Jimdo Review — The 12 Big Things You Need to Know
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Jimdo is marketed as an easy-to-use website builder that lets you construct a professional online presence really quickly. But is it any good? Well, in this Jimdo review, I highlight all the platform’s pros and cons, and help you find out whether it’s really a high-quality solution for your project — or whether you should look elsewhere.
|Key pros||Key cons|
|+ It’s cheap||– Limited choice of templates|
|+ A decent free plan is available||– Support is email only|
|+ It’s easy to use||– E-commerce features are basic|
|+ Good for GDPR compliance||– Only one site contributor is allowed|
1. What is Jimdo?
Jimdo is a one-stop shop for building a website or creating an online store. Depending on your chosen plan, you can use it to
buy a domain
design and host a website
sell products online.
It’s a hosted solution, which means it runs in a browser — there’s no software to install on your own computer, and you don’t need to buy any hosting. The idea is that the key elements of your website — a domain, template and hosting are all provided by Jimdo. You just add the content.
How many people use Jimdo? And why does this matter?
According to Builtwith.com data, Jimdo powers around 489,000 websites worldwide. For perspective, Builtwith also reports that there are currently around 4.5 million live Wix sites, and 2.7 live Squarespace sites.
These numbers matter, because there are a LOT of website building companies now providing website building services — some of which only started up very recently and don’t have many paying customers. Using a brand new platform to build your website on carries risk — if the company folds, your website may well go down with it.
Although Jimdo isn’t the biggest fish in the pond, it is nonetheless a reasonably large and well-established company with a sizeable userbase — so using its platform to build your website is a reasonably safe bet, as the company is likely to keep the product updated to reflect new developments in website design, and is fairly unlikely to disappear, taking your website with it.
So, Jimdo may be a reasonably safe bet, but it is it a good one? Let’s drill down into pricing and features.
2. Jimdo pricing
The number of Jimdo plans — and their names — varies quite a lot by country. In this review, we’re looking at the US plans — of which 5 are available, presented under two categories: ‘Website’ and ‘Online Store.’
- Play — $0 per month
- Start — $9 per month
- Grow — $15 per month
- Basic — $15 per month
- Business — $19 per month
I’ve listed US prices above, but the plan structure and features are fairly similar elsewhere. However, Jimdo costs vary rather a lot by country. For example, in the UK, the entry level plan costs £9 and in EU countries, it’s €9 — making things 40% and 19% more expensive than the US.
So, how expensive Jimdo is will very much depend on your location: the company doesn’t really seem to go in for currency conversions which are appropriate for local markets. This contrasts negatively with other similar platforms — several of Jimdo’s competitors do make allowances for currency variations.
All plans include the following basic features:
Access to a selection of templates that you can use to build your site
Storage for your content and bandwidth for your visitors to access it (limits vary by plan)
Responsive design (where your website is automatically resized to suit the device it’s being viewed on — mobile, tablet, desktop etc.)
The things to watch out for — and not miss by picking the wrong plan — are:
- Page count — the ‘Play’ and ‘Start’ plans limit you to creating just 5 and 10 web pages respectively (the other plans facilitate 50).
- Storage and bandwidth — the more you pay, the more you get.
- Customer support — it’s not available on the free Jimdo plan, and only available as a same day service on the ‘Grow’ or higher plans.
- E-commerce features: these are only available on the ‘Business’ and ‘Basic’ plans.
How does the pricing compare to packages offered by other website builders?
Jimdo gets a thumbs up for offering a free plan — several of the company’s leading competitors do not, Wix being a notable exception.
And there is quite a lot to like about this free plan — you don’t have to enter your credit card details to avail of it; there is no time limit or pressure to upgrade; and whilst the Jimdo advert at the bottom of the page isn’t ideal, at least it is is fairly small and unobtrusive.
Jimdo is on the lower end of the pricing scale for website building products. How it stacks up by comparison to other products very much depends on the chosen plan, but it’s fair to say that it’s
roughly the same price as Wix, which charges between $14 and $35 per month, depending on plan
quite a bit cheaper than Squarespace, which costs between $16 to $54 per month
a lot cheaper than Shopify, which costs between $29 to $299 per month.
For me though, price usually isn’t the main aspect to use when judging a product like this.
Let’s take a look at some of the features.
3. Content management and interface
To build a site using the Jimdo interface, you can choose between two modes: ‘Dolphin’ or ‘Creator.’
(A little bit confusingly, all the help material for Jimdo refers to these two modes by these names — but when you are selecting them, ‘Dolphin’ is presented as ‘code free’ mode and ‘Creator’ is presented as ‘expert’ mode.)
