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SITE123 Review 2024: Easy Setup, But Some Key Limitations

Andrés Gánem Andrés Gánem Website Development Expert

SITE123 makes website building very easy. A user-friendly interface, helpful tips and tutorials, and 24/7 live chat are there to guide you through the entire process. The mobile-responsive templates and e-commerce features make it ideal for beginners who want to create simple sites. However, if you’re planning on building something more complex, SITE123 might prove too limiting. Read on to discover all the pros and cons.


Site123 at a Glance

💯Free PlanYes
💲Starting Price$12.80
📄Number of Templates160+
🛒E-commerce ToolsYes
Shared Reseller Dedicated Cloud WordPress

Should You Use SITE123?

Page built with SITE123
SITE123 allows you to create simple yet stylish websites

SITE123 is very user-friendly and it comes with a nice list of features, including everything from mobile-responsive templates to e-commerce. If you want to build a personal site, a simple site for your new business, or even an online store with a few products, it should be more than enough for your needs. But if your needs are more complex than that, will SITE123 still be able to provide you with the best website possible?

I got to work testing SITE123 to bring you answers. In this detailed review, I’ll show you what SITE123 offers in terms of templates, customization options, and more. I’ll also expose the MAJOR differences between SITE123’s free and paid plans. Little spoiler alert here: unlike other website builders, SITE123 gives you lots of reasons to upgrade right away.

In my colleague’s comparison of the best website builders on the market, SITE123 took one of the top places. So does it strike the ideal balance – easy yet powerful? Does the ease of use mean a lack of functionality? Read on to find out.



Attractive, Mobile-Responsive Templates

SITE123 Template Gallery
SITE123 offers over 180 different templates as a start-up point

SITE123 offers more than 180 website templates. You can scroll through the main Templates page until you find one you like, or you can click on one of ten recommended template categories, such as Business, Blog, Event, Restaurant, or Online Store.

As you browse the templates, you’ll see mock-ups of how each template looks on both computer screens and handheld devices. By clicking on any template, you can preview a working version of it in both formats.

SITE123 Template preview
You can see examples of each template in action

I’m happy to report that all SITE123 templates are free to use, but there’s a significant catch. The free plan allows you to use templates only in their most basic form. What you see on the Templates page is pretty much what you’ll get, with only limited changes allowed to fonts, colors, and other design elements.

Design and Customization

If you want the most interesting customization options and add-on features, you have to upgrade to a paid plan. Though it’s a little frustrating, I found SITE123’s plans are quite affordable and offer fair value for the extra customization they unlock.

Here’s a major plus: All of the templates are mobile-responsive, so you won’t have to do extra work to make your website look good on smartphones or tablets.

  1. The best customizations require payment. I’ve said it before, but I feel it’s one of SITE123’s major drawbacks: You can only unlock the full range of editing options for your template by purchasing a paid SITE123 subscription. Even fairly small changes, like accessing the full font library or custom color schemes, require an upgrade.
  2. The templates look very similar. Most of the 180+ templates share a very similar base design, with large hero images, centered headlines, and parallax scrolling by default. You can, of course, make changes to individual components (especially if you upgrade), but it’s pretty hard to revamp the overall look. So if you don’t like the aesthetics of the first 25 templates you scroll through, then there’s a good chance that SITE123 isn’t for you.

Although there’s a lot to like about SITE123’s templates, I did find some drawbacks. For one thing, you can’t buy SITE123-compatible templates anywhere else. You also can’t access a template’s source code. So although there is a decent number of customization options available, you can never truly alter or expand the template itself. That said, if you’re a beginner, this probably won’t bother you.

SITE123 Layout options
You can choose between different layouts for each section, but customization is limited


Robust Features, if You’ve Got the Cash

Templates are the foundation of any website builder, but the customization features are where things get really interesting. Overall, SITE123 falls in an interesting place when it comes to features. On one hand, it offers a way more comprehensive toolbox than other beginner-focused builders. However, some of SITE123’s most interesting features are locked behind paid plans. The good news is that if you have room in your budget for them, these features are quite useful for growing a business.

