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Sitebuilder, Sitebuilder Desktop, Sitebuilder Plus, I don't know what Homestead calls all of it's various Website building programs. What I DO know is that I've been a Homestead customer since about 2002 and have designed and built literally hundreds of Webpages involving about a dozen or so Websites. I began using Homestead's Desktop version (don't know the actual, proper name of the program then) and saw a major 'upgrade' only once. (I also don't know the 'proper' name of their upgraded version that I'm using now.)
When that (lone) major upgrade did take place many, MANY years ago), I kicked, hollered, screamed and begged Homestead to revert to their 'original' Website program; they refused. So I had to 'adapt' to their new and improved' version.
What I CAN tell everyone is that I've used their Website program, without exception, with Windows XP, Windows VISTA, (with exception) Windows 8.1 as well as Windows 10.
About three or four years ago, I bought a new desktop with the Windows 8.1 O/S. That was fine, but when Microsoft offered free, limited time upgrades to Windows 10, I did that, but doing so caused some 'issues' as to how my Sitebuilder program worked. I called Homestead customer service and received varied responses and explanations based on the 'knowledge level' of who I spoke with.
I persevered and finally 'hooked up' with three (male) CSR's that really 'knew their stuff'. They told me of a 'patch' type 'fix' that would somehow 'fool' Windows 10 into thinking that the Homestead program was 'something else' and make it compatible. And it did; Homestead hen 'worked fine' with Windows 10.
Then, in June 2016, my computer got 'hacked' and I had to do a 'factory reset' which erased everything that was on my computer, including Homestead, and restored my computer to an 'out of the box' status. That was when all of my problems with Homestead began; and continue to this day. Calling Homestead's Customer Service number was basically useless; I kept getting the same (female) person who, in my estimation, didn't know anything about her job and kept insisting that my Website was 'too big'; that was why it was always crashing and I had to delete a whole bunch of files to resolve the issues I was having.
Reluctantly, I did what she suggested; problem still existed. Only, I had 'lost' of bunch of information that I shouldn't have because of what Homestead's CSR told me to do.
A few months back I discovered 'Drew' who, as I understand, works for Homestead and 'knows his stuff', too. While my 'issues' with Homestead still exist, at least I was able to tell them to him and he appeared understanding.
Sending an e-mail complaining about the lack of success I was receiving, I sent an e-mail to the CEO of Intuit (the TurboTax people), the company that owns Homestead. I received an e-mail back telling me that Intuit no longer owned Homestead; they had sold it, but was advised that they had forwarded my e-mail of dissatisfaction onto Homestead (or it's 'parent company'; not sure which.
That resulted in me GETTING A CALL FROM HOMESTEAD wanting to know (much) more about the issues I was experiencing. I was IMPRESSED; I apparently had 'struck a nerve.
The person that called me was named 'Maria', was very knowledgeable, compassionate and understanding. I spent a lot of time on the phone with her explaining my 'history' with Homestead; particularly telling her, in detail, my experiences with Homestead Sitebuilder since June 2016.
We 'tried some different thing's, she conducted a 'remote session' of my computer and I had a glimmer of hope that everything would once be as it was.
My Homestead program continues to unpredictably 'crash' without any hint of it being about to happen and continues to cause me a great mount of frustration !!
However, I MUST say in Homestead's defense, "When It Works' It Works GREAT". But there is no 'reliability factor'; that's the downfall' of Homestead.
That, plus CRS's that don't know their job.
I invite you to see what the truly reliable capabilities of Homestead once were, and still should be, by visiting my Website; created using the 'upgraded (in about 2008) version, of Homestead Sitebuilder.
Please visit www.thedeltashow.com. Then, please send me your comments, (email@example.com) bearing in mind; of course, that what you're looking at on my Website is Homestead Sitebuilder at it's FINEST !!
Annimation, audio, links, fonts, colors, pictures, graphics; everything a Webmaster needs (and wants) to make an 'eye-appealing' end product.
Why is Homestead 'trying to fix a 'problem' that doesn't exist by trying to convince it's uses to switch to a 'new and improved' version, which is HORRIBLE and 'customer unfriendly' ?!!
