SiteBuilder.com (SB) is an online website builder I’ve been thinking of reviewing for a while. I was spurred to action when I found that it was recommended as the best website builder in a case study of 10 online site builders.
The case study included many of the better-known website builders, such as Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace. To date, Weebly has been my favorite.
I found the 3 above-mentioned site builders were relatively easy to use, and they can give you a good-looking site quite quickly. Having built sites using HTML code in the past, we are now spoilt for choice with the number of site builders and content management systems available. There are so many choices now it can be difficult knowing what to choose.
Building sites today can be done cheaply, quickly, and with relative ease, even for a beginner.
Website builders can be used to build many different types of sites: – small or local businesses, e-commerce, portfolios for photographers or artists, hobby sites, personal blogs, and many others.
Let’s get going and see what SiteBuilder.com has to offer.
Overall Ranking: 60 out of 100 3.0/5stars
Price: plans ranging from free to $30.00 per month
Ease of use: easy – intermediate
Owners: WZ (UK) Ltd
Who Owns SiteBuilder.com
I always like to see who owns any site I am reviewing and perhaps get a little background information about why the site was started. Unfortunately, on SiteBuilder.com, there is no about page, and nothing about the owners of the company.
Why does this matter? I think every legitimate company should have an about page; it gives you more confidence in a company or website. This is already a negative point for this website!
From my research, SiteBuilder has been around since 2014, is based in England, and is owned by WZ (UK) Ltd. Apparently, the Endurance International Group are the major shareholder. They are owners of BlueHost, HostGator, and many other companies
Something I found a little strange, there are at least 3 other website builder sites that belong to WZ WebsiteBuilder.com, Sitelio.com, and Sitely.com.
While they each have their own individual-looking site and the pricing structure is the same (although there are some very slight differences in the prices), they all use the same site builder. Why they have 4 separate sites, I don’t know. I would have thought it better to concentrate on 1 site.
Who is this for?
SiteBuilder.com is for anyone who wants to create a website. If you want to start a personal blog, this can be done with the free option, or if you want to start a business or e-commerce site, this is also possible for a monthly fee.
I feel these site builders are aimed at people starting websites for the first time, and they are great for personal blogs. Nevertheless, it is also possible to create a sophisticated site for a business or start a website with the hope of earning money online.
They can provide a good-looking website for a beginner in quite a short time. For businesses getting your site online is the easy part; getting traffic is much more difficult. This is where training for SEO, writing content, or Pay Per Click advertising can help.
Ease of use
Although the site builders are all quite easy to use, there is always a slight learning curve. After 10 – 15 minutes, you will get the hang of how this editor works, and this is just by trial and error. At least, this is what I found!
If you get stuck, there is a support section where you can search for help with your problem. I didn’t find the answers to all my questions in the support area, so I think it could be improved.
The interface is clean and intuitive. You can drag and drop elements to where you like on your page. The site builder works by stacking sections, and then you add your content to each section.
The sections can have different background colors, which could be useful for highlighting a call to action or important information.
There are many elements that you can add to your pages or site and customize as you require. Such as image galleries, contact forms, Google maps…
You can also add a blog to your website. There are many customization options, and there are a number of templates for your blog.
Overall the site builder is easy to use, which is great for beginners but has plenty of features for more advanced users.
SiteBuilder does quite well here, they have over 1,000 templates to choose from, and they look clean and professional. You could also choose a blank template and start your design from scratch. They also offer an option to design a custom-made template for you if you’re willing to pay the price.
With the free site, you only get 50MB of storage space which is very little. Wix and Weebly offer 500MB with their free sites.
When you upgrade, you get considerably more storage space. Other website builders often offer unlimited storage space for all plans. Having limited storage space could be a problem if you have a large e-commerce site or you’re a photographer who uses the platform to showcase his portfolio.
You do get one email address with the paid plans; if you want more, it’s a paid option at $5 per month!
Exporting your site from SiteBuilder
If you decide in a couple of months you want to host your site elsewhere, you will have to start again from scratch. You can’t just copy your files to a new host.
This is a problem with many online site builders and is definitely a point to consider before choosing which site builder you are going to use.
That’s one of the great things about WordPress, it may be slightly harder to get started, but you can take your site anywhere with little problem.
