WebStarts – is an industry-leading hosting and website building company that comes with a super easy drag-and-drop editor. Established back in 2004, the company has registered over 3.8 million websites built and hosted across the globe. This is a direct sign of success. The company provides its users with website building and customization, custom domains and email addresses, and a series of other features soon to be reviewed. Find out if WebStars is the website host and builder you’ve been searching through this detailed review.
Even though the features that WebStarts offers its users aren’t the most powerful in the market, they are still very competitive. Here are the most important ones broken into separate descriptions.
WebStarts features an intuitive dashboard. The drop-down menu to the left, you can select a page to modify. Once you want to add a page element, click the +Add button. You will be instantly presented with a huge selection of website features. Here is a precise list:
- Contact forms
- Social media buttons
- Doc downloads
- Music/Video players
What type of website you want to build can be regulated from the dashboard. However, the offered options can be decent for developing simple sites, and not sophisticated ones.
WebStarts offers a Blog Manager to its users. This feature enables creating, formatting, scheduling, and publishing blog posts. To access it, find the pencil icon in the editor and click it. The feature is somewhat limited and offers only basic text formatting options. All that a user can do with the text in a blog post here is to create a heading for it, bold or italicize it, and add a link. If you aim at building a media-rich blog with lots of pictures and videos, the Blogging Manager of WebStarts won’t work well for you.
Far not all website builders can boast of enabling their users to set up a page for members only. WebStarts, yet, offers the feature through the simple drag and drop system. You can add a membership app onto your website page by simply dragging and dropping it from the menu. The new Members Only page will let you approve members either automatically or manually.
Using WebStarts for building a website, be aware that you won’t be provided with a quality SEO tool in the free package. The site builder offers a glorified statistics tab to acquire real-time data, general audience preferences, and visitor demographics at a price of about $40/month. By integrating an SEO wizard you connect your site with Google Analytics, though.
You can use this feature only if you become a Business package user. The online store feature allows you to list digital or physical products for sale. However, customers are redirected outside of the site to a third-party platform for checkout. Several dependable banking methods are incorporated in this feature for conducting payments including Stripe, Authorize, PayPal, and WePay.
Furthermore, WebStarts offers various design themes to customize the look of an online store with the help of text and custom images. The product line can be customized into categories based on color and size. Obtaining this feature, users can also track their inventory.
WebStarts feature a super powerful and at the same time easy-to-use image editing tool. You are allowed to upload pictures onto your website from your Facebook page, already uploaded images, or take a still using your mobile phone camera. The site also has stock images you can feel free to choose from. Once you have chosen and uploaded pictures, use Aviary tools to edit them. By the way, image editing is possible even after they are published.
The image editing tool by WebStarts is packed with a bunch of options including lightning adjustments, filters, effects, blemish removal, cropping, and animation adding (with rotate, zoom, fade, and bounce options).
If you would like to add slideshows to your website, WebStarts welcomes you. It has the Galleries option through which you can add slideshows, let visitors view them in full screen, which is especially convenient for online stores to let their customers see products in more detail.
WebStarts allows uploading and hosting video content on a newly created website. By the way, this is the only website hosting and building provider that offers this feature in the free package.
Drag and Drop
If you find the dashboard of WebStarts a bit cluttered, you won’t think the same about the side editor. The latter is minimalistic and easy to use. You just click on an element and it appears on your toolbar. Once you have gathered all the necessary tools, drag them where you want, resize them if necessary to create the particular website layout you want.
At WebStarts you can switch the pre-viewing of how your site will look on a mobile device. The default mobile versions of created sites are far not bad. They feature touch-friendly page menus, while all the objects are centered. The responsiveness of mobile sites here makes the page objects realign to fit a smaller space whenever you shrink the screen on a mobile device. Furthermore, since WebStarts allows unrestricted content placement, some of the pictures of the desktop version might not appear on the mobile one. To fix these problems, you need to remove some objects or rearrange them. All this, however, is available in the Pro Plus or Business accounts. You can as well use the reorder Layout button for an automatic fixation of mobile viewing problems.
WebStarts has Save, Preview, and View Site buttons to check how the changes and additions you make on your site will look in the final version. After hitting the Save button, any change that you have been making before will go live enabling you to share the site via email, Twitter, or Facebook.
If the basic features don’t suffice you in creating your dream website, it’s worth considering to obtain the necessary add-ons.
One of the most useful extensions by WebStarts is the Traffic Booster. The latter allows users to get top rankings, more customers, and consequently, make more money. The add-on currently comes at a reduced price of $3.31 per month (the former price was $6.62/month) for domain submission only to Google or $4.99/month (the former price was $9.98/month) for domain submission to Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Another highly useful extension by WebStarts is the Listing Express. With this add-on, you won’t have to wait a month to be found on Google. Instead, the search engine will show your site to viewers only after a couple of hours after getting listed. The tool comes priced at a reduced cost of $59.95 (previously $119.9) for the Listing Express plan that only involves getting listed on Google in several hours, and $99.95 (previously $199.9) for the Listing Express Plus plan that involves getting listed on Google, Yahoo, and Bing in only a couple of hours.
