Webs.com has been offering services since 2001, and today it’s powering more than 40 millions websites with more than 300 million page views per month. The longevity alone tells you why building a website with Webs.com is a good choice.
Even though a lot of other website builders have entered the market, their ability to transform complex processes into easy tasks has kept them in the first row for all the people who want to make a free website with little or zero programming skills.
Topics covered in this review:
- Summary: Overall rating * If you want to read this review and tutorial as a PDF file, you can download it HERE.
The good things about Webs:
Drag & Drop – It is very easy to add content because of their drag &drop builder. Within minutes you can have a page full of great organized content.
No Ads – You don’t have to worry about a clustered website full of ads or images that will affect your website’s loading time. There are no forced ads.
Webs.com is Free – You can use their service for free and you get all the features you need to build a nice looking website. There are a few paid options that will bring more to the table, but if you just want to test it out, then go ahead. Everything is free.
Versatility – This site allows you to create whatever kind of website you wish, whether it’s personal blog, a small eCommerce site or even a membership site.
No Storage Costs – Even though you have some limitations when it comes to storage space and bandwidth, for a small website they provide everything you need.
Membership Module – Webs.com makes it very easy to start your own membership-like website that will allow you to send bulk emails to all your members, manage how certain groups of people see the website and so on.
It’s not the best choice for a blog because there is no option to send all the new comments into moderation mode until the admin can clear them. This can be a nightmare if someone will target your website with spam comments.
Your website is not automatically made into a mobile version. You have to use their mobile editor and choose the way you want it to be seen by these kind of devices. Also, there are only a few templates for this and you will end up with one template for your mobile site and another template for your main website.
- Best for Membership Sites 2013 WBTUTORIAL REWARD
You can start using Webs.com services for free to create a good looking website with all the basic features. There are also paid memberships available if you want to experience the full power that this website builder can bring to table. You can take a look at the picture below to see what features are included in each plan.
Beside the Free membership, there are 3 paid plans with price tags for everyone’s wallet. You can take a look at the picture bellow to see what features are included in each plan.
Starter Plan – This is perfect for those that want a small website to cover their basic needs. The main benefit here is that you get to removeall the Webs.com ads and branding (like removing Webs footer ad and an ad-free mobile website).
Enhanced Plan – This is where things start to get more interesting. Besides receiving all the Starter Plan features, your brand will start to shine through with a custom domain name and a custom email addresses. These features bring more points in the professional department.
PRO Plan – The Webs.com Pro Plan is by far the most complete and the most powerful of all 3. Even though on their site the Enhanced plan is advertised as the “Most Popular”, for me the Pro plan is the best. For a difference of only $3/month I think is by far a better deal.
Why I am saying that ? First of all, because you get the SEO Booster.
But what is SEO Booster anyway ? In short, is a great help to have when you want to SEO optimize your website. It allows you to insert different titles and descriptions for every page and it helps you choose the keywords that you need in order to get targeted visitors. It is also constantly showing you where you need to improve your SEO score and how to do it.
For more details you can visit this video that explains it a little better -> http://vimeo.com/64721095
Apart from this you also get a lot more of…everything ! More space, more bandwidth, unlimited storage items and other things.
If you like the Webs.com builder and decide to pay for a monthly membership, then I recommend taking advantage of the PRO Plan.
Webs.com is WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), meaning that you can see exactly what you have done and what the website will look like. Is not like in the old times where you will write some HTML code, then save and see what it looks like.
You have the ability to preview your website even before you hit that publish button, so everything is in your total control.
Design / Themes
This is the section where Webs.com will let you down, especially if you are a picky person or have something very specific in mind as far as design is concerned. The template gallery offers only around 40 themes for you to choose from.
There are some themes that offer you the possibility to choose different colors and some will allow you to change the background image, but only from a few pre-defined images/colors; you can’t add your own image.
Another disappointment is the fact that you can’t modify anything in the HTML/CSS source code, and that’s why you can’t find third parties that offer premium/custom made Webs.com templates.
Customer support is available only for the paid members, which is something that you can understand when you realize that they host over 40 million websites.
Starter Plan – Only Email Support
Enhanced Plan – Email + Live Chat Support
PRO Plan – Email + Live Chat + Phone Support
For the Free members there is a very comprehensive knowledgebase located inside your control panel/dashboard. After trying it for a few minutes, I saw that every one of my questions got a good response. So, it’s most likely that you will find your answers inside your dashboard.
