Web.com review: DIY builder for beginners
In this Web.com review, I’ll analyze the builder’s pricing, ease of use, templates, performance, security, and support.
When it comes to website creation, Web.com is very versatile. The provider not only offers a DIY website builder and web hosting services, it also has a design team that can make a site for you. And best of all, despite what you choose, Web.com promises you an easy and quick process of getting online.
Is website building too technical? It has a beginner-friendly and very simplistic drag-and-drop editor. Design isn’t your forte? The team of designers and writers will create one for you. New to selling online? It provides a wide range of e-Commerce tools.
Now, I don’t blame Web.com for its bold assertions. But, I’m concerned as to whether there are any truths to these claims or if it’s just hot air.
So, in this Web.com review, I put the builder to the test. Pricing, ease of use, templates, performance, and support – I researched and tested them all. Read on to find out if the builder is worth your time.
|Ease of use:||Very simplistic section-based editor|
|Templates:||194+ responsive all-purpose templates|
|Business features:||Simple and minimal business features|
|Current deal:||Get Web.com builder, now 50% OFF!|
Pros and Cons of Web.com
- Affordable pricing
- All plans come with a free domain
- 194+ professionally designed templates
- Very good performance results
- SSL is not included in any of the plans
- Limited design freedom
- The most basic plan does not include SEO tools
What website to use Web.com for?
Web.com caters to multiple niches, but mostly it is seen as a website builder for small businesses, online stores, or entrepreneurs that are looking to create a custom website design and expand their online presence. Let’s check out how the builder does with some of the most popular niches.
|Online shops||Can sell up to 500 products, templates designed for online stores||Only available on the most expensive plan, limited eCommerce tools|
|Businesses||Google Analytics and social media integrations many business-oriented template designs||Limited business tools, SEO tools not included in entry plan|
|Portfolio site||Easy to use, social media integration||Only 9 available templates, portfolio sites are not Web.com’s main area of focus|
|Blogs||Simplistic blogging platform integration, Google Analytics||20 templates, not a blogging platform, limited functionalities|
Web.com pricing & plans
In terms of pricing, Web.com could surely compete with other cheap hosting providers. Its cheapest website builder plan starts from $1.95 for the first month. If you’re looking for long-term value, there are also annual plans available. In addition to the website builder, Web.com also offers shared hosting plans.
However, for this review, I’ll be focusing on Web.com DIY Website Builder since that is its flagship solution.
Now, to begin with, Web.com has 3 basic website builder plans, priced from $1.95 to $3.95 for the first month.
All 3 come with free domain registration, 5 email addresses with 2GB of storage each, hundreds of templates, and 1 hour of website design support.
As for differences:
- Starter ($1.95/mo) – includes only the basics mentioned above.
- Marketing ($2.95/mo) – everything from the Starter plan plus the builder will submit your site to local business directories and major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
- eCommerce ($3.95/mo) – everything from the Marketing plan, plus email marketing tools, as well as the ability to sell up to 500 products and accept secure payments.
If you simply wish to test the builder out, monthly plans are great for dipping your toes in. However, annual payments are also available, with prices starting from $50.00/year for Starter.
If you’re looking to secure the best deal, opt for the Starter package with an annual billing cycle. For just $50.00/year, you’ll get all the basics like a free domain name, numerous email addresses, and an extensive template library. Now, if you wish to build an online store, consider the e-Commerce package.
One thing worth noting is that none of Web.com’s plans include a free SSL certificate. If you wish to get one, that will cost you anywhere from $2.33/mo to $40.00/mo extra.
Lastly, Web.com has a very minimalistic 3-day money-back guarantee. As long as you cancel your subscription within this period, you are eligible for a full refund. Pretty short time to make up your mind compared to a typical 14 or 30-day money-back guarantee.
All in all, Web.com is cheap if you opt for yearly billings. However, the builder is pretty minimalistic with its resources and advanced features, which make the pricing points slightly questionable.
Is Web.com easy to use?
- Getting started – Web.com setup process is a breeze. You can start by choosing a template or answering some questions for the system to generate a few site design options.
- Designing the website – Web.com comes with a simplistic yet functional block-based editor for further edits and customization options.
