webstarts site builder review for bloggers

WebStarts Site Builder: Full Featured Site Builder for Bloggers

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WebStarts was founded by Adam Barger, who was frustrated with the long wait times and the high cost of hiring professional web designers, as well as the limited flexibility offered by many of the do-it-yourself website builders available. Since then, WebStarts has been used to build over 3.8 million websites.

WebStarts provides an easy-to-use website builder that allows businesses (both small and large) to build and maintain their site with ease and without relying on professional web designers. It also partners with web developers looking to sell customized websites, offering the developers wholesale pricing on domains and websites built using the WebStarts site building tool.

webstarts site builder review for bloggers

Features

WebStarts claims that their product has more features than any other website builder. Here’s what they offer.

Design

The foundation of all WebStarts sites are the templates. WebStarts offers several dozen templates from which you can choose. Afterward, you can do as little as changing the copy on the site, or you can revamp everything, from copy to images to backgrounds. When building your site, you have access to advanced styling controls that allow you to customize virtually every aspect of your site, from the header to the footer. If you know HTML and CSS, there’s nothing that you can’t change — if you don’t, the WebStarts editor is powerful enough that you can build the site that fits your needs.

WebStarts comes with mobile optimization tools, which allow you to create a website that looks good no matter what device your visitor is using. You can also use anchor links with ease — for mobile users, scrolling is much quicker than clicking, yet anchor tabs allow such sites to be used with ease on larger devices as well.

If you want to share video, WebStarts offers free video hosting, which means that you don’t have to work with third-parties, such as YouTube or Vimeo. If you work with images, you can use the integrated image editing tools to crop, resize, and apply effects to your images. If you don’t have as many images as you’d like, you’ll get access to the Image Library, which you can use freely.

Communication

WebStarts makes it easy to include live chat and a blog on your site. Users enjoy engaging with you via live chat, and keeping a blog means better search engine rankings, since Google looks for new content over the stale. You’ll also be able to support custom forms, which allows you to do things like collect email addresses to build your marketing lists.

Ecommerce

If you’re interested in building an online shop in addition to your website, WebStarts’ ecommerce tools allow you to sell products and accept credit cards as payment immediately.

Technical

All WebStarts sites come with automatic domain setup, which means that once you’ve created your site and chosen your domain, everything will begin working almost automatically. Paid plans also get search engine submission, which means that WebStarts will notify Google that your site exists and should be indexed and included in results pages.

WebStarts also utilizes CDNs, which means that your site is served from the server closest to your visitors, ensuring that everything loads as quickly as possible.

WebStarts also creates a site map automatically. This makes it easy for search engine crawlers to index your site, leading to better rankings and a greater chance of your site showing up before others’.

webstarts site builder

Pricing and Billing

WebStarts offers a free option, which allows you to take your time and try out the product. You’ll be able to create an unlimited number of pages and store up to 1 GB of content. The downside is that you don’t get any multimedia features, SEO or marketing perks, mobile optimization, access to the HTML source code, ecommerce features, or CDN usage.

While you can easily build a website using the free option and call it a day, WebStarts sees this as a trial that lasts as long as you want. There is no specified trial period, but the goal is to let you try everything out for as long as you’d like, then have you upgrade to a paid plan if you need additional features.

Paid Packages

If you’ve decided that you want to opt for a paid plan, there are three plans from which you can choose.

The most basic paid plan gets you support for contact forms, slideshows and galleries, and a greater allocation of bandwidth and cloud storage. Your site is ad-free.

The next level up gets you everything in the free and basic-level plans, plus marketing credits, SEO tools, additional contact form support, unlimited slideshows and galleries, 10 GB of cloud storage, and 100 GB of bandwidth per month. Your site is also ad-free and mobile optimized, and you can edit the HTML source code.

The top tier plan, aimed at businesses looking to expand, comes with everything the lower tiered plans do, as well as increases to your allocation of marketing credits, five email addresses, support for an unlimited number of contact forms, 40 DB of cloud storage, no bandwidth limits, access to ecommerce tools, and CDN usage.

The two highest-level packages come with a free domain name.

If none of these packages meet the needs of your company, you can contact the sales team for additional information about the business development and enterprise solutions.

Contract Lengths

When using WebStarts, you’ll have to pay for your contract upfront. Contracts come in lengths of one to five years, with the longest contracts receiving the biggest discounts on their subscriptions.

Cancellations and Refunds

If at a later date, you choose to cancel your subscription to WebStarts, you’ll be able to take your domain with you to your new host. You can also take your entire website with you. You can close your account at any point, and there are no fees or penalties for doing so. However, we were not able to confirm whether you would receive a prorated refund if you cancel before your contract expires.

Private Domain Registration

If you’re registering a new domain name, you have the option of paying for Private Domain Registration. All domain registrars are required to maintain a directory of those who have registered domains, but by opting for this service, your personal information, including name, address, and email address, are hidden and not displayed to those perusing the directory.

Customer Service and Support

WebStarts provides support to those with the two highest level subscription packages. If you need to talk to someone on the WebStarts team, you can get in touch via the contact form on the website, send an email, or call the team Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM (UTC-7). Email support, however, is provided around the clock. For all other subscribers, there’s an in-depth support area with documentation to which you can refer.

While the number of customers who can request support is limited, those who do have the ability to work with the support team are generally pleased with the assistance they receive (as demonstrated by the company’s A+ Better Business Bureau rating).

If you’re interested in getting in touch with the WebStarts team via social media, the company maintains profiles on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube.

Partnerships and Affiliate Programs

WebStarts offers a free affiliate program where you can earn up to $300 for each person you refer that signs up.

WebStarts also partners with web designers to offer low-cost WebStarts sites. You’ll get wholesale prices on websites and domains, and you can brand the sites you build with your own name, logo, and contact information. Then, you’ll sell the completed websites to your clients, and all profits over the wholesale cost of the websites and domains are kept by you. You can also streamline your development process using custom templates created by you, as well as handing over access to your clients so that they can update their own websites after the initial build cycle.

Check out WebStarts site builder »

Summary

WebStarts is an easy-to-use, full-featured website builder that allows you to create sites even if you don’t have much experience with design or technical knowledge. The company strives to make getting up and running with an online presence as easy as possible, and the interface you use has been designed with that in mind.

webstarts site builder

While Webstarts offers a free option and a basic plan, these options are limited in terms of the features you get. Regardless, the top two plans are still very reasonable in price, and the company has a reputation for providing excellent customer service if you ever need help.

Finally, if you’re a web developer looking for tools to streamline your workflow, WebStarts offers wholesale pricing on sites and domains to people like you.

Katie is a C# developer-turned-technical writer. She’s also an avid reader, swimmer, doer of the NYT Crossword Puzzles in ink, and sweater knitter. She has a love/hate relationship with JavaScript and thinks that package managers are the best things since sliced bread.
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