In this Webs.com review, I’ll be looking over everything this platform has to offer and in turn, help you decide if it is the right choice for your project.
Webs.com used to be the king back in the day. Established in 2001 and then known as Freewebs, this platform used to the top choice for anyone looking to make a website.
Some things grow up, some – grow old. The question is, which did Webs.com do?
Today Webs.com presents as a website building platform that uses a drag and drop based editor which is easy to get the hang of even for beginners. Although, it has more complex features to offer to advanced users too. For those looking for deeper and business-related customization, Webs.com has that too with its features for SEO, analytics, and eCommerce.
Webs.com takes pride in their builder and is certain that it will work for anybody and fulfill their needs.
Our simple drag and drop interface makes building beautiful free websites quick and simple.
Or so they say. So I went on a personal quest to find out if that’s really true.
Despite its seemingly great offers and growing customer base, Webs.com receives a lot of mixed opinions from its users. And you can see why, because I saw for myself that the platform has not been updated in years.
We’ll find out how much of these statements ring true nowadays. In this complete Webs.com review, I’ll cover the pricing, SEO, and everything you need to know about this provider’s services.
Now, let’s get into it, shall we?
Webs.com offers three paid plans, which range from $4.99 to $11.99 per month. The plans on offer are of fairly great value with the features they provide.
Also, Webs.com offers a free plan, but like most free things in life, it comes with its own set of limitations.
If you choose not to get a subscription, you will be stuck with the Webs.com subdomain. The free plan limits your theme selection with only 40 free themes instead of more than 300 premium ones. Furthermore, your free website cannot exceed the 5-page limit set in place.
Yet despite all that, it is still a good choice if you are looking to make a small website or just try out the builder.
If you’re looking for a serious website, consider upgrading to one of the paid plans as each higher tier offers progressively more features.
The Starter plan is great for a small business as it unlocks enough features for you to launch a basic website. Enhanced subscription is more suited for larger businesses with more structure. An lastly the Pro plan is a must if you want your website to be ready to sail out to bigger waters with all the SEO, eCommerce, and statistics features at the ready.
Although Webs.com provides the needed tools to effectively run your website, they are somewhat plain and not highly customizable. The price seems just a bit too high as most essential features are locked behind the most expensive plan.
Now, let’s take a closer look at Webs.com plans:
While using Webs.com for free, you get merely 40MB storage, 40 free themes to choose from and your website is limited to only 5 pages. Furthermore, Webs.com places third-party ads on your site to fund its free plan. One more important thing to note is that without a subscription you are unable to edit the mobile version of your website. In the end, the templates are still mobile responsive.
When creating a page using the free plan you get a Webs.com subdomain that goes like yourdomainname.webs.com and isn’t that great to look at. However, there is an option to purchase custom domains from this provider at a high markup price of $19.95 a year for a simple .com TLD, which is around double the price you could find elsewhere.
There are numerous domain sellers that sell for about half that price, so you might be better off getting that elsewhere. Or consider buying a subscription plan on Webs.com as all of the plans give you a free custom domain name.
Now that we got the limitation of the free plan out of the way, let’s see what boons the paid plans offer.
When you choose to subscribe for 2 years the Starter plan’s price will be $4.99/mo. 1 year will set you back $5.99/mo and one month – $7.99/mo and a one-time setup fee of $5.
This plan allows you to create unlimited pages that don’t display unwarranted Webs.com ads to your visitors.
It also includes a custom domain name, 1GB of storage for your files, and password protection for your webpages.
The Enhanced plan for 2 years will be $8.70/mo. 1 year will cost you $9.99/mo and one month – $16.99/mo as well as a one-time setup fee of $10.
It is the cheapest plan with eCommerce functionalities. Yet it still comes with some limitations as you can only add 20 items to your online store.
You also get access to a library with 336 premium themes on Webs.com. Since there are so many, it should be easy to find one that is suitable for your project or eCommerce store.
Apart from adding live chat support to the basic email support on other plans, it also gives you 3 email addresses to match your custom domain.
Lastly, the 2 year Pro plan will cost $11.99/mo. 1 year – $14.99/mo and one month – $34.99/mo and a one-time setup fee of $15.
As the highest tier paid package, it has all of the previous features including advanced statistics, unlimited storage, and unlimited store items.
If you have a large team, you can add up to 25 custom email addresses. A large team means a large company, which definitely warrants the need for SEO.
This is the only plan with SEO capabilities, which mainly include search engine submission, analytics, and SEO tips. It is also the only plan with phone support aside from the usual email and live chat support on smaller plans.
If you have a business website with a lot of traffic or an online store with a lot of products, this is the best option for you.
All in all, Webs.com doesn't offer anything out of the ordinary to warrant it's prices, which seem just a tad too expensive. Most of the features offered are really bare-bones too, so when comparing Webs.com to other website building platforms, you just might opt for cheaper ones.
During my Webs com review, I found that it is really simple to use, but that might be in part due to a limited amount of features.
