WebStarts WebStarts
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1.5 5stars

WebStarts Review

WebStarts
Rating:
Bottom Line:
Fairly easy to use; not all plans include mobile optimization; standard website building features come at a hefty price tag with this provider

Full Review:
WebStarts claims that it has everything you need to build and maintain your own website, however, that only applies to certain plans. Unless you just need a bare-bones site (without mobile optimization), its free plan doesn't really give you everything you need for building a website.


Plans and Pricing

There are four different plan options with WebStarts, including a free plan which doesn't offer much when compared to other website builders. The free plan offers unlimited pages, 1 GB of storage and 1 GB bandwidth. There is no option to add a mobile version of your website with the free plan and you cannot add contact forms, slideshows or galleries for photos/videos. Additionally, the free plan will display WebStarts footers on all your pages and be included in your domain name (e.g. yourwebsite.webstarts.com). You do have the option to select the Pro Plus or Business plan, which do not display the WebStarts footer and also give you a free custom domain for one year.

Pro Plan
The Pro plan costs $4.89/month with an annual subscription, but this option still does not include mobile optimization for your website. This plan provides unlimited pages, up to 100 contacts through contact forms, five slideshows/galleries, 5 GB of cloud storage and 25 GB/month bandwidth.

Pro Plus Plan
The Pro Plus plan, WebStarts' most popular option according to its site, costs $7.16/month annually and provides unlimited pages, slideshows/galleries, up to 1,000 contacts through contact forms, 10 GB of cloud storage, 100 GB/month bandwidth, $250 in advertising credits and mobile optimization.

Business Plan
The Business plan is the only one that offers e-commerce options. It costs $19.99/month per year and includes everything the Pro Plus plan does, as well as unlimited bandwidth and the ability to create a fully functioning online store and add an unlimited number of items.



It's important to note that all of the paid plans are only available with a one-year commitment; there is no monthly payment option, so you will be required to pay for the full year upfront. Additionally, the free and Pro plans only offer customer support via email. Phone support is only available for those with a Pro Plus or Business plan.


Getting Started

To sign up for an account with WebStarts, simply enter your name, email address and password, or sign up with Facebook by entering those login credentials. After clicking to confirm, you will receive an email confirmation with a link to a getting started video along with your login information. You can proceed with selecting a theme for your website at this time, or upgrade your account to one of the paid plans. If you choose to upgrade, you will be prompted to enter your billing information. Trying to complete our plan upgrade was irritating, as we kept being taken to external pages that tried to get us to purchase more add-ons, such as the ability to accept credit cards on our site (for an additional $149.88/year) and adding metrics for visitors to your site (for an additional $59.28/year), both of which many website builders include in their standard plans.


Creating Your Website

WebStarts offers many different design templates to choose from in order to start building your website. You can search through them all or choose to filter by category. The list of categories was fairly extensive and included topics such as art, photography, entertainment, food and drink, law, medical, home business, games, sports, travel and weddings. You also have the option to preview any of the designs before selecting one. After this, you will select a domain name for your website and you can begin customizing it.



Editing Your Website

At the top left-hand side of your screen, there's a drop-down menu that allows you to toggle between your pages. WebStarts automatically creates three pages for you: Home, About and Contact. You can add new pages, copy existing pages and make sub pages. Under managing your page settings, you can also delete, reorder and change the title of your pages. The Add tool allows you to add text, images, boxes, buttons, galleries and slideshows to your website. The text size and color can be adjusted for both heading and paragraph text, however, we were disappointed in how little selection we had for different font types.


When uploading images, you can upload them from your computer, Facebook, Instagram or choose from WebStarts' image gallery. Unfortunately, the preexisting gallery was very basic, and most of the images looked like Clip Art images and outdated background selections. You also have these same upload options when selecting your website's background image. The contact page automatically adds a Google map of your location, so you can choose whether you'd like to enter a specific address or delete it altogether.


Other Features

Most of WebStarts' additional features are only available on its premium plans. The form builder and online store are worth mentioning, however, you should know that you will have to sign up for its most expensive plans to use either of these tools.

Social Media
WebStarts puts a default logo on your contact page that features icons for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn, but its app tools offer a little more variety. For example, you can add a Twitter follow button and it gives you several different display options to choose from. The same applies to adding other buttons for Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.


Commerce
To add an online store, you must have a Business plan account, which is WebStarts' most expensive plan, as none of the other plans allow this feature. With the store, you can create a fully customizable shopping cart and checkout forms for your website, accept credit card transactions (for an additional fee) and create custom shipping options.



Form Builder
This tool is available on all of the paid plan options; you cannot use the form builder if you're on the free plan. It allows you to build your own contact or submission form for your website, whether you want it to be super simple or more detailed. You can also edit which email address you'd like to receive form submissions at, as well as enable/disable the option to automatically add a visitor's email address to your mailing list.


Blog
You do have the option to add blog posts to your website, but this tool only gives you the very basics in doing so: blog post title, text and comments.


Customer Support

There is a FAQ page and a few video tutorials, but neither offers too much help in addressing potential questions or concerns. Customer support representatives can be reached via email or phone, but phone support is only available to those who have a Pro Plus or Business plan. This support option is available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. We never received a response via email from WebStarts, but did keep receiving promotional sales emails, which we found frustrating.


Conclusion

Overall, WebStarts was one of the pricier options for website builders that we've reviewed, especially when you take into consideration all of the features others provide in their respective free or standard plans. Its customer support is also lacking, and WebStarts seemingly cares more about selling products and services to its users than helping them with inquiries and concerns.

Compare to Other Website Building Services

If you have a question or concern we haven't answered on our site, please let us know. Your question will be added to the NextAdvisor Forums so that we and other experts in our community can answer it. Due to volume, we aren't able to respond to every question, but we answer as many as we can.



Service Details

Free Trial:Free plan option
Cheapest Plan:$4.89/mo
(w/annual plan)
Page Allowance:15 pages
SEO:Available on select premium plans
Additional Apps/Features:
Customer Service:Email, phone

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