Webs – is one of the oldest DIY website builders, which can help you effectively build and promote your small business website. This, however, does not mean that Webs cannot be used for launching personal websites or those of non-profit organizations. It’s just that the tool set of the service, its templates and features are mostly focused on the creation of websites for entrepreneurs.
The platform encompasses features that allow building different projects, contribute to the ease of use, convenience and do not require any web building skills to launch an appealing and well-structured website. This is what makes the system a worthy choice for newbies and web design pros, who don’t wish to bother about the complex web design nuances yet have an intention to get a good website ready in less than no time.
Founded in 2001, Webs was initially used for personal users’ goals until it was acquired by Vistaprint. Since that time, the system started rapidly developing, offering a diversity of features and tools. It’s hard to call Webs the most popular or functional SaaS website builder in the world, but the only fact is clear: the number of websites built with the platform has exceeded 55 millions, which is definitely one of the best proofs of the system’s strength, which speaks for itself. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get busy testing Webs, to help you make an informed decision.
1. Ease of Use
Webs can’t be called an absolutely easy-to-use website builder. It takes time to get used to its interface and dashboard, which comes with multiple sections, tabs and categories. The good news is that the system comes with the WYSIWYG website editor, which lets you take full control over the edits you make at each web page.
The drag-and-drop principle contributes to the intuitive feeling the service creates as it is you, who chooses the required elements and arranges them on a page. Most features and design elements (paragraphs, images, columns, photo galleries, contact forms, buttons and more) are movable modules. Simply select one in the lower toolbar and drag it to the page. Once you’ve positioned the element, double-click it to configure its deeper properties.
Webs interface is very easy-to-navigate, joyful and inspiring: most important tabs and links are always at your fingertips. For user convenience, it is subdivided into two areas: the Dashboard and the Builder itself. To see the full picture of what’s happening with your project, go to your Webs Dashboard. It includes such tabs as Statistics (based on their internal tracking tool), Webs Premium, Domains & Email, Form Submissions, SEO Booster, Mobile, Settings and Matching Products.
There’s also a handy Local Listings feature that helps you automatically submit your business information to over 100 local search directories including Google and Yahoo.
It’s worth mentioning that the sign up process is very quick and simple here. What you have to do is to fill out the fields, specifying your email, password and type of the website you are going to design. Right after that, you can proceed to the template selection. You’ll be able to choose between free and premium themes, their categories or even use the search filter option to specify the industry you are interested in. This also cuts down the time of template selection, not to mention the convenience factor.
2. Feature Set and Flexibility
When it comes to the feature set, Webs offers a rich number of tools to cover the prevailing amount of users’ web design needs. Whatever website type you are about to set up, you’ll find design customization, marketing and promotion features and options to get started successfully and reach the desired goals. Let’s enlist the major highlights of the website builder that distinguish the system from other popular services and, thus, are worth user attention.
Social Media Integration
With Webs, you can effectively get in touch with your visitors by integrating social media accounts into your website. What you can do here to engage user attention and keep them notified about the upcoming news, events and updates is to add social media icons, share your Twitter feed or display Facebook like box at the website.
The feature makes it easy to get your business noticed by the local community by means of adding it to the local listings directories. Just provide the business details, contact data and other facts to make it available in the search engine results. All in all, the system allows enlisting your business with over 100 local online directories in less than 5 minutes! That’s really impressive and effective!
Video and Photo Galleries
The website builder brings your project to life, making it possible to integrate and manage striking video and photo galleries that capture user attention. Whatever goal you have, when launching a website, adding photos and videos will boost user engagement rate. The system also grants image editing options, letting you crop, rotate and resize the photos added to create a unique and impressive gallery within it.
If you have an intention to add eCommerce functionality to your web store, you can do that by using the powerful integrated eCommerce engine. Setting up and managing a web store is easy with Webs. You can add and edit products, images, descriptions, multiple configurations, product statuses, assign categories to different product types etc.
Premium account users have access to the inventory tracking system that helps them manage and control their products directly in the Webs dashboard.
What’s more, it is possible to adjust payments (only PayPal payments are accepted by the system right now) and shipping options doesn’t take much time as well, even if you’ve never done that before. If you integrate your Webs store with Etsy account, you’ll get access to more advanced eCommerce and payment options. Another positive nuance is that Webs doesn’t charge any transaction fees from the sales made within the system.
Advanced Website Analytics
Webs comes with its own integrated Stats web analytics tool. It allows tracking your website statistics, find out the amount and sources of traffic, visitors’ behaviour, major profit sources, number of page views etc.
The tool lets you send email blasts to your website members. Premium plan subscribers can use their HTML coding skills for the enhanced image and text formatting options.
If you need to add a blog to your website, doing that with Webs will be just a matter of minutes. It’s easy not only to set it up, but also to edit and update the posts as well as the settings afterwards. The only thing – you should find at first where to add a blog – it’s hidden in the app page tab withtin page adding menu.
Matching Products Feature
Depending upon your website specialization, the system will offer you custom printed marketing materials. They let you offer great deals on postcards, business cards, calendars and other popular products provided by Vistaprint, the renowned Webs partner.
