SiteBuilder.com Review 2018 – 7 Crucial Things You Need To Know

Last updated on December 11, 2018
SiteBuilder.com review

SiteBuilder.com Review Highlights

Easy drag-and-drop website builder – publish a site today without writing code

Huge choice of  templates
all mobile-friendly, covering hundreds of industries

Limited advanced customization

SiteBuilder.com review

Rating

Powering
User numbers unknown

Starting from
$3.84/month

No Trial
Yes

Review by
Last Updated on December 11, 2018

Easy to use, but a very limiting website builder.

SiteBuilder is an easy to use website builder which falls down due to its limited features and design. To build a stunning, interactive site or scalable store, it’s worth looking elsewhere.

In this review, we’ll look at whether SiteBuilder is the right choice for you.

1

What are the Pros and Cons of SiteBuilder?

TOP 3 SITEBUILDER PROS
#1 Easy to use
#2 Quick to build a simple website
#3 Basic ecommerce functions on highest plan
TOP 3 SITEBUILDER CONS
#1 Low quality features
#2 No SSL certificate
#3 Outdated and inflexible templates
#4 Expensive pro plans
2

Overview of SiteBuilder

SiteBuilder’s drag-and-drop editor will get your basic website out of the blocks fast. – but creating very basic sites is really all it’s suitable for. If you want anything more, SiteBuilder won’t be powerful enough for you.

Here at Website Builder Expert, we want to give you the best and most accurate information we can. That’s why we spend hours researching every single builder we review.

SiteBuilder scored well for its ease of use, but struggled to keep up with its competitors in all other areas, including features and value for money. As a result, it came in as the lowest scoring website builder, achieving only 3.6 stars out of five.

So why did it score so poorly? We look at all kinds of factors in our research, from value for money to customer support; SiteBuilder covers the basics, but it lacks the high quality features and design customizability that enable it to support a more developed website.

In truth, there are other builders on the market which do a much better job.

While SiteBuilder’s simplicity may be fine for you right now, it just doesn’t have the juice to power and scale your website in the long-term. It’s like relying on a scooter instead of the family car.

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. Website builders like Wix will always keep up with your ambitions. SiteBuilder won’t.

In our in-depth SiteBuilder review, we’ll explain why.

3.6 out of 5

Ease of Use

4.5 out of 5 stars

Value for Money

2 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

2.5 out of 5 stars

Features

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

3.5 out of 5 stars

Read on to discover why SiteBuilder is ideal for beginners, but may not be ideal for you.

3

How 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 the website builder scored 4.3 stars out of five in our ease of use testing. This score reflects how SiteBuilder delivers in the early stages of website building. But, the more our users wanted to customize their pages, the more frustrated they grew with its restrictions.

SiteBuilder supports Social Login, which means you can sign up with just one click using your Google or Facebook account. This saves a surprising amount of time and hassle!

Then it’s straight down to business. You must pick a domain (for example, www.mybeautifulwebsite.com), choose your plan, and enter your payment details. Pay up front whether you choose a monthly, yearly or two year plan. Once you’ve confirmed your purchase, you can get building!

The editor kicks off with a brief ‘guided tour’. Staring at a blank screen or an uncustomized template can be intimidating, so the tour helps to get you started.

sitebuilder guided tour
SiteBuilder’s guided tour introduces all the editor’s tools and helps you get started

Basic template tweaks: very easy

SiteBuilder has pre-filled templates for you to edit. This guides your design, gives you a layout to work with, and makes it easy to visualize how your site will look once it’s live.

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 a straightforward editor that doesn’t require any coding knowledge.

Adding photos is a breeze, as long as you upload them from your computer or use SiteBuilder’s large library of free stock images.

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 photo editor
Crop, enhance and customize your photos using SiteBuilder’s free 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.

sitebuilder sections layout
It's easy to add sections to pages - but they have to be laid out one after the other

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.

This 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 going to want to move pictures around your house – not just around the same wall!

For an easier building experience, try Wix. It’s a simple drag-and-drop builder and has much more advanced customization tools, meaning you can create a professional looking site in a few hours.

If you’re after speed as well as a headache-free builder, check out Wix ADI or GoDaddy. These both use Artificial Design Intelligence to create a website for you.

All you do is enter information about the website you want to create, and the builder uses these details to create a personalized website for you. It takes minutes (at most!) and is the most effortless way of building a website.

Unlike SiteBuilder, GoDaddy offers a free trial and Wix lets you build for free, so you can have a play around to see which one you like the most.

