Site123 lets the user create beautiful websites in a few simple steps. It does not demand any knowledge of programming or computer languages from the user. This Israeli website building tool is not like the usual drag and drop website builders. Instead, it follows a template-based design, and the user can place the content in the templates provided on the website builder.
- Lots of templates: The website builder provides the user with a lot of templates and layout styles. However, it should not come off as a huge surprise since this is the only way for the client to offer significant style changes on the website. The templates available on the platform cover most of the design and orientation options.
- Plugins: Site123 offers a lot of third-party tools in the ‘App Store.’ One can use the plugins for all sorts of functions on the website builder. The applications are also sorted according to various categories in the store. You can find applications for purposes ranging from social media management to the ones which help you with the analytics of the website.
- Easy to start: The website builder promises to allow the user to create a website in three easy steps, and thus the name Site123. The client stands true to its promise and ensures that it is a straightforward process for the user to create a website. The options to classify the website into one of the shown categories keep the guesswork out and delivers a relevant website outline to the user.
- Lower loading times: The use of a content delivery network for the website results in faster rendering of the website. The user can put high-quality content on the website without worrying much about the loading speed.
- Secure: The website builder hasn’t got any special features to secure the user’s content, but it comes with all the necessary security tools. The HTTPS protocol encourages viewers to visit the website, and it also helps with the search engine rankings to some extent.
- Limited control: As it is the case with most of the template-based website builders, the user hasn’t got much control over the elements of the websites. The layouts make it easy to create a website speedily, but at the same time, it takes away the user’s freedom to play with the elements.
- Limited element designs: The elements themselves can’t be affected much on this website builder. The user has to stick with the element styles that the layouts support. This can be frustrating for the users who want to add a personal touch to the websites.
- Few options in the webstore: It is tough to create exciting e-commerce websites on this platform. The products page, which is inarguably the most important page of any e-commerce website, has limited design options. The user can’t do much to showcase the products.
- Can’t collaborate: The website builder doesn’t provide any option to work as a team on the website builder. The collaboration option would have made life easier for the webmaster, and it is one of the necessary features for an extensive
No matter what it is that you do, the internet is the best place to get a bigger audience or more customers. However, you will need to provide these people with an avenue which is exclusively yours.
This is where a person or business needs to have a website on the internet. Website builders help users to create a website themselves without the requirement of any of the technical knowledge.
Building a website on a website builder is similar to a DIY project. The platform provides all the necessary tools and guidelines, and the rest is up to the user.
The method of creating a website may vary a lot across the website builders. It is the needs and expertise of the webmaster which decides if the way used by on website builder is superior to the one used by the others.
Site123 is a website builder with seemingly simple controls to help one build a website from scratch. It boasts being one of the simplest tools to create a site, and therefore, preferred a lot by the beginners.
In this review, we will be looking at the features of this website builder and try to asses what it is that makes it so simple to create a website on this platform.
However, experience tells us that simple is not always better, and we will keep a close eye for any loss in customizability options because of the extreme simplicity on the product.
Integration with third-party applications, the loading speeds, the security of the website, etc. are some of the features which are always under our radar.
There will be some direct comparisons with the other website builders to measure how good or bad is this website builder.
Ease of Starting
It is as easy as it can get to start building a website on Site123. All you need to do is to choose the specific class for your website.
The service provides the user with some options at the onset. These options include a number of popular choices such as business, online store, blog, photography, etc. and some of the lesser known categories as well.
Categories such as handyman services and events can be counted as the ones on the other side of the popularity spectrum.
The point we are trying to make here is that these categories are enough to serve the needs of the majority of the users.
Even the categories have sub-sections which makes everything even more accurate and relevant and accurate.
Once you choose the category and the sub-category, the builder will present to you a ready-made website which is most suited to your needs.
From here onwards, you can make as many changes as you want to get the desired results.
This initial process is what separates Site123 from most of the website builders. Other website builders may confuse the user by throwing a bunch of random templates at him/her right at the beginning.
