Ken Evoy's SiteSell Website Builder
How SiteBuildIt! Compares...
Today is October 2011 and it has been awhile since I have revisited my review of SiteBuildIt. To be honest, this program was one of the first programs I reviewed as TheWebReviewer back in 2006/2007. And at the time, it was simply the easiest and best content management system around.
In fact, I don't think the expression "Content Management System" really existed. There were website builders that still required you to download software on your computer and actually create the website with HTML and WYSIWYG editors. SiteBuildIt offered a novel approach of creating rather decent looking websites through the use of web forms. It was definitely ahead of its time.
That was about 5 years ago. The sad thing is that SiteBuildIt really hasn't changed much over the years. With the emergence of free content management systems like Wordpress and powerful Wordpress frameworks that cost a minimal one-time fee like Thesis, the novelty of SiteBuildIt was wearing out.
The cost of Wordpress is basically the price of hosting (which you can get a places like HostGator for less than $4/month (versus the inflated, and never changing price of SiteBuildIt which is $29/month or $299/year). To install Wordpress is as simple as a few clicks (I have a 4-video guide to installing Wordpress on your own "How to Install Wordpress using HostGator").
SiteBuildIt is rather SEO friendly, but so is Wordpress. In fact, I would argue that Wordpress is better for SEO especially with the addition of frameworks like Thesis. And just like SiteBuildIt, Wordpress is all browser based so the design is done using forms rather than an external HTML editor.
Over the years, the one major change I have seen SiteBuildIt make is towards social media (which is a good thing and is a must). They do make it rather easy to integrate on your website. For tools like Wordpress, these same tools can be added (for free) but it does require you to install the Plug-ins yourself (again, not very difficult, but can seem rather intimidating to some).
Further, I find that you are rather limited in the templates that SiteBuildIt has to offer. Yes, you can have custom templates added, but this requires you do design them or pay someone else to make them. With Wordpress, there are literally 100,000+ themes available to download (You can browse the Wordpress Themes right now).
Still, this avenue is much cheaper and (in my opinion) more powerful, but getting personal help or someone to call can be an issue. SiteBuildIt does offer support...to some point...they do direct you into their mentoring program if you really need one-on-one hand-holding (which is fine and great, but can be costly).
What about eCommerce? First, Wordpress does handle eCommerce and personal sites well (not just blogs). SiteBuildIt can also handle eCommerce quite well. Still, I feel that if you do want a similar "hand-holding" program, I would recommend sites like Volusion and Intuit. Again, they are both cheaper than SiteBuildIt and personally, I find the design to be easier and the final websites to look more modern.
Before I go, I do think it is fair to mention that over the years, my personal relationship with SiteBuildIt has rather deteriorated. Not only do I review them, but I also receive compensation for sales from people like you who purchase their product. I feel (like their product) that their sales methods and partnership tracking methods are old and no longer competitive. For many years, I would send friends and family to purchase this products and I rated them very highly on this website, but now, I send my friends to Wordpress (because it is cheaper, more modern, more effective as an online website, and I think a lot more powerful). Yes, as a company they leave a sour taste in my mouth. As a product, its OK and for some it can still work well, but I personally would not recommend it anymore.