Officially launched in 2007, Jimdo is a site building platform that is quickly growing in popularity – with 15 million websites already created with it. The main headquarters are in Hamburg, Germany, with offices in Tokyo and San Francisco as well. Servers are located in USA, Germany and Japan.
Jimdo offers it’s versions of standard website features such as e-commerce, blogs, social media integration, contact forms, maps and directions, image and photo gallery displays, embedded videos and the ability to install external and third-party applications.
There is one thing that Jimdo offers that makes them stand out from many of the other “do-it-yourself” site builders – the ability to utilize custom coding. Users have access to the CSS and HTML code for templates, allowing for advanced customization and adding code within the body of the pages.
Through the use of custom codes, there is a great deal of flexibility in the final look, content and functionality of websites built with the Jimdo platform.
- Features 90%
- User Friendly 86%
- Support 75%
- Value for Money 88%
- Overall 85%
Video & Photo Gallery
Jimdo offers many different options for displaying images, embedding videos and creating photo galleries – some which are built-in to the editor and others which require use of external apps (installed in to yours site using the add Widget/HTML element).
Jimdo only offers very basic editing of photo size and cropping within the site builder but you can install Jimdo Photo Editor Plugin from POWr for more advanced editing features. Pictures can be uploaded to the Jimdo image module from computer files or Dropbox.
Jimdo offers two built-in elements for adding galleries and videos to your website.
Photo Gallery – Within this element you can enable Lightbox for a slide show, select layout (horizontal, vertical or grid) and add slider (with options to set speed, autoplay and whether or not to show thumbnails). There are limits to the file size that can be uploaded, depending upon the plan you have. The maximum file size for JimdoFree is10MB. The size per file increases to 100M with JimdoPro or JimdoBusiness.
Video Player – Jimdo comes with a basic video player built in. You can’t do a lot of customization to the player. You can’t change the frame or match colors, but you can set the size, alignment and aspect ratio. This player requires that videos be hosted elsewhere so you will need the link, for example YouTube or Vimeo.
For sites that only require basic photo galleries or video players, the Jimdo site elements will work fine. If you require more functionality or advanced options, you will need to add another tool or application to the site.
Because of the ability to add custom html with Jimdo, as long as you have the code (or hire someone who knows how to get it), the options for adding social networking functionality to your website are quite open.
To make things easier, Jimdo has a few social media tools available using the “add elements” feature in the site building dashboard. In addition, many of the templates come with a space already set up for social media icons to appear. You can keep it there, drag it somewhere else or completely eliminate it if you prefer and use something different.
Jimdo offers 5 built-in options using the “add social elements” feature. Depending upon which one you select, you can choose the size, color and shape of social media icons and boxes.
With Jimdo’s social media integration tools, you can add icons and sharing options for top social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Digg, StumbleUpon, Xing, Reddit, nk, Wykop, Yoolink, Vkontakte, Evernote and Tuenti. You can also add a RSS feed.
Email, Newsletters & Communications
Jimdo’s paid plans come with email accounts that go with your custom domain. Jimdo mail accounts are provided through a partnership relationship with Rackspace and include webmail access, encryption, forwarding aliases and a spam filter.
Jimdo does not offer a built in newsletter function so you will need to use an external provider such as MailChimp, INinbox, iContact, Constant Contact or one of the many other great email marketing companies available. The same is true for communications such as Live Chat – you will need to use an external service, many of which offer free apps, and embed the appropriate code in to your website with the “add element” function.
While Jimdo doesn’t offer as many advanced features as website building platforms designed specifically for online stores, what it does offer is powerful enough for small and mid-sized businesses that require ecommerce functionality. As mentioned previously, free users can use the Jimdo store module to sell up to 5 items – something not offered by most other DIY site building platforms. All of the Jimdo plans offer PayPal as an integrated payment option, and the premium plans allow for additional payment options.
When setting up your Jimdo store you can –
- Set payment options
- Configure shipping costs
- Set shipping locations (including whether you will allow for international)
- Establish your Terms of Service and Return Policy
- Set up customer emails
- Configure your checkout forms
- Determine whether you will offer discounts
The level of customization for each of these features will depend upon whether you are using the Pro or Business Package.
In order add products to your website, you use the “Store Item” element and then customize the text, images, prices, descriptions, categories and other settings. With Jimdo e-commerce you can also manage your orders and inventory right from your dashboard.