Sitey is a do-it-yourself website builder that’s available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. The United Kingdom-based Sitey was launched in 2014 and is affiliated with other site builders, such as WebsiteBuilder.com, SiteBuilder.com, and Sitelio.com.
Sitey takes care of everything on the back-end, including web hosting, server administration, and domain registration. That means that you are responsible only for things related to the front-end of your website.
The foundation of your Sitey site is the theme. There are hundreds of pre-built templates from which you can choose, and you can edit it as little or as much as you’d like. All are sleek and professionally-designed, so you’re guaranteed an aesthetically pleasing site even if you lack a design background. All of Sitey’s templates are fully optimized for mobile devices, which is a feature enabled for those with paid subscriptions (visitors to sites made by those with free plans don’t see the mobile versions of those sites.).
To edit the template you’ve chosen, you’ll use the provided WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop editor. You can add any number of elements (buttons, contact forms, containers, embedded files, and so on) to your page, or you can simply stick with the features that already exist on your page based on the theme you’ve chosen. All themes come with multiple pages, but you can easily delete the subpages and convert your site to one where the primary method of navigation is scrolling. If you’re concerned with the order in which your content is displayed to mobile users, this might be the option for you, since you’ll get more control over how things appear.
To make the site editing process easier, you get a preview mode (including one that shows what your site looks like to mobile users if you’ve opted for a paid subscription), as well as the ability to save your changes without publishing.
Communications and Marketing
To help you get the word out about your new site and to communicate with your existing client base, you’ll get the following communications and marketing tools:
- Integrated blogging: Keep your visitors up-to-date with all that’s happening with you or your organization, and share information relevant to your industry.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Make sure that your site is more likely to rank well in search engine results pages by managing the meta tags and header/footer HTML. Set up redirects so that you can keep your existing SEO scores.
- Social media integration: share your site’s content on a number of different platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.
You’ll also get basic email marketing features, such as mailing list management, form creation so that people can subscribe to your list, and database features so that you can manage your contact lists, subscription requests, and other communications with your visitors.
Finally, Sitely integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics, one of the most popular tools for gathering information on the performance of your site, including traffic patterns, bounce rates, performance, 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. Your site is guaranteed to be secure, so you don’t have to worry about unauthorized access to your customer’s sensitive personal information, such as billing address and payment information.
Sitey Pricing and Billing
Sitey’s home page claims that it is a 100% free website building tool, which we found quite disingenuous. You can certainly host a five-page site for free and get 50 MB of storage, 5 MB of file uploads, and 1 GB of bandwidth, but to do more, you’ll have to opt for one of the three paid subscription plans. Users on the free plan get access to very few of Sitey’s site building features, some of which are quite basic (such as the social media links).
The Starter plan, which is the cheapest paid plan available, gets you a domain name, web hosting for your site, Google Adwords and Bing ad credits, and removal of Sitey advertising on your website. You have 1 GB of disk storage and are limited to 10 MB of file uploads and 2 GB of bandwidth.
The Pro plan, which is the most popular option, gets you everything in the Starter plan, as well as assistance with SEO and support for mobile-friendly templates. You have 5 GB of disk storage and are limited to 25 MB of file uploads and 10 GB of bandwidth.
The premium E-commerce plan builds on the Pro plan and tacks on free business email services, priority support, and the ability to process payments, turning your website or blog into a full online store. You have 10 GB of disk storage and are limited to 50 MB of file uploads. This is the only plan that gets you unlimited bandwidth, so if you have a large site, this is the plan for you.
You can choose to pay for your subscription on a monthly basis, or you can pay up front for a one or two-year contract. Doing so saves you money, since Sitey offers discounts commensurate with the length of your contract — the longer your contract, the more you save.
You can easily upgrade or downgrade your subscription plan at any time using the Sitey dashboard, which is accessible from the drag-and-drop editor interface.
When purchasing your hosting package, you can opt for add-ons to extend the functionality and feature set of your package, such as:
- Priority Support
- Search Engine Submission, which lets search engines know that your site should be indexed
- Online backup of your site
- SiteLock Protection
- Cloud-Based Storage.
Cancellations and Money Back Guarantees
According to Sitey’s Terms of Service, the company 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 Sitey subscription, you can purchase the domain (or receive a refund less the cost of the domain registration).
All new users get a free, 14-day trial of Sitey, 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 Sitey 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
If you ever need assistance, Sitey maintains an extensive knowledgebase that you can reference at any time. However, if you’d like to get in touch with the Sitey customer service team, you can contact them 24/7 via telephone, email, or website form. The company does not make any guarantees regarding support response times, but those with the E-commerce package get priority support.
If you’re looking to get up and running with a professional-looking site, and you don’t want to go through the hassles of purchasing web hosting, registering a domain name, and handling server administration, Sitey might be a good fit for you. This website builder offers hundreds of themes from which you can choose, ensuring that you can find something that fits your needs, yet isn’t in use by many other sites.
The WYSIWYG, do-it-yourself editing tool ensures that you can make the changes you want even if you lack design experience or technical knowledge. Sitey’s target audience is those without a development or design background, so you can be assured that everything you need to do can be done easily and quickly.
The biggest caveat is for those who are looking to grow or need to build a large website. There are some strict limitations Sitey places on websites built using its platform, including disk storage space and bandwidth allocations. Furthermore, to make its product as easy to use for as many as possible, you’ll frequently find yourself with no alternatives — for example, Sitey packages come with shared hosting. If you need better service or faster hosting, there’s no option to upgrade to VPS hosting (though you can pay for “speed improvements”).