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Think Outside the Box! (Why You Shouldn't Read Articles Like This)


Hands up who just thought “what kind of a stupid title is that for a blogpost?” A blogpost about why you shouldn’t read articles like this (or entire books on these topics) at all? Well, i'm convinced of the truth of it and i'm willing to bet a few of you will nod your heads in agreement when reading this post.


Reading time: 6 Minutes

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...And Action! Project Planning Lessons from Film Production


 Making a commercial is a complex and rather expensive undertaking. This is why filming is planned very precisely, so the film is finished in time without breaking the budget. We asked the director of the new Jimdo TV commercial, David Aufdembrinke: What can you learn from making films that you can apply to your own projects? For example, building your own website?


Reading time: 6 Minutes

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Have You Met Rupert?


All too often we’re very good at breaking off great ideas with self-doubt. Our colleague Svenja explains how to deal with your own doubts, in a more...creative way. She also runs her own successful DIY blog alongside her job at Jimdo.


Reading time: 5 Minutes

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Awesome Jimdo Websites Using the Stockholm Template

Awesome Jimdo websites using the Stockholm Template


What's beautiful, welcoming, and much easier to put together than an Ikea NORNÄS? (Not that we've had any trouble with that in the past..[crumples directions, shakes head...]) It's the Stockholm Template! 


In six short months, “Stockholm” has quickly become one of our most popular templates. Though it screams out to photographers, it’s equally useful for online stores and even cooking blogs. Check out these real Jimdo customers using the Stockholm template, and see why it has captured so many people’s hearts (and websites). 


Reading time: 3 Minutes

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How to Use Visual Marketing to Boost Your Website Traffic

 There has been a sea change in how internet users consume their online data. As a consequence, marketers are regularly forced to keep up to date, and practically every expert worth their salt understands the importance of making online data more attractive. Readers are no longer happy to stay on a webpage and scroll through a giant wall of text with the occasional paragraph.

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How One Yoga Teacher Ditched Her 9-5 and Started Her Own Studio


 Could I be self-employed? Yoga teacher Jenny considered this for a long time. Doubting, calculating, hesitating. We always feel anxious before making big decisions we’re afraid to regret later. And so it was with her. Today, Jenny is her own boss. Her story is inspirational and her joy is simply contagious—so much so that you even feel like starting your own project. Jenny beams,"I thought to myself: Show the world what you can do". What are we waiting for?


Reading time: 4 Minutes

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Do Your Own Thing—The Key to Happiness?


What makes people happy? A gold watch? Big car? A million dollars in the bank? Maybe a million followers on Instagram? The Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi made a different discovery.


Reading time: 3 Minutes

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Check Out These Inspiring Examples of Photography Websites

Jimdo Photography Websites Examples

If you’re a photographer, you need a very different website from an online store owner, or a dentist, or a need one that puts your photographs front-and-center, without any distractions. A website with a "wow" effect. 


There are lots of ways to create your own photography site—one that's as distinctive as your own style. Take a look and see how these photographers did it.

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Looking to Start Your Business? Get Tips From One of the Sharks

“I’m out”—at least that was Frank Thelen’s response to his previous website provider. Thelen is one of the investors from the German version of the TV show that you may know as “Shark Tank” or “Dragon’s Den”, depending on what side of the globe you live on. He is also one of our Jimdo users!


Many of you are entrepreneurs or have played around with the idea of starting your own business. You believe in your idea, and are deeply involved in the development of your product. You want it to be successful and fun! Maybe you have already considered the idea of bringing venture capital into the fold, to give your project a real boost. But have you ever wondered how an investor assesses a product idea and what is the decisive factor in making someone invest?


We have the answers straight from the shark's mouth—Frank Thelen.

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How to Turn Your Art into a Business with Sammy Rose

Jenny Brandt and Jens Grönberg aren’t your typical working couple. They are the creative force behind Sammy Rose, a website creating prints and images for record labels, magazines, and customers’ homes. The Sweden-based couple collaborate out of their home in Ystad—Jens is the illustrator, and Jenny is the photographer and blogger. Their secret? A great partnership, and never taking themselves too seriously.

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Awesome Jimdo Websites Using the Malaga Template

Ask Jimdo Experts for their favorite Jimdo template, and they’ll probably tell you all about Malaga. Clean and modern, Malaga is a go-to template for business websites. But, as you’ll see from the examples below, a “business website” doesn’t have to be boring. Malaga is also versatile enough to use for online stores, portfolio sites, and more.


Check out these top reasons why Malaga is a designer favorite, and learn some of the best ways to make Malaga work on your own website.

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Jimdo Stories: Singer & Voice Coach Florian Voss

The first thing you notice about Jimdo customer Florian Voss is his broad smile and infectious laugh.

The renowned opera singer, based in Sweden, is one of those lucky few who possess true charisma—a talent for great storytelling, true conviction in oneself, and the ability to make you feel like you are the only person in the room.

His inspirational success story proves the John F. Kennedy quote correct: "Things do not happen. Things are made to happen."

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How Your Website Can Help You Land Your Dream Job

What did you want to be when you grew up? An actor, astronaut, or scientist? According to a global LinkedIn survey, nearly a third of workers say they’re in their childhood related dream job or field. Encouraging news, but what if you’re still looking for your dream job or aren’t sure how to make that dream a reality?

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8 Ways to Finally Finish Your Website

We’ve all done it. You started a book and abandoned it halfway through. You vowed to clean out that scary junk drawer but got distracted by something else. Or maybe you tried picking up a new hobby only to have several pre-paid guitar lessons go to waste.

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One Year of Awesome Logo and Website Contests

One year ago, we started offering the Logo & Website package with 99designs. Since then, we’ve had a blast working with our friends at 99designs to provide customers with beautifully designed websites. We now have over 1,200 certified designers waiting to help you with your site, and thousands of contests have already been completed. Yours could be next!

