Is Web.com still relevant? Is their web hosting even worth it? What about their site builder? With a name like Web.com, you know their old school. Let's dive into the review to see if they're a fit for your pocketbook.
Web.com Review – Are they worth it?
Web.com is a public web hosting company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. Founded in 1997, Web.com is among the longest running and most well recognized web hosting providers on the market. At the end of 2014 they had over 3.3 million subscribers. The company also owns Network Solutions and Register.com.
How good is Web.com?
Web.com might have been a trail blazer back in the dotcom boom, but their services can't keep up in today's market that is so saturated with innovative and competitively priced hosting companies. Web.com charges exorbitantly high prices for very limited, basic services. Certainly no web host is perfect, and any company's fit depends on your project. But Web.com gives very few reasons to recommend them. While they can coast on their name recognition and corporate might, Web.com's services are seriously lacking in almost every department.
- Linux-based and Windows-based Plans
- Excellent Uptime
- Drag and Drop Site-Builder
- Shared Hosting Only
- Upsells at Every Turn
- Very High Fees - Plans are Not All-Inclusive
- Several Complaints with the Better Business Bureau
- Frustrating Customer Service Experience
- Misleading Introductory Promises and Renewal Rates
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Our Official Web.com Hosting Review
You may recognize Web.com from their TV commercials featuring very tech-unsavvy small business owners, or perhaps from their sponsorship of the PGA Tour. As one of the largest and longest running web hosts available, Web.com has excellent name recognition and the funds to advertise widely. But as the web hosting industry has grown leaps and bounds in recent years, Web.com has failed to keep up with their new competitors' levels of service.
Best Features Web.com Hosting
Web.com does promise some attractive services, but the growing height of industry standards make them look very basic in comparison. Here are a few reasons why someone might want to sign up for a shared hosting plan with Web.com:
Both Linux-based and Windows-based Plans
Web.com has both Linux-based and Windows-based hosting plans. They are not the only company that offers this choice; GoDaddy, for instance, also offers both platforms. But this choice of both Linux- and Windows-based hosting is becoming rarer and rarer as most web hosting companies choose to offer only one.
Will Build a Facebook Business Page for You
Web.com promises to build a Facebook Business Page for new clients. This marketing ploy is obviously directed at older, less technically inclined business owners. But creating a Facebook page is probably one of the easiest things anyone can do on the internet. Especially given that Facebook's largest growing demographic is currently senior citizens, it is hard to imagine anyone being so stressed out by the thought of creating a Facebook page that this service would be so attractive. Perhaps this is a selling point for those who prefer to eschew the internet all together, but for those with even the most basic internet competency, we recommend taking 10 minutes to make your own Facebook business page.
Domain Name Purchasing and Registration
Signing up with Web.com includes a free domain registration, which they do themselves rather than operating through a third party registrar. But watch out for the renewal rate. While your first year is free, Web.com charges $37/year to renew your domain, which is more than double than the typical industry standard. GoDaddy, for instance, charges $14.99 to renew your domain after the first year. Services like NameCheap will cost even less. While the free domain upon sign up might be tempting, we recommend buying your domain somewhere else if you plan on using Web.com as your web hosting provider. That is, of course, unless you only intend to own the URL for a year.
Low Introductory Pricing
Web.com offers some seriously low introductory rates for new customers. Their Website Builder Package is just $1.95 for the first month. The fine print, however, absolutely needs to be addressed. This is only the for the first month, after which the rates soar more than 1000% to $22/month. This gets also more and more expensive if you add on extras like SSL certificates, key metrics reporting, etc.
We may have qualified each and every pro associated with Web.com up until this point. But the fact of the matter is they they do have truly excellent uptime. At 99.99% for the last decade, their record here is untarnished.
Downsides of Web.com Hosting
Web.com has a pretty terrible reputation among both web professionals and average customers. So terrible in fact that it makes you wonder how they can be one of the largest and longest running companies in the business. Here are some of the central reasons why you should seek web hosting services elsewhere:
Pricing Structure is Both Expensive and Misleading
As mentioned earlier, Web.com has some tempting introductory pricing options that are likely to appeal to first time web masters. But unlike most other web hosting providers, Web.com does not structure their services like packages. It is terribly difficult to gauge how much their services will cost without actually placing items in your shopping cart. Furthermore, it is unclear what kind of storage and traffic limitations you are paying for as this isn't broken down clearly anywhere on their site. (To see a company that does a great job of this, check out A2 Hosting)
Many things that come standard as part of a fixed price with other companies cost extra with Web.com. Site building tools, SSL certificates, metrics monitoring… all of this costs extra, on top of the already high $22/month they charge for their most recommended plan. Checkout is the only time you will see a line-by-line breakdown of the true cost and the services you're receiving.
You can expect to encounter upsells at every turn with Web.com, all of which are couched in confusing and misleading language. They recommend you pay extra to have your site optimized for mobile; forget that there are countless free WordPress templates that include this. You can also pay extra to have them take care of your “Online Marketing Need,” where they will in effect simply submit your site to directories like YellowPages.com. They also recommend paying extra for security; is this something that is completely absent from their hosting plans to begin with?
Dig around their website and you may come across “Hosting Plans” rather than “Websites.” These hosting plans are more affordably priced, renewing at $12.95/month on their most basic plan. But upon further investigation you'll realize that these are essentially the same products (web hosting, a domain, and website building tools) but with different names and different prices. The language of their site feels very different from most hosting companies. It leads one to suspect that perhaps they shy away from using words like “hosting” in favor of words like “website design” to lure in folks who are completely green on the web.
A Very High Number Complaints with the Better Business Bureau
As of November 2016, Web.com has had 567 customer complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau. These are only complaints filed within the last three years. Most relate to wrongful charges and billing inconsistencies, with plenty relating to unfulfilled service level agreements as well. Even for such a large company, this number is truly staggering and should be a red flag for anyone considering doing business with them.
Web.com does not offer VPS or dedicated hosting plan. They only offer three different plans – all of them on shared servers. This is an indicator that Web.com is not built for customers looking to scale and caters pretty much exclusively to novice webmasters. Anyone who plans to incorporate e-commerce in to their website should look elsewhere.
Lacking Customer Support Services with Tons of Upsells
Web.com routes nearly all of their customer support services to their call centers. They lack the live-chat features that most modern companies now offer. That is not necessarily an indicator that support is lacking, but unfortunately Web.com does not redeem themselves. For one thing, it would be in everyone's best interest to have robust troubleshooting resources readily available online, like competitor HostGator. It could also save a lot of time if customers were able to submit support tickets on their own (currently, this can only be done on the backend via phone support). Instead, the only way to get help from Web.com is to call. And when you call, their support personnel are trained to bombard you with upsells after they've solved your problem.
If you have spent any time at all shopping around for web hosting providers, one look at Web.com's main pages is enough to give you an idea that their business model is somehow different from the norm. Conspicuously missing are detailed descriptions of their different levels of service, discussions of diskspace and site traffic, or any mention of security. Web.com seems to target customers who know close to nothing about getting a website up and running, and therefore don't know any better than to pay a very high price for incredibly lackluster services.
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