- Managing the website – Web.com’s dashboard is pretty minimalistic and straightforward. With it, you can manage your billing, domain name registration, and email setup, as well as access the main editor.
Web.com promises that it’ll get you online in minutes, and it delivers on the promise. From A to Z, the entire process is pretty quick and intuitive.
With that said, let’s explore the site’s creation process in more detail.
Getting started with Web.com
Starting out with Web.com builder is as easy as it gets. Once you’ve purchased any Web com site builder package, all you have to do is log in to your account and click on the Website Packages option in the left-side menu.
From there, you’ll be able to access the main drag-and-drop editor and create a customized website.
Once you click the Launch Website Builder button, this is where the site-building process starts. Here, Web.com offers 2 different approaches to website making:
- A traditional “do-it-yourself” approach where you pick a template from the Web.com template gallery.
- An automated website generator where all you have to do is answer a few questions, and the system shortlists the best-fitted Web.com templates for you.
Overall, getting started with Web.com is effortless and quick whether you make use of its website generator or handpick your template.
Designing the website
Whichever setup process you opt for, you’ll still arrive at the drag-and-drop editor. However, I must point out that while Web.com itself advertises as a drag-and-drop website builder, in reality, it’s more of a section-based one.
Regardless, on the left-side menu, you’ll see a few elements, like Pages, Store, Blog, and a couple more. To start editing, just click on the BUILD button, and you’ll find a bunch of pre-designed blocks.
Elements like buttons, text, galleries, and even Google Maps can be easily and quickly added to your site.
To place anything onto your site, you’ll just need to drag and drop the elements or blocks wherever you see fit. Just bear in mind that you won’t have complete design freedom here since it’s still a section-based builder, so your placement must align with what the editor allows.
However, the good news is that you can further customize the elements once placed on your page.
Change the background color, the font, its size and alignment, the whole elements shape – that’s completely up to you. Once done, you can preview your site across all devices before hitting PUBLISH.
Additionally, on the same left-side menu as BUILD, you’ll also find other items. For instance, THEMES leads to basic template customizations like background colors, fonts, and dividers.
Meanwhile, SETTINGS houses multiple configuration options. Here, you can connect your business accounts like Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager accounts, as well as enable features like image optimization.
Lastly, once you’re done building your site completely, do not forget to access the Online Marketing Services button, which is located in your main dashboard. There, you’ll be able to submit your site to local business directories and major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing for better site visibility.
Overall simplistic, straightforward, and intuitive, Web.com’s design process is as easy as it gets.
All things considered, Web.com is very easy to use. The builder simplifies and streamlines its setup, design, and management processes to make the platform accessible to all, including total beginners.
- How many templates? – Web.com has over 194 templates spread across 9 different niches.
- How do they look? – The templates are clean, simple, and professional-looking.
- How much do they cost? – All of Web.com’s templates are free.
Web.com has over 194 templates spread across 9 different niches. Business, store, blog, and portfolio – Web.com covers them all and more.
These templates all have responsive designs, meaning that they’ll look equally good whether viewed on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device. And, if you’re on its eCommerce plan, you’ll appreciate that many of the templates are eCommerce-oriented with call-to-action features.
As you make your way through the collection, you’ll likely also notice that most of the templates are designed to appeal to the business crowd.
Take this one for example:
It’s not going to knock you over with its cutting-edge design, but it’s certainly professional, clean, and modern. And, at the end of the day, your website will look good and ready for business, which is what most of its users are looking for.
To sum up, Web.com has a solid selection of templates to cater to different users. Businesses, especially, will appreciate its professional visuals.
Web.com’s designer services
If you feel like building a website on your own is too much of a hassle, Web.com offers a service called “Design by the expert”, where you can get your site built professionally for you.
If you’re willing to pay a pretty penny (starting point of $1499, to be exact), you can get a professionally designed site based entirely on your needs. Web.com’s design experts will build you a professional-looking site from top to bottom. Not only can it design a custom template for your site, but also fill it with SEO (search engine optimization) friendly content too.
The process is simple: just choose whether you wish to go with Web.com’s website builder or hosting services, and contact the support team. Then you’ll get redirected to a consultant, which will ask you to lay out your vision. Once done, Web.com’s design, SEO, and copywriter teams will come together to bring your vision to life.