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5 Jimdo Employees Share Their Websites

Put on a sparkly party hat, grab a cupcake, and get ready to party. We just turned 9! Here at Jimdo, we love birthdays—especially the celebration part. And as much as we’d love to send every one of our customers a homemade cupcake, we thought it’d be easier to celebrate our birthday by sharing some beautiful websites created by our multi-talented Jimdo employees.

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10 Jimdo Websites Using the Miami Template

In the battle of the Jimdo templates, we’ve laid out the case for our favorites like Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona, Zurich, and Rome. But in the timeless words of Will Smith, Miami is “the type of town I could spend a few days in.” And just like Will Smith, once you spend some time with the Miami template, you’ll see why it’s one of the more popular places for your website to be.

Jimdo Websites that use Miami template
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10 Jimdo Websites Using the Rome Template

Ready for the romance of Rome? While this Romeo can’t offer you a declaration of love on a moonlit balcony, it will easily steal your heart and leave you with a website even Michelangelo would be proud of.


Our quest to find the best template for your site continues. You’ve read the reasons why beautiful Barcelona and ravishing Rio might be your perfect template choice. Both are fantastic options, but that was before you met Rome...

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Get Designer Results from a DIY Website Builder

An artist’s sketch, a hairdresser’s updo, or a photographer’s portrait—it’s no surprise that these turn out better than our own doodles, hairstyles, and selfies. Is the same true for websites?


Not necessarily. With a little know-how and a few tricks of the trade, you can use some of the same techniques that professional designers use, and take your own website from good to great.

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8 Jimdo Websites Using the Zurich Template

All of our templates offer various perks and features, which cater to different types of businesses and individuals. For example, you recently learned that the Barcelona template is popular among artists and online shops due to its prominent logo area and large background space, and the Rio de Janeiro template is perfect for showing off large images. Meanwhile the Zurich template is even more versatile and will work for almost any type of site.

But don’t just take our word for it. Take a look at ten awesome websites built with the Zurich template to get inspiration for your own site.


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The Secret to a Good Online Store? Ask a Jimdo User!

We write a lot about ecommerce on the blog, but the best information comes straight from our customers who are already running successful shops. After featuring some of them last week, we asked them to share some of their ecommerce secrets with us. And they kindly obliged!

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Shop Small at These 5 Jimdo Online Stores

Now that you’ve learned the twelve most essential tips to creating a successful online store, you’re ready to create or spruce up your own online shop.

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Q&A: Artistic Dry Cleaners Share Their Fresh and Clean Website

Not to be a broken record, but we love our customers. And one of our favorite things is when we get to meet our customers face-to-face. We’ve done this through pop-up stores, inviting Jimdo customers to our office in Hamburg, and sharing customers' experiences via Jimdo Stories.

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Meet our Reinvention Month 2015 Winners!

Similar to our amazing outpouring of entries last year, the 2015 Reinvention Month was a huge success. We are so thankful for our active Jimdo community members and we loved seeing everyone's websites. I'm proud to announce this year's batch of winners and honorable mentions and hope this showcase of websites can be inspiring to everyone out there.

Grand Prize Winner (Apple Watch Sport): Pack 23, Burlington, CT

Pack 23, Burlington, CT


Template: Berlin
Analysis: Cub Scouts Pack 23 stood out from the crowd by demonstrating an amazing active website that uses just about every feature in Jimdo and more. They somehow found a way organize a ton of information, a blog, several forms, password-protected areas and third-party widgets like a Google Calendar into a clean and useful navigational structure. I think this is a great example of how to make a large website on Jimdo.


First Runner-Up (JimdoBusiness subscription): Turning Leaf Ecological Farm

Turning Leaf Ecological Farm


Template: Berlin
Analysis: Turning Leaf is a great example of how to take a beautiful logo and extend the look throughout the entire website. I really like the way they handle the selling of their weekly vegetable boxes and lead their customers through the purchasing process. We also liked their About Us page that helps visitors get to know them and their values. I just wish we had an office in Ontario so we could subscribe!


Second Runner-Up (JimdoPro subscription): Trakimavicius



Template: Rio de Janeiro
Analysis: Professor Virgilijus "Virgis" Trakimavicius used the large hero-area in the Rio de Janeiro template to create an impressive portfolio website and showcase his amazing drawing and paper cutting artwork. The website shows off his extensive body of work, several news clippings from media around Europe, and also gives the media and potential clients and customers an easy way to contact him.


Honorable mentions:

We couldn't leave out some of the other exceptional sites entered in our contest! From musicians to artists to online shops, we loved seeing how you are taking your Jimdo sites and making them truly unique.


LizzieLin Designs deserves a special mention for doing a great job upgrading her website from an old template to Prague, while Mommy Track Fitness is one of the more robust blogs that I've seen on Jimdo with her own system for promoting blog posts on her page. You can see some of the same tricks in our recent article about blog posts.


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10 Jimdo Websites Using the Rio de Janeiro Template

This month on the blog we're showcasing some of our favorite new templates as part of our Reinvention Month contest. Our Support Team member Aeramis made the case for beautiful Barcelona...this week I'm going to counter with the Rio de Janeiro template.


10 Jimdo websites that use the Rio de Janeiro template


If you're on the hunt for a new Jimdo template, here's why I think you should give ravishing Rio a chance:
  • All about images: if you have some great photographs, Rio is the perfect template to show it off.
  • A simple, user-centered navigation bar: Rio's got nothing to hide, and that includes subpages and dropdowns. That's why it works best with a simple horizontal navigation (and websites that don't have a huge number of pages.)
  • Lots of room on each page: With Rio, the "sidebar" is actually on the bottom, so nothing gets in the way of the space for your images. You have a really wide content area to work with, and any links or icons you need can go at the bottom of the page.
  • A flexible header and logo area: As you'll see in the examples below, websites use Rio's large header for a prominent logo, a tagline/slogan, or both...and then some websites leave the area entirely empty. It's up to you.


