No matter what anyone may say about SiteJet, one thing is clear and that is the fact that this company has limitless ambition.
Targeting itself against CMS behemoth WordPress, SiteJet nevertheless has its unique skew – web designers, freelancers and service providers. At least that’s what its marketing spiel tells us.
In fact, its founder Hendrik Köhler told us that SiteJet has helped thousands of small businesses create their websites and helps service them in a recurring revenue business model. That should tell you that web designers have a workable business model here.
The first thing you’ll notice about the SiteJet Dashboard is that it’s exactly that – it shows in very graphical terms the performance of any site you’ve created with them through its entire life cycle – from the time you created it as a project then through your design phases and finally its commercial viability as it is live.
Clean and feature-rich drag-and-drop editor
You can also get an abbreviated list of all websites that are currently in your account (published or not) and choose what to do with them from one central location. Choosing to edit any of them brings you into a drag and drop editor that is both clean and yet very feature-rich.
* Click image to enlarge.
Built for team collaboration
What makes SiteJet rather more special than the run-of-the-mill site builder or CMS is its collaborative features.
This works on various levels – either with colleagues or with clients. You can work together with a colleague, perhaps each on your own part and leave notes for each other to follow. There is also the customer feedback element where you can invite a client to view and comment on the current progress of the site under construction.
Interactive feedback capability makes ongoing design changes much easier to process and can help speed up site building. Each website can be managed as an individual project, with notes and to-do lists integrated.
Finally, if you’re a web builder or site designer, you can hand off the website to your client and provide them with their own self-service portal while retaining master control of the account. I love this system because as someone who’s dabbled in the site design business before, it helps idiot-proof the site you build by limiting how much damage the client can do to his/her own site.
Simple Yet Powerful Builder Interface
Before I discuss the interface, I’d like to let you know that SiteJet offers free trial accounts which you can use to see if you like it. There is absolutely zero cost to test all this stuff out. You will only be asked to upgrade to a paying account if you wish to publish any website which you’ve created.
Apart from that, site builders are so common nowadays that it is very likely you’ll already have run into one and tried it out. Let’s just say that SiteJet is a very advanced website builder. It comes with standard templates, but the customization option available are impressive.
Going back to the manual coding, all of this is tied in very closely to the interface, meaning that it all happens on the template – in split screen if necessary. This lets you not have to hunt for individual style sheet files for example, a great time saver.
For those of you who have not yet experienced coding on WordPress – it’s not difficult, but it does require you to have some understanding of how WordPress organizes its ecosystem. The SiteJet system is much more intuitive if you’re a code diver.
If you ever get lost, SiteJet has a fantastic video tutorial series that can help you out. I am increasingly finding that these help videos are much more useful than a simple step-by-step description, since you can visually see how something is done.
Here’s a demo video on how to build a website with SiteJet in 25 minutes.
SiteJet Plans & Pricing: Pay as You Grow
|Draft Website Projects
||Free & Unlimited
||Free & Unlimited
||Free & Unlimited
|Auto Website Generator
|Multi-user & Role Management
||Up to 5 users
||Up to 10 users
Like web hosts which increase the number of sites you can host based on your plan, SiteJet also offers a tiered publishing system. A single site will set you back $11 a month – and remember, this is only for published sites.
You can have many projects in the works on that account. If you’re a web designer and end up publishing a few more websites, then you pay more. Consider it the cost of doing business and that you only pay more if you’re earning more from more clients.
Unfortunately, most of the collaborative features I shared about earlier are only available under the Team Plan, which costs $25 per month. This may not seem link much, but to a starving young web designer can seem like a lot at times.
Honestly, there’s not much not to like about SiteJet. It’s easy to use and comes with a ton of features. Sure, I would have liked to have access to more templates, but I guess that goes back to it being mostly aimed at website designers or builders.
- Simple yet powerful drag-and-drop interface
- Great features for website designers
- No free plan available
- Lack of marketing tools