Sitelio is a really good website builder where you have to do everything yourself. It was founded in 2014 in the United Kingdom, which makes it one of the newcomers in the world of site builders. However, they have quickly built an excellent reputation thanks to their excellent and professional design tools, which are really easy to use. The site builder is very simple in its design, and this allows even complete novices to build a great looking website. They have some 10,000 different combinations of templates to choose from. The company also offers free domain names and web hosting, access to SEO (search engine optimization) tools, business email, and ecommerce opportunities.
Pros of Sitelio
- Sitelio offers a number of fantastic features, including mobile optimization, ad integration, the widget library, and social media integration.
- In some plans, it provides customers with ad integration.
- It is a very stable platform with no reported downtime.
- The user interface is very easy to use, which means even complete beginners can get to grips with it.
Cons of Sitelio
- There have been some reports of customers being charged for things they did not order, including an SEO ebook.
- If the bill is incorrect, or if someone wants to use the money back guarantee, it can be very difficult to actually get the money back.
- Customer service is not as good as it could be yet.
Sitelio is a fully web hosted solution, which means you can access it from any desktop or computer with an internet connection and an up to date, modern browser. Sitelio is trying very hard to be inclusive of all different types of businesses. To achieve this, they have created over 10,000 different templates, which are categorized by business type. As such, templates are available for everything from hotels & travel to weddings, and everything in between. They also offer completely blank templates for anyone who finds their business does not fit into one of their categories.
One of the key strengths of Sitelio is its ease of use. The interface is very well laid out and allows you access to all the important elements you could possibly need. In fact, even a complete novice should be able to get to grips with the interface within an hour. Some of the main features of the interface include:
- The Master Page elements, which allows you to create a master page that has elements on it that you want to see repeated across every page of your website. This is a great time saving tool, as it means you don’t have to redo the same things again and again.
- The Add Panel, which allows you to customize or modify your site with a variety of different things such as blogging tools, social media widgets, store items, buttons, and more.
- The Design Panel, which, as the name suggests, allows you to get deeper into the design of the site itself. This includes color pallets, which have been set up in such a way that, with a single click, you can change the entire look of your site. You can also edit each individual item on your page.
- The Page Panel, where you can get into the details of your individual pages. This also includes ‘Duplicate Page’ functionality, where you can copy one page in full, again saving you a lot of time.
- The Manage Pane, which allows you to go a little deeper into the page, customizing things such as the HTML inputs and favicons in your footer and header, and social media links and PayPal information, and more.
- The Preview Mode, which enables you to see exactly what your website will look like once you go ahead and publish your design. This ensures you don’t publish something with errors and basically allows you to properly proof what you have created.
Sitelio has various other important features as well, which is what makes this such a good website builder. These features include:
- Social media integration, which is a vital tool for all websites of today. Your widgets are out of the way and look really clean, and you can embed them in the header of your website through the Manage Panel.
- A blogging platform, which is as important as social media integration. This platform is very easy to use, allowing you to create interesting blogs, publish them, pin them, feature them, and more. It is almost impossible to do something wrong with this platform, and if you do make a mistake, it is very easy to rectify it.
- SEO tools, which enables you to add and edit the metatags and site tags on your website for each page. Doing this with the right keywords and keyword phrases means it is easier for the search engines, and thereby your customers, to find you.
- A huge array of HD quality stock photos that you can add anywhere on your website. These are also divided in categories that fit certain industries, so you don’t have to spend time going through thousands of irrelevant images.
- The ability to include image galleries on your site. You have a lot of freedom when it comes to how these galleries are presented, and you can add as many photographs as you want. This means you really have the opportunity to allow your own personality to shine through.
- Stat tracking, although this is not available for the free option. These stats enable you to see how well your site is performing and whether any changes you have made have had a positive or negative impact on your overall site.
Unfortunately, Sitelio does not enable you to access the interface from a mobile device. Their templates are mobile optimized, however, and you can easily see how things will look on mobile once published. But if you want to make any changes to your site, you will need a desktop version to do so. Luckily, the desktop editor is nothing short of amazing. Easy to use, full of tools you actually need, and very well organized, it offers everything you could possible need. It allows you to personalize and customize every single element on your site, down to the smallest details.