- In ‘Dolphin‘ mode, you are asked you a variety of questions about the purpose of your site; Jimdo will then construct it for you based your answers to these (plus material pulled from your social media profiles).
- In ‘Creator‘ mode, you build your website yourself, using one of Jimdo’s templates; these allow you to include more features including galleries, background videos, a blog and an online store.
Building a website using Jimdo’s Dolphin mode
When you choose Jimdo’s ‘code-free’ or ‘Dolphin’ mode, you are asked few questions about yourself and your project; the kind of site you would like to build and the style you’d like to apply to it.
Based on these answers, and material pulled from your social media accounts, Jimdo will then build a site for you.
This can be a bit hit and miss — based on our testing, although the site we created with ‘Dolphin’ looked professional and took under three minutes to build, some of the content was a bit irrelevant.
We tried again and asked Jimdo to design a site without using material from the web. This time, it came up with a slicker site (again, in less than three minutes). After that, it was very quick and easy to change text and images and we could easily add two more pages.
Although we didn’t end up with the site of our dreams, it was a perfectly acceptable result.
It’s fair to say that Jimdo’s ‘Dolphin’ mode is easy enough to use and that you don’t need any experience using website builders or software knowledge to get a decent-looking website up and running with it.
However, this mode only allows you to make basic changes to your site; and it doesn’t seem to be possible to switch to Creator mode once you’ve built your site in Dolphin.
The most significant functionality omission from ‘Dolphin’ is that you can’t run a blog with it. As blogging is crucial to inbound marketing and driving traffic to your site, this will rule the ‘Dolphin’ version of Jimdo out for any serious business site users.
Building a website using Jimdo’s Creator mode
In ‘Creator’ mode, you can build websites using Jimdo’s templates and a full website builder. It’s also easy to use, but offers a broader range of features than ‘Dolphin.’ It provides significantly more control over the design of your website, along with blogging functionality.
Overall, Jimdo’s Creator interface is clean, and very user-friendly, even for people with no web design experience.
A photo editor allows you to set slideshows or videos as backgrounds, and a drag-and-drop tool allows you to move content around your pages reasonably easily.
If you wish to get your hands dirty with code, you can add HTML via widgets that you can drag and drop around your pages. You can also insert into the <head> section of Jimdo web pages.
Blogging is essential for any business, as it’s usually the main part of a successful inbound marketing campaign, and a key driver of traffic.
Helpfully, Jimdo provides simple blogging functionality on all its plans (the free one included).
This covers the basics reasonably well: you can schedule posts, edit their URLs, and include social media sharing buttons on them.
For reader comments, you can either use the built-in Jimdo system, which is a bit basic, or work with Disqus, which offers more advanced commenting features, such as threaded discussions. Jimdo’s blog is also compatible with the Facebook commenting system.
As you might expect, blog posts can be categorized (using both tags and categories) or archived.
As with much else in Jimdo however, the blogging features are essentially aimed more at basic users rather than professional ones. Arguably the most significant omission from the blog is multiple contributor functionality. Because multiple staff accounts are not possible on Jimdo, you can only have one contributor to your blog — thus making it hard to turn your Jimdo site into a professional publication involving a wide range of authors.
And in my latest test of Jimdo’s blogging functionality, I couldn’t find an easy way to embed blog content on other pages of my site. There used to be a widget available to do this, but it seems to have been removed.
So ultimately, although the Jimdo blogging functionality is adequate (especially in combination with commenting tools), it can’t compete against a more professional blogging platform, such as WordPress (or even similar hosted website builders, like Squarespace).
On the plus side however, it is very easy to start blogging with Jimdo — other more professional solutions can have a steeper learning curve.
Managing your Jimdo site using a mobile app
Jimdo provides a mobile app — available for both iOS and Android — to help site owners manage their website from a smartphone or tablet. It’s called ‘Jimdo Creator’, and as this name suggests, it only works with the ‘Creator’ version of Jimdo.
You can use it edit your site, manage orders, publish blog posts and check your website statistics.
The Jimdo app has got reasonably good reviews on both iOS and Android; over 4 stars for each platform.
Import and export functionality
A key drawback of using Jimdo to manage a website is that you can’t import or export content or products.
As Jimdo is arguably geared more towards website building novices than professionals, the lack of an import tool is annoying, but not a dealbreaker for most, because it’s likely that the majority of Jimdo customers are building a (fairly simple) website from scratch.
The lack of an export tool is a more serious issue, because if you outgrow Jimdo and need to switch to another platform, you won’t be able to export your content easily and may have to manually enter a lot of content or product data into your new site.
