Homestead is a blank canvas editor— which means you can drag and drop elements anywhere on a page. This sounds good in theory but it usually introduces headaches.
One of the headaches from a blank canvas editor is dealing with footers. Footers are supposed to be global elements (appearing on every page) but it’s really impossible to create them on Homestead because longer pages will just overlap the footer.
Another problem with Homestead’s blank canvas editor is that it offers no grid or snap-to-grid. You’ll spend time inches from your screen trying to align elements! I don’t recommend blank canvas editors in general but I especially don’t recommend Homestead’s. There are better blank canvas options (Wix being the best).
Overall Homestead just feels unpolished and outdated. For example, two small changes could improve this page editor: making moving pages draggable and adding a character count for titles— especially if you’re going to limit users with it.
Here’s another example of a lack of polish. You can’t copy and paste without pasting in this separate lightwindow. I’ve never seen this a problem in any website builder except Homestead. Weird and annoying.
Only the more expensive tiers can have a blog (very website builders do that). There are some very basic style customizations with the blog but mostly you’re stuck with a very basic view. There are just enough features, such as drafts and commenting, for me to say that they Homestead has a blog editor but it’s very clunky and I really wouldn’t recommend you use it for a blog. Furthermore I noticed major style differences between the website preview and the actual websites. That’s inexcusable! Show Screenshot
Ecommerce is a $14.99 addition to your store (which is expensive if you’re already on the $20 / month business plan). Unfortunately ecommerce is so skimpy and poorly executed that it’s hard to imagine anyone could build a successful online store using it. You certainly couldn’t setup a store outside of the US (they only allow regional taxes for American states). The product editor is incredibly skimpy, product variations are limited to two, you can’t change weight or shipping based on product variations and there's no way to edit email receipts. I wouldn’t recommend building a store on Homestead. Show Screenshot
There is an ugly contact form lightbox that allows no customization. Show Screenshot
Homestead is a blank canvas editor— which means you can delete everything and build your website from scratch if you’d like. Unfortunately there’s no support for global elements (example: making sure your logo appears on every page) and I couldn’t figure out how to design my footer. If you want to design your website from scratch there are much better website builders for this (Wix being a good choice).
You can add a donation form if you upgrade to ecommerce— which is a $14.99 addition to your store (which is expensive if you’re already on the $20.00 / month business plan). But it’s so bad, I can’t imagine anyone would use it build anything. Plus there’s no way to customize email receipts. Show Screenshot
There is an audio player but it looks like it was created in 1998. Seriously take a look at the screenshot. Show Screenshot
Homestead themes are outdated. They look like they were designed 10 years ago. In fact I would be surprised if Homestead has designed any new themes in the last 5 years.
Because Homestead is a blank canvas editor, changing themes means your existing website will be deleted— so make sure you choose the right one!
None of Homestead’s themes are responsive. Homestead does offer a mobile site that you can add to your website but you have to add a domain name to your account in order to get it. What a joke!
I was able to pay and cancel my Homestead account using their web interface. The not ideal part? They require a credit card for signing up for the “free” trial.