As stated previously, you have some 10,000 templates to choose from with Sitelio. This can feel a little overwhelming, but they are organized in an easy to understand manner, which means you don’t have to go through templates that aren’t relevant to you. Simply navigate to the category that your site fits into, and view the templates that are recommended for that industry. Plus, you always have the option of choosing a blank template and building something from scratch. Because there are so many template options to choose from, you have less chance of having something that has similarities to another site, even if you don’t make any changes.
Sitelio is integrated with Ecwid and PayPal only. This means there are very few third party apps that you can choose from. While disappointing for some, others feel this is one of Sitelio’s strengths. While you don’t have the option to have HTML input or custom embed codes, there is often no need for this anyway. Sitelio has built something so comprehensive that you are unlikely to feel like there is something missing, with the exception of the ecommerce tools, unfortunately. More on that next.
Through Sitelio, you can access a pretty good shop interface and set up your online business. You can add various items and services and easily customize your descriptions and pricing. The tool is very reliable and easy to use, but it is a little bit basic. Additionally, the Ecwid integration, which is the ecommerce tool, only allows PayPal as a payment gateway. This has put quite a few people off using Sitelio, because they feel they need more to properly sell products and/or services.
Sitelio has a reasonably well laid out pricing policy. However, it is very clear that they want to encourage people to sign up for lengthy (two year) contracts. They offer a completely free option, but this comes with quite visible Sitelio advertising, which is normal with free website builder accounts. From the free account, you can upgrade in one of three ways:
- The Simple package, which, per month, costs $7.79 if you are billed monthly, $6.99 if you are billed annually, or $5.99 if you are billed every two years. For this, you receive free hosting and a free domain, mobile sites and free ad credits.
- The Captivating package, which, per month, costs $8.99 if you are billed monthly, $7.99 if you are billed annually, or $6.99 per month if you are billed every two years. For this, you receive everything in the Simple package, as well as SEO help and access to the ecommerce store.
- The Outstanding package, which, per month, costs $15.99 if you are billed monthly, $12.99 if you are billed annually, or $11.99 if you are billed every two years. This gives you everything the Captivating package offers, as well as free email and priority support.
The pricing scheme can come across as a bit vague and jumbled, unfortunately. For instance, if you want to see the price list, you have to sign up to a free account – or a paid account – first. This is not very transparent and can be a bit worrying, particularly when you consider that one of the complaints against Sitelio is that they have some unfair billing practices, adding things to people’s bills that they didn’t ask for, and making it difficult to access the money back guarantee. Payments for your subscription can be made via credit card (American Express, MasterCard, and Visa), debit card (MasterCard and Visa), or through PayPal. The money back guarantee is 30 days and requires you to provide your details (name and email address) and a detailed reason as to why you are unhappy.
Sitelio, at the time of this writing, really needs to improve its customer service accessibility. At present, they have a tech support page with general help, and it really shows they expect people to do it themselves. There is an online contact form that you can complete for more specific questions, but unless you have signed up for a package with priority support, you may have to wait a long time for an answer. There is no telephone hotline or live chat option available. However, there are indications that Sitelio is working on this.
It is quite obvious that Sitelio is quite a new player in the world of website builders. They have set a number of priorities for themselves, starting with creating a fantastic and easy to use interface and adding a lot of templates, which they have achieved. They are still working on things like more transparent pricing and better customer service, but changes are being made. What they do already offer is of the highest possible quality, however. In fact, the interface is so easy to use that even a complete novice should be able to figure it out, and the template selection is so good that there is no way you can’t find one that doesn’t fit with your needs. Furthermore, they offer some fantastic features, including social media integration and blogging that many companies don’t offer, or at least not on the free plans.
It certainly does have some issues, as stated. However, if its past performance is anything to go by, then it is safe to assume that their ecommerce functionality and customer support, once properly set up and running, will be as good as the rest of the site is. If you have the patience to wait for these things, or if ecommerce functionality in particular is not as important to you, then it may be worth to watch this space.
Overall, I feel Sitelio offers everything you could expect, at very reasonable prices. Its ease of use and functionality really stand out. Because of this, I 100% recommend Sitelio to anyone looking to build their own website.