IM Creator (XPRS) Review
IM Creator is a drag & drop website builder that offers you stylish templates that are pre-populated with content. Just swap in your own content so you don’t need to build or layout your pages from scratch.
However, it does not offer ecommerce and switching templates require you to re-insert your content.
Review by Jeremy Wong
Last Updated on November 1, 2016
If you are looking to create a beautiful, image-rich website very quickly, in this IM Creator review, you will see that IM Creator (which powers 11 million websites) can be a good candidate website creation tool for you to consider.
There are different types of website builders available for you to use, and some of them have much more tools for you to use to build a more comprehensive website (which can be a bit overwhelming or excessive for some users).
We feel that IM Creator is different in that they enable you to build a very lean, professional looking website – fast.
IM Creator works especially well if you prefer not to dedicate a lot of time to learning and designing a site that is packed with bells and whistles, and just want to launch an online presence without getting bogged down.
This allows you to free up your time to focusing on something else.
Before diving into the pros and cons to fully evaluate this website builder, check out some examples websites that are built with IM Creator and you’ll see that they have the ability to help you build something stunning without the necessity of hiring an (often expensive) designer or developer.
IM Creator can work well for you if you are a business, photographer, fashion, design, musician, for weddings, hotels, restaurants, personal, etc. We’ll go more into templates later on in this IM Creator review to fully understand what they are capable of.
So if you are looking for much more advanced features, this web builder may not be for you. But if you want a functional website that looks professional, you should consider testing out IM Creator to see if they are a good fit for you.
IM CREATOR REVIEW (XPRS) - TOP 3 PROS AND CONS
- Eye-Catching Templates – IM Creator offers you over 70 professional looking templates for you to create your website. If you have your own design ideas, you don’t necessarily have to use one of their templates as you can start with a blank design and populate your own background, menu bar, content to build something truly unique. But if you prefer to use their pre-made templates to launch quickly, you definitely have this option. We have more details about their templates below.
- Pre-Populated Templates so you can Publish Fast – A key advantage of using IM Creator is that have pre-populated their templates with sample content. This means that when you pick a template to use that’s suitable for our industry (IM Creator segregates their templates by industry which is helpful), you can just replace their images, text, color etc with your own and you are pretty ready to publish your website in a very short period of time. This makes it very easy for you and saves you a lot of time from building a site from scratch like many other web builders require you to do. So just pick a suitable template that you want your site to look like, swap out the template’s content, and you’re done. Some people may criticize that you won’t get a very unique website design, but we think that’s fine if your goal is to have a web presence without investing too much time and energy into it. In fact, their editor allows you to insert new sections to your pages so you can further customize / build on the existing template to make it your own. Further, once you swap out the background image, color scheme, text, and other content with your own, it will look good, and well branded with your own content.
- Good Collection of Sections – You can insert sections to your webpages with just a few clicks. Similar to the idea of their templates, these sections are pre-designed so you don’t have to start from scratch. If you want to add in Features section, a Team Chart section, Pricing Chart section, Active Projects section, etc, IM Creator gives you a menu of different designs to choose from. Just pick your favorite section design, insert it into your page, and swap out the existing content (images / text) with your own.
- Large advertisements if you are using IM Creator for free – If you are using IM Creator for free (not upgrading to their paid plans), they include a very visible footer advertisement on the bottom of your screen which can be a bit of an eyesore. Website builders placing advertisement logos on the free versions of their websites is normal (understandable since they’re providing services for free), but in this case, the one with IM Creator is very noticeable. To remove this advertisement, just upgrade to their paid plans (more details below). For sure, you can test them out first before deciding if you want to invest in their paid plans.
- Cannot change templates without rebuilding your content – Although IM Creator has plenty of pre-made templates for you to select from, one of the downsides is that once you’ve picked a template and publish your site, if you want to change to another template, you have to re-insert all your content again. Your existing content doesn’t automatically get transferred into the new template, which is one of the downsides of pure drag and drop website builders in general as the transferring of content requires that the builder to be more “structured”. On the flip side, you can insert content anywhere you want. So definitely study their templates and be sure to pick one that you will use in the foreseeable future.
- No e-commerce features – IM Creator does not have any e-commerce features / tools. So if you want to sell products on your site, this website builder is not ideal for you. You can, however, embed some external e-commerce widgets such as Shopify Buy Button, Ecwid or PayPal purchasing buttons into IM Creator – though these widgets are not native, or part of IM Creator. Shopify is one of the best ecommerce builders today (see our review here). [Note: If you want to build an online store, see these e-commerce website builders that can help you]
IM CREATOR (XPRS) INTRODUCTION VIDEO
Watch this 1-minute video from IM Creator to get a sense of what they are capable of:
IM CREATOR (XPRS) IS IDEAL FOR….
As mentioned in our introduction to this IM Creator review, if you want to create a very lean and professional looking website and launch it really quickly without having to invest too much of your time into the website, IM Creator may work very well for you.
