5 Issues With the Webs.com Website Builder Is Webs.com the right website building solution for small business?

Dr. Rahul Razdan, CEO Ocoos

02/19/2015 11:58 AM
Total Views: 1219

Just like you know the ins and outs of your small business, you'd expect the company running your website builder to do the same with its unique enterprise, right?

Webs.com has been in the website building business since 2001, making it one of the industry's old timers. Though the company claims to be the driving force behind some 50 million websites since then, a closer look at its services shows that older doesn't necessarily mean wiser.

In fact, Webs.com comes up short in five key areas, which are relevant to the needs of small business owners. 

1) Storefront Development Trouble

Webs promotes hundreds of templates for small business owners to choose from, and though these tend to be mobile-optimized (a bonus), they are not highly customizable -- a feature that can be a necessity for some small business websites. Although it's possible to hire a developer to help navigate through some of the customization, doing so can be costly and out of budget for many small businesses.

2) Reliance on Third Party Apps

It's necessary for small business websites to include a number of tools -- these should not be seen as the bells and whistles of a given site, but as imperatives. That's because these types of tools can help attract new customers, and generate leads and conversions.

Webs relies upon third party apps for many of its tools, which means that you'd be responsible for integrating them onto your website, and updating and maintaining them into the future. Should problems arise, it would be up to you to troubleshoot the issue, since the app isn't part of the Webs.com suite of tools.

3) Shortage of Integrated E-Commerce Options

Webs doesn't completely lack the functionality that's important for small businesses. In fact, it does feature a membership site function that allows you to track numbers, send messages, and incorporate flexible security onto certain site pages.

Still, other necessary e-commerce features, like document sharing, SEO tools, and Etsy integration are only available through third-party vendors. Should these tools be added to your site, you could run into the troubles that arise when third-party apps are used, which are detailed above.

4) Inability to Export Site

Webs offers site hosting, which can be a relief for many small business owners who don't care to wrangle with outside hosting services.

While this does ease a certain burden, it's critical to note that if you ever decide to switch website builders, it is impossible to export your site from Webs to the new builder. In fact, you will lose everything you have already built and have to create your business website from scratch.

5) High Cost and Lack of Support

A free basic service is available through Webs, however, most small business owners will require more features to give their website a robust online presence that allows them to compete in their marketplace. These additional features are only available through a paid subscription plan.

If support is needed, it should be noted that only Webs's Pro plan offers phone, live chat, and email support -- no support is included with the free service.

The Alternative

Though Webs.com's builder offers value by having some integrated tools and the ability to create a product storefront, it's possible for a small business owner to eliminate the stress of managing a website building tool on his or her own, or spending money on a professional website developer's help.

Website building platforms, like Ocoos, offer small businesses an integrated solution; the technology that powers the platform's software is updated and maintained in the cloud. This means you are given a robust suite of tools, but will not be responsible for updating or maintaining them.

The Ocoos platform includes hosting and offers e-commerce tools like messaging, interactive calendars, and appointment schedulers, as well as critical business tools like CRM tracking abilities. All of these solutions are offered directly through Ocoos, so you don't need to count on third-party apps and vendors.

The uphill battle involved with managing a DIY website builder on your own is eliminated, thanks to Ocoos's concierge service, which will set up your entire site based on an initial consultation, for a fee. Small business owners are then given full access to the site, so that they can update the content themselves, without hiring or waiting for a developer to do so. Plus, 24-hour, US-based support is available.

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