Web.com Review: Ease of Use (2.5 stars)
Sacrifices Ease of Use to Provide High-Powered Business Tools
Rather than create all its own applications for its builder, Web.com combined a variety of software from other companies to provide tools that go beyond the standard of what is offered by other builders. Unfortunately, this means there are a number of different interfaces and customer support systems and it takes more mental work to switch between them.
Sign-up Process Takes 2-3 Days
This is no exaggeration. If you decide to build a site using Web.com's SiteBuilder, it takes 2-3 days to get set up. We were told by a sales rep that it's faster to do by phone, so we went that route. It still took 3 days for them to "provision our site," whatever that means. We couldn't try signing up online either because their system considered our Canadian postal code faulty. Most other website builders will get you set up within the day if not immediately from their online sign-up system.
Three Control Panels is Too Many
To make changes to your website, you have to use 3 different control panels making it awkward to use. The first page you get to after you log in is a control panel that allows you to set up email and manage your domain settings. If you want to make changes to anything else related to your site, you have to click 'Edit my Website.'
You're then taken to another control panel. From here, you can make changes to several features (i.e. newsletter/ email marketing, e-store, gift certificates, blog, etc.). You can't edit text, images or design from here though. For that you have to click through to a third control panel (the main control panel of Sitebuilder) that allows you to make most other changes and some of the same changes, but not all.
Sounds confusing? You bet it is! We prefer to have a single control panel from which you can make any changes to your website.
Control Panel #1
Control Panel #2
Control Panel #3
SiteBuilder's Toolbar is Overcomplicated
SiteBuilder's toolbar has too many actions that aren't really necessary. For example, 'Add a link', 'Add a picture', 'Add text', and 'Add table' are all in the tool bar and within the text editor itself. They could easily eliminate these from the toolbar to make it simpler. Also, 'Preview site page' could be taken out simply by making the main viewing page look exactly the way it would online. Furthermore, 'Move Item,' 'Copy Item' and 'Delete item' could be merged into one button 'Edit Items' which could give you all the different item editing options when clicked.
Image Uploading and Text Editor are Easy
While the layout and overall use of SiteBuilder are awkward at best, the text editor and the image uploading system are quite user-friendly in comparison. The Microsoft Word-Style editor provides more options than the average website builder's text editor, as does the image upload system. And yet they are easy to learn and use without having to refer to documentation.
Design Changes Made Easy
You can change or modify your chosen design template with just a few clicks with Web.com's SiteBuilder. You can even incorporate your company logo with ease. Though the builder is not a WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get), it still makes it fairly easy to make changes to your design template. If you want more customization then that though, you have to pay for their expensive design program.
Customer Support System Riddled with Problems
On the surface, Web.com's customer support system sounds great, but the experience of it is quite a different story. While they do offer 24/7 telephone support, we found it to be unreliable. About half the times we called, we waited on hold around 20 min. only to be disconnected. There was no music or message indicating whether or not we were still on hold either. We'd also like to see the help number to be visible no matter what area of the builder you happen to be on, so you don't have to hunt for it when you need it.
Another problem is that there isn't just one online documentation system for the entire service. The support documentation for SiteBuilder, the e-commerce system (Miva Merchant), the Business Center (first control panel), and the email marketing/ newsletter (Constant Contact) are all separate within each function. It would be better if they were all merged into one master documentation set.
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