SITE123 Review

SITE123 has rapidly gained recognition as one of the most user-friendly and intuitive website builders available today. Favored for its ease of use, it offers a streamlined setup process that allows even beginners to create a professional-looking website in no time.

The platform’s editor is remarkably straightforward, enabling users to customize their websites with a few clicks. From selecting templates to adjusting layouts and adding content, every step is designed to be hassle-free.

However, it’s important to take a balanced look at SITE123. While its ease of use is a significant advantage, some users may find the customization options somewhat limiting compared to more complex website builders. It’s ideal for those who prioritize simplicity and speed, but for users seeking extensive customization and unique design features, SITE123 might have some constraints.

That is exactly why you don’t have to take the software at face value. Let’s dig down into its core and understand whether it can be a worthwhile alternative to your current solution. This is a rough and impartial review to shed light on all the essential pros and cons of SITE123.

What Is SITE123?

SITE123 Dashboard

SITE123 is a relatively young player in the website-building market. The company claims to offer the most straightforward process of creating a site, stating it’s as easy as 1-2-3. These steps stand for choosing the design, adding content, and going live. Beyond any doubt, it’s straightforward to set up a site with this solution. And this is perhaps its main advantage. Other features of the software are as follows:

  • eCommerce solutions;
  • Blogging functionality;
  • Shared access rights;
  • Logo Maker;
  • Customer interaction tools;
  • Multilingual support;
  • App Market;
  • Customizable templates;
  • Marketing tools.

Thus, SITE123 can be a decent choice if you are a small business owner on a budget and can get along with a simple site. Also, the company has great value for money in setting up a basic site without any required coding skills. Overall, SITE123 is suited only for personal sites and portfolios (look best samples here), while eCommerce stores and big sites will find it strictly limited and ineffective. Why? Let’s clarify this.

eCommerce Solutions

SITE123 offers a straightforward, user-friendly strategy for setting up an online store, making it accessible even to those with minimal tech expertise. With SITE123, users can easily manage products, customize storefronts and handle transactions securely. The platform supports various payment methods, ensuring a smooth checkout experience for customers.

Additionally, SITE123 provides essential eCommerce tools like inventory tracking, shipping management and tax configuration – all integrated within its intuitive interface. This makes it an ideal solution for small to medium-sized businesses aiming to establish a trusted web presence and boost their sales process with maximum efficacy.

Blogging Functionality

With SITE123, setting up a blog is easy and quick. The platform offers a range of customizable templates specifically for blogs, letting users create a unique and engaging blog environment. Features like social media integration, comment management and analytics tools are also included, making it a perfect solution for bloggers who wish to engage with their target audience.

Shared Access Rights

The feature allows multiple users with various project roles to manage and edit websites using diverse access permissions. This feature is particularly useful for businesses where website management tasks are distributed among team members, ensuring that each contributor can work independently within their area of responsibility while maintaining overall site security and integrity.

Logo Maker

The Logo Maker is a simple yet powerful tool for creating a brand identity for your website that complies with your company goals. With an intuitive interface, it lets users design custom logos from a variety of templates, fonts and color palettes. This tool is especially beneficial for small businesses or startups looking to establish their brand recognition without the need for expensive graphic design services.

Сustomer Interaction Tools

SITE123 comes with a broad range of customer interaction tools designed to enhance user engagement and customer service. Features like live chat, form builder and email marketing integration make it possible for businesses to connect with their audience more effectively. These tools facilitate real-time communication and feedback, essential for building customer relationships and improving service quality.

Multilingual Support

One of the remarkable highlights of the website builder is multilingual support. The feature stands out for businesses and individuals looking to reach a global audience. The platform allows starting multilingual websites with ease, letting users add and manage content in multiple languages. If you plan to expand market reach, this feature will help do that.

App Market

The SITE123 App Market is a top place to reach for users willing to expand their website functionality. This can be done by integrating third-party apps and extensions. From analytics and SEO tools to advanced eCommerce and social media integrations, the App Market grants access to extra resources to boost the project’s capabilities and optimize site performance.

Customizable Templates

SITE123 has quite an extensive collection of customizable templates that cater to various business niches. These designs are all visually appealing and responsive, ensuring a seamless user experience across various mobile and desktop devices. Users can easily customize these templates as required even with no coding skills.

