Coming Soon: Homestead Website Builder with responsive design

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  • Announcement
  • Updated 3 years ago
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We hope you’re enjoying online success with your Homestead website!
Now, we have some BIG news to share that will make your site even more successful...

We’ve been listening to your feedback, and are pleased to introduce Homestead Website Builder, a powerful new platform that delivers everything you need for your website:

Drop Down Menus & Mobile Responsiveness

Plus...

    Modern Templates
    Modern/Advanced Image Sliders
    Interactive Blog Features
    Responsive Web Design

While templates from your site will not migrate to the new builder, this will be your opportunity to create an updated site with best-in-class functionality and your choice of thousands of mobile-friendly designs.

While we continue to do all that’s possible to maintain low fees, this list of all-inclusive service improvements necessitates a small $2/month increase. Payments processed on or after November 3, 2016 will reflect this updated pricing.

Warm website wishes,
The Homestead Team
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Homestead FAQ, Employee

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Posted 3 years ago

  • 12
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Drew8806

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First, I'm looking forward to an upgraded version with enhanced features. This has been a very long time coming, as improvements have been stagnant for years. So, thank you to Homestead for coming up with a modern (and necessary) alternative.

However, just so I understand clearly, there has not yet been a firm release date for the product - yet there has been a firm date for the price increase of early November? It was mentioned previously that the product may not be available until the end of the year.  Therefore, billing could very well be in advance of its availability. Is this correct?
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Drew N, Alum

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This is correct. We are working to get everything done as quickly as possible. The price increase is on the hosting package, not specifically for the new builder. I really wish they had been announced separately, but that also would have had problems of its own. The builders are simply tools included with the hosting.
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Michele9155

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Ah, forget my previous comment then!  :)
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David6313

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Is Homestead developing a completely new software package or are they simply adopting something standard like Wordpress??

Also I have a small website for my one person tutoring business. I am happy with the current design would simply like to add a blog. Currently the only way to do that is to upgrade from my starter package to a much higher priced business package. Will this still be the restriction or will a blog become an add-on for the starter package?
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Kimberly7363

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The timing is uncanny because I was just searching for new website hosts since this has not been refreshed since we signed up in 2010 with Intuit Websites that then became Homestead.  The look is so past being tired and dated it is embarrassing as I am in the hotel interior design industry.   My customers want to see gorgeous photography and visually interesting and creative websites. As this is currently, the amount of gorgeous is limited.  I signed up with your suggested mobile partner, Duda, paid my money for a year and it was less than acceptable.  A waste of money and we cancelled.  They had bare bones functionality.

Please put out an update that confirms the questions being asked.
1) Date of release
2) Old Sitebuilder still will exist, migration and and $2 up-charge not mandatory
3) Will there at least be file support to be be able to create a file to contain all current images, etc to easily migrate to the new site?

Also, when someone posts a question to your community, can you add a "check the box" tool to ask the platform (PC or Mac) and the proficiency level (novice, intermediate, professional coder) prior to submitting requests.  When we submitting a question and it gets it answered by someone from the "Community" that is on another platform or is a professional website designer talking about entering code does not help.
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Kimberly7363

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Drew, thanks as usual, you are prompt to reply.  Is there anyway we can be beta testers?  We would be good candidates to represent your rookie casual users that can look frustrating features prior to the hard launch.
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Drew N, Alum

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I will see. I have been playing with it and have not yet seen any problems, but I haven't used all the features yet either.
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Alannah3334

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Hi Drew,
One quick question - how will the price increase affect those of us who have pre-paid for our package? I currently am paid for two years, renewable in May of 2018.
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Drew N, Alum

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Alannah3334, it will not affect you until the next billing period in May 2018.
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Alannah3334

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Thanks Drew! Looking forward to trying the new builder. Would be nice to have everything in one place, currently have mobile with Duda.
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Bob9158

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled When will the NEW Modern Web Site templates be available to view?.
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Jonathan T.

