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Providers of website builders have never been shy when it comes to making grand claims, with “websites in no time,” “your very own website in just 5 minutes,” and “a website in three simple steps” among the typical slogans used in marketing campaigns.
And that’s why Jimdo has been putting all its efforts into its smart Jimdo website builder, known internally as Dolphin. Users are promised a solution that will allow them to build a website in just three minutes!
This new editor falls under a new category of smart AI-based website builders, which are all the rage right now. They are aimed at users looking to create a website in a flash, without having to become an expert in coding overnight.
This type of website builder gathers all the information required to set up the basic website structure by running through a series of questions. The virtual set-up wizard also scours the user’s Google and Facebook accounts for any images and details to create a customized first draft of their website in a matter of minutes.
Keen to see for ourselves if it really is all that simple, we prepared to work our ToolTester magic once again and put this smart website wizard through its paces. Keep reading our detailed review to find out our verdict!
Please note: This review focuses on this latest editor from Jimdo. If you want to find out more about Jimdo's previous product, Creator, feel free to check out our review here.
The perfect way to test out the website builder and work on small projects. No domain name included.
Ideal for small business websites with no need for an online store. Domain name included. Ad-free. Up to ten subpages.
Designed for larger websites and online stores. More storage space (15GB) and up to 50 subpages included.
Unlimited storage space, bandwidth, and subpages. Professional design analysis by Jimdo’s team of designers and premium support.
Prices per month for a 12-month contract term (VAT included). Free domain included for the first year.
> You can find more detailed pricing information for Jimdo here.
Pros and Cons of Jimdo
Ease of use
The virtual set-up wizard pretty much builds your website for you, and the first draft is actually ready in more or less three minutes. You may just find that you need to make some tweaks here and there, but the editor is intuitive and very easy to use.
The suggested designs are nice and modern. The virtual set-up wizard automatically searches the internet for the best images.
Both the website and editor are responsive, meaning they work well on mobile devices too.
Loading times are very fast (e.g. in Google PageSpeed Insights).
Very limited features
The range of features available is very limited: There is no blog, no password protection, and no external app store offering extra options.
There is limited access to things like the page title. At the moment, you can only change the title of the home page and then choose a general title for all other pages.
Other website builders offer much better options for font styles, sizes, colors, and so on.
There is a lack of elements, like buttons to share content via social media. As the HTML element is not available either (probably a conscious decision), you can’t even add them in manually.
Ease of use
Clearly structured and extremely intuitive, Jimdo is one of the fastest editors we’ve tested. The smart virtual wizard guides you through every step of the set-up process, making it possible to actually create a first draft of your website in a matter of minutes.
Choice and flexibility of design (templates)
The designs are modern and responsive (optimized for mobile devices). The Jimdo template selection process differs slightly to other solutions and you get allocated a design rather than having to scroll through a template gallery.
You then have the opportunity to change the style (fonts, colors, and so on) at a later stage. There is no option to add HTML style elements.
|You won’t see adverts if you opt for the START plan or any of the plans above that. The free PLAY plan comes with a fairly subtle Jimdo button with a link in the footer.|
The interface supports seven languages, while the editor can be used in any language. Multilingual websites are also an option, but there are some limitations. One level of navigation has to be sacrificed for additional languages.
Your own domain name (e.g. .com or .net)
With the PLAY plan, you only get one Jimdo subdomain structured as follows: mywebsite.jimdosite.com. All of the paid plans include one free domain name (e.g. “.com”) for the first year (you’ll be charged an annual fee of $20 after that). You can also redirect your own domain to Jimdo. At an extra charge, you can add email accounts to your own domain name using Google Workspace, Google’s professional email solution. Another option is to set up a forward to your own email inbox (if you have the START plan or any of the plans above that). Read more about domain names and email accounts here.
Depth of navigation
There is scope for up to three sub-levels. Another one or two levels would be nice.
Widgets (small tools to add extra functionality)
You can add videos (via YouTube or Vimeo) and photos to your website. There is a lack of elements, like buttons to share content via social media. As the HTML element is not available either, you can’t even add them in manually. Unfortunately, there is no integrated web app store like the ones offered by Wix or Weebly.
There is sadly no option to integrate Google AdSense or banners with Jimdo Dolphin. This is only available with Jimdo Creator.
The shop feature is designed for very small online stores. A range of payment options are available (credit card, direct debit, PayPal). You can create up to 10 subpages with the BASIC plan and up to 50 with the BUSINESS plan. There is no limit on the number of subpages if you have the VIP plan. You can add an unlimited number of products no matter which plan you have. Unfortunately, there is no option for drop shipping or selling digital products.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The limited access to SEO settings is frankly disappointing. At the moment, you can only change the title of the home page and choose a general title for all other pages.
If you are keen to boost your ranking, you may be interested in adding the “Business Listings” option, which automatically synchronizes your website details on platforms like Facebook and Google. This is available if you sign up for the UNLIMITED or VIP plan.
Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to set up a blog via Jimdo Dolphin. You can do so with Jimdo Creator, however.
You can connect Google Analytics to your website provided that you activate the statistics function in your Jimdo account and set up a Google Analytics account.
A set of standard fields (name, email address, phone number and message text) can be added as a block. Unfortunately there is no way to customize these fields or add any additional ones.
Password protection & member areas
There is sadly no option to password-protect your pages or set up a member area.
Jimdo doesn’t offer its own newsletter tool. And with Jimdo Dolphin not offering the option of embedding tools using HTML, it is not possible to integrate a third-party solution.
