SiteJam Review

SiteJam is trying to bank on its builder design to draw people in. While it doesn’t stand out in any particular fashion, it provides good value for the prices. In many ways, it’s pretty clear that what the company is going for is a bargain option. This isn’t to say the builder is cheap or not good, since it is both cleverly designed and well executed, but rather to suggest that it is not the most powerful, the most intuitive or the most useful.

It is, however, passably good at all of those things –  and with prices as low as they are, can be worth it for a company or individual looking to dip their toes into the online waters without having to make a major investment or learn how to code their own site from scratch.

Ease of Use

The website for the builder is pretty standard, mimicking a lot of similar services with the way it is laid out. Fortunately, it is much briefer, making the case for signing up, offering a free trial and allowing the user to make that decision on their own. It’s the opposite of a hard sell, which is actually rather refreshing.

The builder itself is well-conceived and easy to understand, labeling everything with clear text rather than trying to develop clever pictograms to indicate what a particular menu does or offers, like many of their competitors. It has both templates and a drag-and-drop interface, making it simple for beginners, but frustrating for experts that will likely be annoyed at the lack of HTML and CSS access.

Building

Building a website with SiteJam is simple. The service starts by offering the choice of a number of different templates. Many of them are not particularly impressive – very basic and light on graphics, but they offer users more of a framework to build from rather than a full site that needs to be rearranged.

As mentioned above, it’s good to see all of the menus clearly labeled, and the drag-and-drop is smooth and easy to use, almost as fluid as an offline application.

Hosting

Hosting is not impressive. In the bottom two plans, the user is given a subdomain of their main site, and the top plan allows for a free domain name that can be attached to it. Otherwise, users have to work with the company to map their purchased URL onto the site.

The bottom plan only allows a single page and 100 MB of storage. To be fair, it’s unlikely that one page will need more than that, but it’s severely limited. The second highest plan offers unlimited pages, but only five products can be sold through the system.

All in all, it’s consummate with the price, but not great by any stretch of the imagination.

Marketing

The marketing options are also not impressive with SiteJam. It’s easy to integrate with various social media accounts, which is a nice feature, as well as add video embedding to pages, but there’s no way to see how the code looks to crawler bots, and it’s likely that users will be on their own.

Customer Support

Support is another area where it can’t be said that they are poor at it, but it’s obviously not the priority for the company. To get any customer support, users have to submit a ticket through the site, which will be answered when the techs are available between 9am and 6pm GMT. Considering the limited time that they have to answer, most questions are addressed in a detailed manner to avoid multiple emails needing to be sent, but it can be frustrating in an emergency.

Pricing

The pricing is the context through which everything else needs to be viewed. While SiteJam is not spectacular on its own, it is when considering that many other sites would be charging much more for these sorts of services, and that makes the builder worth it.

1.Starter Site – This site costs $1 a month and comes with a single page, 100 MB of storage, one free stock image, and the ability to sell one product from the site.

2. Business Site – This increases to unlimited pages for $8 a month, as well as 500 MB of storage, five products, and three stock images.

3. Unlimited – This plan costs $16 a month and has unlimited pages, products, and storage, 10 stock images, a free email, and a free domain.

The Good…

Great value for the price.

The builder is honest about the simplicity in what it offers

The Bad…

Severely limited on the lower plans.

And The Ugly

This is not a long-term plan, despite the good builder.

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