Livesite Review

Livesite is a classically presented web builder that has made its reputation on being able to create high quality, uniquely designed sites. It’s very clear from the website that the company wants to prevent itself from getting too big that it can no longer serve its customers properly, and that seems to have worked out well.

Ease of Use

This is one of the simpler builders available for new users, even by the standards of other point and click apps. Part of what makes it so easy to use Livesite is that everything is laid out in a way that is highly intuitive, making it very simple to not only use the templates, but dramatically change the look of the site with a few button presses and utilize many of the less common features like email campaigns.

Building

The first thing any builder should be able to do is create a mobile site to match the main one, and Livesite accomplishes this with ease while still allowing a certain level of freedom in the design. It bills itself as not needing the ability to code, which translates to not providing access to the HTML, but that seems to be not much of a problem since everything else is so easy. The templates that Livesite provides to start with are all very well designed and also very different from one another. It gives the user an actual choice rather than just a number of different colored versions of the same layout. But even more than that, those templates can then be customized further and universal rules applied to them.

Hosting

Hosting is about what one would expect from a website builder. The free plan involves a subdomain of the main site, the first paid plan includes URL mapping so that a regular address can lead to the site. There is a decent amount of space offered on the different plans, starting at 25 MB for the free one and going up to almost 3 GB for the top paid plan, with reasonable amounts of bandwidth at all available levels.

Marketing

The websites created in the Livesite builder seem to have their code designed well for search engine optimization, which reveals a lot of foresight on the part of the creators of the builder, but that isn’t where this company really sets itself apart. Rather, on all of the plans available, users can create email marketing groups that can be used to send out regular newsletters, advertisements, and other mass communications with various people. In the higher plans, it actually provides automatic campaigns to be set up in advance so that communicating with potential customers and referrers becomes that much easier.

Customer Support

This is where Livesite really seems to fall short. It’s not that the people who attempt to help are bad at what they do, but the format that Livesite chose is poorly conceived and their priorities are a bit transparent. The primary source of customer support is through a forum which is essentially asking paying customers to help one another. It does have support techs that look for questions and try to answer them, generally successfully, but those techs give priority to people on the paid plans, and that says a lot about the company’s opinion of people who are hosting advertisements and branding on their sites in exchange for hosting and builder access.

Pricing

There are three plans offered by Livesite.

1. Starter – The Starter site is free and comes with 25 MB of storage and 10 GB of bandwidth monthly. It also allows the user to create a 25 person email list for campaigns. Unlimited pages, users, and memberships can be had with this site, as well as access to the design templates for site creation.

2. Pro – The Pro plan costs $19 a month and comes with 500 MB storage and 100 GB of bandwidth, as well as the ability to create a 2,500 person email campaign. Ads and branding from Livesite are no longer on the pages and it becomes possible to customize themes.

3. Elite – The Elite plan costs $49 a month but allows for an unlimited number of items to be placed in an online store, does transactions with no fee, and makes selling through the site easy. It also comes with 3000 MB of storage and unlimited bandwidth.

The Good

The features are well worth the money for the paid plans.

The Bad

The difference between the paid and free plan is extreme.

And The Ugly

Customer service by forum is bad enough, but prioritizing based on how much users pay is absurd.

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