Site Build It Online Website Builder Review
Site Build It…or SBI! as it is now officially known…is an online website builder that has been around for quite some time. I discovered it back in 2002 when I was looking for an inexpensive way to create a website that didn’t involve web designers and developers, was quick and easy to use, but most importantly created effective websites that attracted organic search traffic. I had also got to know SBI!’s creator Ken Evoy though forums and by reading his publications such as “Make Your Site Sell” and the “Netwriting Masters Course“.
Those books taught me a lot. Ken was (and still is) one of the nice guys of the Internet but wasn’t afraid to take on the entire SEO industry at the time by proclaiming “SEO is dead”. I remember the storm of controversy that created but even though I later became part of the SEO industry I totally understood where he was coming from…and still do.
SBI! is all about creating sites that deliver great content, solve problems and truly engage visitors…which is exactly what the search engines want to deliver to their users. A lot of SEO activity and services involves convincing the search engines that your site is worthy of a high ranking…when in fact…it isn’t.
But that was then…this is now
The question now is “Is SBI! still a good product and do I still recommend it?”
My answer to the first part of that question is yes…as a product it has evolved over the years and continues to provide good value. But…and it saddens me to say this…I don’t feel I can recommend it as the best choice for small business owners or online entrepreneurs any longer. Here’s why…
One of the main attractions of SBI! was that it provided a DIY option for small business owners so they could create an inexpensive but effective website online. And yes..it still does…but the landscape has changed an awful lot over the years, in particular with the rise of…
WordPress is a Content Management System, originally devised as an open source blogging platform but has grown to become the CMS behind millions of websites. Note: don’t confuse the WordPress CMS with wordpress.com…a hosting platform which uses the WP CMS.
WordPress has many advantages such as thousands of free plugins and themes which allow you to customize your site to your heart’s content. It’s SEO friendly…many SEO and web development companies use it as their platform of choice…it’s constantly updated…and being open source means it’s free.
Note: even though you can download the installation files for free you will still need to buy a domain name and hosting package to host your site (I don’t recommend you use wordpress.com).
However many hosting companies provide a one-click installation of WP which saves you a lot of bother.
But I think the main advantage WordPress has over SBI! is there are literally thousands of WP developers and resources out there so if your site grows into something more than a DIY project it will not be hard to find the support you need. Yes…SBI! has a support system and a community of enthusiastic users…which is still a great way to get started and learn about Internet marketing…but isn’t really scale-able and it’s difficult to get support outside of SBI!
So…while I still have a ton of respect for Ken and a fondness for the product he created all those years ago…in fighting the good fight with WordPress it was ultimately a fight he could not win. I’m sure Ken recognized this as he’s actually developed a WordPress plugin called “SBI! for WordPress“…which puts all the useful features of SBI! such as keyword research into a plugin…effectively giving you the best of both worlds. This was a smart idea…I installed SBI! for WP on this site and find it quite useful. You can read my full review here.
Getting Started with WordPress
You might find the prospect building your own small business website with WordPress a little daunting and that’s understandable. Of course you will first need to register a domain name and set up a hosting account, but what then? Caimin Jones’ “WordPress Websites Step-by-Step” is a good introduction to help you get started. And of course the “Dummies” series are always helpful so check out “WordPress For Dummies“.
SEO for WordPress
There is a mountain of information online about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it can all become quite bewildering. I totally get that having worked in the industry for over 7 years. But it doesn’t need to be. The basics really aren’t that difficult to learn.
A good starting point is “Search Engine Optimization for Dummies“. Written by Bruce Clay…somewhat of a legend in the industry…it covers pretty much all you need to know. My advice is don’t get bogged down with SEO. Take care of the fundamentals…and then focus on building the best website you can…one that is a valuable resource, solves a problem or satisfies a need.
Premium WordPress Themes
There are many free WordPress themes available and of course this is what most small business owners will choose to get started. But if you want to give your site some added pizazz you might want to consider some premium themes.
Start Your Own Online Business
Many people buy SBI! with the objective of starting their own Internet business i.e. they are not existing small business owners but are looking for a way to make money online. In that respect SBI! still has a lot of merit with tools to help you find the right niche.
But again I would steer away from the actual site building tool and use WP with the SBI! for WP plugin. Admittedly, the designs now available in the SBI! site builder are WAY better than they used to be but there are far more themes (designs) to choose from in WordPress. And if you are really serious about making money online Mark Ling’s Affilorama products are a great resource.
Is SBI! a Scam?
One thing that really…REALLY…annoys me is when I read comments purporting SBI! to be a scam. I remember reading a post years ago…can’t even remember who wrote it…declaring that SBI! was a scam. After reading the article it turns out they hadn’t even used it! Honestly.
Yes…I’m saying there are now better (IMHO) alternatives…and praise/criticism where it’s due…but SBI! isn’t…never has been…or ever will be…a scam. Anybody who says that ALWAYS has an ulterior motive. And that is…they want you to buy something else by putting down a popular product. Create a little controversy for THEIR benefit…never mind if you slander someone else.
If you have used SBI! and it didn’t work for you for whatever reason…then by all means say so. But to imply some sort of evil intent by calling it a scam…especially when you don’t have all the facts…really is despicable.
While I have been an avid supporter of SBI! for many years…and it may still be a good fit with your objectives…I no longer recommend the actual site builder. WordPress just has so much going for it. But… by adding SBI! for WordPress you can indeed create a small business website that works. Or…make your dreams come true and build your own affiliate marketing business.
I genuinely hope you found this review useful and go on to achieve spectacular results with your online business…whatever site building system you choose.
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