By Pete Griffin
There are more than a few factors to consider when choosing the best host for your business’s website. Web.com is well-known for offering a broad range of plans and options, but will all business owners find exactly what they need?
Web.com likes to make a lot of noise about its low pricing. In fact, the website builder-slash-hosting provider offers a price-match guarantee you can redeem if you find a comparable service for a lower price elsewhere during your first two weeks of use. The host is certainly cost-competitive, knocking a decent handful of cents off most other major hosts in the market. This low pricing doesn't appear to eat into the hosting packages it provides, with each serving up a decent and industry-standard array of services, space, and tools. Despite the low rates advertised, though, many Web.com reviews criticize the company for questionable pricing practices.
This is a growing provider, and for good reason. Initially Web.com came on the scene as a website builder, before fulfilling customer demand for domain registration. In 2001, it branched out into Web hosting to ensure customers enjoyed low-cost, good quality hosting alongside their other services. From secure email accounts to a free domain name with every hosting plan, your Web.com login gives you the keys to this company’s great bespoke website building service, and access to the online services required to start up, set up, and run a website.
With an abundance of offerings on its menu of services, this platform has options for almost anyone seeking a dependable host. But even beyond hosting services, there are some enticing treats for users. The selection of Web.com templates in the website builder come in tons of colors and designs suitable for a website in almost any industry. Another appealing aspect of Web.com, email hosting is included with plans at no additional charge. Plus, although there isn’t a Web.com Wiki per se, if you ever find yourself confounded by anything about this host, the help section can be a real lifesaver.
With unlimited storage space, bandwidth, and e-mail accounts, Web.com features hosting plans that certainly hold their own against the competition. When you combine a year of free domain registration, unlimited bandwidth, the choice of a Linux or Windows server, extensive scripting language support, and database tools with the host's highly competitive pricing, Web.com websites and hosting plans begin to look like a very good deal. But before you commit to using this host to meet your needs, be sure to check out some Web.com examples at the company’s Sample Gallery (http://websites.web.com) to make sure this tool is right for you.
From one-click installation of WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and osCommerce, to easy access to osTicket, BBClone, and Help Center Live, Web.com makes it simple to get started with more than 25 helpful tools that give you the power to do pretty much anything. From offering live-chat assistance on your website, to running a powerful e-commerce store, the Web.com open-source application selection is relatively small, but full of all the tools you need to run things your way. And if you get stuck at any point of the process, the helpful Web.com tutorials can help clear the way for you.
The uptime guarantee from Web.com’s nameservers for UNIX customers is a market-leading 99.99%. Other customers should enjoy equally good uptime as each calculation is measured by the uptime for Web.com's customer base as a whole, across every hosting system. Unfortunately, however, Web.com is not able to offer a guarantee for non-UNIX users. However, you should expect to see near-perfect uptime and fast page loading speeds. Just be sure to keep that in mind when it comes time to look at your Web.com billing statement.
Web.com offers three key hosting plans, designed to suit budgets and projects of all shapes and sizes. Remember, while the website shows pricing from $0.50 on its front page, these are introductory rates. These discounted rates will rise after your first four weeks of use. While Web.com's monthly fees are still amongst the lowest you'll see from major providers, they will set you back more than the special introductory rate, which is something to be aware of. Let's take a closer look:
Essential ($5.95 after first month of use)
This is Web.com's most basic, low-cost package, perfect for hosting blogs and small websites. If you're not planning to build anything fancy online, this plan will likely offer ample hosting space (300GB), plenty of FTP accounts (30), more than enough email inboxes (100), and a surplus of MySQL databases (25). Combine these features with unlimited bandwidth and a year of free domain registration, and you'll have everything you need to get started with your site on Web.com.
Professional ($7.95 after first month of use)
If you want to go a little further than a basic website or a blog with an “About Me” page, you're going to want a little more juice in the tank, particularly if your site is going to use a lot of multimedia. This plan offers everything provided by the Essential plan plus more disk space (500GB), 50 FTP accounts, and 500 multi-user email inboxes. All this, and the monthly Web.com cost is only slightly more.
Premium ($9.95 after first month of use)
If you're planning an even more serious undertaking, sometimes it's better to have a little freedom. Premium is a plan that offers in spades with unlimited disk space, unlimited MySQL databases, unlimited data transfer, unlimited FTP accounts, and more. Build what you want, how you want and never worry about reaching your plan limits again.
Although this platform gets a lot of flak for not being the most modern or intuitive tool around, many Web.com hosting reviews laud the service for its ease of use. The interface is a bit unorthodox and does take some getting used to, but after a few minutes, navigating the site becomes a no-brainer. And if you have a domain on another platform that you’d like to migrate over to this company’s servers, Web.com domain transfers are a breeze thanks to the host’s streamlined tools. Plus, another great thing is the offerings and interface are always getting better. So keep your eyes on platform’s Small Business Forum for Web.com news that might affect you.
For first timers and creators of brand new websites, Web.com's builder can prove a real benefit. From “do it yourself” Web builders with over 9,000 design templates to choose from, to an array of bespoke custom building services, the other side of Web.com will help you create something that looks great and represents your project, personality or business online. These services are not free with Web.com hosting, but are easily accessible through the provider.