Too many options can be overwhelming, especially for the first-timers. Site123 does most of the work for the user to get things going in the beginning.
Most of the website builders make users choose between the templates from their libraries. They present a lot of the sample websites to the user.
However, there might be a few cases where certain aspects of one website are better, but some other sections are presented in a better way on another website.
Such situations confuse the user even more.
Site123 allows the user to monitor and customize all the sections of the websites carefully, and get the best of both the worlds.
The user still gets the option to choose between the templates but with a lot more versatility as compared to other website builders.
Editors are the most important parts of the website builders. It is where you personalize your website.
It does not matter if you started with a blank page or custom template. The editor lets you shape the website the way you want to.
Since there is so much potential of transformation for your website, it becomes equally important that the editor contains all the necessary tools which let you imply those changes on your website.
The extent of customization and the ability of the tools vary from the website builder’s editor to another.
It is easy for one to fall into the trap of thinking that those editors are the best which let the user make even the tiniest of changes while creating the website.
Generally, there are two kinds of website editors, ones who provide the user with extensive settings over the website, and the other which are relatively simpler to use as they only allow the user to make certain changes in the already available templates.
It is not easy to debate as to which one is better, and it all boils down to the user’s preference in the end.
Those who have just started the website building process and don’t have very detailed plans about the website they are going to create, may prefer the editors which are easier to use.
These people will not mind if they are not able to insert and then customize the 3D effects on their website. All they need is a functioning website which should not take too long to build.
There will also be a few people who want to have control over all the design decisions on their website. These people don’t want to follow any template and prefer to add and remove sections from the website as they wish.
Highly specialized website editors can only meet the needs of such people. Such editors open up endless opportunities for the user when it comes to website designing.
But such editors are tough to master and involve a very steep learning curve. Generally, the professionals prefer such editors as the editor helps them design the website by giving them control over all the sections of the code (the user does need to write any code).
Now that we have discussed the different kind of editors let us focus our attention on the editor of Site123.
The website editor provides only limited control to the user over the design aspects of the website. But the website builder compensates for it in so many ways that one would hardly feel the need for more design options.
We already know that Site123 allows the user to choose from one of the categories of the website available. This choice of category has a huge rule to play in the whole website designing process on the builder.
The templates, as well as the customization options, served to the user depend a lot on the choice made by the user at the beginning of the whole process.
Let us dive into the editor and understand how it works. It all starts with a sample website with sample content, and the user needs to work on this by making the changes progressively.
The user can choose if she wants to build a website which has a single page display or a multi-page display. And this is just the beginning of options for the user.
The editor has a panel at the left side of the screen which provides the user with all the necessary controls to make the changes.
The sections in this side panel remain the same for all the types of websites on the builder whether it is a blog or an online store.
The major portion of the website is covered with the preview of the website with the necessary buttons on each page to make any change in the content.
Let us first start from the panel itself and then we will discuss the customization options present for the pages.
There is a notification button at the top of the side panel. This notification button won’t be of much use at the beginning of the process, but its importance will increase as the user advances with the process.
Then comes the ‘Homepage’ button which has been divided into three sections. The first section is ‘Title and Slogan.’
The user needs to enter the title of the website along with the slogan and the subtitle if there is any. The entered text gets edited in the template automatically.
The editor also allows the user to change the size as well as the font of the text. If you are a premium customer, then there will be additional custom settings available.
The next section is ‘Image Design,’ and it lets the user tweak the settings of the image on the homepage. One can add multiple images and videos on the homepage as well. One can apply filters on the images as well.
The final section is ‘Layouts’ which showcases all the different templates that the builder has got to offer the user for the homepage. The user can sort these templates based on the style he/she prefers.
After the ‘Homepage’ comes the ‘Pages’ section on the side panel. This tab allows the user to add or remove pages from the website and name them accordingly.
The templates on the page can be changed from this section, and the options available for templates depend upon the category of the page.
