A GoSite Review That Leaves Nothing on the Table

GoSite Web Builder

GoSite is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that focuses on service-based small businesses like accountants, restaurants, hairdressers, and medical professionals. This review is based on two months of hands-on experience using GoSite for a client, primarily with their web builder, and gathering GoSite reviews from other users current and past.

If you’re a lover of bullet points, I’ve called out the pros and cons related to each of GoSite’s features below. You can also use our table of contents to quickly jump and find what you need or drop a question in the comment section below. I’ll gladly answer if I can.

GoSite Reviews: Feature-By-Feature

Let’s start by looking at the good and the bad of each of GoSite’s features.

Web Builder

GoSite uses a block editor for website building, which means that there is no coding experience required. This week, I’ve used three-block editors for clients (Elementor, GoSite, and Gutenberg). All of them are easy to use, but GoSite’s is the least intuitive and the most limited. That said, you can build a decent site with GoSite, but getting it to look exactly like your existing website or a vision you have in your head probably isn’t going to happen.

When building your site, you will find that there are settings that allow you to edit each individual page and there are also “global” settings that impact the entire website.

Individual Page Settings

Individual pages are created using sections, widgets, and columns.

Sections are pre-created templates that are already stylized. GoSite offers templates in multiple categories, including about us, services, call to action, contact us, gallery, what we do, reviews, testimonials, and a custom grid option. If you are a restaurant, you can also choose the food menu section.

Once you have placed a section, you can customize it with widgets and grids. GoSite offers the following widgets: title, text, button, image, social, accordion, code, space, divider, icons, gallery, map, subscribe, magic text, form, business info, review, Facebook, Twitter, and rating.

When building your page, these widgets can be dragged and dropped into grids, which are various-sized columns. You can choose a full column or a 2, 3, 4, or 5 column set up with the 2 column option including a 2⅔, 2 ⅓, 2⅕, and a 2⅘ option.

What you can customize is limited by the widget you choose, as each one has specific options it is tied to. Customization might include font, font color, overlay, opacity, and most include the option to add custom CSS, which I’ve found helpful for custom image sizing.

Site and Global Settings

Beyond page level settings, there are global settings that you can control. You can choose a global font selection for your headers and text as well as permalink structure, a favicon icon, and open graph image settings.

Web Builder Pros:

  • GoSite’s team can help you make website edits for free (paid members, 2-3 business day turnaround)
  • The website is responsive and can look good on multiple device sizes with minimal effort
  • No coding required
  • Customizable

Web Builder Cons

  • Not intuitive to use
  • Can be glitchy (typical of most block editors)
  • There’s no way to save blocks as templates or copy elements from one page to another. You can duplicate them within the same page, but not across multiple pages.
  • One-click delete on the media page makes it too easy to accidentally delete pictures without a recovery option
  • There is no page edit history or revision history ability to restore previous versions
  • You can change the font size on individual pages but not globally, which is an issue as some GoSite themes include fonts that are smaller than Google’s recommended “mobile-friendly” font size.”

Online Payment Processing

Your customers can pay online from their smartphone, through text messaging, or face-to-face, thanks to GoSite. I do not have direct experience collecting payments through GoSite, so I can’t speak to what does and does not work well here. What I can tell you is that you can pick and choose which payment options you want to accept: American Express, Diners Club, Invoice, Visa, Samsung Pay, Cash, Discover, Mastercard, Android Pay, PayPal, Check, Financing, Travelers Check, Apple Play, or Bitcoin.

According to GoSite, they charge a 2.9% transaction fee plus an additional $0.30 per transaction, which is in line with industry standards. Shopify, for example, charges 2% for Basic Shopify and 0.5% for Advanced Shopify. That said, Shopify allows you to bypass fees if you use Shopify Payments.

Consolidated Messaging

GoSite also works as a messaging consolidator. It can consolidate messages sent via the GoSite Contact Hub, your Facebook page, text, and Google Messaging, integrating with Google My Business.

You can respond to all customers from the web platform or GoSite’s mobile app or assign communication follow-up to a specific employee.

GoSite Reviews of their messaging platform showing what it looks like within the dashboard

Photo Courtesy of GoSite

Messaging Pros:

  • Highly rated Apple and Android app allows you to respond from anywhere
  • GoSite allows you to respond to customers communicating via multiple channels from a central location
  • Integrates With Thumbtack, allowing you to easily respond to Thumbtack leads

Messaging Cons:

Nothing to report

Contact Hub | CRM

GoSite’s Contact Hub works as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) that stores customer data, allowing you to access it from anywhere. You can build your list manually or start by importing existing clients from Outlook, QuickBooks, Gmail, or using a CSV file.

GoSite’s CRM has two standout features. First, you can organize customers by their preferred contact method and contact them with one click. For example, suppose you have a group of customers who prefer to communicate via text. In that case, you can target just these customers with a text-based promotional offer. Second, you can use the CRM to reschedule appointments.

