With its formation in 1997, Web.com is one of the longest operating web services companies, but equally important, one of the top leading website builders. Part of Web.com’s success is its all-encompassing offerings, which include websites, online marketing, hosting, domain names, e-mail marketing, SSL certificates, payment processing and more.
In terms of website building, Web.com has configured its services to meet the diverse needs of businesses. There are four website options: do-it-yourself, eCommerce, mobile and Web.com builds it for you.
This review focuses on Web.com’s do-it-yourself website design package. This site builder package features everything needed to create and publish a website customized to your professional or company’s needs.
Some noteworthy features are:
- An ample stock image library, with over 1,000 professional images that are royalty-free and nicely organized by business categories.
- Unlimited web storage.
- Easy-to-use design tool for building your website.
- Business tools, including a company email address, contact management and calendar.
In building its website builder platform, Web.com’s intent was to make it easy for a wide range of business types and sizes to build a professionally looking site on their own. It accomplished this goal with a three-step website building process.
However, before you can access this platform and get started building your website, you have to create a domain name or use an existing one, select a pricing package, create an account and set up your billing information.
Once the account is established, you’re prompted to select a design template, customize the site with your content, images and other elements, and publish it to the Internet. Web.com smartly added a category drop-down menu and search box to easily find templates among its 9,600-plus design templates.
The do-it-yourself website building platform is very easy to use with its point-and-click editing function. However, don’t be surprised if this function freezes up occasionally.
The drop-down menu, toolbar selection and sidebar tabs are uncluttered and well organized. This makes finding the tools needed to design your website very easy.
A time-saving feature is the inclusion of web pages that are typically used on a website, such as Home, About Us, Contact Us and Location. These pages also include starter content, so all you have to do is tailor the page to your company’s information, products, or services.
On the left side of the Web.com online builder is the Site Structure toolbar, which shows the navigation of your web pages. To change their arrangement or to add more pages, use the Add, Move, Copy, Delete, or Rename Pages buttons in the Site Structure toolbar.
To add content, images, tables, forms, links, etc., select the Add-ons tab and the number of content blocks you want to add to the page. This is where the power of the site builder comes into play. For example, after you select an image to place from the extensive Web.com image gallery, simply drag it to where you want it and stretch it in or out to the preferred size.
The website building tool also includes a Site Design tab for changing the design template or text styles, and a Page Editor to edit your content. Simply select the page to edit and click on the text, image, or other content that you want to modify.
When you need to make edits to your site, there are two edit-related tabs, depending on what you want to modify. The Edit Site tab is for changing the style of your entire website, or to format text styles. To add content blocks or change the page layout, use the Edit Page tab.
One feature that could make the builder even easier to use is flexibility in moving the content blocks to change their location instead of going through the Element Editing tool. Web.com also could have streamlined functions under its other tools as well.
The Web.com do-it-yourself website design platform does not offer mobile functionality. Instead, if you want a mobile version of the website you create, you have to pay an additional $10 a year. Considering that many people are now using mobile devices to interact with businesses, the $10 a year investment might be well worth it.
Creating a mobile site is a very straightforward process: You enter your website URL and Web.com builds your mobile website from your existing site and customizes it with mobile-specific features. These features include one-click Google maps and directions to show your business location; a shopping cart to accept purchases from your mobile site; automatic conversion and optimization of videos; and functional forms or a menu, complete with images, titles and descriptions.
Perhaps the one area where Web.com truly shines is its pre-designed themed templates. There are more than 9,600, perhaps the most of any other website builder. They are nicely categorized by type of business industry and offer a good selection of designs.
The design templates can be used as is, or easily customized with a business logo by using the Design Editor.
Along with the vast number of themed templates is an image library containing 1,000 plus, royalty-free images that you are free to use on your website. These images nicely complement the look of the design templates. Plus, there are images that pertain to any type of business.
Web.com’s website builder is very responsive to business growth. It is made to accommodate as many pages as needed and to add in e-commerce functions. There is no reduction in functionality if you add more pages or change from one pricing package to another.
In terms of scalability responsiveness, the site building platform easily and effortlessly transitions to the same layout and style, and the additional tools seamlessly integrate into the interface.
Web.com offers several business plans that include numerous features and functionality as part of the upgrade. Since these services are offered a la carte, a business can add on features it finds it needs as its business grows. Among the options are e-mail marketing, pay-per-click advertising, local leads, an ROI-focused strategy and social media marketing.
Site traffic is a key component to a website, which is why the Web.com platform has built-in SEO tools. Among the tools are a Meta Tag Editor, which can be found under the Webmaster Tools tab. This allows you to optimize your website for search engine visibility by adding a title and description for your site, meta tags and applicable keywords.
Among the 9,600 design template offerings are ones that are well suited for blogs. The site builder is designed to help you create a blog with basic features and publish it in very little time.
