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Site123 website builder review

Design a website quickly and easily

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(Image: © Site123)

Our Verdict

Site123 is an extremely simple website builder that’s great for anyone creating a website for the first time. There’s an online chat where you can ask questions, and you can use the free plan as long as you like. If you’re looking to get your feet wet in building your own site, Site123 is an easy place to start.

For

  • Clean interface
  • Easy to customize
  • Free option for an unlimited time

Against

  • No email in the free version
  • Templates are pretty simple

Site123 aims to provide one of the best website builder platforms to use. Once your blog is created, you have a handful of customization options to suit your website needs. Click on the Homepage section in the sidebar to see how you can modify the default layout. You could for instance add a search field to the middle of your home page, or a ‘contact’ form, or even a video.  

But the selection you’ll find in that section’s ‘Layouts’ menu are meagre, and the preview images, although welcome, are hard to discern properly, especially since many of them contain subtle alterations from one to the other. It’s often best to click on them and see what they look like as they’re implemented in the main preview section of the interface. As you explore, you’ll come across some features that are locked, like in the ‘Form’ menu for instance. These are only available if you upgrade your free account to a paid one.  

Pricing

Here's a snapshot of Site123's plans and pricing (Image credit: Site123)

Plans and pricing

Site123 has two main web hosting plans on their website. Plans come with a 14 day money-back guarantee, so you can easily test Site123 to see if it’s right for you. Here’s a quick overview of both main hosting plans:  

The Free plan comes with no charge for an unlimited time. This option comes with 500MB of storage, 1GB of bandwidth, and one subdomain. There’s no credit card required to sign up for the free plan. This plan works best for those just starting to build a website and is more for personal use (rather than larger businesses). 

The Premium plan is $12.80 per month. It includes your own domain name (for the first year), 10GB of storage space, 5GB of bandwidth, and you’ll have ecommerce capabilities. This plan is great for small business, entrepreneurs, and freelancers who want more storage space and enjoy having their own domain. 

Interface

Templates are easy to view on the website (Image credit: Site123)

Interface

The interface on most of the templates is easy to understand and you can customize the design. You can use the header menu to quickly get to the section you’re interested in (as you do, you get a nice fast scrolling effect until you reach the section), but although the customization invites complexity and numerous sections, we wouldn’t recommend you go too crazy, and limit your design to just a handful of them. While personalization is a good thing, having so many options can make it difficult to create a website quickly.  

Features

The blogging features and ecommerce option come in handy (Image credit: Site123)

Features

Looking at the blog options, the design will feel familiar to anyone who’s used a word processor. Click on the blog section’s ‘Manage Page’ to see all posts already created. You’ll see that a few are already there - examples to show you how the blog looks like and works. Click on them to edit them, or just get rid of them using ‘Delete’ from their ‘Manage’ options. To create a new one, click on ‘Add New Post’, and start typing. You can add images and videos, include tags and a featured image. It’s all pretty easy and straightforward, enabling you to get started in no time at all.

In terms of layout, we were unable to wrap text around an image. Sure we could format said image, change its size by dragging its edges, add a link to it, or a caption, but even choosing the ‘inline’ option wouldn’t make the text wrap around it. As it stands the image can only have text above and below it.

As mentioned earlier, you aren’t bound by your original website decision. Should you need to add more pages to your website, they’re only a few clicks away. To do this, go to the Sidebar’s ‘Pages’ section. You can include ‘Articles’ (which appear to be a blog in all but name), a ‘Testimonial’ page, a ‘Team’ page, a ‘Gallery’, and even a whole ‘e-Commerce’ section and an ‘App Market’ (among others).

Competition

Customization and ecommerce makes Site123 stand out among the competition (Image credit: Site123)

The competition

What stands out the most about Site123 is it’s ecommerce abilities. While there’s plenty of web builders out there with the ability to create your own store (like Jimdo, Fasthosts, and SimpleSite), not many web hosts have ecommerce options that are so flexible and easy to customize. 

The ecommerce features are extremely easy and straightforward to use. You can add new items, create new categories, highlight the fact some products are new or for sale, etc. The free version of the service only allows your customers to pay by bank transfer, cash on delivery, check, money order, in person or by phone. The more vital features for an online business, like PayPal, AmazonPay, or Stripe, amongst others, can only be accessed if you upgrade to a paid version of the service.

Final thoughts

Overall, Site123 is easy to use. Although somewhat limited, your customization options are clear and easy to implement. The main preview of your website as you create it and experiment works great, but the layout options don’t favor a complex site with too many sections. If your needs are simple, and want something that looks good with little effort, Site123 is worth using. 

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