Jimdo's Creator editor. To start coding, go to "Custom Template" under "Design" in the main menu.
Not afraid of a little bit of coding? That's good because you can align Jimdo's layouts even closer to your specifications via user-defined HTML or CSS.
Overall, both of Jimdo's editors are highly user-friendly, with the more complicated of the two, Creator, still being easy enough for newcomers to site design to find their way around, while the ability to insert HTML or CSS code is a nice bonus. Since Dolphin limits customization considerably, we can only really recommend it to absolute beginners, as anyone else will be likely to get a hang of Creator rather quickly (which we used for the rest of this review). Still, we commend Jimdo for offering as much support to newcomers as it does.
Our only complaint is that Jimdo could be more forthcoming when acquainting new users with the differences (and capabilities) of its two editors, and their pricing. All the same, Jimdo offers a good user experience.
Score: 4.7 / 5
The workhorse of any website builder is its editor. Thankfully, both of Jimdo's make adding new content very straightforward. Content is divided into blocks, and should you want to add anything new, you can select what type of content it is from the feature list. Because the platform's drag and drop functionality is fairly limited, when arranging these blocks you won't have to worry about differences in their margins or spacing, since they'll be automatically aligned with one another.
Among these, you'll find all of the usual suspects, ranging from "Image with text" to user-defined forms. Unfortunately, several of the blocks available in Dolphin (such as restaurant menus) aren't offered in Creator.
A wide selection of content blocks that can be integrated into your website are available to choose from.
No app market
One drawback with Jimdo is that, unlike Wix, for example, it lacks a marketplace where users can peruse additional features and content for designing their site. Users are offered a selection of so-called POWr-plugins, any of which can be integrated via HTML code, to integrate services like PayPal, SoundCloud, Vimeo, or Yelp. Suffice it to say that incorporating external applications is made much easier with other site builders.
Blogging only in Creator
Blog features are limited to Creator, meaning that if you want to include a blog on your website, you won't be able to do so with Dolphin. The standard editor allows you to make dynamic blogs and provides access to a range of different features, namely, the ability to organize entries into categories, add flash animations or downloads, embed Google Maps, configure SEO, and more. Should your blog have several editors or authors, you can also password protect specific areas of its dashboard. Comments can be toggled on or off, and URLs freely set for SEO purposes.
After that, you'll need to activate your blog under the appropriate menu heading. Following this, a link to it will be automatically added to your page.
Bloggers on Jimdo will need to use Creator, since the Dolphin editor doesn't support blogs.
Difficulty with multilingual sites
With a number of site builders, configuring sites to have multiple language localizations has become a standard feature. Unfortunately, Jimdo is not one of these: In order to create different localizations of a website, you'll need to sacrifice the highest navigation menu, re-purposing it as a language menu, thereafter creating as many copies of a page as your linguistic requirements deem necessary. If using 1&1 IONOS, for example, this process is greatly simplified.
To set up multiple language localizations for a website in Jimdo, you'll need to use a workaround.
Jimdo's editors cater equally to newbies and those with advanced programming knowledge. As we noted in the last section, we recommend Creator over Dolphin, since the former offers far more features, although does suffer from a few issues. For example, users will have to make do without an app market, less variety in terms of content blocks, and an imperfect system for setting up multiple language localizations of a website. All told, Jimdo's editors lag behind those of its competitors.
Score: 3.7 / 5
Templates & Design
As of the time of writing, Jimdo provides users with more than 40 templates, all of which can be used in the service's free version. Each of these is recommended for specific types of sites, whether they be blogs, online stores, or business pages, however, you do have a free hand in selecting which will feature on your website. All templates come with a number of variations, for example, in regards to the loadout of content blocks, which you're also at liberty to modify in Creator. If desired, you can also adjust the color schemes and fonts of these templates.
You can select from 40 templates in Jimdo Creator.
For those with some programming knowledge, it is possible to craft unique templates in Creator using HTML or CSS. Not every website builder offers this level of customization, which in our minds at least, adds an extra benefit to using Jimdo, not least because it helps those interested in programming to practice.
Two different modes are offered for personalizing templates through the Design menu. In regular mode, you can make general changes to the most important style elements, whereas if you toggle "Style by Element" on, each individual content block (but not the elements within) can be adjusted.
You can set aspects such as font and color by toggling "Style by Element" on in the Design menu.
Jimdo's designs are appealing and can be personalized to a significant degree, regardless of whether or not you've had any experience with coding. As noted above, the Dolphin editor restricts creativity, whereas Creator is highly intuitive and affords a great deal of variety. Our only complaint is that the service could have provided a wider selection of templates to choose from.
Score: 4 / 5
Marketing, SEO & E-Commerce
Shop management in Jimdo occurs entirely in the editor, and not in a superordinate dashboard. You'll manage your inventory in Creator through the menu bar off to the left by heading to Shop > Main, but you'll only see products after you've added them in the editor. To do this, you'll need to go to the editor's workspace, since it isn't possible to do so in the (optically, somewhat outdated) shop interface.
Under Inventory, you'll find all of your products listed.
Less-than-stellar production variations
It's possible to endow your products with the most important details, including their weight, quantity in stock, and delivery time. To create variations of your products, such as in terms of color or size, click on the "Add variation" button.
