SiteW Review (Feb 2023): An Introduction to SiteW
SiteW is one of the lesser-known, but rapidly growing tools on the market today for building your own business website. Intended to make website creation as simple and painless as possible, the technology promises a fun and enjoyable way to get started online. Perhaps most importantly of all, SiteW aims to make website creation more affordable for everyone.
Highly rated by the companies that use it, SiteW combines a clean interface with drag-and-drop functionality, to allow brands all the freedom they need to thrive online. You don’t need any significant development skills to succeed with SiteW. There’s no need for intermediaries or experts, and you get a fully flexible space you can update and change at any time.
Another cool thing about SiteW, is that it can support a wide range of different website types, including agency sites, professional portfolios, and institutional websites.
Let’s take a closer look at what SiteW can do.
What is SiteW?
The SiteW website building solution emerged as an answer to the problems many business leaders have with creating simple sites quickly. The founders behind the company believe website creation should be simple, and we’re inclined to agree.
Based in France, SiteW is better known among French, Spanish, and German companies than English-speakers. However, the company has seen a massive uptick in interest lately, as more people search for a way to quickly find their position in the digital world.
The good news for beginners is getting started with SiteW is extremely straightforward. There are no complex forms to fill out or exhausting processes to go through. All you need to do is provide your email and password and you’re ready to go. Once you sign up, you can begin creating your site by choosing your preferred title, which you can change again later.
SiteW helps you choose the website you want to build by defining some details about you, including whether you’re a company, individual, or association. This makes it easier to suggest the kind of templates you might want to use for your website.
SiteW promises users a website builder they can use anytime, anywhere as it’s completely based online. The creator is user-friendly, and great for beginners without much technical knowledge, and it’s fast, with automatic block alignment, and page cloning. Your website and files also get stored within a high-performing global cloud infrastructure for security and peace of mind.
SiteW Review: Templates and Ease of Use
Let’s start with the basics. Building a website is much less daunting when the tools you have to design with are as simple and efficient as possible. This starts with choosing and editing a template for your site. The templates for SiteW are pretty hit or miss. There are a handful of very professional looking options, mixed with some that look a little outdated or just awkward.
SiteW templates aren’t veery extensive, and you won’t be able to easily sort through different “categories” of template based on your industry or anything like that. However, it’s worth noting that you’re not totally tied down to the template you choose. You can pick the design that’s closest to what you need and edit it however you choose.
There’s a pretty reasonable selection of pre-designed color palettes available in the editor to get you started, or you can choose your own color combinations based on your existing branding. There’s also access to fonts from the Google Fonts library. You’ll only be able to use a single font through your entire website, however.
While some of the customization options for SiteW do seem extremely limited, others are very compelling. You get a lot of options for customizing your page layouts, including a drag-and-drop editor where you can place elements and content. Importantly, while moving small elements is simple enough, moving entire sections or groups of design elements isn’t nearly as simple.
SiteW Review: Website Building Features
Smaller website builders like SiteW often have some limitations when it comes to feature selection. If you’re getting access to a website builder with a very low price, or one that hasn’t spent a lot of time and money on research and development yet, you’re getting what you pay for.
SiteW does have a range of features to offer, but they don’t always work as well as you’d like. There are also some pretty significant gaps when it comes to things like analytics and reporting. You also don’t have an app market or access to any extensions in the same way you would with a site from Wix, WordPress, or even Shopify.
When you get into your SiteW account, the first thing you’ll do is build your website. Here are some of the features you’re likely to encounter.
SiteW promises access to unlimited fast hosting, with unlimited webpages, traffic, visitor numbers, high-speed internet and heavy storage. You can get SiteW to manage all the website stuff on the backend so you can focus on building your business. There’s also no ads to worry about, so you can access your own monetization options if you like.
The SiteW servers are monitored constantly, with technicians ready to fix any problems that might happen. There’s also access to protection against DDoS attacks, with automatic malicious request filtering, so you’re less likely to encounter issues.
You’ll be able to modify and store images for your website in your file manager on SiteW, which is great for getting all of your content ready for action. There’s also access to things like a comprehensive photo gallery, carousels, grid pictures, videos and music from sharing platforms like YouTube and Dailymotion.
As part of the whole hosting experience, SiteW also allows users to protect some of their website content and images by stopping people from copying anything they encounter on your site. You’ll also be able to access password restriction for some pages too.
Community and Blog features
For companies hoping to build relationships with their customers, there are various options available from SiteW. The most obvious choice is the blog segment.
The blog setup for SiteW is a little strange. You can add a blog content block to your page in a similar way to how you would add a text box or image, and then resize it however you choose. There’s also the option to add new posts and manage categories within the block – rather than going to a separate interface for blog management.