Tips for getting along beautifully with Rio:

The Rio template certainly is striking, but there are some tricks to getting along well. Below I've compiled a list of 10 real-life Jimdo websites that are pulling it off really nicely. What do they have in common? You'll notice a few best practices:
  • Jimdo Rio de Janeiro TemplateHigh-quality images: Rio de Janeiro is made for full-width background images, so it's best to take advantage. Other templates use background images too, but they often show a smaller portion of the image, or have an overlay covering part of it. Not so with Rio—your image is there for everyone to see, flaws and all. For this reason, we recommend that background images be at least 2000 pixels wide. If you're not sure what that means, check out this primer on optimizing your website images. If you don't have the right images yet, try some of our recommendations for free stock image sites.

  • Background slideshows: Why settle on just one photo in the background when you can show off more? Many of these examples use a slideshow in the background. You can set one up yourself by selecting Background from the Style Editor and then choosing the Slideshow option.
  • Consistent coloring: Many successful websites pick one distinct accent color and use that throughout in headings, buttons, horizontal lines, icons, and links. The result is a uniform, polished look that really pops, especially when the rest of the site is kept in simple shades of black, white, and gray. Learn how to implement a similar color scheme throughout your entire site in just a few steps.

  • A simple, one-line navigation: Rio de Janeiro looks its best when the horizontal navigation is short and sweet. If you need a lot of dropdowns, subpages, or if your navigation is breaking onto two lines, then you should probably seek a different template that can hold more content, like Barcelona.

  • Using the Columns Element for body text: Because Rio has such a wide content area, it helps to break up your text into Columns rather than having it stretch all the way across the screen (line lengths that are more than 60 characters long can be difficult for people to read on screen.) To do this, add a Columns element, and then put a Text element in each column.


Real Jimdo websites using the Rio de Janeiro template

Click on the images below to tour the full websites.


1. Studio 23

Example of Jimdo template Rio de Janeiro
Interior design firm Studio 23 has wisely chosen the background images for their slideshow—notice how each photo complements the beautiful light blue color they’ve chosen for their menu, headings, and icons. They’ve also made sure that their logo, in white, is still clearly visible as each image rotates behind it. Consistent coloring throughout plus some unexpected but easy-to-read fonts ("Text Me One" and "Exo 2") complete this lovely look.



2. Unger Music

Example of Jimdo template Rio de Janeiro
The first glance at this website, you see a striking logo on an orange background. Then it fades out into a beautiful black and white slideshow of different musicians. How did they get this effect? Simple: their logo on an orange background is actually the first image they uploaded in their background slideshow. Very clever. Notice how they’ve also made their headings, links, and horizontal lines match the orange of their logo, and clearly organized their pages with columns and a white background for an uncluttered, professional look. This example goes to show that you can never go wrong with black text on a white background, and just a subtle pop of color.



3. Ferme de la Moissonnière

Example of Jimdo template Rio de Janeiro
Now that I know it’s possible to stay at a real working cheese farm in France, I don’t want to go anywhere else. Ferme de la Moissonnière is a family business that makes three kinds of cheese and also allows travellers to stay at the farm. Their welcoming website makes great use of Rio. The navigation bar is simple, they don’t use a lot of text, and they use a charming font for headings ("Alex Brush") that complements their logo. I also love the little sketch of a milk pail that they've drawn over their background photo before uploading it to their site. Bonus points for the cute cow favicon!



4. Ella Don Photography

Example of Jimdo template Rio de Janeiro
On this website, the photographer Ella Don introduces a portfolio that makes a real impact. The slideshow of background images immediately gives you a sense of the breadth of the work, from weddings to sporting events (to Steve Wozniak riding a Segway...who knew?) In this example the website has a navigation that’s entirely transparent, but this works because the color of the links is easily visible over the background images.



5. Antonio Brown

Example of JImdo template Rio de Janeiro
This website for Pittsburgh Steelers player Antonio Brown actually hides the navigation bar entirely, and builds out most of the content right on the homepage. How does this work without looking cluttered or confusing? They keep the text to a minimum and use the Button Element and graphics to guide visitors down the page. This website also uses strong branding and color (love that Steelers yellow!) to make everything look clear and consistent.



6. Bob Casneuf

Example of Jimdo template Rio de Janeiro
This website for landscape architect Bob Casneuf starts on the right foot with a creative, playful logo front and center. It’s interesting to me how he uses almost the same yellow as the Antonio Brown website to equal effect. It’s a great color to highlight headings and give the site a consistent look. I also like the way he uses Columns on his homepage to break up his text. Great finishing touches include the custom favicon and the leaf images he uses as as horizontal lines (to get this effect, he uploaded a simple graphic as a Photo Element). His website reflects everything you would want from a landscape architect—a good eye and attention to even the little details.



7. Wedding Visuals

Example of JImdo template Rio de Janeiro
Though this website may seem simple, on closer inspection you can see that it really has everything a photographer’s website needs: galleries, testimonials, an About section, and an easy way to get in touch. The result is a minimalist, modern look, complemented by the choice of font (Advent Pro).



8. U.G. Irajpanah

Example of JImdo template Rio de Janeiro
This website looks so unique that you might need to look twice to recognize the Rio de Janeiro template. In this example, graphic designer U.G. Irajpanah has used one striking, monochromatic image for the background. It gives a first impression that makes you want to know more. Normally you see header text center-aligned, but in this case it’s offset to the left, which is an unexpected move that adds visual interest to an otherwise minimalist site. The use of font Courier New really completes this look.



