SITE123 Review

SITE123 belongs to those site builders that make professional website creation available practically to everyone. Many reviewers call the platform the #1 solution for creating simple sites. No skills required. No need for complex editing. No big expenses.

But is SITE123 so easy to use? Will it suit every website? Recently, I’ve worked on a website project for which I’ve used the platform under consideration. I’d like to share the results to let you understand the key benefits and drawbacks of SITE123.

Read my compact review till the end, and you’ll know if SITE123 is fitting for your business. I’m also going to describe the most useful features of the site builder, as well as indicate the ones that it lacks. So, let’s start.

Quick Summary

SITE123 was launched by an Israeli team of developers in 2016. The idea was to let a user easily build and launch their websites, no matter which sort of site it is and how skilled the user is.

SITE123 Quick Summary

The site builder is made so that you don’t need to hire an expert. Instead, you can cope with the job yourself. Moreover, most of it will be done by SITE123 itself.

The platform has both a free plan and premium packages. So, theoretically, you can create a website without investing a penny. But don’t be too fast to put aside your funds – chances you’ll need to pay extras for ordinary things are quite high.

Having worked with SITE123, here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages I’ve identified:

  • Absolute ease of use;
  • Enough tools for selling products;
  • Good loading speed and SEO;
  • Multiple languages;
  • Excellent technical support;
  • A free plan.

Every site builder has weak points, and SITE123 is no exception. Pay attention to the following downsides in the first place:

  • Limited customization;
  • A tricky pricing model;
  • The need to pay for quite common tools.

So, SITE123 is good for fast site-building when you need to run a workable website quickly, and its design uniqueness is not awfully important to you. On the other hand, if planning to construct a custom site supplied with complex features, you’d better search for another solution.

SITE123 Price

A visitor may feel puzzled with the fact that SITE123 does not give precise information about its plans. When I first clicked on Pricing on the official site, I saw a free plan and “the most popular premium plan,” both with fuzzy explanations. However, the platform offers four prepaid packages together with the free one. I just had to sign up and start working on my project to see all the details about the available premium solutions for it.

Choosing the free plan means the website will always be yours, coming with 250 Mb of storage, 250 Mb of bandwidth, a SITE123 subdomain, and just the basic features necessary for the simplest of eCommerce or business sites.

To eliminate the SITE123 branding and connect a custom domain, however, you have to upgrade to one of the premium packages. Obviously, upgrading is also key to expanding your site’s capabilities and adding more functionality.

The free plan can be particularly tricky for beginners like me who are still trying to figure out what a website needs. It’s easy to end up in a situation where you buy one feature after another, turning what was supposed to be an affordable or “free” online presence into a costly project.

Nevertheless, for small to moderate projects, including startups, freelancer websites, and individual entrepreneurs focused on conducting basic payment transactions, the SITE123 free plan is a solid option.

For more ambitious projects, the other four premium plans definitely offer more value for the money. Let’s dive into a quick overview of these plans:

SITE123 Premium Plans
Basic
Advanced
Professional
Gold
Price
$12.80/mo
$21.33/mo
$35/mo
$41/mo
Good for
an individual’s website with the minimum requirements
a small company
a medium-sized business or an online store
any business that needs a complex site fully equipped for online

It’s also important to note that SITE123 may occasionally offer promotions or discounts (especially for first-time users), which may also affect the pricing for the plans.

When choosing a suitable subscription, pay attention to the terms offered. SITE123 has plans for 1, 3, 12 months and up to 10 years. They all differ in tools, services, features and discounts included. The longer the period, the bigger the discount will be. SITE123 also guarantees 14-day money back for any of its prepaid packages.

Having analyzed the available offers and terms, we have concluded that the 3-months subscription is worth user attention most. It’s just that 1 month may not be enough to completely explore the entire integrated feature set of the service, while getting the annual subscription is quite a risky investment for a beginner.

