Can Sitebuilder.com Wow Your Audience? We Find Out What It Can [And Can’t] Do
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The SiteBuilder site builder tool is a fantastic solution, even if you’re a first-time blogger and have little to no experience in setting up a blog on your own. The interface is clean and logically laid out and, for even the most basic (and cheap) of plans, provides plenty of flexibility.
So, if we’ve piqued your interest, let’s take a closer look at how easy this builder tool really is and why you may want to give it a shot.
The SiteBuilder.com Mission
On the homepage of the SiteBuilder site, you’ll see the company’s mission right away:
“Create your own site in minutes.”
The only problem is that this promise isn’t entirely accurate.
Yes, you can sign up for an account within seconds (which is great).
And you can find a design template within a few minutes, especially if you use the category filters provided.
But the SiteBuilder tool is a lot like Wikipedia in that you can easily fall down the rabbit hole and lose all sense of time as you find more exciting and new things worth uncovering.
Even at its cheapest, this tool is so feature-rich that you won’t want to build your blog in a few minutes.
In addition to offering a fantastic site builder tool, SiteBuilder.com also provides a variety of plans — all highly affordable — based on your needs.
Before signing up, however, here are some things you should know:
What comes with each plan?
Regardless of which plan you sign up for, you’ll receive instant access to the site builder tool and all of the design templates (which is a huge deal).
As with other site builder companies, SiteBuilder makes more features available as you pay more, including:
- Custom domain name.
- Custom email addresses.
- Removal of website ads.
- SEO tools.
- Priority support.
It also has a number of Market Place apps you can add to any plan. Some of these come built into premium plans while others are one-off purchases you’ll have to buy, no matter which plan you’re on, like:
- Free ad credits for Bing and Google.
- Domain privacy.
- Site Lock security.
- Quick restore of your site (in case you have to revert to an older version).
It’s important to note, however, that these apps are all pretty expensive so your best bet would be to buy a plan that includes as many of the ones you need. Then you can splurge on others later if you find your blog would benefit from them.
What kind of hosting do you get?
Each customer is provided with shared hosting for their website with absolutely nothing to manage except the number of files you place on the server.
If you read the fine print on the Terms page, you’ll see that SiteBuilder explicitly warns customers about excessive storage and use of server space allotted. While SiteBuilder will provide customers with a warning if their site compromises the performance of other sites sharing server space with them, SiteBuilder also reserves the right to terminate accounts without notice.
Is support provided?
The SiteBuilder site is fairly light on support. Here is what the company does offer:
- Email support 24/7
- Phone assistance
- Billing support
- Tech support (this is a bit of a misnomer as it’s actually just a self-guided knowledgebase)
How secure will your site be with SiteBuilder?
Security and backups are something SiteBuilder customers have to manage themselves.
The SiteBuilder Experience
Let us give you a quick peek inside this tool so you can see for yourself how straightforward, yet robust, it is:
Upon signing up and choosing a template for your site, you’ll be taken to the SiteBuilder management dashboard. It’s simple, clean, and easy to navigate.
You’ll find options for managing your website:
- A list of all sites
- A list of domains (or the option to purchase a new one)
- A list of custom email addresses (only if you get a custom domain)
- Access to the Market Place
Information under Marketing is mostly for premium plans, but these options (like Google Analytics and SEO) are worth looking into further once your blog is ready to go.
Once you’ve created a domain for your blog, you can move into the site builder tool and get started on building and customizing it. Just know that if you choose to go with the free subdomain option from SiteBuilder that your URL will look like this:
http://[your blog’s name].myfreesites.net
While some tools will give you a more attractive subdomain name, this one makes it explicitly clear that you’re not paying for your blog. So, it’s probably not an ideal choice if you intend on wowing your readers with this site.
On the SiteBuilder website, you’ll see that it says there are thousands of templates to choose from. Just a word of caution here:
“Templates” doesn’t just refer to the base designs you use to build your site.
There are, of course, standard website templates with dozens to choose from. In general, these templates look modern enough. Most utilize a full-sized top banner and ample white space, though you do have to be careful about some of the more outdated designs.
There are then page-specific templates. Say you like the overall look and style of the main template you’ve chosen, but you’re not thrilled with the layout of the internal pages. You can choose from alternate page styles created for different page types (say, if you want to publish an “About” page so your readers know a bit more about the author of the blog).
There are also section templates provided. So, if you find a website template you like, but find areas are missing or you want a different style, you can use one of those templates. And they’ve been created for pretty much any kind of section you could think of: header, footer, images, text, video, calendars, contact, features, Facebook timeline, Twitter feed, mailing list signup, etc.
There’s a special area within the tool to help you add your blog’s main page and then create and manage all of your posts. It’s easy to use and, again, provides you with a variety of templates to start from. You can then redesign your blog as you see fit.
Posts are just as straightforward to create and update. While there isn’t much to worry about in the way of SEO, everything else is pretty much covered, including a post title, date, author, tags, and featured image. And, with a simple click of the button, your posts can go live as soon as you’re done creating them in SiteBuilder.
Then you have the live editor site builder tool itself. It’s well-designed and intuitive. Menu options are on the left. The drag-and-drop live builder is on the right. You can even add gridlines and rulers to help you properly place new elements within your site.
Now, this is where SiteBuilder truly outshines the competition. This site builder isn’t just offering users a way to drag “essential” elements into a pre-defined layout.
Users can adjust:
- Elements like text boxes, buttons, contact forms, images, social media feeds, and more.
- Pages and how they appear within the navigation.
- Design for backgrounds, colors, fonts, and text styles.
And that’s just what you’ll find in the menu. The visual editor itself is easy to manipulate and edit. Each section and element is fully customizable in terms of colors, images, section size, parallax and other animation effects, and so on. Plus, the WYSIWYG capability is comprehensive, so there’s no compromising on what you can do with your writing.
The Perfect Example of a Site Builder Done Right
SiteBuilder is not for everyone. For example, if you don’t want to bother with customizing your blog and simply want to throw a template up, write your posts, and publish them, this may be too much for you. And if you’re looking for something more — perhaps a blog with extensive e-commerce capabilities — SiteBuilder may also fall short of your expectations.
However, for the average blogger looking to make a good first impression with visitors, SiteBuilder is a fantastic tool. Everything is so simplified in terms of managing your blog and website, and yet the customization and features are robust and easy enough to employ. It’s a site builder worthy of consideration.
Image Source: Pixabay | annawaldl