9. Bauernkate Klein Thurow

Example of Jimdo template Rio de Janeiro
Beautiful photos, consistent coloring, and picking just the right font—are you sensing a trend here? This bed and breakfast in Germany has created an inviting website that makes you want to put your feet up and stay a while. Check out the way they’ve used a Columns element, text, and photo elements to create a varied page with visual interest to describe their different offerings—much better than just one long, text-heavy block! And it can be hard to choose from over 600 Google web fonts, but they’ve done a great job here. They’re using Doppio One, Diplomata SC, and IM Fell Double Pica.



10. Alina Atzler Photography

Example of JImdo template Rio de Janeiro
This example comes from Jimdo’s very own Alina Atzler, who works as our tireless Product Manager by day, but is actually an accomplished wedding photographer too! One thing I like about Alina’s website is how carefully she’s chosen her background images. Notice how each one has its focal point to the side, so that her centered logo never blocks out the photo’s subjects. It’s a nice trick that means her background images never distract or clash with the rest of her site. With such lovely photos to show off, she’s wisely kept everything else simple. She keeps a white background with black text, and lets her photo galleries and collections speak for themselves.


Want to try Rio de Janeiro on your own website? Go to Templates in your Site Admin to open the Template Selector, then choose Rio de Janeiro from the list. Don't have a Jimdo site yet? Start a free site with the Rio de Janeiro template here.


If you have a wonderful Jimdo website (using Rio or any of our other new templates), don't forget to enter it in our contest before the end of September to win an Apple Watch Sport or other great prizes!




Content Editor at Jimdo


Maggie joined the team to craft the voice of Jimdo for all products and marketing channels. In her previous work, she edited for organizations covering the environment, cities, and sustainable business. When she's not adding serial commas, you can find her camping with her husband, cooking, and reading New Scientist.

10 Jimdo Websites Using the Barcelona Template

If you're following along with our Reinvention Month contest, you know that September is the perfect time to update your website (and maybe even win an Apple Watch Sport)!


As you hunt for the right template, I suggest taking a closer look at Barcelona. This understated template is easy to design and works well with all kinds of sites, from portfolios to online stores.


Jimdo websites that use the Barcelona Template


Highlights of the Barcelona template

Most websites that use Barcelona tend to rely on eye-catching photos while keeping the template simple and clean. That's why it's no surprise that a lot of artists and online stores are drawn to the Barcelona template.
What I love most about this template is how versatile it is—you can go from a simple and clean look to something more industrial and heavy with just a few clicks, change of images, and adding a background. This means that no matter what your brand is like, you can adapt Barcelona to look just right.
Jimdo Barcelona Template
Here's some things I love about Barcelona:
  • Plenty of space for a logo at the very top: If you've got a logo you love, this is the perfect template to show it off.
  • Allows for an eye-catching custom background image: Experiment with a high-quality photo here (at least 2000px wide is best). Or use a solid color background and the template still looks great.

  • Has different template variations both with the top colored bar and without: Gives you several different looks to choose from before you even start designing.

  • Horizontal navigation right below the logo is clear and easy to read: It also includes a dropdown menu for your subpages. For best results, I suggest keeping your navigation to one line and using the dropdown menu for subpages as needed.

  • Structure that can handle a lot of pages—or just a few: As you'll see in the examples below, Barcelona works well for all sizes of website, from online stores with many products to a small website with only three pages.

  • Sidebar at the bottom below the content area: Putting all this information at the bottom of your page rather than the side gives you plenty of space in your content area for photos, text, and other elements.

To show you these qualities in action, I've put together ten examples of Jimdo websites from around the world that are looking beautiful with Barcelona. Take a closer look and see if this template will work for your site, and click on the images to tour the complete websites.


1. Caroline Bech

Jimdo website using Barcelona template


Our first example is Caroline Bech’s portfolio/resume, an actress from Amsterdam but currently residing in London to follow her dreams. She sticks to simple fonts and a neutral color scheme that happens to match her photos, giving her website an overall clean look. Right away, she uses a striking image on her homepage to keep the website from being too plain.



2. Vianne Fotografie

Jimdo website using Barcelona template


Similar to Caroline’s website, Vianne Fotografie focuses on her photography and less on text. Even with the white background, the images gives just the right amount of color to bring the website to life—even her About page relies on cute graphics to describe herself and her interests. The very little text you see in her navigation and blog gives her website a bit of an edge as it is not your average sans serif font (she's using the font "Abel").



3. Oh So Pretty Design

Jimdo website using Barcelona template


Just like the previous examples, this design studio’s website takes clean to a whole nother level by doubling down on white. They've made the background white and their footer as well, for a nice minimalist look. This studio focuses on using beautiful pastel colors and crafty images to make their website stand out. They also use a great mix of both serif and sans serif fonts to differentiate between headings and body text. Although it is still a work in progress, we definitely like the direction they are heading.



4. Sami Garra

Jimdo website using Barcelona template


Handy craftswoman Sami Garra uses the template Barcelona to sell her super-cute-to-boot crafts and goodies. Instead of the white look, she uses a light shade of gray for her background and offsets it with bright, fun colors to match her products and personality. She also cleverly uses the navigation to have her online store in both Spanish and English—a great use of the template.



5. Paul Bird

Jimdo website using Barcelona template


This shop website for handmade jewelry really uses Barcelona's large logo area and simple navigation to its advantage. The result is clean, modern, and easy for customers to use. We also love that they've included photographs from their workshop and a page of Soundcloud music files to help describe their inspiration.



6. Barber Shop Rosario

Jimdo website using Barcelona template


This barber's website has broken away from the typical plain-colored background and adds an image of her barbershop to stand out from the rest. Rather than being distracting as you might think, she adds a blur effect and a subtle pattern overlay to help visitors focus on her content. She also shows how simple a Barcelona website can be and still be a success—her website only has three pages!