In short, Web.com really values quality. While it allows you to build a beautiful site yourself, it also offers custom-made sites for your convenience.
When it comes to performance, Web.com has its ups and downs. On the plus side, the builder is very reliable. Additionally, it’s remarkably fast with excellent page loading times. However, on the flip side, Web.com has trouble handling surges in traffic.
Web.com uptime and response time
To test out the builder’s reliability, the first test examines the provider's uptime and response time.
For that, I have monitored Web.com for 3 weeks. Over this time, the provider had just a single outage of 1 minute, which resulted in a near perfect >99.99% uptime.
While Web.com does not officially issue an uptime guarantee for its builder, its hosting packages come with a guarantee of 99.9%. Keeping this in mind, the actual results are much better than expected.
Now talking about the response time, it has averaged at a very speedy 473ms. Since it's well below the market’s average of 600ms, I consider Web.com servers to be reliable and fast.
All in all, Web.com is a trustworthy website builder that comes with great uptime and a fast response time.
Web.com website speed
Next up is a speed test to see how fast the builder can load an empty and fully-built site. While certain Web.com reviews raised concerns about the builder’s speed, Web.com actually sailed through the test flawlessly.
Before we jump to analyze said results, here are 2 important measures to know:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – the time required to load the largest chunk of the page. Google recommends keeping the LCP below 2.5s for a fully-built site for better search engine ranking
- Fully Loaded Time – the time it takes for the site to be fully loaded. Keep it below 3s for a better user experience.
Web.com only has data centers in the US (Florida and Atlanta). Due to that, all tests took place from the US too.
Now it comes as no surprise that the best LCP can be found in the US, too – barely 335ms. Naturally, the further from the origin server we go, the larger the LCP is, meaning other locations have seen a slight increase in LCP.
However, neither of them has even come close to the undesired 2.5 seconds.
As for the fully built website, Web.com yet again surprised me with its excellent loading times. This time around, the LCP was at a speedy 1.2s, not even a half of Google’s suggested maximum of 2.5s.
Meanwhile, its Fully Loaded Time came in at a very speedy 1.8s. This definitely leaves some wiggle space until you hit that unwanted 3-seconds time. More so, considering that website builders usually offer many design-heavy features that significantly slow down the website’s loading time, this is an even better result.
In short, the builder is incredibly fast and more than proved the negative Web.com hosting reviews wrong. Both its LCP and Fully Loaded Time came in well under the benchmarks.
Web.com stress testing
The final hurdle for this Web.com review is a stress test to gauge the builder’s ability to tackle on-site traffic surges.
To start the test, I send 50 visual users (VUs) to roam around on the site for 5 minutes. Ideally, the provider is able to handle such traffic without any failures (red line) or massive increases in the response time (blue line).
However, if the site would face a continuous stream of 50VUs throughout the month, this could lead to 50 000 monthly visits. And that’s quite an intense traffic that could overwhelm a server entirely.
Sadly, Web.com was definitely overwhelmed. The provider failed to uphold 50VUs on the site.
While the response time (blue line) was relatively stable and fast, the main issue was that half of the requests failed (red line).
Therefore, I kept on decreasing the number of visitors by 5 until I get a pass. The first pass was with 20VUs.
This time around, there were no failures (red line), and the response time remained speedy.
While the full 50VUs has been entirely too much for Web.com, 20VUs – which could equate to about 20,000 monthly visitors – is far more than what most small to mid-sized websites would see. So the provider is surely capable enough to withstand some decent traffic.
Overall, high traffic increases overwhelmed Web.com’s server, but it still did reasonably well and rallied to support a less intense surge.
All things considered, Web.com’s performance is still one for the win column. It’s extremely fast and its ability to handle traffic, while not amazing, is still pretty decent.
Security: is Web.com secure?
If Web.com has a weak spot, it’s its security. The builder doesn’t offer much in this department and even charges for some essential security measures.
Here’s what Web.com provides security-wise:
- Perfect privacy – a free feature that conceals your personal data in the WHOIS databases for the first year.
- SSL certificates – a ranking factor for search engines, this is a must-have. An SSL helps to create an encrypted and secure connection between the server and the visitor. Unfortunately, SSL certificates aren’t included in Web.com’s plans for free. Yet, there are quite a few types to choose from, with prices starting at $2.33/mo.