Webs.com does an excellent job of getting you started right away. After you create an account, it asks you for basic details about your website and your business. All the options are neatly arranged in a dropdown menu, so it’s as simple as it gets.
Based on your provided information, the system shows you a collection of themes that match your business and preferred plan. Over 300 templates are presented in a small section.
However, when trying to browse the themes, I noticed that it scrolls horizontally, which isn’t the greatest navigation experience. Changing up the display and scrolling options would really benefit the new user experience.
Next, I confirmed my plan of choice and selected my domain. From here, my website information was saved, and I could start editing.
The user interface on the backend is really straightforward and easy to use. It boasts a very simplistic design, one might even say that it is a little outdated.
When editing, a dock at the bottom of the page has widgets I used to add elements to my page. Some of these widgets include text, images, photo galleries, columns, buttons, etc. All the main elements my website could need were presented in one convenient grouping.
All the features the builder has to offer are intuitive and can be used by anyone with basic computer skills.
To even further enhance ease of use, they made a guide explaining the interface and its functions. There is a link to the site builder tour, but when trying to use it, it simply states that the video does not exist.
And at times like these, the lack of updates and support for the platform really shows.
Another huge downside is that the company’s blog, where they should interact with their audience is down at the time of this Webs.com review.
Furthermore, you can see that their blog is made with the WPEngine, so they aren’t even using their own builder and that does not inspire trust in their platform.
The features offered by the platform are great and easy to work with… when they work.
On the bright side, the widgets are easy to configure and work just fine. Since the editor uses a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) approach, I could instantly see all the changes I made to the page.
If you’ve used other web builders before, you may quickly realize that the editor offers only the most basic customizations for widgets. The only options you get are to swap the element alignment, attach a hyperlink, and change the image.
After populating my website, I could preview it with a conveniently placed preview button in the top right navigation menu. A few more clicks and the website was live!
Based on my experience, usability is the best thing this builder has going for it. However, while using it I ran into some problems. For instance, the login was buggy and the website screenshot in the main panel got stuck rendering, so all I had to judge by was my page name.
These various bugs and broken features really made my experience a little bitter. Most other users agree with me on that front as the many other Webs reviews aren’t that positive and it only manages to get 2 out of 5 stars.
As the Webs com reviews here go quite a bit back it is clear to see that the same bugs plague old and new users alike.
Webs.com is intuitive, and the interface is appropriate for its target audience. However, there are some crucial bugs that, based on previous reviews, have persisted for a long time without garnering the provider's attention. Webs.com is really easy to work with as long as you aren't battling any of the numerous problems.
Webs.com has 376 templates, 40 of which are free while the rest are for premium users. It’s possible to sort them by industry to make your decision easier. After choosing a template, the selection of a preferred color scheme comes up, usually giving three color choices.
Different themes have different depths of customization, but Webs does not provide any means to check the functionality of them before applying them to your website. However, you can expect paid themes to be more flexible.
In addition to the color scheme, it is possible to customize the background color, image, widget size, logo, site title, and font style across the page.
So the theme customization is quite limiting as I had to apply each one to see what customization options it had.
At least Webs.com lets you change the layout of your page regardless of your theme. You can pick from six options that include a mix of sidebars and banners.
Sadly, some of the old features that played a big part in customizing your website are now removed by the provider.
The ability to edit CSS directly as well as the option to add a dynamic sidebar that changes with the content on the page was removed. At the moment, you can only add snippets of HTML to your website if you subscribe to a premium package.
All of this limits the depth of customization that you can reach with this builder compared to other options on the market. The limitations seem to know no bounds, paired with frequent bugs, your freedom of creativity is highly suppressed.
Editing of the mobile version is only possible while on a premium plan or as a standalone add-on at $4.95 a month. Yet the price it charges for the simple ability to re-arrange landing page elements is preposterously steep.
Otherwise, it displays your website as is without any changes to the layout. The mobile editing version, just like the builder, has that somewhat outdated feel to it.
There is a comprehensive collection of widgets to decorate your website. They are neatly arranged and are easy to find on the bottom dock.
All of the widgets are assorted under their respective categories, with the most used ones under Popular tag. All you have to do is drag and drop what you need onto your page.
It took me some time to try out many different themes and compare them. The color choices, although useful, do not look modern. Most of the layouts look like they were developed way back in 2010 and somebody forgot to update them.
Also, you can’t use icons to draw attention or to intuitively represent content because the option to add icons is simply not available.
Another common problem with the templates is that the hero sections are bland, partly due to the fact that you can’t add text onto images. So you can not have a center element to your website to catch people’s attention.
For example, let us compare this landing page from Webs.com…
…With one from the industry leaders – Wix:
The difference between the two is just staggering. Not only does Webs com lacks elements, but the style in which they are presented is clearly very dated.
Webs.com takes image uploading one step further by creating a repository of images where you can search and get royalty-free images fast, thus you won’t have to pay the original owners to use their content.
If you don’t find what you need here, you can link to an external image on another website.
The same goes for adding videos – you can upload a video, search YouTube, or place an embed code.
