Homestead Review: Customer Support (4 stars)
Great Phone Support, but Email Support is Slow
Homestead's phone support is quick and reliable, in contrast to their email support, which made us wait an entire day. Their online documentation had great starter instructions, but the rest of their help docs were not well organized. It took us longer to find the topics we were looking for than it did in other builders.
Phone Support - We Love It!
Phone support isn't absolutely necessary in general, but when you have 3 different editors, 2 of which have very advanced functionality, it's great to be able to call someone and have them walk you through some procedures. It's only available 7:00am-5:00pm PST though.
We called for help several times throughout the building of our website at Homestead. We never had to wait more than 3 minutes on hold before getting through.
If we had a complicated question, customer support would walk us through the necessary steps. If the question already had documentation prepared for it, they would just email us the instructions. The people we spoke with were helpful and polite.
The problem is that after the first 30 days (if you buy the Silver or Basic Storefront packages) or 90 days (if you buy the Gold package), you have to pay $10 for each call. If you go with the Platinum program or the Enhanced / Professional Storefront packages however, it's always free.
Another issue we have is that you can't find the phone support number from within the downloadable or the online builders. We only found it by going back to the Homestead log-in page.
Here's the Help Number
Start-Up Instructional Tools Help You Dive Right in
Homestead has a wide variety of ways you can learn to use their website builders. For the visually inclined, there is over an hour's worth of instructional videos. The videos aren't the highest video quality but they're clear and helpful. They also have a downloadable guide if you prefer to read. And if you prefer to learn by doing, there is a little helper window at the bottom corner of the downloadable builder in addition to the animated demo that comes up when you first use the program.
Some of the Different Start-up Helpers Available.
Documentation is Clear but Not that Easy to Navigate
For the most part, the online and downloadable builders' help documentation is easy to follow, though it can be a bit difficult to find the topic you're looking for. SiteBuilderLite's help documentation doesn't have images, but you don't really need it since the help docs come up in a separate, smaller window. SiteBuilder, on the other hand, has images.
There are also some articles and how-to documents on the main Homestead page (the one you go to when you first log in). It is searcheable for your convenience. There are also lots of FAQ's as well at the learning center, which is accessible from the main Homestead page.
Help Documentation Pops Up in a Smaller Window.
Again, the documentation for the Storefront builder is completely different (though the phone support is through Homestead). Click her to read about it in ProStores' support review.
Email Support is Slow and Needs Images
The online support form is quick to fill out but Homestead is slow to get back to you. It took an entire day to get a response to our question. When they did get back to us, we found the instructions were helpful but needed images to guide you. Because they're not directly on the builder, they're not as easy to follow.
Online Help Form: Quick to Fill Out, Slow to Get Back.
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