(This is a supplemental post to the main Site Build It Scam post.)
This is where it all started with me…my immense frustration with Site Sell and the misleading information they spew in an effort to promote their inferior product.
On April 24, 2012, Aaron from SiteSell posted this on the SiteSell Facebook page:
What is it about WordPress that gets Web developers touting its benefits to anyone that will listen? It’s really dollars and cents. WordPress has so many “holes” in it that it takes an entire industry of after market add-on producers to make any WordPress blog function as well as any SBI! site, out of the box. WordPress employs a lot of people!
“WordPress is free and easy!”, they say. But free and easy doesn’t create popular, profitable Web sites, as we’ve demonstrated here…
We’re curious – do YOU know anyone personally that has created a thriving site using WordPress?
(By the way, I address the “Do The Math” marketing page here–yet another misleading piece-of-garbage marketing page used to target people who know nothing about WordPress.)
Naturally I chimed in, because while I’m not sure if I would consider my WordPress site “thriving”, it’s doing pretty darn well. Of course, all of my comments were later deleted. Figures.
So let’s take a look at the claim made in that comment. Does WordPress have “so many holes” in it?
Ummm…no. In fact, if you’ll remember, the entire reason I moved over to WordPress was because my Site Build It site had so many limitations that I was spending hours each week updating things on my site manually that my WordPress site now does automatically.
- Do those site functions require plugins? Yes.
- Does installing plugins in WordPress require technical knowledge? No. It’s the click of a button to install a plugin.
- Do the plugins cost money? Some do, but most of them are completely free.
- Do these plugins “fill holes” in the WordPress program? No. WordPress functions just fine “out of the box” as a basic blogging or website-building program. The purpose of the plugins isn’t to “fill holes”, as Aaron and Ken Evoy would have you believe. That’s kind of like saying that the purpose of iPhone apps is to “fill holes” in the iPhone. Clearly, that’s not true at all.
Plugins simply extend the functionality of WordPress much in the same way that the thousands of iPhone apps extend the functionality of your iPhone. Every single one of the millions of iPhone users doesn’t want or need every single one of the iPhone apps available. Chances are that you want different apps from your friends, and different apps from your co-workers. It’s the same concept with WordPress. There are tens of thousands of plugins available, which can make your WordPress site do just about anything you can think of or imagine.
I don’t need or want the same plugins that a real estate agent would want on his site where he has a searchable listing of houses for sale in his area. I don’t need or want the same plugins that a photographer would want on her site where she displays large portfolio pictures of her work. I don’t need or want the same plugins that a food blogger would want on her site to display printable recipes. I could go on and on and on. The bottom line is that to claim that these plugins “fill holes” is just plain ridiculous, and makes the person making those claims look…well…stupid (or frightened that people might find out the truth about the superiority of WordPress in comparison to his archaic, stripped-down, inferior product).
Specific examples of plugins I use:
Genesis Featured Widget Amplified
Description: Any time I write a post and put it in the category “DIY Projects”, this FREE plugin automatically generates a thumbnail of the project and adds it to my DIY Projects Gallery page. All of those thumbnails are linked to the specific post so that visitors can visit the gallery and easily find the projects they like. I actually have a total of 30 gallery pages on my blog, all utilizing this plugin, which makes everything look amazingly organized…and it’s all automatic.
Does this plugin “fill a hole” in WordPress? Of course not. Only a small subset of WordPress users would need something like this on their sites. For the other millions of users, this plugin would be extraneous. This free plugin simply extended the functionality of my site so that it would function the way I envisioned.
Would an SBI! site do this “out of the box”? HAHA!! Ummm…no. Again, the reason I switched from Site Build It to WordPress was because of the unimaginable lack of functionality with Site Build It. No more manual work adding thumbnails to HTML pages and reuploading every time I blog about a new project. This plugin alone has saved me countless hours of time that I was wasting on manual busy work on my SBI! website.
Next Gen Gallery
Description: This FREE plugin allows me to easily create photo galleries that can then be added to any page on my site by adding a very short snippet of code (it tells you the code, so there’s really no technical knowledge necessary). I can create as many galleries as I want, and can include as many photos as I want, and then I can add any of the galleries to any of the pages on my site wherever I want.
Does this plugin “fill a hole” in WordPress? No. Again, it’s unlikely that every single one of the millions of WordPress users would need a gallery on their site. Again, only a small percentage of users would need this, so it’s available for those who want or need it free of charge. And WordPress “out of the box” works perfectly fine without this plugin.
Would an SBI! site do this “out of the box”? Ummmm..no. Site Build It gives you a basic, stripped down web site with absolutely no bells or whistles. For some reason, they think this is a positive thing — a plus for their product. I would strongly disagree.
Dynamic Content Gallery
Description: This FREE plugin allows me to add a slideshow of featured posts on my home page. I have this slideshow in the sidebar on my home page, but some WordPress users place it in the main section of their home page as a feature at the top of the page.
Does this plugin “fill a hole” in WordPress? Again, no. Many WordPress users don’t like the slideshows and don’t want to use them. And WordPress works perfectly fine without this plugin.
Would an SBI! site do this “out of the box”? Nope. You get stripped down, no frills, no bells and whistles with Site Build It.
