SiteBuilder.com Review Highlights
Easy drag-and-drop website builder – publish a site today without writing code
Huge choice of modern templates –
all mobile-friendly, covering hundreds of industries
Limited advanced customization –
and no ecommerce on the free plan
User numbers unknown
“SiteBuilder’s drag-and-drop editor will get your basic website out of the blocks fast. But if you want build a stunning, interactive site or scalable store, SiteBuilder won’t be powerful enough for you.”
SiteBuilder.com has all you need to build a really simple website. It…
- Takes you less than an hour to publish
- Requires no coding knowledge at all
- Comes with free images and backgrounds
- Needn’t cost a cent!
So why have we given it under three stars out of five? Well, it’s a very limited website builder – especially on the free plan.
SiteBuilder (we’ll drop the ‘.com’ from now on) covers the basics well. That may be fine for you right now. But building your website isn’t a one-off project. It’s just the beginning.
As your web presence grows, you’ll need your website builder to keep up with you.
Our top-rated website builder, Wix, constantly develops new ways to help and inspire you. Wix will always keep up with your ambitions. SiteBuilder won’t.
In our in-depth SiteBuilder review, we’ll explain why. We’ve looked at all the factors that matter when choosing a website builder – including templates, customization tools, ecommerce support, and value for money.
Read on to discover why SiteBuilder is ideal for beginners, but may not be ideal for you.
SiteBuilder.com review contents
Click to jump to a section…
- SiteBuilder review in brief – what are the top 3 pros and cons?
- Is SiteBuilder right or wrong for you?
- How easy is SiteBuilder to use?
- How good are SiteBuilder’s templates?
- How good are SiteBuilder’s extra website features?
- How good is SiteBuilder’s help and support?
- SiteBuilder cost – is a premium plan worth the investment?
- SiteBuilder review summary – should you use it to build your website?
1SITEBUILDER REVIEW IN BRIEF – WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 PROS AND CONS?
|TOP 3 SITEBUILDER PROS|
|#1||Quick and easy to get started
If you need to build a simple site without writing any code, SiteBuilder is great – at first, anyway.
Its drag-and-drop editor loads fast, and has a friendly tour to get you started.
Sadly, SiteBuilder stops being so easy when you want to get creative with your website. Find out why in the section on ease of use.
|#2||Hundreds of mobile-friendly templates
SiteBuilder has a ton of clean, crisp templates that cover hundreds of industries. And if you upgrade to a paid SiteBuilder plan, you’ll get hundreds more templates.
All the templates are mobile-friendly and come loaded with free images. Your site can be up and running in minutes.
Sadly we can’t link to SiteBuilder’s templates, because you have to log in to see them. But we’ve got a few screenshots in the section on templates.
|#3||Built-in photo editor
SiteBuilder’s built-in photo editor is powered by Adobe, creator of the pricey program Photoshop – but its editor for SiteBuilder is completely free to use.
This excellent tool saves you the hassle and expense of fixing your snaps using separate software. It’s integrated with the template editor for quick, easy results.
We’ll have more on SiteBuilder’s photo editor here.
|TOP 3 SITEBUILDER CONS|
Building a site with SiteBuilder is like building a playhouse out of cinder blocks. Four walls, maybe even a little window – sure! A roof and some furniture? No way.
SiteBuilder loses the plot as soon as you want to get creative with your pages. To find out why, see the section on customization.
|#2||Hardly any extra site features
You can add basic stuff like social share buttons, About Us pages, contact forms and video players to your SiteBuilder pages.
But these extras are very limited (for example the video player is just an embedded YouTube or Vimeo link). There are hardly any add-on apps, either.
For more on this, see the section on extra website features.
|#3||Overpriced Sitebuilder pro plans
SiteBuilder’s free plan is pretty limited, so you might be tempted to upgrade. But only upgrade if you want a temporary site.
Right now there’s a 50% discount on all SiteBuilder premium plans. But after your first billing cycle you’ll have to pay full price – which is poor value for money if you compare SiteBuilder vs Wix, Weebly and Squarespace.
For the full lowdown on what you get (and don’t get!) on SiteBuilder’s premium plans, see the section on pricing.
2IS SITEBUILDER RIGHT OR WRONG FOR YOU?
“SiteBuilder may be worth a shot if you’ve never built a website before – and only want a quick, non-ecommerce site with no advanced features.”
SiteBuilder is right for: beginners and simple sites
SiteBuilder’s templates aren’t aimed at any particular kind of user. They’re pre-filled with content to cover a huge range of industries, including…
- Small businesses
- Cafes and restaurants
- Interior designers
There are also templates to fit all kind of project, such as…
- Food blogs
- Charity fundraising
- Photography portfolios
- Wedding websites
This gets you off to a great start – and ensures no-one feels left out!