Do you need the paid version?
With a free site, you have to use a subdomain (mysite.myfreesites.net), and you will have an advert at the bottom of your pages, as you can see below. Your site can have a maximum of 5 pages, so you can’t go very far. This is fine to just try the editor to see if it’s a good fit for you.
To unlock more features, get rid of the ad, and use your own domain name, you need to upgrade your account.
To create a professional-looking site, you will have to pay. I regard the free site more as a free trial, although they could be alright if you’re just looking to put a few family/wedding photos online even then, the storage space is very limited.
SiteBuilder allows you to integrate a store using Ecwid, a third-party e-commerce platform. The store is integrated into your site. To manage your store, the dashboard is within Ecwid.
Ecwid was created to help small businesses add stores to existing sites, and as such, provides all the features (shipping options, taxes, tracking inventory, selling digital products, accepting payments …) you would expect from an e-commerce software.
Help and support
SB has a decent knowledge base for technical support with how-to guides that show you how to use the editor. However, I didn’t find the answer to all my queries, which means it could be improved. Further help can be solicited via email, and there is also live chat.
In comparison to the support centers at Wix or Weebly, it’s certainly lacking depth.
There is a separate support section for billing issues, and there are also phone numbers for Canada/USA, the UK, Europe, and Australia for billing issues only.
It’s a shame they don’t have telephone support for site-building matters.
Pros and Cons
- Great selection of good-looking templates
- Easy-to-use editor
- Free domain with all paid plans, renewed every year you are with SB
- Free image library
- Advertising credits of $300 when you sign up for any premium plan
- Templates aren’t responsive, and there is a separate editor for the mobile version of your site
- With a free site, you cannot create a mobile version of your site
- Unable to change templates without completely restarting your site
- Pricing could be confusing
- No possibility of adding third-party apps
How much does SiteBuilder cost?
I feel the pricing of SiteBuilder is a little misleading. The prices advertised are for the first term of service, as you can see below. Once that period has elapsed, you are charged the regular prices, which are, of course, substantially higher.
When I saw the pricing table, I thought that was the regular price I would pay. However, there is some small print under this table with a link to the regular prices. This could easily be missed!
They do offer a free domain which is renewed for free all the time you are with SB. But there are many additional services that you have to pay for. Again I don’t feel this is made clear when you start.
If you look at the pricing table above, there is nothing about bandwidth or disk space. You can find the disk space in the support section, but this should be made clear before you start.
They have a list of additional services with things like:
- Site lock – software that protects your site from malware and detects gaps in security
- Priority support $20 per year – as a premium member, I would expect excellent support as standard
- Advanced stats $60 per year – do you need to pay for stats when Google Analytics is free?
- Supercharged website $47 per year – no idea what this is, and there is no explanation
- E-commerce packages – there are 4 of these ranging in price from $107 to $299 per year, but again I couldn’t find any explanation of what these were.
There are several other items. Perhaps I couldn’t get all the info because I was a free member; I don’t know. But before signing up to build a website, you need to know what you are getting and how much it will ultimately cost you. With SiteBuilder.com, this isn’t the case.
What their customers are saying
This is one of the most worrying aspects that you should consider. On Trustpilot, out of 111 reviews, 94.6% are 1-star reviews. And this isn’t the only site that has bad reviews for SiteBuilder.
It seems most of the problems are:
- With billing
- Canceling your membership
- Being billed after you have canceled your membership
- Poor customer service
- Problems with domain emails
- Hidden fees
Here are a few examples of what their customers are saying.
After reading these comments and the many others, I wouldn’t consider using sitebuilder.com. Although the actual site editor is quite good.
My final opinion
I enjoyed using the website builder and found it quite easy to use. Unfortunately, the platform is let down by an unclear pricing system, problems with the domain emails, poor customer service, and accounting issues.
With the website builders, it seems that getting an objective review can be a problem because often, the reviewers are affiliates. As the actual site editors are all quite similar and, in general, good for getting a site online, the difference can be with things like support, pricing, and customer service.
The review that recommended SiteBuilder.com, that I mentioned at the beginning of this article, only dealt with web editor usability, site uptime, and speed. For these items, perhaps this site editor is great, but to get a good idea of the best site builder, you should take everything into account.
