One of, if not the easiest website builders to use on the market. With a very welcoming price tag, IM Creator allows you to design pages with utmost ease. Focusing on the simple and the approachable has left IM Creator with some flaws though. Lacking design and functionality customization options, leaves the IM Creator limited. It should primarily be used to create short, brochure-like business websites. The key features of the IM Creator paid plan are unlimited hosting space and bandwidth.
You can go straight ahead and give it a try. If you don’t like what you see, there’s a 14 days money-back guarantee option.
The IM Creator team are based in New York. They’ve been featured in publications such as the New York Times and the Huffington Post; with over 11 million websites having been built with their tools, they’ve been making some pretty big waves since launching in 2011.
IM Creator’s biggest claim to fame is the sheer amount that they give away for free, including a complete set of ecommerce tools. We all know, however, that sometimes it’s better to pay a little money than waste your time on something which is free, but not up to scratch. So, can this hip, fairly young website builder justify its growing reputation? Find out, in my IM Creator review.
(Please, note that my IM Creator website builder review is based solely on my own experiences.)
From the very beginning, you can tell that IM Creator has a heavy emphasis on being user-friendly and particularly beginner-friendly.
After an incredibly short signup process and after selecting the theme you’d like, you’re shown a short video which explains the absolute basics: adding new elements, editing elements, and so on. When you get to the actual editor, there’s another brief tutorial, which shows you exactly where everything is on the main page.
Whilst there isn’t drag-and-drop functionality with this website builder, I didn’t actually miss it; adding new elements, moving them around and editing them is simply effortless. This is a truly intuitive interface – it feels like everything is exactly where it should be – and one which is a genuine joy to use.
There are a seemingly endless selection of themes available with this website builder, and the vast majority of them are great to look at. The IM Creator templates are spread across a variety of industries, with something to suit every need.
It is worth noting, however, that whilst IM Creator does give away a lot for free, a number of its themes are premium (i.e. paid-for). Still, there’s not an enormous difference in quality between the paid and the free templates.
There are a number of specific IM Creator ecommerce templates available. After selecting one, adding new products is extremely straightforward. The behind-the-scenes aspects of your online store are handled by another company – Sprocket – but as a whole it’s well-integrated.
Adding a great-looking blog with a predesigned layout is simple with IM Creator. You can then add plenty of basic features, such as a comments section, to your blog. Alternatively, importing an existing blog from Tumblr is equally easy.
IM Creator does not offer any integrated SSL support. If you want to add SSL to your site, you’re going to need to pay a third-party service to add it for you. SSL still isn’t exactly standard in the website builder industry, but this is still a little disappointing.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many of them!
And really, this is the biggest downside of the IM Creator website builder: it looks great, and it’s extremely easy to use for beginners… but it’s inarguably light on features, and there almost certainly won’t be enough here to satisfy experienced website designers.
This is another area in which IM Creator is definitely lacking.
Aside from their aforementioned use of a third-party service for ecommerce, there are very few integrations indeed. Only the very basics – Facebook, Soundcloud, etc. – are available. And that’s about it!
This only serves to exacerbate the problem of the IM Creator website builder lack in features.
In order to assess the general performance levels for websites made using IM Creator, I ran five examples through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
The desktop versions of the websites averaged a score of 67, which isn’t terrible, although it does fall squarely into the ‘Needs Work’ section of Google’s evaluation. The mobile versions fared considerably worse, averaging 55/100, which Google describes as ‘Poor’.
SEO tools are available for every single page and are very easily accessed. When you’ve opened them, you’ll be able to alter the metadata, including keywords and the description.
Accessing the sitemap is also simple, but there does not appear to be the opportunity to alter the URL for a web page, which might have detrimental impact on SEO..
IM Creator does primarily market itself as a ‘free’ website builder. However, there are still paid-for aspects to the IM Creator pricing, which include the aforementioned premium themes.
More costly by far are the white label packages which are also on offer, and which are clearly targeted towards professional website designers.
There are three options. ‘Standard White Label’ ($350/year) is intended for individual designers and entrepreneurs. Customers get access to unlimited licenses, full control over billing, and the option to remove the IM Creator brand and replace it with their own. ‘Host It Yourself’ ($2,500/year) and ‘Servers Control’ ($25k/year) scale up to suit the needs of much larger companies, who offer services related to design, cloud hosting, and so on.
IM Creator have a fairly substantial set of ‘How To’ guides, along with a decent FAQ and a forum.
If you want to contact them directly, you’re limited to doing so by submitting a ticket, which should be responded to within 12 hours by a member of their customer support team. In fairness, my test enquiry was responded to well within this time frame, and the team member was helpful. Still, this is a lacklustre offering compared to a number of other website builders, who offer live chat and phone services too.
When I first started using this website, for the purpose of writing my IM Creator review, I was honestly bowled over by it. The signup process was painless, the introductory tutorials were very helpful, and the interface for the design section itself was one of the most intuitive I’ve used. Making great-looking websites really is effortless with IM Creator.
The more I used it, however, the more I grew to see that it was quite a shallow offering. Its feature set is pretty limited, only really providing enough to get you off the ground.
For that reason, I really can’t see this interesting more experienced web designers. For those just starting off, however, or for individuals looking to build their own, basic professional websites, IM Creator is an excellent choice.
If you’ve utilized the IM Creator website builder, whether for your own use or as a web designer, I’d love to hear from you in the section below.