This is of particular relevance to users who use Jimdo for e-commerce purposes and end up with a large inventory of products that they eventually need to migrate to another platform.
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Choice of templates
When you start building your site in Jimdo’s ‘Creator’ mode, you are asked if you’d like to build a website, store or blog and, on the next page, what your field is (for example Photographer and Portfolio, Bar and Restaurant, Community and Clubs, Fashion, etc.). You are then presented with a choice of 16 appropriate templates.
Once you have chosen one of these templates, you are not stuck with it — you can switch to another later on (a choice of around 40 is available).
It’s worth noting here that other website builders offer a far greater choice of templates. For example Wix, which operates at a similar price point, offers a selection of 500+ templates. Squarespace provides around 130 very professional-looking templates.
Jimdo’s limited offering in the template department means there may not be one that appeals to you, suits your business or can be configured to accurately reflect your brand.
On the other hand, if you just need a web presence quickly and aren’t too fussy, the fact that there aren’t hundreds of templates to scroll through makes things quicker – too much choice can be paralysing, especially if you find it hard to visualize the end result.
Another plus is that you can switch between templates without losing any content, which will appeal to people who are not experienced when it comes to building websites and would like quickly try out a few different looks. Jimdo is much better than Wix in this regard — you can’t switch templates in Wix without losing all your content (Squarespace also makes it a bit trickier than it should be to switch templates).
Finally, if you know how to code, you can build your own templates, facilitated by Jimdo’s design kit — a set of tools for coding your own template.
Quality of templates
Jimdo’s templates are outclassed a bit by those offered by competing products like Shopify and Squarespace, but they are nonetheless professional in appearance and it is definitely possible to put an attractive site together using them.
It’s worth noting that the navigation in Jimdo templates only goes as far as two levels, which may not be enough for users who plan to include a lot of pages or content on their site.
That said, most similar products don’t really facilitate complex navigation structures either — the expectation is that two is enough. And from a usability point of view, it usually is.
All sites created using Jimdo are mobile responsive. You can check how the site is going to display on smartphones by clicking the mobile icon at the top-left corner of the Jimdo interface. Oddly there isn’t a tablet option too, however, but as Jimdo sites are responsive, you shouldn’t really expect any big problems here.
All in all the Jimdo offering in the template department is solid: the templates may lack a certain ‘wow’ factor that you get from those provided by some other website building tools, but they are decent, and most users will be able to find a Jimdo template that meets their needs without too much difficulty.
If you plump for one of the more expensive Jimdo plans (the $15 ‘Basic’ or $19 ‘Business’ plans), you get access to e-commerce functionality.
Setting up an online store using Jimdo is a fairly painless process — and you can do it quickly. You can add products, set terms and conditions for your store and create automated response emails easily.
When somebody places an order on your website’s store, you will get a notification on your site dashboard, and via email too. You can easily access store orders and tick them off, or export your list of orders in CSV or XML format if you’d like to process them externally.
You can also track your inventory via Jimdo and specify the number of items currently in stock. If you run out of a particular item, Jimdo will automatically place a ‘sold out’ notice next to it.
Jimdo doesn’t have its own payment gateway, but out of the box facilitates payments via PayPal and Stripe. These companies take a small percentage of each transaction, but unlike some competing website building products, Jimdo does not charge any fees for sales made from your site.
Other features that will potentially appeal to those wishing to sell via Jimdo are as follows:
Discount functionality and gift vouchers
Built-integration for Facebook ads
Some of the reasons why you might want to avoid Jimdo as an e-commerce solution are as follows:
There’s no automatic tax calculation features
There is no abandoned cart saver.
You can’t set up multiple staff accounts to manage your online store.
You can’t create a ‘buy now’ button for use on external websites or social media profiles.
You cannot import or export product data.
Selling digital products involves a long-winded manual process of setting up passworded pages.
All in all it has to be said that as things stand, Jimdo should not be viewed as a professional e-commerce solution.
It’s fine for users who want to run a small content-based site and sell some products occasionally on the side, but if you’re serious about e-commerce and want to use a hosted solution, you will be much better served by a dedicated e-commerce platform, like Shopify. Even other products which are more ‘general’ website building tools (such as Wix and Squarespace) provide signficantly better e-commerce functionality than Jimdo.
One way of getting around Jimdo’s relatively poor e-commerce functionality of course is to use another app in conjunction with the platform — it’s easy to embed an Ecwid store or Shopify catalogue into a Jimdo site, using a simple code snippet.
This can open up a lot more selling functionality for your Jimdo site, not least the ability to sell in a currency of your choosing, dropshipping and abandoned cart functionality.