Wouldn't it make MORE SENSE to address, and fix, the 'root problem' ?
Hamburg, Minnesota 55339
As long as you have the package that allows for multiple sites you can try out the new program, Website Builder, without disturbing your existing sites. When you log in you should see Add A New Website in the upper right corner of the screen. Click on that and give the site a name, it can be anything as once you are done building and decide to switch from your current site the domain will then be pointed to the new site.
There are three builders: 1. The original Desktop version 2. SiteBuilder Plus 3. Website Builder All new sites are being built on the latest version, Website Builder. I have sites on all three builders. Desktop version was/is a great program, but it just has limitations and with Windows constantly making changes it becomes somewhat less stable. I really don't like SB+, 'nuff' said. The latest one was something of a challenge at first as it isn't the most intuitive program to work with, but the more I use it, the more I like it and it definitely puts sites into the 21st Century.
Try it you guys, you've nothing to lose.
For those that don't know, Homestead may no longer have a dedicated design team or programming department. They license the latest "website builder" from a third party who also rents out their software to other companies under different names. The source of this info is a couple of articles floating around on the internet. I have no idea if true or not.
It is amazing that a once dominant company has intentionally been allowed to degrade. Its almost impossible to find a positive review. I guess I will ride it as long as Desktop Sitebuilder is allowed to continue. Been here since 2007 with 9 current websites. Here is one for anyone interested: www.mcgandhs.com here is another with a similar similar format: www.alpost305.org
The Sitebuilder "Plus" is slow, it has a lot of issues, it doesn't offer all the features the desktop program has and basically, I no longer enjoy working on my website. It's a chore, no longer fun. I LOVED working on my website when I had the old desktop program.
I once tried to go back to the desktop version because the sitebuilder plus program was unavailable for a period of time due to problems (it was Christmas time and I needed to remove links for items I'd sold out of), but it ended up screwing up all kinds of things on my website and it took me quite some time to get it straightened out. A Homestead rep told me you can't use both programs, you have to use one or the other. Since the old program will not pull in any updates/changes you've made on the sitebuilder plus program, going back would mean basically having to redo all my pages all over again. And that one time was not the only time Sitebuilder Plus has been down. It's happen quite a few times.
With the old desktop version, you can have multiple pages open at once, jumping back and forth between them.. With the new program, you can only have one page open at a time, which is very time consuming. Shutting down one page to open another can be very slow.
I used to be able to grab all the contents on a page to move it down the page, like if I wanted to add something to the top of the page. With sitebuilder plus, you can only grab the sections that are visible, so you have to work your way up the page, grabbing small sections at a time. Another process that just adds time and frustration to the process.
There's also the problem of no compatibility with mobile devices. You can use dudamobile, or whatever it's called, but it really doesn't solve the problem. I've lost customers over this issue. More and more people are using their mobile devices to place orders.
I could go on and on, but my own personal opinion is, Sitebuilder "plus" should have been named Sitebuilder "negative"..
I've been with Homestead for almost 16 years, and sad to say, I'll be leaving them after the 1st of the year. Sitebuilder plus has been a very negative experience for me. Everyone is different. Maybe you would enjoy it. But for me, honestly, I'd give anything if I'd never switched over to the Sitebuilder Plus option.
Having multiple pages open at once is also critical for me, as I swap page content and templates multiple times daily.
I'm literally anxious just thinking about all of this.
I tried Duda at one point. It was a disaster for me, so I shut it down after about a month. Besides, at least for my purposes, I have not found a mobile site to be necessary. I surveyed a small sample of people and the majority, by far, said that most of the time they click the "View Desktop Site" button on mobile pages because the mobile sites are missing content. My pages are all about content, and it's continuously changing. Duda could not keep up and when it did update, it screwed up the template so I ended up having to effectively rebuild my mobile site every time I updated content. It was no good at all.
Thanks... ugh... but I do love Sitebuilder Desktop so I'll stick with it.
I only have two sites published so far, but am really happy with the look of the published products and ease of building them. (Please keep in mind, I'm by no means a professional and do these sites for community and personal use.)
I would love to answer any more questions regarding the differences between the sitebuilders and options. I just played around with the options until we became friends. :) Wishing you much luck (and patience)