In this SiteBuilder review, I will have a look at this website builder and help you decide, whether to choose it for your next online project.
For a small business, a good website is an incredible tool for finding new clients, expanding into new markets, and increasing profits. Therefore, it’s very important to choose a website builder that makes building a beautiful and functional website as simple as possible.
Is SiteBuilder the option that will make it all a reality? After all, during the last couple of years, it’s been going through a serious refresh that would (supposedly) turn this into a serious competitor.
I wanted to find out – this is why I set out to write this SiteBuilder review. And this is what I gathered:
SiteBuilder dropped the old approach of choosing between hundreds of different-but-also-very-similar templates. Instead, it goes all-in with its smart Express editor, that will generate a website to you, based on answering a few questions.
After you’re done setting up, managing a website is going to remain simple. It’s easy to track analytics, build contact forms, and upload eCommerce products directly to the platform. Add that to the integration of G Suite and an in-house database for customer email addresses, and you get a solid package, including both website builder and business features.
And while it does an excellent job of simplifying the website building and process, it doesn’t have the same eCommerce capabilities that you find at other industry leaders. Instead, they feel limited and dated. And plenty of other business features point to the product being just a little incomplete – there’s not that much to choose from!
However, SiteBuilder does offer some of the strongest performance results on the market. Depending on your requirements, this platform may have everything you need to build your online presence.
Let’s go a bit deeper in this SiteBuilder review – and find out together, whether it’s really “everything you need”.
SiteBuilder pricing ranges from $4 to $7.20 per month if you’re willing to sign up for a two-year subscription. If not, and you wish to pay monthly, SiteBuilder prices will range from $10 to $18 per month.
There are three different plans available: Pro, Premium, and eCommerce. Sadly enough, there is no free option available.
The SiteBuilder ‘Pro’ option starts at $4 per month if you sign up for a two-year plan. This subscription level is the cheapest option available at SiteBuilder, but it still offers all the core tools you need to build an attractive site. You’ll receive a domain name for a year, access to website statistics, and unrestricted use of all the core design features and templates.
The SiteBuilder ‘Premium’ option starts at $4.80 per month. This option provides access to all the features in the Pro package, as well as priority support from SiteBuilder’s customer support team. This upgrade doesn’t provide much value, so you won’t receive any additional capabilities or design features.
SiteBuilder’s most expensive option is its ‘eCommerce’ plan, and comes priced at $7.20 per month. This is the subscription you need to purchase if you want to build an online store. It includes all the core features of the Pro and Premium packages, as well as access to the company’s eCommerce platform
Compared to a lot of competition, this is a very good price – less than $10 a month for an eCommerce-ready plan is much less than a lot of leading website builders, such as Wix.
But SiteBuilder pricing comes with a few drawbacks.
Even the most advanced plan doesn’t include everything. For instance, SiteBuilder does not include professional email in the cost of its packages. You’ll need to pay for Google G Suite to access this service.
And the pricing of the plans themselves is not always very stable. While right now the plans go from $4 to $7.20 a month, it’s not a guarantee that they’re going to be the same by the time you’re reading this SiteBuilder review. If you wish to know the newest price of the builder, check out the “Visit Site” button and see for yourself!
But overall, it's hard to complain about the pricing at SiteBuilder. The prices are very low, and even considering the features,it's difficult to find another robust platform that offers prices this low. Sure - the prices more than double if you don't sign up to a two-year deal, but a longer-term contract gives you savings that are pretty difficult to ignore. If you're looking to save money, this is a very interesting option.
Like most modern website builders, SiteBuilder does its best to make the whole page creating process as simple as possible. And it absolutely shows – even if you have to sacrifice some customizability in the process.
Let’s talk about it in detail.
Back in the day, SiteBuilder offered you a choice between the ‘Express’ design method or the ‘Traditional’ method, using a bunch of pre-made website themes. In fact, that’s the screenshot I took when I first started using SiteBuilder back in the late summer of 2019!
Now, it’s all about the “Express” mode.
When you first sign up for SiteBuilder, you’ll be asked what you want your website to be about. This is a vital step in the process.
There are plenty of business to choose from – for instance, I chose a very niche “dog trainer” option. And found exactly what I wanted.
It’s not a full AI web builder that takes the information from you and builds whatever it sees to be good. It still requires significant input from you while it creates the site.
But SiteBuilder will still instantly generate a website template and give you the opportunity to choose a stock photo or upload an image.
Then, it’ll be a time to choose your theme color and style, as well as your site navigation structure.
