OVERALL RATING: Most User Friendly & Easiest to Get Started!
We’ve tested SITE123’s features to see how they match up against other website builders. We have all the information you need to decide for yourself whether SITE123 is right for you and your new website.
Who is SITE123 best suited for? Personal sites, blogs & complete beginners. Anyone can create a simple website with SITE123, ideal for those who don’t require complex functionality.
+ Great solution for small portfolios and simple projects
+ E-commerce functionality, live chat and translatable into 5 different languages
+ Perfect for beginners, with a simple to use interface
- Less choice when it comes to design with 160+ website templates to choose from
- Not ideal if you want to create a complex website or want the ability to use HTML code
Rather, SITE123 sells itself on its simplicity, claiming it's as easy as 1-2-3 to create your site and get it up and running. And it literally is! Step one: choose your design. Step two: add content. Step three: go live.
Is SITE123 right for your startup or small business? Read our impartial review to find out.
SITE123 is a good solution for simple projects like personal websites, small business and portfolios. As long as you don't need to create a complex website with loads of functionality, it's a decent enough solution. We love the added bonuses this website builder brings to the table such as their multilingual feature and live chat support.
At the start of your site-building journey, you’ll be asked to provide your name and email address, the name of your site, and the type of website that you want to create.
SITE123 will offer you a range of designs based on the site you need, whether that's a business site, online store or personal blog.
When you’ve selected the niche that’s most relevant to you, SITE123 will provide you with an initial design template, in addition to a theme and modules which are relevant to your industry.
So, whether you’re in hospitality, business, or you’re in creative industry, SITE123 will have a site template with features which are perfect for you. For instance, if you own a restaurant, SITE123 provides a booking form, map location widget and menu template, allowing you to start receiving online bookings as soon as your site goes live.
More than this, these widgets are customisable. For example, if you choose to insert a contact form you can choose from a selection of layouts, and you can add and change fields to suit your site’s specific needs.
Once you’ve completed the initial three steps; deciding what type of website you want, naming your website, and providing your name and email, you’re presented with a front-end builder for smaller content changes, with a sidebar menu on the left of the screen, with clearly labelled menus for larger changes.
The design of the web builder is highly intuitive and presents floating buttons with clear icons to allow you to see which parts of the design can be edited, with pop up menus appearing when you need to make an edit, and minimising when you’ve decided that you’re done.
These menus allow you to switch up the site content, including images and text (though SITE123 has a built-in set of royalty-free images, which you’re able to use) through well-designed, easy-to-use menus.
The web builder provides video tutorials and ‘hints’ along your web building journey to help you if you ever get stuck.
SITE123’s web building sidebar allows you to make more significant changes to your web design, allowing control over the features of your theme and the pages you want on your website. Here you will also be able to find more advanced features and tools, including plugins, for example, the option to add live chat to your site.
You can make functionality edits such as changing your site’s domain name, adding links to your social media and even changing the language of your website, if you want it to be translated into different languages to reach an international audience.
Each change you make is easily discernible through the live front end builder and even better, you can easily flick between mobile, tablet, and computer view to ensure your site is as mobile-device friendly as possible. As soon as you make an edit, you can check the result in a preview for all these devices.
New pages to your site can be added using hundreds of prebuilt styles and formats, allowing you to choose from a plethora of different page types, whether you want a page for galleries, blogs, contact forms, pricing tables, articles, testimonials and more. Each page comes equipped with available-to-use royalty-free photography, if your focus is on going live, rather than having a totally unique design, so you don’t have to source your site’s images yourself if you don’t want to.
Each page comes with a set of advanced features that you can use to tailor your site, including the option to add e-commerce features, embed videos, build graphs and charts, and even insert polls. These are available as externally-built plugins, which you can easily locate through the same simple menu system.
When your site is up and running, SITE123 also provides visitor statistics, allowing you to see which aspects of your web content are most popular, as well as basic information about the kind of traffic your site receives.
SITE123 offers some SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) tools to make sure your website has the chance to rank as high as possible on search engines such as Google.
Standard SEO tools included:
Meta tags, Sitemap, 301 Redirect Tool
When you first head to the SITE123 website, you’ll be confronted by the words ‘by far the easiest free website builder’ which are plastered across the landing page and, ultimately, this sums up the biggest plus points of this web builder.
