Web.com is a great URL, but as a traditional web hosting company it hasn’t always lived up to its big name. However, with more emphasis on its intuitive website building features, Web.com becomes a much more attractive option if you are looking to build a site or an online store quickly. The web hosting part remains a mixed bag, but the service is offset by good shared hosting plans, solid phone support, plenty of themes, and great uptime. Gator and Wix remain our top picks for paid and free website builders, respectively, but Web.com has made great strides since our last review.
Prices, packages and options
Many website builders offer free options, but many others don’t. Of our Editors’ Choice selections, only Wix offers a free option. Web.com also doesn’t have a free option, so you have to pay for the service no matter what tier you choose. Fortunately, the prices are reasonable. Your first month’s fees are heavily reduced, going up to $ 1.95 per month, and even the normal rates are in line with what we’ve seen elsewhere.
The $ 10 per month starter plan gets you the website builder, plus over 150 templates and thousands of stock images. For $ 15 per month, the marketing plan submits your site to business directories and search engines, such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo. To unlock all online storefront options, you need to subscribe to the $ 20 per month eCommerce plan. Each site creation plan gives you five email addresses for your domain name with 2 GB of storage each. To learn more, consider the Web.com shared hosting plans detailed later in this review.
These are the standard plans, but Web.com offers other additional features as well. Starting at $ 7.99 per month, WordPress website building plans allow you to combine Web.com tools with the popular content management system. Go for a more expensive plan to gain more storage, more mailboxes, and more WordPress sites to manage. Hire web design and SEO experts to build your site for you.
To protect your site, Web.com offers spam protection through CatchGuard, as well as email virus protection and removal. You can get a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate starting at $ 24 per year, which should be considered an essential purchase if you plan to sell any products. Note, however, that Gator (HostGator’s website builder) does offer a free SSL certificate with some of its plans. For $ 50 per year, the Cyber ââSecurity Solution package includes more perks, such as 24/7 support, device and identity monitoring, and a mobile VPN client.
Site tools and e-commerce options
Web.com makes it easy for anyone to start building a website. During the setup process, you can enter basic information, such as whether your site is personal or for a specialist company, and let Web.com build the site from there. Or you can choose from dozens of stylish designs as a starting point. Templates include sites for car dealers, coffee shops, jewelry makers, and repair services. Browsing the library also shows available art stocks. Once you pick your theme, you’re stuck with it, which is a common restriction with website builders. However, starting over with a new site is also quick and easy, as is fixing minor errors.
In your dashboard, you can access and edit all of the sites you have created, as well as any uploaded files associated with those sites. The analytics section displays useful statistics, such as pageviews, unique visitors, popular pages, and the devices visitors use to access your site. Web.com integrates with Google Analytics to provide in-depth audience insights.
The site creation interface itself is pleasantly simple. You can create a single page site or opt for multiple pages and nest them on top of each other to create menus that users can navigate. Switch between device layouts anytime to see how your site looks on a laptop versus a phone. The home page of our bakery test website takes users to an About Us section, a Contact page and, of course, the Store page. In the advanced settings, you enable more specialized types of pages, such as your legal page, various error pages, and a blog. Here you can also integrate your social media accounts for Instagram, Pinterest and Disqus comments.
Ecommerce tools have their own section within the interface. There you can enter up to 500 products, including a mix of physical and digital goods. A customer service rep said that you can theoretically sell subscriptions, but there’s no way, for example, to lock down part of your site to paying members the way Wix allows you to. You can, however, offer discounts. You can also perform organizational tasks like tracking orders, entering tax information, and making sure shipping between customers and warehouses stays on track. The e-commerce level includes the integration of the Facebook marketplace.
Once all of your content is in place, showcase it with Web.com’s editing tools. Change individual style elements like fonts and buttons, or change the entire theme to literally give your site a new lick of paint. Click the big Build button to display a list of site features to drag and drop directly onto the page, from icons and image galleries to share buttons and text forms. Embed a YouTube video that plays in a loop because the background of your site looks particularly dynamic. You can even write and embed your own code.
If you don’t want to tinker with the features directly, you can also insert blocks, pre-made generic elements that you can customize without creating from scratch. With Blocks, you can instantly add a team page, call to action, or testimonials to your site. If you browse all that Web.com has to offer, even novice users can create an engaging site in no time.
While Web.com has plenty of stock photos, there’s not much you can do with those photos or the photos that you upload yourself. Basically all you can do is resize the images and add a translucent colored overlay. Gator has limited photo editing features as well, but Duda and Wix have more options. Web.com lets you design your own logo with a built-in tool, but this one-time purchase costs $ 21.76.
When you purchase a website.com builder plan, you also get free domain and hosting. However, Web.com still sells three levels of shared hosting based on Linux or Windows: essential hosting, business hosting, and premium hosting. Each includes a website builder, unlimited monthly data transfers, access to open source applications, site backup, and one-year domain registration. However, the feature sets of the plans differ in other areas.
For example, Essential Hosting (starting at $ 5.95 per month or $ 119.52 per year) includes 300 GB of storage, 25 FTP accounts, and 100 email addresses. Professional (starting at $ 7.95 per month or $ 147.48 per year) increases specs to 500GB of storage, 50 FTP accounts, and 500 email accounts. Premium hosting (starting at $ 9.95 per month or $ 349.56 per year) sits at the top of the hill with unlimited storage, unlimited FTP accounts, and 1,000 email addresses.
These are decent shared hosting plans, but they can’t touch HostGator’s great deals. This Editors’ Choice choice for shared hosting offers diverse and powerful packages that include Linux or Windows servers, along with unlimited storage, monthly data transfers, and email addresses on all plans.
Unfortunately, Web.com is not the host to turn to if you want to sign up for something other than shared hosting. The service lacks cloud, dedicated, and VPS hosting plans. In fact, a customer service representative from Web.com suggested that people should take a look at Network Solutions, the company’s sister site, for these types of hosting plans. Check out the various related roundups to see our other recommendations in each category.
Excellent availability and customer support
The availability of a website is one of the most important aspects of a hosting service. While your site is down, customers won’t be able to find you or access your products or services, and they might not come back.
To test this, we used a website monitoring tool to track the availability of our test site hosted on Web.com. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings our website and sends us an email if it fails to contact the site for more than a minute. We looked at data from the last 14 days for each site review. In our last test, Web.com hasn’t gone down once, a noticeable improvement from our last look a few years ago.
Web.com’s customer service is equally reliable. We called 24/7 customer service on a weekday evening to get an explanation regarding Web.com’s shared web hosting plan. Within seconds, someone transferred us to the relevant department. Shortly after, we chatted with a very helpful rep who gave us a detailed explanation of Web.com’s shared hosting plans. This same person said that we should visit Network Solutions for the higher level plans.
We have also launched web chat to get details about the security features of Web.com. The helpful customer service representative explained several features available in an easy to understand manner. They also told us that customers can get a full refund within three days of purchase, which is strict compared to Duda’s 30-day window and Gator’s 45-day window.
Web.com goes 2.0
As a traditional web hosting service, Web.com left a lot to be desired. But as a website builder with hosting plans, Web.com is an attractive offer. Some editing options could be more powerful, but we easily recommend Web.com to anyone looking for intuitive, accessible tools for quickly building a website. If you want an even more robust toolkit, consider Gator (Editor’s Choice for Paid Website Builders) and Wix (Editor’s Choice for Free Website Builders).
To learn more about building websites, check out 10 Simple But Powerful SEO Tips To Increase Traffic To Your Website, And How To Build A Website.