In this IM Creator review, I’ll be looking at this website builder, and help you decide, whether you should be purchasing its services.
IM Creator, previously known as XPRS or IMXPRS, isn’t a huge name in the website builder business – however, it still is an interesting product, loved in more niche communities, due to its advanced website design tools at an extremely affordable price point.
Is it the right option for you, though? Let’s find this out in this IM Creator review. I purchased the services, and this is what I found out:
IM Creator certainly differentiates itself from other modern website builders when it comes to price. Building and hosting an eCommerce website will cost less than $10 per month – and that’s always a good deal.
However, IM Creator is not as easy to use as its more expensive competitors. There’s no drag-and-drop functionality within the website editor and trying to create content can feel as painful and frustrating as pulling your own teeth. Other IM Creator reviews will tell you this – and I can only agree – this platform can get unnecessarily difficult to use.
Still, if you’re willing to wrestle the bear that is IM Creator, you won’t find many restrictions on your design. IM Creator offers more than 60 templates, and almost all the features of these templates can be customized. Advanced designers can even start with a blank template to build their websites from scratch.
Overall, IM Creator offers advanced web design features for experienced web builders. While it may not be as user friendly as giants like Wix or Squarespace, at you nothing will restrict you from creating a complex website. For that price…it might just be worth it?
If you’re interested in seeing what other things I found out – carry on with reading this IM Creator review.
IM Creator is one of the most affordable builders available. Plans cost $8 per month for individual users and include eCommerce and unlimited hosting.
IM XPRS costs $350 per year and allows you to license an unlimited number of websites to clients.
What does that get you? Well, the premium account (aimed at personal users) gets you unlimited hosting and the ability to set up an online store, plus access to all of IM Creator’s themes.
Note you can connect a domain from an outside provider, but IM Creator does not offer domains for sale.
If you’re a student, artist, or non-profit, you can sign up for IM Creator for free after providing proof of your status. You’ll still need to provide your own domain name, but otherwise, there are no limitations on these free accounts. They’re just like the premium ones. However, there are no guarantees that you’ll get the account. You can only apply and hope for the best.
So if you’re looking to test IM Creator for free, it might not be the best choice. Luckily, there’s a way out. If you want to try IM Creator before signing up for a paid account, you can sign up for a trial. IM Creator will assign you a URL at ‘imxprs.com/free/username’ and you’ll get up to 50 MB of content storage. Not enough for a proper website – but enough to try things out.
Web designers, marketing firms, and creative agencies won’t find a better deal than IM XPRS. This white-label service allows you to license an unlimited number of websites built in IM Creator to your clients for just $350 per year.
IM Creator is notorious for making it difficult to create a website. Unlike most website builders, you can’t drag and drop content in the editor and adding content is highly non-intuitive. However, IM Creator offers beautiful themes and unparalleled customization – which at least partially make up for the last of basic intuitiveness.
Creating a website with IM Creator is actually pretty simple. The only thing you need to do is choose one of the more than 60 available themes, which are organized by industry. You can preview any theme before committing to editing it.
The catch is that choosing the right theme for your website at this stage is incredibly important. You can change your theme later, but doing so will erase all of your site content and customizations. Speaking of which…
The website editor in IM Creator is extremely powerful but also difficult to master. As a result, customizing your website within IM Creator begins a steep learning curve that never quite seems to taper off.
What stands out first is that when you click anywhere on your site, a menu will pop up. That could be a menu for the page background, a subsection of the page, or a content block. It’s hard to know what you’re going to get before you click.
Furthermore, the menus are far from self-explanatory. To edit text, for example, you have to click on the text content block, then click on the font symbol, then click ‘Edit Text’ in the drop-down menu. Trying to modify existing content blocks feels similarly like a labyrinth that requires guesswork and several clicks.
Even more strangely, you cannot add a content block to a page from scratch. You need to build on a content block that’s already there. I spent a lot of time trying to achieve the same layout that I could have created in seconds if we only had the ability to drag and drop content.
More problematically, this means that your content is actually restricted in where it is on the page. All of your content items are placed initially based on your site’s template, and then you can only move a content block relative to the other content blocks connected to it.
To some extent, this problem is mitigated by the way that IM Creator uses content blocks
When you want a header, you don’t just get a text box. You get to choose the entire ‘Page Section,’ which is available in over 50 different designs.
Essentially, you’re choosing a different template structure for every page section and every content block.
And this…actually makes IM Creator one of the most intriguing and flexible website editors I’ve seen.
You can choose from a huge variety of designs for virtually anything you want to add to the page. However, this also means that you can spend upwards several minutes simply finding the right design for any given element you want to add to your page.
It’s also worth noting that IM Creator has a diverse offering of content blocks.
