While it’s not a feature-packed builder, the Site123 website builder is a straightforward development platform that can help a beginner get a site done in just one sitting. The builder prompts users with three questions and, thereafter, comes up with an editable prepopulated website template that best matches one’s design needs. However, with so many site development aspects handled by the Site123 builder and restrictions on the layouts, fonts, and color combinations that one can use, there is not much left in terms of customizations. Nonetheless, Site123 offers redemptive features such as an app market, eCommerce support, and marketing mail lists, which might just be the deal-breakers for the users weighing between nonmainstream builders.
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Who is Site123 for?
For individuals and small businesses that just want to get online with minimal fuss, the Site123 web builder is ideal. By extension, beginners in web development that only want to have a web presence without cutting-edge design features and functionalities will find that the Site123 builder meets all their needs. However, fast-growing businesses or expert web developers will find the shortcomings of the builder too great a sacrifice to warrant using the builder.
Free SSL – Even on the free packages, Site123 is kind enough to give its users a free SSL certificate and without burdening them with the hassle of making special site configurations.
Easy to use editor – While it is severely limited in design options, the Site123 editor is among the simplest editors in the market. The semi-customized template given to users upon answering three prompts is easy to develop, thus making the editor friendly to absolute beginners in web development.
User Support – Site123 uses a convenient pop-up chat functionality to provide 24/7 support to all users. Unlike other builders like Wix, support agents are always online and ready to handle any queries from users.
Unlimited websites – Site123 allows users to build several sites on one account. This feature is most beneficial to users on the free plan since all customers on paid plans have to pay for each additional site.
Unlimited web pages – some builders have restrictions on the number of pages that users, especially those on free plans, can build. Site123 does not have such limitations, apart from the storage caps.
Email integration – the builder comes with fully functional email features available to all users. Thus, one can receive and respond to messages on the platform.
Marketing – Site123 comes with inbuilt marketing features such as mailing lists and newsletters that can be used to send scheduled promotional emails.
Social media integration – though a minute feature, Site123 allows users to integrate their social media accounts with the site such that any new posts published on the website are automatically published on the linked social media platforms.
Site123 vs Wix
Site123 and Wix share a similar pricing model whereby they provide free and paid plans. The following is a comparison between the two:
Free plans – both builders allow users to create sites, which are subdomained to the company domains, without paying a dime. Wix offers free plan users 500 professionally designed templates that are incomparable to the blander but still appealing templates provided by Site123. Further, while both builders give users free 500MB storage space, Wix has a bandwidth limit of 500MB, which is half of Site123’s 1GB limit.
App market – Both builders have many apps listed on their app markets that can add more functionalities to a site. However, Wix is a bit more generous with the number of free apps available to all users. Site123 requires users to upgrade to a paid plan before using any plugin.
Ease of Use – Wix has a drag-and-drop editor that gives users almost complete control as to where different elements can be placed on the website. On the other hand, Site123 has a static click-style editor that is adversely limiting in terms of adding and rearranging items on a page. One can only go with pre-defined layouts for different sections of the page with no ability to make any pronounced modifications.
eCommerce functions – Both Wix and Site123 allow users to create eCommerce stores. Site123 offers options such as unlimited product variants, which Wix puts a cap on. However, Wix supports more checkout options, offers abandoned cart recovery, and can allow two shipping integrations, which give it an edge over Site123.
Therefore, based on design flexibility, eCommerce options, and app market, Wix emerges as a clear winner.
How does Site123 work?
Site123 prompts users with three questions: the type of website to build, the name of the site, and finally some account registration details. With this information, the builder autoselects and customizes a template for the user then presents them with the front-end editor.
The Site123 editorThe editor has a left sidebar from where most customizations can be initiated. While it is quite a confined development space, one can still make a handful of changes to the looks of the website. There are a few rather confusing aspects of the editor, particularly to new users. To begin with, all individual pages are lumped onto different sections of the homepage. Since Site123 makes single page websites, the different sections on the website are individual pages. Further, unlike most other editors, one cannot click on and edit text directly on the page. Edits are made by clicking the manage page button to get access to the text editor box.
The text editor box is fairly easy to use, however, it can be observed that one cannot change the font and color of text. Turns out that the editor’s design tab on the left sidebar is the only point where one can customize themes, colors, and fonts. The editor also has a settings tab whereby one can change the website name and logo, website type, website languages, app settings, and plugins and custom code. The website languages feature is a neat addition that allows one to easily create a mirrored version of a website in a different language.
Lastly, there is a domain tab from where one can buy or link a domain name to the site.
Packages and pricing
Site123 is available offers four premium packages that are priced as follows:
|Price per month||$5.80||$11.80||$17.80||23.80|
|Mailing list messages||100||1000||2500||10,000|
Based on sampled reviews from end-users, most reviewers rate Site123 highly for ease of use, customer support, and value for money with only a slightly unimpressive rating on features. However, some users have complained about cons such as the inability to add HTML code directly to their sites, limited payment processors, and the too obvious limited customizations.
Read our full Site123 Review here.