Web.com Website Builder Review | PCMag

Web.com is a terrific URL, but as a traditional web hosting company, it doesn’t always live up to its big name. However, by emphasizing its intuitive website-building features, Web.com becomes a more appealing option for quickly creating a website or online store. The web hosting portion is a mixed bag, but the service is counterbalanced by good shared hosting plans, strong phone support, numerous themes, and excellent uptime. Duda and Wix remain our Editors’ Choice winners for website builders, but Web.com is appealing in its own right.


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Web.com’s Plans and Prices

Web.com lacks a free website builder tier, so you must pay for the service. However, the prices are reasonable. Your first month’s fee is heavily discounted, going as low as $4.95 per month. Once that ends, the normal rates match what we’ve seen elsewhere.

The $15.99-per-month Website plan gives you the website builder, plus more than 150 templates and thousands of stock images. For $21.99 per month, the Website + Marketing plan submits your site to business directories and search engines, such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo. To access more online storefront options, you must subscribe to the $29.99-per-month eCommerce plan. Every site tier offers five email addresses and a blogging tool. Consider Web.com’s shared hosting plans (detailed later in this review) for additional hosting options.

Those are the standard plans, but Web.com has other add-on features, too. Starting at $9.99 per month, the WordPress website building plans let you combine Web.com tools with the popular content management system. Opt for a more expensive plan to gain more storage, email boxes, and WordPress sites. Each plan also now gives you a free hour to learn and gain support from a website design expert.

To safeguard your site, Web.com offers spam protection via CatchGuard, plus email virus protection and removal. You can get a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate starting at $28 per year, which should be considered an essential purchase if you plan to sell products. Bluehost, Squarespace, and a few other builders offer a free SSL certificate with some plans. Bluehost’s free SSL is only for one month. For $50 per year, the Cyber Security Solution package includes more benefits, such as 24/7 assistance, device and identity monitoring, and a mobile VPN client. 


Web.com store

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Web.com makes it easy for anyone to start building a website. During setup, you enter basic information, such as whether your site is personal or for a specialized business, and let Web.com generate the site from there. Or you can choose from dozens of stylish templates as your starting point. The templates include sites for car dealerships, coffee shops, jewelry makers, and repair services. Browsing through the library also shows the available stock art. Once you pick your theme, you’re locked into it. That’s a common restriction with website builders. However, starting over with a new site is quick and easy, as is undoing minor mistakes.

From the dashboard, you can access and edit all the sites you’ve created, plus any uploaded files associated with those sites. The analytics section displays useful stats, such as page views, unique visitors, popular pages, and what devices visitors use to access your site. Web.com integrates with Google Analytics to deliver deep audience insights.  

The site-building interface is pleasingly intuitive. You can create a single-page site, or opt for multiple pages and nestle them inside each other to make menus for users to navigate. In a nice touch, Web.com lets you switch between device layouts to see how your site looks on a laptop versus a phone. The home page for our bakery test website features an About Us section, a Contact page, and, of course, the Store page. Under advanced settings, you enable more specialized types of pages, such as your legal page, various error pages, and a blog. Here you can integrate your social media accounts for Disqus, Instagram, and Pinterest comments. 

The e-commerce tools have a separate section within the interface. There, you can enter up to 500 products (unlimited products in higher tiers), including a mix of physical and digital goods. A customer service rep said you could theoretically sell subscriptions, but there’s no way to lock off a portion of your site to paid members the way Wix lets you. You can offer discounts, though. You can also monitor orders, enter tax information, and make sure shipping between customers and warehouses stays on track. The eCommerce Essentials tier includes Facebook marketplace integration.

Once all your content is in place, make it look its best with Web.com’s editing tools. Edit individual style elements like fonts and buttons, or change the theme. Click the big Build button to pull up a list of site features to drag and drop directly to the page, from icons and image galleries to share buttons and text forms. Embed a YouTube video that plays on a loop as your site’s background. You can even write and embed code, too. 

If you don’t want to tinker with features directly, you can also insert Blocks, prefab generic elements you can customize without building from scratch. With Blocks, you can instantly add a team page, a call to action, or testimonials to your site. If you dig through everything Web.com provides, even novice users can set up an attractive site. 

Although Web.com offers plenty of stock photography, there isn’t much you can do with those photos or photos you import yourself. Basically, all you can do is resize images and add a colored translucent overlay. Duda and Wix have more options.

Web.com has beefed up its AI tools. With AI builder, you can generate an entire site, containing images and text, by answering three prompts. Additionally, Web.com has AI tools for writing copy, designing logos, and choosing domain names. They’re included with all tiers at no extra cost.

For more on website building, check out 10 easy but powerful SEO tips to boost traffic to your website and how to create a website.


Web.com blocks

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Shared Hosting

When you purchase a Web.com site builder plan, you receive a free domain name and a free traditional hosting plan. However, Web.com still sells three Linux- or Windows-based shared hosting tiers: Basic Hosting, Plus Hosting, and Premium Hosting. Each includes a website builder, unlimited monthly data transfers, access to open-source applications, site backup, and a one-year domain registration. The plans’ feature sets differ in other areas, however.

For example, Essential Hosting (starting at $9.99 per month) includes 10GB of web storage, 25 FTP accounts, and support for one website. Plus (starting at $13.99 per month) ups the specs to 20GB of web storage, 50 FTP accounts, and support for five websites. Premium Hosting (starting at $16.99 per month) stands at the top of the hill with 40GB of web storage, unlimited FTP accounts, and support for 10 websites.

Those are decent shared hosting plans, but they can’t touch the excellent offerings from HostGator. This Editors’ Choice pick for shared hosting has varied and powerful packages that include Linux- or Windows-based servers, as well as unlimited storage, monthly data transfers, and email addresses across all plans. Speaking of HostGator, Web.com now powers HostGator’s website builder features, replacing the previous Gator tool.

Still, Web.com isn’t the web host to turn to if you wish to sign up for anything more than shared hosting. The service lacks cloud, dedicated, and VPS hosting plans. In fact, a Web.com customer service rep suggested that people should check out Network Solutions, the company’s sister site, for those hosting plans.


Excellent Uptime and Customer Support

Website uptime is one of the most important aspects of a hosting service. While your site is down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services—and they might not return.

To test this, we used a website monitoring tool to track the uptime of our Web.com-hosted site. Every 15 minutes, the tool pinged our website and sent us an email if it couldn’t contact the site for longer than one minute. We looked at the data for the most recent 14 days for each site’s review. In our latest tests, Web.com didn’t go down once, a noticeable improvement since our last look a few years ago. 

Web.com’s customer service is similarly reliable. We called the 24/7 customer service on a weekday evening for an explainer regarding Web.com’s shared web hosting plan. In just a few seconds, a person transferred us to the relevant department. Soon after, we chatted with a helpful representative who explained Web.com’s shared hosting plans. That same person stated that we should visit Network Solutions for higher-tier plans.

We also fired up the web chat to get details on Web.com’s security features. The helpful customer service representative explained several available features in an easy-to-understand manner. They also told us that customers can get a full refund within three days of purchase, which is stringent compared to Duda’s 30-day window. 


5 Things You Need to Know About Web Hosting
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Verdict: A Competent Web Builder and Host

As a traditional web hosting service, Web.com leaves something to be desired. But as a website builder with hosting plans, Web.com is an attractive offering. Certain editing options could be stronger, but we recommend Web.com to anyone looking for accessible and intuitive website-building tools. If you want an even more robust toolkit, consider Duda, our Editors’ Choice winner for integrating SaaS platforms, and Wix, our Editors’ Choice for free website builders.

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