All the Essential E-commerce Features

SITE123 offers easy and fairly robust e-commerce tools. Most of these features are reserved for the two highest subscriptions, called Professional and Gold. But if you’re looking to open an online store, the investment might be worth making. With these two plans, you can:

  • Accept online payments through Stripe, PayPal, Square, AmazonPay, and more
  • Display an unlimited number of products
  • Process an unlimited number of orders per month
  • Send up to 10,000 marketing list emails per month
  • Gather/display customer ratings and reviews for products
  • Allow customers to create personal wish lists, saved to their accounts

SITE123 does not take any sales commission, so the only sales-related added cost is the transaction fee from your chosen payment processor. This is standard across e-commerce platforms, with transaction fees usually hovering around 3%.

Speaking of transactions, you might be wondering, just how secure is SITE123? Good news here – even free users get SSL/HTTPS encryption, so your customers won’t have to wonder whether their information is protected.

It’s also worth noting that you can add an e-commerce website page even with the free plan. You just won’t be able to accept online payments or use your own domain. In my opinion, the free plan isn’t the best option for an online store. That is, unless your customers love making offline bank transfers to a random SITE123 domain (in which case, I have some follow-up questions about who is buying your stuff).

Apps and Plugins for SEO, Live Chat, and More

With either of the top two subscriptions, you’ll have full access to SITE123’s library of plugins and App Market. However, not all of these tools will be included in your plan. You’ll have to pay extra for some of them, even if you’re a Gold subscriber.

Available plugins allow for seamless integration with some of the biggest names out there, including:

  • Google Analytics for SEO
  • Hotjar for UX and conversion optimization
  • Drip for multichannel marketing
  • Zendesk and Facebook Chat for customer support

In addition, the SITE123 App Market offers tools for form building, pricing tables, online bookings, and more.

SITE123 App Market
SITE123 has a wide variety of apps that increase its functionality

SITE123’s app market can add functionality to any e-commerce shop, blog, and a wide variety of other websites. While it might not be the way to go if you’re looking to create a major e-commerce shop (that’s what platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce are for), the app market can greatly improve your chances of connecting with visitors and expanding your site.

Display Your Website in Multiple Languages

In addition to using the SITE123 website builder itself in 21 different languages, you can set up your website to display in up to five languages (out of hundreds available). Unfortunately, this multilingual option requires a paid subscription. The higher your subscription level, the more languages you can use.

Bottom line: SITE123’s features are versatile enough for many personal and business users, although you get the most functionality by paying the highest price. Keep in mind that just like with the templates, you’ll be limited to what SITE123 offers. You can’t purchase/integrate any third-party plugins or apps.


Ease of use

It’s Not Drag and Drop, but It’s Definitely Easy

SITE123 section editor
SITE123 makes editing your website a straightforward and painless process

SITE123’s simplified editing bar makes it easy to edit your website’s content, navigation, and general design (within the confines of your template). You might not be able to drag-and-drop elements anywhere on the page, but the ease and speediness of editing your site with SITE123 make up for this small loss in creative freedom.

Website Edits Are Hassle-Free (Within Limits)

All of SITE123’s editing options are listed in a bar at the left-hand side of the screen. Just click on any category, like Pages, to see all of the customization options available.

From the editing bar, you can easily:

  • Add, edit, or delete site pages
  • Upload photos and videos
  • Add new content blocks to any page, like FAQs, galleries, or testimonials
  • Add an e-commerce block for products
  • Change your site from single-page to multi-page
  • Change fonts and colors
  • Add call-to-action buttons

Most of these changes are super simple to make with a few clicks. But as I’ve mentioned a few times now, you can only change the elements that are included in your subscription plan. That said, depending on what you need from your website, this might not be a big issue.

You can build a perfectly functional and attractive website on SITE123 using only the free pages. These include useful sections like contact forms, image galleries, blog pages, and even appointment booking – which are paid add-ons with many other site builders. The apps and plugins simply add more power and pizzazz, along with advanced business features like website analytics and marketing.

To add content to a specific page, you’ll have to choose from a list of pre-made sections. As I’ve mentioned, you get limited options for customizing the specific layout of each section, but that doesn’t mean you get none.

If you want to edit any individual element within a page, all you have to do is hover over it and click on the “edit” button. Alternatively, you can edit an entire section by clicking on the gear icon next to “Layouts.”

SITE123 Section Editing
SITE123 gives you easy-to-use tools to make edits to your site

Overall I’d affirm that SITE123 fulfills its promise of facilitating easy site-building. Is it genuinely the absolute easiest website builder of all time? With the massive number of website builders out there, maybe not. However, its features do offer a great balance of ease and functionality. You definitely don’t need any experience to build a high-quality with SITE123.

