Sitejet Review: A Website Builder and CMS For Web Designers
Here at WPLift, we share a lot of tutorials and tips to help you build websites with WordPress.
However, despite its popularity, WordPress is not the only way to build a website, and there are plenty of viable alternatives.
In my Sitejet review, I’ll look at one of those alternatives.
Rather than primarily targeting end users (e.g. regular people who want a website), Sitejet is mostly focused on helping web designers create websites for clients.
If you build sites for clients, Sitejet has some unique features – like an easy way to involve clients in the process and time tracking – that you might like. Unlike Squarespace and Wix, Sitejet also lets you export websites to use on your own host. So you won’t be locked into using a hosted service forever, and you have the flexibility to move things around as needed.
In my Sitejet review, I’ll take a deeper look at this tool and help you decide if it’s right for you.
Sitejet Review: A (Quick) Look At The Features
When you launch a new site, you can choose from the many included templates or build something from scratch yourself.
You’ll also get a lot of features that help you work with clients, including:
- An easy way to share a website preview (including a way for clients to give feedback, kind of like InVision)
- A dedicated client dashboard that gives them stripped-down access
- Time tracking
Once you want to make a site live, you can either have Sitejet host it for you. Or, on the Team and Agency plans, you can export all the HTML, CSS, and JS content and host the site on your own server.
There are also a lot of smaller features that you’ll see as I take you hands-on with Sitejet.
Hands-on With Sitejet
Alright, now it’s time to go hands-on and show you how to build a website with Sitejet.
Creating A New Site
To create a new website, you just click the + Website button in the Sitejet dashboard – simple enough, right?
From there, you’ll give it a name. Then, you get the option to choose a template for your new site (or continue without a template):
At the time that I’m writing this Sitejet review, Sitejet has 63 different templates to choose from. These templates are spread across a good range of niches.
For example, you have templates for:
- Generic businesses
- Tattoo studios
Once you choose a template, your new website will show up in the list of websites. It will also be given a “Project Status”. This is a handy feature that lets you figure out where you are in each website.
For example, you could mark a website as being in the revision process when you’ve sent it over to your client for revision requests:
To further edit a site, you just click the Edit Website button to launch the design tool.
Designing Your Website With Sitejet’s Website Builder
If you’ve ever used a WordPress page builder plugin, you should feel right at home in the Sitejet website builder tool.
Here’s what it looks like:
Let’s start with the basics…
To edit text, you just double-click and type:
Similarly, you can use drag-and-drop to rearrange elements in the template:
If you want to edit how a module looks, you just double-click it to open a sidebar where you can control various styling options:
One unique thing about Sitejet in comparison to other tools is that it lets you go much deeper into the underlying code than your average website builder or WordPress page builder. In this respect, it reminds me of the Oxygen WordPress site builder plugin that I reviewed.
For example, you can use hotkeys or a drop-down menu to quickly access a full code editor to edit/add:
So if you ever feel limited by the visual builder, it’s simple to just jump into the code to make tweaks.
Sitejet also includes this helpful tool at the bottom that makes it really easy to find the relevant CSS selector:
Or, you can also right-click on any element to copy its ID.
Adding New Content
If you need to add new content to a template file, you’ll use the Add Content drop-down. This lets you insert a:
- Preset – e.g. a header, footer, menu, layout, etc.
- Element – generic element blocks.
- Forms – various types of form fields.
- Store – eCommerce functionality powered by Ecwid.
There are also a bunch of keyboard shortcuts to help you quickly add new content (or manipulate existing content):
Creating Responsive Designs
To help you control how your site looks on different devices, Sitejet includes handy responsive design controls that let you design your site using live previews for a variety of devices:
Editing Site Data (Like SEO)
The Website settings sidebar lets you access important behind-the-scenes information like:
- Structured data
- SEO metadata
Editing Other Pages
Obviously, your website is more than a single page. One thing I like about Sitejet is how easy it makes it to edit those other pages.
First, you can use the Pages sidebar to view a list of other pages. Then, you can click the Arrow icon to open that page in the editor:
Here’s the cool thing, though:
Rather than opening a new browser tab, Sitejet opens a new tab within the same interface:
This lets you quickly switch back-and-forth between different pages on your site.
Special Features For Web Designers
In the beginning, I told you that Sitejet was focused on web designers. Here are some of the unique features that make life easier for web designers…
Sitejet offers built-in time tracking for the different stages of your project. For example, when you’re building a site, you’ll see time tracking in the top-left corner of the website builder interface:
You can view this time tracking from your Websites list. It automatically divides the time by the different phases of the project:
Need to keep track of your to-dos? You can click on your live website to create to-dos that are tied to your actual website design, complete with their own deadlines:
Share Websites With Clients
Once you have something you want to share with a client, SiteJet lets you share the site with your client in a few different ways.
First, there’s Presentation Mode, which shows a live preview on three different devices:
You can either invite clients to view this mode by sending an email or by generating a share link.
Or, you can give them an interactive feedback view, where they can leave feedback by simply clicking on the live preview of the website:
Beyond the time tracking I showed you, you also get a dedicated Business Dashboard that lets you see important stats for your business as a whole, as well as manage website change requests through a dedicated ticket system:
Dedicated Client Dashboard
To let your clients access their site without breaking things, you can give them access to a stripped-down client area where they can manage emails, form submissions, etc. without needing to have full access:
Sitejet Pricing: How Much This Will Cost You
Sitejet’s plans start at $5 per month for basic features and range up to $19 per month (teams) and $89 per month (agencies).
Those prices get you access to the features and a single hosted website. If you want to host more websites with Sitejet, you’ll pay just $5 per month for each extra website.
On the team and agency plans, you also get the option to export a site’s files to use on your own server:
Final Thoughts On Sitejet
I don’t think Sitejet is a viable alternative for all types of WordPress sites. Here’s why I say this:
It doesn’t seem like there’s any flexibility to serve up dynamic content from a database. For example, you can’t create a website for a realtor and dynamically list all the available houses, while WordPress makes this quite easy with custom post types.
Additionally, there’s currently no built-in blogging functionality, though it is on the product roadmap and should be added soon.
However, I do think Sitejet is intriguing for more static types of sites.
I think the integrated workflow is what’s most appealing. Sitejet makes it very easy to collect suggestions from clients, manage to-dos, etc.
I also like that the editor gives you full access to the underlying code, which makes it easy to customize things as needed.
Additionally, you can still connect to external databases/tools with webhooks, so you can accept data via a form and stick it somewhere for safekeeping.
Overall, if you primarily build mostly static websites for clients and feel like WordPress limits you or takes too much time, give Sitejet a look: