Begun in 1995, Webs is an American company that mainly deals with website design, online marketing as well as website building. Though its main goal is to help business owners succeed online, this company still offers hosting that is by no means a primary service.
Webs is often known as a major sponsor for the “PGA Tour” and meanwhile a small part of a large network that include quite a few hosting brands, such as Register.com and Network Solutions. However, it may be far behind other hosting providers, as many information regarding control panel capability and specs are lacking. In the following, let’s see what makes Webs so popular among millions of websites, covering both advantages and disadvantages.
The Pros of Webs
As noted, Webs originally targets entrepreneurs and small businesses and has so far powered more than 55 million websites worldwide. Its popularity now continues to grow due to the following factors:
Drag & Drop Builder
First, Webs has already done a good job in making its interface pretty intuitive. As shown, there is a drag-and-drop editor on this page, and you can move elements to blank content regions and edit slideshows or paragraphs in a handy way. One thing that you may find helpful is that there are redo and undo buttons that allow you to create and delete elements without worrying about the consequences.
The inbuilt column editor is another example of how Webs makes the drag-and-drop interface easy-to-operate. When resizing a column, you only need to drag the lines to contract or expand each column. Also, it frees you from having to set inches to line up those columns. As a side note, this builder was once buggy before the mid-2012, but its current version indeed creates a much smoother user experience.
Webs can be one of very few site builders that include the membership functionality. The benefit is that you can build a membership website right from its builder and thus avoid some conflicts caused by an external membership system. If needed, you can send email blasts to all members and restrict which types of pages can be viewed by members only or the public.
Combining membership feature with apps is what sets Webs from other choices. There are dozens of features and third-party extensions integrated into your website, and some of the apps provide SEO tools, client information as well as organization tools for building a fully-functional website. Note that, some apps are serviced by third-party vendors and thus not offered for free.
Search Engine Optimization
In respect to SEO, Webs gives you the ability to optimize all those basic functions, including site title, site description, keyword as well as Google Webmaster Tools. Thanks to a premium add-on called “SEO Booster”, you can track some suggested areas for improvement. It is also possible to use Google Analytics to see the number of page views and traffic sources.
Webs also offers a full range of eCommerce features. For instance, you’re allowed to set shipping options, modify product status as well as insert product prices, descriptions, images, etc. As for premium accounts, there is an option to use inventory tracking system, with PayPal, Discover and more payment options included.
The Cons of Webs
Website & Mobile Templates
There are up to 450 website templates that span over 20 industries, such as “Art & Entertainment”, “Automotive & Transportation”, “Food & Beverage”, etc. It is possible to adjust color schemes, background image and the font style of navigation bar. However, this company doesn’t provide you the ability to edit the CSS and HTML of the current template, and this is why there aren’t many third-party template providers for Webs.
As for mobile templates, Webs gives you more customization options than other website builders there. To be specific, there are 6 different template designs for mobile devices and the color scheme of each template can be configured when necessary. Pay attention that, the free version only presents a small ad in the footer.
Pricing & Exporting Options
Webs offers new timers free hosting, which is enough to set up a basic website. As for paid plans, there are three levels of choices – Starter, Enhanced and Pro. If you sign up a 12/24-month plan, this web host will offer a default 33% discount and also waive the $10 set up fee. Each plan comes standard with a free custom domain name and $100 worth of ad credits for Facebook and Google AdWords.
Unlike Weebly and Squarespace, there is no exporting functionality for you to transfer the existing website. That is, you will have to build a website from a blank slate if you decide to leave Webs afterwards.
Performance & Customer Service
Webs doesn’t make any boasts about performance, neither does it have uptime guarantee. From the official site, you can only know it uses a Tier-4 data center, backup power supplies and 24×7-based onsite security. From the following uptime report, it averages 93.7% in uptime during the past month.
Though all the 3 paid shared hosting solutions include 24×7 email support, only Pro users can get necessary and 1-on-1 support via phone call and live chat. According to verified feedbacks, their phone system seems to be broken most of the time. Some customers looking for support via Twitter and Facebook pages are often directed back to email support.
Summary – Webs Is Not Recommended for Web Hosting
If you’re going to build a membership site directly from your website using intuitive interface and multiple apps, then Webs is an ideal option. However, this company is definitely not recommended for web hosting as many information like hosting features and network infrastructures are lacking. Following are our sincere recommendations.