Everyone who signs up to SITE123 starts off with a free account, allowing you to try out all their features for as long as you want, before switching to a premium plan.
It’s incredibly easy to create and customise your site, taking minimal time and effort, you should be able to get your site live and working in under five minutes.
Another of SITE123’s greatest achievements is its multifarious support system for its customers. From the ‘hints’ and tutorial videos to the live chat and excellent customer service, SITE123’s support is unbeatable, perfect for those who aren’t as well versed in web building, and could use a little extra guidance to help them along the way.
Compared to other shared hosting sites, the designs are incredibly responsive and quick to load, something crucial to businesses as, if visitors come to a site, they’ll leave within seconds if there’s a problem with functionality or the loading time is too long.
For internationally focused businesses, your website can be translated automatically by the site in up to 5 different languages, and the resulting translations can also be edited manually – the translation seemed to be accurate and worked well on our test run.
While SITE123’s simplicity is one of its biggest selling points, it’s also one of its most impassable drawbacks. Namely, you can’t add any external HTML code to the site, which limits the customisation possibilities.
In essence, this means you have to rely completely on SITE123 to be able to provide the design elements that you want; if it isn’t in the editor, or available as a plugin/widget, there’s no way to add it to your site.
Also, you'd better make sure that you’re happy with the design template you have before going live, as once you do you can’t change the template of your website (though, of course, you can edit and customise the template features whenever you like).
Along the same lines, when it comes to complexity, your site is limited in terms of structure, meaning that you can create a site with a one-page layout; the tabs on your site’s menu can open up a new page, or scroll down to the correct section of the page, but the design is limited to that amount of complexity.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog through SITE123, it’s worth noting that there’s no comment feature, which limits bloggers in terms of being able to communicate with their audience, a key part of being a blogger. So, this might not be the best platform to do it.
Lastly, there’s no backup and restore function to allow you to revert back to an original version of your site. Although, since there’s no site code editing option anyway, this shouldn’t really be a problem as your site, at the very least, will always be responsive, and unable to be disrupted by a misguided coding session.
SITE123 has four pricing plans available to choose from. If you decide to opt for a longer contract, you can make massive savings on your chosen plan every month.
Paid plans come with a free domain for the first year. If you already have a domain – however you can connect it to your SITE123-built site.
Another thing to keep in mind is that – when you sign up for free and try out the web builder and its various customisation possibilities, you will likely receive incentives from SITE123 in the form of limited-time offers, to encourage you to take out the plan, affording you even greater potential for savings.
SITE123 lives up to its brand image as an incredibly easy, convenient website builder, which can be used to create almost any type of website. It’s particularly great for those who don’t have a massive well of technical know-how to draw from, but who need a fully functioning, responsive, aesthetically smart site.
Coming with a strong suit of templates and pages to choose from, and a satisfactory range of plug-ins to enable the insertion of advanced features into your site, SITE123 has everything you need to produce a website.
On the other hand, if you want to edit your site, you’re limited to the customised features available on the web builder. The fact that it’s impossible to add external code or widgets and plug-ins that haven’t been preordained by the site means that you’re restricted in terms of customisation options, and may end up frustrated if you decide that you want to add some fancier features to your site in the future.
So, if you’re someone who wants to customise your web content until it perfectly matches the vision you have for your website, then this might not be the web builder for you (take a look at our Wix Review)
However, if you just need a functioning, capable, aesthetically sound site and you want to get it live as soon as possible then SITE123 might be the web builder you’ve been looking for.
Site123 offers a free option, although, for a domain name, more resources and better features, we recommend going for a plan.
Your website will be protected by security procedures. The online protection is done through the highly secure SSL (site socket layer) encryption protocol. This encryption technology makes it so all websites are treated with total confidentiality. This is all done by Site123 for you in real-time, so you never have to worry about the security of your Site123 website.
No, their premium packages are all paid upfront for the period that you choose.
The months displayed on the pricing table are the duration of the service, as the subscription is annual and not monthly.
Unfortunately, it's not possible to edit the source code of the website although you can add a custom code page to embed an iFrame or similar to your site.
To add the custom code page:
In the Website Editor, click Pages.
Click the Add New Page button.
Click the App Market tab and select the Custom Code page.
Find the Custom Code page in the Website Editor and click the Edit button.
Add the code you wish to embed.
Check Custom Height to set custom height for the code window.