Unfortunately, the options offered here are somewhat limited as you're unable to group your variations into categories. This means that you can't combine characteristics like color and size, but need to add a separate variation for each aspect (i.e.: T-Shirt; Color: Black, Size: M). With other e-commerce platforms and even Jimdo's Dolphin editor, this is made much easier.
Another disappointment was that digital products can only be sold indirectly, by creating a password-protected download page and selling the password. Jimdo is aware of the issue and even offers a guide for how to set up this functionality.
Jimdo's e-commerce features aren't as developed as those of its competitors. As just one example, it isn't possible to combine individual product variations.
Basic marketing features
Jimdo's marketing options are also less impressive than those of its competitors. For anyone opting for the more expensive pricing plans, you can create and offer coupons, either as fixed sums or percents. In Creator, it's possible to mark items down by checking the "Set sale price" next to an item, emphasizing the discount to shoppers.
Beyond that, Jimdo doesn't offer much in terms of marketing tools. This means that you'll need to make do without integrated email marketing, customer testimonials (and reviews), and external solutions, such as plugins.
You can make some changes to your email templates with Jimdo, but not engage in any real email marketing.
SEO & Analytics
Thanks to the embedding of Google and Facebook Analytics, you're provided with a detailed overview of your store's statistics, as well as the efficacy of individual campaigns. In this way, you can check what visitors do, which features they use, or where they originate from, allowing you to increase your conversion rate. The only drawback is that access to these features is restricted to those who've purchased one of Jimdo's premium packages.
The same goes for advanced SEO features, which are likewise limited to Start account subscribers. By default, each new page is prepped for SEO, however, Jimdo makes it easy to add meta tags and custom URLs to every subpage, allowing you to enhance your web presence even further.
For e-commerce, Jimdo doesn't leave a fantastic impression, on account of its shortcomings in terms of product management and marketing tools. Should you want more detailed information about what the platform is capable of, be sure to consult our review of its store builder.
Score: 3.3 / 5
In Jimdo's Help Center, you can browse FAQs relating to a number of different topics under headings such as "Basics", "Store", "SEO", and "Social Media". All of these can be figuratively thumbed through via a nifty search feature. In the bottom left, you'll find a chatbot, which will route you to specific articles and FAQs.
Both the Dolphin and Creator editors feature dedicated support areas.
Should you want a human touch, click on the sidebar menu to the left of the editor, and fill out the contact form. To do this, you'll need to be a Pro subscriber - users of the free version aren't able to directly contact Jimdo's support staff.
Unfortunately, we needed to wait three days for an answer, which was very comprehensive and personal. Overall, better and more options for getting in touch would be welcome, as would quicker response times. With that said, the quality of the answers we received was very high.
Score: 4 / 5
Alongside Jimdo's free version, four paid plans are offered, with special rates for Dolphin and Creator (which don't really differ from one another in terms of price).
Anyone who doesn't want to pay for the service will have to settle for a Jimdo domain, which isn't really conducive to establishing a professional reputation online. All plans come with an SSL certificate.
Bandwidth, storage, and the number of forwarded emails differ from plan to plan. Ads are removed in all paid subscriptions, with the free version also lacking a number of e-commerce tools such as sale prices, charging shipping by weight, and product tags.
Below, we've included an overview of Jimdo's current subscription prices:
|Creator Free||Dolphin Start||Creator Pro|
|Effective monthly price||$0.00||from $8.00||from $10.42|
|Contract period (months)||0||1 - 24||12 - 24|
|Free of ads|
How does Jimdo compare to the other site builders from our sample? Below, we selected the most affordable subscription from each provider which was ad free and included a unique domain. Among these, Jimdo was in the middle of the pack:
Since a free version of Jimdo is available, you can test out the platform's basic features without any pressure or having to input payment details. After signing up for a paid plan, you'll have 14 days to request a full refund.
Jimdo is a highly versatile website builder that emphasizes user-friendliness. This is apparent starting with its Dolphin editor, which basically automates the creation of a website and continues to the intuitiveness of adding content blocks in Creator. As above, we advise everyone to learn the ins and outs of the latter, since Dolphin's limitations are quick to surface.
Unfortunately, Jimdo hasn't been entirely successful in balancing simplicity and versatility, making some lapses when it comes to e-commerce. Creating websites in multiple languages, which has become standard amongst other site builders, is also made more complicated than necessary. There are also shortcomings in terms of design options and templates, with the lack of an app store or market rounding out the platform's deficits.
Jimdo would do well to ease off the brake, allowing users of its Creator editor to do more, especially since other site builders, like Wix or Weebly demonstrate expertly how to balance user-friendliness and creative freedom.
In the customer reviews which we analyzed, Jimdo was rated decently, receiving a good overall score. Jimdo's support in particular was commended on more than one occasion.
One of Jimdo's multiple marketing slogans is "Websites without the effort", however, other site builders offer great opportunities for personalization while not necessarily being more difficult to use. One of these, Weebly, scored with its user-friendliness and limited drag and drop capabilities, offering somewhat more features than Jimdo.
The top performer from our sample, Wix, is slightly more complex to use, however, offers nearly unlimited drag and drop, in what we think is the best package on the market. In our Wix vs. Jimdo article, you can take a closer at exactly which platform outperforms the other in each area.