By Nathan Allen
Wow. 5 years. 1,825 days. Hard to believe, but "I Dreamed Of This" is now half a DECADE old! I never imagined that this website I started in Manila back in 2013 would ultimately reach millions - and change my whole life in the process. I cannot thank you all enough! I just realized I never wrote about how I made my site. I built it with Jimdo...and never regretted it.
I've had 5 years of top notch, uninterrupted service with this company, and I also wanted to find a way to say thanks to them. SO I'll test some of their newest blog & website building tools, and share my experience with you.
In 2013, Jimdo Made Building Websites Simple - Now, Dolphin AI Makes it Effortless
If you've always wanted to create a blog or website, but felt intimidated by the technical side of things, you are going to love this...
Jimdo Dolphin uses the latest cutting edge sitebuilder technology. Debuting last year, incredibly, it uses AI to gather information from your social media sites. It can produce a beautiful polished website for you in just minutes. three, to be exact!
All you need to do is answer a few simple questions about what kind of site you would like.
Are you a photographer, artist, or entrepreneur? They've got you covered. This kind of technology is also great for people who are tech savvy, but just don't have much time.
Personalized Content & Design, in Seconds
The sitebuilder will ask for your Instagram login so that it can choose the best photos for your website. Poof, there they are. You can check out preview mode, and see the classy way the photos fade in as you scroll down your page.
(Click photo to enlarge)
Next, you choose the look and feel of your new site. Being a rather simple person myself, I chose the "minimal" design option.
I was also impressed by Dolphin's innovative heading and paragraph font combinations. These elegant pairings are created by designers who clearly have a great eye. This can save you a lot of time.
Not Just a Page Builder, It Creates Your Entire Site
(Click photo to enlarge)
Everything is ready to go for you, the menu, contact page...all of it. Another thing I love is that it takes the category you chose (photographer, artist...etc) and populates the text fields with template information relevant to your choice.
In other words, you'll see a well written, complete artist or photographer's website as a default (though your photos will show at this point).
Below is an example:
Obviously you'll want to replace the text with your own information, but I find that the "guide" does a great job providing inspiration for you, and again, can save a lot of time. (Personally, I work better creating something from a starting point than I do completely from scratch.)
Free Version + Paid Plan Options
The three choices Jimdo Dolphin offers are "Play" (free) "Start" ($9/Mo) and "Grow" ($19/Mo). The paid versions offer unlimited bandwidth and visitor data. The premium plan offers the most menu subpages, as well as some design consultation and the fastest support time.
If you're more interested in photography than travel, you might want to follow me here (or both):
A "URL" (or domain) is the www. address people type to get to your website. Jimdo Dolphin gives you the option to buy a custom (and more professional) domain name when you sign up. For example, if I used the free version, my website URL would be:
Instead, I paid for a more professional custom domain:
If you are taking your website very seriously, or are starting a business, I certainly recommend buying the custom domain name. No matter the product or service, it makes you look much more professional. FYI: I believe the custom domain name is free for your first paid year!
SEO & Ads
Another thing to note is that the free version does not include the ability to optimize for search results (SEO). The paid versions help users find your website through Google, for example.
The free version also includes a small ad for Jimdo at the bottom of the page. Again, if your project is not just for fun, you will want to look into the more professional paid options.
Jimdo Dolphin VS. Jimdo Creator
Keep in mind that if you have a bit more time / abilities, Jimdo Creator can offer you more flexibility. It's still incredibly user friendly, and is what I used, long before Dolphin came out. They have similar free / paid options for Jimdo Creator as well.
Overall, using Jimdo is like using a Mac. It's a sleek, stylish, and reliable creative tool that is both efficient and intuitive.
There's really never been a better time to take your passions online and share them with the world!
Full disclosure, I love this company so much that I eventually partnered with them. I've actually been very selective with my few partnerships. When I received a hand written Christmas card from Jimdo (before my blog ever took off), I knew they were something special. Well, I guess the years of stellar customer support didn't hurt, either.
No need to take my word for it, though. Give Jimdo a free test run and see how it feels!
You can check it out HERE.
- Nathan Allen
Like my page to follow along with me - Nathan