Table of Contents
- Overall Rating: 8.0/10
- What Is SITE123?
- Pros of Using SITE123 Website Builder
- Straightforward Signup Process
- Product Integration
- Cons / Downsides of SITE123
- SITE123 Pricing
- Limited Feature Set – Design
- Limited Feature Set – Technical
- Culture & Lock-in
- How does SITE123 evaluate to Wix?
Overall Rating: 8.0/10
|Best For||Small and fast web site design|
|Strengths||Easy-to-use onboarding & design choices|
|Weaknesses||Limited choices & lack of buyer help|
|Promotion||Start Now It’s Free|
SITE123 is a fast-growing, independently-owned, web site builder based mostly in Israel targeted completely on DIYers. They declare to be “the most intuitive and easy to use website builder on the market”.
Recently, I gave SITE123 a strive for a small challenge after receiving a number of reader questions. But earlier than I get into the professionals and cons of my SITE123 evaluation, let’s contemplate a little bit of background on constructing an internet site normally.
There are so many concerns to consider when selecting an internet site builder — and actually, there are a thousand methods to get what you need in the long run by way of performance, comfort, pricing, and so on. The factor to recollect is: whether or not you’re constructing a easy private web site or operating a enterprise, the best way you construct your website has plenty of penalties.
In the long-term, it impacts your versatility, performance, and, after all, your model. In the quick time period, it may actually add/take away plenty of complications. That mentioned, similar to selecting a bodily home or workplace, there isn’t a such factor as an absolute “best” or “top” selection. There’s solely the correct selection relative to your objectives, expertise, and circumstances.
What Is SITE123?
On the extensive spectrum of web site constructing options, SITE123 lives on the tip that’s all-inclusive and offers every thing you must get began and develop your web site. It contrasts with options the place you purchase, set up, and handle all of the “pieces” of your web site individually. I wrote a publish on Website Builders, Explained for extra background.
Using SITE123 is type of like leasing and customizing an house in a extremely elegant improvement as a substitute of shopping for and proudly owning your individual home. You’re nonetheless in charge of decor, cleansing, and every thing living-wise – however you allow the development, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure to the property proprietor. That level is essential as a result of there’s often a direct tradeoff between comfort and management with all software program, however particularly with web site builders.
Everything might match collectively good with a website builder like SITE123, however which will or might not be what you’re in search of.
As far as competitors, SITE123 competes with all-inclusive hosted web site builders like:
Compared to their direct competitors, they concentrate on velocity and ease by offering done-for-you templates and designs so you’ll be able to focus solely on content material.
Instead of working like a conventional drag-and-drop web site builder, SITE123 has you choose your area of interest after which customise a curated template based mostly on that area of interest, which appeals to novices who don’t have any design or improvement expertise (assume DIY-ers who must create an internet site ASAP with out having any web site expertise).
Pros of Using SITE123 Website Builder
Here’s what I discovered to be the professionals of utilizing SITE123 — not simply compared to different web site builders, however as an general web site answer.
Straightforward Signup Process
One of SITE123’s greatest options is how shortly you’ll be able to stand up and operating. Signing up for the platform is an easy, three-step course of (therefore the identify SITE123), and it’s simple, straightforward to know, and environment friendly.
Plus, SITE123 builds in schooling by way of a easy, step-by-step tutorial that walks you thru learn how to customise your assigned theme and add content material to your web site, which is a superb characteristic for customers who haven’t custom-made / constructed an internet site earlier than.
SITE123 can be significantly easy to make use of. As I discussed earlier than, SITE123 offers you with a template based mostly in your chosen business and sort of enterprise/web site inside that business.
While the web site builder is not drag-and-drop, you’ll be able to select from a menu of web page parts to vary the design inside your chosen theme.
The complete setup is like portray by numbers.
There are apparent drawbacks to this setup, which I’ll cowl within the disadvantages, however it’s a actual benefit to having restricted however accessible design choices.
The website format is mobile-friendly and maintains an appropriate look/design it doesn’t matter what you do to the design choices.
Another good thing about SITE123 is its in depth checklist of product integrations. Aside from providing DNS and internet hosting providers, SITE123 additionally gives a number of plugins (software program that you would be able to “plugin” to your web site to get extra performance). From promoting software program to analytics instruments to advertising + help, their library is in depth.
SITE123 additionally gives eCommerce performance. One factor to notice right here although — to make use of the integrations, it’s important to have a paid plan.
And to get eCommerce performance, it’s important to select between the 2 higher-priced tiers. We’ll speak extra about pricing in a second, however simply know that you could possibly get the identical (or higher) performance for much less elsewhere.
Cons / Downsides of SITE123
But after all, no evaluation can be full with out wanting on the downsides. Every piece of software program may have complaints. Here are the cons I discovered with utilizing SITE123
SITE123’s paid plans begin at $12.80/month, which features a free area for a 12 months / the flexibility to attach your customized area, 10 GB of storage, 5 GB of bandwidth, and the flexibility to ship 100 electronic mail messages (aspect observe – who counts electronic mail messages?) to your mailing checklist per 30 days. It additionally removes the SITE123 branding that comes with the free plan.
