With so many different web building methods and platforms available on today’s digital market, it becomes an important task to compare web builders and find which one is right for you. Sitebuilder.com is currently one of the better-rated web builders available for use due to a variety of convenient features. Let’s take a look at some of the features that Sitebuilder.com has to offer and go over some of its pros and cons.
Pros of Sitebuilder.com
Drag-and-Drop Convenience and Intuitive Editor Interface
It’s pretty much a given these days that any project, business, or cause that hopes for visibility needs to have a strong internet presence. However, many people prefer not to pay a web developer to build a site from the ground up while they’re just getting started. In situations such as this, an easy-to-use web builder can be a lifesaver. Sitebuilder.com is a friendly, convenient front-end builder that requires no knowledge of HTML or CSS to use. This makes it a very appealing choice for people who want a website for themselves or their small business, but lack coding or web developing experience. With a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor, it’s entirely possible to create a professional and polished looking website without needing to take a single look at code. However, if you decide that a template’s settings don’t quite meet your specifications even after changing things around within the editor, there are still some coding options available.
Sitebuilder.com requires no software or add-ons to be downloaded in order for you to get started building your website—all you need in order to use the editor is a properly updated web browser and an internet connection. The straightforward, intuitive web editor makes customization simple, and much more beginner-friendly than a CMS (Content Management System).
On top of the conveniently-managed hosting, the user interface within the builder itself is very clean and comfortable. The manageable editor interface reserves a lot of tools and settings to pop up in convenient windows once you click on an element, preventing the basic editor from getting too overwhelming and your screen from getting too cluttered. These mini windows provide a surprisingly deep interface, nesting many of the different editing tools so that they’re only there when you need them. Once you click out of the tool windows or select a different element, the windows minimize to keep the editor simple to use and the tools within quick reach.
Numerous Comprehensive and Customizable Templates
Part of the appeal of Sitebuilder.com and its easy-to-use building platform is the expansive library of templates that are available to choose from. There are 1,200 different templates that provide users with an extremely diverse set of choices, and each template is versatile and unique. Whether you’re looking to create a photography portfolio site, a professional-looking business site, or a friendly web space to showcase a smaller-scale personal project, Sitebuilder.com probably has the template that’s perfect for you. With such a large library of templates to peruse, there is no shortage of opportunity to find the one that works best for the individual’s demands; this provides customizability and reduces the amount of web building that needs to be done.
If templates are close to what you have in mind but not quite there yet, then the drag-and-drop editor will make it easy to switch out content and rearrange things so that they’re just right. All of the available templates present the option to be pre-filled with themed stock images and filler text, meaning that all you’ll have to do is replace the default content with your own to make the website fully personalized.
Each template is divided into sections that make changing the feel of your site and streamlining the organization of your content a breeze. Each section can be deleted or replaced by adding in new sections; even full, complete pages can be integrated into the existing template if you wish. On top of the versatility of the pages and sections themselves, you can choose to insert individual containers of specific content such as photo galleries or contact forms. The galleries that are available to place anywhere in your website support both images and videos, so the sky’s the limit in terms of the visual content you can display.
A diverse library of free-to-use, high resolution stock photography is provided within the web builder, and comes with hosted storage space. This means that you can upload your own photographs to ensure that you’re able to display exactly what you want on your website. The accessible storage space increases in amount with each tier of payment plan available, ensuring that you get more space to store resources for potentially larger or more in-depth web building projects. After taking advantage of this storage by uploading your own personalized photos, you can use the internal photo editor provided within the Sitebuilder.com editing platform to tweak, enhance, and crop your pictures to perfection. This delivers an added level of convenience, since you’ll be far less likely to need an external program to edit your photos.
Another neat feature of the Sitebuilder.com editor is the “Save History” feature. If you feel like taking a chance and want to experiment with a new idea, you can always roll back to an older version of your customized website. That way, if you change your mind and prefer things the way they were, you can choose any of the recent saved versions of your website to revert your site’s current state back to.
Mobile-Friendly Editing Options
In today’s world, many people view websites from devices other than computers. This increased variance in technological devices requires good websites to evolve alongside them in order to stay competitive. Having a website that’s only built to be viewed on a desktop could severely limit your audience and exposure, so it’s important to make sure that your site is mobile-friendly. The comprehensive web editor provides users with a mobile version, which makes it easy to make sure your site looks good on any standard device. This multi-device editing capability provides you with the opportunity to ensure that viewers of your website will be able to get the best possible experience no matter how they’re browsing your content.
Sitebuilder.com also provides unlimited bandwidth for its users, meaning that your site will load quickly and prevent any frustration due to sluggish loading speed that would detract from the content you’re presenting. After purchasing a plan with Sitebuilder.com, you are given the option to customize how your website will look on mobile devices along with the traditional desktop layout.
Highly Customizable—Includes Widgets, SEO Tools, and eCommerce Capabilities
Ecommerce options through Sitebuilder.com are simple, but affordable as compared to other eCommerce platforms provided by other web editors. If you’re looking for a simple, good looking website with a very basic eCommerce component, then Sitebuilder.com has what you need. When considering your online sales options, you’ll find two solid choices—a PayPal widget, or a third-party web store builder that you can integrate into your website. The PayPal widget is very simple, and it’s better to use it for minimalistic payment acceptance rather than attempting to stretch it throughout an entire web store. If you’ve got a more complicated store interface in mind, such as a platform you can use to sell multiple products, then the third-party store builder is the better option.
Aside from the handy PayPal button, there are a variety of other widgets that you can use to enhance and improve your website. The inclusion of these will require the use of some html, but it’s only a simple matter of copying and pasting the code into a window to embed it in your site. Other widgets provided by Sitebuilder.com include live social media feeds, music players, and google maps that allow you to show people exactly where your chosen point of interest is located.
