In lieu of our usual format, we will be discussing SiteBuilder’s features and overall experience under three main sections: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Sounds ominous, you say? Take a seat, folks. This one’s going to be a bit of a ride.
Getting started with SiteBuilder is easy as you only need to supply your name, email address and account password in order to sign up and get a free account. After signing up, you are asked to register your free domain, or you can use one that you currently own. Once you do so, you can now choose one from the thousands of fully customizable templates on offer.
The templates themselves are aesthetically pleasing, offering a sense of modernity and professionalism. Even better, SiteBuilder’s templates span a wide range of categories and industries, allowing you to build a variety of websites for different purposes. Categories include Architecture & Real Estate, Beauty & Fashion, Business & Consultant, Hotels & Travel, Music & Entertainment, Photography, Wedding, and a whole lot more. With these, you can build blogs, one pagers, portfolios, and the like. Or, if you want to unleash your full creativity, you can opt to build from scratch by choosing a blank template.
Once you are done choosing a template, you will be redirected to their excellent site editor. The editor is quite easy to use, especially since it is a drag-and-drop one. This means you simply click on any element and then drag it around to where you want it on the page. Beyond that, SiteBuilder also allows you to choose different templates for each section of your site – giving you more freedom and flexibility to fine tune your site. You can, for example, choose from different designs for your site header, Contact Us page, and more. This is, by far, one of the simplest and easiest website builders out there that can cater to users of all skill levels.
Not everyone has the time to create their own website, even if the tools at hand are quite user-friendly. This is where SiteBuilder’s Site Tailor service comes into play. For $349, you can have their team of professionals create a website for you. You get a full design package that comes with 7 pages, custom images, maps, and contact forms.
They will also handle things like email setup, blog setup, domain name setup, and even the publishing of your website. In addition, you are given 2 rounds of edits in case you want something changed in the design. Overall, this is definitely a much cheaper solution than hiring a top-shelf website designer and could potentially save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars (in theory).
For self-help, SiteBuilder offers a comprehensive knowledgebase where you can read up about nearly every aspect of their service – from adding content to SEO and beyond. If you prefer to talk to one of their representatives one on one, you can shoot them an email or call any one of their phone lines. They have ones for US/Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, and an international hotline.
As previously mentioned, SiteBuilder offers a completely free version of their service, which is a great way to get familiar with the features they offer. Those looking to build just a simple website for personal purposes can also benefit from their free plan. That is, of course, if you don’t mind banner ads displaying on your site. If you want to get rid of ads, you would have to upgrade to one of their paid plans.
Now, here’s the rub: SiteBuilder’s pricing isn’t very transparent and quite confusing. For starters, you won’t find information on their subscription plans unless you sign up. This could prove to be inconvenient, especially if you are simply looking to compare their prices with other services. Another thing that is of concern is the rather confusing pricing. For the Personal plan, for instance, the price is at $8.99 per month, while the higher Pro plan is at $4.99. The former is an entry level plan and lacks some features that the latter has, but is, more expensive. Why that is, isn’t made clear.
That aside, the pricing of SiteBuilder is generally on the affordable range of the spectrum. You can choose from four plans, depending on your budget and needs. These are:
|1000+ Website Templates||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|No Website Ads||–||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
But before you decide on upgrading to any of these paid plans, we’d like to give out a word of caution.
Upon our most recent investigation, it appears that there is an overwhelming number of customers that are unhappy with SiteBuilder’s automatic renewals and hidden charges, as well as negative experiences with their support center. Quite a few have even called this service a scam based on their experiences with the company’s support center.
While going through other reviews of website builders, there are three other services that looks eerily familiar to SiteBuilder, and for good reason. WebsiteBuilder.com, Sitey.com, and Sitelio.com all turn out to share the same parent company, as well as the top ten website builders listed on the website Top 10 Webbuilders, which appears to be run by the owners of said website builders.
If you’re looking to get your money’s worth, it is astoundingly clear that SiteBuilder and its sister website builders are nowhere near what you’re looking for. Before diving into anything deeper, we would first like to advise you to refrain from giving them your credit card details.
There is absolutely no transparency in pricing with this company. If you haven’t been chased off by their dubious pricing scheme and footnotes claiming autorenewals “at the regular rate” without a mention of what their regular rate is, you’d be surprised to find that it doesn’t stop there.
A number of people have taken their complaints outside the company’s lackluster support center, blowing up the internet (and the Court) with bad reviews when you search their name. These reports also include double transactions and the inclusion of additional products when they bill you, all while refusing your right to refund.
DIFFICULT TO UNSUBSCRIBE
Say what you will, but this company really loves you.
Or rather, your wallet.
Numerous reports have customers claiming they’ve had to go through several phone calls and emails to cancel your subscription, all while pitching free months and pricier additional features.
UNRELIABLE TECH SUPPORT
Here’s the source of most of their customers’ strife. Apparently, getting help from their email and live chat support is next to useless, and their phone lines may or may not be working depending on the alignment of the stars.
In all seriousness, many have written how the “tech” support’s answers may vary for a single issue and how they may even hang up or leave the chat once you bring up the subject of refunds.
Not only that, but raising your concerns to the higher-ups seem next to impossible as reports have said that they only respond with “they don’t have anything like that in their company”.
Clear communication also looks to be a prevalent problem with their phone support, as customers report that phone support have “terrible accents” that are difficult to understand, “terrible grasps of English”, and “terrible understanding of technical details” overall.
These guys want your money and will do everything to get you to spend it on them. Their terrible business practices, aside from making bogus website builder reviews to promote themselves, include unauthorized orders, stalling tactics when trying to cancel any purchases, data mining MOs, and many more.
In terms of pricing, while their “promotional plan” is on the cheaper end of the industry standard, you will only be offered their best prices when upgrading when you close the pricing window after three attempts.
There are also reports of these valiant telemarketers cold-calling customers on upgrades on their current features, as well as the infamous “I’m worried, [name of customer]” email you get from them if you still haven’t upgraded to a premium plan after a number of months.
What's the Verdict on SiteBuilder?
SiteBuilder Review 2017 – Conclusion
Do they employ despicable business practices? Yes. But is the software terrible? Their easy-to-use user interface seems to be their only saving grace, as well as the relatively functional features they have on the roll.
But we gather that their support is absolute trash. Overall, you can try to take this one out for a spin on their free tier if you need a landing page, but keep a safe distance from paying for anything, or it might just be something you’ll regret for months.
But if you’re looking for something sustainable, this really isn’t the website builder for you. Take a look at our Wix review instead.