2019 November 1st at 2:03
SITE123 is an all-inclusive website building and hosting service. It claims to be the 'most intuitive and easiest to use' website builder available today.
That's a bold claim - and one worth testing out. In this SITE123 review, I'll see if it's a website builder worth using. Let's have a look through the features of this website building service, and evaluate how well do they work.
What is SITE123?
The first thing you should know about SITE123 is that it's a combined site building and web hosting service. In short, that means it gives you the software to create your website as well as server space to host it.
SITE123 isn't as well established as big brand website builders such as Squarespace or Wix but it still packs an impressive punch when it comes to features. All sites created with SITE123 come with important functions like SEO analytics and logo creation software.
A Very Simple Website Building Experience
Setting up a site with SITE123 was almost absurdly straightforward. At first, I was presented with a list of site types to choose between. I selected one and was immediately given access to a pre-configured template to customize.
Almost everything about this website building platform is geared toward simplicity. Lots of website building services use drag and drop page designers. SITE123, however, takes things a step further by only letting you change the content of the pages it has already designed for you.
Although you can't freely content position in the SITE123 editor, with a single click, you can choose between a few different preset page layouts that come with each template.
A Beginner-Friendly Service
SITE123's ease of use makes it great for first-time website creators who don't want to waste time messing around with page design. If you need a website that looks professional from the start, SITE123 is an excellent choice.
Some advanced users might feel that SITE123 takes things a little too far when it comes to making website creation easy. However, if you have lots of experience creating websites, you're not really part of SITE123's target market anyway.
SITE123 doesn't give you a huge number of customization options, so I was hoping that its templates would be of a high quality out of the box. I'm happy to report that they are. You can choose between an enormous number of templates, and there's a lot of variety in their design.
Blog, eCommerce and restaurant templates, to name a few, all look very different and are suited to their particular niches. Overall, I was impressed with the look and feel of the templates on offer. The designs are highly functional. Perfect, if you don't want to waste time finding a suitable option for your site.
Useful Application Store
Another of my favorite SITE123 features is its wide-ranging app market. By my count, 87 different third-party applications can be integrated into SITE123 websites. That's not as many as you'll find with larger website building platforms, but its a pretty impressive number given SITE123's smaller customer base.
And the integrations that are available work well. One of the biggest standouts is a Zopim live chat feature, which lets customers easily get in touch with you through your business website, and a fully-featured LinkedIn marketing package.
Excellent Responsiveness And Mobile support
In my Site 123 review testing, I found the mobile editor to be surprisingly powerful, demonstrating that this is a platform well worth considering if you need to build a site on the move.
The mobile editor doesn't come as an app but can be accessed by logging into your SITE123 account from any mobile browser.
And of course, perhaps unsurprisingly, all SITE123 sites work really well on mobile devices. No elements get misplaced, skewed to fit the different screen resolutions, and the overall performance is really good.
SITE123 offers a single free package and four paid packages which cost between $6.48 and $17.28/month. Note that these prices are for 12-month subscriptions. It's possible to purchase plans that run between 3 and 36 months. Opting for a longer contract will significantly reduce your monthly premium.
The key difference between the free and premium packages is that premium SITE123 websites can use custom domains whereas free sites only include a subdomain, such as 'www.example.site123.com'. In fact, premium websites come with a year of domain registration included.
To give you a better idea of how the plans stack up against one another, I've listed their differences in the table below.
|Domain||Subdomain||Custom Domain||Custom Domain||Custom Domain||Custom Domain|
|Not Included||100 Messages||1000 Messages, 2 Mailboxes||10,000 Messages, 5 Mailboxes||10,000 Messages, 5 Mailboxes|
|Support||24/7 Live Chat||24/7 Live Chat||24/7 Live Chat||24/7 Live Chat||24/7 Live Chat|
|Languages||English||English||1 Additional Language||3 Additional Languages||5 Additional Languages|
|Money-Back Guarantee||N/A||14-Day Period||14-Day Period||14-Day Period||14-Day Period|
Overall, SITE123's packages offer good value for money, especially when it comes to storage. The Advanced $10.08/month plan will be suitable for most users. It includes 30GB of storage and 15GB of bandwidth. That's more than enough space for small to medium-sized business websites.
I don't recommend using SITE123's free package except for testing out this website building platform for yourself. A floating advert is placed on all free websites, so they aren't suitable for business use. Also, the 1GB of bandwidth free sites include means they can only be shared with very small audiences.
SITE123's packages include web hosting as well as site building software. That's why, as part of my SITE123 review, I tested my website's load times using GTMatrix.
The results showed that SITE123 pages load fairly quickly, but aren't exactly blazing fast. But for a website builder, this is actually quite a decent score.
SITE123 Customer Support
SITE123 offers support through email and a 24/7 live chat service. I had good experiences when testing both of these features. My queries were answered promptly and politely.
A selection of well-produced support videos is also available on SITE123's YouTube channel. But, given how easy the platform is to use, I doubt that you'll spend much time watching these.
SITE123 Review: The Verdict
Thanks to the pre-made templates each account includes, SITE123 is a fantastic option for beginners who only have a few minutes to create a website. The included mobile site editor and selection of third-party app integrations also enhance this platform.
If you want to test out this service for yourself, I recommend making use of the free starter package. It's a good way to know your way around the platform and you can make a purchase decision later.
- Extremely user-friendly
- Good support service
- Large third-party app list
- Restrictive website creator
- Out-dated themes
- Free plan contains adds
Disclosure: We earn a commission if you make a purchase through referral links in this review. This helps to cover the expenses for running ongoing performance tests.