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.
But now Jimdo has gone one step further with its promise of a website in just 3 minutes. A series of questions, combined with a number of intelligent algorithms, is in place with a view to making sure that the process is fast and the end product looks good. The German company clearly stands behind Jimdo Dolphin, assigning it a major part of their developers’ resources and marketing budget.
You can hardly blame us for being somewhat skeptical about such bold claims. But we decided to take a closer look for ourselves to see just how intelligent this solution really is. As you will see later, we created a test website that is now online.
Table of Contents
What is Jimdo Dolphin?
Unlike the standard editor, Jimdo Creator, the Dolphin product falls under a new category of website builder systems that are coming about at the moment. It is aimed at website operators who are on a very tight schedule when it comes to creating their pages. Ideally, everything should be done and dusted within a matter of hours.
Competitors in the form of Wix (ADI), The Grid, and Bookmark tend to use the buzzword “AI” (artificial intelligence) when talking about this kind of editor. But we have found this to be rather exaggerated up until now. Luckily, Jimdo plays it down a bit more.
Jimdo’s intelligent website builder is available in six different languages. By asking a few questions, it gathers all the information needed to put together the basic website structure. Here are a few screenshots:
Creating a Website with Jimdo Dolphin – How Intelligent Is It Really?
We decided to create a bakery website of our own to test out the product thoroughly.
We used a real, existing bakery as the basis of the website (note – we’re not affiliated with it in any way), as Dolphin really comes into its own when there is already a lot of information available online. This may come in the form of a Facebook page, an Instagram profile, or a Google Places listing. Dolphin can use profiles like this to find information including contact details, logos, and other images. This would work well, for example, for a restaurant, a band, or a service provider. The product is not yet available for all sectors.
There is apparently even an algorithm that checks the quality of any images that are found. Our experience here on the WebsiteToolTester team tells us that poor-quality images are in fact one of the main reasons that cause some websites to look horribly unprofessional.
The Dolphin creation process
We had enough decent images to take our pick from for the website thanks to the Google profile. As far as we know, Jimdo only includes images if the rights have been cleared. That means only images that you are actually allowed to use.
And that’s what the creation process is like… You may be interested to find out that the first draft was indeed complete within 3 minutes!
What About the Final Product? Our Experience with Jimdo Dolphin
First of all, I think that the website created looks rather effective.
It only took a few quick tweaks to create a really decent website (if I do say so myself). Of course, you will always need to work on the text that appears on the site rather than just accepting it as is.
If you want, you then have the choice of adding extra elements. It’s interesting to note that there are page structures that you can switch over with ease as opposed to classic templates.
Content blocks in Jimdo Dolphin
If you don’t have enough images of your own, you can use stock photos from the media database. These are taken from the likes of Unsplash.com and, luckily, they look really natural.
Let’s now compare Dolphin with Jimdo’s older product, Jimdo Creator.
Pros and Cons of Jimdo Dolphin
- Extremely intuitive to use thanks to the wizard
- You can actually create a first draft in just 3 minutes
- Take your pick from attractive designs
- Some of the problems with Jimdo Creator have been fixed: There is now central media storage and changes only have to be published before going live
- The website and editor (!) work well on mobile devices too
- Loading times are very fast (e.g., in Google PageSpeed Insights)
- There is a free live chat app available
- The range of functions available is very limited: There is no blog, no store (although this is probably in the pipeline), no password protection, and no mobile app for live chat or bookings
- As far as SEO is concerned, 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
- Style: You can work with font styles, sizes, colors, and so on in a much more granular way in Creator
- 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.
- The prices are higher (as we will see later)
Here at ToolTester, we always look at the usability and available features of a website builder first and foremost. However, we do, of course, acknowledge that the majority of users will never make use of elements like password protection or a store.
Looking at the bakery’s actual, professionally-built website, which I think looks fantastic, I don’t really see any really advanced features there either. There’s no ecommerce store and the SEO isn’t particularly well optimized. The problems will only really start when you want to start blogging at a later date. Jimdo Dolphin doesn’t offer any option for this and there’s no easy way to switch to Jimdo Creator.
Jimdo Dolphin Pricing
There are four Dolphin price plans available:
|Subdomain only||Free domain for the first year (e.g., .com or .co.uk)|
|Jimdo logo in footer||Ad-free|
|500 MB storage||5 GB storage||15 GB storage||Unlimited storage|
|2 GB bandwidth||10 GB bandwidth||20 GB bandwidth||Unlimited bandwidth|
|5 subpages||10 subpages||50 subpages||Unlimited subpages|
|–||1 Forwarding email address||5 Forwarding email addresses||20 Forwarding email addresses|
|–||–||Professional design analysis|
|No statistics||Web statistics and Jimdo Boost app||Web statistics and Jimdo Boost app||Web statistics and Jimdo Boost app|
|$0 per month||$9 per month||$19 per month||$39 per month|
|Jimdo Dolphin free trial|
Price plans are billed annually.
The free-of-charge Play plan is intended mainly for personal projects and for people who want to try the product out. It’s a great way of finding out if the product is for you.
The Grow plan doesn’t have a page limit and you also get a professional one-off design analysis from Jimdo.
The Unlimited plan is new and not available everywhere yet. There you won’t have page limits, storage limits or any restrictions on your bandwidth. We find the price a bit exaggerated though.
How Does It Work with Your Own Domain?
As we mentioned above, the “Start” and “Grow” plans give you the option of using your own domain. If you register it through Jimdo, the first year is free of charge. From the second year onward, you will be charged $20, which is reasonable if not amazingly cheap.
If you want to be able to use several email accounts with your domain, we recommend looking into Namecheap or Zoho Workplace. This will help you save some costs compared to Google’s pricey G Suite, which costs $60 every year for each email address.
You can find out how to link an external domain to your Jimdo Dolphin domain and much more by visiting the Jimdo Dolphin help page.
Some Dolphin Sample Sites
Sector: Martial arts
Name: Moea Creugnet
Sector: Freelance artist
We were pleasantly surprised by the outcome of our little experiment. The website we created is rather effective. 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. It goes without saying that the basic level of SEO optimization is disappointing as it stands. This is a key point but as far as we know it is going to be developed further soon.
If you ask us, this new segment of intelligent website builders will become firmly established and progress further going forward.
It’s up to you to decide whether you want to delve deeper into the world of website creation using Jimdo Creator (or a product from one of the competitors) or if you just want to tick your website project off your to-do list in a quick and pain-free way using Jimdo Dolphin. Jimdo now has a decent solution to offer people in both camps.
If you have any questions about Jimdo Dolphin, please feel free to leave us a comment.
12 Dec 2018 – Pricing updates.