There are several options for the webpages. Some of these options are the gallery, contact, testimonials, etc.
Site123 is following the same pattern for webpages that it did for the website itself. If the user is specific about the requirements from the webpage, then the website builder is very much capable of helping the user.
The suggested templates will be in line with the requirements of the user. Once the user chooses a suitable template, he/she can make from minute to extreme changes in it to get the desired results.
The next tab on the side panel is ‘Design,’ and it is again divided into a few sections. However, we will not discuss all the sections separately.
We will only draw a simple outline of the tab. Otherwise, this review will turn into a tutorial, which you can find plenty on the internet for all the website builders.
The ‘Design’ tab lets the user choose the website structure, header and footer options, styles and fonts, etc. One can also add the website name and logo in this section and add the icon for social sharing as well.
Before moving on to the other tabs on the side panel, let us discuss the customization options present on the webpages.
Each page has at least two buttons present on it which are ‘Manage Page’ and ‘Page Layout.’ Page layout suggestions again depend upon the category of the webpage.
If it is a ‘Contact’ web page, then the suggestion will include how the map and address will be displayed. The other pages also get a custom suggestion in a similar manner.
The ‘Manage Page’ button lets the user deal with all the content on the page and manage the various features present on the page. The options displayed under this pop-up window will vary immensely across the pages.
It is under this button that the user is allowed to add or remove content from the page.
Editing on Site123 is a straightforward process. Most of the things are done by the client, and all that the user needs to do is add his/her content and information.
Site123 displays all the websites made by the user on the main page which is displayed right after the user gets into his/her account.
The page allows the user to create different categories under which the websites can be saved. This feature comes in handy when the user is managing multiple websites.
There is a button to create a new group. Once the user creates a new group, all he/she needs to do is to drag a website and drop it into the preferred category.
And those who were complaining, here you have the drag and drop feature on this website builder. Most people feel that drag and drop is the way to go for website builders. But Site123 showed how things could be done even without the feature.
Once you click on one of the website icons on the page, it will take you to the dashboard for that website.
You created a website and put it on the internet. We think it is safe to assume that you want others to know about this website and get more traffic on it.
You want more and more people to reach this website else why would you create it and publish it on the internet.
The dashboard on Site123 comes equipped with elementary but effective tools which help you manage and monitor the growth in popularity of the website.
Those who are aware of how marketing and promotions work, must be aware of the importance of email marketing. It is one of the most genuine and direct methods to reach out to users and audiences.
It helps increase the userbase and helps improve customer loyalty as well. When used properly, email marketing can do wonders when it comes to the growth of the website or business.
Site123 lets you manage the mailing list and be in touch with the customers. The different templates for the emails help keep the emails exciting enough for the users.
The website builder lets the user use the domain for the email account which ensures that everything is professional. This also helps in gaining the trust of users and customers.
There are a few buttons on the dashboard such as Form Messages, Mailing List, Blog, etc. Each of these buttons has its importance. Let us briefly discuss how these buttons help the user in managing the website properly.
The Form Messages button and the Mailing list button assist the user with the email marketing part of the website. These show the stats for the interactions with the user.
The user can also send messages to the mailing list from the Mailing List option. It comes with all sorts of flexibility such as scheduling the messages for later and switching between the templates.
If you maintain a blog on the website, then there will be the blog button as well. It helps with all the interactive part of the blog such as the comments and setting up of the comment system.
Similarly, if the website has a web-store, then the E-commerce button helps with the business section. Managing order and coupons is an easy task through this portal.
The ability to see the trends related to the purchases helps in making important decisions such as if a product should be removed from the store, or if more units of it are needed.
The dashboard has regular buttons as well such as Edit and Settings. The settings button has a few important options such as setting up the levels on the website, adding contributors, creating a duplicate, etc.
The dashboard on Site123 is neatly organized, makes the whole process of managing the website very easy. There is not much that we could have suggested for improving the dashboard on the builder.
Online selling is at its peak these days, and it seems that this peak will only get higher and higher with time.
