So you want to start a website and develop it into a successful online business, and you’re considering Solo Build It!.
You’ve just learned that there are two different options: Solo Build It! (SBI!), and Solo Build It! for WordPress (SBI! for WP).
And now you’re wondering which is best for you, your interests, your skills and abilities, and your knowledge.
Yuki Evoy recently explained in her article why she uses SBI! for WP to create her very successful fashion blog.
When I read it, I felt the need to share the opposite point of view: why I chose Solo Build It! over SBI! for WP.
I have experience with both products. I once tried to build a website using SBI! for WP. I gave up after approximately one month, and came running back into the Solo Build It! fold.
Maybe I was just spoiled by the fact that I already had a successful business, built with the Solo Build It! platform. I knew how easy it was to use.
Maybe it was my age — I’m retired, and although I love learning new things, there’s a limit to my patience.
WordPress simply tried my patience too far.
I’m not suggesting you should not choose to go the WordPress way. I’m suggesting that you take all the information about both, and work out which option is best for you and your personal situation.
I had a list of four main priorities when I chose Solo Build It!. Here’s what they were, and still are, and why, for me, SBI! came out on top.
Priority #1: Cost
I was starting this new venture after I took early retirement — ten years early. So my pension, such as it was, would be even more restricted than if I’d worked out my years. I’d effectively sacrificed ten years’ pension to get my life back.
It was worth it, but I knew I needed to be careful with expenses. And I knew that it would take time before my site began to make any money — if it ever did.
So a low initial outlay was crucial.
I looked at the WordPress platform, because it’s the platform everyone knows. And I realized what seemed to be a low initial investment would not be the end of the story. Domain name registration and renewal, a theme, hosting, premium plugins, email provider, image optimizers…
They all cost extra, and the shopping list seemed endless — and still does. Yuki’s article details how much she spends each month.
(For your convenience I’ll tell you: the bottom line for her first year set-up costs was $886.78, although you may not need all the add-ons she has.)
Solo Build It!, I discovered, includes all these costs. There is literally no more to pay apart from the annual (or monthly, if you choose) fee.
Really nice looking site designs? Included. Domain name registration and renewal? Hosting? Included. Email, signup forms, newsletter service, image optimizers? All included.
It’s right to say that now that I’m making a healthy profit I can choose to use one or two paid-for platforms. So for example, I pay $12 per month for a fancy-looking form for people to sign up to my newsletter…
Does it make a difference to how many people sign up? No. I keep it just because I like it. Call it website vanity.
But when you’re just starting out, Solo Build It!’s signup box and newsletter system is fine — and it’s all included in the price.
During my first several years with Solo Build It! I paid nothing over the annual subscription. And my site paid for itself by the time the next payment was due.
Now? It makes around that amount almost every day.
I can’t say more than that.
Priority #2: Everything Working Together, and Help When It Doesn’t
My technical knowledge was (still is!) virtually nil. As I read about the different platforms, I became concerned about the number of times I saw information referring to, for example, one WordPress plugin “fighting” with another, and causing the whole thing to crash.
That’s because WordPress doesn’t create any plugins. Individuals and businesses create them. If they’re good enough, WordPress offers the free version in its directory of plugins. And the developers can sell premium versions of their plugins (that is, more money needed.)
So the developers are not concerned about whether plugins work together. In fact there’s no way for them to know, until the complaints start rolling in.
In the meantime, what would I do about my site that no longer worked? I’m not a tech. My visitors would get fed up and disappear.
I needed to know there would be some support to help me work things out.
I couldn’t find that on WordPress. Yes, I could contact the individual developers or theme designers, and there are ways of getting “expert” support for WordPress sites. But those experts cost money.
Every new development is tested relentlessly before release by the programmers and internal staff.
What if it doesn’t work quite right? No problem. SBI!’s development team fixes it — quickly.
And if I have some other kind of problem that I can’t work out?
SBI!’s Support team is amazing. Not only is access to them free, they respond quickly and efficiently to each and every query. And one person sticks with you from the start of your request until you’re happy it’s resolved.
I couldn’t find that anywhere else. Still can’t.
Now, it’s right to say that if you buy SBI! for WP, the same Support team will deal with your SBI! for WP issues. But they can’t put right what WordPress gets wrong. For issues that are specific to WordPress, you’d need those external people again. The ones that cost money.
And… not to repeat myself, but take a look at priority #1.
Priority #3: Security
There was a huge issue here, for me. All the publicity about data breaches and stolen information…
When I had (very briefly) my WordPress site, someone hacked it. I was horrified to get a notice from Google, telling me they’d withdrawn access to AdSense for the site, which was the main way I was making money from it at the time.
