Sitelio, a United Kingdom-based startup launched in 2014, is a do-it-yourself website builder aimed at individuals or small businesses looking to get started with an online presence. Its product boasts sleek and minimalist templates and a well-designed editing tool, all designed for the user without design experience or in-depth technical knowledge.
Sitelio’s goal is to get you up and running with a site with as little effort as possible, and one of the ways it helps you do that is to take care of all the technical, back-end aspects of running a website. This means that the Sitelio team will take care of everything related to web hosting, server administration, and domain name registration, and you’re only responsible for the front-end of your site. Here’s how Sitelio helps with designing, creating, and managing your front-end.
All accounts get a free Sitelio subdomain, such as
The basis of all sites built using Sitelio is the theme, which makes it easy for you to create a professional-looking site even if you don’t have any design experience. There are several hundred themes from which you can choose, and all were built in-house by Sitelio’s design team. These are unique designs, not available with any other site building tool.
All themes come with multiple pages, so you have a full site from the get-go. You can delete any of the pages you don’t want. To add additional pages, you can add a blank page and create all of its content from scratch, or you can duplicate and customize an existing page.
If you opt for a paid subscription to Sitelio, you’ll also get access to the mobile version of whichever theme you choose.
Once you’ve selected a theme for your website, you can edit as much (or as little) as you’d like using the drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG editing tool. In addition to the features that already exist on the theme you’ve chosen, you can add any number of elements (buttons, contact forms, containers, embedded files, and so on) to your page.
With this drag and drop website builder you can easily customize the template you select, and no coding experience is needed.
While most templates use pages as the division between different types of content, you can easily use the Page Sections feature to create one lengthy website that relies primarily on scrolling for navigation. Because you don’t really have control over how the large version of your site adjusts itself for mobile audiences, this is the approach for you if you want granular control over how your site appears to mobile audiences.
Paid subscriptions get access to the mobile-friendly version of their site. To make developing for a mobile audience easier, these subscribers can see, without ever leaving the editor, what their website changes would look like to on-the-go users.
Image Galleries and Libraries
Sitelio offers a wide variety of image galleries you can embed onto your site, as well as free image libraries in case you don’t have enough content for your needs.
Communications and Marketing
The communications and marketing tools available to you include the following:
- Social media integration, which makes it easy for you to share your site’s content on a number of different platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which means that your site is more likely to rank well in search engine results pages. Within the editor, you can easily manage the meta tags and header/footer HTML, as well as set up a list of redirects so that you can keep your existing SEO scores.
- Integrated blogging, which makes it easy for you to voice your views, keep your visitors up-to-date with all that’s happening with you or your organization and share information relevant to your industry.
You’ll also get basic email marketing features, such as mailing list and form subscription management features.
Sitelio integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics, one of the most popular free tools for gathering information on the performance of your site. The information that Google Analytics provides is nearly endless and includes traffic patterns, bounce rates, demographics, performance, email newsletter engagement, and so on. This information helps you figure out which parts of your site are working well and determine if there are areas in need of improvement.
To turn your website and blog into a fully-fledged online store, you can embed the provided image galleries to display your products and integrate with your PayPal account to handle payments. If you need additional functionality, you can upgrade to a paid subscription for additional features that make your site more store-like, search engine indexing for your products, and priority support in case you run into any issues.
Pricing and Billing
All new users get a free, fourteen-day trial of Sitelio. Unfortunately, this trial isn’t a full trial, since you don’t get access to premium features, such as those required for e-commerce. You do, however, get an idea of how the editor works, what types of changes can be made, and so on.
Sitelio’s customer support confirmed they offer cloud-based shared hosting.
In terms of storage, this depends on the type of plan you select. The free plan comes with 50MB, with the top end plan offering 10GB storage.
At the end of the trial period, you can continue hosting your site on the free plan, or you can choose to upgrade to a paid subscription at a promotional price (in the future, your plan will renew at Sitelio’s regular rates).
- The free plan gets you a website with up to five pages. You’ll have 50 MB of storage for your website, and you’re limited to 5 MB of file uploads and 1 GB of bandwidth.
- The Simple plan, which is a good option for beginners, gets you a free domain name, unlimited file uploads, disk storage, and bandwidth, free ad credits for Google Adwords or Bing, and the ability to serve mobile-friendly sites.