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 Wix.

Customer Satisfaction

While SiteBuilder scored just over four stars for its ease of use, it didn’t get glowing marks for customer satisfaction. With only 3.6 stars out of five, it’s safe to say it didn’t blow any socks off.

Here’s what just a couple of our users thought about SiteBuilder:

 “First impressions were great, but as time went on, it became really frustrating.”

“Although it has certain features which are easy to build into your website, the negative is the inability to edit the style. Making a site your own is a real challenge.”

This highlights a really important point: just because a builder is easy to use, it doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable to use.

Yes, SiteBuilder makes it super simple to set up your site, which is great for beginners! But this simplicity holds you back when it comes to making it your own. Your website is your brand – you want it to be personal and unique.

It shouldn’t be a struggle to make your website look how you want it. It should be easy to edit and customize – and that’s where SiteBuilder falls down.

Further Information

4

How Good are SiteBuilder's Templates?

“SiteBuilder gets full marks for the sheer number of templates it offers, but loses points when it comes to their quality. Its templates lack the wow factor and sleek professionalism of Squarespace and Wix’s designs.”

Template numbers: hundreds, covering most industries

SiteBuilder has hundreds of website templates to choose from. They’re organized into categories, including Design & Creative, Professional Services, Weddings, Blogs and Online Store.

With such a wide range of industries covered, there really should be something for everyone!

sitebuilder templates
SiteBuilder offers hundreds of industry-specific templates, pre-filled with content

Template quality: simple but outdated

All SiteBuilder templates come loaded with industry-specific dummy pics and backgrounds, which you can keep if you want or replace with ease.

This means the template you choose is effectively a ready-made website in itself. The dummy content saves a lot of time when you just need to get a quick site online fast.

sitebuilder template example
SiteBuilder’s templates are full of industry-specific content that you can keep or edit

However, be careful when you’re choosing your template. You won’t be able to switch it once your site is live, meaning you’re committed to one design forever. This is a real shame, as it means you can’t develop the style of your brand as your site grows. No facelifts or makeovers allowed!

This would be okay if SiteBuilder’s templates were easily customizable. But the reality is, your website’s design is extremely reliant on your chosen template. This is great if you want a very hands-off approach to the look of your site, because it’s already formatted for you. But it’s not so appealing if you want control over the aesthetics of your site.

If you want a builder with more freedom, Weebly and Squarespace both allow you to change your template. Squarespace has the best quality and flexibility, while Weebly has more structure to guide your design.

This is another instance where SiteBuilder falls down next to its competitors. When compared to Squarespace, for example, SiteBuilder’s templates look outdated and old fashioned. They’re blown out the water by Squarespace’s sleek and modern designs.

Other website builders employ huge design teams to produce the world’s best templates and most innovative site features. SiteBuilder simply hasn’t invested the same amount of time or effort into its templates, meaning it’s not at the forefront of new developments like Wix and Squarespace are.

SiteBuilder’s templates are clean and clear, but lack the high-end designer quality of Squarespace and the versatility of Wix. They do cover a great range of industries and uses, and make it easy to set up your site. But ultimately, these templates limit your customization far too much to create anything other than basic designs.  

Further Information

5

How 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 to mailing list buttons, live social feeds, and video and music players.

Unfortunately, these features lack the power and quality to really develop or scale your website. They’re extremely limited compared with those you get from other website builders like Wix.

For example, SiteBuilder doesn’t provide bookings, calendars, site search function, or an email marketing feature, and doesn’t have a members only area either. What’s more, it only offers 50MB to 10GB storage, whereas Wix offers 500MB to 50GB.

SiteBuilder’s 50MB just isn’t enough storage to give your website the best start. It’s a tiny amount, and you’ll outgrow it in a flash. 10GB might be okay for a while, but isn’t enough long term. You want to be aiming for growth, not putting the brakes on because you’re worried you don’t have enough storage.

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 a 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!

sitebuilder extra features
SiteBuilder's free extra features lack power and variety

It’s not all bad though. You get a free domain for the first year, after which it renews at the regular price. This can be anywhere between $9.98 and $442.80 depending on the level and length of your plan, so it’s worth checking in advance.

You get sales features on the highest eCommerce plan, so you can sell products through your website. These features include creating discount codes, shipping management tools, and applying product variations such as size and color.

However, SiteBuilder’s eCommerce plan is only suitable if you only want to sell a few items.

