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


    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 4 years ago

  • 12
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when will this be available?
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Drew N, Alum

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Hi Joe, I only have a few simple topics up so far, as it has been pretty busy this week. You can look at the new builder category,

Any topic with the avatar , is a how to on the new builder and has screen shots of that particular subject. There are only a few, but yo can start to see some things. I don't have a date yet, but the builder is fully functional. We are integrating it and testing back end functionality. It should not be a very long time until ready.
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speaking of Avatar, will the new builder allow us to put one on our site?
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Drew N, Alum

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Do you mean a favicon for the browser tab? If so, yes. It should be a square image, and about 70x70 pixels to work better on all devices.
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Yes, that's what I meant.  Thanks.
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Drew N, Alum

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You're welcome
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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Do I have to rebuild my whole website when you do the upgrade.???.

Do I have to rebuild my whole website when you do the upgrade.??? I just received an update stating you've designed a new builder and my templates will not transfer over. So does this mean that I have to design a whole new website? While i am no expert this has been a process to say the least with updates and changes on my side. Are you stating I'll have to start over from scratch again and redesign a whole new website? AND your charging more for the extra work I will have to do??? 

When is this taking effect? 
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Drew N, Alum

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Melinda0687, You are not going to have to rebuild. Your old site will be unaffected and you can continue to edit it as always. You will have the opportunity to look at the new builder and then decide if you have an interest in trying it. If you decide to, then you would need to rebuild, but in any case, your existing site is safe and will still be something you can maintain.
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But, how do you do that?  I tried to start a new website to see about the new platform and it wouldn't let me use my web address.
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What is hurting ALL of us is that our websites are not keeping the people with the smart phones because they can't easily view nor navigate them.  I get complaints all the time so I am now looking at other sites.  I have been with HOMESTEAD for over 15 years but sadly if I have to learn a new program, I will likely learn it elsewhere.  It has been TOO long that they didn't get us updated sooner.  The good thing is that Homestead will pay you back for the amount you are not using, if you request it.
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Do you mean pay us back for the yearly cost not used?
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Homestead is just now getting to where most web builders were 2 years ago with responsive design and drop down menus. Thank God I was forced to learn Wordpress two years ago and have switched over almost all my client sites to WP. If you build on Homestead you will always be a "renter" of your website, and not an owner.  You do not own your own work, because it is tied to the Homestead proprietary platform (same with WIX et al btw.)  If I am ever dissatisfied with my website host, I can simply pick up my WP files and database and move. I own the work I put in years to build. Like some of you, I have been a Homestead customer for nearly 15 years, and have gone through all the corporate take overs, crappy service and email fiascos. I am working overtime to get my clients' sites off Homestead, and onto something that lets them keep the work they've invested in over the years. At my hourly rate, the $2 per website totally misses the value of our time building and maintaining these things. I have just looked at the new website builder. It is very cute and pretty, but only shows desktop and phone views of the screen. With over 50% of traffic coming from mobile, responsive means adapting to every possible screen size including tablets as well. I am beyond angry to find out that I can't even get my clients off my account and onto their own, without entirely rebuilding their sites in their own accounts. I might as well take them all over to WordPress.
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Drew N, Alum

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Official Response
Your existing sites will not be affected and you will continue to be able to use Sitebuilder desktop and Sitebuilder Plus for those sites. If you wish to use the new Homestead Website Builder then you will need to rebuild the site. Unfortunately there is just too large a difference in the change to be able to convert the old fixed templates to new responsive ones.
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Herein lies the crux of the matter. Drew states "Sitebuilder is an old program. This is why we are not updating it...." I can only wonder where Homestead and Sitebuilder would be today if they had updated Sitebuilder along the way, in a similar fashion to most, if not all, software developers.

To not upgrade the software for years, then announce a major new release with supposedly new and better functionality but only if YOU rebuild YOUR site(s) (and pay extra for it) makes me angry.

What else gets my goat is that the new Sitebuilder is announced with no firm release date, no real firm list of functions and features, etc. 
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Drew N, Alum

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Doug9376, I understand. I did not look to see your history, but Homestead was purchased by Intuit in 2007. Intuit chose not to push much development in Sitebuilder as they considered a website to be an accessory to Quickbooks. In 2013 Homestead was sold by Intuit. We are now part of a dedicated web services group. They recognized the shortcomings in Sitebuilder and knew it needed to be updated. After much review, it was deemed that a brand new product would be far superior than trying to update the old program, so that was the incarnation of the new builder. Unfortunately it takes time to complete the builder and then integrate it to the accounts.
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I appreciate this response and while I understand it, the ONE thing the original desktop version had over ALL other web building is that there was NOT a need to be online to create the site. For many, especially those of us in rural areas where a dedicated Internet is not readily available, this was essential.  
Like many who have posted on other threads, I am a web designer who doesn't code and have found Homestead to be the best platform to use. I am thankful for it.  I love the desktop version.  Still have never seen an improvement in the online version.  There isn't a single feature on it that I can't implement on the desktop version.
That said, I'm looking forward to the new version where drop down menus and image slideshows are available!  But, I wish it was sooner.  I have a site that could benefit from both right now but they want to roll out by the 15th of this month.  :(
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A+++ to Homestead, Drew & the entire crew. We have about 50-60 sites of our own and have been with Homestead since early 1999 and we got our latest account back in 2008. Anyway, I will keep quite a few of our older sites, but will also be working on all kinds of new ones with the new responsive site builder. We have two websites that actually sell websites and they're both presently ranked #1, 2 or 3 on Google, Bing & Yahoo and my point is this. Homestead has always had a great product which allowed us to do what we do and be ranked #1 so they've definitely been doing something right. This company has made us a few hundred thousand dollars over the years and I welcome the new software. I think it will be fun and probably be very easy to use?

Anyone who's not excited about this new improvement must be off their rocker? Please consider that there's no limit to what you can do with your own creativity and this new tool will allow you to reach many more people with your creativity. From what I understand, you don't have to delete your old site or sites so why not keep those and then build some new ones that are even better?

Kind of like competing with your old work to make your new work even better. Heck, you can even place a link on your old site to a newer version of your new responsive site Just keep your old domain for your old site and buy a new domain for each new site you create? Good heavens, your only cost is just the cost of a domain. To make it even easier, simply use the forwarding feature from godaddy, wildwest, maddog or whoever to point the domain to your homestead url? Then use good content and meta tags and get ranked on the first page of the search engines for your targeted keywords and phrases? I assure you that anyone can do this if you're patient and apply a little creativity.

Building websites for our customers is all we do and that's how we earn our living and we're always trying to learn new things. Please don't be discouraged or complaining about a New Site Builder that's mobile friendly because it can only be a very positive thing?. I really think it will help everyone in the long run? Keeping my fingers crossed that it will be as good as I think it's going to be? Thank you Homestead, Drew and the entire crew for this excellent news. I'm really looking forward to it.
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The problem for many of us is having to completely copy our old site to the new one.  I sounds very time consuming (I have 650+ pages on my main website).  I look forward to seeing the new builder but also am looking at Wordpress.

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