- The Captivating plan, which is Sitelio’s most popular option, gets you everything in the Simple plan, plus assistance with SEO and the ability to accept payments from your visitors.
- Outstanding is the top-tier plan, which adds free email services and priority support to the offerings you’d get with the Captivating plan.
You can choose to pay for your plan on a monthly basis, or you can pay upfront for an extended contract. Extended contracts last one or two years, and by paying up front, you’ll receive a discount commensurate with the length of your contract — the longer your contract, the larger your discount.
If you’ve decided that the plan you opted for isn’t the right one for you, you can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time.
Cancellations and Guarantees
According to Sitelio’s Terms of Service, it may bill you for the next month’s service up to 15 days before the start of the month. Therefore, if you want to cancel your plan, you’ll need to do so at least 30 days in advance. If you received a free domain name, and you wish to keep it even after you’ve canceled your Sitelio subscription, you can purchase the domain.
All new users get a free, 14-day trial of Sitelio, but if you end up purchasing a subscription and it isn’t the right fit for you, you can take advantage of the money back guarantee and receive a full refund of all website builder-related fees within the first fourteen days of your Sitelio subscription (as long as you paid via PayPal or with a credit card). Note that this refund does not apply to domain registration fees, setup fees, or any fees for add-on services.
Technical Support and Customer Service
Sitelio maintains an extensive knowledge base that you can reference at any time. However, if you’d like to get in touch with the Sitelio team, you can contact them 24/7 via telephone, email, or website form. The support options include live chat. The company does not make any guarantees regarding support response times, but those with the top-tier package get priority support.
E-Commerce Alternatives to Sitelio
If you’re researching e-commerce platforms, you’ve probably come across Squarespace, Wix, and Shopify. You may be wondering how these compare to Sitelio.
Sitelio has the basic features you need to start selling online. They have an eCommerce store template, and you can track revenue and orders from one page. When visitors click on a product, more details of the product will pop up and there’ll be an option to add the product to the cart.
When you sign up to build your store, a PayPal account is automatically created for you but you can change the payment provider from your account dashboard. You can select all major credit cards using Stripe, PayPal or cash on delivery.
You also won’t have to worry about calculating taxes yourself. When you turn on taxes in your store, the amount is automatically calculated based on your customer’s region. Your customers can see the taxes when they checkout.
To better plan your marketing efforts, Sitelio will show you the most popular products and insights about your customers’ buying habits. There’s also integration with the Social Booster tool to plan your blog posts and manage your Facebook ads.
So if you want to run a basic e-commerce store, Sitelio has all the features you need. Its feature set is very similar to Sitebuilder.com, another website builder. Both are owned by the Endurance International Group (EIG) and if you browse their websites, you’d almost struggle to tell them apart. The App Market for these two website builders is close to identical, with both offering very similar apps.
If you’re after more functionality, endless theme options and access to the best marketing plugins then Shopify, Squarespace or Wix may better meet your needs. Squarespace has a wide range of marketing features including abandoned cart recovery to increase your store’s revenue by reducing abandoned carts.
Shopify is one of the world’s most popular online store builders. Its app marketplace has more than 1 000 apps to choose from. You can add plugins to put together targeted social media marketing campaigns. SEO tools will flag any SEO problems and conduct speed tests on your site. Wix also has over 200 apps. While it is far less than Shopify, they cover enough ground to boost your store’s SEO and social media. One of Wix’s apps lets you reward customers with discounts if they share your page store on their social media profiles – a great marketing tactic to increase your reach on social media.
If you’re an individual entrepreneur or a small business owner looking to get started with a website, Sitelio can help you do so. The company’s goal is to get you going quickly, and with its wide assortment of themes and easy-to-use editor, you can certainly create your own professional-looking site in just a few minutes.
However, be aware that if you have an eye on growth or robust e-commerce features, Sitelio probably isn’t the option for you. The flip side of the product being easy-to-use is that options are limited. For example, your site comes with shared hosting, but there isn’t an option to upgrade or move your site to another host if you need faster service.
Speed is another important consideration for e-commerce sites. Sitelio doesn’t provide customers with detailed information on how they plan to ensure your site is fast. And while it’s app market has integration for site statistics, there were no tools related to boosting site speed.
Finally, though Sitelio offers a free option, the plan is so limited that you can do very little. As such, you should expect to pay for a subscription. If you need a free plan, consider looking elsewhere.