Due to the many complaints and problems with billing, I don’t recommend SiteBuilder.com.
In the end, you want your website and your information well presented. A website builder could be a good short-term solution, but as your site grows and you want to install more functionality, you may need to change platform.
With a website builder, this is often very difficult or impossible. I recommend starting with a site-building platform that can offer all the functionality I may require in the future, where I can grow my site without any restrictions, the support is rapid, and the billing is clear from the outset.
Although I enjoy using the site builders, I recommend WordPress. You can install nearly any functionality you need, it’s easy to change the look of your site by changing themes, and you can transfer your site to another host if you need.
Choosing to build a website is one thing, and choosing to build a website to earn money online is another. If you’re searching for a platform that provides:
- A site builder with excellent hosting
- Easy to follow step-by-step training, both with setting up your site and creating your online business
- Help and support 24/7 from a community of successful internet entrepreneurs
- A proven blueprint that has worked for many internet marketers
- Then please take a look at my #1 recommendation for building a website and an internet marketing training platform
Thanks for reading; if you have had any experience with sitebuilder.com or if you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments area below.
Ease of Use
Help and Support
Ease of use: easy – intermediate
Price: plans ranging from free to $30.00 per month
Owners: WZ (UK) Ltd
My opinion: An easy to use editor makes it possible to create a good looking site quite rapidly. Knowledge base could be more complete. Overall impression spoiled by the many complaints about support and billing.
Hello Peter, I saw your post shared by Neil at Google Plus. Informative and interesting.
The fact that you had to dig around to find who is behind the service, plus not being able to move the site to other hosting are 2 big red flags for me, not to mention so many customer complaints.
You’ve mentioned the most important negative points although I would add the pricing with all the add-ons that isn’t made completely clear could be a nasty surprise. It’s a shame SiteBuilder don’t take some action to improve their customer service/support.
I started with the free version from Sitebuilder a couple of years ago. I found it very limited so I tried to upgrade. Nothing happened. When I contacted the company I didn’t get a reply. My account was linked to my Paypal account. A few days ago I noticed a charge from Paypal for $184.32. My bank reversed the charge and then charged me $48.00. I contacted the company that was attached to the payment, they told me that it was from their sister company Sitebuilder. I contacted them explaining the situation. They replied blaming Paypal for the error. This company has such a poor customer service I would not recommend them to anyone, very sneaky business practices. Tread lightly when dealing with Sitebuilder, no transparency at all.
Yes, problems with billing seem to be a big problem with SiteBuilder.com. There’s a load of complaints about billing matters or lack of customer service on Trustpilot. These negative reviews or complaints go back to 2015 and they don’t seem to get any better. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Hi, you may want to know that some of the info you have now about Sitebuilder is dated. I signed up (to my regret) in August with the intention of starting my shop. Apparently, between the time you did your review and now, they stopped using Ecwid and have a very basic store. You do not get the option of different shipping prices, so you can’t ship internationally, unless of course, you want to lose money. Now, you get the very basic “shipping for first item” then “additional shipping for second item” and whether you want free shipping after spending so much. No option to charge more for international, no option for shipping upgrades or restricting what countries you ship to. It is terrible. I also cannot add more than 60 products even though I am told there is no limit. I am in the process of trying to get a partial refund/cancel. I am sure I will either be doing the retention dance or they will stop contacting me altogether. Now my domain name is stuck with them, even after I cancel (with a refund or not) and I am fearful they will not transfer it and it will be lost to me for a year. I am so despondent over this wretched choice I made. I am usually much better at researching. Next time, I will be creating my website myself using Adobe and find a decent host for it. I just thought I would let you know that no one who wants a shop should sign up with this site, they will severely regret it.
Sorry to hear about your bad experience with SiteBuilder.com. It’s strange they still have information for using Ecwid in their knowledge base. Maybe you will be able to pay them to keep your domain name.
Don’t feel too despondent we all make bad choices at some time and your comment may help others to avoid this problem.
Thanks for letting me know and best of luck with your eCommerce site when you get back online.
I built a website with SiteBuilder just this past week. I chose them because a google search of the best site builder platform had a review saying it was the best as the first or second result. I wanted to get up quickly so i didnt spend much time on research. Im happy with my site although the price plans and “addons” do feel like you’re getting nickel and dimed.