SITE123 Pros and Cons

Beyond any doubt, SITE123 is a popular website builder. It owes its fame not only to the well-thought-out marketing strategy applied but also to its ease of use and beginner-friendliness. And if it won’t suffice the requirements of a medium to big size business or meet the expectations of a creative user, inexperienced users with no skills and big expectations may find the platform pretty helpful.

However, let us pinpoint the significant pros and cons of SITE123 to understand better if it’s what you’ve been searching for.

Pros:
Cons:
  • A free-for-life plan that comes with limitations, however;
  • Super easy to use even if you are a total beginner (no coding required);
  • SITE123 websites load quickly with no glitches;
  • Rich template choice;
  • Opportunity to create many websites using one account only;
  • Availability of plugins and numerous options making it possible to work with different SEO parameters;
  • Multilingual support;
  • Logo Maker;
  • Shared website access rights;
  • Extensive App Market;
  • Schedule booking and event planning solutions.
  • Despite claiming so, SITE123 is not powerful enough for eCommerce stores and large websites;
  • The solution lacks creative freedom and website customization options;
  • Email limits are low, even on the upper tiers;
  • SITE123 doesn’t allow applying HTML code;
  • Insufficient range of settings for professional users;
  • Free plan (and some paid plan) settings notably limit the opportunities to create a full-featured website;
  • Opportunity to remove ad banners on a Premium plan only.

Editing a Website with SITE123

SITE123 is quite a user-friendly website builder. In fact, this is one of the simplest web design systems out there that comes with an intuitive interface that’s perfect for non-techies.

SITE123 Sign-Up

The centralized dashboard is where the website editing process starts. This is the place to set up a project, pick a domain name and adjust the major project configurations. Once these initial steps are complete, you can dive deep into the world of website development and design customization.

The control panel of SITE123 is well-organized and easy to navigate, offering access to several major sections like the Homepage, Pages, Design, Settings and Domain. To control the web design process, go ahead to use the preview feature in order to see exactly how your site will appear on various devices.

Each section within the dashboard unveils access to more detailed management and editing settings. When your project is ready for publication, just click a single button to do that. Don’t forget about domain name connection (if you have one). If not – then select a new domain in the corresponding dashboard section.

Wish to see the full list of websites you have created with SITE123? They are also available in the dashboard. Pick the required ones and go ahead to edit, copy and manage them as needed. Additionally, you will be able to see the incoming messages, orders, comments and newsletters for each website.

Mind, however, that unlike many other web design platforms like Wix (read review), SITE123 has a visual editor but without the ‘drag and drop’ functionality. All parameters are adjusted in the sidebar and reflect in the real-time mode. This is convenient, especially for beginners.

Design Customization with SITE123

SITE123 boasts a considerable array of over 180 templates, neatly organized into various industry categories. Each theme is designed to be mobile-responsive and comes equipped with features tailored to the specific needs of the selected business niche. However, this initial structure ensures certain limitations upon closer examination, especially for those with a creative bent or a desire for a professionally polished website.

SITE123 Website

While the quantity of templates is noteworthy, their design quality and distinctiveness leave much to be desired. Many themes bear a striking similarity to each other, differing only minimally in color schemes and layout. Common elements like centered headlines, parallax backgrounds and large hero images tend to recur across the selection, limiting diversity in design.

Customizing these templates to achieve a unique and sophisticated look can be challenging due to the restricted customization options available, potentially hindering the attainment of a truly bespoke website aesthetic.

One of the more significant SITE123 drawbacks is the limitations imposed on website design. This is clearly seen on the free plan. Free themes are somewhat basic and may not meet higher design standards. Access to advanced templates requires a paid subscription.

Additionally, users cannot access or modify the source code of SITE123 themes, which can be a setback for those who wish to make extensive customizations. While this might not be a problem for beginners who prioritize simplicity over style, it can be a source of frustration for more proficient developers looking for design customization freedom.

Read also: What Is the Best Website Builder for Beginners

eCommerce Capabilities

SITE123 Store

As mentioned above, SITE123 comes with the built-in eCommerce engine. Thus, it is possible to launch a logically-structured web store with the system. Mind, however, that your shop won’t be too large as the system provides quite a limited feature set for eCommerce creation. Among the list of most popular web store-related features, the following ones should be mentioned first:

  • order/product management;
  • opportunity of web store design customization;
  • integrated shopping cart;
  • multiple currency support;
  • several payment options (PayPal, Stripe and 2Checkout, Braintree, Square, Amazon Pay, authorized.net etc.);
  • coupon creation and management;
  • digital/physical products;
  • customer testimonials etc.

eCommerce Tools

SITE123’s eCommerce platform is equipped with a comprehensive set of tools designed to streamline the process of setting up and managing an online store. Users can easily add and manage products, including descriptions, images, and pricing, and can also set up various payment options to suit their customers’ preferences.

