Did you know IM Creator was started by a former Wix exployee?
IM Creator was established in 2011 by Jonathan Saragossi. What distinguishes IM Creator from Wix and other competitors is its website building approach, which this article discusses in detail.
If you want to know more about IM Creator - what you can or cannot do with this platform - What do you get with its freemium and premium plans - Do they really offer you value for your money - I'M Creator's features and their detailed pros and cons, then keep reading.
IM Creator: Pros & Cons
The following is a quick snippet of IM Creator.
Now that you have some idea of IM Creator, it is time to delve in more detail into this website builder.
Ease of Use
As mentioned earlier, IM creator uses a different approach from Wix, Weebly and Squarespace when it comes to building a website. Does it work though?
For beginners, IM Creator is not beginner-friendly. So, if you are a novice to the platform, you won’t really get anywhere in the beginning. You will have to spend hours initially to get the hang of things.
Unlike Wix and Weebly, IM Creator does not have a drag and drop layout, where you just need to drag the elements and drop them according to your requirement. Drag and drop layout helps novices create websites comparatively quickly. Although IM creator does not require prior coding knowledge but handling the elements and creating a website’s interface is quite challenging for a non-techy.
The interface is based on WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get). That means whatever changes you make in the editor, you see them in the final website as well. Unlike Wordpress, in IM Creator there are no editing surprises in the final version of your website.You can add elements separately in each section. However, searching for the elements is a difficult task for novices. You will have to do the following to discover other elements:
Step 1: Click on any element
Step 2: Place your cursor on the two dots
Step 3: Click the “+” sign
Step 4: Choose the required element
Moreover, unlike other website builders, IM Creator has a limited number of elements. You can just add subtitles, body, button, icon, divider, location, social, draggable and widget.
If you need to edit an element, you’d need to click on it. Your editing options include changing the font size, style, color, paragraph alignment, adding a link, adjusting the spacing, etc. You can also give direction to the text.
When it comes to editing an image, IM Creator would let you adjust [(Plus (+), minus (-)] the image size. However, it would not let you put on filters or effects on the images except if it is an online store (You can add filters to your product’s images).
Another distinguishing feature of IM Creator is its media center, which has plenty of images free of cost. These images are categorized by:
- Animated Gifs
You can also add sections easily to your website. Just click the blue “+” button to add the section. IM Creator sections come with a lot of options, namely:
- Text Block
- Call to action
You can always make changes in the sections just by clicking on them. These changes could be related to the section's dimensions (boxed, stretched), background, and its content alignment. Moreover, there is always the option to move your section above or below another section.
IM Creator editor also provides you with the options of adding pages, editing menus and pop-ups. You just need to click the “Green button” on the extreme bottom right to access this list.
However, there is no option to undo your changes. So, just be careful - if you delete a section or element accidentally, you would not be able to recover your content.
IM Creator offers free templates unlike many other website builders in the market. It has hundreds of templates in its collection covering various categories such as:
- Art & Design
- Health & Wellness
- Restaurants & Food
- E-commerce and Retail
- Fashion & Beauty
- Music & Video
Apart from these categories, you can get blank templates as well, where you can design everything right from scratch. This gives you the liberty to add sections, elements or content to give your website the required shape.
You can always preview these templates before selecting them for editing. However, IM Creator preview looks quite different from its competitors. The website builder would show the preview in the small window (GIF form), rather than showing the full live version of the template (as shown in the image below). It also shows the mobile preview by the side of that window (as shown in the image below). Moreover, it shows separate pages of the template in the same preview.
Once you know which template would be good for your website, you can just click the editing button and start creating your website.
These templates are responsive. That means they are suitable for every kind of screen (desktop, mobile, tablet).
One thing you will have to bear in mind is that you need to be careful when selecting a template. Choose the one that is most suitable for your website. This is because once you start editing a template you cannot change it later without losing all of your editions - reason being that each template is different, having different sections with elements requiring different placement of content.
Moreover, if you are a developer, you would not be able to make changes in sections using your coding skills. You are essentially restricted to playing within the tools that IM Creator offers you.
While IM Creator does not have an app store as extensive as some of its competitors like Wix, Weebly and Shopify, it nonetheless offers you third party integrations. You would not be able to find these widgets right in front of you in the editor section though. You will find these widgets among other elements.