In addition to useful widgets and eCommerce capabilities, Sitebuilder.com provides a well-rounded set of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tools to help improve your site’s visibility. There are options to fill in the metadata of your website and review the keyword density of your content, boosting the likelihood that people will be able to find your website while browsing via search engines. Alongside these useful tools, you can find links to other resources tailored to specific search engines that can further boost your website’s exposure and accessibility.
New and Improved Customer Service
While Sitebuilder.com may provide an excellent user interface and intuitive builder, plenty of users still might find themselves in need of clarification—especially if they’re new to web building. Sitebuilder.com provides a far-reaching FAQ section that strives to cover any and all common roadblocks that users may encounter. The FAQ pages are concise and very well-organized, making it intuitive and easy to find answers to the questions that might pop up while you’re building your site. Browsing the FAQ section can be a big help if you’re new to web building, and can provide some preliminary knowledge to start out with. The help center also includes a handy search bar in case you have a specific topic in mind and want quick information.
If you do wind up facing a problem that isn’t covered in the FAQ section, there is a newly-added live chat feature available in the lower right corner of the pages within the Sitebuilder.com help section. The lack of this live chat window used to be a serious point against the usability of Sitebuilder.com—it appears that they’ve heard their customers’ complaints and delivered the solution. Another help option for those who prefer not to use live chat is to email their support staff, who are available round the clock and promise a brisk response time.
Cons of Sitebuilder.com
Drag-and-Drop Means Sacrificing Control
The drag-and-drop editor that Sitebuilder.com provides is extremely convenient. Convenience is its primary goal, more so than fine-tuned control over the finer details of your website. This means that in order to retain ease of customization, the builder must sacrifice the higher levels of control that are available when using a Content Management System or coding your own web content. As a result, if you are an experienced web builder who is comfortable with the behind-the scenes work of web development, you will likely find the editor within Sitebuilder.com to be constricting at times.
Sitebuilder.com Does Not Provide Much Opportunity for Site Growth
The eCommerce capabilities that Sitebuilder.com provides are comparatively rather limited. If eCommerce is a main feature of your website, then a different platform geared specifically towards building webstores may be a better choice. The PayPal button is useful for small tasks like accepting donations or payment, but it won’t take you very far. While more versatile than the PayPal widget, the third-party web store builder is also restrictive if you’re hoping to have a more complex, interactive web store. If you’re hoping to grow your website into something bigger and more sales-oriented in the future, then Sitebuilder.com is not your best option.
Another negative side of Sitebuilder.com is the lack of a way to export your site data. The eCommerce and customizability limitations will prevent you from growing your site past a certain point—this ties back into the control that is sacrificed in favor of drag-and-drop convenience. If you wind up feeling like you’ve outgrown Sitebuilder.com and would like to graduate your website to a more sophisticated, hand-built platform, you will essentially have to copy all of your content over by hand or start from scratch.
Pricing Plans Require Digging to Find – Features are Limited by Subscription Plan
When building and eventually launching your Sitebuilder.com website, you’ll ultimately learn that the “Free domain” and corresponding email address that are so enthusiastically advertised are only available once you purchase a Personal Plan or more. A custom domain name without a subdomain (http://yoursite.myfreesites.net) is not in fact available for users with only the free subscription plan.
New users may feel annoyed and mislead by the fine print of the free domain and email, since they usually only see advertisements for a “free domain name” which deliberately leave out the payment details. In addition to this, your domain-specific email address is only available if you initially set up your domain through Sitebuilder.com. If your domain name is purchased prior to setting up your Sitebuilder.com account and is hosted elsewhere, then the domain email address will need to be set up elsewhere as well. This means that the free email address provided by your premium subscription plan will be of no use to you. The good news is that the free domain name and email address are available with the purchase of any tier of the paid plans, including the cheapest one.
It seems almost unfair to have to look around so much before being able to find out what the premium subscription choices provided by Sitebuilder.com actually are. Instead of offering paid plan information to customers upfront, the site lures buyers in with the promised “free” domain name and email. Only when attempting to activate the domain name are customers informed that these features are available by paid subscription only, and shown the different plans’ prices. And be careful when making your purchase—the 2-year plan is what’s automatically selected when you go to check out, so you’ll have to change the selection if you only want to purchase a one-year subscription.
Another possibly disappointing detail of the free website plan is that the eCommerce options are limited by plan as well. eCommerce capabilities outside the simplistic PayPal widget are restricted to the business account, which costs significantly more per month to host. In addition, you will have a banner at the bottom of any free website you create that advertises Sitebuilder.com. This banner, which is visible on all pages of your website, will only be removed if you purchase some form of premium subscription plan.
Among the many other web builders available out there, Sitebuilder.com holds strong as one of the best. While eventually limiting if you intend to later focus more on eCommerce or expand your website past the bounds of the convenience-oriented builder, the current set of tools provides users with more than enough resources to create a simple website that is functional, beautiful, and accessible. The process of getting to a point where you can clearly see what you get for your dollars and which features are available to which subscribers can be frustrating.
However, once you choose your plan and set up your domain name, you’ll get good hosting, useful features, and unlimited bandwidth for a good price. The library of templates, premade pages, and stock photos is vast, giving you plenty of materials to refine into a great-looking website. Moving elements around and changing out the content to personalize your template of choice is intuitive and easy with the well-organized web editor. Should you run into any questions, constant email and live chat support are available to help you get things in order. Overall, Sitebuilder.com is a very good hosting and editing platform that will help you create a nicely polished, unique final product.