7. Eleaxart Shop

Jimdo website using Barcelona Template


Eleaxart is an online store that sells clothing and accessories to teenagers. They use a lot of the Jimdo elements to their advantage: To display images next to each other, they placed them in a Photo Gallery element. They eliminated too much scrolling for shoppers by placing products side by side with the Columns element. They also placed their top/new products on the home page to give shoppers an idea of their shop’s style. Along with that, they display many great pictures of their products throughout.



Frei Beutler

Jimdo website using Barcelona template


This streetwear store uses the random background feature to make their website stand out from the rest. However, instead of using the typical background image that is full width or height, they only add an image to the top portion to make it look like a header image. You can see how they have three different background options by navigating through their pages, or simply by refreshing your browser. Awesome! The font they're using, "Advent Pro," really helps complete the look.



9. É-sens

Jimdo website using Barcelona template


Similar to Frei Beutler, É-sens cleverly uses the background slider feature to switch between beautiful images that perfectly relate to their products—all natural beauty oils for relaxation. Not only did they find a great way to enhance their website with the background feature, they also used the Style Editors’s color picker to their advantage: When one of the images falls behind the content area, you can ever so slightly see a light white background so that text can still be legible. They also use a great shade of green that is transparent enough to see the background image behind it—an amazing touch and use of the built-in tools.



10. No Pierdas Tus Libros

Jimdo website using Barcelona template


This example shows that you don’t need the fancy backgrounds or photos—all you need is a great color scheme and eye for design. No Pierdas Tus Libros beautifully sells their book stickers with neutral colors and a bright pink for just the right amount of pop on the website. From the color scheme, to the minimal icons, to the way images and text are displayed, even the font choice ("Open Sans Condensed")—everything about this website is put together wonderfully.


Want to try Barcelona on your own website? Go to Templates in your Site Admin to open the Template Selector, then choose Barcelona from the list. Don't have a Jimdo site yet? Start a free site with the Barcelona template here.


If you have a wonderful Jimdo website (using Barcelona or any of our other new templates), don't forget to enter it in our contest before the end of September to win an Apple Watch Sport or other great prizes!


Aeramis Fularon

Aeramis Fularon

Customer Support Geek at Jimdo


As a Customer Support Geek, Aeramis strives to help Jimdo's customers by sharing her web expertise. She is a talented graphic designer, and she works on a number of web projects in her free time. When she isn't answering your questions about Jimdo, Aeramis loves to travel and eat good food.

How I Used My Blog to Travel the World

I’m writing this post on a plane back to Hong Kong. I have just spent two weeks in Bali “working”— I stayed at one of the best spa retreats in Ubud, went diving with manta rays in Nusa Penida, took surf lessons, went for brunch, stayed in hotels and did yoga. All of this travel for free. With the exception of my flights, I didn't pay for any of my activities or accommodations.

Use your website to travel the world


You see, I am a full-time travel writer now. I review places all over the world and make sure everybody knows the best or worst places to go. Sounds like the perfect job right? And I can’t deny that it really is. On the other hand, there is no off time when you’re a travel writer, and everything you do has to be documented and scrutinised. I can't sleep on a flight or watch movies; I have to be constantly writing and constantly talking to people. But I really wouldn't have it any other way.


Everybody asks how I became a travel writer and frankly it all comes down to a small decision to create my own website. At the age of 22, with a mortgage and a job in banking on my shoulders, I decided I was taking life way too seriously. I was living to work and not working to live.


So I packed it all in. Goodbye responsibility, hello to the open road. I traveled the world, bit by bit, and then decided that I no longer needed to buy return tickets to the UK. The more people I met and the longer I traveled, people would keep telling me I should write my stories down. I had no background in writing and really didn't think many people would be that interested in my rambles, but I did it anyway—if anything just for something to look back on and smile.


Coffee with a Slice of Life Coffee with a Slice of Life


I found Jimdo through another travel blogger site and I loved that I could design every little piece myself. It now became less of a writing platform and more of a creative one.


But I didn’t have a name for it. I was in Ecuador and I sat down with a piece of paper and pen and wrote down everything I loved. It was a pretty simple list. And quite honestly it looked like something a child had written. ‘Swimming with fishes’ ‘slices of cake’ ‘milkshakes’ and ‘coffee’. But this was a travel website. I couldn't call it fish flavoured milkshake, but I could call it Coffee With A Slice Of Life. And that I did. Without even realising, I picked up my coffee and smiled while seeing my slice of life, the view of an Ecuadorian volcano. My name was created. It fit so perfectly with my newly designed website.
Coffee with a Slice of LIfe website Sarah's website uses Jimdo's template San Francisco.


I started to document everything, trips through the Amazon, the way I fell head over heels in love with Colombia, getting sick in Guatemala, and CouchSurfing with beautiful strangers. Mostly it would just be my friends reading it. However, sometimes I would get emails from people I didn’t know telling me how much they enjoyed the site. That gave me so much motivation. I loved knowing people could get inspiration from my journey. For a good year, I wrote at least once a week. I ran the blog because it was a passion, I slowly started getting more readers and then one day a company contacted me and asked me to be a part of their affiliate programme.


I didn't even know what that meant.


Not to look like a novice, I did my research. I started to realise there were travelers out there that had blogs like mine and were making money from them. I honestly never knew you could realistically use your blog to travel for free. I signed up for the programme and the next month I received my first $100.


Coffee with a Slice of Life Coffee with a Slice of Life


I would spend hours tweaking my website, uploading photos, changing the font, just playing around and trying to portray my personality as creatively as I could. I got more confident in my writing as I loved how my website looked. Traveling was a constant inspiration.


