SITE123 Website Builder
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.
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 Google+ or Facebook account.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.