Simple and effective set-up process.
Intuitive navigation with support through video’s and tips.
Good set of features for most industries.
Site123 is built to be simple and easy, those looking for flexibility to customise finer details or functionality should look elsewhere.
SITE123 lives up to its billing as the easiest website builder through a great set-up process, good theme & page options and a relevant set of features to get a website live quickly.
The initial journey to building a website with Site123 lives up to the "easy to use" marketing. Site123 asks 3 basic questions to get a site up and running:
What type of website do you want?
What’s the name of the site?
What’s your name and email address?
This is a very well designed journey built to give you an initial design template, theme and modules that are relevant for your industry. For example, if you are building a website for a restaurant, the pre-built template has a booking form, map location and menu.
These have been well thought out, are cleverly designed and look good. With a built in set of royalty free images, you can take the template Site123 gives you and publish a well built site in under 5 minutes.
Once you have answered the initial questions and have been presented with a site template, you will be greeted by a mix of a front-end builder for smaller content changes with a side-bar menu on the left of the screen with clearly labelled menus for larger changes.
The layout is intuitive with floating buttons on the front-end builder offering clear icons to let you know what can be edited with pop up menus appearing and shrinking where required. These allow you to change content including images and text through well designed menus, plus there are hints and video tutorials to guide you when you get stuck.
The sidebar menu is where you can make larger visual changes with control over themes and pages in addition to functionality edits such as changing the domain name, adding social links and changing the website language. This is also where you will find more advanced features and tools including useful plugins such as adding a live chat to your site.
Overall the layout of the builder is well thought out and will be easy to grasp for the most novice user, the live front end builder clearly shows the changes you are making and you can flick between mobile, tablet and computer views as you are editing giving you the tools to make sure you are building a mobile friendly site. The menu is clearly labelled and has hints, tips and video tutorials close to hand meaning you feel confident you can tweak and change without going too far wrong.
“Pages” can be added to the website from hundreds of prebuilt styles and formats covering galleries, testimonials, articles, blogs, pricing tables, event booking, contact forms and more. These are backed up by a suite of free to use royalty free photography and advanced features including e-commerce features, video embedding, chart and graph builders and polls. These advanced features are in the form of externally built plugins available to slot into your website through the same simple menu system.
So SITE123 lives up to it’s marketing of being the easiest website builder from an intuitive design, a strong suite of templates and pages and a good range of plugins for advanced features. However, the strength of SITE123 is also it’s weakness, you are limited by what you can create through the builder as they sacrifice flexibility for simplicity. Outside of the template and page functionality, your ability to add your own design flair is limited and if your plugin is not quite right for your needs, you will have little ability to edit or change the functionality.
Site123 has 4 pricing plans available starting from £10. The “Basic” plan offers 5GB bandwidth a month (approximately 20k visitors), 10GB of storage and domain linking but the plan still shows SITE123 advertising in the footer of the page.
The “Advanced” plan is £15.62 a month and includes 30GB of storage, 15GB of bandwidth (approximately 60k visitors a month), domain linking, all Site123 adverts removed and two domain affiliated mailboxes. Affiliated mailboxes allow you to receive and send emails from an address with your domain, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org. The “Advanced” plan is our pick if you do not require payment functionality on your website. Don’t be put off by the storage and bandwidth limits, they are both set very high and you can always upgrade in the future if you get near these numbers.
The “Professional” £22.72 per month and “Gold” £27.45 plans both include e-commerce features to take payment through the website. Professional includes 90GB of storage and 45GB of bandwidth (approximately 180k visitors a month), five domain affiliated mailboxes, up to 500 orders per month and 2,500 emails to subscribers per month on top of the “Advanced” plan. The “Professional” plan increases the storage to 270GB and 135GB of bandwidth (approximately 540k visitors a month), 10 mailboxes, unlimited orders and advanced ecommerce features such as discount codes and wishlists. Our pick for an e-commerce plan on Site123 would be “Professional” to get started, you can upgrade to “Gold” in the future if you require the extra functionality and unlimited orders.
Please note: Site123 offers huge savings for committing to longer contracts up to 36 months, for example the professional package moves from £22.72 per month on a 12 month contract to £11.40 per month on a 36 month contract. PLUS, if you sign up for free and give the platform a try you will most likely also receive incentives from Site123 to upgrade in the form of limited time offers to incentivise you to take out a paid plan.