In March this year I moved to Hong Kong. Not on purpose, I accidentally stumbled across it after making my way to Australia. Within a few days, I had met other writers, publishers and bloggers. I talked to everyone, I got business cards printed and I started to tell more people about my travel website. I attended every networking event I could and said yes to absolutely everything. I was here alone after all, and the city had an incredible energy about it. I knew this was where I could find freelance work if I was proactive enough. With 2 years of blogging behind me and endless hours spent on my website, I was proud to show off what I had achieved and decided to take the plunge into full-time freelance writing.


I now rent a co-working space in the center of the city and type away on my laptop alongside other creative entrepreneurs. I get to travel while working and am able to share my experiences with the world. And to think it all just started with a small step of creating a website.


Coffee with a Slice of Life


Tips for aspiring digital nomads

  • Of course number 1 is start a website. Remember it’s not going to happen overnight, but there is no time to start like NOW. Enjoy creating your own platform, and have fun with designing and branding.

  • Stop comparing yourself to others. This is something I try really hard to do. I created my website to reflect my personality, I tried not to look at too many others in my niche as I really wanted to it to be individual.

  • Network like crazy. There’s the old saying “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” Don’t be afraid to discuss your ideas and your business. Check out websites like and join local Facebook community groups.

  • Add your website to your email signature. Simple, but amazing how many people don’t do this. All those emails going in and out of the world wide web may just land in someone's inbox that could be interested in you.

  • Contribute to other websites that are in the same sector. Offer to write for them, or give them your images in return for a link to your website. Start to create a portfolio of your experiences and get your name out there on search engines.

  • Create social media channels that drive traffic to your website. Post photos and articles that are related to your sector. Above all, be patient. If what you are posting is interesting, you will soon see the followers growing.

  • Have fun. If you're not doing this you may be in the wrong business. I can honestly say being a digital nomad is the best job in the world. For me. I love not knowing what is going to happen tomorrow or what country I will be in next month, but it isn’t for everyone. Money isn't guaranteed, and plans are constantly changing.


Any questions about the life of a digital nomad? Let me know in the comments.


Sarah Richard of Coffee with a Slice of Life
Sarah Richard runs the Jimdo website She drinks too much coffee, stays up too late, and would rather spend her time in the ocean than on the land. She has created a website that allows her to travel the world while working and is currently based in Hong Kong. You can reach her at
Photos courtesy of Sarah Richard


5 Lessons I’ve Learned from Telling 500 Brand Stories

At Explainify, we eat, sleep, and breathe storytelling. I remind our clients that “the best story always wins,” while a weak or uninteresting story can doom your business. And, ultimately, we practice storytelling by working with those clients to craft unforgettable brand videos.

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Good Logo Design in Unexpected Places

Today we're bringing you a post from our friends at 99designs. If you've been thinking about getting a logo for your website, let this list get the creative juices flowing!


We’ve talked before about using your personality to inform your logo. As a society, we have expectations of certain industries, and we anticipate that the logos used by those brands will be flashy, creative, or expressive. But really, the industry in which you conduct business should have no bearing on the time and imaginative quality you devote to your logo. Regardless of who you are or what you do, the first thing a consumer will notice about your brand is its logo.


Today we’ll be showcasing unique logo designs in industries that aren’t normally recognized for making a splash in the design world. So, how do we get started? Often, the best thing about a logo is how well it depicts the message that the brand intends to convey. Let’s take a look at good logo design in unexpected places.


Bare Tea Company

Bare Tea was born from two friends who “dreamed of living simply.” They wanted to live lives free from distractions and complications, and they believed that nothing could provide a greater simple pleasure than a bare cup of tea.


Bare Tea logo
The logo of the Bare Tea Company is simple, clean, and has a rounded design. The logo embodies the concept of simplicity, but also establishes unity between the leaves and the underline through the use of a one-note color.


Action Pest Control

There’s no secret about this company’s business plan—it’s there to fight pests… everything from bedbugs to termites. Yuck.


Action Pest Control Logo
The triangle in the Action Pest Control logo is no accident. First, triangles signify a connotation with power. Second, the triangle and the “A” in action have a natural connection to one another. The little bug inside the triangle emphasizes the “A” shape, and so it creates a memorable impression for the consumer that Action Pest Control is the one with just that—the action that will rid his home of pests.


Anthem Automotive

The Anthem Automotive logo is simple and colorless, but that’s part of its impact.


Anthem Automotive Logo
Black and white convey a clean, sharp attentiveness to detail, which is especially important to consumers when it comes to their cars. Because of the company’s themes of masculinity, power, and attention to detail, the design of the logo is also along those lines. It’s straightforward and to the point: the gear design makes it clear that the company deals in cars, and the logo conveys the message that this company will get the job done. No frills, but modern and efficient.


Farmhouse Pottery

Potter Zoe Zilian wanted to “create a place with a modern farm aesthetic that represented farm-to-table values.”


Farmhouse Pottery logo
The design of the Farmhouse Pottery logo is elegant and has a formal feel. The twists of wheat definitely convey a natural quality that represents a business close to earth, yet the typeface speaks to a more modern business approach. Zoe has cultivated a network of farmers and craftsmen so that her work displays a rich agricultural and craft heritage.


Cycle Sierra Nevada

This cycling training camp is not for the faint of heart. Their trips are geared towards experienced cyclists looking for adventure.


Cycle Sierra Nevada Logo
The Cycle Sierra Nevada website is largely black and white, and the logo is an old-school design—that’s what they asked for, and that’s what their 99designs designer gave them. They go for a look that is masculine, mature, and classic. This words-only logo works for the unadorned site that opens the door to adventure.