You’ll also feel right at home in SiteBuilder’s template editor, even if you’ve never built a web page before. The editor loads fast and is easy to use, as we’ll discover in the next section.
SiteBuilder is wrong for: growing websites
First off, SiteBuilder’s free plan only includes 50MB of storage space for all your site’s content. That’s less than one minute of standard-definition video. It’s nothing.
And it’s 10 times less space than you get with Wix’s free plan.
Then there’s ecommerce – or lack of it. You can’t sell through your SiteBuilder site unless you upgrade to its most expensive plan.
Who owns SiteBuilder – and why does it matter for you?
There is a ‘What is SiteBuilder all about?’ page, but it reveals nothing about the company or its users.
Should you care? Heck yes!
You’re choosing a platform for your web presence. You want to know its other users like it. And you don’t want the company to go down any time soon.
So we did some digging. SiteBuilder is part of the Endurance group, which “soon” plans to move SiteBuilder users’ websites to hosting service Sitelio (also owned by Endurance). We contacted Endurance for clarification, and for info about user numbers, but didn’t hear back.
That doesn’t fill us with confidence. And it might make you think twice before paying for a premium SiteBuilder plan.
SiteBuilder is fine for getting a site up and running fast. But if you want a website builder that’s worth sticking with in the long-term, and will help you create and maintain a stunning web presence, use Wix or Weebly instead.
3HOW EASY IS SITEBUILDER TO USE?
“SiteBuilder’s template editor uses drag-and-drop and WYSIWYG (‘what you see is what you get’) to help you build a simple site without knowing a single line of code.”
Getting started: quick and easy
Ease of use is SiteBuilder’s number one priority. And in the early stages, it delivers on that.
You don’t have to enter any payment details, or even your name. SiteBuilder supports Social Login, which means you can sign up with one click using your Google or Facebook account. That saves a surprising amount of time and hassle!
Then it’s straight down to business. Just choose a template, then the editor opens right away. It’s fast, uncluttered, and welcoming.
The editor kicks off with a brief ‘guided tour’. Staring at a blank screen or even an uncustomized template can be intimidating, so the tour helps to get you started.
Basic template tweaks: very easy
SiteBuilder’s drag-and-drop controls give you easy control over basic template tweaks.
It’s not the ‘pure drag and drop’ of Wix – you can’t move anything anywhere – but you do get much more freedom to move things around than in Squarespace.
Adding photos is a breeze, as long as you upload them from your computer or use SiteBuilder’s large library of free stock images. Facebook import only seems to work if you’re running a Facebook Page.
All your uploaded snaps are stored in your SiteBuilder file manager, which means you won’t have to upload the same photo twice.
And to save you the hassle of using separate software, SiteBuilder has a free, easy-to-use, built-in photo editor.
SiteBuilder’s photo editor is powered by Photoshop’s creator Adobe, but it’s much simpler than Photoshop.
It offers an easy toolbar of options for decorating your pics with text, doodles and fun stickers, as well as cropping and enhancing your photos.
Some other website builders have integrated photo editors too (including Wix), but SiteBuilder’s is particularly easy to use. Credit where it’s due!
Deeper customization: frustrating
It’s easy enough to add pages, sections, and extra features to your SiteBuilder site by dragging them onto the template.
The trouble comes when you want to customize and rearrange them.
Sections have to be arranged one after the other, and can’t be laid out next to each other instead. This really reduces your layout choices.
What’s more, you can’t move features and sections between pages. For example if you have a customized map on your homepage, you can’t move it to a new page later on.
That limits your freedom to expand and improve your site over time.
To use an analogy, imagine you’re hanging pictures in your new home. In time, you’re gonna want to move pictures around your house – not just around the same wall!
SiteBuilder is as easy as Wix and Weebly at the very beginning, but it gets harder the more you use it! If you want a site that’s super-easy to manage as it grows, you’d be better off with Weebly.
4HOW GOOD ARE SITEBUILDER’S TEMPLATES?
“SiteBuilder’s templates get full marks for quantity, and good marks for quality – but they lack the wow factor of Squarespace and Wix.”
Template numbers: hundreds, covering most industries
SiteBuilder has “hundreds” of website templates to choose from, rising to “1,000s” if you upgrade to a premium plan. Either way, it’s a lot!
They’re organized into about 20 categories such as ‘Design & Creative’, Professional Services, Weddings, Blogs and Online Store.
Template quality: clean and modern
SiteBuilder’s templates are pretty good. They look modern and uncluttered, and they all boast today’s web design must-haves.
For example they have big background images and optional parallax scrolling (a 3D animated effect).
OK, they’re not up to Wix and Squarespace standard. Especially not Squarespace (Squarespace’s templates are magnificent!)
