Founded in 2015, Site123 is an Israel-based company offering a free, easy-to-use site builder geared toward individuals or small businesses.
The Site123 sitebuilder can be used by a novice that has never built a website before. Its intuitive editing interface assumes no prior design experience or technical knowledge. Using the built-in wizard, abundant help features, and video tutorials, you can be up and running with a website that reflects your brand in just minutes. Everything else — the back-end server configuration, responsive design, and SEO — has been taken care of by Site123.
- The Site123 Website Builder
- Pricing and Billing
- Performance, Uptime, and Downtime
- Help and Technical Support
- Conclusion: Is Site123 Right for You?
Site123 includes a host of features that ensure that you can build the site you want and provide your visitors with the best possible user experience.
- Responsive: By default, all sites created using Site123 are responsive, so depending on the device your visitor is using, they will see a site sized for their device. Mobile phone users won’t see a site with minuscule font — they get their design that makes it easy to navigate your site when they’re on the go. You can rest easy that your visitors will get the optimal user experience; in fact, the site builder allows you to preview your site in some sizes. Furthermore, if you have an app for your business, you can provide a link to the appropriate app store so that your users can download it from their mobile device.
- Free Hosting: The site builder comes with free hosting on a secured server (Site123 owns its dedicated servers), so your site is available to others from the time you first hit save in the site builder. Your site is accessible via the free Site123 subdomain, but if you upgrade to any of the paid subscription plans, you can easily use a custom domain with your site.
- SEO: Your site has been built with SEO in mind. The HTML includes the appropriate tags, and you can get automatic redirection from your old site if necessary. Furthermore, Site123 automatically generates a sitemap for your pages so that search engine crawlers can use with ease.
- Free Image and Icons Library: If you need additional content for your site, you can use any of the pictures or icons in the free libraries provided by Site123. You’ll have access to stock images and icons that make your site much more aesthetically pleasing.
- Blog: You can add a blog to your site with ease. Make regular updates to your blog, share your thoughts, and engage your users without adding complexity to your site itself.
- Unlimited Sites: With just one administrative account, you can build as many websites as you want (however, if you’re using a paid plan, you still need to pay for each site individually on a monthly or annual basis).
- Unlimited Web Pages: While some site builders limit the number of pages you can build on your site, Site123 allows you to make an unlimited number of pages. The only limitation you have is the overall storage amount, which varies based on the subscription plan you have.
- Email Marketing: Instead of using a third-party email marketing service, Site123 includes built-in tools so that you can keep in touch with your users via newsletters and other types of email outreach.
- Social Media Integration: Share the posts you’ve made on your social media accounts, and share your site and its updates to your followers on social media.
One feature in particular that makes Site123 stand out from other site builders is its support for multilanguage sites.
On the back-end, the site builder has been translated into 69 different languages, so regardless of what your mother tongue is, you’ll likely be able to use the site builder in a tongue that’s familiar to you.
The only thing that you’ll have to build is your content, which Site123 makes easy by allowing you to open up two versions of your site side-by-side (this facilitates easy translating). Site123 will do the rest, including generating the appropriate menus for you based on the language you’ve chosen.
On the front-end, you can build multiple versions of your site using many languages quickly and easily. Each version of your site gets its URL (such as
mysite.site123.me/en), and your users can toggle between the different sites by clicking on the appropriate flags displayed on the upper-right corner.
Depending on your plan, you can support your site in up to five different languages.
Site123 supports basic e-commerce. You can easily add an always-open online store, or if you’re an artist or musician, create the galleries or libraries you need to showcase your work.
The online store builder includes features for managing your inventory and orders. To accept payment, you can integrate with PayPal or accept wire transfers. You can choose to conduct business in some currencies since Site123 aims to support businesses around the world.
You can also offer and accept coupons, set shipping rates, and charge tax on the products you sell.
Third-Party Tools and Integration
While Site123 offers a host of features in the website builder, it’s possible they don’t offer a tool or solution that you need. If that’s the case, you can quickly integrate the following solutions into your site:
- Analytics: gain information about your visitors, traffic patterns, and visitor behavior
- Live Support Chat: offer your customers an easy way to get in touch with someone from your team so that they can quickly get an answer to their question or a resolution to their problem
The Site123 Website Builder
To get started with Site123, you’ll need to create a new account. You’ll be asked what kind of website you’re interested in building, the name of your site, the primary language you’ll use on your site, and some personal details (your name, email address, and a password to secure your account). Alternatively, you can take advantage of the single sign-on feature and create an account using your Google or Facebook credentials.
When you launch the site builder for the first time, you’ll get a guided tour that gives you a high-level overview of all the things you can do within the editor. When done, you’ll see the generic template provided by Site123. The template is a fully-responsive site that includes basic information about your business, space for an About section, information about the services you offer, dedicated areas for large images, a contact area, and a Google Maps integration that lets your users know where you are in the world.
Unlike many other site builders, you don’t get to choose a theme; you can only change the layout of the one theme provided by Site123. While some may find this restrictive, those who are looking to create a professional-looking site that provides all the details their customers may be looking for in a short amount of time will find the lack of options refreshing.
