7.5 Out Of 10
|Services||Website Builder & eCommerce|
|Support||Chat, Email, Phone & Knowledge Base|
|Best for||Small websites|
|Strengths||Good short-term pricing|
|Weaknesses||Very few advanced tools|
|Promotion||60% Discount with Free Domain|
Sitebuilder is one the fastest-growing brands within the rapidly changing website building market. Sitebuilder is focused on core features, simple templates, and a clean interface.
Sitebuilder was recommended by my Wix and Squarespace reviewers. Here are my SiteBuilder pros and cons.
Before we get into SiteBuilder, there’s a larger concept that you need to remember. There are many factors that go into creating a website, whether you use a drag-and-drop site builder or an installed Content Management System.
You want people to be able to go to your website and find the information they need. Your website design can make a big difference in how you do business online.
The tools you use for setting up your website can have a significant impact on your flexibility, functionality, and brand. It can also cause headaches in the short-term. However, it is not possible to choose the best or most desirable physical home or office. It’s all about your experience, goals, and circumstances.
What is Sitebuilder?
There are many website building tools on the market. However, there is a tradeoff between control and convenience. The more convenience a tool offers, the greater your control and vice versa.
Sitebuilder is a platform that makes it easier to start and grow your website. This is in contrast to other solutions that allow you to buy, install and manage each “piece” of your website on your own server.
SiteBuilder, like other hosted web builders like Wix and Weebly , is a bit like leasing an apartment in a nice community and customizing it. SiteBuilder allows you to control decor, cleaning, and other aspects of your daily life, but the property owner will take care of the plumbing, security, and infrastructure. This is important because there is often a tradeoff between convenience, control, and control.
SiteBuilder’s functionality and design work together seamlessly as a platform. This allows them to drag and drop website layouts, content, and design.
SiteBuilder is directly competing with all-inclusive web builders such as Weebly and Wix. Before the conclusion, I will make a few comparisons.
Website builders compete against options like WordPress.org (which offers the free software to create a website you own & manage – read my WordPress setup guide), all the way up to the option of typing actual HTML code in a text file. Does that make sense? Let’s move on to the SiteBuilder review.
Sitebuilder is in a highly competitive industry. Here is how they compare to some of the most well-known website builders I have worked with.
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Sitebuilder vs. Wix
SiteBuilder is simpler and cheaper than Wix, but they don’t have the templates or features that Wix does. Wix is a better choice if you are looking for a drag-and-drop builder.
Sitebuilder vs. WordPress
WordPress.com has compelling basic plans that will allow you to create a blog. It also offers better support and future-proofing. This is true for higher-end business plans. Although they do not have drag and drop, WordPress.com is still my choice. This is especially because you can switch to a self-hosted WordPress site if you are ready to tackle the learning curve.
Sitebuilder vs. Weebly
SiteBuilder, like Wix, is slightly more expensive but offers fewer templates and options than Weebly. Weebly is also associated with Square so they offer more eCommerce options for small businesses. View the current pricing and plans of Weebly here.
Sitebuilder vs. GoDaddy Website Builder
SiteBuilder may be simple, but GoDaddy’s builder makes it much simpler. It’s also possible to be too easy. GoDaddy does not offer drag and drop, but you can customize a very specific layout. GoDaddy, however, is very affordable and integrates well to their domain services. You can read my complete GoDaddy Website Builder review here. Depending on your goals, either one would work.
Sitebuilder vs. Gator Website Builder
This option requires some background. Newfold Digital is one the biggest holding companies in website service. They also own Sitebuilder and many other brands.
HostGator is their top web hosting brand. Gator, a drag-and-drop website builder from HostGator, has been released over the past year. I also reviewed Gator .
Sitebuilder and Gator both have strengths, and both are focused on simplicity. Sitebuilder is free, but Gator gets more attention and investment than Sitebuilder. For a long-term project, I’d use Gator over Sitebuilder.
Here are the pros and cons of SiteBuilder, not only in comparison to other web builders but as an overall online solution.
Speed, Security and Convenience
Sitebuilder offers hosting to all of their websites. They provide hosting for all your websites. This can be good and bad, but SiteBuilder sees it as an advantage.
It is a great convenience to not have to worry about hosting, speed or security. SiteBuilder seems to be running its software on Amazon or Google servers. These servers will rarely go down.
SiteBuilder doesn’t have the fastest load times, but that’s okay, since SiteBuilder is a site owner and you don’t have to do anything extra.
Security risks are part of any website. They offer backups and security as part of their pricing.
SiteBuilder Short-Term Pricing
SiteBuilder’s pricing plan matches their direct competitors and is even slightly cheaper for certain features. SiteBuilder has recently removed the free pricing tier and consolidated all tiers.
Sitebuilder has some very hard caps and structures for each plan. This means that you almost need to choose the Pro plan or higher. More information will be provided later.
Because everything (software hosting, security tools, tools, etc.) is included in one package, there are very competitive prices for those who just want to create a website.
Even though their eCommerce pricing is more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your own web hosting it’s still much less than similar plans with direct competitors.
Simplicity and Core Features
There is a limit to how many new features a product can have. New features don’t make a product better, they just make it worse.
As I have seen in my website builders reviews, companies are not able to be everything to everyone. Their “simple” website builders are actually quite complex.
SiteBuilder is focused on the core features every website requires.
You can grab a custom domain, choose a SiteBuilder template and add an email address. Analytics is used to track website data.
SiteBuilder is not for everyone, as I’ll explain in the cons, but SiteBuilder’s setup can be simple and easy for those who really only require a basic, simple website.
