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Site123 Review – key features explored

Site123 Review

Site123 is an easy, intuitive web builder aimed at anyone who wants to create an online business or personal website.It’s pretty user-friendly and helps you build a website from scratch in a fairly short space of time. It offers templates for a variety of pages, including online bookings, information pages, and more.

The site even provides samples to show you how good it can look. But its restrictive templates can be a bit limiting, particularly if you have a very specific idea for your website.

Design elements can be shifted around, but only within the options provided. And some features aren’t available on every page type, such as the twitter live feed.

Those looking to start a business will probably struggle with the free tier, so you might need to upgrade to a paid plan. But, no matter what plan you’re on, the customer support is very helpful.

Site123 is very helpful for those who need to keep things simple, while anyone with more creative flair might find this web builder a bit underwhelming.

Site123 website builder pros and cons

Pros

  • Live chat available for all
  • Good interface for beginners
  • Plug-ins are available for your website
  • Social media can be added to the homepage

Cons

  • Free tier is very restrictive, comes with limited space and bandwidth
  • Interface is simple but offers little flexibility

How easy is Site123 to use?

Site123 is fairly easy to use. As soon as you open it up, you can choose what kind of site you’re trying to create. Options include music, business, creative arts and so on. Select the option that best suits your needs and the system will generate a website template.

You can edit and change elements on the page, shift the order of pages, or scrap them entirely. And the menu itself is fairly easy to navigate.

Site123 website template

That said, Weebly’s drag-and-drop approach is far simpler and more freeing. The software provided by Site123 allows you to shift around the way the page looks, but only in its prescribed limits. So, while it’s fairly easy to use, it’s not the most intuitive or creative web builder we’ve tested.

What do customers say?

Site123 keeps customers happy by offering great customer support. Live chat is available for all users, even those on the free plan. You’ll find it at the bottom of the screen whenever you get stuck. Human support responded promptly and answered questions informatively.

As well as strong customer support, the service also offers a range of attractive templates. Whether you’re a business owner, an artist or a blogger, you should be able to find something you can work with.

Theme choices are a bit limited though. So if you’re after something a bit more niche, you might be better off with WordPress or Wix. 

Site123 pricing

Site123 offers a range of pricing options to suit your needs and budget.

The free tier offers you a chance to get started on building your website, but space and bandwidth are very limited. 

If you want to access  payment gateways, you must join the professional tier.

And if you pay for a year’s subscription upfront, you’ll also get a free domain for a year.

Site123 plans cost

Site123 plans (paid upfront)3 months1 year2 years3 years5 years10 years
Basic$57$153.60$223.20$304.20$390$600
Advanced$84$237.60$319.20$412.20$540$960
Professional$117    $345.60$415.20$520.20$660$1,140.00
Gold$141$417.60$535.20$700.20$900$1,620.00

Free plan

Site123’s free plan comes with all the basic tools to build a website. You can add text, pictures, video, new pages and so on. But this is about as much as you can do. And it’s worth noting that this does come with a storage limit of 250MB.

You also will have to put up with Site123’s branding on your domain name. But you’ll still get access to Site123’s excellent customer support. 

The free plan includes:

  • 250MB of storage
  • 250MB of bandwidth
  • Subdomain

Basic plan

If all you need is a domain or to connect an existing one, the Basic option is the one for you. This offering also gives extra storage and bandwidth, as well as removing all Site123 branding.

The Basic plan includes:

  • Free domain for a year if you pay for a year’s subscription upfront (selected domains only)
  • 10GB of storage
  • 5GB bandwidth
  • 100 mailing list messages

Advanced plan

The Advanced plan comes with a few extras. This includes two mailboxes and the ability to send more messages to your fans or customers. The subscription also comes with an additional language to display your site in.

The Advanced plan includes:

  • 30GB of storage
  • 15GB of bandwidth
  • Two mailboxes
  • 1,000 mailing list messages
  • One additional language for your site

Professional plan

Professional comes with e-commerce features. This includes the ability to take 500 orders a month.