Salmon Creek Construction

Owners Mike and Jamey Critchlow are passionate about heavy equipment; they were born into a logging family and have been around the industry their entire lives, and so they wanted a logo that would convey passion mixed with experience.


Salmon Creek Construction Logo
That's why Salmon Creek Construction requested a logo that would be masculine, literal, and professional, but would exude the wholesome family values and outdoorsman style that fits the company’s personality. This logo does just that. Look at that fish: it represents logging summers with dad and grandpa, building log cabins and campfires. That’s what this business is built on, and it shows.


Urban OrgaNYze

Couldn’t we all use a professional organizer in our lives? Laura Kinsella thinks so. That’s why she founded her professional organizing company, Urban OrgaNYze. She does everything from decluttering to restoring a family’s space by improving a home’s functionality.


Urban Organyze Logo
For her logo, Laura wanted something that could join together opposing forces: the chaos, hustle and bustle of New York City life, along with the concept that everything can be neat and organized. Designing a logo that combines both of these concepts was a challenge. Laura requested “soothing, yet alive!”, and that’s what her designer did. The designer started with the concept of taking city blocks and incorporating them with colors that were calming, but never dull. The circular logo is easy to use in social media, but it clearly tells the viewer exactly what the company does.


Northpointe Veterinary Hospital

“High Tech with a Soft Touch” is the slogan for this veterinary practice. It provides medical, surgical, and dental care for pets in need.


Northpointe logo
The Northpointe Veterinary Hospital logo is a great example of the marriage of professional quality with (literally) heart. The heart-shaped stethoscope lets the consumer know that these people care about their pets and have their best interests in mind. However, there’s no mistaking that a stethoscope is all about business—the business of health care. This is a clean design with just two colors, and it conveys exactly the mix of feeling and professionalism that is crucial for a veterinary facility.


Doggone Spoiled

This is a sole proprietorship owned by a person who loves dogs. She provides pet sitting, dog walking, and other pet services with a lot of love.


Doggone Spoiled
This logo sets the backdrop of a bustling metropolis against green grass where any dog would love to frolic. The idea is that even if you’re an urban, busy city dweller with a dog, you can use the Doggone Spoiled services to give your pet some of the greener life. The color scheme is a great choice. The green and black and the leaping dog icon certainly gives the impression that any dog cared for by Doggone Spoiled will have the time of its life.


Hudson Soap Company

What do you want from your favorite soap? Pure. Uncomplicated. Simple. Clean. Yet it’s the kind of product that most people will buy based on the label alone. While some people will research what kinds of soaps are chemical-free, or have specific fragrances or oils they like, the decision is often a quick one made in the supermarket, pharmacy, or specialty shop.


Hudson Soap Company
Hudson Soap is different from most because the consumer won’t just find it in her local pharmacy. Because this soap is sold primarily on Etsy or through independent retailers, the shopper can’t hold it in her hand or smell it to make a decision. That’s why the label and logo have to be exactly right to show the shopper what she can expect to receive. This logo is round, plain, and simple, and simplicity is what the soap is selling. It’s free of harsh chemicals and is for the consumer who is looking for some clean and pure products in her life. It works!


EcoJacks Antique Lumber & Millworks

This is a niche business, for sure. ecoJacks uses recycled materials from bowling alleys and barn wood to restore residences and businesses with both beauty and functionality.


EcoJacks logo
The colors suggest an eco-friendly business model, yet the style of the typeface is professional and clear. With a target audience of "high-end designers, architects, and general contractors,” ecoJacks can't come across as too "crunchy"— it has to convey professionalism and high design quality along with sustainability and conservation. This logo helps create the right balance.


Legacy Lane Fiber Mill

This rural-based business focuses on alpaca fiber, along with other fiber milling and processing services. Though the industry may seem quaint, they work with wholesale and retail high-end natural fiber yarns. They’re selling hand-woven scarves, shawls, blankets, rugs, and other textiles to designers, corporate clients, and the general worldwide marketplace.


Legacy Lane Fiber Mill Logo
The request: “unique, chic and modern.” That is what the designer delivered. This logo is simple and iconic. It’s elegant, suggests a little playfulness and creativity through the script letters, but is definitely no-nonsense. It’s a logo that makes the company memorable and suggests a small-town charm, but with a big business sensibility.


Petroleum Energy Integrated Services (PEIS)

About as far afield from alpaca fiber as a company can be, PEIS is a startup that provides new technology to the oil and gas industry for drilling and exploration. The owners think that what makes the company unique is the fact that it’s a woman-owned company in a traditionally male-dominated industry.


PEIS logo
No stone was unturned in carefully considering each aspect to the design of this logo. Because this is a young company, the most important thing to assure their success is to build an internationally recognizable brand. Each color was selected with a particular concept in mind, focusing on integration and technology and connecting multiple disciplines within a single company. The “flame” shape bonds three colors together as a single logo, which suggests unity between these concepts. The professional appearance is very important to the founders, as is the look of experience, knowledge, and flexibility.


Boston Smoked Fish Co.

Who loves smoked fish? The Boston Smoked Fish Co. says its target audience is foodies and others who appreciate locally made, high quality, all natural, super tasty smoked fish. Well, then… perfection!


Boston Smoked Fish Co Logo
Their designer thought that a variety of blue shades would keep the logo consistent with the company’s already-established color palette. And, of course, blue is the color of the sea, so for a company that deals in fish, it makes perfect sense. The mascot, a fish smoking a pipe, is kitschy, modern, and fun. No one is likely to forget this logo any time soon.


The Weave Scene

Women of all ethnicities, ages 16-35, are the key demographic for this full-service hair salon that specializes in sew-in extensions and hair weaves.


