SiteBuilder is a self-hosted website builder based in England. It now has over 10,000 users all over the globe.
As with most of today’s popular site builders, they also use a drag and drop editor in designing sites – which make site creation truly fast and easy.
In this review post, we’ll look at how easy it is to use SiteBuilder. For one, we’re already telling you that you don’t need any coding knowledge to use it. However, be prepared to give up a lot of control and customization options for the convenience that it provides.
We’re also going to look at its overall performance in terms of SEO, marketing, and usability. We’ll even scrutinize its features and see how it works with personal, business, and e-Commerce sites.
As we also place great importance on customer support, we’ll also look into their performance with regards to this. You wouldn’t want to miss this part as you’ll surely need help from SiteBuilder’s support team when you encounter problems while building your site. And of course, there are also unforeseen situations such as downtimes and crashes – will they be able to help you?
We’ll also look at the pricing systems for their available plans and give you an idea as to what you’re getting. It’s important to know the fine prints in these setups as some attractive features may not really be what they seem to be.
Lastly, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about SiteBuilder. Our aim is to give you all the information you need about this Company. If you’re considering getting it, please read the entirety of this review first.
Ease of Use
To start using SiteBuilder, you’ll need to choose a plan first. You actually need to choose a domain first before you can pick one of their plans. Once you’ve paid for your subscription, you can immediately start creating your website.
Your account will have a very simple (user-friendly) control panel – so, even if you’re new to website building and designing, rest assured that you won’t get lost in your SiteBuilder cPanel. In fact, this comes in a clean interface – which makes everything easy to find.
You’ll find a list of your hosted sites on your control panel. If this is your first website, you’ll only see one. However, should you decide to add more sites in the future, know that a list of your hosted domains is found in your account’s cPanel. To edit any one of your sites, you just need to click on the edit button located next to the domain name.
SiteBuilder uses a drag and drop template editor. With the drag and drop system, what you see is what you get – both on the editor page and front-end of your site. These types of sites can be built without any coding skills.
So yes, SiteBuilder’s editor is easy to use – therefore, you can easily design your website with it. Still, SiteBuilder will give you a guided tour when you log in to the editor page so as to get you familiarized with everything.
If it’s your first time to build a website, you might find a blank editor page or uncustomized template to be too challenging. Of course, there’s a challenge to designing a site all by yourself, but it’s doable and not that hard really. Remember, you simply need to add elements to a blank canvas and move things around as you see fit. It can actually be an enjoyable task when you come to think of it. And in the case of SiteBuilder, it’s super easy to use – as you’ll soon find out when you start building your site with it.
If you’re looking for a website builder with a lot of templates to choose from, know that SiteBuilder has hundreds of them. However, not all of them are what we’d call high quality. You have a lot of options, yes, but please be aware of the fact that not everything is that good (there are even some mediocre-looking ones).
Also, know that although SiteBuilder templates are customizable, they’re not that highly customizable. This is to be expected, however, among website builders that are very easy to use. Most of the time, you’ll have to give up control for convenience. And this is exactly how it works with SiteBuilder.
Customizing sections is not that easy with SiteBuilder. They have to be arranged one by one and you can’t lay them out next to one another. You also can’t move sections and features on different pages of your website.
One thing that’s quite good with their templates is that it’s easy to upload photos in them. You can, therefore, use images stored on your computer by simply uploading them to your SiteBuilder dashboard. SiteBuilder also has an image library of free stock images that you can use on your site.
Sitebuilder also has its own photo editor built-in. You can therefore crop and design images (add text and doodles) right there on your template editor.
Yes, SiteBuilder has an App market – so that’s good news. However, the bad news is that we don’t find their available apps to be enough (both in number and in usefulness). While it’s quite easy to add an app, their selection of apps is simply not that good.
Some of the apps you can add are tools on social media feeds, security (SiteLock) and Alexa (Amazon’s virtual assistant). But really, we can’t find valuable tools/ apps in there that are worth adding to a website.
So again, this is one of SiteBuilder’s weak areas.
SiteBuilder does backup your files and uploads to your website. However, they only have one backup for this (ideally, it should be two or more). Therefore, if something goes wrong and you request for your backup content, they will only attempt to do so based on their saved versions. They really don’t give you guarantees regarding backups – so be sure that you’ve accepted the risks before choosing Sitebuilder as your website builder and host.
Note that you can only access your website through SiteBuilder’s own cPanel. It’s for this reason why you just can’t manually back up your website. Other similar Companies (website builders/ hosts) allow for this option as you’ll have your very own control panel.
SEO and Marketing
SiteBuilder only offers basic SEO and Marketing features. As such, you’ll have to put in a lot of SEO efforts for search engines to notice your SiteBuilder site. They do have redirects and HTML tag features but that’s just about all. They don’t even have built-in sitemaps and Schema features.