As is the case in any industry with competition, certain companies excel in some areas, and fall short in others. Here’s a quick look at what makes Web.com stand out from the crowd.
Web.com keep their customer support pretty simple, there is no live chat function, but with a responsive freephone line and email service (with only a few delays at peak times), it's not difficult to get in touch with someone who can help.
If you're setting up an entire website with Web.com, the provider will go to great lengths to really understand your requirements with a 20-30 minute phone interview to get a handle on exactly what you need from your hosting provider. This is a refreshingly personal touch from a web host. Few other providers offer this type of helpful “getting to know you” service, which can help you navigate and avoid potential hitches and roadblocks along the way.
Should you run into difficulty but want to fix the issue yourself, the Advice & Resources section of Web.com comes in handy, with articles and reference on how to solve some of the more simple problems.
Web.com’s support options are pretty simple; there is no live-chat function, but with a responsive phone line and email service (with only minor delays at peak times), it's not difficult to get in touch with someone who can help.
If you're interested in setting up an entire website with this host, you should first call Web.com’s phone number. The provider will then go to great lengths to really understand your requirements with a 20-30 minute phone interview to get a handle on exactly what you want from your website. This is a refreshingly personal touch from a Web host. Few other providers offer this type of “getting to know you” service, which can help you navigate and avoid potential hitches and roadblocks along the way.
Should you run into difficulty but want to fix the issue yourself, the Advice & Resources section of Web.com comes in handy, with articles and reference on how to solve some of the more simple problems. More often than not, though, you may wish to speak to a support representative. If that’s the case, just dial Web.com at 1-800-311-2707 for the help you seek.
There’s good news if you’re looking to save some money before you pull the trigger on a new hosting plan. It’s not too tough to find Web.com discounts that can save you a bundle at checkout. To get your hands on these great offers and Web.com promo codes, just head to your favorite search engine, and enter a quick query for Web.com coupons. At the top of the results you should find some links to different sites that aggregate money-saving deals. Examine your options carefully, and you’ll likely be able to save a few bucks.
Despite the fact that Web.com free trials aren’t offered for the company’s hosting plans, you can take advantage of a few other website services without shelling out any additional dough. When you sign up for any of the hosting plans from Web.com, a free domain name is included for the first year, as is access to the platform’s full-featured website builder. So even though there’s no way to test the hosting capabilities without entering your credit card info, you do get access to some products and services that come bundled with your hosting plan.
Although there isn’t a traditional Web.com cPanel interface, this platform does have a comparable back-end offering. Web.com’s hosting control panel gives customers the ability to manage the many aspects of their online presence, all in one convenient location. Some of the tasks you can take care of in this area include accessing all sorts of server logs and traffic statistics. You can also set up email accounts, maintain databases, and manage file uploads and downloads in this section of Web.com’s site.
Existing somewhere between dedicated servers and cloud hosting options, virtual private servers (VPS) are a popular option for users with greater needs. But since most webmasters don’t need such advanced technology, these plans certainly aren’t for everyone. Web.com realizes that and, as such, doesn’t give its customers the option to sign up for VPS. Fortunately, the company’s shared-hosting options work well and are more than adequate for most individuals and small-business owners.
At the core of Web.com’s hosting options are the company’s shared plans, which meet the needs of most users. Web.com’s shared plans let multiple webmasters store their sites on the same server, allowing them to split the cost of the hardware and maintenance. And since many owners of small businesses don’t have great enough needs—or the budget—to justify getting a dedicated server, these standard plans are a safe bet for most users.
Many webmasters who operate high-traffic sites prefer to use dedicated servers because they offer greater stability than shared options. Web.com, however, does not offer dedicated hosting plans, so your options are somewhat limited. If your website doesn’t receive a ton of traffic or if you’re just getting started with your first site, one of Web.com’s shared hosting plans will more than likely satisfy all of your requirements.
Cloud hosting is a flexible and powerful type of technology that’s a relatively new option in the marketplace. Sites hosted in the cloud can potentially enjoy more uptime than sites stored on shared or dedicated servers, though they’re also more susceptible to attack and generally contain more privacy vulnerabilities. And while cloud hosting is one of fastest-growing types of services in the industry, many of the top hosts do not offer it—Web.com included. So if you’re seeking this type of technology for your own site, you may wish to look elsewhere.
The Web.com email experience is actually quite impressive. The user interface is smartly designed and more intuitive than many other aspects of this host’s platform. Even users of the most modern email services will find themselves right at home with Web.com mail. But if you prefer to stick with whatever client you’re currently using, it’s easy to adjust your Web.com email settings to keep the same inbox you’ve come to know and love.
So is Web.com a good host? Though the plans are very cost-competitive, this platform isn't the flashiest Web host out there. However, if you're looking for a simple enough service that offers all the tools required to get a website up and running, this low-cost provider will tick all of the most important boxes. As is stated in many customers’ Web.com hosting reviews, you won't get bells, whistles, or super-sophisticated options from this company, but you will get a dependable hosting provider at a reasonable price.