For the two years that I’ve been reviewing website builders for online businesses, I discovered that some could be far more expensive for maintenance than to get started. Recently, I came across a perfect example and in this Sitelio review, I’ll show you why some upgrades are unnecessary and why you should avoid this company altogether.
What Is Sitelio
Sitelio offers three types of services in one solution – hosting, domain and website platform. This all-in-one package appeals to beginner because it’s convenient to set up without requiring any technical knowledge. Fair enough. All of us want to start with something easy.
However, as you continue to build your site, you’ll be concerned with online traffic and here’s where you might be attracted to the additional features that promise to boost your site. Needless to say, these are upsells, but that’s not the main point.
There are a few basics that you need to know about online marketing and once you have a good grasp of this knowledge, you’ll be able to judge what’s good for your site.
Upsell #1 – Submit Site to Search Engine
Cost = $49.95/year
Offer = Submit your website to search engines, increase traffic and get higher page rank
There are two parts to this that I need to explain. Firstly, you can actually do this process yourself and Google, the top search engine, provides this feature for FREE. All you need is a Google Account, connect your site to Google Analytics and verify through Google Search Console. If you are using WordPress, you’ll be able to submit a sitemap to Google to accelerate the indexing process.
The sitemap feature isn’t always available with website builders, so this could be a big disadvantage using such platform. Traffic data are private information and I don’t recommend outsourcing this task unless they are professionals who know their stuff. And if they truly are, the fee is definitely going to cost more than $50/year.
Secondly, submitting a site WILL NOT directly increase traffic or page rank. These two scenarios are mainly driven by the keywords and the amount of content published on your site. The more refined your keyword research, the better the quality your content becomes and the higher your site would rank on Google search results.
Upsell #2 – Social Booster
Cost = $49.95/year
Offer = Get 500 free Twitter followers for your site
One of the success indicators of a website is the amount of audience it attracts and nothing is more rewarding than getting a large number of followings through social media. But there’s a danger when you focus too much on this metric, especially when you pay a third party to ‘create an audience’ for your site.
That’s because it involves the process of aggressively acquiring ‘followers’ that are mostly fake or derive from inactive user accounts so that the number of your audience could suddenly jump from 0 to 500 over a short period of time. It’s pretty obvious that you are trying to game the system, but the thing is, the search engines can detect these suspicious activities.
Poor social engagement, spamming of your followers and inorganic traffic – these are signs that most social media disapprove and they could potentially tarnish your online reputation leading to your account being banned on a particular network. That’s a very high price to pay, if you asked me.
Upsell #3 – Supercharge
Cost = $23.40/year
Offer = Increase your website speed using CDN hosting
Improving hosting quality can have a direct impact on a website’s speed, so using high end technology such as Content Delivery Network hosting sure has its advantages. But this offer could potentially tell us another thing.
The free hosting service that Sitelio provides by default, could be a low performing server (that’s why their plans are so cheap) so that they can steer you towards buying this package when you feel the need to boost your page speed.
Sneaky marketing, uh?
Upsell #4 – Quick Restore
Cost = $19.99/year
Offer = View and restore previous versions of your site
Here’s one of the limitations that you’d face when using simple website builders. Most of them don’t have auto-save feature and even if they do, you’ll have to do it manually. If you are using WordPress, it would be less of a hassle because auto-save is a default feature (hence free) that runs every time you are editing something on the dashboard.
Upsell #5 – Domain Privacy
Cost = $9.95/year
Offer = Protect your personal information on the web
Domain privacy or WhoIs protection is often offered when you buy a custom domain, but since Sitelio’s pricing plans already include free domains, this feature becomes an additional fee to bear if you want to prevent your personal information from leaking on the internet.
In my opinion, privacy protection shouldn’t even be an optional feature in the first place. Every website owner need to understand the importance and make it a point to have that included in their domain/hosting purchase from the beginning, not as a separate cost.
Upsell #6 – Site Lock
Cost = $29.95/year
Offer = Protect your website from security problems
Again, this depends on what type of platform you are using and whether you have a WhoIs protection or not, which I’ve just explained earlier.
If you are a WordPress user, there are various security and anti-spam plugins that you can install (for free), to protect your website. Often times, when you have a good hosting service like SiteRubix, you don’t really need this feature, but it would become prudent when you use website builders that are more vulnerable to the web changes.
Upsell #7 – Site Directory
Cost = $47.40/year
Offer = List your site on top directories to increase traffic
Many moons ago, people used this technique to create back links based on the assumption that the more links that point to their sites, the higher their page rank would be. However, because this is easy to manipulate, Google no longer considers this an important metric.
Most web directories are now considered very thin and poor quality sites and if you attempt to list your site in there, you will run the risk of Google penalty which will lead to a complete wipe-out of your website content. Scary, uh?
Upsell #8 – Design eBook
Cost = $9.95
Offer = Tips for branding and designing your website
I find this feature a bit redundant. Since most website platforms come with various themes that work right out of the box, you don’t really need to know how to design a website. These are the jobs of graphic developers, not you, a website owner.
As far as designing is concerned, you probably need to know a bit about creating a web logo or simple images to go with your content. For that, you can actually use free tools like Canva to design your desired image.
And here’s a bit of advice from me – paying attention to a website’s aesthetic is great, but don’t spend too much time on it because ultimately, what drives traffic isn’t the look; it’s the content that will get indexed, ranked and ultimately attract the right audience to your site.
Another Duplicate Company??
Just as I thought that I was about done reviewing Sitelio, I received an email from their account manager, offering to help me choose a domain name. What surprised me is that the name that signed off is the same person who sends me offers from Siteblog, another website builder that has questionable legality.
With this suspicious duplicate identity plus the unnecessary/costly upsells, I am convinced that Sitelio is not a trustworthy company to associate with. Their techniques are outdated and could harm the performance of your website.
I hope this article has helped you understand the limitations of website builders and the basics of online marketing before you take off on your own. If you like to know how to get started on the right platform without burning a hole in your pocket, visit my recommended hosting solution for more details.
Have any thoughts or questions? Leave them in the comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon.
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