A strong ecommerce editor and some neat integrations stand out for this international website builder.
In 2007, 3 friends went to a farm on the German countryside. Their plan? To knock out the foundations of Jimdo in the peace and quiet. The fairy tale tech story right? Not quite The Social Network (kind of better if you ask me though).
From those pastoral beginnings, Jimdo has grown. A lot. Now it has several international offices and is one of the biggest website builders today.
Templates & Design
Jimdo comes with some standard layouts. Nothing too sexy or head turning.
Changing your Jimdo layout is a big tricky. Since every layout puts your headers and navigations in different places, changing layouts doesn’t always switch seamlessly. Sometimes switching layouts will move elements to odd places. This can you leave you with a layout that makes you scratch your head.
Jimdo does have a solid and flexible style editor. It gives you the chance to change styles for most ordinary markup. So you can define the styles for your headings and paragraphs.
It also lets you make a variety of style changes to your blog. So if you want to be in charge of the design of your blog, Jimdo has some nice options:
Ease of Use
Every website builder on the internet advertises themselves as “easy to use.” Including Jimdo. But what does that really mean? Compared to other website builders, I’d say Jimdo is decent but not best in class.
Oftentimes the interface feels inconsistent. For example, below is the editor for changing the header background image.
Notice the bottom close button. It’s doesn’t look like a very conventional button. I often found myself clumsily searching for the close button. In fact, the close button is inconsistent throughout the app. Sometimes to close an editor you need to choose an “X” in the top left corner. While other times you need to choose the long bottom button.
Jimdo also integrate part of the editor into the website. So for example:
Sometimes this makes things appear cluttered. Resulting in a noisy, sometimes confusing interface.
You can link your Dropbox account with Jimdo! This is awesome.
Uploading files is a small part of every website project. But if you put your files in Dropbox, Jimdo can easily grab them. This saves you from uploading them individually.
Integrating with Dropbox makes file uploading just a little bit easier. And anything that makes file uploading easier is a big win.
Jimdo’s ecommerce works well. It gives you easy access to most of the settings you’ll want to use:
Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how much goes into ecommerce- but there’s a lot of angles to cover: confirmation emails, order processing, shipping costs and much more. Jimdo seems to cover must of this ground capably.
They even have a cool QR code creator for products so that you can easily link your offline store to Jimdo. Pretty neat!
I had a chance to talk to Brent Gummow from Jimdo. He said creating an easy store editor has been a big part of Jimdo’s strategy, “I think our store feature is going to take us to the next level because it’s so easy to make a simple store as long as you have PayPal. You can get going in an hour or two!“
That investment has paid off— Jimdo is one of the first website builders I’ve seen that you really could run a store off of.
Jimdo automatically converts your website into a mobile version. Which is great- most website builders haven’t even considered that. Unfortunately, the mobile template is the same for every Jimdo website:
This generic template is a start. If you’re using Jimdo for a blog, it might work OK. But if you’re using Jimdo for a small business this lack of branding might be less than ideal.
Jimdo is short on standout templates and has some UI inconsistencies that could be a bit confusing for users. Mobile is promising and something to keep an eye on. It’s their ecommerce that stands out though. A flexible, capable ecommerce editor compliments this website builder.