The navigation choice that you make will have a huge impact on your site’s appearance. I would definitely recommend playing around with each option before you make a firm decision.
Lastly, you’ll be asked to put your business’s contact details into the sidebar of the SiteBuilder design tool. SiteBuilder will automatically generate a ‘contact details’ section at the bottom of your site.
Once you go through that, you’re done! What’s left is for you to edit your website.
And the editing process is pretty simple, once you get the hang of it. You’re allowed to choose between several layouts for all content blocks and can also edit and remove text, buttons, and pictures
However, I do wish that SiteBuilder was a bit more open-ended and allowed me to select what kind of a website I want to have – not just give me the kind of website it thinks is good.
That’s the price to pay for ultimate simplicity, I guess.
SiteBuilder is very easy to use. It only takes a few questions and selections to build a good-looking, functional website. However, that simplicity comes with a few sacrifices. You can't select a theme, and there's no drag-and-drop functionality for a true customization experience.
SiteBuilder used to offer over 200 templates – not anymore. In fact, if you check out some of the very-super-outdated SiteBuilder reviews, you’ll probably see a screenshot of the themes that looks something like this:
I had some first-hand experience with them and, well, it definitely was a situation of quantity over quality. Essentially, with the right business and navigation choice, you can remake every single one of the themes with the existing editor.
So…let’s have a look at what templates and template editing options you can get right now.
For each of the sections of the website, you can choose one of several given layouts, change the content size, layout, and omit or add various elements.
If you wish to make some site-wide changes, there’s the “Theme” section, where you can choose your color scheme, fonts, effects, and other general things.
It may look a bit tricky at first (I sure was lost) but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty simple. There are still some limitations present – but I suppose that’s just the life of using a website builder.
SiteBuilder doesn't offer website templates anymore - instead, it has some editing tools that can help you edit the existing website. While for some, this may be a glaring omission, I believe that with a bit of work, you can still get the website to look pretty good.
SiteBuilder offers several business tools that can help you grow your business. There’s access to eCommerce solutions, professional emails, a CRM manager, and SEO tools. You can also track critical analytics data directly through your dashboard.
While these options are not exactly nuclear-weapons-grade professional tools, they can still be useful for small businesses looking to increase their user base. Let’s have a look.
If you’re planning on building a store with SiteBuilder, you will need to access its eCommerce platform in the ‘App Market’ on the left-hand side of your main dashboard. This add-on is only available to users who have the eCommerce platform.
While this add-on does allow you to build an online store, it’s clear from the start that the features are quite limited. It’s easy to add products to your store, but the actual site designs are quite basic. If you’re looking to build a modern, sleek online store, this probably isn’t the best option.
Also, the eCommerce platform doesn’t have a strong reputation when you take a look at other SiteBuilder reviews. Even on its own App Market, you’ll find customers complaining about the usefulness of its eCommerce add-on.
You can’t choose how your products are arranged on the page, as well as there are some issues with payment options. Yes – the eCommerce-ready plan costs only $7.20, but
If you want insights into your website’s performance and traffic figures, you can use the ‘Stats’ tab on your SiteBuilder dashboard to view critical information.
This provides you with insights into your website’s performance and the types of visitors you’re receiving.
You’re able to view the number of visits, the number of unique visitors, the bounce rate, and the number of minutes that visitors spend on your site. All of this data is broken down into an easy-to-consume table. SiteBuilder also provides you with a heat map that shows where the IP addresses of your visitors are located.
Overall, this part of the website works as advertised. Stats seem to be correct and viewing everything is pretty effortless.
It’s very convenient that you don’t have to integrate with a third-party platform to access these stats.
SiteBuilder doesn’t offer an in-house business email platform, but it does allow you to integrate a business email account from G Suite, Google’s email and document management platform. Not only will this allow you to send emails using your website’s domain name, but it will also let you collaborate on Google Docs and Google Sheets.
G Suite price plans start at $6/month per user but can increase depending on storage and other subscription variations. You should factor this into the overall cost of your website.
If you want to manage your relationships with your website visitors and customers, it’s important to retain and organize contact information. SiteBuilder allows you to get people to to sign up for newsletters, promotional offers, and general email marketing content.
If a visitor fills out the contact form on your site, their information will automatically transfer to your ‘Contact CRM’ manager. You can access this list of contacts directly on the left-hand tab of your website manager.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do anything with this list inside SiteBuilder. If you want to use your email contact list, you’ll either need to manually email individuals or use the list with a third-party email marketing platform (like MailChimp). SiteBuilder does make it easy to export your contact list to third-party platforms, however, it’s not going to replace a dedicated third-party solution.