Site Building Process
The simplicity of site construction is a similar theme to their focus on core features.
No matter which plan you choose, everyone starts with the same setup.
You can create a live website in just 3 clicks if you wish. You don’t need to purchase beforehand nor give credit card information.
Click Get Started to choose your password and choose a Base SiteBuilder template. Once you have chosen your password, you will be able to publish your site in the Editor.
The Editor can also be used as a site dashboard to allow you to upgrade your account to any plan you choose.
It is intuitive and well-designed, which is a big pro.
Drag & Drop Editor
An all-inclusive website builder offers the advantage that you don’t need to know HTML or CSS code. Drag and drop elements are all you need. You get what you see in the builder on your website.
It isn’t always easy. There are many nuances to “drag-and-drop.” Many people actually mean “I want to click and drag this element to a general location where it will look nice – you know automatically centered, etc.”
It’s like playing tee ball instead of baseball…or bowling while your gutter guards are up. You want to do it, but you also need a little help.
SiteBuilder does this for the most part. SiteBuilder’s drag and drop works exactly as you would expect.
There are many design options and templates available. All parameters and rulers can be adjusted. The design and feel are simple and uncluttered.
Sitebuilder reviews are incomplete without examining the negative aspects. Let’s take a look at the cons that I discovered.
SEO & Marketing Tools
SiteBuilder is able to provide basic SEO and marketing tools that are better than many competitors. They provide redirects as well as HTML tag functionality.
They don’t provide much else. Sitemaps and Schema are not available. It is difficult to customize the site visitor’s experience. You are limited in the content you can and cannot add to your site visitors’ experience.
They don’t even get duplicate content right (ie, you’ll have duplicate websites on yourdomain.com and yourdomain.myfreesites.net)
SiteBuilder does a lot of things right, but it is still a basic website solution. If you employ a professional to build your website, they will likely recommend that you switch to a more flexible platform.
Sitebuilder is more concerned with convenience than control. It can be hard or impossible to add advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, custom email collection tool, custom analytics packages and custom social shares.
SiteBuilder does an excellent job at introductory pricing. However, overall they are not a great value. The best website builders (ie Weebly ), offer better features and renewal pricing.
This is not a comparison of SiteBuilder with building your website on your own server using website builder software such as WordPress or drag and drop software such as Website Maker.
Sitebuilder charges a monthly fee per website. Any additional site you create is free if you have your own web hosting server.
Access to HTML / CSS
Hosted website builders can’t provide server access but many offer access to the source code (i.e. HTML/CSS) for the website you are building.
This can be useful for anyone who is fluent in HTML/CSS, but also for those trying to get the page just right.
SiteBuilder offers a variety of options in the template editor and builder (animations are especially plentiful).
It does not have access to the HTML/CSS page. Only the header and footer are allowed to add verification tags for Google Console, Pinboard, Twitter and Pinterest .
Although this isn’t unusual in the web builder world it does place SiteBuilder at an advantage over Wix and Weebly .
Customer Support and Onboarding
Customer support, as I mentioned in other reviews, is difficult to assess in any industry. Instead of focusing on customer support being “good”, I look at what the company’s priority is in customer support.
Are they willing to invest in channels and resources? Are they looking to upsell? Are they looking to reduce costs?
SiteBuilder makes it difficult to answer this question, since they have a fully-hosted platform that can handle many customer service issues.
They do however have a limited knowledge base. They offer technical support via email, and billing support can be reached by phone.
However, all their “onboarding” emails revolve around upsells.
I rated customer support & onboarding as a disadvantage in comparison to other web-builder companies .
Growth Path & Platform lock-in
As I mentioned in the benefits, SiteBuilder is a powerful website builder. However, SiteBuilder is not suited for new websites that you wish to develop and grow.
Competitors such as Wix and Weebly (and eCommerce rivals like Shopify), offer “app shops” or extensions that you can add on to your account. These companies will provide all the advanced features you’ll need later on. SiteBuilder doesn’t have this.
You get the features that you already have. You should consider this point if you plan on growing.
It is also not an easy task to migrate from SiteBuilder into a different platform. Their data export option is not available (that I was able to find). Their software doesn’t have an RSS feed to sync with something like WordPress.com.
Migration costs and effort are important factors to consider if you plan to move. SiteBuilder’s design and content will have to be manually moved.
SiteBuilder has an eCommerce function as a bonus. SiteBuilder allows you to sell products without the need for special development or switching platforms.
Although Ecommerce offers some functionality, it is not an eCommerce platform like Shopify and BigCommerce. SiteBuilder offers basic inventory management, shopping carts, and payment acceptance.
This is a great tool for websites that are primarily informational or lead-generation sites, but also wish to sell products. This is a great way to test out products before you commit to a long-term platform. Websites that are eCommerce-first will not find it a good fit. An eCommerce-first website with WordPress + WooCommerce, or an eCommerce platform like BigCommerce (review), would be better.
Is SiteBuilder Legit?
SiteBuilder can be a great option for a quick and easy website. They offer competitive pricing, great functionality, and an excellent user experience.
Although there are many tradeoffs to using an all-inclusive web builder, it is worth considering if you have specific goals.
View SiteBuilder’s current plans & pricing
If you are unsure whether SiteBuilder is right for you, I created a BuzzFeed quiz to help you determine the best site builder for your needs based on your preferences.
You might think that building your website on your own hosting would be a better option. Check out my step-by-step guide to setting up WordPress from scratch.