SiteSell’s Bogus Site Build It vs. WordPress.com Comparison

(This is a supplemental post to the main Site Build It Scam post.)

Edit 5/3/2013 – Evidently the pressure finally got to Ken, because he has removed the original WordPress vs. SBI page from his marketing website.  Fortunately, I have screenshots of the original page and attached it for you to see.  Now you can take this two ways:  (1) You can say, “See, Ken has integrity!  He realized his mistake and corrected it! or (2) You can understand that Ken has been confronted on this many times over the years (twice by me), and each time he vehemently defended this page and the tactics included therein.  I would be led to believe that finally, after these years of having this misleading page on his site, the pressure and exposure became too much, and now he’s trying to cover his butt.  You can decide what you believe.  Click on the picture below to see the original page in full size.

original sbi vs wordpress dot com page

SiteSell’s ridiculous and unbelievably misleading Site Build It vs. WordPress marketing page is probably the best example of how slimy this company is, and how they use outright lies to trick people into purchasing their inferior product.

In order to fully understand the devious and manipulative nature of this marketing page, let’s first clear up some terms:

WordPress vs. WordPress.com

WordPress is a free and open-source software created by Matt Mullenweg that anyone can download and use.  You can use that software on just about any website host out there, e.g., HostGator, GoDaddy, etc.  While you do have to pay for your hosting, you don’t have to pay for the WordPress software — kind of like how you pay for your computer, but then some companies offer free software that you can use on the computer that you purchased.

Website hosting can be purchased for about $8 per month.  These types of WordPress websites are called “self-hosted”.  This Addicted 2 Decorating site is a self-hosted WordPress site that is hosted by HostGator.  In other words, I pay for a website hosting plan with a company called HostGator, and then I loaded the WordPress software onto my website hosting account at HostGator. Got it?

Now in contrast…

WordPress.com is a blog hosting service owned by a company called Automattic. You can go to the WordPress.com website, sign up for a free account, and create a blog that they’ll host for you free of charge. All of the blogs hosted by WordPress.com automatically use the WordPress software (kind of like Blogger blogs automatically use Google’s proprietary blogging software, and you don’t have a choice to use another blogging software if you blog on Blogger). There are limitations to WordPress.com, as they don’t allow all of the customizations that you can have on a self-hosted WordPress site. These free accounts are intended for basic blogging. That’s it.

Now here’s where Site Build It gets devious…

On their Site Build It vs. WordPress marketing page, Site Sell compares the average number of visits to SBI! websites with the number of visits that the millions of blogs on WordPress.com (the free hosting company) receive.  Then they take that manufactured number and use it to “prove” that their product is far superior to WordPress (the software) at generating traffic, in an effort to convince unknowing and overly trusting people why they should use SBI!’s product instead of WordPress (the software).

So do you see how SiteSell has used trickery and deceit to pawn off their product onto people who know nothing about WordPress?

The numbers show clearly that they are comparing their product to blogs on WordPress.com (the hosting service), and yet throughout the page, they continually use these numbers to “prove” that their product is superior to WordPress (the software) in general.  Here are some examples:

Think about it… Every time one person visits a WP site, 700 visit a competing SBI! site.

That is a flat out lie…a number they have simply pulled out of the air.  There is absolutely no way they could know how visits to their sites compare to visits to WordPress sites since there are no stats kept about self-hosted WordPress sites!!!! How could there be, since there are thousands (perhaps tens of thousands) of hosting companies all over the world that host WordPress websites?!

Again, that claim from their marketing page is a flat out LIE that they simply made up…pulled out of thin air.

Moving on…

WordPress is basically of no value to the average person who wants to build an e-business.

If they made that claim about WordPress.com (the hosting company), I would completely agree with them. But that’s not the claim they’re making! They would have you believe that WordPress (the software) is completely useless as a business-building tool.

And again, the very title of the page…

What utter nonsense!!

Again, this shows that they’ve taken the manufactured numbers generated by comparing SiteSell websites to the blogs hosted on WordPress.com (the hosting company), and then used those manufactured numbers to “prove” that their product is superior to WORDPRESS (the software) in general.

I mean, if this isn’t SLIMY MARKETING, I don’t know what is!!!  This seems to be Slick Ken’s specialty. He’s counting on the fact that most visitors to his marketing pages won’t know the difference between WordPress and WordPress.com, and he uses this deviousness to pawn off his inferior product on people who he’s just scared away from WordPress after showing them these completely made up and manufactured numbers.

