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.
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 now are spoilt for choice with the numbers 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.
The website builders can be used to build many different types of sites: – small or local business, e-commerce, portfolios for photographers or artists, a hobby site, a personal blog 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, 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 shareholders. 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 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 images galleries, contact form, 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 of the 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), 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 but 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, track inventory, sell digital products, accept 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 Canda/USA, 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, 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 are 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: 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.