Unlike other site and store building platforms, there’s no official Jimdo ‘app store’ available containing integrations with third-party tools and add-ons to beef up the functionality of your site.
That’s not to say that you can’t integrate your Jimdo site with other tools; many third party apps provide code snippets (or widgets) which can be added to a Jimdo site (via its ‘widget’ or ‘HTML’ elements) to provide additional functionality.
Alternatively, you can use plugins provided by POWR to beef up your Jimdo site’s functionality.
This is fine for adding things like forms, calendars or maps to a Jimdo site (capturing basic data or displaying it, essentially); but if you’re looking for deep integration between a Jimdo site and an accounting, CRM or dropshipping app, you may be a bit disappointed.
7. Data capture
Jimdo allows you to add forms to your site easily; these allow visitors to message you or subscribe to newsletters.
You can add several different types of field to your form, with one notable exception: a file upload field. If you want to allow users to send you files through your forms, you’re going to have to turn to a third party solution such as Wufoo or Jotform.
Form submissions are automatically emailed to an address you specify; they are also saved in the back end of Jimdo. Unfortunately, there’s no automatic way to send the data you capture via a Jimdo form to an email marketing app like Getresponse, Aweber or Mailchimp.
If you want to do that, you’ll need to grab form code from your chosen email marketing provider and embed it on your site using one of Jimdo’s widget/html elements (which is better than the alternative of manually copying and pasting email addresses into your chosen email marketing tool).
Jimdo provides a basic reporting dashboard which allows you to get top-line stats on your website.
For more in-depth analysis, you can also use Google Analytics with Jimdo, by adding Google’s code to the header of your site.
You can then access Google Analytics data within your Jimdo dashboard, which is convenient, or simply use the full-blown version of Google Analytics.
Jimdo’s SEO features are pretty comprehensive.
On all Jimdo plans except the free one you can
use SEO-friendly headings (H1s, H2s etc.)
add alt text
create Google-friendly URLs based on your page titles
add page title and meta description
edit page URLs
create 301 redirects (which are used to tell search engines when a page has moved to a new location)
use robots.txt to tell search engines not to index a page
What you won’t have control over is the speed of your hosting — unlike a WordPress setup you won’t be able to host your site on ultra-fast servers (‘PageSpeed’ is a important part of technical SEO — with faster-loading sites sometimes rewarded with better rankings). But that’s part and parcel of using any hosted solution really — and interestingly, research shows that Jimdo is actually one of the better performers out there from a speed point of view.
Finally, unlike competing platforms, you won’t be able to add any SEO plugins or apps to your Jimdo site, although you can make use of resources like Google Search Console, Pingdom and Yoast’s Real Time Content Analysis tool to help you evaluate and steer your search engine optimization efforts.
9. Customer support
When adding or editing elements of a Jimdo site, a “?” icon is displayed. Clicking on this gives you basic contextual help on the element you’re working with. This is usually pretty good.
You can also make use of Jimdo’s Support Centre when creating your site — this contains useful videos and articles to help you build and edit your site.
The Support Centre can be occasionally a bit confusing at times however, because there are actually two versions of Jimdo to seek support on (Dolphin and Creator) — and you’ll need to make sure you’re on the right help site.
And, as discussed above, when creating a new site, Jimdo seems to now refer to both of these versions as ‘code free’ and ‘expert’ rather than ‘Dolphin’ or ‘Creator’!
If the above resources don’t meet your requirements, and you need to contact Jimdo directly for support, you can only do this via email — annoyingly there is no live chat or phone support available.
Support is limited to paid-for plans, and it can be slow if you’re on a ‘Start’ plan — you’re looking at a 1-2 day wait time.
This level of support isn’t ideal — a 2 day wait to get an answer could prove very frustrating (especially if you need to send a few emails back and forth to resolve an issue). And the fact that support is only available on weekdays means that if something goes wrong on Friday afternoon, you may not have a fix for it until Monday.
Things are a bit better with the ‘Grow’ or higher plans — you are promised a response within 4 hours. However, competing website builders tend to offer much more ‘instantaneous’ levels of customer support.
Ultimately it’s a rather large ‘could-do-better’ for Jimdo for its support offering.
11. GDPR compliance
With the EU’s introduction of GDPR — General Data Protection Regulation — and California’s similar CCPA privacy act, it’s important to get privacy and data protection issues right, as the fines for not doing so are considerable.
However, it’s a bit tricker to get cookie consent right.
GDPR requires website owners to follow 5 key rules with regard to cookie consent:
- Let site visitors know that cookies are being used.
- Explain how cookies are being used — and why.
- Provide visitors with a means to consent to ‘non-essential’ cookies being used before they are run (Facebook pixels, Google Analytic, Adsense etc.).
