SITE123 Website Builder Reviewed
SITE123 is a simple website builder that makes it possible for any beginner to create promo sites, landings, blogs, and small online shops. All websites powered by this platform are responsive and can be browsed on any mobile devices.
The website builder’s primary focus is on non-savvy users and small business owners who need to quickly create a decent website either for personal use or for a client.
On the other hand, the platform delivers some advanced options out of the box to meet users’ expectations. First of all, the website builder makes it easy to decide on the right type for your future site. You can preview it as a one-page or multipage site to choose the best-matching variant. Users can overview both versions before publishing, which certainly ads some flexibility.
Moreover, SITE123 has proved to be a versatile platform. It is good for a one-page site as well as for e-commerce purposes. Whether you run a small Bed & Breakfast hotel or a booking service, the software has a unique Restaurant Reservation Feature in addition to Schedule Booking tool and more.
The logics behind SITE123 is so simple and understandable that even newbies willing to build custom websites can use it. No coding, web design skills or prior experience of working with databases or setting up the hosting is required to do that.
The system has a user-friendly and unambiguous multilingual interface (available in 15 languages). What features does the platform provide? Let’s find out!
Ease of Use
You can register with SITE123 and start creating a website with your email address or a Facebook account. The system also offers an opportunity to register an account in a standard way – just fill out the registration form available online, having previously answered a few questions. The website builder will inquire about the type of project you intend to create and the website name you wish to register. Upon the completion of these simple task, you will be redirected to the sign up form to enter the email, your name and password. As soon as you do that, you will get to the control panel for further website customization. Fortunately, the registration process does not take much time.
SITE123 dashboard is very simple, intuitive, and straightforward even to a newbie. It contains only useful options and features that directly affect the quality of a website you are creating. You won’t find anything complicated or useless here. The same is about the control panel, where you will find all the required tools and features needed to give your project high end design and functionality.
The control panel itself is logically-structured and pretty understandable as well. This is where you may browse through the major website sections, namely Homepage, Pages, Design, Settings, Domain. You will also be able to control the way your website looks on desktop and mobile devices via the use of the Preview option. Each section grants access to more detailed settings and tools.
You don’t have to be a website-creation guru to quickly master the Dashboard. It is so simple that even a newbie can learn it in less than 10 minutes. Broken down into several categories, it includes everything you might ever need:
SITE123 takes you to the Dashboard. This is the place, where you can see all the websites you have created. You can edit, copy, and remove them, connect custom domain names, check balance, etc. For each site you can also view the list of messages, orders, comments, and newsletters. In general, this section provides you with all necessary tools to manage your account.
Home Page: lets you edit the main page, including its name, logo, and tagline. From there, you can also adjust the design of the home page and its format: the number and type of elements the header will consist of (buttons, videos, links, or simply an image without any text and other elements).
Pages: allows adding new pages and removing the existing ones. For each page you can set up a display format (up to 4 schemes depending on the page type – a blog, online shop, promo, about page, and other).
Design: offers customization tools for general design elements such as background, font type and size, diverse visual elements, etc.
Note: SITE123 comes with a visual editor that doesn’t support the ‘drag-and-drop’ feature: all changes are made to the website through the sidebar settings described above and are instantly visible in real-time.
eCommerce: The system is perfect to create promo sites, blogs, and small-scale commercial projects. You can also put up a small online store, but it will take some time and effort especially if you have a big assortment since all items have to added manually. All of the chosen items are added to the shopping cart. As far as the online payment methods go, PayPal is available.
What’s interesting, the platform allows creating impressive product galleries, adding detailed descriptions and customer reviews. There is also an opportunity to add new products not only to the catalogue, but also to the homepage of the online store to notify clients about the upcoming products, special offers, events and other web store related information. All of the chosen items are added to the shopping cart. As far as the online payment methods go, PayPal, Stripe and 2Checkout are available. Apart from extensive product creation and management options, SITE123 also comes with a toolset that makes it possible to issue and manage coupons that offer discounts to users willing to buy from you.
In terms of format, the templates are well-suited for creation of most types of websites. But, given there’s no option to customize blocks to the full extent, I would recommend SITE123 for beginners, rather than pros.
Overall, the service is a nice option for creating blogs and promo websites, but it is quite challenging to build a big online shop here. SITE123 is simple and easy-to-use for newbies, but it lacks in-depth settings that would allow pros to create unique sites.
Blogging: SITE123 is a nice option for creating blogs and promo websites. The website builder is simple and easy-to-use for newbies, but it lacks in-depth settings that would allow pros to create unique sites. When it comes to blogging, the platform allows posting articles and adding media files to them. There are multiple blog templates to choose from and you can also make use of the scheduling option to be able to choose the time of new post publication. Additionally, the website builder comes with nice commenting feature, which allows to accept or decline new comments. If you don’t wish to bother about that, however, you can set up the auto conform feature that will automatically approve all new comments without any preliminary moderation.
Website Access: The platform allows setting up shared website access rights based on your requirements and web design intentions. Thus, you can set your project as Members Only, if you wish to grant access to certain users with individual access rights.
Customer Interaction Tools: SITE123 offers an opportunity to use multiple convenient customer interaction tools. These include Schedule Booking feature and Restaurant Reservations tool. These options make it possible for website users to book appointments in advance, make online reservations and look through the upcoming events.
Logo Tool: With SITE123, you can create and add a business logo to your website. With this purpose, you can use logo building tools, which let you crop and resize it based on your website parameters. There is also an opportunity to choose logo fonts, their styles and sizes to make it stand out from the crowd.