WebStarts Design and Templates
The website builder offers its clients an impressively huge range of lovely templates entirely for free. The abundance of templates is really astounding. Overall, there are almost 50 categories and subcategories each of which includes dozens of patterns to choose from. All the themes have a sleek and modern look, hence they ensure a good first impression by your site visitors. The main categories are:
- Music and Video
- Online Stores
- Restaurants and Food
- Travel and Tourism
- Portfolio and CV
- Blogs and Forums
- Events and Design
- Fashion and Beauty
- Creative Arts
- Health and Wellness
- Landing Pages
WebStarts gives HTML access for users to build a website thoroughly meeting their needs. However, if you don’t feel like messing around with codes, the provider allows you to use the WYSIWYG editor to customize the site’s font style and font control, background images, color schemes.
Whichever template you choose, it will be fully mobile responsive. Yet, the feature is available only on Pro Plus and Business plans. This is a downside since most other website providers include mobile responsiveness as a standard feature.
Even though customer support isn’t generally approached as a selling point, we can’t but admit that WebStarts’s support is on the highest level. The company offers Pro Plus and Business plan owners to get in touch with the support through the telephone number stated on the homepage. The dedicated support team is available round the clock and answers immediately.
Free plan users, meanwhile, are welcome to contact WebStarts through live chat. One of the support team members is always there to answer clients’ queries even if those are free plan users.
Another tech support contact means is the email ticketing system. If you send an email with a detailed description of your problem, the company will answer it with a smart solution in an hour or so.
Nevertheless, if you can’t make out a website feature or need some guidance rather than problem-solving, WebStarts suggests a comprehensive knowledge base, a huge host of video tutorials, and a FAQ section. The knowledge base includes 10 categories, each with separate subsections, all presented via questions and answers.
WebStarts Pricing Plans
WebStarts offers three plans to its clients, each packed with various features. The provider also introduces a free plan which is quite a decent one for creating a simple website and operating it on a budget for a small audience. Overall, WebStarts is more expensive than many other web hosting and building companies in the industry. Yet the plans are quite rich in features and tools.
Live chat and notification center are available for all plans, including the free tier. Mobile responsiveness, for instance, is available only for paid tiers, while the eCommerce feature is only for the most expensive Business plan. Nevertheless, let’s get deeper into each tier to see which meets your requirements:
- Free Plan: The free plan offers an unlimited number of website pages, 1GB cloud storage, and 1GB per month Bandwidth. However, the ads are displayed on all pages.
- Pro Plus Plan: This WebStarts plan is ideal for teams, various organizations, clubs, and non-profit establishments. The price for the plan is currently reduced from $14.32 to $7.16 per month. Owners of this plan can use a huge array of features including a custom domain name, Google search engine submission, free advertising for $250, social media integration of such channels as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Other provided features include email address, SEO tools, unlimited available pages, 1, 000 contacts, unlimited access to galleries and slideshows, 10GB of cloud storage, 100GB per month bandwidth. Membership features, HTML Access, and mobile optimization are available for websites built with Pro Plus WebStarts site builder. Unlike with the free plan, here the created sites are all ad-free.
- Business Plan: At a reduced price of $19.99 per month instead of the former $39.98/month cost, the WebStarts Business plan is ideal for all businesses who aim to expand in the virtual sphere. This tier provides a custom domain name, search engine submission for Google, Bing, and Yahoo, $500-worth free advertising, social media integration of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. The tier also comes with 5 business addresses and SEO tools included, while the available pages, contact forms, access to slideshows and galleries, as well as the bandwidth are unlimited. Upgrading to this plan, users can get 40GB of cloud storage while their site will be completely free of ads. Other advantages of the tier involve access to Lightning Fast CDN, an online store, unlimited styles and effects, HTML, membership features, and mobile optimization.
WebStarts Competitors and Alternatives
In today’s competitive market, there are plenty of alternative website hosting and building companies that users can prioritize over WebStarts. Shopify Review, WooCommerce, Volusion are just a few to name. These are full-powered, slick, and reasonably-priced site building services. And yet, compared to them, WebStarts has quite a “richer” free plan with a 1GB bandwidth and free 1GB cloud storage space. Other companies don’t have such an offer. If it’s significant for you to have a live chat or a blog on your site, WebStarts is a good option since it offers a vast choice of templates and a lavish gallery of stock images.
On the other hand, WebStarts doesn’t advertise any SSL Certificates, and this is a real downside. An SSL Certificate would add credibility and security to your website.
WebStarts is the website builder that provides entrepreneurs with almost everything necessary to create a fully functioning website for desktop and mobile visitors. The site builder comes with more than 700 fonts and hundreds of templates to select from. It’s especially suitable for beginners since the builder has a free plan to start from. The latter includes everything necessary to create a decent site for a small audience.
However, if you are planning to enhance your business, you will have to upgrade the plan to a paid version, which is rather expensive compared to other services. At first glance, you may think the prices of Pro Plus and Business WebStarts plans are cheaper than those of others. And yet, it’s all about what you get for the money you pay, and paying for a plan at this service may end up costing you much more stress and trouble than if you would have paid a bit more for more powerful site-building services since even the paid tiers don’t give the right number of features to set up a premium-class website.
So, the verdict is as follows: WebStarts is a good choice as long as you are a novice in the sphere and need a free platform to start building your website. Or it will be an appropriate selection for those users who need a simple site. If you are none of them, perhaps you will have to apply to a more powerful site hosting and building provider for superior results.