SiteBuilder Desktop vs. SiteBuilder Plus

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I understand you guys are making Sitebuilder Plus because it is more "user friendly" and "visually appealing" to the Newbs...

However, Sitebuilder Desktop is far better, the ease of use like the File Manager, Moving things around etc. It is far better for sites. Sitebuilder Desktop simply needs an Icon makeover, the big bulging icons you guys are doing for Plus... put it in Desktop version, whatever. And for god sakes remove the "Personal Elements" tab all together. Don't let the newbs even have the chance of making that mistake.

Focus more on Sitebuilder Desktop. It is what gave Homestead their client base for the last 12 years. Think about it, Browsers Ex. IE, Firefox, and Chrome. Will ALL change overtime, constant updates will be needed for all these different browser types to an online Sitebuilder software like Sitebuilder plus. (I think?)

We love Homestead because of our Desktop program. Keep it updated and keep your old customers. Let the Newbs sign up to your Sitebuilder Plus, (if that’s what they want) I am sure it will be great over time. But we need something to manage pages and do things far more efficiently.

Speaking of efficiently, do you want to stop most of the Newbs from calling in for the same questions? (The Getsatisfaction.com platform was a great idea) Make things more automated!! It is crazy going to every page to change the background pics of pages, updating EACH page individually, just to change the layout. Ahh, give me a break, work on the BIGGEST issues here. Once these newbs get some time in on their websites they are going to realize the need something far more automated to change their boring layout that they created as infants.

Love you guys, just focus on the bigger picture. Sitebuilder Desktop program will always give your users the ability to do more, far more than the online version. Overtime, customers will always expect more. Better web technologies will be put into effect, better coding etc. Working on an online option is just silly if you are not keeping your Desktop software kicking. Perhaps it is not the direction Homestead is going now that they have been sold. =(

I’m just saying the desktop allows you to expand further, and has the foundation to provide All the necessary elements users would need to create a great site. And I would absolutely love to update it as often as needed just as soon as those updates are released. Sitebuilder Desktop Forever!!!

Off topic - Should we not have added a dropdown navigation menu like five years ago? I'm glad to see it's in the ideas. Make it happen.

-Dean :)
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Dean

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Posted 7 years ago

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Emery Heuermann

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Dean,
Great comments. Having been a customer since 2004, I find myself in an awkward position about what to do with Homestead, knowing that I am just one customer out of many. I have a new client nonprofit genealogy website right now that I need to make a decision on http://www.mcgandhs.com. I digress. . . A couple of follow up points to your comments . . . ...

1. Desktop Sitebuilder got Homestead to where it is. The news release says Intuit generated $76 million in its last year. Assuming an average of $100 per month per customer equals 760,000 customers at 2 websites per customer equals 1,500,000 current websites in opreration. I have no idea how accurate those numbers are but I bet its ball park. My point is, how does Homestead make obsolete millions of websites by not continuing on with Sitebuilder Desktop. You can bet that some high priced class action lawyers are going to get rich over this decision, if that is what the new owners decide to do.

2. When Intuit completely bought out Homestead in 2007 and stopped being a minority share holder, they should have brought in new ideas, upgraded the program etc. but that's not what happened. Instead, they let Sitebuilder Desktop stagnate, made no upgrades (drop down menus, bulk upload pictures, mastter page etc) and in general, just milked it for whatever cash they could get. While Intuit/Homestead was asleep at the wheel, 1nd1.com and webs.com and a few others began aggresively seeking out new customers. The exact opposite of what Intuit/Homestead did. Makes no sense . . .

3. For those of us who have multiple websites with Homestead, how do we move forward in a vacumn of official information from Homestead Technologies? Do we start using Dreamweaver, Wyswigwebbuilder.com, or any number of other web site developer programs? Do we switch to 1nd1.com (as the aformentioned genealogy site is now in) or webs.com? Once we make the decision to go thru that learning curve, it will be too late for Homestaed to get us back.

4. Homestead should declare once and for all, yes or no, Sitebuilder Desktop will continue to be the flagship program. For anyone who wants to see the difference and what a bummer the online programs are, just look at Sitebuilder Plus, 1 and 1, and webs.com. The newbies don't know any different, but they will learn the differences quickly. . .then what?

