Web design and development is a complex process — one that often necessitates either a great deal of skill or a great deal of money. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible and, for websites with a much smaller audience, not always needed. However, with a massive market of WYSIWYG-esque web creation tools out there, it’s not too difficult of an issue to overcome.
Jimdo is one such service that allows you to produce, manage and maintain a basic website through a complimentary iPad app. In this article, we’re going to take a look at Jimdo for iPad, take a tour to get you started and see whether it’s the solution you should be choosing for website creation and management on your iPad.
When you first launch Jimdo, the app takes you through a series of initial setup steps, holding your hand through the process of signing up, selecting a layout for your site and choosing its name. At this early stage, Jimdo provides five basic website designs to work from, each fairly acceptable looking and with a companion mobile design to optimise viewing of your site on smaller devices.
Jimdo provides a number of basic styles and layouts for free, one of the first things you’ll select.
When you’ve completed these first steps, that’s it; your site’s live. You can pull up your site, using the custom domain you specified, and visit it on any browser. It’s that easy. Jimdo provides a nice basic tutorial on adding content after signing up although everything’s fairly straightforward from this point.
Adding Pages and Content
Your entire Jimdo site can be managed entirely through the iPad app using the two slide-out menus on the left and the right of the app.
Pulling to the left of the app reveals tools for adding and managing the pages of your site. Here, you can select a page to easily and instantly see the live page in the preview window. By hitting the Edit button, you can remove pages entirely or drag to reorder their listing in the site’s sidebar. Alternatively, you can add a page and give it a name by hitting the plus button. The whole process is very intuitive and in line with generic iPad controls so you shouldn’t be too lost if you’ve used an iPad before.
Adding and rearranging pages is super simple.
To add content to a page, you either need to pull to the right side to reveal the slide out menu and select the plus button or use the circular blue plus button at the bottom of the app. Whichever method you choose, you can select from five different types of content to add to your page: heading, text, text with photo, single photo or a photo gallery. This should cover enough to put together a basic site but the app unfortunately lacks the massive catalogue of possible elements available through the Jimdo website, such as tables, embedded video, maps and social feeds.
The interface for adding and managing page elements is intuitive but limited.
The few elements which are available for use in the iPad app are fairly basic which unfortunately leaves few formatting options available. It’s enough to put together a basic site but Jimdo is significantly limited in this way. However, if you have added non-compatible elements through Jimdo‘s website, the app does a good job at making up for it by still allowing you to reorganise or delete them even though editing isn’t allowed.
Sharing, Testing and Publishing
Jimdo‘s interface revolves around a live preview of your actual site right in the centre, conveniently with a refresh button so you can make it reflect changes on command even when they’ve been executed in other apps or on the web. You can also easily swap between previewing the mobile design and checking out the desktop view to ensure your content is up and running properly whichever resolution it’s being viewed on.
Jimdo provides some useful sharing options so you can start spreading around your site with just a few taps.
Jimdo‘s lower toolbar also offers a range of sharing options, allowing you to easily send a link to your live site through iMessage, email or Twitter in just a few taps. You can also use this menu to pull up a live version in Safari, letting you see your work without all the unnecessary editing interface. These are nice little features that I’m glad Jimdo sought to include.
Jimdo is a nice, straightforward way of quickly putting together a website on your iPad. If you’re wanting to make a blog to show off some experiences of a recent trip to your family or collate resources for a school project, Jimdo is perfect. Although the current app is limited in what it can work with, smooth integration with the web version of Jimdo somewhat makes up for it if you have access to a computer for a few tasks. However, if you’re working with an existing site and are just using the app to edit and manage existing modules, there’s little to criticise.
Jimdo defaults to a free plan and this is what you’ll sign up for if you use the iPad app exclusively. Paid plans for businesses and users wanting a bit more are also available, providing features like custom domains, email service and the removal of ads. At any price tier, however, Jimdo is one of the best WYSIWYG website editors available on the App Store and it’s highly recommended you try it out for your next project.