The e-commerce industry is the driver of the economy in a lot of regions of the world. So why not benefit from this trend and help drive the economy in the process as well.
Even though the heading of this section reads e-commerce, we feel there is not much of a difference between a web store and a full-fledged e-commerce website at their cores.
Both are intended to sell products using the online media, and both are very easy to create on Site123.
However, our discussion in this section will be more focused on the e-commerce website front as it covers most of the aspects of a web store as well.
There is not much of a difference in between an e-commerce website and any other website when it comes to designing on Site123. The layouts, tags, titles, etc. are edited in the same way across all the website types on this website builder.
The templates and the custom pages are now more in accordance with an online store. For instance, the layouts will now include a products page which is a core necessity for an e-commerce website.
However, the products page on the e-commerce website category is one of the rare disappointments that we have faced on this website builder.
The page has got a lot of customization options, but there is no option to change the layout of the page. Most of the other page categories on the builder have the option to change the layouts.
The products page is without a doubt, one of the most important pages of an e-commerce website. Having no option to modify the layout of such a page was very disappointing.
You will encounter the same issue when you create a web store on any website. There will be no option to change the layout on that page as well.
We understand that Site123 doesn’t give too much of the modification controls to keep it easy for the user to edit the website. But since other pages come with the option to change the layout, we feel that the same should have been done for the products page.
The things which you can change on the products page in terms of design are the way products are displayed on the page and the menu style of the website.
The other aspects of setting up an e-commerce website or a webstore are pretty much straightforward. The website builder takes care of most of the things, and all that user needs to do is to type in the details in the allocated sections.
There are multiple options for setting up the payment gateway on the website, and all the popular payment gateways such as PayPal and Amazon Pay are included in the builder.
Taxation and accounting can be handled with ease because of the easy to understand infographic data about the page.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
There is no limit to the number of resources and hours one can put in to create a website. You can be as creative as you want to be with the design of the webpages or use as much high-quality content that you want.
But none of it will be of any use if your website is not ranked highly on the search engines. It is necessary that the website is visible to the users for them to explore it.
SEO is one of the essentials for a website to flourish on the internet. A new website needs to be SEO friendly to gain some friction.
There are multiple ways in which a website and its content can be optimized for the search engines, and it is the website creator who needs to get it right. But it helps for sure if the website builder assists in this process of optimization.
Site123 assists the user with the SEO part of the website at all steps of the website building process. The website builder makes it very easy for the user to make sure that his/her website is ranked highly in search engines like Google.
The importance of meta tags is a subject of debate, and a lot can be said both for and against the importance of the tags.
Those who are not aware of meta tags, can consider it is an identification marker for the content of the webpage and the website. These tags give information about the relevance of the page with respect to a topic.
The meta tags help the search engine to understand the context of the webpage which in turn relays this information via the search results.
SEO is a multi-faceted front, and meta tags are just one of its faces. Even though its importance might be trivial, it will only help to make the page easier to search on the web.
With Site123, it is effortless to add meta tags for all the relevant sections of the website. The builder allows the user to add meta tags under various categories.
For the homepage, the builder allows the user to add meta tags for the title, description, and keywords. The meta tags for other pages on the website can also be added along with the page itself.
A sitemap is another one of the tools which make it easier for the search engines to identify a website in terms of the content on the website.
The builder automatically creates a sitemap for the user’s website which the user can check any time.
The redirect tool on the builder ensures that all your hard work and time spent in building up the traffic on one of your old websites does not go down in vain when you switch to a new website.
The 301 Redirect tool lets a visitor know that you have now moved to a new web address. This helps one retain the organic following accumulated over the years.
There are other analytic tools in the builder which will give you more insights about the traffic and patterns on your website. Majority of these tools are available with the upgraded version of the builder.
One such beneficial tool available on the builder is the Google Webmaster tool. It can help improve the search ranking of the website significantly.
Fast and Secure
How have often have you come across a page which took too long to upload? And what was your initial intuition on visiting such a page?