So, let’s consider for a moment that, somewhere down the line, Slick Ken actually gains a conscience and decides to portray the truth on that page…clearly demonstrating that they have actually compared SiteSell to WordPress.COM (the hosting company), and not to WordPress (the software).

Even if they were to do that, is it still a fair comparison?

NOT.EVEN.HARDLY.

Why is an SBI! vs. WordPress.com comparison so ridiculous?

Let me ask you this…

If your plan was to set up a thriving, cash-generating website, would you choose a host that severely limited the ways in which you could make money on your site in their “Terms of Service” user agreement?  Would you choose a host that restricted even the most basic and common ways that most people make money on their websites?

Here’s what the WordPress.COM website says:

AdSense, Yahoo, Chitika, TextLinkAds, and other third-party advertising is not allowed here at WordPress.com.

Let me explain something right off the bat for those of you who don’t know much about this topic.

Virtually every single money-generating website out there uses, at the very least, a third-party advertiser, and Adsense is by far the most common and the most popular.  In fact, if you start going through the Site Build It websites listed on their “Proof” page, you will find Adsense on almost every single one of them. On my own Addicted 2 Decorating site, my Adsense income makes up about 45% of my overall blog income.

Adsense (and other similar third-party advertising) is absolutely the easiest and most common way to make money online.

And yet WordPress.com doesn’t allow it on sites that they host.

But wait…here’s more from the WordPress.com terms of service…

In addition to AdSense-type ads, please do not use the following services on your blog:

  • Sponsored or paid posts, including PayPerPost, ReviewMe, and Smorty.
  • Affiliate or referral links to the following domains: usercash, clickbank, clickhop, cashrocks, payingcash.
  • Clicktrackers and any promotions of the “I made a million on the internet and so can you” type of advertising (i.e. MLM, network marketing, cash gifting, etc.).
  • Paid or sponsored post content is also prohibited.

So here’s the question again…

If your plan was to build a thriving, money-generating online business, is WordPress.com a host that you would choose?

OF COURSE NOT!!

WordPress.com is used by people who want to share information…

  • John and Jane who just had a new baby and want to keep their scattered extended family informed;
  • The teenager who wants to spill their guts online;
  • The business that just needs a few pages on a website to tell about their brick-and-mortar business;
  • The stay-at-home housewife who just wants to share her crocheting projects with others but has no interest at all in making money online;

But it IS NOT used by serious online-business-minded people who want to create successful, thriving, money-generating websites, because the most basic…the most common…ways of making money online are against the terms of service!

So basically, we have SBI! comparing:

  • a product (Site Build It) that was created and is marketing specifically for the purpose of creating thriving, money-generating websites, to
  • a service (WordPress.com) that is offered specifically NOT for the purpose of creating thriving, money-generating websites because most of the common ways to make money online are in violation of their terms of service.

And then Slick Ken uses the numbers generated from that comparison to make his product seem far superior than it really is, and basically scare people into purchasing his archaic product.

And before you say, “Well, it’s just an innocent mistake,” let me assure you, it isn’t.  I have brought this to their attention twice.  Both times they vehemently denied that it was an invalid comparison, and the second time they concocted an excuse to ban me from their Facebook page.

Interestingly, Ken and company are well aware of the uselessness of WordPress.com for creating online businesses, because on another marketing page where they tout the SBI! websites that are in the “top .5% of all sites” (a claim that’s meaningless unless you know what those numbers mean), they say that those results are calculated by leaving out the millions and millions of free-hosted sites and blogs, because those sites are “inappropriate if you are serious about building a long-term-profitable online business.”

So in other words, on the Site Build It vs. WordPress marketing page, Slick Ken compares his product ONLY to the free-hosted WordPress blogs in order to generate ridiculous numbers to convince you that his product is superior, but then on the other page, when determining that Site Build It sites are “in the top 5% of all sites” in the world, he conveniently LEAVES OUT those millions and millions of free-hosted WordPress sites because those sites are “inappropriate if you are serious about building a long-term-profitable online business.”

That’s convenient, Slick Ken!

When I confronted Ken with this information, he justified the comparison of his product to WordPress.com on the Site Build It vs. WordPress marketing page by saying:

WordPress hosts paid programs and VIP programs.