But those two website builders employ huge design teams to produce the world’s best templates and most innovative site features. SiteBuilder doesn’t even have enough designers to produce a decent About Us page. So its templates are surprisingly good.
All SiteBuilder’s templates come loaded with industry-specific dummy pics and backgrounds that you can keep if you want, or replace easily.
That means they’re effectively ready-made websites. The dummy content saves a lot of time when you just need to get a quick site online fast.
Whatever SiteBuilder template you go for, bear in mind that you can’t change your mind later. Like Wix and Weebly, SiteBuilder doesn’t let you switch templates without losing your content and customizations.
If you do want the option to switch templates later, Squarespace may be a better choice of website builder for you.
SiteBuilder’s templates lack the high-end designer quality of Squarespace and the versatility of Wix. But they do cover a great range of industries and uses, and they come packed with content you can keep.
5HOW GOOD WILL YOUR SITEBUILDER SITE LOOK ON MOBILE SCREENS?
“SiteBuilder lets you edit a completely separate mobile version of your site – and gives you a mobile preview before you even choose a template.”
Mobile preview: great
As you know, it’s vital that your site looks and works great on mobile devices these days. It’s an important factor when choosing a template.
SiteBuilder helps you out by including a mobile preview mode for every template.
The previews are interactive, so you can scroll and click to test how menus and other features work on different size screens.
Most website builders make you wait until you’ve loaded a template in the editor before you get a mobile preview. So this is a real plus for SiteBuilder.
Mobile customization: easy separate editor
Like Wix, SiteBuilder automatically creates a mobile-friendly version of your site that you can edit separately.
You can switch to a separate editor then customize the mobile version of your site – without affecting the desktop version.
For example you could add a Call button to the mobile version, and remove homepage elements that work great on desktop but not on touchscreens.
6HOW GOOD ARE SITEBUILDER’S EXTRA WEBSITE FEATURES?
“SiteBuilder’s extra features are very basic. If you want to offer your visitors more advanced functions, SiteBuilder’s tools and apps won’t be able to deliver them.”
Built-in website features: limited
SiteBuilder offers dozens of free extra features, from simple contact forms and mailing list buttons, to live social feeds and, as mentioned, video and music players.
Unfortunately, these features lack power compared with similar extra you get from other website builders – especially the media features.
You can’t even add photo slideshows to your SiteBuilder site. Slideshows have become an essential online feature for many sites, from small businesses to weddings.
What’s more, you can’t upload your own videos. SiteBuilder only lets you add video by embedding a link to YouTube or Vimeo. And to add music, you have to use SoundCloud.
So if you want to bring your SiteBuilder site to life with multimedia, you’d better start building a YouTube, Vimeo or SoundCloud channel first!
As we’ve mentioned, some features are locked on the free plan. The Store features, for example, require a SiteBuilder eCommerce plan – which isn’t good value in the long term, as well see in the section on pricing.
Wix, our highest-rated website builder, constantly rolls out clever new site features and tools. Recently it’s added an automated customization platform (Wix Code), and artificial intelligence that can build a site for you (Wix ADI).
SiteBuilder is a much smaller company and can’t compete with Wix. And that means your site won’t be able to keep up with your competitors, either.
Third-party apps: not enough
SiteBuilder does have an App Market, for what it’s worth. We can’t link to it from here, because – as with the templates library – you have to log in to see it. (The best we can do is link you to this App Market page of the SiteBuilder Help Center.)
Wix and Weebly’s app markets offer hundreds of third-party add-ons that let your visitors do even more with your website. SiteBuilder’s App Market, by contrast, merely lets you integrate a small number of tools.
You can add the social feed tool My Social Suite, the security tool SiteLock (upgrade needed), and Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa. But that’s about it.
To test SiteBuilder’s App Market, we searched for one of the commonest types of website builder app: ‘form’. Wix, Weebly and Squarespace have dozens of advanced add-ons for building custom forms that are interactive, powerful, and intelligent.
SiteBuilder doesn’t have a single one.
SEO (search engine optimization) tools: limited on free plan
SiteBuilder offers basic SEO (search engine optimization) tools to help push your site up Google’s rankings and help visitors find you.
For example you can add keywords to specific pages, and add metadata (behind-the-scenes information) to help Google identify and rank your content.
But to get the best SiteBuilder SEO tools, you’ll need to upgrade. For example SiteBuilder will only send details of your site to Google if you’re on a premium plan. Wix does this for free.
An upgrade also buys you additional SiteBuilder SEO tools such as Keyword Density (a tool that reviews the keywords used on your site), a site map to help Google discover your pages, and an SEO ebook.
SiteBuilder doesn’t have enough features and third-party apps to make your website stand out from the crowd – and its free SEO (search engine optimization) tools aren’t quite enough to help you win visitors, either.
