Homestead Web Design Software is a do-it-yourself software that helps you build beautiful, custom-looking websites from scratch. In addition to its easy-to-use drag and drop interface, Homestead contains all the tools you’ll need- including our patent pending templates, which make customizing your website simple, fun and fast!
Homestead Web Design Software
When it debuted back in the 90s, Homestead was a real game-changer. The company was the number 1 choice of many people interested in website building and creating the best website or web store. In fact, Homestead is now one of the longest-standing companies for site-building. The question is, how well does this web builder hold up by current standards?
Well, the truth is, there are plenty of web hosting companies nowadays, and Homestead is no longer the most popular one. Still, Homestead’s site has about 12 million users, and plenty of people still choose it to create websites for all types of enterprises.
Homestead has received many positive press reactions since it was launched in 1996. If you’re wondering which hosting provider to choose for your website, reviews always come in handy, and Homestead has many positive reviews!
We were curious, so we decided to give Homestead’s website hosting services a try. That’s how this Homestead review you’re reading was created. We will tell you our honest opinion and give you the information you need about this site builder’s pricing, customer service, tools, and other features.
Years ago, Homestead.com made site creation possible by using Homestead SiteBuilder, a downloadable design program that is no longer used. Nowadays, the company uses a new, more modern web-based builder, which makes it ideal for creating a small business website or online store. You don’t need to be a professional to create your own site with Homestead. The platform is user-friendly and good for business owners with zero design and coding experience.
Homestead offers 3 website pricing packages: Starter plan, Business plan, and Business Plus plan. We like website builders that are straightforward; after all, nobody likes surprises connected to paying a larger amount of money than expected! That often happens with website builders that offer discount prices for a specific period of time.
You sign up for, let’s say, $3 per month, and you’re happy you’ve made the deal of your life! However, after this initial period expires, you realize that the renewal price is 3/4x higher, and you have to pay $12/mo for a basic plan! Well, with Homestead, this won’t happen!
The Starter package costs $7.99/mo and includes everything site builders need: easy-to-use website builder software, plenty of customizable templates, and over 1 million royalty-free images. However, a personalized domain name and email address are included only as add-ons.
The most popular package is the Business one. It includes everything we mentioned above + 100GB bandwidth, 100 pages, 3 sites, 1 personalized domain, and 5 email accounts. It costs $22.99/mo and is perfect for small businesses.
The third plan costs $62.99/mo. It includes everything the Business plan does, with the difference that here you get 10GB storage, 500GB bandwidth/mo, unlimited sites and pages, 3 personalized domain names, and 50 emails. Moreover, the plan includes marketing tools such as WebListing and website statistics.
We liked the most about Homestead because it offers a 30-day free trial for all three of its plans. That means that you can give the platform a try, and if you’re not happy with its terms and performance, you can cancel any time! All three plans include relatively good customer support: toll-free phone support and community support.
The company offers various add-ons that you can add to your preferred plans. This can be considered a disadvantage since you will have to pay extra for essential features such as search engine optimization and e-commerce. In the end, when you add all of the features you want, you might have to pay $99 per month and more.
Read Further: The 13 Best Free Website Builders of 2022: Their Pros & Cons
Pros and Cons of Homestead
- Many customizable templates
- Ease of use due to the company’s drag and drop builder
- Free image galleries
- Overall affordable prices
- Limited bandwidth
- No free domain name in the Starter plan
- Paid search ads and SEO services are available only as add-ons
- The online shop option costs $14.99/mоnth
- Ease of use 5/5
Even though Homestead offers the most basic features, the platform is easy to use and suitable for beginners. You just pick a design, drop in your graphics, add your logo, and edit what you want!
- The flexibility of design 3/5
With this host, you get a ready-to-use template with industry-specific text and images. Still, even though the templates are customizable, this customization is quite limited.
- Are there any ads shown 5/5
Paid plans do not show any ads, and only paid subscriptions are available
- Supported Languages 1/5
Although the text editor supports all western European languages, your Homestead site’s interface can be only in English.
- Features 3/5
We liked and didn’t like many things about Homestead’s services. The good news is that this site builder offers you your own domain name. You could also transfer your existing domain easily. Like many other web hosts, this site builder has thought about Monetization as well (you get Google AdSense inserted via an HTML widget.)
Even though the company offers SEO tools only as add-ons, they include everything you need. Page titles, meta tags, and meta descriptions can all be edited, and the URL is also available from the name of the menu item. There’s also a W3C Validator that finds HTML errors in the source code, so we were quite pleased with Homestead when it comes to SEO services.
However, if you want to add a blog, you need to use the blog manager module, and we were really disappointed with how difficult it is to work with it. We were not impressed with the storage space offered in the plans as well. In terms of support, you get email and telephone support, but there’s no live chat and FAQs. Luckily, users can use the built-in RealTracker or add Google Analytics to track their visitor statistics. Users can also add HTML code.
Homestead is basically the dinosaur of website builders, and that’s probably why we were not really happy with its services. Yes, when it comes to plans, there’s something for everyone, but when we compare the company’s pricing to that of other providers…well, it’s not really worth it.
