IM Creator is gaining speed on its Israeli competitor Wix.com to become a leading WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) web design website. IM Creator offers high end web design for designers who need to rapidly prototype for their clients, small business owners who haven’t a clue of how to make a website, or for anyone who finds Adobe Dreamweaver too complicated.
Here is a 60-second tour of IM Creator:
IM Creator is bootstrapped with $250k from the founder Jonathan Saragossi, and a few unknown angel investors. The team of 8 web designers and coders have launched the public beta in May 2011. IM Creator is a freemium service: you can design a website and host it for free, with zero advertisements. In order to give your website to a top-level domain, and have hosted e-mail, it will cost $7.95/mo or $5.95/mo if booked one year in advance. Service includes integrated Google Analytics, SEO tools, and on-demand customer service.
IM Creator’s competitive advantage lies in the high quality designs, and easy changes that they offer users. By no means will any two websites look the same, because even the most basic users can customize every aspect of their site’s design. The team is constantly updating and installing new templates. Their templates are best made for users who are trying to show-off a portfolio, or present information in a simple, yet classy manner. Restaurants, photographers, artists, musicians and actors, lawyers, and real estate agents will find a lot of benefits from their variety of templates. IM Creator also allows users to create customized Facebook pages. Customer service inquiries are responded in less than 12 hours on average.
In the 90s, we saw Geocities, Angelfire, Homestead, and Tripod all go wild with tons of users, get bought out, and then crash and burn. Geocities for example got bought out by Yahoo for $3.56 billion back in 1999; Yahoo has since shutdown Geocities after failing to charge all its users to use the service.
There are currently a number of web services that provide similar services to IM Creator:
Weebly – seeded by YCominator for $20k, has since raised $45 million, and has over 2 million users.
Wix – raised $58.5 million, has over 9 million users.
Yola – raised $25 million, has over 2 million users.
Webs – raised $12 million, unknown number of users.
Jimdo – unknown amount of angel funding, over 4 million websites created.
Squarespace – raised $38.5 million, has revenues of over $2 million a year.
It would be nice to see IM Creator focus on growth of their core service and a satisfied and paying user base. Yahoo tried charging the entire Geocities user base in one fell swoop, and managed to ruin a three billion dollar investment. IM Creator’s success is in growing their payed user base, not in raising VC money. And so far, it looks like that is what they have been focusing on: superior web design and superior customer service.
Watch a video demo of IM Creator:
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