Need Help? You’ll Get a Guided Tour

Whenever you start work on a new site in SITE123, you’ll get a quick “guided tour” of the editing bar. Each pop-up includes basic tips, as well as quick videos and SITE123 tutorials to get you started.

SITE123 Guided tour
SITE123 does everything in its power to ease you into the website building process

There’s also a box in the lower corner of SITE123 pages for live chat support. I’ll share my experiences with this and other support options in just a bit.

Manage Everything Through a User-Friendly Dashboard

Once you’ve created your website, you’ll manage its features through your account dashboard. Under the Activities panel, you’ll get a quick view of how your website is performing, including form submissions, sales, and mailing list signups. Any plugins or apps you install can be viewed and managed here, too.

SITE123 user dashboard
SITE123 gives you a nice, clean dashboard to help you manage your sites

Under the Settings button, you can reset your website to its last published version, which is helpful if you make edits that you decide not to keep. Just remember that resetting your site will permanently delete all of your recent changes – so be very careful about clicking Reset!



Support Is Refreshingly Fast and Helpful

SITE123 Live Chat Options
SITE123 offers refreshingly efficient customer support

I’ve reviewed a lot of website builders and other services, and I almost can’t believe I’m saying this: I have no complaints about SITE123’s customer support. None, zero, zilch. The only downside I could name is that phone support isn’t offered. Everything is done by email or live chat.

Normally, I would count a lack of phone support as a negative, despite my personal dislike of the telephone. (Truth: I’ve never quite outgrown my childhood fear of talking to strangers on the phone.) But in this case, it’s really not a problem, because SITE123’s live chat is awesome. Seriously.

24/7 Live Chat

SITE123 Live Chat Support
I never had to wait more than a minute for an answer to my questions

Live chat support is available in English 24/7, and in 16 other languages at various times:

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Arabic
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Ukranian
  • Spanish
  • Turkish
  • Romanian
  • Hungarian
  • Croatian
  • Serbian
  • Bosnian

That’s a pretty impressive variety, at least for European languages. And there’s a box for live chat on every page of the site, so you’ll never have to go far to find help.

I’ve used the live chat feature on four separate occasions, and I’ve never waited more than 30 seconds for an answer. The support agents are polite, helpful, and clear, and they give enough information to really answer my questions. They never left me feeling like they’re only interested in upselling me.

Another helpful feature: You can download transcripts of your live chat conversations, in case you want a reminder of the answers later.

Email Support

I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t, but if you don’t like live chat, you can always send an email with questions to [email protected]. I sent a message asking about the live chat language options, and received an initial response within about 12 hours. Getting a full answer, including the hours of availability for each language, required some back-and-forth over a couple of days. Still, I was very satisfied in the end.

SITE123 Email Support
I liked email support, but nothing beats the efficiency of live chat

Bonus: Support Center and Relevant FAQs

Another reason I rate SITE123’s customer support so highly is the detailed, helpful Support Center. There are hundreds of Q&As divided into 20+ categories, with both written answers and links to SITE123 tutorials on YouTube. The answers are clear and direct, so you won’t have to deal with the frustratingly vague answers that don’t get you anywhere.

There are also great FAQ blocks at the end of almost every page. And amazingly, the FAQs are not just copy-pasted across the site; they actually relate to each individual page.

Having FAQs that are truly pertinent to the page you are visiting might seem straightforward. However, I’ve encountered numerous instances where FAQs were utilized as mere page fillers, lacking genuine support. In contrast, SITE123 excels at converting FAQs into the valuable tools they’re intended to be.



Pricing Is Simple: Pay More, Get More

Putting the incredible customer support aside, the real question is whether SITE123 is worth the price tag. So, let’s dive in and find out: how much does SITE123 actually cost?

SITE123 has four paid subscription plans, each of which is available in four payment periods: you can either pay every three months, or every one, two or three years. The longer you subscribe for, the cheaper your monthly rate will be. Of course, since both business and technology change rapidly, it’s hard to be certain that the plan that works for you today will still make sense in three years.

The free plan gives you the bare minimum required to build and publish a new website: access to SITE123 templates, basic customization, 500MB of storage, and 1GB of bandwidth. You’ll be stuck with a SITE123 domain and ads on your site, and you won’t be able to access the best customization features (like custom color palettes, plugins, apps, cool fonts, etc.).

