This has been a long awaited post and I am finally glad to be getting around to it because the questions are just mounting up. Is it better to go with Site Build It (SBI) or is it better to put the pieces together yourself when starting your website or blog?
Why so many questions? Because I own over 20 niche websites, and many of them are on the SBI platform. In fact, my most successful and profitable niche site is on the SBI program.
If you don’t know what SBI is, it is a website building suite or program that comes with all the components you need to build a website and run a successful online business, except everything is already there and built for you. All you need to do is start creating your content or website material.
It is an all in one, single stop package developed for individuals who do not have the ability to or simply don’t want to go through the learning curve involved in setting up websites and blogs. It works particularly well for busy individuals such as successful corporate professionals who are looking to establish additional income streams on the side.
The individuals have the discretionary cash, but don’t have the time or the interest to dive into the technicalities of online business. These individuals have the knowledge capital because they are already successful in their careers, and are now looking to transpose their knowledge into a web based business to achieve greater scaleability.
Because I have numerous websites that are successful both on the SBI platform and outside (good old HTML static sites as well as WordPress sites), many people ask me which is the better route to go. The answer depends on the type of individual you are, what you want and how much you are willing to spend on your business.
While I will cover the qualitative aspects of the comparison a bit later, I want to first focus on the quantitative aspect of the equation because many people immediately discount SBI when they first see its price tag. Truth is, the price isn’t that much more than putting the pieces together, and definitely well worth the amount of time you save in the process at least in my opinion.
So let’s have a look . . .
Cost of SBI
All Inclusive Annually $299
Cost of Building Your Own Site
Hosting ($5/month) $60
Total $71 Annually
Purely from a financial perspective, SBI will cost you $228 more per year to operate a static website or blog with no other bells and whistles. This is fine if you want a small family or hobby site that you do nothing with once you build it. But what if you want to build a successful long term online business which require tools such as an email autoresponder and a keyword research tool for SEO purposes?
Let’s have a look one more time . . .
Cost of SBI
All Inclusive Annually $299
Cost of Building Your Own Site
Hosting ($5/month) $60
Keyword Tool $97 (Market Samurai is the most cost effective)
Email Autoresponder ($20/month) $250 (Aweber is the most cost effective)
SEO Checker Tool $97 (Traffic Travis is the most cost effective)
Total $505 Annually
Note that the cost of the keyword tool and SEO checker tool drops after year one because it’s a one time charge which brings the cost down to $311. The results?
So there you have it purely from a financial perspective. SBI is actually a more cost efficient option when you take into account the bells and whistles many new internet entrepreneurs would want to have. For those who don’t want to fork up the $299 all at once, SBI also allows you to subscribe on a monthly basis instead so you can try the program and see whether you want to stick around, making it much more affordable from a working capital or cash flow perspective.
I understand there are nuances involved that impact our decisions, such as differences between the keyword tool SBI uses vs. the alternatives, and the same goes for the email autoresponder and many other factors. However, all that just comes down to personal preference and comfort level using the tools.
For example, a more advanced internet entrepreneur may prefer a more robust email autoresponder such as Aweber while someone relatively new can be totally overwhelmed by it, not that it is too complicated but you get the point. There will always be nuances involved in the different components that go into running a successful online business that trigger differences in opinion. The important thing is that all these components work.
Building your own website or blog with WordPress or a static HTML program like Dreamweaver will give you more flexibility in terms of the look and feel of your website in terms of how you want to design it and the elements you want to embed within. However, this requires some knowledge of coding/programming in order to implement.
For example, with WordPress, you have several plugins that are available that you can use to enhance or modify the look, feel and functionality of your site. Although there is some learning curve involved in understanding what plugins are, what they do and how to implement and use them successfully, they are relatively automated compared to having to manually code in the functionality they delivery.
There is some flexibility with SBI as well, however this too requires some programming/coding skills. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself whether you are willing to invest the time to learn what it takes to implement such design changes. More importantly, are the design tweaks you want to implement important enough to impact your decision?
Another disadvantage of SBI is you can only host one domain in your account. This become a moot point if you only want to establish one website. But if you want to establish several more down the road, getting your own hosting account will work out better if you want to host multiple domain names on it.
Basically, considering your own hosting account comes into play when scaleability is at stake because you can scale the use of other web components mentioned above as well such as the email autoresponder program.
While there are a few things to consider when deciding whether to go with SBI or put the pieces together building your own website or blog, the real advantage in using SBI in my opinion is everything else that goes way beyond the website itself. I am not saying the website is not good. It is. But what’s even better is all the bells and whistles that come with the program.
More than anything else, the step by step training you receive is fantastic. Before you even start building your website, SBI provides a multi-modular interactive training course that gets you up to speed on internet business. Literally, a novice can take the training and be on their way to establishing a successful online business. I can argue that this in itself is well worth the price of the program.
In addition, SBI has several behind the scenes tools that are invaluable, including a very large and deeply involved forum where thousands of SBIers regularly interact, share experiences and help each other out. SBI’s support network is the one of the best I have personally experienced among online tools, which outside of the SBI community you would have to build on your own, most often paying for it.
And the biggest advantage of all in my opinion is the time and pain you save in the process. You completely skip the growing pains and overcome the learning curve immediately because of the training you are provided with. Outside of SBI, this training costs a significant amount of money.
Getting SBI is like getting a private tutor, or paying for coaching which not only takes heavy monetary investment, but also time and patience to learn, understand and implement. With SBI, if you are ever stuck at any point, simply shoot out an email to the support team or post in the forums. Responses come flooding in quick.
If you are a seasoned internet entrepreneur, you may not get all the value from SBI that it is meant to deliver. You likely already know a lot of it. However, if you are relatively new in the internet space and are interested in building a successful and long term online business, SBI is an invaluable tool that I highly recommend you at least try.
They have a money back guarantee you can take advantage of, and most importantly you don’t have to pay all $299 upfront if you don’t want to. You can subscribe to their monthly plan.
Remember that SBI teaches you how to build a solid, successful and long term online business, so it’s much more than just a website or blog building suite. You not only get the start to finish coaching needed to figure out what niche you should pursue, but also all the tools to start building your website without figuring out how to. All you need to do is type. In addition, you get all the coaching and support needed to establish a successful long term and sustainable online business.
I personally like SBI for several other reasons as well that go beyond the scope of this post, but then again, I might be biased because it is said that one never forgets their first love. I am not saying I dislike other methods. In fact I have several niche sites that are on WordPress as well as static HTML sites built with Dreamweaver. In fact, once you get some experience and feel you no longer need some of the bells and whistles that SBI provides, you may very well opt to build your own website or blog for less than SBI’s annual cost. That said, my most profitable website is running on the SBI platform.
Do you prefer to build your own website or blog rather than using a comprehensive suite of tools like SBI? Why or why not? What are your main questions and concerns when deciding?
Full Disclosure: I have an affiliate relationship with SBI and get paid a commission each time someone I refer to it makes a purchase. I have been acquainted with SBI since 2007 and have several profitable websites built and running on the SBI platform.Previous: Avoiding Lost Affiliate Earnings. Hiccups in Tracking Affiliate Program Commissions