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I have over 50 websites currently. While reading, it looks like none of my websites will be affected, and if I want to switch them over, I will have to redo them. I'm good with that. But will I have the option on new websites moving forward to use the new platform, but still maintain the old websites without switching them all over? Right now, I just login, choose my site, and edit them. But I don't want to start a new website on the new platform, and then all 50 of my websites stop working or my ability to edit them stop. 
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Jeffrey0893

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I am curious about this as well. Right now my site is hard coded in HTML. Would love to have a CMS platform so I don't have to edit 100+ pages. See deadcellzones.com. Hopefully a template exists that we can use
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Todd H, Social Media Specialist

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Yes, when the new platform launches, your new websites will be created with the new Website Builder, and you will still be able to continue to edit your existing websites with the current Sitebuilders.
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Jonathan T.

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Okay great. Thank you. Looking forward to the changes.
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Michel6071

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled When will are the new features (Homestead Website Builder, Drop Down Menus, etc......
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Anthony0048

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Homestead New Website Builder.

Is Homestead New Website Builder available right now?
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tHEoFfBranD

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sooo...when can we SEE what these enhancements will bring? Is there not a site of reference? Still waiting on a "sizzle reel" of some sort to get me REALLY excited about the changes ...

I'm a designer (like most of your customers) and hence I am a very VISUAL person ... just TELLING me about something does NOT excite me about things to come ... SHOW ME!!

~ King Curt
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Drew N, Alum

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We are working as quickly as possible, but don't have the date for release yet. As soon as I can get a test account with the integration I will start posting some how tos with screen shots.
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Nancy8617

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I'm NOT a designer, so these changes are beyond annoying to me!  PLEASE let us know when/if there will be a guide for "how to migrate" to the new platform.  AND, in my opinion, Homestead should offer some kind of migration platform to those of us who have only one small website for a small local business.  
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susan2829, Champion

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Nancy you aren't required to convert to the new builder unless you choose to, so if it's beyond annoying then just stay with what you have for now and perhaps later on you'll feel more like tackling the new one.
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Nancy8617

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I understand that. But of course I do want/need to have a good mobile responsive platform. So I DO want to change, but since I'm not a designer but just a regular person using technology it will be VERY time consuming for me. It is really bad customer service , in my opinion, not to offer a solution. For migration.
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Drew N, Alum

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We are sorry, but there is simply no way to convert a site from Sitebuilder to the new builder. The changes are too vast. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
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Heike8138

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Will our current files be automatically available in the new site builder ?
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Drew N, Alum

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Unfortunately, due to the huge differences in the 2 builders, this will not be possible. You can archive the old site and download the files and then you will be able to upload them to the new builder.
How soon will we know about this?  How will we be notified that it is available?  Are we grandfathered in on cost? 
Now that I will not need Duda - what about the Lifetime subscription I had to pay for?
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Drew N, Alum

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As soon as I know I will announce it here. We may also send another email, I am not sure. There are only a few accounts that were grandfathered many years ago. I am not sure what we can do about the Duda account, but will look into it.
Thank you
I never got an email regarding this at all - happened on it
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SentrySix9541

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Will this be an online site builder, or a desktop version? And if desktop, will it be compatible for MAC?
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Drew N, Alum

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It is an online program and will work on Mac
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matt4371

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This honestly couldn't come fast enough for us. The Duda mobile site is a disaster... won't connect or even detect our .com site on the web and never saves changes. I'm 60% done building a new WIX comprehensive site. If this new homestead builder will be up an running in the next month or so, I'd rather not go through the transfer hassle. If it's 6 months, I can't wait that long as the mobile site is too important not to have these days. Thanks
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Drew N, Alum

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I can't say within a month, but is should not be close to 6 months. I will post a date when I have one.
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JOHN5471

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Will this new Sitebuilder be compatible with the Mac?
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Drew N, Alum

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JOHN5471, yes, it is an online program and will work on Mac
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Chris8611

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So... still no word on the new launch date?
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Drew N, Alum

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Sorry, not yet.  I will post as soon as I have something.
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JOHN5471

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Will it be downloadable for the Mac?
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Gloria2691

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We're all anxious, but better to take a little longer and get it right.  We all know that no change is going to go 100% perfect.
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beeloved5833

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled recieved an email for service package change.