CRM Pros:

  • Contact syncing ensures that your data stays consistent and relevant on multiple platforms
  • One-click messaging through the CRM empowers you to group clients and contact them according to their preferences

CRM Cons:

  • May be a redundant feature if you have an established CRM system

Online Bookings

GoSite offers online bookings. Customers can make an appointment on your website, Google My Business, Yelp, or Facebook page. After your customer schedules an appointment, their information will sync to your CRM and send them an automated SMS reminder before their appointment. If your customer needs to reschedule, they can do so with one click without contacting you.

GoSite allows you to set your schedule and sync its calendar to your Google or Outlook calendar to reduce double bookings.

Booking Pros:

  • Multiple online booking options for customers
  • One-click reschedule feature
  • Automated appointment reminders and confirmations
  • Control your schedule and sync with your Google or Outlook calendar
  • Can accept appointments automatically or manually

Booking Cons:

Nothing to report. Online I read a review from a user who said that his customers could only make appointments two weeks in advance. I don’t know what his unique situation was, but that’s not true for my client. My client’s customers can make appointments months in advance.

Review Management

an IOS review of GoSite's review reply system

GoSite can also help you manage your reputation by growing and managing online reviews. Its system allows you to request reviews with one click and then manage reviews from multiple sources (Google, Yelp, Facebook) from the GoSite dashboard. From there, you can also respond to reviews.

Review Pros:

  • Manage and respond to multi-platform reviews from one location

Review Cons:

  • Review requests are not hard to make but they also aren’t automated

Placement

GoSite’s Placement® feature allows you to manage your business listings from your GoSite dashboard. The magic in this tool is that one-click updates all. You add your information to the dashboard and it’s syndicated across multiple platforms, including Yelp, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Google. This can be a real lifesaver for those with ever-changing business hours.

The second included feature allows GoSite to act as a quasi-social media automation tool. From your dashboard, you can post images, create events, and schedule posts. The downside is that this second feature only works with Facebook and Google.

Placement Pros:

  • One-click can update your business information across multiple platforms

Placement Cons:

  • Post creation is only available via Google and Facebook

GoSite Reviews of Customer Service and Tech Support

GoSite’s Customer Service experience can be frustrating because care reps act as intermediaries between you and tech support. If you just need customer care, it might work okay for you, but all of my needs were technical.

If your site has an error that needs to be corrected, more than likely, that will go to GoSite’s technical team. The only way to reach them is through customer service. You can’t connect to tech support directly. Instead, the customer service team will take notes and pass them along to the technical team.

This game of phone tag creates communication breakdowns and slows the process. In my experience, and I’ve had many with GoSite lately, it can take days before you hear back, and hearing back doesn’t mean you will have a resolution. In fact, when working for my client, I had multiple issues that took months to resolve.

gosite-slow-support

In one case, I was having trouble logging into GoSite’s dashboard. To resolve the issue, the customer care rep gave me another user’s login credentials, which makes me feel hesitant about their respect for data and privacy.

password

When talking about business and website uptime, time is money, and not allowing customers to reach tech support seems like a miss.

Customer Service Pros:

  • 24/7 customer service chat

Customer Service Cons:

  • Phone support often goes straight to voicemail
  • No direct access to technical support
  • Issues can take months to resolve and GoSite will not provide an ETA for ticket resolution

How Much Does GoSite Cost?

FREE ACCOUNTGOSITE PROFESSIONALGOSITE PROFESSIONAL
Monthly Pricing$0$79 (Custom Pricing)$149 (Custom Pricing)
Yearly$0(Custom Pricing)$1,195.00 (Custom Pricing)
Contact Hub (CRM)


Payments


Mobile App


Messenger

Bookings

Reviews

Website

GoSite has both free and professional accounts. They are not forthcoming, however, with pricing. In this day in age, that’s a risky move. What they do share can be found here.

Based on a conversation with a current customer, I can share that he was quoted $1,195.00 per year or $149.00 per month to upgrade to a Pro Plan. In reading through reviews on BBB.org, this pricing seems to be in line with a few customers sharing they paid between $79 and $189 per month for GoSite. The San Diego Union-Tribune quoted GoSite’s pricing at $50 to $250 per month.

The most interesting tidbit I learned while reading BBB reviews is that choosing the yearly fee may lock you into a year-long software agreement. Of course, facts change, and I did not get this information from GoSite directly. If you choose the yearly path, it might be worth asking if this is true.

Cost Pros:

  • GoSite offers a free plan

Cost Cons:

  • May make you agree to a 12-month agreement for the 12-month pricing
  • Not upfront with pricing

GoSite’s Biggest Limitation is Mobile Page Speed

GoSite’s most significant limitation is SEO and mobile speed. The two are inseparable. GoSite’s mobile page speeds are slow, and there isn’t anything they can do about it due to their heavy reliance on Javascript.