If it made you want to leave the page because you had enough of that loading icon on your screen, then you are not alone my friend.
There is no point of decorating the web page with high-resolution crisp images if it won’t load before the viewer is annoyed so much that he/she leaves the page.
The speed with which a webpage loads on a screen depends on a few factors, such as the volume of content on the page, the internet speed, the server location, etc.
It is impossible to control all these factors, but the ones which can be controlled should be managed to ensure better service.
Site123 takes care of a lot of these factors when it comes to making sure that the websites don’t take too long to respond.
The service uses Content Delivery Networks (CDN) to achieve better responsiveness. CDN is the same method which allows streaming services such as Netflix to deliver high-quality content to its users at incredible speeds.
CDN achieves better speeds by reducing the distance between the server and the user. It means that a copy of the content is saved at various servers across the globe which reduces the distance between the server with the content and a random viewer.
Sometimes these servers are managed by the local ISPs, which allows even faster delivery of the content.
The loading test results showed that the websites created on Site123 do load faster than an average website. The measures undertaken by the website builder seem to be working excellently.
One the security front, the websites are password protected. You don’t need to worry that a copy of your content is sent on so many servers.
It will still be you who has full control over the content as well as management of the page. The password will be the only way to get managerial access to the page.
The user also has the option to beef up the security by using two-factor authentication for access to the website.
You also get free SSL certification on creating a website from Sit123 which helps to keep the harmful elements away. HTTPS is another one of the items included in the security pack of the builder.
These factors not only help to keep the website safe, but also make it reach wider audiences as the website won’t get blocked from any firewall because of limited security.
You must have come across the word ‘options,’ an awful lot of times in this review. It is an indication of the richness of the library of the website builder.
Be it the templates or the icons, Site123 never disappointed us when it came to multiple options for a section or category. For beginners, who don’t have many resources, the builder provides abundant free stock images.
The library is also impressive in the fact that it accepts high-resolution images and videos without a problem. This helps the user maintain high-quality content throughout the website and attract more viewers and users.
Coming to the templates, the builder had the user covered in all the sections. The categories for pages, and then different options for each of those categories of pages is a clean way to serve the user with loads of options without overwhelming him/her.
The builder took care of even the icons. There were plenty of them and once again very neatly organized. The font options and color options were never a matter of concern on the builder.
However, there were times when we felt the need for options in the library. For instance, the web store on the builder lacks versatility. We had a tough time creating a store of our liking because there was no option to move things around in terms of layout.
On the whole, the library on the builder has got enough content of its own that one can create a whole website using it, and hardly anyone will feel that it is stock content.
The potential viewer of the website you created can be using any kind of device to check the website. It can be anything from desktop to mobile.
It is, therefore, necessary to make sure that the website looks amazing irrespective of the device and screen.
The website builder has the adaptive view feature in which the user can choose to have the preview in any of the desktop, mobile, and tablet mode. The preview is available along with the editor and without the editor in a new window as well.
The different views give you a better idea about the changes which may be necessary to make sure that the website looks terrific in all the forms.
This is a common feature on most of the website builders, but a lot of them don’t allow the simultaneous editing along with the preview as Site123 does.
Plugins & Widgets
There are a lot of tools and businesses out there which can help you a lot in extending your reach to the users on the internet.
These services and tools are offered in the form of widgets and plugins which make your website much more efficient and help you with the business as well.
Some of you must be confused about the difference between widgets and plugins. Let us first address that issue quickly.
A widget is something that you add to the website which is visible to the user and helps increase the functionality of the website.
A plugin, on the other hand, may or may not be visible to the user, but it helps the website master to achieve the motive behind installing that plugin, which can be anything ranging from analytics to marketing.
Site123 offers a few widgets in the app market and a lot of plugins in the plugin section of the editor. The widgets are available in the ‘Add New Page’ section under the ‘App Market.’
