How to Create a Website with Jimdo
We’ll show you how to create a website in no time
Whether you're a complete newbie or already know a thing or two about websites, building your own website doesn't have to be overwhelming. This guide will help you get your first Jimdo website off the ground. We'll give you all the steps to make a website and offer tips on design, domains, and more. In this guide you will learn:
- Log in to your Jimdo website
- Choose a template for your website
- Add and rearrange content — text, photos, etc.
- Create website pages and a navigation menu
- Design your website with different settings - change fonts, colors, etc.
- Connect your website domain
First things first: log in to your website
To log in, go to your website’s address in your browser and scroll down to the bottom of the page. At the bottom right corner of the page (usually in the footer), click on the small link that says Log In. A box will then appear for you to enter your password.
Once you log in, your website will appear in Edit Mode. This is the view you will use to make changes to your site. When you’re in Edit Mode, you’ll see a sidebar of options on the right. This is called your Site Admin.
If you want to see what your website looks like to the outside world, click on the View Mode icon at the top of your Site Admin. Your website is already online — there's no need to press "publish."
Start with a website template
When you first signed up for a Jimdo website, you were prompted to choose a template. Don’t worry too much about your decision at this point, because you can change your template at any time without losing any of your work.
How do templates work?
The template sets the basic design and layout of your website so that you don't have to create every page from scratch. For example, your template decides the location of the logo and header, the sidebar, the width of the content area, and more. No matter what template you choose, you can always add and rearrange content - or change fonts and colors - but some parts of the template will remain fixed.
Our templates are built to work for any kind of industry. In other words, there's no strictly "restaurant" template or "dentist" template - you can use whichever template you like!
Remember that the template you choose will apply to every page of your website. This helps give you a consistent look and feel from page to page, which makes for a better user experience for your visitors.
Changing your website's template
If you're happy with the template you started with, go ahead and skip to the next section. To see other template options, log in to your website and click on Templates in your Site Admin. This will open up the Templates Menu at the top of the screen.
Your current template appears on the left. Scroll through the other template options and when you see one you like, select Preview. This will show you what your current website will look like using the new template. If you like what you see, click Save. If not, click Undo.
Feel free to experiment with different templates. You can always change it back without losing any of your content.
What’s the right template for your website?
Choosing a template can be tough because you have to visualize how your own website might look in the new format. Use Jimdo's Template Filter to sort the different templates based on their features. Here are a few tricks that will help you make the right choice.
Think about the different parts of your website and how you want them to look. Some templates have large header areas, others have small ones. Some have prominent sidebars, others are more understated. Templates also have different styles of navigation menu: horizontal, vertical, dropdown, etc. When you decide which pieces you want, it's easier to pick the template that's right for you.
Think about the number of pages your website will have. This is a good time to map out your site on a piece of paper so you know which pages you need and how people will get there. If you only need a few pages, a horizontal navigation bar across the top will look great. If you have more than that, you might consider a vertical navigation with dropdowns where you can put subcategories.
Blogs usually need sidebars—to hold your archives, recent posts, a search box, or social media buttons. In this case, choose a template with a sidebar on the left or right side. Try: Reykjavik, Milano, St. Petersburg
Artwork and Photography usually look best on a website with a wide content area and a sidebar on the bottom, so you can display your portfolio and images at full size. Try: Rio de Janeiro, Cairo, Zurich
Business Websites should make their important information visible to visitors right away — whether you're a restaurant posting your menu and location, a consultant posting your contact information, or a store posting your hours and latest products. In this case, you might choose a template with a sidebar on the left or right, and stick with a short, simple navigation menu. Try: Amsterdam, Havana, Lima, Madrid
Online Stores usually need a way to organize a lot of product pages. Choose a template with a dropdown navigation menu (you can select for this option in the Template Filter) that will make it easy to add and view subpages. Try: Bordeaux, Rome, Malaga, Chicago
Choosing the right template can take a bit of trial and error. For more ideas and template inspiration, check out the Template section of our Support Center. Our Examples page also shows real-life Jimdo websites and the templates they are using.
How to build a website: add text, images, and more
Now that you have a template you'd like to start with, it's time to make it your own. The text, photos, slideshows, headings, and more that you add to your website are called your website's content. With Jimdo, you add different blocks of content using Elements. For example, there is a Text Element, a Photo Element, a Maps Element, a Video Element, etc.
If you've just selected a template, click on the X in the upper right hand corner to close the Template Menu and return to Edit Mode.
When you first create a website, there are already some sample elements full of placeholder content. Click on any of them to change what's inside. The element you click on will have a small menu bar on its left side. This is where you can move it, delete it, or make a copy.
Each element has different options, depending on what it is. For example, in a Text Element you'll see options to type and format your text, add links, etc. In a Photo Element you'll be able to upload an image file, resize it, add a caption, and more.
How do templates work?
To make a website with all the pieces you want, you will need to add elements. Move your mouse cursor over the place on the page where you'd like to add something. You'll see a black box appear that says + Add Element.
