Homestead Comparison and Review



Homestead Review

Pros:

  • Low monthly cost
  • Offers month-to-month plans in addition to annual plans
  • Excellent guidance for website creation
  • Live chat support available
  • Large number of templates available
  • Huge number of royalty free images (over 1 million) available

Cons:

  • Limited flexibility of website builder
  • Can't edit HTML of the website template

Conclusion:

Homestead's Starter Plan (formerly Intuit’s Personal Plan) is an excellent choice for those seeking an easy-to-use website builder with a professional appearance. Homestead provides users with a setup wizard that guides you seamlessly through the process of developing your website in order to get your site live quickly. They also provide customers with a wide variety of customer support options, as well as phone support seven days a week. Homestead is also one of the few companies to provide live chat support as you edit your site. While they don’t offer a free account like some website builders, they do provide a 30-day free trial so you can try out their services.

Ease of Use

Homestead’s Personal website builder received 5 out of 5 stars for Ease of Use. Homestead offers excellent guidance through the site building process, including extremely detailed prebuilt templates, video tutorials, and checklists that prompt you to verify that you have completed necessary tasks before progressing to the next step in creating your site. Additionally, Homestead provides a setup wizard program that prompts you for initial information that is automatically inserted into content blocks on your site.  Homestead makes website customization easy, giving you editable content blocks that you can simply drag and drop into any location on your site. Adding content blocks requires you to download software onto your computer that works in tandem with their online site builder. Although most of Homestead’s competitors let you do all of your editing online,  downloading Homestead’s software does not take much time or hassle. Homestead provides over 1 million royalty-free stock images for you to use on your site. Adding an image to your site is a very simple drag-and-drop process.

Homestead provides over 300 prebuilt templates from which you can select and customize. The templates are so well-built that if you find a design you like, creating your site could be as simple as replacing the sample text and photographs with your own. If you want to begin from scratch and design your own layout, Homestead’s website builder gives you a lot of flexibility: you can add site elements anywhere on your page that are independent from existing content blocks. This flexibility contrasts with other site builders that force new site elements to conform to pre-existing content blocks. If you have some HTML knowledge, you can further customize your site by editing the template’s HTML code. Homestead allows you to insert your site title, description, and keywords, and provides a metatag editor for the purpose of optimizing your sites for search engines. Some of the special content blocks that you can add include contact forms, MapQuest maps, Flash modules, and video and music players.  

Customer Support

Homestead received 4 out of 5 stars for Customer Support. They provide phone, live chat, and email support seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 5p.m. PST. During testing, we found their phone support to be very high quality, as their representatives answered every single one of our test questions regarding the functions of their website builder correctly. Overall, customer support is high quality, since they provide many additional resources, such as FAQs, user forums, tutorials and a searchable knowledgebase.  

Account Features

Homestead does not provide you with any email accounts related to your domain (i.e. yourname@yourdomain.com) with the Personal plan. But, if you want to set up an email account related to your domain name (i.e. yourname@yourwebsite.com), you can easily set up a business account through Gmail or YahooMail. Privacy Protection from the WHOIS database, a publicly searchable database with information about the registrants of domain names, is available for $1 per month if you register your domain with Homestead. When you purchase Privacy Protection, Homestead will replace information, such as your name, address, telephone number, and email address with their own contact information. This can help protect your information from unwanted advertising, spam, or theft.

Pricing

Homestead’s Starter Plan costs $5.99 per month and does not require you to purchase a full year in advance like other services require you to do. Domain registration is not included for free with your monthly hosting fee, but you can register a domain with Homestead for $2/ month plus a $5 one-time setup fee. Homestead also allows you to have a domain you have registered with someone else pointed to their servers. Homestead provides a 30-day free trial for testing their website builder service before you purchase.                

Upgrades

Homestead offers additional plans ranging from $20.99 to $60.99 per month that provide you with increased storage, bandwidth and e-commerce tools as well as email accounts and advertising credits that are not provided with the Starter Plan. Additionally, each upgraded plan contains a free domain registration. For an additional $14.99 per month on top of your monthly package price, you can add SimpleStore, which offers more e-commerce capabilities. Unfortunately, SimpleStore is not available for the Starter Plan- you would need the "Business" plan ($20.99/ month) to be able to add this feature.

Homestead's Features

Name of Plan

Starter

Price Per Month (including hosting)

$5.99

Domain Registration Cost

$5 + $2/month

Payment Terms

Month-to-Month

Free Trial

30 Days

Number of Templates

300+

Setup Wizard

Yes

E Commerce Tools

No, but

SEO Tools

Yes

Hosting Space

.025 GB

Number of Email Accounts

None

Image Library

1m+

Customer Support

4 stars for Homestead's Customer Support

Ease of Use

5 stars for Homestead's Ease of Use