Build a website for free with SiteBuilder
7HOW GOOD IS SITEBUILDER’S HELP AND SUPPORT?
“SiteBuilder has a decent FAQ – but that’s as good as its help resources get. Its knowledgebase articles are poor, and its live chat is dismal.”
Help center: lacks detail and organization
As mentioned earlier, SiteBuilder puts you at ease right away with a clear, friendly guided tour of its template editor.
But once you get stuck into building and growing your site – and get stuck along the way – you’ll find the Help button isn’t detailed enough to help or inspire you.
SiteBuilder’s help center (which it also calls its ‘knowledge base’) It does have a decent one-page SiteBuilder FAQ, but the how-to articles are too brief – and there aren’t enough of them. They also fail to anticipate the kind of problems you might encounter when building your site.
At least the help center is searchable. But you may not get many results. We searched for ‘mobile’ and got five results, none of which was about the mobile editor. Then we tried ‘guarantee’, hoping for info about a money-back trial period – and got no results at all.
Help centers tend to be the first place you look when you need help with your website builder. They’re also a good indication of a service’s all-round quality. For example the Wix Help Center is enormous, brimming with articles and videos that are as entertaining as they are helpful and informative. SiteBuilder’s is not.
One-on-one help: slow and vague
When you get stuck, you want one-on-one help – especially if you can’t find the answers you need from the help center.
So it’s great to see that SiteBuilder has free 24/7 live chat (plus phone support in the US). But it’s not live chat as you know it from other web tools.
Instead of a friendly “How can we help you today?” chat bubble, you have to fill out a form with your name and email address. Then you wait.
A support team member did eventually pop up to chat to us, but their answer was slow and vague. It felt as if they were copying answers from the help center.
Luckily for us, we didn’t need help. But when you do, you’re gonna want much better support than this.
Live chat and phone support are useful to have, but only if they’re actually helpful – and SiteBuilder’s support resources are not. Once again, SiteBuilder fails you when you move beyond the basics.
8SITEBUILDER COST – IS A PREMIUM PLAN WORTH THE INVESTMENT?
“It’s great that SiteBuilder has a free plan. But it’s very limited, and after an introductory discount the premium plans aren’t good value for money.”
What do you get for free?
Here’s what SiteBuilder’s free plan includes…
- Drag-and-drop website builder
- Free hosting for one website
- Library of stock photos
- Customizable templates
The free plan is pretty limited. It embeds SiteBuilder branding on your site and in your URL (web address), and only gives you 50MB of storage space for all your site’s assets. It also denies access to many third-party apps, and doesn’t let you sell any products through your site.
What’s more, SiteBuilder’s free plan only lets you build one website. Wix and Weebly let you build unlimited numbers of sites for free.
So if you want to grow your SiteBuilder website, create multiple sites or sell online, you’ll need to upgrade to a premium plan.
SiteBuilder pro plans: overpriced
There are three SiteBuilder premium plans to choose from. All three currently have 50% off, which means they’re not bad value – but there are lots of catches!
The half-price offer only applies to your initial ‘payment term’ (month, year or two years). Then you’ll be automatically billed the full rate – as much as $442.80 for two years of SiteBuilder eCommerce.
Intro discounts are nice, but your website builder is a long-term relationship. Don’t be distracted by the 50% off deal. You need to budget for the long haul. And we don’t think SiteBuilder is worth it, long term.
Here are SiteBuilder’s regular rates. As with most other website builders, you save money overall by paying for a year or two up front.
|SiteBuilder plan||Pay monthly ($/mo)||Pay annually ($/mo)||Pay for 2 years ($/mo)|
|Pro||$9.98||$9.22 (save 7%)||$7.68 (save 23%)|
|Premium||$12.98||$12.29 (save 5%)||$11.98 (save 8%)|
|eCommerce||$24.98||$19.98 (save 20%)||$18.45 (save 25%)|
In addition to the features you get for free, all three premium plans include…
- Free domain name for one year ($16 to keep if you leave SiteBuilder)
- Advanced site stats and SEO (search engine optimization) tools
- Unlock all templates (‘1000s’)
- No SiteBuilder ads
- Site submission to Google and other search engines
- Ad credits
- Priority support (Premium plan and up)
So you do get a lot more on a paid plan, compared with the free plan. And there is a 14-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.
But you get less bang for your buck with SiteBuilder than with other website builders.
For example, you can’t sell anything at all through your SiteBuilder site unless you’re on the most expensive plan, which costs 20 bucks a month. The Wix eCommerce plan lets you sell unlimited products in a sophisticated online store – and fill it with fab sales and marketing apps – for $17/month.
SiteBuilder’s current 50% promo deal isn’t bad value. But at regular rates, its premium plans aren’t good value for money compared with other website builders.