Updated · Jul 04, 2022
Best for: E-commerce businesses
What Is SITE123?
Website builders are everywhere these days.
And it’s easy to see why - making a site can be tricky.
SITE123 is free and great for your sales business.
But is it better than Wix or WordPress?
SITE123 is much more focused on e-commerce and sales. And it has all the tools you need. It has a centralized storefront ecosystem with mailing lists, credit card gateways, and currency support.
All you need to do is implement those within your website.
SITE123 has a lot of tools that make it stand out from its competitors. Its focus on e-commerce makes it less versatile than other alternatives, but plenty is left to consider.
Stock Photo Library
Stock images can add a lot of personality to your website.
The good thing is that SITE123 has thousands of royalty-free pictures available at your disposal, integrated directly into the website builder.
Of course, SITE123 is far from the only one to offer a library of royalty-free images. But it has some of the most extensive libraries I’ve seen.
The best part?
It comes at no additional cost whatsoever. Even in the free software version, no images are locked off behind a premium plan.
As you accumulate subscribers, you can use the website to send automated emails to all of them directly. This feature is available with the SITE123 Advanced package and up.
The central dashboard of your profile lets you see how many subscribers you have.
The website will take you to where you can manage your subscriptions by clicking on Mailing List. From there, you can also send bulk emails.
There are four SITE123 templates you can choose from for your emails. Each of them is customizable, and you can add your photos, logos, and text.
There are some things to be desired. More personalization options would have also been nice. Despite that, having an email sender feature integrated directly into the platform is convenient.
What else is there?
The Subscribers page lets you see who is part of your mailing list. You have the option of exporting that data into a CSV file which you can open with spreadsheet software. Finally, in the Insights tab, you have a graph of how many new subscribers you gained each day.
Do you know that a good landing page might lead to a 2.35% conversion rate?
So it should be a priority to make it look good.
The website builder lets you quickly edit your web pages and create new ones.
Almost every aspect of your SITE123 landing page is customizable. You can change the text, add images, and logos, add headers and footers, and edit the structure.
You cannot move elements around or add new ones. You can only add pictures and text in particular spots. To add a new page to your website, you must select one from a list of templates.
Don’t get me wrong - the result is good-looking.
But as far as the SITE123 website builder goes, it is not very versatile, especially compared to alternatives.
Another feature that sets SITE123 apart from many other website builders is the statistics. This lets you monitor your landing page’s engagement and performance through data.
There are many types of statistics you can look at for your website.
You can see:
- which pages of your website receive the most clicks
- which times of day get the most visitors
- the countries they’re from
- what devices do they use
And so much more.
In fact, this is one of the main positive things you will read in SITE123 user reviews. And it’s clear why. Statistics like these allow you to gain insight into how you can grow your business.
With that said, there is room for some improvements.
SITE123’s statistics are incomplete compared to other similar tools in the field. It would be great if you could inspect metrics for individual elements within your pages. More detail, in general, would be very welcome.
Are you serving a product to an international audience?
SITE123 has you covered.
Your website can automatically convert to foreign languages through its integrations with Google Translate and Bing Translate.
Now, we all know automatic translation can be wonky.
This is why you can add manual translations directly through the SITE123 builder. It’s entirely up to you whether you use automatic or manual.
Another exciting aspect is the addition of separate domains.
That way, you can have individual URLs for every language your landing page is translated in.
Being an e-commerce focused platform, its Store feature is handy when managing your orders.
So what does it do?
Once again accessed through the main dashboard, the Store menu is your one-stop solution for managing your services. Here, you can add new products to your catalog and inspect existing items and their sales.
There is also a dedicated SITE123 payment gateway integrated directly into the platform.
Any time a customer shops through there, this is immediately reflected in the Orders tab. There, you can inspect and manage all your orders, as well as sort them by status.
You can even add discount coupons through the Coupons tab. The Store system is detailed, and is easily one of the service’s strongest features.
Are you looking to generate even more leads by mastering the subtle art of SEO?