Webs is also concerned with your decent website promotion. A powerful SEO tool specially developed by the system experts helps organize and optimize the website content in the best way possible to make it reach high search engine rankings with no special technical skills required. Just fill out the meta tags (titles, descriptions and keywords) to boost your website ranking in the search engines. Mind that the website URL is automatically generated by the service from the name of the menu item.
|Number of Themes:||750|
|Free Themes||✔ YES|
|Responsive Design||✘ NO|
|Sort by Industry:||✔ YES|
|CSS Code Editing:||✘ NO|
Design is one of the disappointing features of the website builder. As of today, the system offers over 750 themes, all of which are mobile-ready. Regardless the extensive template selection, the themes look a bit outdated and lack flexibility when it comes to their customization. You can browse over 20 industries to find the theme that corresponds to your niche specialization. It’s also possible to use the search filter option, where you can specify the industry you are interested in and watch the available variants. The system lets you choose between free and premium themes.
What you should keep in mind is that Webs doesn’t provide HTML/CSS coding flexibility. As a result, you can’t create one-of-a-kind design, even if you wish to. This is one of the major reasons of why all Webs-based websites look pretty much the same.
Among the edits you can personally make here, it makes sense to mention an opportunity to select one of the available color schemes, customize background color/image, font styles of the website body, navigation bar and footer, upload and edit images, add taglines and titles etc. It is also possible to create your own video channel and integrate YouTube videos related to your business. Users are given an opportunity to create website structure out of modules that are subdivided into several categories for the ease of search. These include Popular, Combos, Structure, Media, Social, Commerce and other.
Apart from standard website design customization parameters, Webs lets you make use of the mobile editor version. You can choose between several mobile template designs and even customize the color scheme of each of them to make it match the general color palette of your website.
4. Customer Support
Surprisingly, Webs’ customer support is not disappointing at all – there is everything you need to find answers to your questions or problems, irrespective of its complexity, design skills or time you have in disposal. As soon as you register with the system, you are offered a comprehensive video on how to use the system. When you proceed to the web design process, however, you may encounter unexpected problems. This is where the Help section available in the Dashboard will be useful.
The first thing you’ll see here is the interactive pop-up NanoRep-based chat solution with several answer options. You’ll initially be offered to type your question and wait for the instant answer of the support team experts. Apart from that, you’ll be able to view video tutorials on how to use the system to the advantage. This is very convenient when you face any problems, since there’s no need to jump between the Knowledge base/FAQ/Support Center – you can solve all the problems in one place. Mind that these options are available for free plan users. Premium Plan subscribers will additionally get access to email support, live chat and phone support assistance.
5. Pricing Policy
Webs has a free plan, allowing users to create a website with up to 5 pages on the system’s subdomain. Undoubtedly, a free plan comes with serious restrictions, but it’s still enough to explore the service and test its major feature set. Among the restrictions you’ll face here is the opportunity to publish a website on the subdomain only, which will additionally come with the system ad-banner at the bottom of the page. eCommerce engine is not available here as well.
Do you expect more advanced functionality? Then you’ll have to upgrade to one of the paid subscriptions, which include:
|Starter:||$5.99/mo||✓ Unlimited Pages;|
✓ 1Gb Storage.
|Enhanced:||$12.99/mo||✓ 20 Web Store Products; |
✓ Premium Themes.
|Pro:||$22.99/mo||✓ Search Engine Submission;|
✓ SEO Booster.
The prices are displayed on the grounds that you will get a 2-year plan. Webs offers 30-day money back guarantee for users, who are not satisfied with the terms, services quality or feature set of the plans offered.
6. Pros and Cons
Webs is a feature-rich website builder, which works best for entrepreneurs and small business owners. There is much you can make use of here, but the platform also comes with a number of drawbacks to be kept in mind by users, who are just exploring the service as one of the potential web design options. Let’s quickly review the most distinctive merits and demerits of the system now:
| ✔ Convenient WYSIWYG website editor;|
✔ Nice customer support options;
✔ eCommerce engine;
✔ SEO Optimization.
| ✘ No code editing options;|
✘ Mediocre templates;
✘ Lack of design customization features.
7. Comparison with Competitors
It doesn’t really make sense to compare Webs with the niche leaders. This is because the system seems to keep losing its competitive positions with the lapse of time. However, let’s take a look at Webs vs Weebly comparison to find out, if there are any aspects that make the service prevail over this popular website builder.
Actually, the only glance at both website builders is enough to understand the difference. Webs definitely lacks functionality, design customization tools, integration options. This is not to mention the template quality, even though, the number of themes Webs offers is quite impressive. When it comes to the pricing policy, Webs also somewhat lags behind Weebly. The cost of plans and their number is almost the same in both systems, but Weebly is definitely the winner in this aspect as well.
|Ease of Use:||7/10|
Webs – is a website builder, which comes up to the needs and requirements of small business owners and entrepreneurs willing to establish trusted online presence for their companies. It’s quite intuitive for non-techies, yet it lacks multiple functional tools that matter a lot for more advanced users.
Let’s face it: Webs is a mixed bag. Its ease-of-use, quite decent toolset, eCommerce functionality and affordable pricing policy fall victims to unshapely mediocre templates and salesy pop-ups. While it undoubtedly lets you easily build a simple site, it’s fallen behind more contemporary offerings like Wix, uKit and Weebly (although, it has been around longer than most of its competitors).
Webs is certainly worth testing, if you’ve never worked with the service, don’t have the notions of its basics and don’t expect too much from it. However, if you are really oriented on building a full-featured business website, then it makes sense to look for the best alternatives to this platform.