If you’re using a free plan or just want to save limited space, I suggest linking to images and embedding videos as it is less resource-heavy, especially for free users who have only 40 MB of free space.
Overall, Webs.com’s templates are easy to customize, but the sites made using them look outdated. However, there are numerous templates to choose from, so you might still find what you like, albeit each of them having fixed customization options. Also, not being able to edit the CSS further limits the design possibilities.
Webs com advertises as a website builder for business, and it does offer a few tools to support that claim. These tools include SEO, eCommerce, analytics, and social media integration. But keep in mind that full access to all these functions is only available when you pay for the Pro Plan.
Webs.com is not known for its eCommerce prowess, but it does a good job anyway. It provides all necessary features to run a store, including product search, categories, variants, images, and currency conversion.
Transactions have two payment options – PayPal and Stripe. There are also coupons, and order confirmation messages. It only takes a few clicks to set this up, and you can fully manage all of that from the website’s control panel.
No transaction fees are deducted on a purchase, a practice often seen with many other web builders. You can also connect your Etsy store to access more payment options. However, eCommerce functionality on Webs requires the Enhanced or Pro plans, depending on the size of your store.
Webs.com lets you perform all of the essential SEO functions such as optimizing your titles, meta descriptions, tags, images, headers, and footers. Its SEO booster feature lets you monitor traffic and page views.
Now, if you prefer to use Google Analytics for a more in-depth analysis, all you have to do is simply add a code snippet from Google and you’ll be good to go. Analytics would provide more data about what your website visitors do, for example – the time spent on each page.
Webs.com also gives you some suggestions on how to increase your website’s visibility on search engines.
Local listings are a separate paid feature and it costs $6.99 per month.
Local Listing is a new and uncommon feature that Webs offers to promote US-based businesses across 100 local directories. For a small business, this can be a gold mine since people who search directories usually have a high purchase intent.
You will show up in maps, voice and GPS searches with all of your up to date information, working hours, address, prices, and everything else that might be of importance to your eager customers.
All you have to do is submit your details, and it does the rest.
Free and Starter plan users on Webs.com cannot have custom email addresses. Higher tier – Enhanced, and Pro subscribers can have 3 and 25 custom email addresses respectively.
Custom email addresses end with your domain name, such as in [email protected]
This is a great way to look more professional in a business environment, but it’s a shame that the cheapest plan doesn’t provide at least 1 custom address.
Overall, Webs.com targets small businesses so its features are geared towards that market. You should not have a problem running a business website or store and getting some good exposure. Yet don't expect anything advanced when it comes to SEO as all the features provided only cover the basic needs.
This Webs review would not be finished without the technical specifications of its website building engine. The two most important statistics are the time it takes for a page to load and server stability.
So, I tested the website with GTMetrix to figure out how fast it can load and how well is it optimized. Then a test with LoadImpact followed to see how the website responds to high user load.
GTMetrix reported 2.9 seconds load time. It meets Google’s recommendation of no more than 3 seconds of loading time, so visitors are less likely to click away.
The PageSpeed score of 74% is mostly due to a lack of efficient browser caching.
YSlow scores it 69%, a lower score is related to the multiple HTTP requests, domain, DNS, and cookie issues.
And as it usually goes, a good website cannot be made without stable servers. So a LoadImpact test followed next.
As is apparent, the server response time somewhat fluctuates for different users but does not drop too low overall. This isn’t that great, yet it’s not bad either. The servers maintained about 420ms response time which is pretty average.
Websites made with Webs.com builder have surprisingly good load times, but keep in mind that they can increase based on the amount of content on your page.
Webs.com hosts millions of sites on its servers, but even with all that, I can safely say that you can use it to build fairly optimized websites. It does not offer anything that special, but keeps things in the middle, to meet users' demands performance-wise.
Webs.com has been around since 2001 and it seems that it stayed there. Now it slowly falls behind new website builders. It is unfortunate that the developers who made such a sturdy and great website building platform for beginners, now have forsaken it and do not show enthusiasm to update it.
out of 10
At the end of my Webs.com review, I can say that this platform is great for beginners who want to try their hand at simple website building. Ultimately the platform offers nothing out of the ordinary that would make people stay with it.
There are several alternatives out there that you can use instead of Webs.com. The website builder you choose should reflect your budget, design needs, and web development knowledge. I suggest you check out some other platforms before committing to Webs.com:
Wix powers over 110 million sites who use its intuitive and straightforward drag and drop web builder to create beautiful websites. The main difference between Wix and Webs is the quality of their website’s appearance. Wix also offers more storage space, bandwidth, and pricing tiers than Webs.
Squarespace uses transparent pricing, professional templates, and excellent hosting to set itself apart in the market. Many professionals prefer Squarespace, as it can offer powerful eCommerce features.
WordPress.org is the most robust site builder in the world. It powers 37% of the web and offers over 55,000 free plugins to add almost any functionality you may need. This CMS is also the cheapest to operate and the most SEO-friendly web builder available in the market today.