The most basic plan offers only 25MB of storage and costs $7.99/mo is more than enough for users to make up their minds. The truth is that Homestead offers most of the features needed to create the perfect website, but they just have to learn how to adapt to the new environment. Otherwise, people will simply stop trusting them!
homestead mobile website
Optimizing your site to be mobile friendly is crucial nowadays. Mobile-friendly websites will be at the core of website indexing with Google starting in March 2021. This is very important for sites that are not mobile-friendly. Read more on this subject here. https://community.homestead.com/conversations/marketing/googles-mobilefirst-indexing/5fcfff4fb763bd30fe15398d
Over 50% of all internet users are browsing on some type of mobile device. These screens are smaller and tend to have limited functionality, so you need to edit your site to make the easiest possible experience for your site visitors. It is all about making a bigger impact with a smaller space.
That first section of your site that is visible on a mobile device is the place to put your most important information. This includes company name and logo, a smaller navigation menu, contact information, call to action, or a picture.
In Website Builder, there is a part of the builder specifically designed to help optimize your mobile site. In the builder, in the bar at the top of the page, there is an icon that looks like a mobile device. Click that to access the mobile editor:
It is suggested to edit the mobile AS YOU GO. Make a few changes in the desktop builder, then switch to mobile and fix it there as well. Our system will create the mobile site based off of what you build for the desktop, but it might not place all elements in your desired order. You will need to check every page and make sure the elements are displaying in the proper order as you go. This will save you a lot of time and headache later.
There are many things to do in the desktop version to make the content display in the mobile site better.
- Edit your text immediately. Add the textbox element, type or paste your text content, then switch to mobile and turn on “Custom Style in Mobile”
- Edit your font, size, color, and alignment under Style > Custom Style.
- Remove “Dead Space” in text boxes. This is space at the end of your text taken up with empty lines. Just click on the very end of your text and use the Delete button on your keyboard.
- Don’t use “Enter” to create space in text boxes if you want to add a picture or element in the middle. This will not translate properly to mobile. Instead, create two separate text boxes. The same thing applies to Titles and Paragraphs.
- Use settings such as background color with elements whenever possible, instead of layering colored squares under elements. This also does not translate well to mobile.
Just click the element, then click More and look for this icon:
You could, alternately, use a “box” container element if you need to house multiple elements over one background color.
If you need to edit the background color in mobile only, you can.
- Change images to the layout “Fit”. This will help them not cut off in mobile, because they will fit the image the best it can in the space provided.
Just click on the image, click Advanced > Settings and click on the Drop Down Menu for the layout. Choose “Fit”
- Elements in the mobile version are stuck in the section they are placed in. You cannot, for example, move something from the bottom of the page to the top, two sections above. To move it that much, you will need to change the section it is connected to in the main site.
There are some things you will need to change from the desktop version to the mobile:
1. The navigation menu. If you only have 2-3 pages, you can get away with having a navigation menu with buttons for each page. More than that, you’ll want to have one button that expands your menu. This goes back to utilizing that space on the site the best you can. Navigation menus for a lot of pages will take up too much room.
In the mobile editor, click on the navigation menu, click Advanced, and change the menu type to “Menu Button“
2. If you add a Photo Gallery, you will want to change the settings for that gallery specifically in the mobile. It will show all images in a single column, which is a lot for your visitors to scroll through. You’ll want to click on the gallery, click Advanced, turn off “Show On All Pages“, set it to only show one or two images at once, and set Gallery Transitions.
3. If large text is cut off or not displaying properly on the mobile site, you’ll want to follow the instructions in this article.
4. If the background you place in your desktop site does not work as well in the mobile, you can change that as well, by clicking on the background, clicking on Style, and turn “Mobile Custom Style” on. You can remove images and set the color from here.
If some elements don’t work in mobile as well as they do on the main site, you can hide them in the mobile view. To do this, simply click the element in question, and click the “Hide In Mobile” icon.
If you decide you want to show that element again, simply click “Settings” on the left, and find it under “Hidden Elements”, hover over it with your mouse, and click the icon to un-hide it.
To move elements within the mobile editor, click and drag the element. You will see a black cursor indicating where the element will be placed.
Lastly, people browsing on mobile tend to be less patient, so they want things faster. It is recommended to create links your visitors can click on that will make calling you, emailing you, or finding you as easy as possible. To do this:
1. Create a link to your phone number. You can either use an icon (like a phone icon) or your phone number. Attach link and choose the Phone option. Type in your phone number and click OK. When people click on this, it will bring the number up, already dialed on their phone. They just have to click call!
2. Similarly, create a link for your email.
3. If you have a map on your site, please follow these instructions:
Type your address into Google Maps (separate from the builder) and click Share. Copy the link they provide. Attach the link to the map on your site. That way, people can click on the map and it will offer directions.
One last tip: On the desktop site, build within the two vertical guidelines. This area is the most commonly visible space, regardless of what device is being used, so for people using tablets, this will allow them to see all of your content.
These are all tips and suggestions for improving the look and functionality of your mobile site. Use what works for your site and your business!
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.