And remember, you’ll be surrendering a lot of control to SiteBuilder when you subscribe to their plans. And if you don’t have full control over your website features, it can be really hard to work on your site’s SEO and marketing functions.
SEO and Marketing are really important in a site’s success, you know – and sadly, SiteBuilder doesn’t help you much in this area of running your website.
Speed and Security
Since SiteBuilder is running their software on Google and Amazon servers, you know that you can rely on them to keep your site up all the time (or at least, 99.99% of the time). Their built-in security systems are one of the strongest, so you really don’t have to concern yourself much about it.
Also, we have already told you that SiteBuilder itself keeps a backup of your site on their servers. But since they only have a single backup procedure (and don’t offer restoration guarantees), you should be concerned about it.
As for speed, SiteBuilder’s loading speed is good – just alright.
Billing and Payment
Right now, SiteBuilder has the following payment options:
- American Express
You can choose to pay in several modes of payment such as:
Now, if you want to cancel your plan, you can do so at any time. You simply need to e-mail SiteBuilder regarding your decision. Also, note that they’re offering their customers 14-day money back guarantees. So, we encourage you to quickly use your plan after purchase to check their features and usability out. Otherwise, it may be too late for you to get your money back (after 15 days).
Make sure that you’re really decided on SiteBuilder before getting one of their paid plans. Read everything in this review so that you’ll know what you’re getting when you sign up for a plan with the Company.
You see, it’s not that easy to transfer your website to somewhere else should you decide to cancel or discontinue with your SiteBuilder site. As you’ll need to move your content to another platform manually, you’ll need to factor in your effort and migration cost in doing so.
It may be easy to create a site with SiteBuilder, but it still takes time and effort on your part. And should you decide to move, it would mean downtimes for your site.
SiteBuilder for Personal Use
SiteBuilder can more or less provide for the needs of a simple, basic website. So yes, you can consider it for personal use (especially for small project-based websites).
SiteBuilder for Business
Unfortunately, we’re not recommending SiteBuilder for business use. Perhaps you can consider it for a very basic business site – just know what you’re getting right from the start.
Simply put, we don’t find SiteBuilder’s features to be powerful enough for business sites. Its limited customization capabilities will even hinder your branding efforts. You simply need more flexible features as your business grows – and you do expect your business to grow, right?
You’ll also find in our pricing section that SiteBuilder doesn’t provide good value for your money (compared to other website builders/ hosts out there). And this holds true if your intention is to build a business site with it.
SiteBuilder for e-Commerce
SiteBuilder does have an e-Commerce plan especially intended for online stores. You can, therefore, set up a store and sell products on your website. Some of their e-Commerce features include shipping management, product variations, discount codes, and more.
In spite of their number of e-Commerce tools, however, we really don’t think that SiteBuilder carries a solid online store platform. While it can definitely handle a few products, it’s not suitable for growth and expansion.
Note that SiteBuilder doesn’t offer a lot of analytics tools. And you can’t even customize your product pages to make them more attractive to your customers. Also, there’s no abandoned cart recovery option (a very good feature in an e-Commerce site).
Their e-Commerce plan isn’t cheap, by the way. For almost the same price, you can go for more advanced e-Commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. Now, those two really have very good e-Commerce platforms.
Help and Support
Technically, SiteBuilder has these forms of support:
- Knowledge base of articles
- Live chat
If only their listed support avenues are reliable, we could’ve given them good recommendations for this. Sadly, this is yet another area that they’re not good at. AT ALL.
Well, we did tell you that you’ll get a guided tour right from the start – which is good. However, when you’re on your own and get stuck at something, you might find that their help articles aren’t really that helpful. This is actually a common problem among users – SiteBuilder’s range of articles are simply limited and are not enough to answer all possible queries from their users. In fact, when you search through their knowledge base, you’ll find that only a few results will turn up every time you search for a topic.
As for their phone support, this is actually exclusive to billing concerns. So again, don’t think that you can rely on their phone support when you encounter a problem with creating and running your site.
Their e-mail option is especially meant for technical support. While that may sound good (at least you’ll get some help on technical problems), we also don’t find their e-mail support to be overall inspiring and helpful. One common observation on their emails is that these often include upsells. Also, there are reports of receiving standard answers on some questions (basically, it’s like getting answers from their knowledge base).
Lastly, SiteBuilder has Live chat support. While this may sound impressive (not all website builders offer this type of support), know that it’s not, really. First of all, don’t expect it to be like the usual live chats where someone is always there at the other end ready to help you with your concerns.