Thus, a 3-months package will make it possible to understand what exactly the website builder has to offer and to decide on its further application for your website creation. Have a look at the prices of plans included in this offer:

SITE123 Premium Plans
Basic
Advanced
Professional
Gold
Price
$19/mo
$32/mo
$52.50/mo
$61.50/mo
Good for
an individual’s website with the minimum requirements
a small company
a medium-sized business or an online store
any business that needs a complex site fully equipped for online

The cost of the plans is higher here, of course, as compared to the annual package yet this is not that crucial when it comes to choosing a website builder for a long-term use.

Starting a Website

SITE123 will let you build a site in no time. You indicate the purpose of your future website, choose a template, add the necessary content and plugins, and that’s it. Your website is ready to go online. You won’t have to edit the code.

For a more advanced user, this is certainly a drawback. However, if you are a total beginner in web design and site-building, like I am, SITE123 is ideal for you. Actually, the platform will do the entire job instead of you.

Site123 Editor

The bad news is that SITE123 allows pretty limited customization. Its editor doesn’t support Drag & Drop, and you won’t be able to move elements on your chosen template. You’ll have to take it as it is.

Exploring the Interface

The platform’s interface is rather simplistic. Just after you have opened an account on SITE123, you’ll be redirected to the editor. It will guide you through the process of creating a website, and the whole procedure requires minimum effort on your part.

Access to the Dashboard is granted next, serving as the control center for website management and premium plan upgrades. It includes several key sections:

  • Edit – for applying certain changes to your website’s design;
  • Settings – here, the content depends on your plan. Through it, you can create duplicate sites in other languages, access SEO tools, watch statistics, connect plugins, and more;
  • Domain – for connecting a custom domain to your website;
  • Upgrade – for choosing a prepaid plan and thus extending your site’s functionality.

SITE123 Dashboard

So, the SITE123 interface is beginner-friendly. Practically everyone can cope with all the functions almost intuitively. However, I cannot say the same about the editor – modifying your website’s design might puzzle you.

Template Choice and Design Customization

On SITE123, users are presented with a choice of over 150 themes. It might quickly become apparent that there’s a consistent pattern across all of them. Despite this, the templates are beautifully and professionally designed, SEO optimized, and fully responsive to both desktop and mobile devices.

SITE123 Templates

Customization options are notably restricted. However, for someone just starting out in web design, this could actually be seen as an advantage. It’s practically impossible to mess up the design of a chosen SITE123 theme, ensuring the website will maintain a polished appearance regardless of the changes made.

I recently came across the review stating that you cannot expect much freedom in modifying the design of your website. After thorough software testing, I should agree with that. When choosing a template, you (or rather the AI Editor) predefine most of its structure. So, the best part of the elements won’t be movable or available for great changes.

Still, it isn’t necessarily bad, especially when you aren’t a site-building guru and need a fast and reliable solution for your project. Take it as if you hired a web designer and fully relied on their choice in styles, color schemes, block arrangement, etc. Since this option can be completely free of charge, many users are sure to appreciate such an approach.

It doesn’t mean you cannot make changes at all. As to colors, you can pick one of the predetermined color palettes worked out by the SITE123 designer team. The same is true for the layout. In most templates, you’ll be offered 3+ variants of menus and main blocks’ positions, buttons’ forms, and so on.

SITE123 Editor

Frankly, I wasn’t 100% happy with the SITE123 editor. Without Drag & Drop, this wasn’t the easiest interface I worked with. In terms of editing text or changing backgrounds, there exist site builders with clearer interfaces.

On the other hand, I found the SITE123 image editor very effective. I liked the ease of uploading photos from the computer or popular image banks and online galleries.

SEO

All templates on SITE123 are SEO-friendly. That is, you can expect your website to be ranked high by Google, Yahoo, and other search engines even without making any changes.

However, you can use the SEO Adviser to improve the metadata on your pages. You can access it through the Dashboard in the Settings menu. It will scan your website and suggest improvements, though the instrument won’t suggest any keywords.

You’ll be able to make basic changes like editing meta titles, meta descriptions, and page URLs, as well as adding alt text to pictures. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find any side add-on for analyzing or improving SEO. This was a certain drawback for me, but the SITE123 SEO tools might be enough for many small project users.