Payment gateways are also available, as is the Website Statistics feature.

The Professional plan includes:

  • All features of previous plans
  • E-commerce functionality
  • 500 orders a month
  • 90GB of storage
  • 45GB of bandwidth
  • Five mailboxes
  • 2,500 mailing list messages

Gold plan

The Gold plan is the complete package and lets you take an unlimited number of orders a month. This includes digital products.

The Gold plan includes:

  • Unlimited orders per month
  • 10,000 mailing list messages
  • 10mailboxes
  • 270GB of storage
  • 135GB of bandwidth
  • Five additional languages
FeaturesBasicAdvancedProfessionalGold
Storage space10 GB30 GB90 GB270 GB
Bandwidth5 GB15 GB45 GB135 GB
Payment GatewaysNoNoYesYes
Messages per month1001000250010,000
Orders per month00500Unlimited
Mailboxes12510
Additional languages0135

Can you cancel a Site123 account? 

Refunds are available for a short period. If you’re within two weeks of a subscription purchase, you can request a full refund by filling out a form. This can be obtained by speaking to customer support. Once you are past the grace period, there are no refunds of any sort.

To prevent a future subscription renewal, be sure to turn off auto renewal in the Billing and Products section. To get started, look for the Account button on the top right of the dashboard.

Site123 tools and features

Site123 has plenty of tools and features, from the customer support and how-to guides, to marketing and SEO features. Whether using the service for personal or business ends, you’ll find a range of options to help you build what you want.

Here, we’ll take a look at some of the key features and tools, including customer support, domains, security and Google Analytics.

Customer support 

The customer support at Site123 is one of its most useful features. Whether you’re on the most expensive plan or the free tier, support is readily available.

This comes in the form of live chat, which sits on the bottom right of your screen. When we reached out to them, we found that the online support staff were knowledgeable, friendly and quick to respond. In testing, we never had to wait more than five or six minutes for a reply.

The representatives also supplied screenshots to make it easier to solve our issues.

However, there is no phone support and the email situation is a little strange. The company claims to offer email support, but does not readily provide an address.

If you want to send an email, you’ll need to get the correct email address via the live chat.

Website analytics

Those wishing to add analytics tools like Google Analytics or Statcounter can do so.

To get started with Google Analytics, sign up for the service, and then go through Google’s process. Once you’ve done this, Google should provide you with a code. Once you’ve added the plug-in to your Site123 account, just paste that code in and start analyzing the traffic to your website.

Unfortunately, this option is not available on the free plan. So you will need to be on one of the paid subscriptions to add the code.

SEO & Marketing

There are a range of marketing and SEO tools available on Site123. But again, customers on a paid plan will get more features.

For example, Basic patrons get 100 mailing list messages a month, while Gold members receive 10,000 a month.

Another useful feature of some of the paid plans is the ability to have more than one mailbox. This allows you to have different email addresses for things like general questions and shipping issues.

Users also have access to the SEO Adviser. This useful feature audits your website and informs you what’s working well, what’s not, and how to fix it. You can also add meta data for each of your pages. 

Domains

On the free tier, your site will have a Site123-branded URL. If you want your own custom domain, you’ll need to pay for one of the premium plans. Subscriptions above three months come with a free domain for a year.

It’s also worth noting that you can’t redirect a domain you already own until you become a fully paid up member of Site123.

To check if a domain is available before signing up, head to the main dashboard, and look for the big red square titled Suggested Domains. The search tool is directly underneath.

Security

Site123 offers SSL security to all its users. This is good news for those wanting to create a secure site that feels trustworthy.

You can also add password protection to your site. Once set, users will need the access code to access it.

Just be aware that website owners can still make changes without entering the newly set passwords, so be sure to log out after each session.