According to the WordPress.com website, here’s how you can host ads on your site:

If you would like to run ads on your blog, one of these options may work for you:

  • We have a feature called WordAds that lets WordPress.com bloggers with moderate to high traffic and appropriate content turn on ads and earn money from their blogs.
  • You can run any ads you’d like if you manage your own WordPress installation. More info, including hosting recommendations, can be found at get.wp.com. [These are the self-hosted WordPress websites as mentioned in this article above.  In other words, they cannot be hosted on WordPress.com.]
  • WordPress.com VIP sites are permitted to run ads.

Yes, it is true that WordPress.com offers a VIP service that allows those website owners to run any kind of advertising they want on their sites, with no restrictions, and they can make money however they want.

Let’s take a look at that service:

As a WordPress.com VIP, you get all the benefits and features of WordPress’s continuously evolving platform and WordPress.com’s rock-solid infrastructure, without the burden of making sure the site is stable, maintained, and secure — that’s our job.

Starting at $3,750/month

Do you see that price?  THREE THOUSAND seven hundred fifty dollars PER MONTH.

This is not a service that a start-up website owner would ever consider using.  This is a service offered for websites like CNN, People, Newsweek, etc.

So let me ask you…

Do you think a Site Build It vs. WordPress.com comparison is a valid one?

And what do you think of a company who would compare their product to WordPress.com (the hosting company) in an effort to generate some impressive-sounding numbers, and then use those numbers to convince people (or rather, scare people) into not using WordPress (the software)?

I think it’s pretty clear that Slick Ken is nothing but a snake oil salesman.

Is this the kind of company you want to entrust with your hard-earned cash AND your online business?

Click here to see the ACTUAL results that Site Build It delivers.  (Hint:  They’re not impressive.)


Click on the links below to read more about the claims made by Site Build It on their Site Sell marketing pages:

12 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Site Build It Scam? A Site Build It Review From A Former Customer
    April 30, 2012 at 9:13 am

    […] WordPress.COM vs. Site Build It (SBI!) — A fair and reasonable comparison?  Not even close. […]

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen Winter, Dip.HSc.Kin, AKA, NAET
    April 19, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Excellent information. Thanks for this?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chris
    November 14, 2014 at 7:28 am

    So, I’m trying to figure this out for myself….I DO want to build a website and then monetize it. WordPress is NOT good for this?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      November 14, 2014 at 9:12 am

      WordPress is great — the best option, in my opinion — if you want to build a website and monetize it. You just want to be sure that you’re setting up your WordPress site on a host that will allow you full control over the content and monetization of your site. For example, you’ll need to purchase a hosting package through a hosting company like Bluehost, Go Daddy, HostGator, or something like that, and then install WordPress on that hosting account. DO NOT go to WordPress.com and set up a free account if your goal is to monetize your site.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa
    April 26, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Kristi Hi, Just stumbled across this article. I am one of those people who took Ken’s article to heart. I have a travel site on SBI and I desperately want to move over to wordpress but I am fearful of the consequences, ie. hours and hours of work to copy/paste over 200 pages (I dont think I can export a data base), effect it will have on my page ranking after transition and many more.
    Do you have any suggestion how to go about this the best way?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Dare
      July 16, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      Lisa, I am not sure if you’ve got a reply to this post but I think it’s easier than you fear. Contact your future hosting company for directions. I used to have an SBI site which I sold years ago but I am now on WordPress.

      I was a critic of Kristi in her original post about SiteSell but I see her points now. I didn’t have any issue when I left. I decided to sell and move on, but since then I have heard a lot of complaints about the company.

      My advice is you can either sell the entire website or ask for help to move to WordPress. There are several websites where you can value your website before you sell.

      Good luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    feo
    June 28, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Nice article. I left SBI back in 2012. I’ve been using AJs ultimate modular template on Hostgator since then.

    I’ve been pondering switching to WordPress, so I Googled Site Build It vs WordPress. More for curiousity. So glad you are ranking well for that term.

    I always thought Ken was a tad sleazy as well. I decided to leave when he went on a few rants about how mobile wasn’t important. It was an obvious self serving stance since SBI was not even talking about Mobilize It at the time.

    I was always super creeped out how he/they didn’t want you reading anything outside of SBI. It was obvious to me that they wanted to keep people brainwashed.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Anonymous Guest
    December 23, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Thank you sooo much for such a thorough, informative and honest post, Kristi. It must have taken you a long time to write it.

