Jimdo iPhone App Review

2015-02-24 07:12:06

Available on the App StoreiPhone, iPadAvailable on the Android MarketTablets, PhonesComputers
Ease for Beginners

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Features & Capabilities

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Some Websites Made with Jimdo

Free app and websites or Pro packages from $90 a year

Jimdo’s app is free and then you create a free website on a Jimdo sub-domain, which will always be free, or buy one of two packages which offer extras such as your own unique domain, additional widgets, online store options and other features.

User friendly but limited

Jimdo iPhone App Screenshot

The app, like others we’ve reviewed, works only in portrait mode, and is quite easy to use for what it is able to do. It’s basically WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). It’s also fairly speedy.

The app works but many Jimdo desktop features are unavailable

What Jimdo for iPhone can do it does well. What it can’t do is fatal.

What Jimdo’s iPhone app can do it does well. However, what it can’t do compared with Jimdo for desktop browsers is almost everything. One thing in particular which deserves early mention is that the capabilities of the app don’t match the themes. For example, many Jimdo themes have content in 2 or 3 columns, but the app can only add content vertically, in one column. For me this alone makes the app almost useless. Jimdo own up to the discrepancies on their website, and say they are working on adding features, but this just raises the question of why the app was released.

Good support articles on website creation

Jimdo’s support site has helpful advice on all aspects of website creation and promotion. There’s not much about the app itself, except for a description of which Jimdo functions the app can perform. From within the app there is quick access to email support.

Very few of the features of Jimdo for desktop are present

Jimdo’s app makes use of the increasingly popular left and right swipe-in menus, and also of a bottom set tool bar plus a small menu at the top. The overall result is that the app feels very minimal and spacious, with no one menu having too many functions. Pages and blog posts can be created and ordered in the left menu, and in-page content can be created either from the right side menu, or from the toolbar at the bottom.

Jimdo iPhone App Screenshot

The content capabilities vary between packages, from 500Mb of storage for JimdoFree up to unlimited for JimdoBusiness. I created 30 pages before I tired of testing the practical limits of 500Mb. Jimdo has been around for quite some time as a desktop browser based website builder, and is rated quite highly by many reviewers on that platform. I haven’t tested Jimdo for desktop beyond a very cursory look, but it’s capabilities seem quite strong. The iPhone app, whilst very nicely designed, offers only a very few of these features. Some types of content cannot be created from within the app, and other types of content, which have been created in Jimdo desktop, cannot be edited from within the iPhone app.

What you can do with the iOS app
You can create pages and blog posts and populate them with headings, images, text blocks and photo galleries. You can re-order and edit any of the content you create from within the app. Photos are automatically resized on upload. Text editing is basic, offering some basic alignment and text bold or italicising options. Layout options are limited to one column and this is big a problem because many of the themes are designed for multiple columns…. more on this later.

Jimdo iPhone App Screenshot

What you cannot do with Jimdo for iPhone
You can’t create product pages or edit your existing products. You can’t add any of the dozens of widgets (except the basic ones mentioned above), such as Youtube videos, contact forms, the disqus comment system, social media share buttons, calendars, flickr, Soundcloud etc. You can’t access many of the basic layout elements of the themes. I could go on, but I’ll leave it there for now before making some conclusions below.

Beautiful themes but not all are compatible with the Jimdo for iPhone

Jimdo iPhone App Screenshot

Jimdo templates considered independently of the app are well designed. The choice of palette for each theme is also generally good and this element of the theme style can be changed within the iOS app. The themes are designed, however, for the desktop browser version of Jimdo. Many have content organized both horizontally and vertically, whereas the app can only edit vertically, in one column. Although there are some themes with just one column, and these are more suited to the app, it doesn’t make any sense to me that the multi-column themes are presented in the app at all. Even for the themes which only have one column, there are many elements, such as the logo, custom backgrounds and choice of fonts which can only be edited from desktop browser version.

Multi language sites are possible with Jimdo, but not from the iPhone app

To create and edit a multi-language site you need to use a computer.

SEO is nicely explained but you’ll need to use Jimdo desktop

Jimdo have done a good job of explaining SEO and how to create content that will work for people and for the search engines, but very little can be done in Jimdo’s iPhone app. You will need to use Jimdo for computers to edit your meta tags and to use the social media sharing functions. If you have a Pro or Business account, you can view your website’s visitor statistics from within the app.

A good explanation of SEO and how to create content, but very little can actually be done in Jimdo’s iPhone app.

Available for many devices but not a multi-platform website builder

Jimdo is now available for Desktop, for iPhone and iPad, and for Android devices. The Android and iOS apps offer very similar capabilities, but both offer very few of the features found in Jimdo for desktop. Jimdo websites using newer themes adapt to mobile and desktop screens very well.

Conclusions

A nicely designed app in some senses, but not a useful website builder.

If there were no such thing as Jimdo Desktop, then this review would conclude by saying that Jimdo’s iPhone app is nicely designed and easy to use, but offers very limited website creation possibilities. And that some elements which are presented in the theme selector are not editable from within the app.

Given that there is Jimdo for desktop, it’s more complicated. Jimdo say that you can create a website from scratch and edit existing websites from the app, and that to access the many advanced features of Jimdo, you just need to go to a computer browser now and then. I feel that this is a little disingenuous, because as pointed out many times above, the compatibility of the app with Jimdo for Desktop is low, especially in regard to the themes. The themes have been designed for Jimdo Desktop, and when placed into the context of the app, editing the contents becomes a guessing game. Supposing you started with Jimdo desktop and would like to use the app to edit your site on the go. Only some of the elements and widgets of your site will be editable, in fact very few. Worse, even some of the very basic elements, like blocks of text and photos, will be uneditable. This is because the iPhone app can only create and edit one column of content. And even this is severely limited. If, on the other hand, you start with the app, to get any decent results you will be forced to go to the desktop almost from the very beginning, for example to upload your logo, or a background image, to change the font size, to edit your meta tags, or add facebook and twitter sharing buttons.

A year ago I felt that an earlier iOS app produced by Jimdo had been made mainly for marketing purposes, to point to their browser based website builder. They’ve made a start on a real app, and if they can integrate its features better with the themes and the desktop version it has potential, but for now I still feel it’s a marketing tool. If you like Jimdo, stick to it’s desktop version. To create or maintain a website for a business or other professional purpose is beyond this app.

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