But in comparison with their direct rivals like Wix and Weebly (and even Squarespace), SITE123 is a little more costly and gives a lot much less on a feature-to-feature foundation. At every stage, SITE123 doesn’t even enable limitless bandwidth or storage. The one half they’ve going is a bundled on-line retailer, which a worthwhile characteristic for a small retailer.
If you’re utilizing a SITE123 premium plan for various months, it’s going to be dearer than going with a competitor (and extra proscribing as a result of design and technical limitations – extra on that shortly).
Limited Feature Set – Design
With any know-how product, there may be nearly at all times a trade-off between comfort and management.
And you’ll be able to actually see this trade-off with the web site creation with a website builder. The comfort of their web site editor is nice. It’s simple, quick, and never complicated. It places your focus solely on getting your content material onto the premade template by producing a curated SITE123 template for you.Sponsored Links
But right here’s the factor — should you don’t like the template you’re given, altering it up is a ache. If you wish to go wherever past the fundamentals of design, you might have very restricted customization choices with SITE123.
For your theme, you’ll be able to edit the colour, the font, and the overall ‘feel’/construction of the design.
With pages, you’ll be able to select sure layouts from pre-made selections.
But you can not change the format. You can’t drag and drop. And you actually can’t edit the HTML and CSS, a lot much less add some other design ingredient.
It’s even tough and close to inconceivable to edit the menu with out altering different design parts on the web site.
The greatest method to describe it’s a ‘paint-by-numbers’ arrange. It’s nice to have the fundamentals, however if you wish to do something further or outdoors of bounds, then you definately’re out of luck.
If your web site is rising, or changing into a much bigger a part of what you are promoting, the design limitations could be crippling. And in contrast to different web site builders that try to resolve this challenge by way of apps, extensions, or entry to the web site code or HTML, there isn’t a outlet for a SITE123 web site builder.
Limited Feature Set – Technical
The limitations on design additionally bleed over into technical limitations. Technical limitations are options and performance that you just don’t know that you really want till you need them, and then you definately discover out you’ll be able to’t have them.
These are issues like social media integration with Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, Google Ads, social sharing choices, running a blog, and an entire host of each intermediate to superior advertising instruments on the web. Now as I discussed above, SITE123 does supply extra options by way of plugins and app market, however as a result of management you hand over with the web site, you’re pretty restricted in how a lot you’ll be able to combine, add on, and even edit throughout the instruments offered.
For instance, let’s take a look at merely enhancing web optimization parts on a web page. With the STE123, I can add in a meta description and website slogan, however that’s about all I can do other than including header tags contained in the content material editor. Even primary web optimization wants greater than that.
Think of it just like the distinction between cooking in your individual kitchen and constructing your individual burrito at a fast-food restaurant.
With SITE123, you’ll be able to actually select the elements that go into your burrito, however your selection is admittedly an phantasm since you’re restricted to the elements which can be provided by the restaurant. Like the design, that may be a great factor should you want one thing easy, and can at all times want one thing easy. But should you ever must improve or do one thing distinctive or customized, it may be very limiting.
Culture & Lock-in
After taking a look at plenty of firms throughout domains, internet hosting, VPNs, web site builders, ecommerce, and extra – I’ve seen that firm tradition, construction, and insurance policies can communicate extra a few buyer’s long-term expertise than a characteristic matrix.
A web site builder is inherently a worldwide enterprise. Every Internet firm has distant workers and worldwide information facilities. But I’m by no means a fan of firms not sharing their story or what they’re all about. SITE123 is extremely obscure about their story, their insurance policies, and your relationship with them as a buyer.
For instance – right here’s their about web page.
It’s a gross sales web page. Here’s a pair solutions to FAQs –
Now – I get that they’re a free, hosted web site builder. Most web site builders have bother with web site export. But their messaging is kind of stark with no supply of assist scraping or downloading even picture recordsdata and textual content.
And the cancellation coverage could be very odd as a result of it conflicts immediately with the purported problem of offering an internet site obtain. A hosted web site builder service ought to be capable of be canceled at a click on of a button. There ought to be no handbook critiques of types.
But it extends to their buyer help. It’s actually obscure and pushing prospects to DIY.
They have a stay chat possibility, however it’s very gross sales targeted after pushing prospects to a knowledgebase reply. It’s a pair layers to truly attain their help staff.
Again – this level isn’t meant to lift a possible non-issue for no purpose. SITE123 would possibly present a unbelievable long-term expertise. However, tough cancellation insurance policies and obscure about pages are likely to correlate with lower than splendid long-term experiences.
SITE123 actually makes creating an internet presence straightforward, particularly should you want one thing that’s done-for-you and requires little coding information. They have a simple consumer expertise and easy-to-use editor that makes getting your content material on the market a breeze.
However, there are trade-offs to contemplate with an all-inclusive web site builder — particularly performance, customization, and management. And that is the place SITE123 falls quick when in comparison with different all-inclusive web site builders. If you’re trying to create an internet site with a base template however nonetheless have some flexibility over design and performance, SITE123 might not be the best choice for you.
Not positive SITE123 matches your wants?