Upgrading to a higher SITE123 plan means getting:

  • More storage
  • More bandwidth
  • Custom domain
  • Option to display your site in more languages
  • More marketing emails per month
  • More custom email addresses
  • Access to plugins and apps
  • More e-commerce features (like credit card payments, customer wish lists, etc.)

As long as you like the platform overall, a SITE123 paid plan is likely worth the cost. By upgrading just to the Basic plan, you’ll get a much more professional-looking site without the SITE123 branding or domain.

SITE123’s e-commerce packages compare favorably to those of Wix, providing similar features like product pages, internet transactions, email promotions, Google statistics, and sophisticated business additions. For about the same cost, Site 123’s packages offer up to five times more storage capacity, along with the ability to display in multiple languages.

You can pay for any SITE123 plan by PayPal or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover).

But again, upgrading only makes sense if you really like the SITE123 platform, and the lack of design freedom doesn’t bother you. That’s why I recommend starting with SITE123’s free version. Build a basic website with it and see if you like how it looks and performs. If you’re happy with the balance of simplicity and features, you can easily upgrade to a different plan from your account dashboard.

SITE123 also offers a full 14-day money-back guarantee on all paid plans. But be advised: the cancelation process can be a bit of a hassle.


How does SITE123 match up to the competition?

WixCompareOur Score4.9Compare
SquarespaceCompareOur Score4.8Compare
SITE123CompareOur Score4.8Compare
SimpleSiteCompareOur Score2.5Compare


For the most part, SITE123 lives up to its main promise: building a functional, professional-looking site really is as easy 1-2-3. It might be a little more limited than other, more complex builders, and it doesn’t excel at any one aspect of web design. What it does offer, however, are mobile-responsive templates, a user-friendly interface, and more than enough functionality for a small-to-medium e-commerce shop. This is why SITE123 made our list of the top website builders right now.

The guided tutorials and amazing 24/7 live chat make building your site quick and easy, even if you’re completely new to the whole website thing. And for those of you spread out around the world, the multilingual interface and live chat options are hard to beat.


Is SITE123 a good website builder?

SITE123 is an easy-to-use website builder with an intuitive interface and plenty of helpful tips and tutorials. If you’re a beginner, you won’t find it hard to navigate. It also has solid e-commerce features and great support for multilingual sites. But while SITE123’s plans are sufficient to build a personal or business website, it may not be the best choice if you want to create a complex website.

The best way to find out whether SITE123 is right for you is to test the builder yourself. There’s a free plan, so you have nothing to lose.

Does SITE123 have mobile-responsive templates?

SITE123 gives you access to 180+ templates, all of which are mobile-responsive, so your site will automatically look good on smaller screens. However, all templates have a similar design, which you can’t drastically customize. Also, the most exciting customization options require a paid plan.

Is SITE123 really free?

SITE123 has a free plan with basic customization options, 500MB of storage, and 1GB of bandwidth. Unfortunately, you’ll be stuck with a SITE123 domain and branding on your site.

When you upgrade to one of SITE123’s affordable paid plans, you can connect a custom domain, get more storage, access SEO and marketing features, and unlock e-commerce tools.

Is SITE123 better than Wix?

Wix has a larger selection of templates, more creative control, and more apps (free and paid) than SITE123. They both have helpful e-commerce features, but while SITE123 offers more storage, Wix provides more tools for less money.

Take a look at our SITE123 vs Wix comparison to see which builder suits your needs. Or, if you want more options, check out our list of the best website builders for 2024.
Andrés Gánem Andrés Gánem
Andrés writes about a variety of topics aimed at helping business owners and merchants grow and manage their ventures. These topics include (but are not limited to) website building, web hosting, project management software, and credit card processing. Andrés has 3+ years of experience as a writer and content creator. He’s also worked as a project manager, website designer, and social media manager for a variety of science communication groups.
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Bad support

Expensive and if you wanna migrat your website they don't give you information and you can't migrat it. they oblige you to still with them the best way to go away from them to import manually all information and pictures and choosing another company cheaper and more support

Eric giero, Great Britain
October 10, 2022
Poor quality product, worse customer service. **Avoid***

I purchased a site for my band. Had a lot of trouble getting it set up with my existing hosting and such. I finally gave up and let them keep my money without any question. (I paid for the year). I was unaware they automatically set me up for autorenewal. This year I was charged even more than I was charged last year, of ra service that didn't work for me and I don't use. When I reached out, They said they couldn't help me, then offered me a partial refund. Really shady way to do business. I would stay far away form this scam site.