The platform supports secure transactions, ensuring both the business and customer data are protected. Additionally, inventory management is simplified with tools that allow for real-time tracking of stock levels, orders, and shipping details, making it easy to keep up with the demands of a growing online business.

eCommerce Templates

SITE123 has a separate category of web store templates tailored to a wide range of business types and styles. These themes are not only visually appealing but are also optimized for online shopping, providing an intuitive and seamless shopping experience for customers. Each design is fully responsive, ensuring that online stores look great and function well on any device, be it a desktop, tablet or smartphone. With multiple customization options, businesses can modify these templates to align with their brand identity, creating a unique and professional online storefront.

Analytic Tools

SITE123 offers integrated analytic tools that provide valuable insights into your web store performance. They make it possible to monitor key metrics like traffic, sales trends, customer demographics and conversion rates. By analyzing this data, businesses can make informed decisions to optimize their marketing strategies, improve customer engagement and enhance overall sales performance. This info is essential for adapting to market trends and ensuring the long-term success of your eCommerce project.

Blogging with SITE123

SITE123 Blog

As quite a simple website builder, SITE123 can be used for blogging purposes. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, the system provides tools and features necessary to effectively publish, manage and promote your content.

Blog Templates

Just like SITE123 has a separate category of eCommerce template, it also offers a standalone collection of blog designs. They are customizable, letting bloggers adjust layouts, colors, fonts and other design elements to match their personal or brand requirements. This eventually ensures that each blog can have a unique and personalized look that stands out.

Commenting System

SITE123’s commenting system fosters a sense of community and interaction, letting blog owners gather feedback and engage in discussions with their audience. The system also includes moderation tools, giving you complete control over comment display options. This ensures that your conversation remains relevant.

Social Media Integration

SITE123 offers seamless social media integration, making it easy to share your blog posts across various social networks. You can link your blog to your social media profiles, enabling automatic post sharing when you publish new content. This integration not only saves time but also maximizes your content’s exposure, driving more traffic to your blog from your social media audience.

SEO Capabilities

SITE123 SEO

SITE123 offers basic SEO tools which are present in almost all website builders’ plans. The available features include:

  • Adding meta title and description.
  • Customizable URLs.
  • Editing alt text to images.

And that’s all.

The SEO Advisor tool, designed to help beginners fix major SEO issues, is available only for the highest-priced Gold and Platinum plans. Other than this, no support with which keywords to use or any other SEO-specific apps are offered. So, to get the best of your site’s search engine optimization, you must either have SEO knowledge or pay $34.80 to $37.50 per month to get the Advisor tool.

Migration and Export Options

SITE123 provides streamlined options for both incoming and outgoing migrations, as well as data export, ensuring that the process is as smooth and hassle-free as possible.

Migrating to SITE123

SITE123 offers tools and support to help you migrate your content. While the website builder might not support direct content importing from all platforms, the team is available to assist you through the process. This includes transferring key elements of your site such as text content, images etc. However, it’s important to note that some features or designs from your original website might need to be recreated or adapted within SITE123’s framework.

Migrating from SITE123

While SITE123 does not offer a one-click migration tool, you can easily export your text content and images. For more complex features like databases or specific site functionalities, you may need to consult with the new platform’s support team or use a web development service to ensure a smooth transition.

Data Export Options

SITE123 provides options for exporting your website data, which is particularly useful for backing up your content or if you plan to transition to a different platform. You can export textual content and images directly from your SITE123 dashboard. However, for more comprehensive data needs like full site backup or database export, it may be necessary to manually compile the data or seek assistance from the SITE123 support team.

If you cannot cope with your website migration for some reason, you can always hire an expert to do that for you. This will certainly help save your effort and time.

How Much Does SITE123 Cost?

The first alarming thing about SITE123 is its misleading pricing model. Unless you have signed up, you are introduced to only two plans – Free and Premium, neither of which is included in the pricing list after you create an account. Hence, if a potential user wants to check out SITE123 pricing, they will be misled to think two plans are available, only to find out later that five tiers are suggested, with none corresponding to the advertised ones.

