At first glance, WebStarts appear to have it all. They claim to be the ‘#1 free website builder’ — a claim that would usually make me leave quicker than I arrived.
Let’s dive into our WebStarts review to see if there’s any truth to it.
Upon landing on WebStarts, I was immediately drawn in by the sleek, modern feel of their website (although I’m certainly not a fan of their logo). I also got the impression that the features they offer were comprehensive.
However, a little more digging revealed that everything wasn’t actually as perfect as it first seemed. Note to self: don’t judge a book by its cover.
After just a couple of minutes, I found that the free plan was quite limited. A lot of their premium features (and a couple that you would probably expect every modern website builder to have) are only available with their more expensive plans.
In fact, you will need to upgrade to their second most-expensive plan if you want a mobile-optimized website, access to your site’s code, or even the ability to use a custom domain. These are things that practically every website needs!
With this in mind, I started to play around with their website editor. Despite their payment plans having put me off a little, I actually really liked the feel of it.
Even the free plan gives you almost complete customization of your site. Text, images, and other elements are positioned using a drag-and-drop editor, and you can change font styles and sizes to suit.
WebStarts Pricing & Plans
WebStarts makes it easy for beginners. They offer four relatively simple, self-explanatory plans. Their prices vary from truly free (not as a trial but permanently) to $19.99 per month.
However, it’s worth noting that all paid WebStarts plans must be paid annually. You cannot pay monthly. This is a major drawback for people who would rather explore their options before committing to one particular site builder.
With that said, let’s take a further look.
|Search Engine Submission||No||No||Google only||Google, Yahoo! & Bing|
|Business Email Addresses||No||No||No||5 Addresses|
|Contact Forms||No||100 Contacts||1000 Contacts||Unlimited|
|Slideshows/Galleries||No||Up to 5||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Access To Code||No||No||Yes||Yes|
Webstart’s free plan is perfect for someone who wants to play with their own personal website or blog without taking it too seriously. It offers limited features, no custom domain name, and mobile optimization will be limited.
At $4.89 per month, I really wouldn’t recommend this option. It only offers very few upgrades from the free version, and you still can’t even use a custom domain. Although you get a very healthy amount of bandwidth and storage, I can't justify paying if you don't have the option to use a custom domain...
- Pro Plus
At $7.16 per month, this is the first WebStarts paid plan to offer some decent features. You get the option for a custom domain, access to your site’s code, and full mobile optimization.
if you’re serious about building a decent website, I would recommend forking out $19.99 per month for the Business plan. The main features here are online store integration and 5 business (custom domain) email addresses.
How Does WebStarts Perform?
No WebStarts review would be complete without a performance check. So here it is:
Its response times in the U.S. are phenomenal, with other locations around the globe not far behind. In fact, only Bangalore and Sydney fell short of exceptional, but even those were good.
It’s worth keeping this in mind if you’re planning on building a complex site with a lot of content and you want to appeal to readers all around the world, as response times will be extremely important to you.
WebStarts Pros and Cons
Before stating my overall opinion, I'll summarize my WebStarts review by listing some of its pros and cons.
- A very flexible drag-and-drop builder which gives you almost complete customizability
- Access to HTML and CSS code so you can further customize your site
- Well over 100 templates to choose from (126 at the time of writing)
- Excellent worldwide speed
- Very beginner-friendly
- Support seems limited and is only available during US business hours by phone or email
- You will need to upgrade to at least the Pro Plus plan if you want a mobile-optimized site and a custom domain
- Payments have to be made yearly rather than monthly
Final Thoughts from My WebStarts Review
If you’re looking for a simple, no-strings-attached website builder that is flexible and customizable, then WebStarts is a great option. Their website builder is super user-friendly, enabling you to create the look and feel that you want without much difficulty at all.
It’s also very useful for those who are interested in building sites with lots of content, as its global hosting speeds are near exceptional.
Personally, I much prefer to pay my bills monthly, so I don’t think I’ll be using WebStarts to build my next site. That doesn’t mean that it won’t suit you though.
Do you have an opinion of your own? I would love to hear about your experiences and thoughts on the matter — leave your own WebStarts review in the comments section below.
- Flexible drag-and-drop builder
- 100+ templates
- Great worldwide speed
- Limited support
- Mobile optimization only with Pro plan
- Yearly billing cycle