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Our SBI Review Describes Our Experience with Our Online Platform

When we wanted to start this site, we suspect it was just dumb luck that we found a great platform in SBI, which now stands for Solo Build It! and previously was known as Site Built It! This SBI review is our attempt to explain why we think we are so fortunate.

Not so long ago the four of us who write for this site were complete newbies at setting up a website from scratch. Some of us had a fair amount of experience adding and changing content on a site someone else designed, but none of us had any idea where to turn for a comprehensive set of tools that went beyond just hosting.   None of us wanted to retool from being active city planners to being full-time followers of web guru blogs, announcements, rumors, technical glitches, and silly trends either.  

Why Our SBI Review Is So Positive

We've been using SBI since the beginning in 2009.  When we started, we had a fantasy that maybe possibly we would make enough money to lower our dependence on our day jobs. As planners those day jobs occasionally succumb to political whims. So we were attracted to the great step-by-step action guide and many other tools included free in the monthly or yearly fee. The action guide describes a number of possible sources of income from running a website and helps users think through which is right for them.

Right away we started making decisions that steered us toward a non-profit orientation for our site.  Content trumped income for sure; helpfulness was way, way more important to us than making any money.  That's just who we are.  But we didn't want to lose money while gaining traffic either.  We're happy to say we're not losing money!  This way we are able to reinvest in the travel to conferences that are important for keeping our edge.  (By the way the company didn't pay us to write this SBI review either!)

Even with our de-emphasis on income, our SBI review in a nutshell is that if you want to be on a winning team of ordinary people who turn their passion into an income stream or a creativity outlet, you couldn't make a better choice.  

Here are our reasons:

  1. SBI's core business really is teaching people how to build a business (or in our case, a non-profit) using a web platform.  This very holistic approach mirrors our own thought process about how communities and neighborhoods work.  They don't just sell you a domain name, provide a drag and drop interface, and then let you figure it out from there.
  2. The sense of community among users is really fabulous, and not something you would experience if you just bought cheap web hosting and then separately start buying all kinds of auxiliary services to help you take your site to the next level.  The founding entrepreneur, Dr. Ken Evoy, feels like a personal friend even though we have never met him.  This is because he shares his many great ideas, as well as personal ups and downs, with us by way of the SBI forums. The forums too build friendships among people who have never met.  This would be a game-changing advantage for many of you who frequent our site.
  3. This brings us to our third point, which is the inclusion of all sorts of tools that are sold separately by other firms. While these tools may not be strictly speaking necessary for a local non-profit group with its own well-established social presence, they are incredibly helpful for local businesses and also non-profits seeking a larger stage than their small town. While the web hosting at SBI would be expensive if that is all you're considering, the price is a true bargain when you add up everything that is included.
  4. Support is real and timely.  Each of our very few support tickets we have opened is handled by a particular representative, who stays with you until the problem is solved.  If you need specialized help in marketing, site design, search engine optimization, or anything related to your web business, you can hire it at very reasonable rates from SBI Pros.  They will even just do certain tasks for you if you don't have time.
  5. The hosting is incredibly reliable, when compared to any other system any of us have worked on, including very pricey consultant-designed platforms with dedicated servers.
  6. SBI keeps up with the latest trends, laws, and quirks of the internet, and builds simple new tools for us when something changes.  When the European Union required a cookie notice, SBI built us a widget so we didn't have to figure that out.  A couple of clicks and there it was. Later when EU privacy rules changed in a complicated way, SBI was right on it providing us with comprehensive information and concrete suggestions. This even extends to performing detailed research studies when some new development among key search engines caused a few sites to plummet in traffic temporarily.  SBI bothered to find out why.  Try getting that information from a  big seller of massive number of sites!
  7. We close our SBI review by noting that this company is proud to share its results.  We would not be in the top million of 170 million estimated websites without SBI. (Note that these stats vary from day to day of course.)

Some of your neighborhood associations really should consider SBI if you have the potential to turn your site into something more robust than just a five- or ten-page information portal.

If you have questions about our heartfelt SBI review, feel free to contact us.

Now let's get back to useful community development, shall we?

Rome buildings, piazza, and people
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