It just doesn’t have the range or depth of features to support anything more than a very basic store. There’s not much in the way of analytics features, you can’t customize your product page, and there’s no abandoned cart recovery to catch customers who have exited the checkout early.

If you want a website builder which gives you better ecommerce functionality, try Wix. It has better quality sales tools, while still giving you lots of creative control. If you’re really serious about ecommerce, check out Shopify – it’s perfect for everything from self-starters up to advanced stores.

Third-party apps: not enough

In addition to its built-in features, SiteBuilder also has an App Market.

The best thing about SiteBuilder’s App Market is how easy it is to add these apps to your site. From images to social media, you can integrate SiteBuilder’s apps without any fuss.

However, SiteBuilder doesn’t have the same range found in the Wix App Market or Weebly App Center. These 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, and Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa. But that’s about it.

SiteBuilder doesn’t have enough features and third-party apps to make your website stand out from the crowd.  

Further Information

6

How Good is SiteBuilder's Help and Support?

“SiteBuilder has a decent FAQ section – but that’s as good as its help resources get. Its knowledge base 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 encounter some problems along the way – you’ll find the Help button isn’t detailed enough to support or inspire you.

SiteBuilder’s knowledge base 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.

While the knowledge base is searchable, you probably won’t get many results. We searched for ‘mobile’ and got five results, none of which were about the mobile editor. Then we tried ‘guarantee’, hoping for info about a money-back trial period – and got no results at all.

sitebuilder help center
SiteBuilder’s knowledge base lacks depth and detail, and its search tool is poor

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 knowledge base.

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.

sitebuilder live chat
Need instant one-on-one help? SiteBuilder’s live chat isn’t up to the job

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 knowledge base. Other times, the advice we were given didn’t even answer our question. This didn’t exactly inspire a lot of trust!

Luckily for us, we didn’t actually need help. But when you do, you’re going to 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.

7

SiteBuilder Pricing - is it Good Value for Money?

“SiteBuilder’s plans don’t offer long-term value. They seem cheap at first glance, but don’t be fooled by sales promos. The truth is they’re overpriced for what you get.”

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!

sitebuilder pricing
SiteBuilder’s premium plans are currently half price, but remember to always read the small print

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 in the long term.

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%)

All three premium plans include…

  • Drag-and-drop website builder
  • Free hosting
  • Customizable(ish) templates
  • Free domain name for one year ($16 to keep if you leave SiteBuilder)
  • Hundreds of templates
  • No SiteBuilder ads
  • Site submission to Google and other search engines
  • Ad credits
  • Priority support (Premium plan and up)

This is a decent range of features, but you only get one or two extras as you move up through the plans. First you unlock priority support on the Premium plan, then sales features on the eCommerce plan. That’s not enough to scale your website!

SiteBuilder used to offer a free plan, but have since cancelled it. This has massively affected its value for money when compared to its competitors.

Just look at Wix, Weebly, SITE123, Strikingly – they all let you build your site for free, for as long as you want. Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan, but comes jam packed with impressive and high quality features to justify its prices.

SiteBuilder does offer a 14-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out. But it’s still more of a commitment than Wix or Squarespace’s free trial, where you don’t have to enter any card details to sign up.

Basically, you get less bang for your buck with SiteBuilder than with other website builders. If you’re paying $143.76 a year for the Premium plan, you deserve more than what SiteBuilder gives you.

To find out which platforms offer best value for money, check out our website builders comparison chart. If you want to build an online store, see our ecommerce comparison chart. Looking for a free plan? Read our review of the Best Free Website Builders to make sure you pick the right one for you!

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.

Further Information

SiteBuilder Review Summary

We quite liked SiteBuilder… for the first half hour we spent using it.

There’s no learning curve, no jargon about hosting and domains, and no tricky technical tasks when setting up your website.

You’re straight down to business, with a ton of templates to choose from and a guided tour of the drag-and-drop editor. Very basic tweaks are (somewhat) easy.

But you don’t want just basic tweaks. You want to build a beautiful, interactive website that you can expand over time – without it costing the earth.

SiteBuilder can’t provide quality features or sleek designs. You’ll struggle to personalize your template to make your website look exactly how you want it. And for the long-term price you’d be paying, that’s just not good enough.

If you want a unique website which gives visitors a high quality experience and has potential to grow, SiteBuilder is not the right choice for you.

Like every builder, SiteBuilder has its own pros and cons. It isn’t a bad product – after all, it scored well for ease of use and is beginner-friendly. You just need to choose what you use it for carefully. We’d only recommend it for very basic sites, or for short-term web projects.

