Homestead is a fairly simple website builder
Homestead is one of the oldest website builders out there, but that doesn't mean you can't find features that are great for personal and small business websites. For first-time users, the great thing about Homestead is that it's a cloud hosting service. In other words, you can work on your site from any browser or computer.
This website builder has a fairly simple interface, so anyone can take advantage of it and create a website from scratch. Homestead also has pretty good web analytics and e-commerce tools, but they don't work as smoothly and well as other website builders. Sadly, Homestead doesn't provide the option to create a mobile-friendly website. In this day and age, this feature is 150% needed!
It's quite good that Homestead also provides hosting services. However, if you then want to move your website to another hosting service, you'll have to create it there from scratch. Fortunately, Homestead offers a very generous 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you plenty of time to experience this builder for yourself.
Homestead is a website builder that has been around for over 20 years. Registering with Homestead begins by passing your email address to create an account. The site will then ask you to enter your payment details. Homestead offers a 30-day free trial, so you can test if this website builder is right for you.
After entering our information, Homestead prompts us to specify the purpose of our website (personal, business) and then asks us to select the plan we want to buy. Once this process is complete, you can start by selecting a template and building your website.
Homestead has three basic plans that you can choose from on the website. You can try any of these plans for free for 30 days, and then you'll need to either cancel the trial or choose one of the paid plans. All three plans include access to hundreds of templates of your choice. Below is a brief homestead review of each plan.
Starter Plan. It has 25 MB of disk space, 5 GB of bandwidth per month and up to five pages. You can create one website with this plan.
The Business Plan has 5 GB of disk space, 100 GB of bandwidth per month, up to 100 pages and up to three websites. For either plan, you can purchase additional marketing tools to help boost your website's SEO.
Business Plus plan. It includes 10 GB of storage, 500 GB of bandwidth per month, unlimited pages and unlimited websites. This plan also includes web listings (SEO feature) - in all previous plans, you have to purchase this feature as an add-on.
The interface looks a bit dated compared to other website builders. However, it's still very easy to understand where everything is, and you can quickly browse plans and prices. The Homestead setup wizard then allowed us to choose the domain we wanted to use, or choose our preferred subdomain.
We chose the subdomain option, clicked 'Save' and Homestead explained that our site would be activated and ready within minutes. Some web hosts take time to set everything up, but with Homestead this was no problem, and we were able to log into our account console almost immediately.
Going to the support section of a web hosting company usually takes you to the online knowledge base, but Homestead is a little different. Although there is a collection of articles and guides, most of its online support is in the Homestead Community, a simple forum where customers can post their current problems and get answers from official support representatives.
Homestead offers a decent selection of over 200 website templates, which can be filtered by industry or keyword. Templates are displayed as a large thumbnail of the homepage, but unfortunately you can't preview the template in full screen before selecting it.
Select a template and a beautiful editor opens. The left-hand sidebar has options for managing pages, adding sections or content elements, adding a blog, an online shop (if your plan supports this) and more, and the toolbar has buttons for undo or redo actions, page switching between desktops and mobile previews, and previewing or saving your site. If you have experience building websites, you'll feel right at home.
When you click on any item on the template page, toolbars and dialogue boxes appear, containing settings for customisation and actions you can apply. Text boxes give you all the usual alignment and formatting options. Image galleries can be rearranged and reformatted, and you can customise the borders, background, shadows and opacity for everything else, as well as applying fun animations with just a few clicks.
There are plenty of website developers out there (Odoo, Dreamhost and Voog, to name a few). So what's so special about Homestead? Some website developers need more time to learn, while Homestead is very easy to understand (which makes it easy to choose a template and build your own site). On the other hand, the most basic plan (Starter plan) only includes 25 MB of storage, which is not much compared to other website builder plans.
Homestead is a decent website builder if you want to create a website very quickly. The three-step process makes it easy to create a website, even if you're doing it for the first time. However, the Business and Business Plus plans are quite expensive when it comes to building websites.