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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Evelyn3025

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So happy to have found this thread. I've been using SiteBuilder since 2000, and I love it. I agree with Dean's comments, and Emery's points. Spoke with a customer service rep last week who told me Desktop will be discontinued. She tried to convince me the SBPlus was better. We both knew she was lying... : )

Save SiteBuilder Desktop!!!

(and make a Mac version, for Pete's sake!)
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Mike F., Alum

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Evelyn, While reviewing your post I noticed that you have never had SiteBuilder Plus on your account. I see that you've always used the old SiteBuilder Lite version. I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised if you try out the new Plus version. Let us know if you would like us to add it to your account as it is a free upgrade.

Mike
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Mike F., Alum

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We welcome everyone's comments and suggestions here as this is the type of feedback that we use when determining what changes to make or what features to offer. There are still many things that we hoping our developers can integrate (such as drop-down menus), but one of the most requested features that we've had over the years is to create a Mac friendly version.

The release of SiteBuilder Plus was very much in response to the Mac users who wanted a Mac friendly version. Since it web based it works on both Mac's and PC's.

The release of SiteBuilder Plus also provided users with resolutions for problems, and features they have requested. A few to mention are: the elimination of desktop installation issues (online version always guarantees you have the latest release and won't have installation issues), added more modern templates, requests to add more features to SiteBuilder Lite which is a previous web based version, new image handling features (rotating pictures, shadow effects, rounded corners, cropping etc., master templates which aid and speed the design process.

We realize the software is not perfect, but as you can see we have addressed many of your requests ,so keep those suggestions coming!

Thanks!

Mike
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S

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Hello Mike -
I am one of the many that removed Desktop after being told it was no longer used and supported. I think my biggest issue at this time is being in 'limbo' on developing my business website. 1st quarter is the time I do all my major changes for the year and I have totally lost this opportunity to develop and enhance the site. It all runs so slowly and poorly.

Websites that were built in Desktop did not convert well into Plus and per suggestions here, I have reinstalled Desktop twice - worse then ever. At least before (before un-installing), it was not perfect but I knew how much work I could do before it would freeze up. Now...well, it just freezes up.

Plus created issues with my navigation menus and I have seen the suggestion to re-create the navigation...but who really has time to change many, many pages developed over years. Plus has created erratic text that cannot be corrected and in my humble opinion makes my site look rather 'cheap'.

Suggestions:
Homestead footer should NOT be a default - that is up to the owner of the website to have that footer (just creates extra work for the owner). When staff converted my Desktop to Plus, every page had this footer and kindly the office made the change to every page. Recently I re-installed Desktop to 'try again' and although I have removed the footer (and never had it in Desktop) it also automatically defaulted to Homestead Footer.

Removal of the 'share changes' pop up after every publish (maybe there is a way of turning it off that I am unaware of?)

Personally at this point, I am not looking for any 'bells and whistles' just a software that works (one or the other). I hardly make any changes because I never know if it is going to create an issue that may take hours to correct. So I pay for a website that I cannot even edit.

I am not certain I understand how we could be forced to Plus when Plus was not compatible with Desktop sites? Should we not have been warned all our work was close to wasted.

Frustrated business owner!
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Mike F., Alum

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Hi Sally, I definitely agree some of the changes could have been implemented better. Things like the footer automatically returning have been frustrating for many people. Good suggestion about turning off the share pop-up!

As far as your concern about forcing people off of the desktop version, I highly doubt that the company will ever implement such a change. We've discussed that in many meetings and it will likely be a natural migration. As people are becoming more and more mobile, they are switching on their own.

If you do have other suggestions or feature request please let us know.

Thanks!
Mike
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S

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Hello Mike -
Thanks for your quick reply. Regarding being 'forced' off...here is my story: I phoned the office on an unrelated issue in the fall (2012) and the person who took my call said 'I see you are still using Desktop. Desktop is no longer supported and you should have converted to Plus'. we had a small discussion about it...all had to do with Desktop being a 'dinosaur' and all sites had to be converted to Plus. I did ask if there had been any issues and was confidently told NO. I was told that the Navigation feature in Plus would not be available for the converted sites but that there were no other issues. In a very enthusiastic way, he offered to do it while we were on the phone. I was emphatically told to just remove the Desktop software as it was basically useless. The conversion was done.

Sadly I kept it installed till I think around January mostly because I was too busy with the Holiday season (and so sad I removed it at all because now I cannot get it working again).

Maybe 'forced' is a little strong, but the person I spoke with made it VERY clear everyone would be on PLUS. Desktop was NO LONGER supported or upgraded.

So, to me that sounded like I had NO choice...it was now or near future, but it was inevitable. I need to trust I was being advised properly by the company I entrust my website with.
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Mike F., Alum

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I do apologize if he misrepresented the service. He/she was likely using those words too loosely. It is true that we have not added any new features or upgrades to that old version of software in quite some time, but if you are having issues with it, we'll do our best to troubleshoot it for you.

There are however certain circumstances for every person. Computers, the internet, and security software is constantly changing and there are times when there may be firewalls or other security software blocking the desktop version from downloading or updating. These can be cases when troubleshooting may be beyond our control and these are the types of things that sometimes force customers to upgrade.

if none of those things apply to you we will do our best to help you out.
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S

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Hello Mike -

I appreciate your comments and quite frankly if I used 'words too loosely' with my customers, they would not do business with me again. With all due respect, I can no longer accept this lighthearted attitude regarding the issues with the software and conversion. I still cannot understand why a 'conversion' was introduced that really isn't a conversion at all if it could not 'convert' from one platform to the other.