SITE123 introduces a free plan with 250 MB storage, 250 MB bandwidth, and a subdomain. The presence of a lifetime free plan looks pretty attractive, though it appears useless in the long run. The provided 250 MB storage is too small to post videos or high-resolution images on the site, while the bandwidth strictly limits content and traffic.

What’s more, your site is going to be stamped with SITE123 branding on the footer of all the pages and subdomains. Obviously, such a site looks cheap and can’t be taken seriously.

As for paid plans, SITE123 offers four time periods for its premium tiers, including three-month, annual, two-year, and three-year plans. As you see, you have no option to go on a monthly basis, and you are simply forced to choose between three to 36-month leasing periods.

Basic
Advanced
Professional
Gold
Platinum
$12.80/mo billed annually
$19.80/mo billed annually
$28.80/mo billed annually
$34.80/mo billed annually
$75/mo billed annually
  • 10GB of disk storage space,
  • 5GB of bandwidth,
  • free domain for 1 year,
  • no SITE123 floating tag,
  • domain name connection,
  • 100 mailing list messages etc.
  • 30GB of disk space,
  • 15GB of bandwidth,
  • sell up to 50 products/mo,
  • 1000 mailing list messages,
  • eCommerce,
  • 50 orders per month,
  • 2 mailboxes,
  • 1 additional language etc.
  • 90GB of disk storage space,
  • 45GB of bandwidth,
  • 500 products for sale/mo,
  • 2500 mailing list messages,
  • 5 mailboxes,
  • 3 additional languages etc.
  • 270GB of disk storage space,
  • 135GB of bandwidth,
  • unlimited orders/products for sale,
  • 10 mailboxes,
  • 5 additional languages etc.
  • Free Domain for 1 year,
  • 100GB Storage,
  • 00GB Bandwidth,
  • 50,000 Mailing List Messages
  • 25 Mailboxes
  • Unlimited Languages
  • Store

The longer plan you purchase, the cheaper your monthly bill turns out. But can you trust a new site-building solution so much as to rely on it for years ahead?!

At first sight, SITE123 plans are reasonably priced. At only $12.80/mo, you can purchase the Basic plan for 12 months. With this tier, you will be provided with a free domain for one year, 10GB storage, 5GB bandwidth, the option to connect your domain, and the possibility to run your site with no SITE123 floating tag. However, this plan is sufficient for running a small online store or a personal site.

Additionally, email limits are rather low. The introductory plan doesn’t include mailboxes, while the Advanced plan offers two mailboxes. Moreover, the Platinum plan, which is the highest-priced one, contains only 25 mailboxes. If you are running a site at $75 per month, you may probably need more mailboxes.

Despite the suggested 14-day money-back guarantee, the cancellation process is not automated. You must complete the online form and state why you want to end the subscription. The company will proceed with the request within three business days and inform you about their decision.

Therefore, if you still want to try SITE123 and find out it doesn’t really suit you, it’s better to cancel the subscription within ten days after the purchase since it takes up to 72 hours to review your request. Consider taking a screenshot of the date and documents as proof to avoid possible future inconveniences.

Is SITE123 a Good Website Builder?

A relatively young company, SITE123 sells itself on its simplicity. It is really as easy as 1, 2, and 3 to build a website and get it up and running. On the other hand, the same simplicity is one of its most impassable downsides. Users can’t add any external HTML code to their site, drastically limiting customization possibilities.

Accordingly, you have to rely entirely on SITE123’s themes and the available design elements (adding through a plugin or widget is also an option). Note that whatever theme you choose, you can’t change it after the site goes live.

Furthermore, SITE123 websites are limited in terms of structure, as well. Indeed, you can set up a website with a one-page layout, and your website menu tabs can scroll down to the necessary section of the page or open up a new one. This is the maximum amount of complexity your website structure can have.

Are you a blogger? SITE123 has a decent selection of blog templates to start your blog with. And yet, your blog won’t have a comment feature, which will limit you from communicating with your audience. So, the key part of being a blogger is missing with SITE123.

And finally, SITE123 users have no backup and restore function that would let them revert back to an original version of their website if necessary.

So, if you still wonder if SITE123 is a recommended website builder, the answer will probably be “No.”

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