Adding new elements to your website
When you add a new page to your website (more on that in Create website pages, below), you can add a bunch of new elements at once by choosing a Suggested Layout. This is one of the easiest ways to create a website. Pick the type of page you are working on, then choose the option you like best. After you confirm that layout, you can click on each element and replace it with your own content.
Finding photos and graphics for your website
When you think about what should go on your website, remember to include more than just text. A text-heavy website is hard to read, and many people will skim right over what you've written. Break up your text by using photos and other visuals.
Free Stock Photos
Not a photographer? No problem! There are a ton of free resources on the web where you can find beautiful, high-quality stock photographs and use them at no cost. And we don't mean fake stock photos of happy people at meetings. Check out these websites for some really striking, unique options:
Download a high-resolution photograph from one of these websites, and then upload it as a background image or into a Photo Element on your own website. They are royalty-free for commercial use so you don't have to worry about any copyright issues.
For more on using images (either your own or from stock websites), check out All About Images in our Support Center.
Free icons and DIY infographics
Of course, you're not just limited to using photographs. Upload any image file (.JPG, .PNG, or .GIF) to a Photo Element to easily add graphics, icons, logos, and badges to your site.
We like the following resources for all your icons, from social media icons to flags to little creative touches. Download the icons you need and then add them to your own website in Photo Elements. Learn more about how to use icons in this blog post.
You can also create your own infographics or text/image combos with these easy, free DIY graphics programs:
- Canva: An easy drag-and-drop tool to create really nice-looking graphics using photos, icons, and fonts.
- infogr.am: Build infographics, charts, and graphs.
- Piktochart: Over 400 templates to help you build your own infographics.
- Recite: Turn any quote into a poster or inspirational social media image
Create website pages and a navigation menu
Each Jimdo website starts with some sample pages ready for you to fill out - usually Home, About, and Contact. Visitors reach these pages using your Navigation Menu, which typically appears at the top or side of your homepage . You add, delete, copy, and reorder pages by editing your navigation menu.
From here you can:
- Use the icons next to each item to move, add, delete, or hide pages on your website. JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness users can also copy pages.
- Change the order of pages in your navigation by moving them up or down.
- Make one page a subpage of another (nesting).
Start with a navigation menu that's as simple as possible. This will make your site easier to build, and it will also provide a better experience for your visitors. You can always add more pages later on as your site evolves.
When you start to build a new webpage, you'll be asked if you want to use a Suggested Layout. This is a great way to quickly build a page all at once, without having to place each individual element.
Customize your website's design
Once you create your web pages and add some elements, it's time to have some fun with the design of your site. Choosing fonts, colors, and other visual options all happens in your Style Editor. To get to the Style Editor, click on Style in your Site Admin on the right side. Now, you’re in Style Mode.
While in Style Mode, you will always see a bar across the top of your browser window. This is where the different options will appear. If you want to modify the content of your website, you will need to exit Style Mode by clicking the "X" in the upper right corner of the bar.
Style by Element
If you have a color scheme and font in mind, and you’d like to apply it to your entire website all at once, there’s a shortcut to do that.
In the Style Editor, find the Style by Element toggle switch in the upper left corner. Turn it to the "off" position. Now, you can choose a color scheme and font for your entire website, and it will cascade across all your elements.
Then, turn the Style by Element switch back to the "on" position. Now you can style individual elements and make adjustments if necessary.
Change fonts and colors
Here, you’ll see your mouse cursor has changed to a little paint roller. Drag it over different parts of your web page and they will appear outlined in blue. This means they can be styled. Click where you’d like to begin, and a menu of style options will appear at the top of the page, showing you what you can change.
Once you make changes, a preview will appear below. Choose to Save changes, or click Undo.
Keep in mind that when you change the style of an element, it will apply to all elements of that type. In other words, if you make one Horizontal Line Element orange, all of your Horizontal Line Elements will be orange. If you choose the font “Montserrat” for your paragraph text, all of your Text Elements will use that font. This helps keep everything consistent.
To change, add, or move elements, return to Edit Mode by closing the Style Editor in the upper right corner.
More on website design
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to designing your website. There are over 600 fonts to choose from, millions of colors, and countless other customization options that you can explore. A good place to start is in the Design section of our Support Center, where we have a video on how to use the Jimdo Style Editor. After that, check out our blog for some posts on fonts, colors, and web design tips. For added inspiration, check out our Examples page to see what other Jimdo users are doing.
Connect your domain
You've added content and customized your design. The next step is to connect your domain so you can start sharing your website with the world. JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness customers get a free domain included in their subscription. You might also have a domain you've already purchased that you'd like to use. Either way, you can get started with the following steps.
Note: If you are a JimdoFree customer, your site address will appear as yourwebsite.jimdo.com. You can connect a custom domain by upgrading to JimdoPro or JimdoBusiness.
Registering a new domain with Jimdo
When you choose a new domain for your website, you have to pick one that isn't already taken. Double-check this with a free tool like Instant Domain Search. If the domain is available, you can add it to your Jimdo website.