I just recieved an email saying that there is a service package change. I do not understand the invoice? what does this mean
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Bill1243

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Received email of a price increase package change.

I tryed to contact Homestead and no email contact, your chatis  not working either please contact me as I am about to cancel my homestead  account due to increase.
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plantmgr2976

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Email stating new price package.

I just received an email with a new price package. I did not agree to a new package nor do I want one. What is going on.
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lyn0293

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled What is this confirmation nonscense?.

I just got an email from you confirming recent activity on my account and a confirmation of "the" change. I did not request or in anyway initiate a change and will NOT be confirming anything until you can tell me what is going on.
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Drew N, Alum

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lyn0293, We are very sorry for the confusion. Last month we sent out an email announcing there was an upcoming price increase and that we will be releasing a new website builder soon. The notice of the package change is a result of the change in price.
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Kari2477

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Okay, so I am being charged more does that mean that we can start building our sites on the new sitebuilder or at least view it?  I think you are putting the cart before the horse here charging without new product.   Wix looks like a good builder site.  Easy!
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Drew N, Alum

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I am sorry but the new builder is still being integrated to accounts. Hopefully it will be very soon. We are sorry for the confusion on billing. The increase is on the hosting package. The builder provided is available free to all accounts. We do not charge for the builder directly. The new builder I think will stand up to any builder out there, and will make a great looking site for you.
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susan2829, Champion

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My thumbs are worn out from twiddling Drew!  :) Soooooo anxious to see/use the new builder, but I realize that these things don't just happen and thus I shall continue to practice patience. This is worse than being a kid and waiting for Santa to come.

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Drew N, Alum

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Haha! I am ready to start making topics now from our QA servers, but today was unusually busy so I wasn't able to get to it today. Hopefully I can start to at least give you a look at screenshots of it.
YES! FINALLY drop-down menus!!  I have to use an outside Drop-down generator which I must pay for separately so this REALLY helps out my non-profit organization's website!!  Also an interactive Blog??  We have a blog we created already so I am excited to see what Homestead will provide in regards to this as I am sure I will take advantage of :)
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tmsound716

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So we should be getting the new sitebuilder integrated when we login? How will we know when the upgraded version is assigned to our profile?
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Drew N, Alum

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I will post here when we have it activated.
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Myra5693

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For the increased cost... you would think you could add a php api to your server or at least increase the 5 page limit. I am a developer that is undergoing the task of modernizing a website; however, your server doesn't seem to be upgraded with any technologies that hasn't existed since the 90's. And the fact that homestead.com requires proprietary software to implement changes to purchased web space is ridiculous.
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liz7153

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Where are all the new features?.

I received an email a long time ago from homestead saying we are being charged $2 a month more because of added features, one being a new drop down menu. I have uninstalled and reinstalled my sitebuilder and looked all over it, but can't find this. Has this not been added yet? Also all the rest of the stuff here - where is it??

We've been listening to your feedback, and are pleased to
introduce Homestead Website Builder, a powerful new platform that
delivers everything you need for your website:

Drop Down Menus

&

Mobile Responsiveness

 

·  Modern Templates

·  Modern/Advanced Image Sliders

·  Interactive Blog Features

·  Responsive Web Design
While templates from your site will not migrate to the new builder, this
will be your opportunity to create an updated site with best-in-class
functionality and your choice of thousands of mobile-friendly designs.

While we continue to do all that's possible to maintain low fees, this list of
all-inclusive service improvements necessitates a small $2/month increase.
Payments processed on or after November 3, 2016 will reflect this updated
pricing.
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Drew N, Alum

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They will indeed be here soon..
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tmsound716

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So..... why were we charged an extra $2 for something that we haven't been able to use and tomorrow will be more than half of a billing cycle with no service for the added cost. I don't think it's right as a customer or as a business professional. The charge should have been charged but prorated when fully available and then fully billed the first full month available not while working out the bugs and rolling it out.
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themieleman, Champion

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We have a price increase and coincidently there a new software rollout coming.
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Drew N, Alum

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Hi folks. Well, I didn't get the notice I had hoped for, but they are applying the new builder to accounts now. If you create a new account now, it will use the new builder. I will continue to try to get new help topics listed here as quickly as possible.