Competitors like WordPress provide multiple options for increasing page speed. For example, some plug-ins can compress image sizes on a WordPress site or run data through a CDN. GoSite’s only solution, in my experience, is asking customers to reduce their page size, which means removing features and other aspects that make the page user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing.

gosite-customer-service

I ran speed tests using both Google and Pingdom on multiple GoSite built pages, including Escape to Experiences whose mobile page speed sits at 31 and a site that will not be named who sits at a 22. On Pingdom, these sites receive Ds and Fs.

a screenshot shows that a gosite built page is slow on mobile with a speed of 31

Results from Google

a screenshot from pingdom shows that the same site is slow on their platform too

Results from Pingdom

Mobile Page Speed Pros:

Nothing to report

Mobile Page Speed Cons:

  • Google uses mobile page speed as a ranking factor, so slow pages impact SEO
  • Lack of solutions to address mobile page speed
  • There is no way to edit only the mobile version of your website. Any changes impact both mobile and desktop.

Let’s Dig Further Into SEO

As mentioned, mobile page speed is a significant factor when ranking on Google. All of this falls under the category of “SEO” or search engine optimization.

GoSite has a built-in SEO menu, but the tool will not hold your hand. It’s also limited to page title, meta description, and keywords.

a screenshot shows GoSite's limited on-page SEO options

At the same time, GoSite doesn’t share with customers that these SEO inputs have suggested lengths which means that many of their customers have titles way too long or way too short.

We don’t want to call anyone out; much love to all small business owners. Instead, I’ll share this nameless screenshot of the amount of organic traffic received by one of GoSite’s long-term customers.

gosite-seo-review

The nameless website is currently ranking for two keywords. One of the keywords is their business name, and they hold the 59th position on Google for their own name.

GoSite isn’t making the process of SEO intuitive enough for small business owners to be successful. What’s the point of a website if no one can find you?

SEO Pros:

  • The syndication through Google My Business should provide at least a small SEO boost

SEO Cons:

  • Built-in SEO tool lacks basic SEO instructions included Google’s recommended title and meta length making it far too easy to make mistakes
  • GoSite changes images titles post upload, adding random numbers and letters that fight against your optimization
  • GoSite controls your site map, redirects, and backend tags like canonical. I’ve found mistakes on all, and it’s hard to get them to fix issues.

Hearing From Other GoSite Customers

When you’re reading through GoSite reviews, note that not everyone is using all of its features. If I were to guess why there is a disparity in pricing, as mentioned above, I would guess that it depends on which features you choose to use.

Looking into three of the happy customers GoSite promotes on their website as examples, I can see that one uses a Kajabi-based site (Nicole), one WordPress, and the third is all GoSite.

In speaking to Nicole Eichinger of Nutrition is Life, she shared that she uses GoSite and Kajabi.

Nicole’s website is built on Kajabi, she discovered GoSite later and didn’t want to migrate from her existing platform. Instead, she chose to integrate GoSite’s Messenger feature into Kajabi. She also uses GoSite’s Reviews and Bookings features. Her experience with GoSite’s customer service has been excellent, and she’s pleased with GoSite and a big fan of the Reviews tool.

Another GoSite customer, The Broken Yolk Cafe swapped website platforms in January of 2021. They moved their business to Bentobox, a GoSite competitor focused on the restaurant industry.

Digging into The Broken Yolk Cafe’s traffic rankings, you can see that they received a massive boost in organic traffic around the time of the swap. While I can’t say with authority that this was or was not related to moving off of GoSite, it is an interesting piece of data.

a screenshot shows a traffic boost starting in early 2021

Final Thoughts

I’m not a fan of GoSite as a web builder. It’s simply too limited and the SEO issues are insurmountable. I think GoSite’s value is in its ability to consolidate functionality. If you choose to integrate GoSite’s features into your existing website, like Nicole, GoSite can add value.

GoSite makes consolidation easy. For example, you could use Shopify and add Intercom for consolidated messaging and CRM features. Intercom also works with tons of add-ons, including Salesforce (CRM), Stripe, Calendly (scheduling), NiceJob (collect reviews), Facebook, Twitter, Slack (lead gen), and Hubspot (sync conversations). Piecing together a custom solution sounds fun to me but for the small business owner who doesn’t want to spend time on technology, GoSite might be a better choice. It’s an all-in-one solution that requires zero thought and minimal tinkering.

If you want to give GoSite a run, they offer a 14-day free trial.

FAQ’s

I ran into a few challenges while using GoSite, so I thought I would share a couple of things I learned here.

How do you edit the header menu?

From the editor, either click on your header or select header from the sections menu > expand the “Menu Settings” menu > click the blue “Edit” button next to “Menu Editor.”

From here, you can drag and drop different pages to arrange them on the menu. If you don’t want a specific page to show on the menu, click the settings wheel next to the page’s name > click the slider next to “Show Menu” to remove visibility.

How can you access a page’s edit history?

If you find that you’ve made and published a mistake on a page, you can’t revert back to a previous version.

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Content Updates

10/30/2021 Added that there is no way to edit the mobile-only version of the website. Also, noted that font size can be updated on individual pages but not globally.

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