We believe that the reason why they don’t add all sorts of additional features to their website is precisely to reduce the learning curve for you, give you all the basic tools (such as title, paragraph, slideshows, gallery, video, picture) and so you can create your site without suffering from “features overload”.
Further, IM Creator’s templates are image rich and updated, so they work particularly well for businesses, photographers, fashion & design related fields, musicians, weddings, hotels, restaurants, personal, etc.
IM CREATOR REVIEW (XPRS) – EASE OF USE
IM Creator is somewhat simple to use. It’s easy to click into the pre-populated content and insert your own content. Just point, click and type or insert your images.
Adding new sections to your pages are also quite easy. The selection process is quite smooth and intuitive so they’ve done a pretty good job in that regard.
However, when it comes to adding elements, moving content around or just clicking around your website, it’s not as smooth as other website builders.
There is a few seconds delay when adding new elements, and you can’t just drag the content around your page to re-position them – which is a bit of a drawback compared to other drag & drop website builders.
When you look around the editor, you’ll also see a lot of buttons show up and once you click on those editing buttons, they’re not very intuitive what they actually do. Factor this in with an at times lagging editor, it can become a bit frustrating at the very beginning.
Having said that, once you play around with the editor you’ll get a good handle on how things work. It’s pretty easy to use once you know what to expect, but it’s not as easy as other website builders such as Wix or Weebly.
IM CREATOR REVIEW (XPRS) – TEMPLATE DESIGN OPTIONS
As mentioned above, IM Creator’s templates are professionally designed and are eye-catching. They’re rich in images and can give the illusion that you invested a lot of money to getting it designed and built.
They separate their templates by industries, including photography, designers, architects, weddings, personal (bio / resume), artists, musicians, models / actors / actresses, hotels, restaurants, consultants, real estate and law.
They are pre-populated with sample content already so you can pick your favorite template, and quickly swap out their images, text and colors with your own to make it your own.
You also have the option to create a design from scratch if you wish, but we feel that the ability to quickly take one of their professional designs and make it your own, is a key advantage that IM Creator offers you.
One of the drawbacks, as mentioned in the pros and cons section above, is that once you select a template and publish your site, you no longer have the ability to change templates. So pick carefully as if you want to change templates down the road, you will have to re-insert your content.
One other restriction is that IM Creator doesn’t allow you access to edit their HTML or CSS codes. So if you are proficient with codes and want to make custom edits to the templates, you won’t have that option here. If you aren’t comfortable with codes, then this wouldn’t affect you in any way.
Overall, IM Creator offers you a broad range of stylish designs that are good enough to be published right away after you swap out their sample content with your own. The value that you get here is that you can get a good looking design, and publish quickly without getting bogged down with too many advanced, more complex features.
SUPPORT / TUTORIALS / COMMUNITY RESOURCES
IM Creator has a ticketing system that allows you to submit support tickets. Their average response time is under 12 hours which is pretty good considering that they are powering 11 million websites.
One advantage of using a ticketing system is that you can attach screenshots when you describe your question and that you can keep updated of the status on your ticket submission through their ticketing system.
As mentioned, IM Creator is a very lean website builder so the learning curve of using their builder is not as steep as other more advanced / complex website builders.
IM Creator has a very comprehensive user manual for you to download in PDF format. It lists out all their functions within their editor in a step-by-step way, so you can learn how to use their tools in a very organized way. You can either read the manual on your screen or print it out if you prefer to.
We think that this is a pretty interesting approach and is a productive and helpful one. IM Creator is the only web builder that has this feature which is pretty unique. The manual has a table of contents so you can quickly find out which page you need to refer to, to get more help and information. It also has a lot of screenshots which makes it very easy to follow.
They also have an online knowledge portal which allows you to find help fairly quickly if you prefer to search for information online. The only downside is that there isn’t a search bar, so you will have to scroll down the page to look for the relevant section.
IM Creator has a forum section where you can search for frequently asked questions. Technically, it isn’t really a community forum as it’s not a place where you can post questions. Nevertheless, they do have a search tool here to find some commonly asked questions which is helpful.
Given that IM Creator powers 3 million websites, we think that one of the main reasons why this forum isn’t overloaded with questions is that they are a pretty straightforward web builder to use. You’re unlikely to run into a lot of questions when using their tools. If you do, you can always submit a support ticket in which they will get back to you within 12 hours (on average).
IM CREATOR REVIEW (XPRS) – MOBILE DISPLAY
IM Creator’s websites are all mobile responsive so will look good on desktop, tablet or mobile phone displays.
When you are picking a template, they will also show you how your home page may appear on a mobile device so you get a preliminary sense of how the template displays on non-desktop screens.
IM Creator also allow you to preview your website on desktop, tablet or mobile phone devices, so you can see how your website looks like prior to publishing or updating.
Just click into the “Preview” section and select which type of display you want.
IM CREATOR SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
The SEO options of IM Creator is somewhat limited when compared to other website builders.