In a similar fashion to many modern web building platforms, SiteBuilder has an ‘App Market.’ Unfortunately, it seems that the marketplace is still in its infancy – you won’t find a long list of add-ons available when you click on the tab.
In fact, all the ‘Apps’ in the App Market are in-house tools that are included with certain packages. For example, you will find the eCommerce add-on in the App Market. To use it, you’ll need to upgrade to the eCommerce plan before you can build your store.
The other in-house add-ons in the App Market are ‘Priority Support’ and ‘Save History.’ The Save History app allows you to save previous versions of your site so you can revert to them if you no longer enjoy your current design. There’s also Google and Bing credits apps and…that’s it.
While there’s certainly an app market, it’s not really going to help you much. If you’re looking for apps that will make your website-building, business-managing life easier, go with options such as Wix or Squarespace instead.
Several builders out there are trying to appeal to businesses and personal users by offering a free logo maker. SiteBuilder joins the club as well! If you head to the ‘LogoMaker’ tab on the left-hand side of your control panel, you can build a new logo for your site in a matter of minutes.
Once you input your company’s name and slogan, SiteBuilder will allow you to choose from a variety of designs. After you select the core design you like the most, SiteBuilder will redirect you to an in-depth logo editing portal. It’s here that you can chop and change your logo to suit the branding you’re trying to build for your online company.
The logo you’ll make might not win any design awards (although, who knows?) but it might be a solid starting point for some beginner businesses.
SiteBuilder has plenty of business features, however, some of them are not very good. The eCommerce add-on is genuinely disappointing, the contact form section misses a couple of key features, and the apps are virtually non-existent. It does a fair job with analytics and a logo maker, but overall, SiteBuilder still needs to build some muscle if it wants to appeal to businesses.
Other SiteBuilder reviews indicate the platform offers average performance results. So, for this part of my SiteBuilder review, I built an entirely new SiteBuilder website and tested its optimization and overall server performance.
Here’s how the website optimization looked like:
Load time taking up less than 5 seconds and no major faults in optimization firmly make SiteBuilder a pretty solid performer.
Now – onto the server testing! Heres how the SiteBuilder website behaves when being visited by up to 50 virtual users.
Well, it’s done well.
Response times (blue) remained remarkably consistent, regardless of how many visitors (green) were making contact with the site. This is one of the most consistent response tests I’ve ever seen.
To sum up, if you’re looking for a platform that can help you build a site that loads quickly, SiteBuilder is undoubtedly a pretty solid option.
SiteBuilder is a fairly solid way for users to quickly build a website. It is also cheap – very cheap, with the eCommerce plans costing several times less than a lot of the competition.
Also, the performance of the created website is very good – you can definitely expect your users to browse your page quickly and with no issues.
However, not all is perfect. Far from that. The editing process isn’t all that advanced, and the eCommerce tools and apps are very limited, to the point where they don’t make sense to be used by most businesses.
out of 10
Overall, SiteBuilder is easy to use, and pretty suitable is you want an inexpensive way to have a basic website. However, if you're looking to run a business using SiteBuilder as your main tool, you may run into some problems. As things stand right now, it's simply missing a whole lot of crucial features.
Maybe you’re turned off by SiteBuilder’s lack of design freedom. Or maybe it’s the eCommerce tools? Something else entirely? While writing this SiteBuilder review, I also made sure to consider what options should you choose, if this website builder isn’t the one.
Missing the templates? Well then, choose the website builder that has the best ones. Squarespace has a unique focus on creating visually captivating websites. Users choose between a range of premium templates and can customize the images and content of their site.
Aside from its modern design options, Squarespace’s primary allure lies in its in-house eCommerce features. Users can easily set up online stores without the use of third-party integrations or platforms. It’s an excellent web builder if you’re looking to create a sleek, modern website.
Wix allows its users to choose between two different building processes – the automatically generated AI one, and the classic one, where your choose between over 500 themes and then get to editing them. So, it’s the best of both worlds.
A massive app store also sets Wix apart from the rest – there are applications for pretty much all sorts of needs. If there’s something you wish to do with your website that can’t be done with SiteBuilder – it can probably be done with Wix.
Sitejet is a web builder that offers unparalleled editing experience. A serious wildcard on this list, Sitejet is more focused on designers and freelancers making websites for a living. Every single facet of the Sitejet website can be coded, adjusted, and made better. Sure, this is not for beginners. But if you’re not one – why not ride on the Sitejet?