The SiteLock addon is NOT an SSL certificate. There is no control to manage or even see what it does. I emailed support about it and asked about SSL and they told me that SiteLock is just there doing things and theres no way to see it.
Lack of SSL is a problem but hopefully they will integrate that in the future, for now im happy with my site and its easy to update.
Pleased you’re happy with your site. I quite liked the actual site editor but then Wix or Weebly will also give you equally good results and are easy to use. Sitelock is software that scans your site for malware, stops malware before it gets to your site and detects gaps in security. Thanks for reminding me about this I have now corrected my review.
It’s surprising they don’t offer SSL as this is now a ranking factor hopefully it will soon be added to their list of additional services. Maybe they will even offer free certificates!
Thanks for your feedback,
Peter, I like the way you have laid out your review. It is thorough and well written. I was not previously aware of this particular system and now I know a good bit about it and how it stands up against some others.
It seems that there is so much out there and it is difficult to decide which way one might choose to go. Thank you for giving me some direction regarding this matter.
I hope you will continue to write quality reviews so we can all learn from your hard work,
There are many online site builders and they are all quite easy to use. As I think they all offer a free trial, you should try them out before committing. It’s not only the ease of use of the editors that you should consider there are other factors like costs, functionality, support, transferring your site to another host if you decide to change, whether you’re able to change themes easily and whether the themes are responsive.
If you’re setting up a business website I would try WordPress, may be slightly harder to use in the beginning but has many advantages. If you’re not sure how to start there are online training programs that can take you through the first steps for free.
Anyways, I will keep writing my reviews!
What a good and detailed review of Sitebuilder which I have never heard of before and now would never use them! I have used Weebly in the past for my own site and still do for my husbands local business and that works well as is easy to use.
You are right about Wordpress though and even though a little complex (but only a matter of learning it) atleast you can take it anywhere, import/export etc if you have to. Thanks for the info!
I like Weebly as well, although I must say all the site builders are pretty easy to use. The main things that set them apart are the costs, functionality, possibility to export your site to another host and support. SiteBuilder.com doesn’t do very well here and the many complaints about billing issues mean they can’t be recommended.
It can be difficult to know what to choose when considering building a website. My choice would be WordPress, especially if you’re starting a business website. It may be slightly harder to learn, but once you have the hang of it, it’s really quite easy. As you say, you can move your site to another host, in addition, you have all the functionality you need, the only costs will probably be for hosting and a domain name. Your hosting provider might provide some support if not you will have to search online where you will find many helpful resources.
I’ve only recently become aware that there was such a thing as software to help build websites for you! Perfect for me as I don’t have any html experience! Sitebuilder doesn’t sound too great, great to read an honest review and in so much detail. Weebly looks like it might be a better option for me. I would need something which works well for mobile sites so will look into this.
Yes, Jennie, building websites these days is really quite easy. The actual editor in SiteBuilder isn’t bad but there are many complaints about billing issues and the pricing structure isn’t very clear. They do provide a mobile version of your site but if you want to edit it this is done in another editor. Weebly is my favorite online site builder to date but having used Wordpress now for a few years I wouldn’t change.
All the best,
Sitebuilder gets a lot of mixed reviews. I’ve seen some very positive things said about it in advertisements and lists online, but when I’ve looked for stories of people’s personal experiences, I’ve seen mostly bad reviews.
You give a very good and thorough review here. In many ways sitebuilder is good for beginners, but once you get past that beginner’s stage, you’ll feel constricted. Especially with how it doesn’t accommodate mobile. That’s huge for a lot of sites, and especially for Google rankings.
Thanks for your honest opinion.
I really liked using the SiteBuilder editor but when you look at their pricing structure, that’s not very clear and all the complaints about billing issues, clearly it’s not something that can be recommended. Many of the positive reviews may be from affiliates and in a way if they are just looking at the editor I can understand. But I think you need to look at the whole picture before recommending a program.
I think the online site builders are good for beginners and even for personal blogs. But if you’re building a business website I think Wordpress provides a better alternative, you have all the functionality you need for often no cost. SiteBuider.com does have a mobile version of your site but it is edited in a separate editor.
Thanks for your visit,