It might take a little while to complete.
(Edited)
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Debra0715

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Drew, that is what I did.  I clicked "add new website", chose a template from the list of templates.  I then chose the pages.  It then took me to an identical builder to what I already use. 


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susan2829, Champion

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Did that and here's what came up:
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Debra0715

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Susan, I actually saw way more choices for the templates, but regardless of the templates, once you get into the builder, it was exactly the same as the existing one I already use.
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Debra0715

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Okay I see an announcement posted on the main page of this community that says it's not yet activated on all accounts.  I will wait and try again later.  Thanks!


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susan2829, Champion

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Debra that makes it even more curious that you are seeing more choices ... things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm.

And yep, sounds like more patience is in order. :)
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Drew N, Alum

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It should be going to the new builder now. But, you might have created the site prior to the final change over. To get there you need to make a new site now.
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Debra0715

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Well....the login button doesn't do anything now, so I can't try at this time.  The screen just blinks when I click login and it doesn't go anywhere. 

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Drew N, Alum

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Try clearing your browser history Debra. It seems to work when I log in to your account. If you like I can try to create a new site to confirm.
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tmsound716

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Drew, if I have the starter package and only have one site do I need to upgrade to 2 more sites so I can access the new builder?
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Drew N, Alum

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Unfortunately yes you will need to add 2 sites as was previously necessary.
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Chris8611

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Drew, I must say that I'm almost very impressed with the new design templates. Thanks for hanging in there with all our complaining!
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Jonathan T.

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New builder LOOKS fantastic
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Drew N, Alum

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I hope everyone will be pleased. It will require some learning, but it has some great templates and features behind it.
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susan2829, Champion

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It's very similar to the Duda full program and I believe some of the other builders so anyone who has had experience with those should have a leg up on getting started.
I'm stuck on templates - this one, no that one, no .... lol, but will probably go with a blank one. Really glad those are offered.
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Ben R

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Is there a desktop version of the new Website Builder?
If so where do we download it from?

Thanks in advance
Ben
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Drew N, Alum

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I am sorry, but the new Websitebuilder is an online product.
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Ben R

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Thanks Drew
Don't mind either way, just need to spend some time now getting my head round it, but so far I'm liking it.
All the best
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Ben R

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Couple of questions...

How do I remove the "Built using Homestead" banner?

How do I insert a custom form?

Thanks
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Drew N, Alum

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Haven't gotten to all these questions yet. :)

1) The banner was supposed to be removed. The developers will be doing that as soon as possible.

2) There are not truly custome forms like before. Use the add button and go to the contact section. Select Contact form. You can manage the form from the properties editor and customize the fields to some degree.
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Jonathan T.

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New builder has a lot of great features. Does it feature the ability to do scrolling sliders?
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Jonathan T.

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How do you change the template after the original template is picked?
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themieleman, Champion

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I did not see it posted! Thanks for getting me up to date!
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Jonathan T.

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Yes, I am not finding an option to change templates once you choose the initial one besides having to delete the entire site, and build a new one or just edit all the existing products. Overall though, there are a lot of features. Definitly going to take some learning. Is there any tutorials online or will there be? I'm having trouble figuring out how to add the drop down menu links to the navigation, as well as create image sliders. 
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susan2829, Champion

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Yep, there is a learning curve! Drew has been making some 'How Tos' and you can find those by going to the Home page and any post that has the Homestead logo will have a guide for a subject.
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Drew N, Alum

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At this point, once you select a template, you can't change it. You need to create a new site. You can reset the template from within the editor to get back to the starting place of the original template. This will delete all data on the site. On the Gold package and up you still can create the sites you want and delete the unused ones.
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Jonathan T.

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Thanks

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