Add HTML code
You cannot use your own HTML code, but you do have the opportunity to make some adjustments to existing features in the editor. For instance, you can change the color scheme and layout as well as adding media (video links and images).
The START plan comes with 5 GB and the GROW plan with up to 15 GB. You have unlimited storage with the UNLIMITED plan.
Backups & Restore
Back-ups are not saved, and you cannot restore your website, but you can undo changes made during your current session.
Support is available via email and the Support Center. The number of specific articles provided in the help section of the website is disappointing compared to the resources available for Jimdo Creator. Users with the START plan or any of the more expensive plans can access email support via their own website menu.
You can create a first draft of your website in no time and the editor is super easy to use. What’s not to like?
The website builder is extremely easy to use. You can create a first draft of your website in next to no time. Jimdo is a fantastic option for anyone looking to create a small, simple website without the need for a lot of features.
What About the Final Product?
Firstly, we think that the websites generated can look rather effective.
It only took a few quick tweaks for us to create a really decent website. Of course, you will always need to work on the text that appears on the site rather than just accepting it as it is.
You can then also add a few extra elements or change the color scheme and fonts if you like.
It’s interesting to note that there are page structures that you can switch over to with ease as opposed to classic templates.
Creating a Website with Jimdo Dolphin
If you don’t have enough images of your own to add to your website, you can use stock photos from the media database. These are taken from the likes of Unsplash.com and, luckily, they look really natural.
Even complete beginners will find it easy to create a decent website with Jimdo. If you have any experience of building websites or knowledge of coding, however, there are other tools out there that you will get more out of your new website with, in terms of the design and features.
Jimdo does also offer an online store feature, but we would only recommend it for very small e-commerce projects as it stands right now. If you’d just like to pop a handful of products online and don’t expect customers to be flocking to your website to get their hands on them, you’re bound to get on just fine with this solution.
But if you’re going to need options for voucher codes, advanced delivery methods and stock management, you’d be better off going with Wix or Squarespace for now. Unfortunately, there is no scope for automatically selling digital products with Jimdo yet either.
We were pleasantly surprised by the Dolphin editor. It’s possible to create a rather effective first draft of your website in no time. If you’re prepared to invest another hour or two into customizing the text and adding further subpages, the final product can be made to look really impressive.
The basic level of SEO is disappointing as it stands, though. If you ask us, this new segment of intelligent website builders will become firmly established and progress further going forward.
When we tested out the support options, Jimdo’s customer service team got back to us fairly quickly, and we were happy with their answers to our questions. But it would still be nice to have access to a few more help articles specifically about this new Dolphin editor.
It’s up to you to decide whether you want to delve deeper into the world of website creation using a product from one of the competitors or if you just want to tick your project off your to-do list in a quick and pain-free way using Jimdo.
It’s fair to say that Jimdo offers a brilliant tool for anyone who isn’t very tech-savvy, who is short on time, or who just needs a simple website. We would say that this website builder is ideal for photographers, designers, restaurants, and other small businesses just looking to get started with a basic online presence.
But you can assume that this won’t be the right tool for you if you’re after any more sophisticated features. If you fall into that category, we’d recommend checking out what else is on offer.
> Get started now: Sign up for a free trial of Jimdo here.
If you have any questions about Jimdo that we haven’t answered, please feel free to leave us a comment 🙂
Alternatives to Jimdo
Here are the best alternatives to Jimdo:
If you’re after an eye-catching website, Wix may be the better choice. Wix has many design options, allowing you to add and position elements like pictures, videos and even blend-in effects.
Similar to Wix, Squarespace has some pretty stylish templates in its standard portfolio. However, a certain understanding of design and web editing is required. The editor is not quite as easy to use as Jimdo’s.
Weebly is very intuitive and extremely beginner-friendly. In contrast to Jimdo, Weebly also has an App Store so that you can add extra features. Of course, an online shop and blog are included. Unlike Jimdo, Weebly’s online store allows you to sell digital goods.
Are you unsure about what’s your best option? Let our website builder smart finder help you in 5 questions.
Will I only be able to use a .jimdosite.com domain name? I need a proper .com domain, such as henrysonlinestore.com.
Jimdo’s paid plans come with one free domain name the first year (e.g. .com, .net, .org or one of many others).
If you have a Namecheap, 1&1 Ionos or GoDaddy domain name, you can learn how to transfer or point it to Jimdo with our tool.
How should I go about setting up my email inboxes?
You can create a Google Workspace account and connect it to your domain, but that’s not the cheapest option at $6 per month.
Alternatively, you could use Zoho Workspace, which would give you up to five email accounts for free.
Can I try out the START plan and then upgrade later?
Yes, that’s no problem at all. Whatever you have already paid will be factored in when you switch plans. And your website content won’t be affected.
Can I embed videos on my Jimdo website?
Yes, you certainly can. Jimdo doesn’t have its own player, but you can embed videos you have uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo on your own website. You can use the video element to do this, but you’ll need to add a photo first as a way of sharing the link to your video.
Does Jimdo have a search function?
Sorry, the Jimdo Dolphin editor doesn’t offer a search function.
How can I cancel Jimdo?
All Jimdo paid plans have a contract term of 12 months and a one-month notice period. If you wish to cancel your plan, you need to notify Jimdo at least one month before your contract is due to expire. You can read more about how to cancel your plan here. Upon cancellation, you will be reverted to the PLAY plan. You obviously also have the option of downgrading your plan, e.g. from GROW to START.
Latest Review Updates
12 Oct 2021 - Check for accuracy and smaller Updates
17 Feb 2021 - Complete Update.