The block functions as a kind of blog feed, which you can place on various pages. There’s an option to tag posts with different categories to help with filtering your content, and there are various layout styles available too. The all-in-one block solution is quite streamlined, but you might find the design a little odd to get used to at first.
You can adjust things like meta descriptions and keywords for SEO, but you won’t get a particularly comprehensive way to manage all of your blog posts simultaneously with SiteW. While most modern website builders automate the creation of blog category pages with an index of posts, you need to handle this manually on SiteW, which feels pretty unnecessary and time-consuming.
Other community features include an in-built forum, where community members can chat, a “members” block, so people can subscribe to your site and create their own profiles, and a comment section. You’ll also be able to implement contact forms into your site and collect personal details so you can stay in touch with your customers.
To help build more meaningful interactions with customers, SiteW offers a range of marketing avenues, including an in-built email marketing service. You can access a list of recipients and segment them into groups based on common actions. SiteW actually does the segmentation on your behalf, generating groups of people for you to contact based on actions like abandoning a cart, or just signing up for your newsletter.
The email creator isn’t the most advanced option around. A basic text editor means you’re not going to get any attractive templates and drag-and-drop tools, similar to what you might expect from other sites. However, you can build some decent automated marketing campaigns here.
Outside of email, you’ll also be able to communicate with your customers through social media integrations. There are various Facebook tools available to insert into your site when you want to expand your community. You’ll also be able to allow your visitors to share pages and products from your website on their social media accounts with one click of a button.
For local companies, SiteW offers integrations with Google Maps, so your customers can find exactly where you are in a matter of seconds. You’ll also be able to add embeddable content to your site from external services through HTML code. This makes it easier to extend the features of your website for more cross-channel communications. You can add video streaming services, animations, calendars, custom forms, and a range of other features.
Similarly to the other features on SiteW, your ecommerce tools are organized into a block, which you can add to one of the pages on your website. You then use the block interface to add new products and manage your inventory. You’ll have to add a shopping cart block separately so your customers can check out. Unlike with the blog, you will be able to bulk edit products on SiteW within a separate management interface, but you can’t add individual products from here.
The SiteW online store features are relatively straightforward, though a little clunky in places. One positive factor is the ability to add various options to your product, such as different colors and sizes for each item. You can also accept most of the more common payment methods with no fees. You’ll be able to offer things like credit card and PayPal transactions, order forms, bank transfers, and more.
To save you some time and effort, the SiteW environment will automatically calculate shipping costs on your behalf, with a highly configurable method which uses information about the number of products, order weight, cart amount percentage, and so on. You’ll also be able to allow your customers to track the progress of their order with order tracking. On the backend, you get a version of this order tracking experience to see which orders are paid, cancelled, sent and so on.
There’s a product search feature, so your customers can quickly and easily find the products and categories important to them. Business leaders can set discounts whenever they choose, and automatically update the stock level of certain items, so your customers know which of your items might not be available for long.
There’s a customer relationship management feature within the ecommerce environment too, where you can track conversations with each client. Plus, SiteW also allows you to implement automatic billing cycles for repeat purchases.You’ll also be able to accept payments through solutions like PayPal and Stripe.
SiteW Review: Pricing
SiteW pricing is pretty straightforward. You’ll have the option to start with a free trial lasting for up to 15 days, or you can jump straight in with a paid service. There’s also a “Free” website builder, which allows you to build a SiteW site featuring five pages. However, you won’t get a custom domain name, and you’ll have to have SiteW ads on your pages.
The premium packages include:
- Blog: £3.74 per month paid annually: Unlimited pages, HTTPS domain name, and statistics
- Premium: £7.49 per month paid annually: All the features of Blog plus forms, calendars, email integration, optimized SEO, and a professional email address. Customer support is also included from this package onwards.
- Ecommerce: £14.99 per month paid annually: All the features of Premium plus support for a small online store with up to 25 products, 5 categories, and 2 payment providers.
- Pro: £21.99 per month paid annually: All the features of Ecommerce, plus unlimited product pages, email campaigns for customers, and shipping cost management.
SiteW Review: Finishing Thoughts
Overall, SiteW is a decent solution for small businesses looking to build their own website. You can create a website in no time using the available templates and the convenient drag-and-drop editor. There’s also plenty of tools to help you sell online, such as checkout pages, and Google Map integration to attract local customers.
You can test the service for up to 15 days before you buy anything too, which is a nice touch if you’re not sure which pricing package you want to try. For people hoping to run a store, the best option will probably be the “Pro” package, as the 25-product limit on Ecommerce will quickly become restrictive. On the plus side, even though this is the most expensive package from SiteW, it’s still quite affordable.
SiteW is far from the most modern or feature-rich website builder around, but it’s a good way to get started with ecommerce on a limited budget, and with minimal technical knowledge.