Product Type: Website Builder
Scam or Not: Not a Scam
Overall Rating: 4/10
Sitey is a little bit different than most other products that I review on this site. In particular, Sitey isn’t a program or product that claims to help you make money fast. Instead, it is a website tool, designed to help people build their own websites, for free.
So, this Sitey review will take a look at precisely what Sitey offers and whether it is worth trying out for yourself.
The Website Builder Itself
When it comes to building a website, the most common approach is WordPress. In many cases, people turn to this simply because it’s what they’re familiar with or because WordPress has a strong reputation. While WordPress does have its advantages, it also has disadvantages, which is why alternative options can sometimes be appealing.
The first thing to note about Sitey is that it is very different than WordPress.
WordPress uses a theme-based approach. This allows users to change some key things about their sites, such as menu structure, and also allows users to place in widgets. With WordPress, you can make more dramatic changes using coding but even then, the theme you use heavily restricts you.
In contrast, Sitey refers to itself as a template-based builder. Essentially, this means that you start off with a template that you can then edit as you choose.
The key difference is that your editing options are much more significant.
For example, this is what I see when I go into one of the templates for Sitey:
Essentially, the editor is a drag and drop one, and it lets you change pretty much anything. For example, I can move the menu, change the width of just about anything and change up specific animations and where links go.
In many cases, making the same types of changes with WordPress would be difficult, if not impossible. At the same time, you would have to rely on plugins, shortcodes and coding to achieve those outcomes.
However, on Sitey, making these changes is surprisingly easy and the approach is basically just drag-and-drop. Now, there isn’t a whole lot of training evident on website builder but the whole process is so intuitive that it doesn’t really matter.
I do want to point out that this approach isn’t unique. Some other website builders do offer similar approaches, so if this flexibility is something you’re interested in, it’s still worth shopping around.
This building approach has advantages and disadvantages.
The biggest advantage is simply that you have more options, a lot more options. You can do so much more with the design and this also means that you can create a website that is much more unusual.
This can be especially beneficial if you want to do something unusual or if you have specific wants in terms of how your site appears.
Likewise, this approach is a major advantage if you want your pages to look different than each other.
With WordPress, the general format of individual posts and pages tends to be very similar. There are some things that you can change but that takes work and you need to have some idea of what you’re doing.
With Sitey, editing the structure and appearance of individual pages is easy. This gives you a lot more options.
Another advantage is that you don’t have to worry about coding. Technically, you don’t need to both with coding if you use WordPress but people often find that they might need to play around with that to get their site looking right.
Sitey seems to be specifically designed to get around that issue – which is an advantage if you don’t want to code.
When doing this Sitey review, one other thing I noticed was that there is a strong focus on mobile websites. This is a considerable advantage because accessing websites from phones and other devices is becoming increasingly popular.
Most sites don’t give you control over the mobile site of things and the best you can do is a mobile-capable theme. In contrast, Sitey offers more control in this area, which is certainly a good thing.
There is a catch though – which is that you can only do this with the paid versions of Sitey and not with the cheapest version either. That’s a bit of a pain, especially as having a mobile-ready site really is important for online success.
In general, there are a lot of advantages of Sitey but this would be a fairly limited Sitey review if I didn’t also cover the issues with the service.
One major disadvantage is time.
The approach WordPress uses is very efficient and you already know what any new post or page is going to look like. In contrast, Sitey’s approach means that you need to make sure the design is right on each page, which could get pretty time-consuming. Likewise, it would be easy to get caught up in tweaking each page.
Essentially, more options mean you need to spend more time.
As a side note, the various options also mean you have more potential to make something that looks bad. One of the nice things about WordPress is that you generally end up with a site that looks half-decent, simply because you are limited by the theme.
That’s not the case with Sitey and you could easily end up with something that looks truly horrible.
One other issue that I want to highlight in this Sitey review is that the service doesn’t offer as many different features and options.
With WordPress, you have access to a huge range of different plugins that give you a lot of flexibility for your site. In many cases, these plugins were designed to meet specific needs that people have.
This also means that WordPress sites work well with third-party programs and options – like programs to create landing pages (such as Commission Gorilla) or opt-in forms. In contrast, it would be difficult to get these kinds of programs working on a Sitey website.
Versions of Sitey
As with other site builders, Sitey has a free and a paid version. One of the limitations of the free version is that you end up with a subdomain rather than a real domain.
This isn’t unusual. In fact, you’ll find something similar with pretty much every website builder out there.
With the free version, you also have ads and you can only have 5 pages at the most. Those factors make the free version extremely limiting, especially if you want to run a blog.
To me, the idea of having ads on a site is frustrating but it’s fairly normal for a free website builder. That’s also true when it comes to having a subdomain. However, limiting a site to just 5 pages is very unusual and would make the free service useless to a lot of people. In fact, this is one of the biggest issues with the builder that I’ve found in this Sitey review.
If you choose to pay, there are three different versions and they break down like this:
In terms of cost, the prices aren’t absurd and they are less expensive if you go for a yearly plan. It is also important to note that the cost doesn’t include a domain name. However, that’s another thing that’s true for any service.
Regardless of how or where you build your website, if you want a domain name of your own (i.e. not a subdomain), then you’re going to have to purchase that separately.