That being said, I would welcome a phone call/someone assigned to assist me in getting these issues resolved. I dread calling the office - I am still told there are no current issues with the erratic text in Plus (it was resolved)...well, not resolved I guess in the converted sites.

Look forward to hearing from someone. I am available Monday-Friday 10am-4pm eastern time.

Thank you so much!
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susan2829, Champion

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Mike, you referred to SiteBuilder Lite in your post to Evelyn and again in your the post immediately following that one. I feel some clarification is in order here.

Lite is the original, online, watered down version of desktop SiteBuilder.

There are currently 4 versions of SiteBuilder:
1. desktop purchased through Homestead
2. desktop purchased through Intuit
3. SiteBuilder Lite that allows users to access their accounts online and make very limited changes.
4. SiteBuilder Plus which is an online only program and is being touted as a free upgrade, but is in fact a very poor substitute for the original desktop version of SiteBuilder.

I have long used and supported Homestead both in terms of bringing in clients I design sites for and implementing a Forum back when there wasn't one, I also have a site dedicated to assisting users of the desktop version with the in's and out's of the program.

I realize that change is inevitable, but for you to say "The release of SiteBuilder Plus was very much in response to the Mac users who wanted a Mac friendly version. Since it web based it works on both Mac's and PC's" is like a real slap in the face to the thousands of users who have supported, relied on and paid good money for years for the desktop version and are begging for it to remain, be updated and upgraded.

I feel for Sally who fell into the Plus trap and others who also bought into the rhetoric regarding Plus and hope that they receive the help they are asking for.

Sally - hang in there girl!
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S

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Lol...Susan, we discussed and chuckled over the 'free upgrade' comment as well. It is a real slap in the face. I also have been a customer since the mid 1990's when, wow....a support call ended in a technical resolution.

Thanks for the moral support! If so compelled to post it here, would not mind seeing your website for Desktop users.
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Mike F., Alum

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Thanks for your comments everyone. We really are doing our best to upgrade the software to meet as many peoples needs as possible. The changes and the evolution that you are seeing with the SiteBuilder software are driven very much by customer request. Although I recognize that everyone's needs are different and some of these changes are not popular with everyone, we are indeed trying to please as many people as possible.

Also, we do wish for this Community website to be a positive place we users can obtain the support from other Community members as well as Homestead employees. We welcome ideas, suggestions, comments etc..
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susan2829, Champion

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Sally not sure this is allowed but here are the addys to my Homestead related sites:

www.homesteadconnection.com
www.seobuildingblocks.com
www.homesteadconnectionforum.com
www.homesteadconnectiondirectory.com
http://homestead-design-seo.com/

I currently have the Forum shut off to new members because I was getting slammed with spammers trying to access and since every sign-up is checked to be sure they are Homestead users I got tired of looking up the IPs for 50 or so submits a day. I can always let you in through the 'back door' - just email me via the address on one of the sites above.

Best,
Sue
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S

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Thank you, Sue - I have copied the links and will try to check it out - crazy week with Mother's Day. (I sure know what you mean about the spammers)
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S

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Mike F. - First and foremost, I am not a Forum type person - simply because time is of the essence and my business is extremely time consuming. I was most hopeful when the new forum was initiated in January (when I found out anyway) and I am simply looking for help also. I was rather disappointed that Intuit/Homestead did not communicate important changes in an e-mail to their customer base. I simply feel like a hostage constantly being hopeful the software issues will be addressed because moving my huge website would be a monumental task. I just tried a simply typo correction in Plus and it kept blanking out the screen (3 attempts, finally achieved).

I think everyone is here because they want a positive, uplifting, moving in the right direction atmosphere also! There is a saying I have always been very fond of..."It does not take many words to tell the truth"...
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susan2829, Champion

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Mike per your comment ... "Also, we do wish for this Community website to be a positive place we users can obtain the support from other Community members as well as Homestead employees. We welcome ideas, suggestions, comments etc..".

What you are receiving here ARE ideas, suggestions,comments, etc. It's just that no one is waving the pom poms because Homestead has a very large customer base out there who are frustrated, angry, uncertain. And who can blame us when the program we are paying for and rely on to enhance a business or hobby or non-profit is no longer being updated or upgraded and the alternate is a very poor online builder that's buggy, poorly designed, and non-user friendly.

Couple that with the fact that there has been no communication from the EI owned Homestead, nor was there any from Intuit owned Homestead as to just what the REAL plan is, what we can expect down the road and it would be swell if we got the same answers regardless who is doing the telling. We don't want rhetoric Mike, we want to know what Homestead intends to do about the desktop version. We want updates and upgrades to that version. We want to once again stand beside and support what was once the best dang site builder available.

We have no where to go with our issues and so they land here because it's the only place that MAYBE Homestead will read and pay attention to.
Poor Sally resorted to posting asking for someone to call her to help with a problem. That's just not the way a business should be run.

So while these posts might not be of the tripping through the tulips variety, they are an insight into what's broken and needs fixed, what customers want/need/deserve and here's hoping that EI Homestead has their volume turned up!
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Mike F., Alum

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I very much agree! Your comments and suggestions help us to improve.

Mike