Description: This plugin allows me to sell products right from my blog, using my choice of three different payment gateways, including PayPal. This plugin is designed to sell physical goods, or digital items. If you use it to sell digital items (e.g., ebooks), it encrypts the files so that the purchaser doesn’t have direct access to the file on your server. You can also limit the number of downloads for each purchase. With this plugin, you can set up an online store on your site, or you can add individual items with a Buy Now button to any post or page on your site. The flexibility of this plugin is absolutely amazing.
Does this plugin “fill a hole” in WordPress? No. Obviously, not all of the millions of WordPress users want to sell items directly from their WordPress site.
Would an SBI! site do this “out of the box”? Of course not. This is one of those things that you have to use a third-party site for, and then add it as a subdomain to your SBI! site using Infin It!
Disclosure: This particular plugin is a premium plugin that requires a one-time payment of $49.99. Ken would convince you that’s a terrible thing, and a negative mark against WordPress. But why shouldn’t the developers of this plugin get paid for their extraordinary work? Ken sure gets paid for his (subpar) work!
WP Affiliate Platform
Description: This plugin works hand-in-hand with the previously mentioned WP e-Store plugin, and allows people to sign up as affiliates and get paid for referrals to my site when those referrals purchase an item in my e-Store.
Does this plugin “fill a hole” in WordPress? Again…no. Since only a portion of the WordPress users who sell items from their sites would have any interest in allowing people to sign up as affiliates, this plugin would be less than useless for most WordPress users.
Would an SBI! site do this “out of the box”? Ha! Only in Ken Evoy’s dreams!
Disclosure: This plugin is also a premium plugin, and requires a one-time payment of $49.99. Again, Ken would convince you that’s a terrible thing. But think about it…in order to get your SBI! site to do these things, you’d have to sign up for an online store on a third-party site. Those generally cost a monthly fee, and some even require additional commission that you have to pay to the host of your online store for all sales that you make. And then if you sign up for another third-party company to handle affiliates, you’d have to pay additional commission fees to that third-party site. Those are all fees that are ongoing as long as you have sales and affiliates. And your store is never part of your actual website, so it can never be integrated in any of the amazing ways that a store on a WordPress site can be integraged into individual pages and posts. With the two plugins I mentioned, you pay a one-time payment, and then there are no additional fees ever! And again, it’s all integrated into one WordPress site, so that the items in the estore can be used and displayed in any number of ways from any page on your site, and can be purchased directly from that page without your customers being sent to a third-party site.
Okay, enough about plugins. I think you get the idea, right? So let’s move on to the Site Sell WordPress or SBI! marketing page.
WordPress or SBI!?
Oh gosh, this marketing page on the SBI! website just makes me crazy. There’s so much misinformation here, but I’ll try to boil it down for you.
To start off, the very first question on the page is misleading:
Do you want to blog, or build a business?
And then in the text of the page, we find this nugget:
WordPress (“WP”) builds blogs. But it does not build online businesses. SBI! does.
That, in a single line, is the difference between WordPress and SBI!.
So Ken Evoy (shall we call him Slick Ken?) would have you believe that you can either have a blog or a business, but you can’t have both because a blog obviously can’t be a business. Is that true?
Well, how about asking some of these people if that’s true:
- Huffington Post — a blog with an estimated daily income of $29,896, started by Arianna Huffington;
- Techcrunch — a blog with an estimated daily income of $14,816, started by Michael Arrington;
- Dooce — a blog with an estimated daily income of $229, started by Heather Armstrong.
There’s no need to go on. You get the idea, and you can check the link for the rest of the blogs on that Top 50 list (which, by the way, is a fun and encouraging list to read, but it isn’t really a “Top 50″ list. I could rattle off the names of many bloggers in my own niche who make more than the #50 person on that list. In fact, if you count all of the ways my own blog is monetized, my name would be on that list as well.)
And for the record, of those blogs listed on the Top 50 list, 68% of them use WordPress. (That’s 34 of the 50.)
So as you can see, the very first thing on that marketing page is a bunch of hooey.
And let me also add that WordPress doesn’t just build blogs. That’s yet another false claim made by Ken. WordPress can be used to create a blog or a content website. Or you can have a content website with a blog incorporated into it. There are many options with WordPress.
“SBI! out-of-the-box” is all you need to build an e-business. There is nothing else to add.
Well, there is at least one thing to add, Ken. And it’s this…
Sadly, the numbers on your very own marketing page don’t prove your point. You promise results, but an in-depth look at the websites on your “proof” page certainly doesn’t produce a parade of money-generating sites.
So to answer the question…
WordPress or SBI?
Click on the links below to read more about the claims made by Site Build It on their Site Sell marketing pages:
- WordPress.COM vs. Site Build It (SBI!) — A fair and reasonable comparison? Not even close. I reveal in depth one of Ken Evoy’s most devious marketing schemes.
- Making sense (and cents) of Alexa ranks, and is “being in the top 1% of all websites” really as impressive as it seems? I spill some juicy details of how much I make on my Addicted 2 Decorating.
- Site Sell Random Sampling — A look at real customer Alexa ranks (and therefore, traffic and potential for income)
- A realistic look at those “100’s of successful Site Build It websites”. An in-depth look at the “success stories” from their marketing information. The results? It’s not pretty.
- The Great Negative Review Debacle of 2009 — The review, SBI!’s response, and my funniest and most telling discovery yet.