Some examples are pricing graphics and logo blocks to showcase brands your business has worked with. You can also create a popup that will automatically appear on screen after a visitor lands on your site — an ideal option for announcing a sale or promoting a newsletter.
There’s a lot you can do – you just need to know how to do it.
IM Creator offers dozens of visually stunning templates that can challenge even some of the most popular website builders – such as Squarespace, whose templates I’ve praised time and time again.
Templates in IM Creator are sorted by industry so it’s easy to find one that works for your website. However, choose wisely as changing templates later will erase all of your content.
IM Creator currently includes around 60 templates, all of which are professionally designed and visually great. Of course, all of the templates are responsive so that your site can be viewed on mobile devices and tablets.
The templates are organized into specific industries, which makes it easier to choose the right template when launching your site.
And oh, this is important. Because since switching templates after you start editing will erase all of your website content. Effectively, you’ll have to start over building your site. Which isn’t great.
IM Creator is an extremely affordable solution for businesses. Of course, that comes with its problems – the tools don’t extend much beyond enabling online stores, you won’t find support for complex order flows, customer segmentation, or marketing.
IM Creator supports eCommerce with the cheapest, $8 plan, which is a major plus for businesses on a tight budget. However, the platform’s eCommerce tools can’t compare with what most other website builders and dedicated eCommerce platforms offer.
For starters, your ability to add information about your products is minimal. You can have a single picture and a description, but that’s about it. There’s no way to add inventory information for tracking purposes or more information for customers.
The eCommerce dashboard is also relatively basic. You can see what products you are selling and add new ones, as well as set basic automated emails to customers.
However, you don’t have control over the customer checkout experience or shipping options. For most businesses that depend on eCommerce, the tools that IM Creator offers simply won’t cut it.
IM Creator is also weak in SEO features. There is an SEO page on your website’s dashboard, but the only thing you can do with it is set a few keywords for your entire site. There’s no way to add alt text or other SEO information to most content blocks, and IM Creator doesn’t offer any guidance as to whether your site’s text content is optimized for keyword density.
IM Creator technically allows blogs, but it doesn’t feel that way. To create a post, you have to create a new page and design it from scratch.
Furthermore, adding a blog preview content item to your website requires you to fill in the title and description of each post, as well as link to the post. I feel it’s a bit of a stretch to say that IM Creator supports blogs, especially when compared to blogging-centered platforms such as WordPress.com, or even more well-rounded website builders such as Wix. Even if other IM Creator reviews don’t mind this manual effort – I think it could definitely be done better. There are plenty of examples out there.
IM Creator doesn’t offer any built-in analytics or marketing features, which is a disadvantage for business owners using this website builder. However, it does support integrating your website with Google Analytics.
IM Creator’s stylish templates take a while to load, and their images are not fully optimized. As a result, this platform has some issues in page loading, speed, and responsiveness tests. However, it’s not all bad.
A test IM Creator website scored 82% on a PageSpeed test and 71% on a YSlow test using GTMetrix. It also takes over 4 seconds to load – which is worse than Google’s recommended 2-3 seconds.
The reason for that? The platform doesn’t optimize images or allow GZip compression for content.
The servers, on the other hand, are pretty good. The Load Impact test crowded the test website with up to 20 virtual users, and not once did the response times go over half a second – usually hovering at around 50ms.
Overall, IM Creator should improve its performance when it comes to load times and website optimization. However, the server results under higher loads are encouraging – and overall, IM Creator’s performance isn’t all that great, but it isn’t bad either.
IM Creator is a highly affordable website builder, particularly for design firms using the IM XPRS service. The platform offers beautifully designed templates and extensive customization options.
However, not all is perfect. The lackluster eCommerce, SEO, and blogging options, as well as a steep learning curve, make this website builder fairly difficult to recommend. It’s a great way to make a beautiful website on a cheap, but it’s not something a business should use on its way to success.
If you’re looking for a website builder with a great design, but are discouraged by the IM Creator’s steep learning curve, there are still some great options for you to pick. These are some of the best alternatives out there:
Wix is hard to beat when it comes to customization, and it accomplished that without giving up on drag-and-drop editing. In addition, while Wix is more expensive than IM Creator for an eCommerce site, it offers far more marketing and selling tools for businesses. It’s a well-rounded option: good for both advanced designers and even agencies, but still maintaining its simple website builder roots.
Squarespace and IM Creator both offer visually stunning themes, and IM Creator arguably offers more customization options at a cheaper price. But Squarespace is much more intuitive for beginning web designers, offers top-notch marketing and SEO tools, and has a much stronger platform for eCommerce.
WordPress.com is a website builder, fully focused on blogging. And if you’re disappointed by IM Creator’s blogging options – this is the option for you right here. The cheapest plan with a custom domain is even cheaper than IM Creator’s, and the customization options, as well as themes, are pretty much endless.