- Log consent of cookie use.
- Allow users to withdraw their consent (i.e., switch cookies they’ve previously activated off).
Whilst it’s welcome to see this functionality included, it would be better if it didn’t involve users having to mess about with code — products like Jimdo are aimed at a non-technical audience, and getting this important aspect of GDPR right feels a bit too technical and rather fiddly.
But nonetheless, a thumbs up to Jimdo for the fact that it does at least try to give users the tools to manage cookie consent properly.
12. Is Jimdo the right website builder for you?
Jimdo’s philosophy is to make the building of websites more accessible or, as the company says, put ‘the power of website creation in the hands of ordinary people’ to allow them to share their passions online.
Their free plan arguably meets this goal – it’s a fairly generous offer, which allows anybody to get a web presence together quickly and easily. For anyone wanting to build a simple website quickly and without too much fuss and deliberation, Jimdo is a good option.
As far as the paid plans go, the main argument for using them is price. For $9 a month, you can put a fully functional website together using the platform. This is considerably cheaper than if you were to use some competing building solutions, notably Wix and Squarespace (which offer entry level plans at $14 and $16 per month respectively).
And technically, you can get started with e-commerce more cheaply with Jimdo than a lot of other platforms too – the Jimdo $15 per month ‘Basic’ plan allows you to build an online store, which compares favourably to Squarespace ($26 per month), Shopify ($29 per month) and Bigcommerce ($29.95 per month).
That said, Jimdo’s e-commerce functionality is considerably more basic than these products.
So, if your budget is low and your needs are sunoke, Jimdo is well worth a look. It’s well-suited to small businesses that require a simple online presence and/or shop, but don’t have the budget, expertise or time to grapple with more complex systems.
However, those with even slightly more advanced requirements will nearly always be better off using another website building platform. If you have serious e-commerce needs, dedicated online store builders such as BigCommerce or Shopify are going to serve you better; and if you are serious about blogging or running an online publication WordPress is probably the best solution.
Pros and cons of using Jimdo
We hope you’ve found our Jimdo review useful; below you’ll find our summary of the key pros and cons of the platform.
Pros of using Jimdo
It’s very cheap.
A generous free plan is available.
It’s easy to use, especially for those without any previous experience of website building.
You can edit the HTML and CSS of your site.
You can switch between templates quickly and easily, without losing content.
All templates are responsive.
- There is a tool for managing cookies in a GDPR compliant way.
Cons of using Jimdo
A rather small number of templates is available.
The payment gateway choice is limited.
Support is limited to email and is not available 24/7.
There is no import / export functionality.
E-commerce functionality is not as professional as that provided by other solutions, especially where tax rates and dropshipping are concerned.
There’s no official app store for Jimdo.
You can’t have multiple blog authors or contributors to a Jimdo site.
Our overall rating: 3.2/5
12. Alternatives to Jimdo
There are a lot of similar website building solutions available.
Although it’s more expensive, Squarespace is definitely worth investigating. Its templates are slicker and its feature set is more extensive. I find Squarespace particularly good for users who want to build a content-driven or portfolio website (note: if you’re interested in working with the Squarespace platform, do check out our Squarespace review first).
If you’re looking for something similarly priced, but with a larger range of templates to choose from, take a look at Wix. Its e-commerce functionality comes in a bit cheaper too. See our Wix review for a full run-down on the pros and cons of this platform or try Wix free here. Our Wix vs WordPress, Squarespace vs Wix and Wix vs Shopify posts might also be of interest.
For a those interested in a highly professional e-commerce solution, we’d recommend Bigcommerce or Shopify over any of the aforementioned.
(You could also consider Amazon for e-commerce applications. This is quite a different platform to Jimdo — it’s an ‘online marketplace’ rather than a site builder — but it has a huge customer base and can prove extremely effective for selling products. Check out our Amazon vs Shopify deep dive for more information on why and how you might use the platform for e-commerce).
If you’re thinking about creating an online publication involving multiple authors and requiring sophisticated content management and publishing functionality, then WordPress is probably your best bet.
Got any thoughts on Jimdo?
If you’ve got any thoughts or queries on Jimdo, or have experiences of using the product that you’d like to share, please do leave a comment on this review — just scroll down to post one.
And if you enjoyed this post, I’d be hugely grateful if you could create a link to it on your website or blog, or share it on social media 🙂
Other website building resources
Below you’ll find links to some other reviews and resources on website building:
- Volusion vs Shopify
Improving your site’s visibility in search results
Many thanks to Sonia Klug from London Writer for her research into Jimdo, and her contributions to this review.