I doubt that WebStarts was the first company to pop up when you began your search for a website builder online.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t offer a simple and intuitive way for even a complete novice to build a website for their business.
Because they definitely do as you’ll discover for yourself right here in this review.
WebStarts Summary (Inc Pros & Cons)
Full Review Breakdown
1. Templates – Good Looking Designs But Nothing Special
You’ll quickly notice that there are over 100 professional looking design templates to choose from and it’s these templates that decide the look and feel of your website.
They cover a number of industries such as;
- Animals and pets
- Art and photography
- Food and drink
- Health and fitness
- Real estate
- Plus many more
For the purpose of this review, I chose a cleaning business theme and I have to say that in general, they look modern and are well designed.
If you want something outside of the standard offerings, WebStarts give you the option of starting from scratch with a blank canvas template.
One thing I found annoying is that while you’re able to customize your chosen template as I mentioned in the previous section, you have to do so within a certain boundary and you can’t do much outside of this area.
The reason is so that everything fits nice and snug and will look and function properly when viewed on a smaller device such as a smartphone.
I like the templates, I do. But to be completely honest, I think they are fairly “middle of the road” in comparison to some of their competitors.
2. Ease of Use – A Pleasure To Use
One of the first things that caught my attention after creating my account and choosing the type of website I wanted was the short video explaining how everything works.
While it may not seem like a big deal and something you’d expect as standard, it’s not always the case.
Once you get inside, the editor works on drag and drop technology allowing you to simply click on an image or piece of text, then either edit that particular element or move it elsewhere as long as it’s within the pre-defined area.
You’ll find the main menu runs across the top and down the left-hand side of the screen which is where you head when you want to add new pages, images, videos, forms, or other “apps” which we’ll be looking at a little further on.
3. Mobile-Friendly With The Option To Customize
When a person visits a website from a tablet or smartphone, you’ll usually find they are more interested in seeing if you offer the service they require, and then quickly finding your contact details rather than reading about the history of your business and how you got started.
You could just create your main site and not worry about the mobile version as you can rest assured it’ll look good and work great on mobile devices.
However, WebStarts also offers a separate mobile editor so you can arrange things differently ensuring the most important elements of your site are visible first.
Although I found it a little fiddly, I do like this feature.
4. Tools & Features
Contact form: You’ll have access to a form builder which allows you to add as many fields as you wish (name, email, etc). You can also ask multiple choice questions as well as offering checkboxes and drop down menus.
Social media: Sometimes it feels like I’m the only person in the world who’s not crazy about social media. For everyone else who is, you can add follow and like buttons, and even live feeds directly into your site from the biggest social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.
Customer reviews: If you have existing customers reviews on site like Yelp, you can grab a small snippet of code and paste into your Webstarts site using the Embed code option (HTML). It’s very simple to do and the reviews will display on your website.
Bookings/appointment scheduling: Webstarts integrates with Google Calendar which enables you to display your availability directly on your site. Alternatively, if you use third-party booking software then you can display it using HTML in the same way as customers reviews (Wix have a native booking system).
Newsletter: You can build an email list by capturing visitors’ email addresses using the standard form builder. Your contacts are stored in the Webstarts internal mailing system and you can contact them from there. I should point out that this doesn’t integrate with any other email platforms such as MailChimp.
Members Login: You can allow visitors to sign up to your website as a member and they’ll be able to login and access certain pages of your site that aren’t accessible to the general public.
Multilingual: The only real option to add other languages to your website is to use the Google Translate feature. While this may be okay for very simple translations, it’s not the ideal solution for a full-blown bilingual or multilingual website in which case Duda is a stronger option.
Search engines: You can add page titles and descriptions, and also ALT tags to your images that explain the picture which not only good for search engines but more importantly, your visually impaired visitors. You’ll have to create a sitemap yourself which can then be uploaded to your site. I couldn’t find a way to change individual page URL’s which isn’t the end of the world but also not ideal.
Blogging: My chosen template already had a blog in the menu. I simply clicked on it and was quickly able to add a new post, format it, and also add an image. While the in-house blogging feature may not rival WordPress or Squarespace, it does get the job done as long as blogging isn’t the primary function of your site.
Visitor stats: If you want to keep track of how many people are visiting your site and let’s face it, we all do, then Webstarts provides you with a basic hit counter. If you want more advanced information such as your most visited pages and the devices people used to access your site, you can hook your site up to Google Analytics which is free.
eCommerce: It only took me a few minutes to add a store to my site, add a product, create variants (such as different sizes), set the price, add taxes and set-up shipping options. Customers will then be sent to the checkout where they’re able to complete the payment through Paypal or Stripe which will allow them to use a major credit card. The platform works well if you only intend to sell a few products but if you have something bigger in mind then you may need to look elsewhere.
5. Customer Support
If you encounter a problem, need to change or add something to your site, then your first port of call should probably be to head over to the support tutorials.
They cover just about every aspect of creating your website through a plethora of very detailed, easy to follow written tutorials and videos.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for then you can contact the support team via live chat or their email ticket system.
I was trying to add a clickable phone number to my site and couldn’t find a way to do it. I clicked on live chat but it was unavailable at that time.
Instead, I sent an email quite late at night and woke up to a response the next morning solving my issue.
I also received a follow-up email from the team the next day just to check that I had managed to solve my issue and instructed me to get in touch if I needed anything else which I thought was a nice touch!
6.What Do Others Think?
WebStarts claim to have 3.8 million users and so I decided to check out some customer reviews on TrustPilot.
I was surprised to see so many user reviews singing their praises and giving WebStarts an overall score of 9.2 out of 10.
Most of the negative reviews seemed to be about poor customer service which I have to admit, I found to actually be quite good.
7. Pricing – Which Plan Will Suit Your Best?
The good news is, when WebStarts say they give you a free website, they actually mean it, albeit a fairly basic one.
Other platforms try to lure you in with this offer, and then you later find out it’s more of a free trial and your site can’t be accessed by anyone other than yourself once the trial period ends.
When you sign up, you’ll be able to choose a free website domain name such as yourwebsite.WebStarts.com.
You’ll also have to put up with an ad running across the bottom of your site but that is to be expected.
Should you wish to upgrade your account to a premium plan (no pressure), you’ll have access to more features. You can see pricing below.
**Note: The prices shown below are per month but please be aware they are billed annually. There isn’t a pay-monthly option.
Free Plan: $0 – Good for testing purposes and very basic websites.
Pro Plan: $4.89 per month – No ads, social media integration, contact forms with up to 100 contacts.
Pro Plus Plan: $7.16 per month – As above with a free domain name for one year, SEO tools, membership features, and mobile optimized.
Business Plan: $19.99 per month – As above with 5 free business email addresses, contact forms with unlimited contacts and option for an online store.
I recommend starting with the free plan before deciding whether to commit.
If you decide Webstarts is a good fit, the Pro Plus plan seems the best value for money to me unless you’re serious about selling products in which case you may want to consider the business plan.
7. Conclusion – Should You Use Webstarts?
You could definitely do a lot worse than to create your site with WebStarts. They offer all of the essential features such as the ability to sell products, a blog, and your site will look good on mobile devices.
I was very pleased with the customer service (despite some user reviews), and to top it off they are reasonably priced.
I just wish they had a pay monthly option as not everyone wants to pay the yearly cost up front.