Homestead is a website building application that provides templates, image galleries, hosting, and more. It requires no downloads and is all done online.
Homestead Technologies offers online marketing solutions for small businesses. It is a division of Intuit, the corporation that makes QuickBooks and TurboTax. It is based in California.
The application offers many more features than most web building tools. Some are free, but many are fee-based.
After registering, the parent company, Intuit, called the reviewer’s phone number repeatedly, despite the call going to voicemail. Three calls were received within fifteen minutes.
The site offers many templates which can be searched by keywords. Users choose a design and are taken to the site building page to personalize. Uploading images is fast and simple. The image library is impressive and has many photos to choose from.
Page elements may be manipulated easily and edited with simple editing tools. The ability to view the page as it is being edited is very beneficial. There are multiple design elements available to choose from, including borders, dividers, and shapes. Users may also easily add a Mapquest element with directions. Other elements include links to social networking, email and polls, and forms.
All elements are customizable for the users’ individual needs.
To cancel is a tedious process, requiring login name, PIN number, email address, and billing information. This cannot be done online and must be done via toll-free call. The customer service representative attempted to delay cancellation, but was courteous about it once a reason was given.
Users are eligible for a free30 day trial of Homestead. Email address, user ID, password, security question, first and last name, telephone number, company and website type are all required. Credit card information is required for the free trial so that the website will run without interruption. It will automatically be charged unless the user cancels the membership.
Once credit information is submitted, users must answer questions and Homestead will make recommendations based on the answers. These recommendations all come with monthly fees attached.
One big drawback of the site is that it requires a credit card for the 30 day free trial. After that, a personal site is $4.99/month, business site is $19.99/month, and business plus is $49.99/month. After choosing, users are offered several more fee-based add-ons.
Small businesses that are comfortable with providing credit card information before seeing the software prior to the 30 day trial may find that Homestead offers what they need. Those seeking personal websites would do better seeking free website building services elsewhere.