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Hear from our web hosting expert, David Delony.
By David Delony
Tech and text enthusiast.
Sitelio is a web hosting provider catering to businesses with a website builder that has many attractive templates. The company is based in Burlington, Massachusetts. Sitelio is focused on its website builder and its ability to publish websites quickly.
The company has an extensive list of predefined templates for its website builder, sorted into categories. These templates have specific uses, such as for wedding photographers or restaurants.
Once users have chosen a template, they can tweak the design using a WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop editor. Users can preview how their site will look on both a desktop and a mobile browser. In fact, there's a dedicated editor for mobile sites. Elements can be rearranged similar to the editor for desktop sites. This is for clients who want to customize their site for mobile browsers.
While Sitelio says the website builder will work on all major browsers, the company recommends Chrome. Even though Chrome is the most popular web browser right now, it's better to target all the major browsers. Fortunately, we're a long way away from the browser wars of the '90s, and most websites these days will work well on the major browsers. Clients should keep this in mind if users do run into weird display issues with their websites.
Sitelio clients can have multiple pages as part of their site, and many of the templates come with multiple pages already. Users can than edit and change the layout of all of them. The number of pages that clients can have is related to the service tier they've chosen, mentioned later in this review.
Most people will want to have a consistent look among their webpages. They can set the background image site-wide, as well as at the page level. Other elements, such as color schemes, can be defined site-wide through the design menu in the editor.
Clients can change any part of a design in the WYSIWYG editor from a template. They might want to add a company logo or swap out their own images. Elements can be rotated and scaled, as well as have their corners rounded. It's also possible to change the size of a page. Finally, users can upload documents and images to their site.
Elements can be grouped into "containers" that function as one element. An image and a block of text might be combined into a container. When the browser window is resized, the container will display properly. This is important with mobile devices. Content in containers can be further grouped into tabs. This lets designers specify content to be displayed selectively. A tab, for example, can display a few items in an e-commerce store for a promotion, transitioning among items.
Once a client has decided on a design, they can click the "publish" button to push it out on the web.
Clients can host blogs on their site as well as static content. The blogging portion is just another element that they can choose from the website builder.
Sitelio also supports adding e-commerce stores to a site, with the ability to add products using forms. Clients can also post PayPal buttons on their sites as well as customize tax and shipping information. They can also set up discount codes for any promotions they want to run. Note, however, that only the higher service tiers can use the e-commerce features.
Sitelio offers social media integration with its site builder, a must for any business with a web presence. The company integrates Facebook and Twitter. The SocialBooster service automatically schedules posts, keeps track of incoming messages, manages Facebook ads, displays analytics, and delivers content via RSS.
In addition to Facebook and Twitter, SocialBooster integrates with LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. Sitelio allows up to 20 profiles to be connected.
SEO is another essential function for a business website. Users can add descriptions to a site's header through the site builder. They can even add HTML code if they wish, as well as keywords and meta tags. Clients can also add Google Analytics code for even deeper analytics than Sitelio provides.
Clients can use their existing domain names for their sites. If they need one, they can also buy a domain name through Sitelio, choosing from several TLDs.
Sitelio maintains a knowledgebase on its site. Some topics also have tutorial videos. Additionally, clients can get in touch via email and web chat. There are phone numbers for the US and Canada, the UK, and Australia.
On their website, the company makes no claims about uptime or infrastructure, or even where its datacenters are located.
Sitelio offers a free version, which only supports five pages, with five megabytes of file uploads and 1 gigabyte of bandwidth. They also offer a 15-day free trial. The other tiers have unlimited pages. The company accepts major debit and credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Sitelio also accepts PayPal. Clients can be billed on a monthly, yearly, or 2-yearly basis, with invoices shown in the control panel.
All of the service tiers above the free one offer free domain names, free hosting, and free ad credits. The higher tiers have SEO help and allow clients to take e-commerce payments. The highest tier provides free email with the domain name, and priority support.
There are no contract lock-ins. If a client wants to change the billing terms, such as from yearly to monthly or vice versa, they can so so easily. Clients who change the terms will get either a partial refund or the pro-rated charge. The company has billing support numbers for the US and Canada, the UK, the EU, Australia, and other countries.
SItelio has an affiliates program, with up to $100 per referral to a paid account. For clients who want to refer larger numbers, the marketing team can set up other terms.
Sitelio is good for businesses wanting attractive websites, including blogging and e-commerce, without having to fiddle with HTML.
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