The widgets have different sections, and the user can know more about them by clicking on their website link in the section. The nature of the website that the user has created will have a lot to do with the usefulness of these widgets.
Coming to the plugins, this website builder has a lot of them. The website builder has divided them into different categories to make sure that the user can easily find the one to use.
Along with ‘Popular,’ the other sections are ‘Analytics Tools,’ ‘Live Support Chat,’ ‘Marketing Tools,’ and ‘Webmaster Tools.’
The function of these plugins must be apparent from the names of the category. Those who are still figuring out how things work in the plugins and the management world may find it beneficial to start from the ‘Popular’ section.
The section displays all the popular plugins, and they are popular for some reason. These plugins can be considered best in their class, and the user should benefit from the experience of other users.
So far all seems merry in this website builder, and one should not think twice before getting this website builder.
But we would say hold your horses. Nothing is perfect, and the same applies to Site123 as well. Let us discuss some of the inadequacies in this website builder.
The factor which makes this website builder such a popular service is that it is easy and simple to use. However, this strength can turn out to be a weakness in a lot of cases.
The website builder provides the user with multiple layouts and templates. Even though the number of these templates and layouts is high, they cannot be modified.
Such a system may help a person who is new to the website building process, or someone who does not wants to invest a lot of time and resource into creating the website.
All that these set of people need to do is choose the appropriate layout and template, replace the content with original content, and the website is ready for publishing.
However, the builder completely misses out on those people who want to have control over all the tiny details of the website they create.
One can also say that the builder is taking away way too much control from the user. We also can’t help but agree with this statement. But it cannot be denied that this was necessary to increase the ease of use.
The website builder could have included some features such as advanced settings or customization options which would have satisfied the needs of the control-seeking users.
Another demerit of this rigidity is that once a user gets accustomed to all the facets of website building, he/she will crave for more customization options.
It is natural that the person would want to expand his/her skill set, but this website builder will turn out to be a smaller playground for such a user.
In this case, the user is left with only two options. One would be to let go of his/her desire to explore more cracks and crevices of website building, and the other would be to switch the website builder.
I guess we all can make out the possible choice that the user will make in such a scenario.
It will be a tough task for the team of Site123 if they decide to address the issue. Balancing the ease of usage with increased customizability is tough.
It won’t be a big surprise if the website builder decides not to mess with the current settings as things seem to be working fine for them at the moment.
The website builder is very easy to use, but there are so many factors associated with website making that one may feel the need for some guidance at one point or another.
Site123 provides 24/7 chat support, but it is available to the premium users only. We were only testing the builder and had no intention to publish a website, so we did not opt for the premium service.
This did not allow us to get a feel of the chat support that Site123 provides. However, customer support is not all about live chats.
There are other ways for the service to help its users and for the users to get help.
We went through their support page in details. The support page of this website builder covers most of the sections in great details.
They have also included moving images on the support page which make the whole explanation a lot easier to understand.
Site123 has also got countless small tutorials on YouTube, which is another great way to learn more about the product.
Even though we did not get a chance to interact with the support executives of the website, we are quite satisfied with the customer support service for the builder.
The website builder faired as both amazing and useless at the same time. It all depends upon the webmaster’s needs.
Site123 may be just the perfect website builder for someone who has never created a website and has no knowledge of how things work in the realm of website making. It will also help to build a basic website with only the essential features.
On the other hand, one may end up pulling hairs from his end if he wants to create an advanced level website with the tools available in the website builder. To them, the website will be nothing more a collection of templates where the content can be replaced.
If we look away from the designing part of the website, then the website builder did very well in the other departments. The websites created on Site123 did not take too long to load in general, and the security features are also satisfactory.
The client lets the user integrate the website with a lot of the third-party applications which only adds up to the efficiency of the website.
We will not pass a verdict if you should use this website builder or not. Instead, we will advise you to not go with this website if you wish to have immense control over the elements of the website.
We would also like to recommend this website builder to anyone who wants to create an aesthetically pleasing website but without putting in a lot of efforts.