Webs.com, not to be confused with Web.com, was once known as Freewebs. Founded in 2001, it is a static site-only freemium webhost. It offers premium and free hosting plans, as well as a website builder using their own templates. They do not support any dynamic content that is created outside of their own apps, although they do allow HTML uploads and FTP access.
History of Webs.com
Freewebs was launched in 2001. This was just after the dot-com bubble ended. Brothers Zeki and Haroon Mokhtarzada founded the company while they were finishing their university degrees at the University of Maryland, College Park. Younger brother Idris also helped out. They wanted to enable anyone, regardless of where they were in the world, to have a platform to creatively express themselves on a website of their own. The company experienced 1704% growth between 2003 and 2007, by which time 18 million unique visitors came to the sites each month.
Freewebs was renamed Webs on November 14, 2008. However, all URLs stayed in freewebs.com, unless people chose to migrate their name. Newly started sites, however, went to the webs.com domain. Interestingly, six years later, both domains continue to work, even if the site is new. Additionally, people can pay for a premium subscription, in which case they get their own domain, rather than a webs.com domain.
Vistaprint, an online printing service, acquired Webs on December 28, 2011 for $117.5 million. Their new SItebuilder product, Sitebuilder 3, was subsequently released on June 4, 2012. This included more customizable themes, a drag and drop interface, and easy-to-use social media integration.
In early 2013, the internal site of Webs was completely redesigned. This totally changed the building experience that users had. Ads were removed, the user interface was modernized, and a checklist for a successful website was included, which is a step-by-step blueprint.
That same year, on May 3rd, an SEO booster was introduced to Webs users. This is an SEO (search engine optimization) tool, enabling users to ensure they were using the best and correct keywords and keyword phrases to add to their site, thereby boosting their search engine rankings.
Webs set the standard for innovation both within their own company and outside of it. For instance, they started SGN, a social gaming company, in 2008. Shervin Pishevar became CEO and chairman of SGN, after leaving his position as COO and President of Webs. He later joined Menlo Ventures and was able to secure funding for Uber, before launching Sherpa Ventures.
Dave Maestri, meanwhile, is known for the creation of Mobwars, one of the first Facebook games that became really popular. He also came from Webs. Brandon Leonardo, meanwhile, founded Instacart during his time at Webs. Finally, Andrew Sutherland created the popular online quiz service Quizlet.
Webs users can create a website through a drag and drop interface. It also offers professional themes, enabling people to easily start a new website. Those who upgrade to the pro levels can also access various ecommerce services, such as Google and Facebook ad credits and unlimited items to their webstore. All Webs users are able to integrate their social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter.
All themes are offered directly by Webs, including the site builder. They also have a variety of dynamic apps, including the webstore, photo gallery, and blog. Those who sign up to a free website are quite limited in what they can create. Additionally, the Webs banner stays at the bottom of the screen. Signing up to a premium plan ensures people get more features and tools, as well as a custom domain name.
Features of Webs.com
Webs offers a number of key features:
- Templates that can be fully customized, thereby enabling users to create something completely unique and suitable to their personal needs. Thanks to the drag and drop user interface, people can easily change background images, colors, fonts, and more.
- The SEO Booster, which is a very powerful SEO tool that enables even novices to ensure their website is properly optimized. In so doing, the site is easy to find on Bing, Yahoo!, and Google. Users do not need any technical skills.
- Full social media integration, which enables site builders to properly engage with their customers and visitors. In so doing, they also build their brand and send traffic to their social media platforms.
- The mobile website feature, which allows people to build their website in such a way that it is optimized for mobile users. Furthermore, the mobile optimized version is synced with the desktop version, which means changes only have to be made in one place.
- Local Listings, which ensures sites are listed wherever it matters. Users simply provide information about who they are and what they do, and Webs then submits it to over 100 online local directories, including YP, Yahoo, and Google. A new Webs site can be listed in less than five minutes.
- Video and photo galleries, enabling users to create something truly unique. This is also very easy to use, with image editing requiring no special skills.
- Advanced web analytics, which shows users what visitors do once on the site, where they came from, which campaigns are successful, and so on.
- Ecommerce features and a web store, including the ability to accept payments. This can be done in just a few minutes.
- Custom domain names for pro plans
- Custom email addresses matching the personal domain name
- Cloud hosting, which means sites can be edited from anywhere, at any time
- A range of compatible applications, including blogs and webstores
- The blog functionality, which is a great way to engage with customers
- Calendars, accessible by organization members and visitors, thereby ensuring nobody ever misses an important date
- Maps, which is very important for local optimization, as it enables customers to easily find the business they look for
- Site membership, which can be very useful for specific events
- Password protection, so that certain areas of the site are accessible only by those people who have the password
- Easy to integrate contact forms, with all contacts being stored in one place
- HQ video storage, enabling users to view high quality videos on the website
- Documents and files, including PDFs, forms, and more. Links are very easy to share with the relevant users
- A support function for anyone who is struggling with any element of the Webs.com interface.