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BuildYourSite Review (2017): eCommerce Solutions Review

BuildYourSite is a fairly longstanding site builder that has been around since 1997. It is designed to meet the website-building needs of smaller businesses, and it offers some useful tools to this end along with a choice of three plans that provide access to various features and benefits.

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Features

Build Your Site offers a decent selection of features for the creation of effective and useful small business websites. The number of these features you have access to, however, depends on your subscription package.

The site-building tool in itself is a capable tool that can be used to create some great sites for a small business that wants an affordable way to get off the ground while still getting something that looks good and comes across as professional. It is a template-based site builder, but it has upwards of 4,000 templates to use as starting points and most of them are quite good. In addition, a reasonable amount of customization is available to make your site your own. Ease of use is also good, with simple point-and-click functionality for the most part, making customization very accessible to those with limited computer skills. There are also a number of applications built in, allowing business owners to easily add some advanced functions and features to their sites. Doing this mostly just requires some basic point-and-click and drag-and-drop skills.

While the exact scope of the features you get depends on which of the three available packages you sign up for, all packages include certain very useful features. Hosting is included, as you might expect, with various amounts of storage space available depending on your chosen package. Custom email accounts are also included in all packages. This is very useful because it is an important feature that can really help a small business look professional, and it’s something that other site building options often leave out of their most basic packages.

You will also have access to activity reports and useful analytics tools. This will give you valuable stats about your site, which is useful if you want to dig into data and analyze performance. This can help you work out where your visitors are coming from and perhaps help you determine which ad campaigns are working. It can also help you see how individual pages stack up against each other in performance.

Ecommerce

BuildYourSite.com offers a package option specifically designed for the needs of ecommerce businesses, which are very different from those of most other online companies. Compared to other packages, this boasts features such as advanced shopping cart functionality and support for an unlimited number of pages in order to accommodate large product libraries.

The ecommerce functionality of Build Your Site is nothing groundbreaking, but it offers all of the essential features and a good number of useful ones at quite a competitive price. Decent shopping cart functionality and payment integration are included, and there is a wide variety of options when it comes to deciding how you want to accept payments. Both PayPal and Google Checkout – two of the very biggest and most useful options – are part of that list. A merchant account is included in the plan as standard.

Service and Support

There are multiple support options on offer from Build Your Site. There is the standard, ticket-based online help desk system. There is also a free-to-call phone number clearly advertised on their site that anyone can call for help, including those who have not yet signed up as customers. If you do purchase a membership package, you will get access to a members-only phone number that gives you priority access to phone support.

You might not even need to contact them directly for help. There is a fairly useful FAQ that you can consult in the hopes of getting an easy answer without the need to actually contact the help desk. If you need help making use of their products in order to build and manage your site effectively, you can also access a range of useful video tutorials.

Another side of service and support that is often overlooked is how a company looks out for its customers’ interests and especially how it looks after their data and protects the security of their sites. BuildYourSite.com scores very well in this regard. Sites are stored on its own servers and are protected by a 24/7 defense and monitoring system that includes virus protection and spam filtering. The list of payment processing options is fairly extensive but it is limited to major, reliable third party processors with their own extensive security arrangements.

Value and Membership Options

Build Your Site offers a solid and respectably feature-packed site creation and management package, and they pack a lot of value into each option. Even the most basic of the three membership options offers plenty of scope for creating a good small business site. Initial set-up fees do inflate the overall price a little, but these are waived if you pay for a year in advance. Paying for a year up front also gets you a 15 percent discount on whatever package you choose, so this definitely offers the best value. The alternative of paying month-to-month does ease cancellation and spreads the cost out, so some might prefer to stick with this payment model at the expense of paying more in the long run.

At time of writing, the three packages on offer are:

Starter:

This costs $9.95 per month and has no set-up fees regardless of how you choose to pay. It allows you to create sites with up to 10 pages and gives you 25 gigabytes of storage space and bandwidth allowance.

Professional:

This costs $16.95 per month. It allows for up to 50 pages, 100 gigabytes storage and bandwidth, and useful search engine optimization (SEO) tools.

Ecommerce:

This costs $24.95 per month. It offers unlimited pages, web space and bandwidth, which might make this the best option for larger and higher-traffic sites whether or not they are ecommerce stores. It also includes an advanced shopping cart, advanced form builder, and cloud backup.

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