It was a big deal because, overnight, my WordPress site stopped providing me with any income at all.
But a much bigger deal was that the site had been hacked by a Russian company, which was using it to advertise a pedophile network. I can’t recall much about it now, except it was renamed “Ballerina Girls.” I had no idea what to do, and I couldn’t find anyone to help.
I was petrified.
I ended up having to get an “expert” to help extricate my name from the whole sordid thing. There we go again — experts cost.
Take a look at Yuki’s article. She had something similar happen to her WordPress site.
My confidence was severely tested by that incident, which, I accept, is not an everyday occurrence. It’s a common occurrence though. And it happened to me.
As Yuki says, “sites hosted with Solo Build It! are super secure.” If there are any issues at all, the development team is all over it, straight away. And they let people know what’s going on.
I just don’t worry about security with SBI!.
Priority #4: Simplicity!
Before I ever thought of having a website, my knowledge of using the internet was limited more or less to using Microsoft Word at work. So I needed a system that was going to be simple to use.
I tried a number of ways — here’s an excerpt from my Solo Build It! story:
“I paid good money (and I mean a lot of good money) for someone from a website company (can’t remember who now — they’ve probably gone out of business, anyway) to make me a site.
It was lovely. Seriously. It looked great. It had a cute pic on the front. It was pretty.
There was just one problem. I couldn’t work out how to write to it.
So I wrote to the designer and asked him. He told me he would copy whatever I wrote into the template. For a fee.
A very large fee.
“How will people find it?” I asked. “Ah well, you just have to trust to luck”, he said.
That did not sound like a good idea. It felt, actually, like I was just throwing good money after bad. And I had to stop — I did not have money to waste.”
When I tried WordPress, I just couldn’t make it out at all. Pages, posts, categories, tags, evergreen, not evergreen… It confused me. And I’m not normally easily confused.
Solo Build It!, to me, is the ideal. Its Action Guide leads you, step by step, through a simple process.
That is, how to construct the website architecture in a series of “tiers,” so that your site visitors can easily find what they’re looking for, and the search engine bots can easily discover what the site’s overall theme is.
That’s important for the satisfaction of both. And has nothing to do with luck!
Then, the same Action Guide teaches you how to make those pages appear on the internet. It felt like a minor miracle to me initially, but actually it’s much simpler than that.
Building pages with Solo Build It!’s BlockBuilder 2 is a “drag and drop” system. You want to add some text to a page? Drag the block across, type or paste in in your text, and click a button to save it.
Want to add an image? Same thing. So that, as if by magic, this (you can see the different blocks on the left hand side)…
…turns into this…
And that is how I built my website. Simply and methodically, page by page. It’s how it’s been found by more than 1.7 million people in the past twelve months.
People who write and tell me things like…
Just to let you know your blog and your newsletter is a looked-forward-to event that brings joy to my family, grandchildren — and our chickens.
Now, I’m not saying people who use SBI! for WP can’t have that. They have access to the same amazing keyword brainstorming tool that helps me find the right words for my articles. And access to the same forums for support and encouragement along the way.
And, if they stick to the advice from SBI! to all its users, they’ll also get the same kinds of messages from readers.
It’s just that WordPress — in my view — doesn’t make it as easy.
Why I Use Solo Build It!: Conclusion and Priority #5
I said at the start that I had four main priorities when I started out: cost, everything in one place, security and simplicity. And that’s true.
If I’d known then what I know now, though, I’d add one other: fun.
I thought it would be a lot of work — and it is. You don’t make money overnight, despite what other website builders may tell you in their “it’s so easy” adverts. You don’t create a successful business without some days when you’re tired and frustrated.
I genuinely look forward, every single day, to working on my online business. I love planning, writing, watching another article come to life, or reading someone’s email telling me how it’s helped.
And I love seeing the savings add up in my bank account. Love that it means I can use some of that money to “pay it forward” in different ways, to people and charities that mean a lot to me.
Would it have made a difference if I’d decided to use SBI! for WP, as opposed to Solo Build It!?
Not really. The advice, the research tools and the Support team are the same for both. The forums are the same forums, the people in them the same helpful, kind, encouraging people, whichever platform they use. The Zoom “workshop” sessions that run every two weeks are equally able to help those who use WordPress and those who don’t.
I just knew personally that my fun would be best gained from using a simple system that I could come to grips with right away. A system that took care of those things I’d identified as priorities.
So that’s what you need to do.
Think about what your priorities are. Look at both systems. Weigh up the pros and cons.
And be safe in the knowledge that, whether you choose Solo Build It! or SBI! for WP, both come with that added extra ingredient.