Peter, USA
August 21, 2022
Unfair and untrustful business practices

Last year in October I have purchased a Advanced Package for 12 Month but I only used their services for 3 days in the whole year but I was ok with the 92 euros payed for nothing but this year they automatically renewed without announcing me and I only found out looking at my bank extract. I have contacted the billing department and the answer is the following "Kindly note that when purchasing a product from SITE123 you agree to our terms of use. The system has a default auto-renewal option as specified in section 11-Payment Policy, clause 6: "By entering into this Agreement with SITE123 and by purchasing any SITE123 product, you acknowledge and agree that the products shall automatically renew in accordance with the above terms. You may turn off the auto-renewal option for any product at any time via your User Account >> Billings & Payments or by speaking with our SITE123 Customer Service team." The renewal date of a premium package occurs 7 days prior to the original date ordered since the plan expires on the day itself. Please know that the auto-renewal system is a protective measure in order that your website is not taken down unexpectedly unless you expressly set it to not renew. Since you have not disabled the auto-renewal option prior to the renewal date, you were charged. I am very sorry, but renewal payments are not refundable, according to section 11-Payment Policy, clause 10: "Refunds for all renewals, manual renewal and auto-renewals, of any service, are not provided." PLEASE TAKE CARE to their terms and conditions because they don't want to give money back even between the renewal and today when I'm writing this review there is not even 1 month passed. Answer from Site123 on my feedback on Trustpoint Hello Mirela, Thank you for taking the time to review our platform and services. Please note that you did not receive notifications since your auto-renewal on your account was set to ON. As stated, the auto-renewal is there to prevent an unintended loss of service and it can be canceled in any time. I understand that you applied and received a refund for your purchase. We are sorry that it didn't work out for you. Should you change your mind in the future, we will be happy to have you back as a customer. Best Regards, SITE123 Team

mirela nasta, Romania
November 03, 2021
Site 123 – not recommendet it.

The customer is left alone without any help. I have been asking for help for 4 days. Despite assurances of 24/7 service, none of the three technicians helped me. Despite the logins and passwords sent, I do not have an active page so far. In my opinion, they are scammers who have cheated the money and did nothing to make the site work. I do not recommend it. Klient pozostawiony sam sobie bez żadnej pomocy. Od 4 dni proszę o pomoc. Mimo zapewnień o obsłudze 24/7żaden z trzech techników mi nie pomógł. Mimo przesłanych loginów i haseł do tej pory nie mam aktywnej strony. W mojej ocenie są oszustami którzy wyłudzili pieniądze i nie zrobili nic żeby strona działała. Nie polecam.

Cezary Borowski, Poland
December 14, 2020
SITE123 are thieves – Stay Away!

They don't warn you when they're going to take payment and they don't tell you what you'll be paying but will only show you a previous invoice. If you want a refund, forget it. They won't do it. I've just lost every penny in my bank account thanks to their payment yesterday and they have denied me a refund even though I've canceled their services. Their customer service is terrible and you can only message them and when asking for help they parrot their policies back at you or give you very complicated instructions or just give you email addresses that lead nowhere. I've come to the conclusion that all the good reviews they've got are either people who work for them or those paid to give good reviews. They're rubbish....save your money and go somewhere else.

Franceska, Great Britain
November 20, 2020
Did not offer IDX and MLS Features

I spent one whole day uploading pictures and logos only to find out they did not offer IDX or MLS features which you have to have for a Real Estate website. It was really easy to figure out and maneuver around and I was loving the company until then.

DeAnna Piercy, USA
June 03, 2020
Make sure you read all the small print!

You must be aware that the first year is free, but the second year you get billed to your credit card without notifying you first. As soon as I saw this I tried to cancel, but could not cancel. I have cancer and my daughter talked me into a blog to cope. I got too sick to continue it. Now I get to pay over $ 100. that I can not afford, for nothing!!

Linda, USA
April 13, 2020
No support when deleting account.

I've been waiting for a refund for a week, nobody wants to help, nobody responds to messages sent to customer service. I gave up the services, but I did not recover the costs, they promise a refund at registration at any time, but this is not the case. Avoid this site.

Ryszard Maj, Great Britain
April 12, 2020
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