All of the editing features you need are located in the navigation bar to your left, and it contains the following tabs: Homepage, Pages, Design, Settings, Preview, and Save.
- The Homepage tab allows you to change the copy, design, and layout of the landing page your users see when they first navigate to your site.
- The Pages tab is where you add additional sections/pages to your site. You can choose to show your site on a single page (where all pages are displayed on the homepage, and the user scrolls up and down to view all of your content), or you can build a multi-page site, where each page is shown separately.
- If you don’t have enough content for your pages (such as images), you can use resources found in the content libraries provided by Site123.
- The Design tab allows you to change the appearance of your site. In addition to changing its layout, you can change its style (such as color scheme and link style), font, menu options, footer layout, and favicon and social media-related images.
- The Settings tab allows you to toggle some different configuration options for your site. The options cover things like website type, e-commerce settings, SEO options, language support, plugins, and so on.
You can preview the changes you’ve made to your site at any time. You can choose to view your site as it would be seen by users on a desktop (both full-screen and not), a tablet, and a smartphone.
Saving and Publishing
When you save your site, your changes are published at that point and are accessible to your visitors.
Pricing and Billing
If you wanted to, you could easily use Site123 for free forever. While you would see caps on how much bandwidth you used (1 GB max) and how big you can make your site (you get 500 MB of disk storage space), you would still have access to almost all of the features included in the site builder itself. If you have an ecommerce store, you can handle a maximum of ten orders per month. The biggest downside to the free plan is that you don’t get support for multiple languages.
If you’re looking to upgrade, you can choose from various paid subscription plans and unlock more of its features.
Site123 accepts PayPal and all major credit cards. Keeping in line with their support for individuals and small businesses around the world, you can toggle the checkout page so that prices display in your local currency.
While Site123 allows you to pay for your subscription plan on a month-to-month basis, they offer significant discounts if you opt to pay upfront for a twelve, twenty-four, or thirty-six-month contract. You’ll see savings of 11%, 22%, and 33%, respectively.
Money Back Guarantee
If you’re unsatisfied, you can get a full refund of all fees paid if you cancel within fourteen days of initiating service.
Performance, Uptime, and Downtime
Site123 doesn’t make any mentions of an uptime guarantee, but they do indicate that your site will be stored on hundreds of CDNs around the world. This means that those navigating to your site won’t have to wait as long to load your site (this is especially important when it comes to your mobile users since they are typically using slower networks).
Help and Technical Support
Site123 offers one of the better support packages to their users.
As you’ll soon notice if you navigate to the site, there’s an animated icon on the bottom right that you can click to launch a Live Chat session. This is one of the most popular options for their customers, and it is available 24/7.
Alternatively, you can reach the support team via email.
Site123 offers an in-depth support center, where you can find tutorials, answers to frequently asked questions, and documentation on all of the site builder’s features.
If you’re a visual learner, you can view the video tutorials available on Site123’s YouTube site. There are dozens of videos covering everything from getting your account set up to creating custom integrations with third-party software suites.
Site123 maintains an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, so you can certainly contact the team using any of these platforms.
Conclusion: Is Site123 Right for You?
When comparing Site123 against other site builders aimed at getting individuals or small businesses up and running with a professional-looking website quickly, three things make this product stand out:
- The editor strikes a balance between being easy to use and being powerful. Site123 focuses on novices or those not looking to do too much fine-tuning (this is readily apparent by the lack of code editing features included in the site builder — other companies try to reach customers on both ends of the experience spectrum by including an editor with a graphical interface and a code editing section). If you’re the target audience for Site123, you will certainly not find the editor provided lacking.
- There is one theme available. While some may consider this a serious limitation, those who find it overwhelming when presented with a selection of dozens of templates would be happy with just one aesthetically pleasing option. You can change the theme up quite a bit, including adding/deleting sections (or pages, if you’ve chosen to build a multi-page site), changing the site style (fonts, color schemes, and so on), and customizing the features available, but most of the work regarding design has been done for you already.
- If you have a multilingual audience, Site123 is one of the few sitebuilders that can support multiple languages. In addition to making it easy for your users to toggle back and forth between the languages available, Site123 has translated their site builder into 69 different languages and automatically turns the menus and navigation features of your site for you. Their editor also has a unique side-by-side view you can use as you translate your site from one language to another.
Most features are available free of charge (in return, you’ll use a Site123 subdomain and see its banner on your site), but the plan upgrades (necessary if you want to use the multi-language features or need more than basic e-commerce support) are reasonably priced. Discounts are available to those who sign up for longer-term contracts, which reduce the month-to-month cost.
We don’t think you’ll have any issues working with Site123, even if you’ve never built a site before, but if you do have any questions, Site123 offers an extensive array of self-help materials. You can also reach their customer support team via email or 24/7 live chat. Few other site builders offer as much help to their clients as Site123.
All-in-all, Site123 is certainly an option you should consider if you don’t mind being locked into a particular aesthetic for your website.