In closing, it seems to me that the new owners Homestead Technologies have a golden opportunity to make some money here. I suggest they consider the following:
1. buy some google adsense immediately. 1and1 is everywhere. Homestead advertising is almost non existent. and Homestead is better and should be kicking their butt. Not to mention, Homestead is Made In USA. Got nothing aginst Germany just saying, Homestead is based in USA.
2. make an official statement as to what they intend to do with Sitebuilder Desktop. Don't keep us in suspense.
3. adverise this community forum. do some seo. It is almost invisble on the internet. note: I found it by typing in "is there a way to do drop down menus in sitebuilder". These two kids they have answering all the questions are doing great.
4. get all the Homestead stuff off of Intuit website asap.
5. let people know that Endurance International is the new owner. http://www.enduranceinternational.com
6. fire all the csrs in India for calls originating in USA. If economically possible, tailor the csr to the country the call is orginating from.
7. If desktop Sitebuilder is to continue, and their millions of websites are not going to be made obsolete overnight, then upgrade the program immediately. Start with drop down menus, master page, bulk upload pictures and for Gods sake, find a way a way to freeze the latitude and longitude of the top, left and right hand side of text boxes. By the way, the file manager is one of the best organizational features that Homestead Sitebuilder has. Try that in sitebuilder plus or 1and1.com or webs.com.
8. Drop the business website cost to $12.95 immediately.

Thats it Dean. I didn't mean to write a book but the words just kept coming.
Emery Heuermann in Houston Texas emeryheuermann@charter.net
A longtime loyal Homestead customer.
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Dean

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Emery,
Great response. I do believe you cleared up many points I was trying to make.
As we know, Dreamweaver and programs like that are far more advanced and better suited for advanced webmasters, or people in who require far more sophistication for their site. As most of us know Homestead is not marketing to users of those programs, so something of that sophistication is unnecessary. They market to the mom and pops & small business who want a website “Tonight”.

Sitebuilder Desktop could be far better than it is today, without confusing their main customer base. (Mom and pop and small business) Just a few examples:

1) When people want to change the layout of a website they should not have to do each page individually. Although I do not use their templates for my site, people should be able to change their template to their site without it deleting the information they have inputted in to the old template. (Other programs do this)

2) Multiple elements that are used over and over again should be able to easily be added and updated without having to access each page individually. For example, company logo, newsletter sign up, social following links, copyright footers, and many other options that are usually put on many of the pages within a site. By perhaps creating an area that would be duplicated on each page (Again there are programs that do this)

People want to be able to easily update throughout the entire site. Currently only the logo would update if you use the “Logo element”

I want to keep this feed based on the program they offer, you are right; there are many other superior products out there. I believe Homestead knows this, and they are focusing more on a product that can appeal to the masses. And this is the problem, the masses are newbs, once the “newbs” realize the limits of the service that Homestead currently offers and how inefficient it is to effectively update pages they will essentially fall in to two categories. They will become:

1) Former customers of Homestead. and/or
2) Customers who do not care about updating their site. “Because they already have a site”

I have read in many forums about how upset people are that they are not updating the Desktop Sitebuilder program, it seems as though there only focus is SiteBuilder Plus, and wanted to make Homestead aware of how great Homestead Desktop is in their customer forum. Hopefully we will get enough "Like on this idea" by people reading this that it will be brought into direct attention of Homestead.

For anyone reading this, if you see the importance of the stand-alone program Sitebuilder Desktop I encourage you to like this idea above by clicking the “Vote for this idea” above. (Or whatever it may read.)

Emery, I agree with most of your points, but in regards to some of the things you mentioned Homestead needs to do as far as letting people know who owns them, promoting their blog with SEO, I do not feel is necessary. It doesn’t matter who owns them, only if they offer a good product. The purpose of this blog is simply for help to the newbs who need helps with their sites which they have now provided by a direct feed within the main page for customers to become aware of. Having outside people posting in the blog would make it confusing and defeat its purpose.

Additionally, talking about a class action lawsuit is useless; Homestead signed us up with a program in which we pay monthly for, I do not believe they are required to update it, only to provide support for it... In which they do. Now if they did abandon it all together, and make our sites obsolete, then yea you may be right. But personally I think I’ll just go to another provider before all that mess.

Keep in mind Homestead will read our post, our goal here should not be to post topics out of anger, (Not that I think you did or were trying to) we should be using this post to encourage the future development of Sitebuilder Desktop. The only way Homestead knows in which direction to go, and how to improve their products and services is by their customer base and the feedback they receive from them. We can do this by offering positive suggestions and encouraging them to keep it around by sharing ideas of ways to improve Sitebuilder Desktop and its performance and user ability.

That my friend is the only way it will stick around. Maintaining Sitebuilder is the #1 priority in my book after all.

Thanks for your support.
-Dean

Again, if any of you reading this and have an idea to improve Sitebuilder Desktop ... Or if you simply love the program let Homestead know by telling them here. (So it doesn’t become obsolete)