You’re in luck.
The SITE123 SEO Adviser is exclusive to the Gold membership option. It is a dashboard of detailed metrics and tools to optimize your site’s performance.
Here, you can edit your website’s meta tags. In other words, how your website appears in Google searches.
You can also upload a favicon, create a unique domain, and enable the Sitemap feature to boost your site’s performance.
Finally, there is the SEO Audit.
This tool scans your website and shows you a final score which indicates how well optimized it is. It runs tests on your pages and tells you which ones passed and which ones failed.
From there, you can use that information to address any potential issues which might hinder your site’s performance.
It’s a handy tool you won’t see in many other places. It is almost worth the price of a premium subscription alone.
SITE123 Pros and Cons
By now, you should have a solid grasp of the features SITE123 has in store for you.
There are a few more things you need to consider, though:
Free to use - Pro
Let’s start with the obvious.
When listing any SITE123 advantages and disadvantages, none of it really matters if the price of entry is too steep. Luckily, the platform has no such issues because anyone is free to sign up and give it a go.
Creating an account is super easy and requires no card information either.
Now, is the free version sufficient to build a website for your business?
Instead, SITE123’s free plan is meant to act as a trial. You get access to the basic features so you can get a feel for whether the service is for you. But anything further, like SEO, statistics, or custom domain names, all of that is locked until you pay.
Poor user interface - Con
Obviously, SITE123 is far from the only website builder out there. There are far more established names in this field.
When comparing SITE123 vs Wix or WordPress, the difference is night and day.
The unfortunate truth is that SITE123 has a long way to go before it can match the leaders in the field. If you’ve grown accustomed to using Wix or WordPress, switching over to SITE123 might feel jarring.
E-commerce focus - Pro
This service has all the right tools to get you started. A wide variety of native SITE123 integrations like storefronts, mailing lists, and card gateways are all available here. No third-party app management is needed.
Setting up your store is all done through the central dashboard and takes very little effort. As long as you’re focused on e-commerce, SITE123 is a top-tier option for your business.
Limited scope - Con
Of course, the platform’s focus on e-commerce can also come to its detriment.
In this case, while SITE123 is great for sales, it is limited in functionality when it comes to anything else.
Customization options feel very restrictive. You cannot move around elements as you wish, nor can you add new ones. Everything is done through static templates, which you cannot change except for the text and the images.
And while all the SITE123 templates at your disposal look pretty, it’s practically impossible to add your own creative spin. Even the list pages you can add to your website are pre-made.
Simple to use - Pro
The platform is simple to get the hang of.
This is because there is simply not much to worry about. When you create your account, you don’t start from an empty slate. Your website is already created. All you need to do is fill in the blanks.
I realize this won’t sound appealing to everyone.
But if user-written SITE123 reviews are anything to go by, simplicity is in high demand.
So, do services like WordPress look intimidating to you with their massive array of features and menus? If so, you might want to give this a go.
Long-term commitment plans - Con
While SITE123 does have a free version, most of its helpful functions remain locked behind premium plans.
But purchasing a plan here is a bit different.
SITE123 advertises its plans as monthly payments. But they aren’t. They’re upfront, one-time payments that last from three months minimum, up to ten years in advance.
That’s right - the most cost-efficient option requires you to pay a decade in advance.
The SITE123 pricing model will inevitably turn off some. There is no option for a simple monthly subscription. The minimum commitment you can choose is three months.
SITE123 Customer Support
The agents can be contacted at any time via the blue button that’s always located at the bottom right. All you need to do is enter your message, and you will receive a response shortly.
The time of response varies, obviously. But normally, you can see an estimate of how long you will need to wait.
In my case, when I contacted them for this SITE123 review, the wait time was under 2 minutes.
And sure enough, I received a reply almost instantly after hitting Send. The agents are also very friendly and willing to assist you.
The website also says customer support available via email, but nowhere could I find the actual address.
One really neat thing, however, is that customer service is available in many languages. According to the website, SITE123 support agents are available in the following languages:
English support is available 24/7, however foreign language support is only during regular business hours.