Backup and restores

The good news is that Site123 does have the ability to reinstate deleted websites. If you hit the wrong button, you can quickly restore it to the previous version.

You can restore a deleted website by going to My Sites on the dashboard, selecting the filter option, then Deleted. Choose the website you want to restore, click it and then it will be restored to the dashboard. Click once more to reinstate it.

Bear in mind that you can only restore your website to its last published version.

Plug-ins

Site123 does provide plug-ins. But you have to upgrade to a paid account to use them. And then you’ll have to pay any fees set by the plug-ins themselves. So it can be quite expensive.

The plug-in section includes Google Analytics, Bing Webmaster Tools and Facebook Pixel. You can also implement chat plug-ins to better connect with your customers. Overall, this isn’t the most diverse selection we’ve tested, but you will find a reasonable range of useful tools.

Site123 lets you add custom code into your website, but this is only available for paid subscriptions. 

What are Site123 limitations?

Site123’s free version is pretty limited. In fact, if you need e-commerce functionality, you will have to join one of the top two tiers. Similarly, if you need site apps, you’ll have to pay. 

Some features are only available on certain pages, so you might find that you can’t customize every page the way you’d like. 

And even more frustratingly, it has storage and bandwidth limits. Of course, you can pay for a more expensive plan to get around this issue, but it’s a serious limitation of the cheaper plans.

Features’ capability

If you’re on the free tier, the storage and bandwidth are quite limited. There’s also no access to site apps, and you have to pay extra to schedule posts.

Even if you pay for one of the premium services, you’ll likely still find a few disappointing issues.

During testing, we found that the homepage would only allow us to have one or two features. So, if we added a YouTube video, we weren’t able to have a search tool. 

This is a disappointing setback, particularly as there looked to be more than enough room to accommodate both on the page.

Adding custom HTML code

You must have a paid account to add your own code. But you can’t edit the web builder’s CSS or JS.

You can find out more here:

adding plugins and custom code to site123

Live social feeds

You can access Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest via the menu. 

During our test, Twitter updated within a minute or two of a new tweet. But we did have to refresh the site to see the new tweet appear.

The downside is that Site123 will only let you have one social media feed at a time, and only on the homepage.

Alternatively, users can add social media buttons elsewhere, but this doesn’t give quite the same impact as a live feed.

What type of website is Site123 best for?

Whether you’re looking to create a personal website or an online store, Site123 has lots of options to help you out.

Personal website

Site123 is a good choice for creating a personal website. It lets you pick the type of site you want, and the system will generate a suitable template for you.

You can also create a range of different elements for your site, including text, portfolios, and music. 

There are social media plug-ins available if you’re willing to sign up to a paid subscription.  

On the flip side, certain page types miss out on features like YouTube integration, while social media features are limited to the homepage.

What works

  • It’s great for beginners
  • Text and images can be added easily
  • There are site plug-ins available if you’re willing to pay

What doesn’t

  • It’s lacking flexibility 

Blog

The Blogging interface is simple to use and features like videos, images and tables are easy to add in. Video and images can be easily inserted from a computer, via YouTube, or from Site123’s own library.

But you’ve got to pay to schedule posts. So, you’ll either have to make sure you’re around to publish your blog whenever you want it to go live or pay to schedule them.

What works

  • Site123 has its own video and image library
  • Users can add images, videos, files and tables

What doesn’t

  • Functionality such as scheduling is behind a paywall

Business and e-commerce

You have to pay for a Professional or Gold package to access Site123’s e-commerce features. This includes access to major payment providers including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Amazon Pay.

site123 access to major payment providers

Site 123 doesn’t take any fee from transactions, but it’s still likely that you’ll have to pay a fee to the card providers themselves.

The e-commerce store is straightforward to manage, change and update. You can also display in multiple currencies and languages.

Big businesses may struggle with Site123’s storage and bandwidth cap. The top tier offers 135GB bandwidth and 270GB of storage.