SITE 123 Features

The choice of a certain website builder depends to a great extent on its functionality. Let’s observe how feature-rich SITE123 is.

eCommerce Features

SITE123 eCommerce

Is it possible to launch an online store based on SITE123? The answer is yes, but you’ll definitely need to subscribe to a premium plan. And I believe it should be at least the Professional package.

Thus, you’ll add a shopping cart to your website, but this plan will only allow you 500 orders per month. Only the most expensive plan – Gold – will let you have an unlimited number of orders. Other options will include the ability to create coupons for your customers, let them compile wish lists, recover abandoned carts, and so on.

SITE123 allows connecting various payment gateways to your e-store. Their list includes at least PayPal, Authorize.net, Stripe and many more. You’ll find handy manuals on how to add any of these systems to your site. One more nice instrument is the Variants tool. It lets you make several versions of the same product in your store.

Marketing & Analytics Features

From an email marketing perspective, SITE123 is not the best choice. Its emailing options are pretty limited. You’ll get access to the most common features needed to organize effective email campaigns only when subscribed to at least the Advanced package.

SITE123 offers an interesting set of marketing and analytical apps which you can integrate into your website. These are tools like Google Ads, Google Analytics, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Pixel etc. However, the number of such apps could be larger. Built-in reports from SITE123 will be available starting from the Professional plan.

Blogging

SITE123 Blog Editor

I was really interested in the blogging functionality of the website builder. Here is what I managed to find out from multiple software reviews.

A simple blog can easily be managed on SITE123. The platform’s templates are well-suited for blogging, and it equips blog websites with essential post management tools, a scheduling feature, search functionality, a comment system, an RSS feed, and other fundamental features.

However, several key components often expected on such platforms are missing. For instance, the ability to create an archive or categorize posts isn’t available. Despite this, SITE123 provides sufficient tools for monetizing a blog, including options for paid advertisements and selling products.

So, SITE123 is a good option for small projects that do not need sophisticated features and plugins to run their activities.

Third-Party Integrations

What SITE123 does need to improve is its level of integration. While the platform offers over twenty apps for analytics, you won’t find a lot of marketing plugins here. There’s a big choice of support/chatting apps, but you are sure to miss such add-ons like Zapier or Mailchimp.

The only way to cut the knot is to use custom code and thus provide your website with all the necessary plugins. But this mission won’t be an easy undertaking for a beginner. So, this might be the trouble spot on the SITE123 usability.

Tech Support

Not many site builders will offer you such quality support as SITE123. At any stage of creating or managing your website, you can expect proper responsiveness from the team. When having any trouble, you can contact a specialist by using the following means:

  • Online Chat 24/7;
  • Email;
  • Phone number.

However, I think every user (even without site-building experience) can cope with most problems themselves. For this, they can visit the platform’s Support Center and Learning Center with the most extensive knowledge base. Here, every aspect of website development is explained in simple words and supplied with very useful screenshots.

Verdict

SITE123 is addressed to ordinary users with very limited web design knowledge in the first place. Small-budget companies and startup entrepreneurs can also benefit from it. The vital advantages of the platform include ease of use and freebies.

In fact, you can create the simplest website with a minimum of features and plugins in no time and launch it at once. And it will be workable! Surely, the functional possibilities of such a website will be pretty moderate, especially when subscribing to the free plan.

SITE123 won’t be an optimal solution for you if your project requires a lot of specific features and add-ons. You should know that even a prepaid SITE123 plan can be insufficient for your complex eCommerce or business website. Moreover, you’ll need to deal with code anyway to connect extras absent in the SITE123 Marketplace.

Malcolm ThomasAuthor

For over 15 years, I've delved into the dynamic world of website builders and hosting. As a seasoned expert in web development, my passion for technology fuels my journey of exploration and analysis. Through meticulous reviews and comprehensive insights, I empower readers to navigate the digital landscape with confidence. With a commitment to staying abreast of the latest trends and innovations, I strive to offer practical advice and informed perspectives. Join me on this adventure as we uncover the best solutions and strategies for building and hosting your online presence.