App Market: The website builder is also known for its extensive and versatile App Market. This is where you will find lots of add-ons and extensions that can be effectively integrated into your project. The app choice is quite impressive and rich, but the system allows dividing them into thematic sections, such as Analytics Tools, Live Support Chat, Marketing Tools, Webmaster Tools, Forms, Booking, Galleries, Pricing, Online Store, Social, Payment Gateway and Popular. The widgets available in the system collection are free and paid and there is also an opportunity to make use of the search filter option to pick the widgets that best match your web design needs.
Custom Domain: When purchasing a subscription to the paid plan, SITE123 offers a nice bonus – a free 2-level domain name. But keep in mind, that a free domain is provided for 1 website only. For any subsequent website created on the account you will have to buy a new domain.
Additionally, SITE123 lets you explore all of its features free of charge, but in this case an ad banner with the system’s name will be placed to the website’s footer, the option to connect a 2-level domain will be also disabled.
SEO: SITE123 allows to configure website’s SEO settings such as title, description, and keywords for the home page. More than that, a unique SEO description can be set up for any other page.
Multi-language website: SITE123 offers a very convenient tool for those who plan to represent their business worldwide.
Depending the plan you’re subscribed, you can add up to 5 languages to your main website. Each language version could be placed within main domain or on a separate domain name. Such option is useful especially for branded businesses, who wish to add local country domains to its main one.
Another good feature is that you can edit the other language website versions content in the dialog window, where on the left part there is an original version content, and on the right part – other language version. You may use auto-translated content or change it to yours. All in all this is the best solution of such a kind among all the services I’ve ever tested.
On top of that, with the help of Google and Bing Webmaster Tools plugins, there is a possibility to assess your website’s performance on the search engines. The Google Analytics plugin will let you carry out regular detailed analyses on the user experience and your website’s operation.
Right after a simple sign-up procedure, you will be offered to choose one of the categories for a future website (Restaurants and Food, Business, Photography, Art, CV and Portfolio, Marketing, Medicine, Technologies, Sport, Fashion and Beauty, Online Shop, etc.).
Each category features from 5 up to 10 themes. For example, for “Restaurants and Food” these are as follows: a restaurant, bar, cafe, pub, fast-food restaurant, and bakery.
The quality of templates is high, but I wish they could be more diverse – the themes in subcategories differ only in a few details. Luckily, SITE123 customization tools are flexible and easy-to-use. This makes it possible to apply any of the available 13 structures to any template. This way, the layout of blocks can be changed significantly, which will make it possible to create a truly unique website.
Also, you’re presented with options to set up color pallets either manually or choose from the preset color schemes. It’s possible to change menu item styles, fonts, and enable/disable the display of social media buttons. Unfortunately, the feature to switch the current template is missing. In the first place, this is due to the fact that the template structure may differ dramatically depending on the category. If the chosen design doesn’t meet your needs, it’s quite easy to create a new website.
To sum up, SITE123 features high-quality, but fairly generic templates. In fact, their preset content differs only in images. The good thing is that there’s a possibility to change the structure and design of the home page, enable parallax effect, opacity, upload custom images, and overhaul the color scheme and fonts. Additionally, you can change the way your website will be displayed – as one-page or multipage. Whatever your choice, in the end you’ll get a responsive website that will adapt to different screen sizes.
Description of features and video tutorial on how to work with the website builder are available at the website. You can also reach out to the customer support team via the live chat at any time you like.
The system offer one free and 4 paid plans ranging in the amount of disk space and bandwidth of the website. Now Site123 offers 30% discount for every paid plan:
- Free Plan offers 500MB of disk space, 1GB of bandwidth, and an opportunity to process 10 product orders per month.
- Basic Plan ($9.80) offers 10GB of disk space, 5GB of bandwidth, free domain, no system’s banner, and the same 10 product orders per month.
- Advanced Plan ($15.80) offers 30GB of disk space, 15GB of bandwidth, a custom domain, 2 mailboxes, and an opportunity to sell up to 50 products per month.
- Professional Plan ($21.80) offers 90GB of disk space, 45GB of bandwidth, a custom domain, 5 mailboxes, and up to 500 products for sale per month.
- Gold Plan ($27.80) offers 270GB of disk space, 135GB of bandwidth, and unlimited number of orders per month.
The Free Plan isn’t worth much attention as it places an ad to your site and doesn’t let you connect a custom domain name. Still, it might be good to familiarize yourself with the system. Keep in mind, that any plan makes it possible to create an unlimited number of websites within one account.
This makes SITE123 a very attractive platform. Yet, you are restricted by disk space and bandwidth. The more websites you build, the more expensive plan you have to upgrade to.
All in all, SITE123 is quite affordable, but the plans’ limitations make the idea of creating a large amount of websites not that tempting. On the other hand, an opportunity to create even one website for $96 per year seems quite a nice investment. Thus, this website builder is a good option for those who are going to create online presence for clients.
SITE123 is a nice website builder suitable for most users. It’s good for creating promo sites, blogs business sites, and small online shops. The plugin integration can considerably expand the system’s potential, especially in terms of SEO.
SITE123 appears to be quite a cost-effective platform even for those who want to create 1 website only. The possibility to develop multiple projects also looks like a good option for small web studios, or even e-commerce websites aimed at selling tickets or promoting various events. Users can benefit from Events Selling feature that comes as a handy tool for those who sell ticket on different shows and events. Advanced settings will let you customize the events to reach a wider audience and meet visitors’ expectations.
Those who need some promotion and marketing tools will also find them while using SITE123. The website builder comes with updated Newsletter Package that implements the latest email marketing instruments to promote your business online.
After having tested the platform, I came to the conclusion that SITE123 is well-suited for non-savvy users willing to create a site for personal use as well as small businesses and start-ups whose aim is to develop websites for their projects. The simple and intuitive settings will allow them to achieve their goals in a short period of time.