SiteBuilder’s suspect prices, poor support resources, and lack of features make us reluctant to recommend it for long-term use.

Ultimately, SiteBuilder is a somewhat outdated builder which isn’t taking the same steps as its competitors to keep up with advances in the industry. It feels a little left behind and, well, basic.

If SiteBuilder isn’t trying to improve or compete with leading brands such as Wix, then how can you expect to keep up with your own competitors?

SiteBuilder: the FAQs

Can I use SiteBuilder for my business website?

We wouldn’t recommend SiteBuilder for your business website. This is because it’s really only suitable for creating very basic websites, and doesn’t have the features to support your business growth.

The limited customization of SiteBuilder’s templates means you would struggle to create a strong or unique brand for your website.

Lastly, you would not find good value for money in SIteBuilder’s price plans. For long-term success, we would recommend a more developed and up to date builder.

Check out our comparison review of the Best Small Business Website Builders to find out the top three choices.

If you want to sell online, take a look at our Ecommerce Comparison Chart to find your perfect match today.

Is SiteBuilder free?

Unfortunately not! SiteBuilder used to offer a free plan, but no longer provides this. You can now choose from three premium plans: the Pro plan at $7.68 per month, the Premium plan at $11.98 per month, and the eCommerce plan at $18.45 per month.

There is a 14-day money back guarantee, so you can try it without committing straight away.

There’s usually a 50% sale on, but these promo prices only apply to your first term, so always keep future costs in mind! The truth is, without its free plan, SiteBuilder offers poor value for money.

Check out our Best Free Website Builders Review to find the right free builder for you. Or see our list of the Cheapest Website Builders to compare low prices.

Is SiteBuilder any good?

SiteBuilder has its own strengths and weaknesses. It’s very easy to use, making it a beginner-friendly website builder. It’s good for building very basic websites quickly and easily.

But apart from that, it struggles to compete with better builders such as Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. It doesn’t have the features, quality designs, or customization to make building a website enjoyable in the long run. That’s why it came last in our research, receiving the lowest scores of any website builder.

After a few hours, our users became frustrated with SiteBuilder’s extreme limitations.

Want to find something better? Wix is the best all-round website builder on the market, and came top in our research. You can read why we recommend it so highly in our full Wix Review.

Or head over to our Website Builder Comparison Chart to see how each builder performs side by side. See star ratings, prices, and features, read reviews, and choose for yourself! You’re sure to find the best builder for you.

More Information

If SiteBuilder isn’t for you, check out our Website Builder Comparison Chart. See star ratings, features, prices, and more side by side to easily find the perfect builder for you.

Want to sell online? We don’t recommend SiteBuilder for ecommerce, and would instead recommend a platform like Shopify or BigCommerce. See our Ecommerce Comparison Chart for a side by side look at the leading Ecommerce builders and kick-start your online store.

Other website builders to try

Other useful reviews to read

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Lucy Carney

About Lucy Carney

You’re not alone! Building a website can be scary, especially if you’re like me with no previous coding experience. With the help of our experts I’m here as a friendly voice to help guide you into the exciting world of website building. If I can do it, so can you!

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Lucy Carney

About Lucy Carney

You’re not alone! Building a website can be scary, especially if you’re like me with no previous coding experience. With the help of our experts I’m here as a friendly voice to help guide you into the exciting world of website building. If I can do it, so can you!

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4 Responses to SiteBuilder.com Review 2018 – 7 Crucial Things You Need To Know

  1. #

    Jane,
    Sitebuilder is a major scam artist. I have been trying to get unhooked from them for two years. They keep charging me more than $100 a year after using a switch and bait tactic, and threatened to take down my site if I didn’t pony up to the incredible new fee they were charging.

    I was recently contacted by them when I canceled my card, and they refuse to cancel my contract, using all kinds of excuses. And this in spite of a multitude of emails telling them to cancel my contract.

    My only recourse was indeed to cancel my card. They are not worth dealing with at all!

    • Charlie Carmichael
      #

      Hi Victoria,

      Sorry to hear you’ve been having problems with SiteBuilder. I’m afraid without knowing the full details we can’t comment! If you’re looking for an alternative solution, though, why not check out our website builder comparison chart here for other options.

      Best of luck,

      Charlie

  2. #

    Thanks for your useful article

  3. #

    SiteBuilder.com no longer offers the free “Starter” plan, only the Pro, Premium and Commerce plans, none of which are free.