Site Build It Online Website Builder Reviewed
Site Build It…also known as SBI! and now Solo Build It…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 (Search Engine Optimization) 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! was 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 Solo Build It still a good product in 2017 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 fulfill a need. 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 alternative for small business owners so they could create an inexpensive but effective website online. And yes..I believe it still does that…but the landscape has changed an awful lot over the years, in particular with the rise of WordPress.
Site Build It vs WordPress
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 software 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 DO NOT 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…Site Build It has a support system and a community of enthusiastic users…which may still be a good way to get started and learn about Internet marketing. But it isn’t really scale-able and it’s difficult to get support outside of SBI! Why use Site Build It when there are better alternatives?
So…while I still have much 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. By all means give Solo Build It a try (this is NOT one of those deliberately inflammatory negative reviews you’ll see in search results)…it is simply my honest opinion.
An SBI! Alternative?
Based on the WordPress platform, StudioPress Sites is an all-in-one website builder that’s perfect for bloggers, podcasters and affiliate marketers, as well as those selling physical products, digital downloads and membership programs. It offers all the power and flexibility of WordPress but with the security of a dedicated support system.
Getting Started with WordPress
You might find the prospect building your own small business website with WordPress a little daunting and that’s understandable, although one of the reasons it has become so popular is its ease of use. Of course before you start building your site you will first need to register a domain name and set up a hosting account…but what then? Where do you start?
WordPress for Beginners
Updated in 2017, WordPress for Beginners is a visual step-by-step guide to mastering WordPress. Written by Dr. Andy Williams it gives anyone with basic computer skills the ability to create and run a website that looks great on any device. Topics covered include…
- Hosting and domain registrars
- Pages & posts
- and much more
For the first-time user, WordPress for Beginners will step you through the process of getting your small business online. Another good beginner’s guide worth adding to your library is WordPress to Go.
SEO for WordPress
There is a mountain of information online about SEO 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.
It’s one thing to learn the basics of SEO but to achieve the best results possible you will need an easy way to actually optimize your site. Again, this is where the power and flexibility of WordPress comes into play. There are many SEO plugins available, both free and paid, which enable you to analyze and optimize your pages. My favorite is SEOPressor, which features separate modules for…
- On-page Analysis
- SEO Intelligence
- Semantic Builder
- Crawler Control
- Link Management
Some of those terms may sound a little daunting, but don’t worry…it’s all set up in a logical and easy-to-follow way, making the whole process very newbie-friendly. Graphical displays show things like the average score and health of your site as a percentage and analyzing your site is as easy as clicking a button.
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 pizzazz you might want to consider some premium themes. If you are building an affiliate marketing website then AffiloTheme was created specifically for that reason and well worth a look.
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 merit with tools to help you find the right niche.
But… again I have to say I would steer away from SBI! and build a niche website with WordPress. If you are really serious about making money online without selling your own products or services, Mark Ling’s Affilorama is a great FREE resource.
Creating an affiliate website is one thing…making it generate income is another thing altogether. Mark knows his stuff and will point you in the right direction. And if you’re the type of person who prefers to have someone do all the grunt work for you, Mark has created AffiloJetpack, a DFY (Done For You) affiliate marketing package that lets you hit the ground running.
Read my full assessment of Affilorama and AffiloJetpack here.
Complaints? 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. How can you evaluate anything without actually using it? Honestly. The opinions I am expressing here stem from my own personal experience. I bought an SBI site. And I helped a client manage his.
Yes, I’m saying there are now better (IMHO) alternatives…and praise, criticism and complaints where 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 Solo Build It 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 it for the typical small business owner or affiliate marketer. Bottom line is there are simply better choices. In a nutshell, I recommend…
- Learn the basics of WordPress
- Get your WordPress installation, hosting and support set up for you
- Install a good SEO plugin
- Monitize your site with affiliate marketing
- Consider a complete DFY site building solution for affiliate marketers
I genuinely hope you found this review of Solo Build It useful and go on to achieve spectacular results with your online business…whatever site building system you choose.