In addition, the Social Media button under the Edit Page tab effortless allows you to add your blog to an existing website.
If you choose Web.com as your hosting company (separate pricing packages are available), its Shared 1-Click Install makes setting up and maintaining a business blog a three-step process.
The hosting plan also gives you access to numerous open source applications, including the blog tools WordPress Blogs and B2evolution.
E-commerce tools, such as a shopping cart, product catalog, etc. are not offered with the basic Website Builder plan, however they are available by upgrading to an eCommerce package. Web.com offers three options to accommodate businesses planning to offer only a few products to those wanting unlimited product options.
As with its do-it-yourself website builder, prices are not available until you enter your domain name. However, the eCommerce services from Web.com let businesses buy only the tools, features and functionality they need, making them a good investment.
Among the features offered are safe and secure payments in real time, store management tools, a marketing platform to perform e-mail marketing, upsell offers and provide online discounts, and comprehensive analytics and reporting to see how your e-commerce is doing and which areas need improvement.
Businesses will find the setup wizard very helpful, as well as the video tutorials that take you through every step needed to open your store.
Web.com is a very powerful platform built on intellectual and patented property that utilizes advanced technology to ensure consistent server uptime and maximize its website builder interface.
The do-it-yourself site builder operates quickly and published websites realize a 99.99 percent guaranteed uptime, few error loading messages and smooth operation. Web.com’s high capacity servers also translate to quick data transfer and automatic site backup.
Unfortunately, Web.com does not display its do-it-yourself pricing pages on its website. You actually have to choose a domain name first before you can view package options.
Web.com offers three price packages, which are displayed once you enter the domain name you would like (or your existing one) and it is approved. All packages include five basic services: a free domain name, the do-it-yourself website builder, access to Web.com’s design layouts and stock image library, unlimited Web storage and a business e-mail address.
The most basic package is the Website Builder at an introductory price of $1.95 a month and includes only the five basic services.
The next step up is the Website and Online Marketing package for an introductory price of $2.95 a month. Along with the basic services, it includes search engine submission to the major search engines, business profiles in local search engines and an SEO consultation with Web.com’s SEO experts.
The third pricing package is the Website, Marketing and Store package at an introductory price of $3.95 a month. It enables your business to sell up to 500 products and accept credit cards through a secure shopping cart, and includes e-mail marketing tools.
It is likely that Web.com is offering these introductory prices to stay competitive with other website builders. As a comparison, Web.com’s previous promotional pricing for its Website Builder plan was $11.95 for the first three months and $19.95 after that, but included unlimited hosting space and unlimited e-mail accounts. With the current pricing, these and other services are offered on an a la carte basis.
Top 3 Pros and Cons
- More than 9,600 design templates from which to choose, all of which are professionally designed and geared towards a diverse range of business industries.
- Very easy to use platform with point-and-click editing features.
- Intuitive web pages already built-in and starter content that can be used as is or to provide tips on key information to include when writing your company’s web pages.
- No free trial period.
- Minimal flexibility with design templates. For instance, you are unable to change the colors of a template to match your company’s color scheme.
- There is limited support and help, and lengthy waiting times for customer service.
Help and support options at Web.com are limited. Technical support can be accessed by calling a toll-free number, sending an e-mail, or submitting an online form from its website. Keep in mind that telephone support is limited to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
With e-mail and the online form, expect a response wait time from a few minutes to a few hours. The wait time for phone support depends on call volume, but allow about five to 10 minutes for an available representative.
The Web.com support team is very helpful and can resolve the problem rather quickly. But sorely missing are an introductory guide, step-by-step tutorials and live chat.
Whom This Website Builder Is Ideal For?
The Web.com do-it-yourself website builder is mainly for businesses and professionals who know exactly what type of website they want. This decision-making before signing up with Web.com ensures that you start with the best package for your business, whether it’s an e-commerce, mobile, or do-it-yourself website.
Small businesses are particularly well-served by Web.com. Since its establishment, Web.com has focused its services towards small businesses and the tools they need to achieve a successful online presence.
Additionally, entrepreneurs and professionals with very little technical and graphic design experience who want to create their own website will find Web.com an easy solution. It’s the best choice for creating a website quickly, easily and affordably.
Web.com is one of the longest running website builders for a reason. It knows what businesses need to succeed online and expertly provides these services.
Often times, when businesses build a website on their own, they realize they need other services down the road as the business grows that the website builder cannot provide. Such is not the case with Web.com. The company has smartly complemented its website building services with other online business services a company may need currently and in the future. These customized website-related services, including hosting, e-commerce and web marketing, are offered a la carte so businesses only pay for what they need.
Overall, the do-it-yourself website builder from Web.com gets high marks for its features, ease of use (no technical knowledge needed!) and lots of design template options. Businesses of all sizes and types, but especially small businesses, will find Web.com’s website building and other web-related business services extremely beneficial.