SITE123 Pro vs. Free
So what are the differences between a paid plan vs. the free version? Are the benefits worth the price?
Let’s begin with the basics.
A free account gets you access to the website editor. No surprise there, the entire point of the free version is to test out the software.
But you’ll be pleased to know the SITE123 builder is exactly the same, regardless of your account status. A free user can edit and create websites in precisely the same manner as a paid one. You can create new pages, add images and text, and even access the photo library.
So, where do the differences come in?
Well, first of all - the domain.
Even free accounts can create websites and publish them online. But if you do, your website will be using a placeholder domain. If you want to use a proper .com address or similar, you have to pay.
Most sales-related features are also unavailable to free accounts.
For instance, mailing lists, integrated storefronts, and credit card gateways are only available for premium members. Paid plans also give you access to multilingual support for your web pages.
All in all, the SITE123 free plan gives you pretty wide access to the platform’s features.
However, it is not meant to be a reliable option for running your business’ website. It is only supposed to act as a free trial until you decide whether you want to make the purchase.
Here is the deal:
There are four premium plans, besides the free option. These are Basic, Advanced, Professional, and Gold. Each of them offers a slightly different set of features.
All pricing plans are paid for upfront and can be purchased for 3, 12, 24, etc. months. There are no monthly subscriptions, it’s all one payment, and the license lasts for however long you’ve specified.
So how much can SITE123 cost you?
That depends on the plan you pick. The options are as follows:
$57/3 months; $153.60/12 months; $223.20/2 years; $304.20/3 years; $390/5 years; $600/10 years
Free domain for a year, 10 GB storage, 5 GB bandwidth, and removal of the SITE123 floating tag.
$84/3 months; $237.60/12 months; $319.20/2 years; $412.20/3 years; $540/5 years; $960/10 years
Everything from Basic, plus 20 additional GB storage, 10 GB more bandwidth, mailing list access, mailbox, and one additional language.
$117/3 months; $345.60/12 months; $415.20/2 years; $520.20/3 years; $660/5 years; $1140/10 years
Everything from Advanced with expanded storage, bandwidth, and mailing list. Access to website statistics, store functionality, and a credit card gateway. Limit to 500 orders per month.
Each plan has a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you wish to return your purchase within that time period, you are entitled to a refund.
So, is SITE123 good?
If your purpose is e-commerce, then yes. Very much so.
There are some obvious differences when comparing it to its competitors. Its limited versatility, its focus on sales and SEO, and lack of much customization may turn some away.
But for others, SITE123’s approach towards digital storefronts is exactly the reason to use it over anything else. Its websites look modern, it has native support for currencies and payment gateways, and it’s super simple to use.
Are you looking for a website builder for your sales business?
Then I’d suggest you give SITE123 a go.
Is SITE123 completely free?
SITE123 has a free version that never expires. However, quite a lot of functionality is locked behind premium plans.
Is SITE123 good for e-commerce?
Yes. SITE123 has tons of features specifically built-in to support online shopping. Mailing lists, storefronts, payment gateways, and many others are available for you to use on your websites. No third-party apps are necessary.
Which is better, Wix or SITE123?
In our SITE123 review, we briefly compared the two platforms. While Wix is much more versatile and customizable, it does not have as many features to support digital shopping.
Does SITE123 have an app?
No, everything happens within your browser. However, the website does have a mobile version, so you can work on your web pages on the go.
Is SITE123 good for SEO?
Indeed. SITE123 has a special SEO Adviser feature that helps you optimize your site’s search engine performance. However, this is exclusive to the Gold premium plan.
My fascination with technology began from quite an early age thanks to computers and video games. Nowadays, I love anything related to music production and astronomy. Coincidentally (or is it?), both of those have a great deal to do with tech. Honestly, most of the stuff that can be accomplished with modern electronics kind of seems like magic to me. This is why I feel this strong need to constantly learn more about it and talk about it, almost to the detriment of others.
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