What works

  • Online store templates are easy to set up and look professional
  • Plenty of payment options available
  • Site123 doesn’t take commission

What doesn’t

  • You have to pay to use credit card and payment options
  • Space constraints may cause trouble for bigger businesses

How to create a website with Site123

Setting up a website on Site123 is a breeze. Here is a step-by-step walk-through on how to get set up.

  1. Click the Start Here button in the top right-hand corner of the Site 123 website.
Create site step 1
  1. Choose the type of website you need.
types of websites available in site123
  1. Enter the name of your website.
add site name on site123
  1. Fill in your personal details, including your name email and password.
Lets get started
  1. Site123 will then start the process of building your website. Once that’s done, you’ll see an official introduction video, showing off what the site can do.
  1. Once you’re ready to move on, click Start Building Your Site
site123 website building final step
  1. With a basic site now created, you can add pages, change templates and add features like a Twitter feed. Changes can also be made by clicking Edit on the specific sections themselves.
Site123 website edit interface
contact us page for new website
  1. When you’re ready to publish your site, click Publish at the top right-hand corner of the screen. 
publishing new website in site123 builder

Website migration from/to another platform 

Unfortunately, you can’t migrate an existing site to or from Site123.

If you make a website on Site123, you can’t host it anywhere else. Equally, you can’t move an existing site over to Site123.

You can’t even download your website from Site123.

This is a bit of a dealbreaker if you want flexibility and room to grow as your site takes off.

Site123 review summary

Overall, Site123 comes with a range of features to help you build a personal or business website.

Although it would benefit from switching to a drag-and-drop approach, the building interface is relatively easy to understand as used on Weebly or Mobirise.

That said, the building process is straightforward and it shouldn’t take you too long to get a good-looking website up and running.

Frustratingly, you can only apply features like YouTube integration and social feeds in certain circumstances. This is the same for HTML elements.

Bandwidth and storage limits may also prove to be an irritation.

On the plus side, the customer support is excellent. And you can get access to major payment providers, such as Amazon Pay, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard and more.

There is no extra Site123 fee when working through payment gateways. This definitely gives it an edge over web builders such as Weebly that add on a commission fee. 

Ultimately, Site123 is a website builder that tries to make it simple for beginners and those with little building experience. While it succeeds in this endeavor, it is at the cost of flexibility and more advanced features.

Examples of websites built on Site123 

For business

Site123 business example

https://www.carmensophiamakeup.com/

For online stores

123 online shop example

https://www.tagli.co.il/

For CV and portfolio showcases

site123 personal website example

https://www.girlalonefilm.com/

For blogging

Site123 blog example

https://www.sardinestatus.com/

Site123 alternatives

If you’d like to launch a business website but need to keep things simple, Weebly is more user-friendly than Site123. This is because Weebly has e-commerce functionality as well as plug-in options. Check out our detailed Weebly review for more information.

If you’re looking for a more flexible solution, a combination of WordPress and WooCommerce might be the answer. You can build your site on WordPress and then install WooCommerce. It’s open source which gives you more creative freedom to tweak.

WordPress is also a great choice for anyone looking to have a little bit of fun. Setup is quick and straightforward, and everything is easy to use. 

FAQs

Here we’ll answer all your frequently asked questions about Site123.

Is Site123 free?

Yes, Site123 offers a basic plan that’s completely free to use. Although if you want more functionality and your own custom domain name, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan.

What are the main advantages of Site123?

Site123 is easy to use. And if you’re running a business, you can access major payment methods like Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and Amazon Pay. The live chat service is also useful with knowledgeable and helpful staff on hand to help you out.

Can you add analytics to Site123?

Yes, you can add analytics to your site, but you have to be on a paid plan. Site123 offers services from Google, Facebook and Bing.

Can you add custom HTML to Site123?

Yes, you can add custom HTML code provided you’re signed up to one of Site123’s paid plans.

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