Homestead is quite clearly a profit oriented organisation, with an attempt to upgrade and add on at every possible opportunity, which you will definitely notice when you use it. The free trial requires a credit / debit card, which is annoying because it means you cannot try the service out at all before entering a ‘pay if not cancelled’ type agreement. You can expect a nice looking website, one which you are proud of, but don’t be surprised if you have to shell out for it!
Homestead offers 3 different paid upgrades: 'Starter', 'Business' and 'Business Pro', at $5.99, $20.99 and $60.99 respectively. All of which you can try out for free for 30 days, as long as you give up your credit card details and agree to pay for a months worth if you don't cancel yourself. This is very annoying as you can't test out the service without feeling the pressure of an agreement, like you can on most other website building services. As far as value for money goes Homestead is not great, with heavily inflated prices for the more advanced packages, and poor features in the cheaper package.
Homestead’s editor is very easy and fluidic to use, bringing out the best in every experience level of user. The editor is no exclusion to the silly amount of upselling elsewhere in the Homestead experience, with most advanced features needing an upgrade or add on to access and utilise, interestingly including blogs, which is considered a very simple feature and is almost always accessible in the cheapest of accounts, even the free accounts a lot of the time. I must say, it is very easy to get the hang of and you can expect to produce a website exactly how you envisioned it.
Homestead does not supply very many templates, the total number being around a couple hundred, which is disappointing in this market / time, as most of the companies offer numbers into the thousands. None of the templates are that great looking, certainly not any consolation to the poor amount. Luckily, the editor is very simplistic and every user will be able to transform one of these templates into something they like the look of, but that sort of makes the templates slightly redundant themselves.
Homestead can be really great for features if you are willing to upgrade and add on at their wish, with some super helpful marketing tools like the SEO features and the paid ads support. We really liked the idea of a donation button and we haven’t seen this elsewhere in the website building world, making it rather impressive.
The help offered by Homestead is fantastic, with dedicated phone lines, chat support, email support and some great community assistance. Chat is available in the top right corner at all times, and it connects you with an expert in what seems no time at all. We didn't have to use it, but if we did, it's certain to be great help!