With SiteBuilder’s chat support, you’ll be asked to enter your name and e-mail address first. And then you’ll have to wait for them to get back to you. Fortunately, they do reply to chat messages – though not instantly. It’s their quality of reply that we’re concerned about as we’ve read reports of customers complaining that they only seem to provide copied versions of the articles in their knowledge base. This can be very frustrating, to say the least.
And so, overall, we can say that SiteBuilder has poor customer support. Help and support is something that you should prioritize when looking out for a website builder/ host – and SiteBuiler simply can’t deliver on this area.
SiteBuilder has three pricing plans – Pro, Premium, and e-Commerce. We’ll look at each one below.
SiterBuilder’s Pro plan has the following features:
- Price: $3.84 introductory price, $7.68 regular price
- Free hosting
- Domain name (first year only)
- Website stats
- Ad credits
- No ads
Their Premium plan carries these features:
- Price: $5.99 introductory price, $11.98 regular price
- Free hosting
- Domain name included (first year only)
- Website stats
- Ad credits
- No ads
- Priority support
SiteBuilder’s e-Commerce plan comes with the following:
- Price: $9.22 introductory price, $18.45 regular price
- Free hosting
- Domain name (first year only)
- Website stats
- Ad credits
- No ads
- Priority support
- e-Commerce store
- SiteBuilder doesn’t have a free plan.
- You’ll notice that introductory prices are almost double when they’re paid on regular prices. So, after the first year or so (depending on your chosen payment plan), you’ll have to pay the regular price every time you renew your plan.
- All of SiteBuilder’s plans don’t carry annoying ads.
- All their plans come with domains.
- All premium plans use drag and drop page builder
- Only their 2 most expensive plans get priority customer support.
- Domains are free in the first year if you’re paying annually or bi-annually. However, should you decide to cancel your plan, you’ll be charged a domain fee of $16.
Pros and Cons of Using SiteBuilder
- Easy to use at the start
- Able to create a website quickly
- Good security features
- Site speed is good
- Features are very limited
- Lots of outdated templates
- SEO features are not that good
- Long term pricing can be quite expensive
- Troublesome migration policy
- Poor customer support
Q: What is SiteBuilder?
A: SiteBuilder is exactly what its name says – a website builder. Since their services also include hosting, your site can immediately go live upon publication.
Q: Is SiteBuilder any good?
A: SiteBuilder can prove to be useful for creating basic websites. However, we find its lack of many useful features (as compared to others) very disappointing. Its reputation for poor customer service is even more alarming as you’ll probably need help and support while you’re using it.
Q: Are SiteBuilder templates mobile-friendly?
A: Yes. Websites built of SiteBuilders automatically look good on all types of devices. They’re designed to adjust to different sizes of screens.
Q: What type of content can I add to my SiteBuilder website?
A: Texts, images, videos, social media feeds, contact form, and sign up form are just some of the things that you can add to your website.
Q: Can I transfer my site to another hosting Company?
A: No, they don’t support the migration of sites. Should you decide to transfer, you’ll have to manually copy your content and start your site all over again.
Q: Does SiteBuilder have a lot of templates?
A: You can choose from hundreds of ready-made templates when you design your website with SiteBuilder.
Q: Can I edit CSS and HTML codes on templates?
A: No, you won’t have access to these source codes.
Q: Can I start on a free plan?
A: SiteBuilder used to have a free plan but they already removed said option. Right now, you can only choose from any of their three paid plans.
Q: Does SiteBuilder include backups and restore functions?
A: SiteBuilder automatically makes a single backup of all your uploads but don’t guarantee restorations.
Q: Can I manually backup my website?
A: No. You can only create backups of your content but not the website itself.
Q: Can I cancel my plan with SiteBuilder?
A: Yes, you can cancel your plan with SiteBuilder at any time. Just send them an e-mail request for this action. However, you might be charged a domain fee (around $16) if your plan is canceled abruptly.
Is SiteBuilder a Good Option?
Truth be told, SiteBuilder is probably one of the worst website builders we’ve ever seen. While you can create a basic website with it (and quickly, at that), there’s really not much room to grow. They lack so many important features that will require you to work so much more (e.g. SEO, marketing, designing, etc.).
And while they do have A LOT of available templates, these are not all that good. It’s an obvious case of quantity over quality – and we don’t like that at all.
Like we said, in the above sections, we can only recommend SiteBuilder for basic/ personal websites and probably small businesses. But we’re warning you that it doesn’t have the capacity to sustain a truly growing website (when that should be your ultimate goal).
One final warning. Remember that you can’t transfer your site to another platform when you discover (eventually) that SiteBuilder can’t deliver on your needs. It simply doesn’t support transfers of sites (another important feature that most website builders allow). So, you’ll either be stuck with your SiteBuilder site for the duration of your website’s life – or start again from scratch. We don’t like both options, that’s why we’re urging you to look somewhere else for a reliable website builder (and there’s a lot).