Websites with Jimdo

This article published out of sequence because it was accidentally deleted.

In the last year or so, I’ve looked at a number of supposedly easy website creation and hosting services and, this week, it’s the turn of one called Jimdo.

Like most similar services, Jimdo offers both free and paid options with the free one being more than adequate for personal websites or casual use. It’s easy to sign on by going to www.jimdo.com, entering your e-mail address and the username you want use.

The system then sends you an e-mail with a link you click to be taken to your site and you can then get started adding pages and content to the basic site that was created for you. This includes some pages it thinks you might need such as a blog, a picture gallery and a contact form.

The really nifty thing about Jimdo is the fact that you do all your edits additions in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get interface with an options bar on the right-hand side of the screen. The options bar is used whenever you want to change the layout of the site or its style, including choices of font and colours.

There are a large number of different layout option to choose from and it is reassuring to know that you can from one to another at will, without losing content you might have already added. An option I didn’t explore is to find a page you like on the web and let Jimdo copy the layout and style for you.

Sites are created with a navigation bar and you click anywhere on it to get the option of adding, deleting or renaming pages on the site. The same principle of clicking whatever you want to change applies when you want to edit a page element or add something else to a page.

Every page element, such as a block of text, a picture, or whatever, is kept in its own container and is highlighted if you move your mouse cursor over it. You can move it up or down on the page, edit its content, delete it, or add a new element to the page.

There is a wide selection of elements that you can choose from including headings, text blocks, text with a photo, photos on their own, picture galleries of various kinds, videos, tables, forms, horizontal lines, and a comment/guest book.

You just select the element you want to place on the page and it’ll open an appropriate dialog box that you would use to input and format the content. It is really easy to do and, if you make a mistake and put the heading below the text, for example, it is easy to select the heading and move it up.

As a keen photographer, I enjoyed the picture gallery feature which allows you to select a bunch of photos from your computer and upload them into a slideshow gallery or as thumbnails which the viewer can click. There is also the facility for displaying photos from your Flickr account or those of other people.

Jimdo’s interface is the easiest and most intuitive to use that I’ve yet come across but it still manages to offer you more options than most. It would be my choice if I wanted a quick site although I would probably opt for the paid option, at $5 a month.

The free option is not at all bad but it is paid-for by the adverts which appear on each page. Another benefit of paying is that you get to use whatever site address you want, instead of a generic one like yoursite.jimdo.com.

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