They allow you to insert one single title, meta description and one set of keywords for your entire site, whereas other website builders allow you to insert titles, descriptions, and keywords for each individual webpage.
Again, we think that IM Creator is well catered to users who want less, and simpler features. The ideal user profile is someone who prefers not to get “caught up” with too many features, and just want a lean engine to power their websites, and publish a good looking website within hours.
There are many users out there that do not rely solely on search engine rankings to get discovered, as there are many other channels to drive traffic to your website. Some of these include leveraging social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc), including your website address on your business card, word of mouth, etc.
Let’s face it, although many people emphasize on SEO and prefer to be discovered online, there are still tons of businesses or individuals who are working in an offline world, and having a website presence is just one of many tools for you allow people you meet to get more information about you.
If you are one of these individuals, then IM Creator can definitely be a good fit for you.
Website Builder SEO Guide – see our opinion about SEO with various drag & drop website builders and how they compare with each other.
HOSTING AND EXPORT OPTIONS
IM Creator gives you free hosting when you sign up with them to create an account (free or paid).
This is very helpful so you don’t have to be concerned about dealing with hosting services as it can be technical and time-consuming. As such, you can focus on other more important things and let IM Creator manage the hosting side of website building for you. They will manage issues such as security upgrades and ensure that your website is always working properly.
With their free service, you can only host 50 megabytes of content on their servers. If you subscribe to their premium plan, you receive an unlimited amount of hosting space (more on their paid plans below).
One advantage of using IM Creator over most other website builders is that you can export your entire website out of IM Creator, and import it into another host if you wish. The only other website builder that offers this function and flexibility is Weebly.
This way, you won’t feel like you’re trapped with IM Creator, but we must caution you that once you export the website, any editing you want to do in the future may be more complicated outside of the IM Creator editor environment and will require you to edit codes or hire a developer to help you with any ongoing changes.
In any case, this is an option that’s available to you.
PRICING – IS IT WORTH THE INVESTMENT?
IM Creator is available for you to try for free, which is helpful for you to invest some time to test it out to see if you want to upgrade to their premium plan or not. There is no time limit as to how long you can try them for, so there is no pressure to upgrade.
IM Creator just has 1 level of premium plan, so it’s easier for you to decide compared to other website builders that can offer you anywhere from 2 to 5 premium options (which can be confusing sometimes). We think this is the case as IM Creator has a very lean structure and features so they keep things relatively simple for you.
(They also have “Pro & White Label” plan which is intended for website designers to white label their platform. But if you are not a website designer, you don’t have to worry about this plan)
If you decide to upgrade, you can use your own domain name (instead of their sub-domain name which they assign to you if you use their free service), remove the footer advertisement, and get unlimited storage space and a customized email account.
For $9.95 per month (with their biannual (6 months) plan), being able to gain an online presence with a beautiful and professional design is not a huge financial burden. If you commit to a 1-year, 2-years or 3-years plan, the monthly investment drops to $7.95, $6.95 and $5.95, respectively.
The monthly investment is not very significant, especially if you are operating a business. IM Creator allows you to quickly and efficiently publish a website that you can refer your contacts to in order to learn more about your business. For less than 2 cups of fancy coffee a month, this is a pretty reasonable investment in our view.
If you subscribe to their premium plan, IM Creator offers you a 14-day risk-free trial period to test out their premium platform – this completely removes the financial risk from you.
IM CREATOR REVIEW (XPRS) – CONCLUSION / RECOMMENDATION
Based on our review of IM Creator, this stylish and lean website builder will enable you to quickly publish a website without a steep learning curve on your part.
Part of the beauty of using IM Creator is that you can online very quickly with one of their many stylish and professional looking templates. Their templates are pre-populated with sample content, and so you can just pick your favorite one, replace the content (images, text, color) with your own, and publish.
Many other website builders out there offer you a lot more functionality and features, which can be a bit overwhelming to some people. IM Creator will be a good candidate for you to test if you don’t want to over-invest your time into building a website, and just want a professional looking website published as quickly as possible.
A couple of drawbacks as mentioned above, is that they are not suitable for you if you are looking to sell products online as they don’t have any e-commerce related tools (see this if you want an online store builder), and that once you pick a template, you can’t change it without re-populating your website with your content again.
But overall, our view of IM Creator is that it enables you to save a lot of time if you are not looking to create a feature-packed website. Something simple, something eye-catching, IM Creator can definitely get the job done in just a few hours of work.
A good approach is to start with a free website and familiarize yourself with their tools and see if IM Creator is suitable for you or not. The learning curve is fairly low compared to most website builders so we think that you won’t have a difficult time getting a handle on things.
Remember they have a 14-day risk-free trial / guarantee (if you decide to upgrade).
At the end of the day, IM Creator can really help you create a simple, yet beautiful and professional looking website with their stylish templates – all while saving you time.
Keep in mind that there is no time limit to use their free services.
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