It seems SiteBuilder.com gives you a drag-and-drop easy website builder for free.
Hmm, let’s hold on a sec! Is SiteBuilder the right company to go with?
Let’s find out…
Note: Before we review SiteBuilder, I want to reveal two things for you:
- SiteBuilder.com is the exact same website builder used by WebsiteBuilder.com.
- They let you make a very very restricted, basic website for free, and they kinda nickel and dime you on any additional features beyond that. For example, if you want an online store, you have to upgrade to their highest plan at $20/month.
- I personally always advise my friends and clients NOT to use ANY website builders. This is because if you build a site on their platform, it cannot be moved elsewhere if you ever need to in the future. I recommend you use WordPress on any good web hosting service (see my list of top rated affordable web hosts for 2017) such as BlueHost, HostGator or iPage.
So now you know how I really feel…
My full review of SiteBuilder.com is below, as unbiased as I could manage to make it:
Three Steps To Make Your Website
Building a website on website builder takes three easy steps. Once you visit the website, the process is as follows:
- Choose a Domain Name: SiteBuilder requires that you choose a domain name for your new website. The domain name is completely free, which is a positive feature if you are trying to remain on a budget.
- Choose a Template: Browse a template and pick one that suits your needs.
- Launch the Site: A pretty self-explanatory step and an easy one to get to, at that.
Overall, in assessing the process of building your own website on SiteBuilder, the process as a whole is extremely easy and it works especially well for people who are new to the process of website building.
Pretty and Professional Templates: Thousands of Pre-Made Options or Custom Design
There are many important components to your website, but one component that makes the strongest impression is the layout and design of the website. As a result, when you choose a design for your website, you want to be able to choose from many options. Fortunately, SiteBuilder offers you thousands of pre-made templates. Templates are categorized into style and layout. In addition, if you can’t find a pre-made layout that suits your needs, then SiteBuilder also offers users the option to order a custom template.
The option to order a custom template from a website building service isn’t a common one, so this feature is perhaps one of the most promising thus far. By having the option to order a custom website, you can have a site designed exactly how you want it. In addition, having the option to order a custom website also enables you to further set your site apart from the crowed.
The Domain Name and Email: Free
Another great SiteBuilder feature is that the domain and corresponding email are completely free. Usually, domain names run a few dollars a month, but by choosing a free option, you can save the money and invest it in an area of your website that really needs more focus. As for the email, not only is it free, but you also have the ability to choose one that you’d like for your own site. By having an email in place, you’ll be able to streamline all your website emails to the email that you designate for your site. This makes the process of building and organizing a website much easier.
While the initial domain is free, if you do decide that you want more domain names, you will need to purchase them through SiteBuilder.
Advertising Credits: A Few Free
Advertising credits are used for Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing campaigns. The purpose of advertising credits is to attract users to your website though advertisements. Advertisements are usually through Google Adwords, Microsoft AdCenter, and Google AdWords.
SiteBuilder also offers its users $300 free ad credit. Therefore, by registering with SiteBuilder, you can not only get a website up and running in no time, but you can also start advertising for free. This is a great opportunity to ensure that your website is visible, right when you start it.
SEO Tools: Improve Your Site’s Visibility
When building a website, one of the most crucial features in a website building service is the opportunity to see who is visiting your website, how many visitors there are, where those visitors are coming from, and what ads are being clicked on to reach the website. To help you gauge the performance of your website, SiteBuilder also has a number of SEO tools in place. With the SEO tools, you can monitor your site and push it to the top of search engine results.
Is It Good for eCommerce/Selling Online?
SiteBuilder is also eCommerce compatible, which means that you can easily set up your website and start a shop, selling your products online.
The system also allows you to take in orders, receive payments, and keep track of the orders that are in place.
Truth be told, though, I would recommend Shopify over this, as Shopify is hands-down the best ecommerce platform.
Support Features: The Basics
In terms of support features, SiteBuilder offers users the basics. For example, the website offers technical support, billing support, and communications via email. If you do have an urgent issue, then you may run into a problem, as SiteBuilder doesn’t take any phone calls from users.
It’s NOT Really Free. Freemium is more like it.
While SiteBuilder does offer many free features, the initial homepage can be misleading as it does not mention that there are features that you won’t receive, unless you decide to pay for them. For example, if you are looking to implement additional SiteBuilder sites, you will need to pay for them. The structure is as follows: 50 additional sites runs at $50/mo., 100 extra sites runs $10/mo., and 500 extra sites runs $25/mo.
In addition, if you are looking to upgrade your services and features, there are four options available:
- Personal: For $8.99/mo., you receive a domain name and $375 free advertising credits. In addition, your website will be completely ad free.
- Pro: For $7.68/mo., you receive a domain name, $375 free advertising credits, no ads, and email setup.
- Premium: For $11.98/mo., you receive the same features as mentioned above and in addition, you get a range of SEO tools and priority support.
- eCommerce: For $18.45/mo., you receive the above features and in addition, the ability to open an eCommerce store with all of the necessary features.
In terms of the pricing structure, the results are mixed. There are certainly other website building services on the web that provide you with more features, for less money. In addition, SiteBuilder seems to hide the fact that some of their features or certain capabilities within those features are only for paying customers. If anything, the payment system makes the service a bit unreliable. For most people, one of the most important features is transparency, and SiteBuilder seems to lack in that area.
The Verdict: Promising Platform, Let Down By Nickel-And-Diming On Features
Overall, SiteBuilder is a promising platform. It has the basic and necessary features of a website building service, the features are easy to use, and it is structured in a manner that allows you to launch a website in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, one of the most significant issues of this website building service is that it lacks transparency in terms of pricing and full services available. Just know that if you want to receive certain upgrades, you’ll need to pay for them.
Moreover, if you’re a professional and are well-versed in the process of building websites, then SiteBuilder may not be the best option for you. There are dozens of other services on the web that provide you with more capabilities for a better price. In addition, the support features of Sitebuilder aren’t as user-friendly as others. Therefore, if you really are running a professional endeavor, then you may need a website building service that can provide you with more support.
Lastly, in terms of being unique, Sitebuilder also lacks in that area. Most of what Sitebuilder provides is fully standard, with the only special feature being the opportunity to get a custom website built. As a result, if you are looking for a service that is unique, varied, and that is able to deliver more interesting services and capabilities, then you may want to opt for something else. All in all, this website building service is a good website builder for beginners and meets expectations in terms of the simplest capabilities out there.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU: Consider a real host like HostGator. Here’s why…
- Their web hosting plans are more affordable than SiteBuilder
- Monthly payment option available so you don’t have to buy a year or more up front
- No contracts. Cancel anytime.
- No restrictions on features.
- 45-Day money-back guarantee.
- Platforms like SiteBuilder force you to stay with them or lose your site. With a real web host like HostGator, you can move your site to another web host if you ever want to in the future.
- cPanel control panel with automatic WordPress website setup.
- I asked HostGator for a coupon to help our WHPG visitors, and they delivered! You can use promo code BUILDPATH at HostGator to get 60% off your hosting..
…what?? WordPress? Yes, using a free plugin called SiteOrigin Page Builder (opens YouTube video in new tab), you can create a great website on WordPress using an easy drag-and-drop interface, just like a website builder. In fact, before you buy any hosting or website builder, I highly recommend you watch the tutorial video below, showing you how to make a website with Wordpress, step-by-step! 🙂
Let me know if you have any questions about SiteBuilder or SiteBuilder vs HostGator; and feel free to leave a review below detailing your experience as a SiteBuilder customer.