In case you still haven’t found your answer, you can also check out their forum here -> http://support.webs.com/webs
Bonuses and promotion
There are not a lot of Webs.com coupons codes, and most of those that you find on coupon sites are almost always not working.
The only real discount you can have is if you take action and upgrade in the first 24 hours after you make your account. In your Dashboard you will see a clock named “Time Remaining” close to the banner. This is where the Webs.com discount is advertised for 50% off for the PRO Plan and smaller discounts for the other two plans.
Step by Step Tutorial To Create Your First Webs.Com Website
Webs.com is a great and very user-friendly platform and where you can build a professional looking website in minutes. In this tutorial I will show step-by-step how you can do it. Let’s go !
The first thing you need to do is go to Webs.com and insert in your email address and your chosen password in the “Create an account for free!” box.
After that you need to choose the category that best describes your website. For this tutorial I will pretend that i am creating a website for my friend’s coffee shop. So I will choose “Small Business/Pro” and “Food & Beverage” for the right column.
The next step is to enter the site title. In my case it will be “Sallie’s Coffee Shop”.
Depending on what you want your website to be about, you can choose something more or less brandable.
Webs.com is dedicated to make your experience even easier with the next step. This is when they ask you to choose the pages you want your website to have, even before you complete the signup process. With a click you can add or remove any kind of pages.
On the next step you have choose a theme for your website. They will show you a selection of templates and all you have to do is to click the one you like best. You can also choose the background color/image on the same screen, because after you choose a theme, a few color dots will appear.
The last thing to do is to choose your domain name. You are presented with 2 options :
1) To use a free subdomain with the format www.YourWebsite.webs.com
2) To register and use a custom domain (that you will have to buy thru them) to have a URL like www.YourWebsite.com
For this tutorial I have chose to go with the free option, as you can see in the picture below :
When you have finished everything above, you will be transferred to the builder. Here you will start working on adding content, changing settings, adding new pages or changing your theme, if you decide that another template will be more appropriate.
One of the most important things to change is the information in the header.
On the left side you have your title (you can edit it if you want to change something) and underneath you can add your tagline/slogan or a simple description. You also have the option to add your own logo.
On the right side you will have a few buttons that will allow you to undo changes, and a preview button to see what your website will look like before hitting the publish button.
The last button is the “Page Settings” where you are presented with a few options:
Rename Page – You can rename the Home page. The change will reflect in the header’s information
MetaTags/Description – Here you can add the basic SEO information like Title, Description and Keywords. * This is available only to the paid memberships
Hide From Navbar – If you choose to hide a page from the navbar
Password Protection – If you want to keep your website private and available only to certain people. * This is available only to the paid memberships
Change Page Layout – Do you have a certain page layout in mind, maybe something with left sidebar ? Here you can choose the best one for your needs.
Revert to Published – You can undo all the changes you made since you last published the site.
Create a New Page – Self explanatory
Content Management Tools
To add content, use a custom layout or add widgets, you will drag & drop elements from the tabs you have at the bottom of your screen. Below I will talk about these 4 tabs and their purposes.
General – Here you can choose what kind of content you want to add to your page, whether it’s images, text, multimedia files or even building a form. Easily drag & drop them wherever you want, add the content you press save.
Layout – Choose how you want your page layout to be. Split it in columns, make a table or even add your custom HTML code.
Social – This is where you can add your social media or subscribe buttons. You can choose individual buttons for Facebook and Twitter or you can choose “Social Links” and insert the details for your favorite social media sites (you can choose from 10 sites).
Commerce – If you choose to create a eCommerce site or just selling a few products, this where you can find the payment buttons (PayPal and Google Checkout supported).
Creating A Page
In my test website I have opted to not use a pre-defined layout, just to see how hard it would be to customize it the way I want. And to my surprise, I have finished a full page with a lot of different elements in just a few minutes.
The elements I used:
- Image & Text
- 2 Columns from the Layout tab
- In the first column I added a Youtube video
- In the second column I added Google Maps
- Social Links
Sounds like a lot, right? Well, as I said earlier, in just a few minutes the pages were done. The most time consuming part was the content I added (selecting the images, the vide etc).
Below you can see the result:
If you want to see what you can achieve in a matter of minutes, just take a look at this Sample Site i have done for this tutorial.
* If you want to listen the short version of this review, be sure to check our Webs podcast here.