    I am maybe the only dummy who ever started up a free blog on WordPress.com hoping to make some money off of it, so maybe I am not typical of your usual readers. I was (and still am) so unsavvy I had never even heard of html or javascript before and I had no idea what those were/are. And as an unemployed single parent I certainly wasn’t in a position to hire some tech girl/guy. So I needed a company that would let me design and build a website by myself with no help from anyone. Today we have tons of free site builders but back in the day (this was late 2011) they didn’t really abound. I wanted a site so I could sell some professional services that I had recently trained for on.

    I first started with a free WordPress.com blog but soon I got discouraged because I got NO traffic (and even today I still only get about 10-20 visits a day on it) and WordPress wouldn’t allow me to offer ANYTHING on it! So then I found SBI.

    In spite of what you say in this article, I have to explain that just about EVERYTHING I know about websites now and making money online I learnt from SBI’s Action Guide and other helpful tools. (Now please don’t delete my comment for this I am not an SBI loonie coming on here to shoot you off, Kristi, lol. I’ll explain in a minute.)

    I learnt the 4 pieces of html code that is the only html code I know in the world from SBI. I discovered that there was something that existed in the world called monetizing a site through SBI, I discovered that Google AdSense existed and I also discovered that there are a lot more ways to monetize a site than just offering services on it. All thanks to SBI.

    Today the free WordPress.com blog I have still only receives about 10-20 visits per day whereas I get hundreds of visitors a day on the SBI site I have. And I haven’t put up a new article in a whole year or done anything to it in this year.

    Which brings me to the reason I found your article to begin with. I realized I haven’t put up any new articles lately due in part to how cumbersome and slow it is to upload any new article to the SBI site. It used to take me longer to upload a post to WordPress.com because of the bad internet connection which made WordPress.com freeze all the time. But lately I haven’t had any issues. And the result is that I put up articles a lot more often on the free blog than on the SBI site. (Still only receives about 10-20 visits per day.)

    Then after that, the WordPress blog sends out every new post automatically to subscribers whereas I have to manually send out new articles to subscribers on the SBI site. And in addition, the newsletter feature has to be written completely using html! (Like putting [strong] if you want bold etc.) No wonder I stopped putting up articles and sending out newsletters.

    So that’s why I’m searching for a better way to put up a website now. I’m still with SBI and I know I have a website at all today thanks to them. It’s just that today we have so many more options, and I feel like moving on and finding something more efficient, that doesn’t require I do everything manually which takes up loads and loads and loads of time.

    I’m still very unsavvy and can’t tell much of the difference between a free hosted site, a self-hosted site or SBI, other than how much each one costs. I don’t know how to use a self-hosted site, I don’t know how to design a website except with a free site-building service like WordPress.com or Weebly or Wix. So I’ve found your explanations and definitions in this post VERY, VERY, VERY helpful. Thank you.

    I’ll keep looking because I still don’t know the difference between a self-hosted site and a paid web-hosted site except for maybe the price.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Anonymous Guest
    December 23, 2016 at 1:57 am

    Sorry didn’t realize your comment section would actually carry out an html code instruction. I didn’t want to make the text bold, I wanted to show the html code for making the text bold. (Which is [strong] followed by [/strong] to make it go back to normal, sorry, don’t know how to make it so the comment section won’t carry out the instruction.)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Norman Frodsham
    October 5, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Kristi. I do hold a SBI annual programme which I have not started and is about to expire, I am considering not renewing and now going for an e commerce site instead such as WIX or Shopify. Any suggestions please

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tavi
    April 12, 2018 at 8:46 am

    How much support does a newbie gets when using WordPress or WordPress.com? This is what sets SBI apart (all the tools in one spot).

    Your article is biased

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      April 12, 2018 at 8:54 am

      OF COURSE my article is biased, you jackass. I used the product, I got nothing out of it, I thought it was a waste of time and money, I believe wholeheartedly that it set me back by a year, and I think Evoy is a snake oil salesman. Yes, my opinion is BIASED based on my own personal experience. You say “biased” like it’s a horrible thing. EVERY.SINGLE.REVIEW.ARTICLE.ON.THE.INTERNET is biased based on the author’s experience with the product/services being discussed.

      And what good is SBI’s support for newbies when the information being given is pointless and useless and won’t help you actually set up a successful online business?

      If SBI has helped you so much, leave the URL for your oh-so-successful SBI site and let us be the judge. We’re waiting.

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