Web.com Review: Tools & Features (3.5 stars)
Not the Longest List, but Good for Businesses
Web.com has a modest feature list that targets a business owner's needs. Most of them are typical, but there are a few that are special and stand out from the pack.
Here is a list of its features:
- Photo Album
- Online Forms
- Last Updated
- Visitor Counter
- Site Statistics
- Events page
- Mortgage Calculator
- Online Gift Certificates
- Password Protected Pages
- Blog and RSS Feed
- Loan Calculator
- Site Referral
- Weather Icon
- Date and Time Stamp
- Add music and video
- Add flash animation
- Testimonials page
- Links page
Advanced Newsletter Features through Constant Contact
Web.com uses Constant Contact to provide what is probably the most sophisticated Newsletter/ email marketing system you can get in a website builder. The tool isn't integrated, which is to say that when you set it up or make changes to it, you're taken outside the builder into Constant Contact's website. That makes it more complicated to learn and set up, but you get a lot in return.
Constant Contact gives you over 100 different templates with which you can create email newsletters for your website. It also gives you plenty of layout options to boot. The newsletter sign-up box that shows on your website, however, only appears in one color scheme. If you want to change it, you'll have to use HTML.
Another neat feature is that you can create different interest categories for which you can create entirely different newsletter campaigns to target each audience's specific interests.
Constant Contact also has a number of useful campaign management tools. It allows you to track and manage emails that have bounced back (i.e. could not be sent to the email address provided). It also gives you the option to use a double opt-in system. If you use this system, it re-assures subscribers that they won't be spammed.
Web.com's Newsletter Feature Brought to You By Constant Contact
A Few Unique Features
Web.com's SiteBuilder may be one of the only systems that has a feature that allows you to sell gift certificates on your website. There are 4 different styles to choose from and you can offer them as email or printed gift certificates. You can allow customers to choose a specific amount for the gift certificate or you can limit them to amounts you designate yourself. You can also set the expiry date. The only catch is that you have to use Paypal as the payment method for them.
Sitebuilder also allows you to create coupons for your website. While this feature isn't unique to Web.com, it does give you a choice of 6 different templates, which can be customized to suit your business. Most other coupon creators we've seen don't have this kind of customizability.
Create Gift Certificates to Your Specifications
Web.com is also one of the few builders that has a blog system. Some builders allow you to set up an RSS feed that allows to link to a blog and keep up to date with changes, but SiteBuilder actually has its own blog complete with outgoing RSS feed.
One last feature that is worth mentioning is the mortgage and loan calculators. These are useful tools for people in real estate or finance.
Web.com's Loan Calculator
Text-Based Pages Not All that Useful
The testimonials and links page options are really only page templates. They don't make it easier to manage and organize the links or testimonials you include in your page. They provide some auto-text to give you an idea of what kind of text to include on the page, but that's about it. They aren't really anything more than a regular Web page.
Web.com's SiteBuilder also has an event calendar... without the calendar. It is another text-based page called "Upcoming Shows and Conventions" that sets up a table in which you can enter details about any shows or events you'll be featured at. It is very basic looking and doesn't have a calendar set-up.
A Very Plain Event Listings Page
Portfolio Page or Photo Gallery for Displaying Images
The portfolio page is great for setting up images to show your work. It allows you to write descriptions and create thumbnails that enlarge when clicked. You have to create each clickable thumbnail yourself though.
The photo gallery page, on the other hand, has no text option, but makes it easier to set up a quick album. When you select a set of images, the page creator automatically turns them into a gallery of thumbnails that enlarge when clicked.
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