PROS / This application is backed by excellent help and support.
CONS / Without a mobile editor or responsive templates, you must purchase a mobile website editor from a third-party company in order to create a mobile friendly website.
VERDICT / Homestead's lack of design features and hosting restrictions limit the usefulness of the software. However, you'll find a good selection of templates and graphics, plus great customer support.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 Web Design Software here.
Homestead's website design software serves as a good option for small business or personal use because it's easy to use and feature rich. The hosting plans are not as robust as other website design software platforms on our list, and you must use Homestead's site to keep your website; nonetheless, the various support options and superior customer service make this a web design software application to consider.
This website builder operates on the cloud, so you can access your account and make changes to your website from any computer with an internet connection. Like other programs on our list, that means you are tied to using Homestead for hosting and will need to recreate your website from scratch if you ever change hosts. Another drawback, though small, is that this service does not allow for multiple editors. You have to share your account information with anyone who needs to work on the website.
Homestead provides more than 300 professional templates. If you can't find a template that suits your needs, they're easy to customize. Sites built with this website-development software support multimedia, including video, audio and animation. This service lets you incorporate Flash-operated features and audio. Although, the templates are not responsive or mobile friendly. Homestead has an agreement with Duda, so you can create a mobile website and use that editor for an additional fee.
Other website-development tools offered by this program include a proprietary shopping cart, although you'll pay extra for this feature. You can incorporate a third-party cart, such as PayPal. You can add maps and directions from Google Maps so that people can find your store or business. Homestead does not place its brand on your website, so your site can keep its professional image.
Google favors strong content when ranking websites in a search, but SEO is still important. Homestead submits your site to search engines and lets you incorporate metatags. These tags help identify the topics on your website and can boost your ranking in the major search engines.
Homestead offers several hosting plans. We reviewed the Business plan, which does not limit the number of sites or webpages you can create. Although, it does restrict storage to 5GB, which is sufficient for a small business, but not as much as the other applications on our list. However, you can upgrade to a higher plan that offers more storage. The Business plan includes a custom domain and five email addresses, both of which are vital for presenting a professional image to your customers.
Homestead excels in customer support. It provides live chat, and representatives replied to our inquiry within a minute. It also has a phone number for other support questions. There is no support email. Instead, its community forums are a resource to turn to for questions. Just like live chat, representatives responded to our question quickly. Its blog and tutorials also offer tips for increasing your Google presence and making sense of your analytics.
If you are willing to commit to Homestead for your website hosting, this software is a good choice for designing your personal or small business website due to its usability and selection of basic and advanced design tools. It has a variety of templates and graphics to help you get started, plus it has great customer support. While the software lacks mobile friendly capabilities, you can access them through other applications. If you don't mind using multiple programs to create your website, Homestead is worth considering.