Homestead is an all-inclusive website building tool . It’s designed to help businesses quickly build websites so that they have an online presence. The platform comes with ready-to-use templates that DIYers can modify to suit their needs or just “plug in” the content and hit publish.
View Homestead’s current plans & pricing
Homestead was a product I tried recently. Here is my full Homestead Website Builder review. Before I dive into my review of Homestead, let me give you a brief overview about the tools that can be used to build websites.
There are many things to consider when selecting a website builder. And there are literally a million ways to achieve what you desire in terms of functionality and pricing. It doesn’t matter if you are building a website for personal use or for business purposes, your choice of site builder can have major consequences.
It can affect your flexibility, functionality, and brand in the long-term. It can cause headaches in the short-term. However, it is not possible to choose the best or most desirable physical home or office. It’s all about your experience, goals, and circumstances.
What is a Homestead Website Builder?
Homestead offers a wide range of website building options. It is the only one that provides all the necessary tools to help you get started and grow your site. This contrasts with other solutions that allow you to buy, install and manage each “piece” of your website individually.
Homestead is a way to lease and customize an apartment in a beautiful development, instead of purchasing and owning a house. While you retain control over decor, cleaning, and other aspects of living, the property owner is responsible for the building, plumbing, security and infrastructure. This is crucial because convenience and control are often in direct conflict.
You may find everything you need with Homestead’s website builder, but it may not be what you’re looking for.
Homestead is in direct competition with all-inclusive web builders such as Wix, Squarespace and Jimdo, Yahoo! and WordPress.com (and Shopify online stores).
They are more focused on helping businesses get up and running than their direct competitors. Not only do they have an easy-to-create site, but also with traffic-driving strategies and consultations.
Homestead was actually one of the first website builders, with a very long history dating back to the early 2000s. Together with Blogger they made websites accessible to all HTML users, regardless of their HTML knowledge. Although their product has changed over time, they still work.
The pros of using the Homestead Website Builder
Here are the pros and cons of Homestead’s website builder. Not just in comparison with direct competitors like GoDaddy or Wix but as an overall solution for website building.
Template Design / Functionality
Homestead has a large selection of responsive templates that look great on any device (tablet, mobile, or computer). This makes Homestead a good choice for many niches.
It was actually quite surprising to see how many templates Homestead has and how well-designed they are. I first looked at their sample templates when I was researching. These templates looked a bit outdated, to be honest.
The templates are amazing once you get into the platform.
Let’s get into the functionality of the platform. It is very easy to use the Homestead Website Builder. The platform offers a brief tutorial on how to use its features when you log in for the first time.
It is very easy to set up. You can add sections (pre-made, blank) and drag and drop elements such as photos, buttons and text. The template can also be customized to your brand.
While there are some obvious drawbacks to this arrangement, I will address them in the disadvantages. However, it is an advantage to have a variety of design options.
Homestead is a great choice for DIY-ers and entrepreneurs who want a professionally designed website without the need to hire someone to create it or spend hours trying out to modify it.
30 Day Free Trial
Homestead also offers a 30-day trial for no cost.
Homestead lets you try any plan, even the most expensive! You can try any plan for 30 days before you commit. This is a great way for DIYers to test drive a plan before they commit.
Important to remember is that your subscription will automatically renew. If you do not cancel your subscription within 30 days, your credit card will be charged.
While this is not necessarily a problem, it’s something you should be aware of if your goal is to test the builder.
Some product integration
Homestead offers some product integrations, including ecommerce functionality, domains/email, and ecommerce functionality.
Note that these additional functionality and integrations are either included in paid plans, or can be purchased separately. Although this is not necessarily a problem, it is important to be aware of the fact that you can get a lot more functionality with other website builders.
It is important to also consider the negative aspects of software. There will be complaints about every piece of software. Let’s take a look at some of the cons that I experienced with Homestead as a website builder.
Pricing + Plans
The biggest problem with Homestead’s website builders is their pricing and plan structure.
All plans include storage caps. This means that you can only store photos, documents, and files. You can store it on your website. They also limit bandwidth at all tiers.
You will also need to pay additional fees for advanced features and add-ons. Homestead is definitely more expensive than other all-inclusive web builders due to similar features and less storage.
Design & Branding
When choosing a website builder or any other product, trust is an important factor. It is important to be sure that the company you are doing business with (and granting your credit card to), is legitimate and will stand behind their offer.
Trust can come in many forms: word of mouth and reviews, over time, years of existence, etc. It also comes down to design and branding. It is a sign that a business does not appear trustworthy or credible, especially if they are building your website.
Although we had no issues with Homestead’s website builder, they were easy to use. However, the website design and branding left a lot to be desired. Their template designs are not up-to-date, which made it difficult for me to recommend them.
Limited Feature Set – Technical
Technical limitations are features you don’t want until they’re actually needed. Then you realize you can’t have them.
These include integrations with Facebook, Pinboard and Twitter. They also allow for social sharing options such as blogging and other advanced marketing tools.
As I said, Homestead offers some Integrations like DNS/Hosting Services, and email as an additional payment.
These codes allow you to add code into your website’s header for analytics tracking and also offer some ecommerce functionality.
Homestead does not provide many technical features or they are very limited.
Let’s take, for example, a look at Homestead’s Advanced settings. I have the ability to edit and remove the site’s meta tags and header tags. Apart from that, I am pretty locked down. Schema and Open Graph settings are not available. – far less advanced options.
The additional products and integrations available are not extensive. Apart from adding Google Analytics code and adding social sharing functionality, there isn’t much you can do to market your site. Their traffic generating/SEO service add-on sounds… less ideal.
Homestead is lacking in product integrations and other technical features that will help you market your website better.
Homestead Review Conclusion
Homestead’s templates are well-designed and allow for a lot more customization than other all-inclusive web builders. It is easy to get a professional-looking website online.
View Homestead’s current plans & pricing
There is a compromise between convenience and control when using all-inclusive web builders. This is especially true when you consider the price. Homestead’s pricing is a bit lacking, especially when you consider the technical limitations and the additional fees for add-ons. You’re better off looking elsewhere if you want more control and scalability at a lower price.