Web.com: Our Review & Host Profile

One of the biggest names in the Web hosting game, Web.com combines straightforward shared hosting with a variety of add-on services to create a one-stop shop for customers looking to build professional websites that are live in record time.

Features

Web.com’s hosting plans are limited to shared hosting, but the company offers two kinds of website plans, based on intended function: template-based guided hosting (including “We Build It,” “Do It Yourself,” and “eCommerce” ready-to-roll sites) and standard Web hosting.

Template-based Hosting Features

These hosting plans range from a no-touch, fully-professional website built to your specifications, to a DIY template website, to a fully-featured site optimized for eCommerce. For the “We Build It” plan, Web.com takes care of everything from the initial interview through design, SEO optimization, and support.

  • Free domain
  • A hosted, custom-designed website that includes:
    • Unlimited* domains and sub-domains
    • Unlimited* drive space
    • Unlimited* data transfer/bandwidth
    • Unlimited* MySQL databases
    • Support for Unlimited* email addresses with webmail (POP3 and IMAP)
    • A free toll-free number, with customer message tracking.
    • SEO optimization services, including search engine submission and a Google Places™ listing
    • 24/7/365 U.S.-based support via phone/Web/email
    • Unlimited* design and content changes during the first 30 days
    • 60 minutes of free editing and design support each month
    • Website editing tool for content updates
    • Full support for:
      • Perl
      • PHP 5
      • Python
      • Zend™ libraries
      • Ruby On Rails
      • Server-Side Includes
      • Multimedia streaming

Web.com’s “We Build It” package (also known as “eWorks! XL”) is truly full-service. It is quite pricey by most shared hosting standards, but includes a wealth of services that, if added individually, would most likely exceed the hosting fees.

The “DIY” package offers the same level of hosting and resources, but eliminates the consultation and  and allows you to jump in with Web.com’s Site Builder software, building your site from one of more than 9,500 available templates.

If you’re looking to build a professional online storefront in a jiffy, the eCommerce plan adds SSL security, payment gateway support, and 10 GB of storage to the DIY plan, along with a proprietary storefront control panel and support for up to an unlimited* (in theory) number of products and customers.

In addition to the services included in this package, you can also purchase extended value-added services such as Facebook Boost (a custom Facebook page for your business), Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certification for your eCommerce site, or ReputationAlert, a service designed to monitor and actively protect your business’ reputation online. All of these services (and many more) are available for additional monthly fees.

Standard Shared Hosting Features

If sitting back and paying someone else to build and manage your website doesn’t sound too appealing, you can check out Web.com’s standard shared hosting. All three plans (“Essential,” “Professional,” and “Premium”) on this tier are UNIX-based and follow a more traditional hosting model.

  • Free domain for one year
  • Template-based website builder
  • 300 GB, 500 GB, or Unlimited* drive space
  • Unlimited* data transfer/bandwidth
  • 10 or 25 Pop3/IMAP email accounts, with up to 125 GB of email storage
  • 25, 50, or Unlimited* FTP accounts
  • 25, 50, or Unlimited* MySQL databases
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Automatic backup and restore service
  • One-click application/script installations via Web.com’s Open Source Applications library
  • Full support for:
    • eCommerce (OsCommerce, Magento)
    • Blogging/content management software (CMS)
    • Perl
    • PHP 5
    • PHPMyAdmin
    • Python
    • Zend™ libraries/li>
    • Ruby On Rails
    • Server-Side Includes
    • Multimedia streaming
    • Microsoft exchange (additional fees apply)

*As a rule, “unlimited” in the context of shared hosting generally denotes “limitless until you negatively impact server performance, at which point you may be billed or transferred to a more costly service tier.”

Benefits Breakdown

The Good

Web.com offers premium services at a premium price. As one of the best-known names in hosting, it’s grown into a one-stop shop for hosting, eCommerce and ancillary services with a well-deserved reputation for innovation and reliability.

The company’s turnkey hosting plans are ideal for companies looking to establish a professional, credible online presence in a very short time. The availability of standard shared hosting rounds out their offering, and the inclusion of some of the “premium” features (such as support for a wide range of applications and access to the company’s patented, template-based site builder) in the standard tier help to mitigate the relatively high cost of Web.com’s plans and services.

The support plan offered as part of the “We Build It” plan are a welcome addition, particularly for business owners new to the Web or too busy to deal with the minutiae of website maintenance.

The Not-So-Good

Web.com is not an economy host, and while those on a budget can find reasonably-priced hosting at the lower end of the standard hosting tier, it’s also likely that the same features (or even more robust features) will be available for less at more modest hosting providers.

Web.com’s UNIX exclusivity and lack of Virtual Private Server (VPS) and dedicated hosting options means those with a need for absolute server control or hands-on application development are left out in the cold, along with users relying on Windows-based application development.

The ancillary marketing, reputation and eCommerce services offered by Web.com are also fairly upscale in price, and can quickly grow staggering when stacked on top of a premium hosting or eCommerce plan.

For those who both want and can afford to pay a premium for white-glove, turnkey Web design, Web.com is a great fit. Ditto for anyone looking to pay a slight premium for an easy, template-driven website that looks great and requires little hands-on attention. Those on a budget or with a need for powerful, user-managed systems, however, may need to keep looking.

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