The pricing schemes here are fairly typical, so I’m not going to go into that in too much detail. Nevertheless, there are a couple of things that I want to mention.
First, the site claims that your hosting is free.
Well… kind of.
Technically, that claim is true because you’re paying for access to the builder and its features, not for hosting. However, in practice, the prices for Sitey are set because you are getting hosting. So, the hosting isn’t really free.
The other thing is that you have to get the highest version of membership to be able to take payments.
This won’t be relevant for everyone. For example, if you’re making money through affiliate marketing, you don’t need a payment system. However, if you plan to sell your own products, it’s worth taking this into account. After all, having to pay $15.99 per month for that ability might not be what you want.
Problems with Sitey
As an actual site builder, Sitey does have its advantages, especially if you want more flexibility with precisely how your site ends up looking.
Despite this, there are a few issues with Sitey that majorly undermine its effectiveness and are the reason why I’ve given it a fairly low score in this Sitey review.
The biggest problem with Sitey, and services like it, is that you have to rely on them to host the site. This means that you don’t have the option of picking a host that has better security or has specific features that you want.
Likewise, you don’t have the ability to move to another host if you aren’t happy with Sitey’s service for any reason. Instead, your website appears to be completely tied to their service.
It’s easy to see how this could be an issue.
Imagine if you had put months into a website before finding that Sitey really wasn’t right for you. Your only option would be to leave Sitey and start over.
Now, in fairness, it’s easy to see why this is the case.
After all, the mechanism for building websites with site isn’t going to work well with other services, especially as most website hosting is focused on WordPress. Nevertheless, the setup is frustrating.
A related issue is also the price. I mean, you’re paying $15.99 per month if you want eCommerce (that’s how it calculates out yearly, it’s more expensive if you’re paying month-to-month). That’s a lot to be paying for eCommerce.
Realistically, you can do eCommerce pretty easily on a basic WordPress site through plugins. You might pay for a premium theme and/or plugins to make it work well, but those tend to be one-time costs. You certainly don’t have to pay monthly just so you can sell products on your site.
Sitey isn’t the only company to have this overall approach. Another one that is out there is sitebuilder.com and it works in pretty much the same way.
In fact, a number of the similar site builders out there (including Sitey) even seem to be run by the same underlying company. That may help explain why they tend to have similar (or identical) templates and options.
In some ways, it feels like the hosting is the whole idea.
Basically, the company has created a site builder that is somewhat decent but you can only use it if you get your hosting through them too. For the most part, that hosting is more expensive than what you’ll get elsewhere and you have fewer options.
Overall, that’s not a very good deal.
Perhaps it might still be worth it if you liked the website creation with Sitey and don’t mind using the company as a host.
But… it’s likely that Sitey isn’t a very good host either.
Now, as a site builder, Sitey is fairly new, so there isn’t a whole lot of information out there on it. However, the reviews for Sitebuilder speak for themselves. For example, this is what I found on TrustPilot (which is a very good place for accurate reviews).
That’s an average of less than 1 star, from 73 reviews. In fact, 95.9% of reviewers rated the company with 1 star.
There is a wide range of issues that people have experienced with the company, including no support, challenges in actually setting up the website and excessive fees. In some cases, people got billed for services they didn’t sign up for.
There are also some more unusual, and concerning, complaints, such as one person who noted that they lost control of their domain as the result of using SiteBuilder.
The negative reviews really show that the hosting service simply cannot be trusted.
In theory, Sitey could be different but that seems extremely unlikely. There are simply far too many similarities between Sitey and Sitebuilder. Plus, even the marketing for Sitey doesn’t place much emphasis on support, which is another red flag.
My Personal Sitey Review
Sitey creates beautiful sites and gives members a lot of flexibility in how those sites are designed. At the same time, the approach involves more work than you would typically need when building a website and it can be challenging to get the blog functionality to work correctly.
With these differences in mind, Sitey may be a good choice for websites that are heavy on the visuals and ones that don’t aim to have a huge amount of pages.
In contrast, Sitey isn’t going to be a good choice for most blogs, especially as blogs tend to have a lot of pages and having a unique appearance isn’t normally a key focus. Instead, it may be better to choose a platform like WordPress or Siterubix, which has a focus on blogging.
Likewise, the lack of control that you have with Sitey is deeply concerning.
This means that you may end up with a beautiful site but poor hosting, which simply isn't a good tradeoff. Besides, realistically, you can build similar sites with WordPress, it's just that doing so may take more learning if you're trying to do something complex.
If you’re planning to build a blog or to try and make money through affiliate marketing, then I would recommend Siterubix as the best site builder.
In most ways, Siterubix is fairly similar to WordPress, which isn’t surprising as it uses WordPress as the underlying engine. However, Siterubix has a few advantages over Sitey. In particular, Siterubix sites aren’t limited in their size and there aren’t ads on them either.
At the same time, Siterubix is a free service offered by Wealthy Affiliate and Wealthy Affiliate specializes in teaching people how to be effective in affiliate marketing. After all, if you’re going to try and make money online, it makes sense to use a service that specializes in that goal.
If nothing else, it’s certainly worth checking the service out and seeing whether it meets your needs. Even if you’re not planning to try and make money online, Siterubix does have more advantages than other free website builders.