Log in to your Jimdo website and go to Settings > Email and Domain Management > Domains. Type the domain you'd like to register in the box under "More domain options," then click “add domain.” Be sure to check it carefully for typos!
You'll then be directed to a Domain Registration Form. Follow the directions and submit the form. After a few minutes, you'll receive an email from us at the email address you just entered.
Open the email, double-check your details and click the confirmation link to confirm the domain registration. Your domain be activated shortly after that.
Using a domain you already own
If you've already purchased a domain through an external hosting service like GoDaddy, you can still use it with your Jimdo website.
You have two options here. You can keep your domain registered with the original hosting company and simply connect it to your Jimdo website. Or, you can transfer the entire domain to Jimdo and we'll hold on to it for you. The pros and cons of each option are listed in our Support Center.
1. Keep your domain with your external registrar
First, add the domain to your Jimdo account. Log in to your website and go to. Settings > Email and Domain Management > Domains. Type the domain you'd like to register in the box under "More domain options," then click "add domain."" Follow the steps and confirm that you are the domain owner.
Second, log in to your account on your domain registrar's website. Open your domain settings. Here, we recommend connecting your domain to Jimdo via nameservers. That way you'll also be able to use Jimdo webmail with your account. Follow the step-by-step directions provided by your registrar to change your domain's existing nameservers to:
Remember that if you use this method, you will still need to keep your domain subscription current with your hosting company. It will not become part of your Jimdo package.
Note: If you'd prefer to keep your other domain services like email separate, connect your domain via A Record or CNAME entry. These options will be available in the domain settings of your hosting account. More information on these steps is in our Support Center.
2. Transfer your existing domain to Jimdo
If you transfer your domain to Jimdo, you won't have to pay your domain renewal fee each year; it will just be included with your JimdoPro or JimdoBusiness subscription.
Make sure that your domain is eligible for transfer. It must be more than 60 days old (this is based on ICANN standards), and it must end in one of the following:
.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .eu, .de, .at, .be, .co.uk, .ch .fr, .nl, .com.mx, .es, .it, .pl, .com.br, .com.pl, .dk, .se, .fi, or .no.
If your domain meets these requirements, great! The steps below will walk you through the process for .com .net, .org, .biz, .info, .de, .eu, or .ch domains. If you have one of the other kinds listed above, please refer to the steps in our Support Center.
1- Log in to your Jimdo website and go to Settings > Email and Domain Management > Domains. Type the domain you'd like to register in the box under "More domain options," then click "add domain."
2- Next, log in to your account on your domain registrar’s website. Open your domain settings and change your domain’s nameservers to:
3- Then, contact your domain registrar and ask them to unlock your domain and send you the Auth Code.
Once you have the Auth Code, return to your Jimdo site and go back to Settings > Email and Domain Management > Domains. Click on Connect Domain next to the domain you want to transfer.
4- Read through the conditions of transferring your domain and confirm that you accept. Then, you’ll be prompted to enter your auth code and fill out a domain contact information form.
5- Check your email for a message from firstname.lastname@example.org. Click the link in that message to confirm your domain transfer.
6- Last but not least, you'll receive an email from your domain registrar asking you to confirm the transfer. Click the link they send, and the transfer will begin.
Once you complete these steps, your registrar will have 10 days to make the transfer, though typically it takes 1-3 business days. When the transfer is successful, we'll send you an email letting you know.
Doing more with your website
This guide has walked through all of the basic steps to help you make your own website, but it has only scratched the surface of what you can do with Jimdo. There are many more options and directions where you can take your website depending on your online goals.
Learn more about website design
Jimdo makes it easy to design your website with our library of responsive templates and suggested layouts for specific pages, but you will still want to build out unique aspects of your website that will require you to make design decisions.
Explore how to get designer quality results with your website or get advice from one of our professional web designers. You can also find inspiration for your website and see what is possible to create on the Jimdo system by exploring the Jimdo Examples page.
Help people find your website
You now have a website that anyone in the world can access, but you probably want to spend a bit more time to make your website easier for them to find. Jimdo has great tools for making it easier for your website to be found on Google and other search engines. The practice of improving where your site appears in search results is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO..
If you want to learn more about this subject, check out how to get Google to notice your website and how to use the Jimdo SEO tools.
Start selling products or services on your website
If you are an artisan or small business, a logical next step for your website may be to start a shop on your website. If that's the case, you are in luck! Jimdo has powerful, yet easy, ecommerce tools that allow you to start an online store on your website in minutes, complete with a shopping cart and the ability to accept credit card payments.
Adding an online store to your Jimdo website uses the same concept as adding anything else to your website. Just pick where you would like to place a product on your site and add a Store Item Element to the page. Next enter a few store settings, and connect your Paypal or Stripe account to start accepting credit cards right away.
For best results, we recommend creating a new page for each product you sell and then creating category pages using tags and our handy Store Catalog Element.