The Weave Scene Logo
In this logo the “W” has hair woven through it, which evokes soft movement and the essence of luscious locks. The owners were going for a feminine, modern, and playful feel. Everything from the color to the simple typeface and the logo itself has elegance to it. This is a spot where any woman can walk in, enjoy a treatment, and leave feeling beautiful.


Design in Unexpected Places…

These companies run the gamut—loggers, pest control, tea, fish, hair stylists, technology. One thing we’ve learned is that there is no “stock” design for a particular industry or demographic. Each of these companies has studied its audience, and it shows. In each instance, the company and designer worked together to create a logo design as unique as the brand.


This post originally appeared on the 99designs Blog. 99designs is the world’s largest online marketplace for design.

Get Inspired By These Winning Jimdo Designs

Here at the Jimdo Blog, we love showcasing great Jimdo websites. Today that job is particularly easy, because we have the winners of our 99designs certification contest to share with you.


Last week, we announced our partnership with 99designs, which includes a new Logo & Hosted Website category. In this category, designers compete to create a custom logo for you. Once you select the winning logo, your designer creates a JimdoPro website styled to match—so the entire look of your website and brand is cohesive and put-together.


design Inspiration for your website
Part of our process has been training and certifying designers so that they can build awesome Jimdo websites. And even though many of these designers have only just started using the platform, we were blown away by what they created. It just goes to show how easy and versatile Jimdo can be.


The best part is that all of these websites were made with regular Jimdo templates and elements—no special coding required.


Note: These websites were created for training purposes; they don’t represent actual businesses or people. The designers were tasked with creating “dummy” Jimdo websites—so you’ll notice they are full of fake content and some “lorem ipsum” text filler. The real goal was for them to show off some of their design skills using the Jimdo platform, but to be honest they make us wish some of these businesses really existed!

So if you're ready to have a bit of fun and get inspired, check out our contest winners below. You can click on each picture to view the full sample site.


Flea: All My Life

Designer: maylo_modulus
Template: Rio de Janeiro


Jimdo and 99designs Logo and Hosted Website Contest Winner
Ok, this isn’t really Flea’s website, but we loved it as an example of some of the cool things you can do with the Rio de Janeiro template. Beautiful typography and nicely arranged headings help structure the page, and subtle splashes of red throughout the site really pop. This site is really set apart by the fantastic photo choices and the wonderful layout of every single page.


Sugar House Distillery

Designer: Sergii Scrawl
Template: Zurich


Jimdo and 99designs Logo and Hosted Website Contest Winner
We loved the sophisticated, vintage feel of this website. Beautiful drawings complement the colors and background photos, and the custom horizontal line that the designer made is another nice touch. What also makes this site stand out is the clean spacing and layout, as well as the use of columns.



Designer: nevergohungry
Template: Berlin


Jimdo and 99designs Logo and Hosted Website Contest Winner
The fun, bright colors and fonts on this website really complement the playfulness of the logo. We also liked that the paragraph text is kept simple and readable. The designer cleverly used the background image to offer a discount code and blended the yellow background with the white area below the header. This website has so much great detail, right down to the footer with a double address layout.



Designer: Petra Burger
Template: Miami


Jimdo and 99designs Logo and Hosted Website Contest Winner
We loved the way this designer used photos and two lovely fonts (Sacramento and Raleway) to create a cohesive look across the website. The site also uses a simple, clear structure consistently throughout, and even includes a beautiful sample blog.



Designer: sleepingpasa
Template: Shanghai


Jimdo and 99designs Logo and Hosted Website Contest Winner
A very modern design with terrific use of white space. The simple logo is repeated and reinforced throughout the site in different, clever ways. When there are spots where information needs to be shared, like on the right side of the contact page or in the footer, the text and headings are perfectly arranged with a lot of thought and precision.



Designer: Zanett
Template: Miami


Jimdo and 99designs Logo and Hosted Website Contest Winner
Showcasing a wonderful personality and use of color, this website has lots of great touches. The colorful “rain drops” that reinforce the branding of the logo are added to actual photographs, or they stand alone on the background or within the content area. Both the heading and paragraph fonts also completment the logo and the site title.



Designer: Daelinzan
Template: Paris


Jimdo and 99designs Logo and Hosted Website Contest Winner
Sometimes transparent backgrounds can make it tricky to keep your text visible, but here it's done very well and the white text is still very readable. We also liked how the use of yellow adds points of emphasis and reinforces a brand identity. Little added design touches like the three seals on the bottom of the home page and the repeated logo in the right side of the footer helped this design stand out as one of our winners.


Gurbuz Photography

Designer: Zaanmedia
Template: Rome


Jimdo and 99designs Logo and Hosted Website Contest Winner
There were dozens of photography-based websites in our contest, and this one stood out with great image choices and a clean and simple black and white color scheme that lets the photographs pop. The clever layout of the portfolio page (created before the new Jimdo gallery views were available) and the hex-cropped images on the homepage were both very nice touches.


Goldeman Brandt

Designer: TMark
Template: Miami


Jimdo and 99designs Logo and Hosted Website Contest Winner
This elegant website is a perfect match for the luxury-inspired logo. With a black background and white text, the designer uses subtle touches of gold or blue to highlight important headings or links. We also loved the beautiful touch of the lion favicon—extending elements of the logo even to the browser tab!


Mateusz Widuch Designs

Designer: Mateusz Widuch
Template: Cape Town


Jimdo and 99designs Logo and Hosted Website Contest Winner
Another very clean layout using a very modern “flat” design. Subtle blues and whites worked perfectly with the excellent background choice. The use of columns, headings, horizontal lines, and spacing make for a beautiful reading experience.


Thanks so much to all the designers from 99designs who showed some of the cool things you can do with Jimdo. With over 1000 designers now certified to create a logo and Jimdo website, you're sure to find the right one for your own project. Learn more about our Logo & Hosted Website package.