By clicking the widgets, you will see third-party integrations such as:
- PDF Viewer
- Google Calendar
- Facebook Comments
- Facebook Likes
- Open Table
- Donate Button
- Google Review
You can also edit the widgets through coding. This would help you customize your tools as per your requirements.
The experience of adding an online store in IM Creator is entirely different from its competitors. Other website builders let you choose between creating an online store or a website. Whereas, IM creator would let you add an online store as a section into your website.
That means you just need to click the blue “+” button and select “store” from the option, and there you have your online store section. This approach would definitely help you create an interactive interface for your e-commerce website, where you can add content in other sections along with your online store.
When it comes to editing the store, you just need to click the image of the product and there you get the editing options. You can either upload a new product image or select the image from the media center (Image collection). You can also edit images right from the image settings option. So, feel free to put on filters, effects, set the opacity and image background color and crop as per requirement.
Besides uploading and editing images, you will see a “cart” sign when you click the product image. By clicking it, you will be able to give your product a title, set its price and track your online store progress through the dashboard.
The dashboard would help you analyze, manage and control your website. For example, you would be able to track the site traffic and conversions etc., and take strategic decisions accordingly.
However, bear in mind that online stores built on IM Creator are workable only if you prefer basic transactions. IM Creator is therefore not a recommended online store builder for big businesses or large scale transactions.
Just like other website builders, IM Creator would also let you edit meta titles and descriptions. However, other website builders would let you optimize every page for the search engine, which IM Creator won’t. Moreover, there is only one set of keywords for the entire site.
Blogging is an effective technique to get your site more traffic and visibility. It also makes your visitors spend more time on your site, resulting in Google and other search engines ranking your site high.
In IM Creator, adding a blog is not really a difficult task. Like adding a store, you just need to click the blue “+” button and select a blog from the options.
Unlike many other website builders, IM Creator blog option would let you add not only images and text but also videos and music (integrate through SoundCloud).
However, there is no option of commenting on blog posts. To add comments, you can integrate Facebook comments into your blog section through the “Widgets” option.
Moreover, you would not be able to schedule your blog posts with IM Creator. This is surely a major drawback of using IM Creator as this task is going to consume a lot of your time when it comes to posting articles in bulk. Similarly, it would not let you include RSS feed into your blog.
IM Creator has maintained a knowledge base that is quite extensive but definitely not as extensive as of Wix. You can access it by going to the XPRS support center. You can write the relevant keywords in the search bar and get going.
The knowledge base includes the following:
- Video tutorials
- Text tutorials
Moreover, IM Creator has a ticketing system. You submit a ticket explaining all the issues you are facing. Once submitted, you will have to wait for the reply, which may take as much as 12 hours. Therefore, for the quickest help, you should use the support center.
IM Creator however does not offer phone or live chat support. IM Creator needs to understand the importance of readily available customer support and how efficiently its competitors are offering such support. For example, Wix offers an extensive knowledge base, phone call support, email support, support through social media, ticketing system, etc. Thus, having so many support touchpoints could be a competitive advantage.
IM Creator Pricing
IM Creator is the only website builder that offers an amazing freemium that no one offers in the market. You can connect to your own domain free of cost. Moreover, its freemium plan is Ads free which is most suitable for students, artists and non-profits.
Its Premium account definitely comes with extra features such as up to 10 email addresses, etc.
Then there comes its “Pro & Whitelable” package that is considered suitable for web designers, resellers and white-labels, etc. This package charges on an annual basis and it would cost you around $350 per annum.
IM Creator is considered one of the best platforms if you want a website builder that would not cost you anything. Unlike many other website builders, it offers a really good freemium plan. There aren’t many freemium plans out there that let you connect to your domain name free of cost. This could be helpful for many NGOs and students who do not have enough budget for online presence. However, a free plan definitely has some feature limitations and to unlock those features, you would need to upgrade your plan.
If you want to start your website solely for blogging purposes then IM Creator is not recommended as it has basic blogging features. Furthermore, scheduling the posts becomes really important when you have a number of articles to post and you cannot post them all at once. IM Creator does not support blog scheduling.
If you want to start an online store with the vision of growing with time, it is recommended that you consider Shopify instead of IM Creator. IM Creator e-commerce is very basic and allows basic transactions only.
IM Creator does not offer multiple customer support touch points either, which makes getting urgent help very hard; IM Creator’s knowledge base may not always have the answer to your query.
What’s a Rich Text element?
The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.
Static and dynamic content editing
A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!
How to customize formatting for each rich text
Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.