SITE123 Review: Can it stand against the heavyweight Website Builders?
Are you an Entrepreneur aspiring to extend your Business Avenue to the online platform, which is gaining more and more importance in the present times? But are you a novice and lack the technical skills to develop your own online business? Do you have a limited budget to invest in website developing and other e-commerce tools? Then SITE123 can be the website builder that you are searching for. With SITE123 you can build your own website as easily as making a PowerPoint Presentation and that too at an affordable pricing and minimal technical skills. Your website may not be powerful or complex, yet it would be much faster, efficient and smooth to begin with.
What is SITE123?
SITE123 is an Israel-based company offering a free, user-friendly website builder targeting start-ups and small businesses. It lets the user develop a website suitable to his product and interests without any prior knowledge of coding. With its built-in Wizard, wide array of pre-built Templates and Designs, Video Tutorials, Live customer Chat Support and other help features, creating your own website becomes a work of a weekend even if it’s your first time. Rest of the back-end Server Configuration, Responsiveness, and SEO Optimization etc. are all taken care of by SITE123.
How it works? : 1…2…3… and DONE!!!
To start a website with SITE123 is no rocket science at all. Just as the name suggests, it does the work in just three simple steps:
I. Choose your type of Website: Website, Online Store, Blog or a Landing page- and Sub category e.g. under Online stores you can select Fashion & Clothing, Jewelry & accessories, Food & Drinks, Arts & Books etc. depending on your product.
II. Name your Website: Give a Catchy yet Sensitive name to your Website which rightly reflects your content.
III. Sign Up for Free: You can Sign up using your Facebook or Google Account or even manually.
…and you are ready to Go Live and Get Going!!!
SITE123 will guide you through all the features from here onwards through tutorials and Live chat.
What is it best suited for?
Blogging: SITE123 has most necessary features sought after by a blogger to post his/creations and get the deserved audience reach like Analytics, RSS Feed, Search options etc. However it lacks some key blogging features like adding a Comments Section to your blog. If you are looking for a full fledged advanced blogging website you might find your answer at WordPress, Squarespace or Weebly.
Business & E-Commerce: SITE123 has most basic e-commerce feature advanced enough to support a budding start up or small scale business. One can easily create an online store, add and manage the products with just the free plan. SITE123 also provides additional features like Multiple Payment options (including PayPal, credit/ debit cards etc.); Product Categories, Custom Pricing for different variants (like size, color, style etc.) and many more. However if you want a more advanced website or manage a Large Scale Business it is better to go for the big shots among website builders like Shopify, Bigcommerce, Leadpages etc.
Ease of Use: The interface is extremely user-friendly and provides assistance to the user at each stage. You just have to click an element- Text, Picture etc. And just start editing according to your choice and needs. You can also view a preview of how the website will look on each of the three devices –Desktops, mobiles and tablets.
Design & Templates: SITE123 has an array of over 100 ready-made designs &templates which are responsive and professional looking. However it has a predetermined structure which restricts the users creative freedom, which means you cannot change the layout or designs much.
Own Domain: SITE123 offers your own domain for free for the first year on any of its Premium plans with an annual renewal fee of $13 thereafter. You can choose from over 130 domain extensions which are made easy to find with its Domain Search Tool.
Multiple-Language Support: SITE123 is translated to around 69 different languages. This allows it to support your website in up to 5 different languages depending on your plan. You can side by side view the different versions while editing the menus and also have a separate URL for each language website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SITE123 offers a number of SEO services, features like Meta Tags, Sitemaps, Redirection and Webmaster tools, to improve your SEO and higher you search engine ranking. This is very beneficial for small businesses as it increases the probability of being found during keyword searches.
Social Media Integration: SITE123 lets you link your website to 25 different social media platforms (including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Vimeo etc.).However it doesn’t let you embed your live updates, for which Wix is a better option.
Analytics and Reporting: SITE123 offers analytics via Google Analytics to help you keep a track of your website’s visitor reach, traffic pattern, visitor behavior etc.
Security: SITE123 protects your website completely free of cost through secure SSL (Site Socket Layer) encryption protocol thus maintaining your website’s privacy, security and confidentiality
Customer Support: SITE123 offers one of the best customer support and help desks. On the lower right corner, you can see an animated icon which instantly launches the 24/7 Live Chat Support, when clicked. Thus you can get prompt, useful and real-time guidance at each step of your editing without having to leave the page.
It also extends support through e-mail and social media platforms.
Pricing: Is SITE123 worth the money?
SITE123 offers two different plan versions as follows:
Free Version: You can manage your website for free as long as you wish but with a limited disk storage space of 500MB, 1GB Bandwidth and a maximum of 10 orders/month for an online shop.
Premium Versions: For a serious and developing business, it will be better to invest in one of the premium plans as given below according to their needs and requirements.
With each advanced plan, the customer added Bandwidth and disk space, ad-free site and fully functional online shop.
*SITE123 offers discounts of 11%, 22% and 33% with 1-yr, 2-yr and 3yr basis payment respectively.
*The site also gives a 14-day money back Guarantee if you are unsatisfied with the services.
In a Nutshell…
SITE123 focuses on the target audience comprised of novice entrepreneurs who are not looking for a fine-tuned or powerful website. This is the reason it has only basic features, limited template designs and lacks advanced code editing feature. Its USP is the affordable pricing and ease of use, but at the cost of your creative freedom with the looks and aesthetics of your website. Thus, if you fit SITE123’s target audience, then you can definitely not feel the lacking and make the most of it. You can of course upgrade to premium plans, as your business expands.