- Cyber security solution – for an extra 49.90 per year, you can get a security package that includes app security and scanning, access to security experts, ongoing updates, contact backup, and more.
To sum it up, in terms of security, Web.com is not very well-rounded. While it likely has more measures in place, like monitoring or a firewall, the builder’s site nor its customer support could disclose the specific protection offered.
Will Web.com support help me?
Web.com website builder offers a few ways to get in touch with its support team: 24/7 phone support, live chat during business hours, and tickets. Beyond that, it also has a knowledge base with heaps of articles.
For most users, live chat is the support option of choice. Here, Web.com’s live chat feature is, unfortunately, only available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays. That said, if you reach out during these hours, its agents are usually quick to join the chat.
However, a common complaint in user reviews of Web.com is that the quality of help that you get varies wildly. Some of its agents are rather abrupt and less than keen to help. Meanwhile, others are more forthcoming and willing to extend a helping hand.
Luckily, you could also hit up its knowledge base as an alternative. There, you’ll find hundreds of articles sorted into 8 different categories, including domain, email, and website builder. These articles are brief but well-written and often come with pictures for better clarity.
In short, Web.com offers quite a few customer support channels where you can get help fairly quickly and easily. While the quality of support itself is good, it is quite disappointing that the live chat is not available 24/7.
Alternatives to Web.com
Web.com is a solid option for many, especially small businesses. Yet, if you’re unsure and plagued by doubts whether Web.com is the one for the job, you can choose from a large variety of good website builders. Some of the best Web.com alternatives worth checking are Zyro, Site123, and Wix.
Zyro is one of the cheapest website builders in the market, with plans starting from a very affordable $2.61/mo. Beyond its cheap pricing, Zyro’s other appeals include its functional and flexible drag-and-drop editor, well-developed blogging platform, and eCommerce features, as well as AI-powered marketing tools.
A no-frills website builder, SITE123 offers one of the simplest and fastest ways to get online. On top of that, its users also get access to in-depth analytics, the SEO Adviser app, and more. More so, Site123 is one of the best website builders for blogging, which makes it that much more tempting. As for the prices, is plans start from $12.80/mo.
Wix is a highly flexible drag-and-drop website builder that offers complete design and customization freedom. Additionally, the builder is also well-known for its robust functionalities as well as its largest variety of professional-looking and responsive templates. All that and more at a starting introductory price of $16.00/mo.
Web.com review – conclusion
From this Web.com review, it’s clear that the builder could be a good option for small businesses with tight purse strings. The builder is cheap, easy to use, and very fast. However, its plans lack value. Plus, its security and support departments could be better.
Here’s a quick recap of how it stacks up:
|Feature||Simplistic section-based builder for fast site creation|
|Pricing||Web.com pricing is pretty affordable, starting from a little over $1.95/mo. However, the builder is very tight-fisted with its resources and features. |
|Ease of Use|| The builder prioritizes the ease of use at every step of the way, from setup to design and site management. |
|Templates||It has over 194 templates covering 9 niches. The templates are basic but professional-looking, responsive, and customizable.|
|Performance||The builder proved to be very reliable, and fast. However, its traffic-handling abilities could be improved.|
|Security ||Web.com isn’t very transparent with its security measures. Worse, the builder also charges for security essentials, like SSL certificates, that are often included for free.|
|Support ||Its customer service agents are fairly fast and knowledgeable, yet cannot be reached 24/7.|
Can I trust Web.com?
Yes, you can trust Web.com. Web.com is a legitimate company that has over 20 years of experience and over 3.3 million users.
Is Web.com a website builder or a hosting provider?
Web.com is both a website builder and a hosting provider. In addition to its more popular website builder plans, it also offers shared hosting services.
Is Web.com a good website builder?
Yes, Web.com could be a good website builder if you need a cheap, easy-to-use, and fast platform for your site.
Is Web.com free?
No, Web.com is not free. Its cheapest DYI builder plan comes for $50.00/year, while hosting services start at $5.95/mo.
Does Web.com still exist?
Yes, Web.com still exists. The provider offers various digital solutions like a website builder, domain names, email, and hosting, as well as website designing services. More so, it’s also the parent company of Network Solutions.