WebStarts, the website builder which was born out of founder Adam Barger’s frustration of not finding a ‘do-it-yourself’ website builder owning complete flexibility.
Therefore, his creation is based on what he was not able to find. WebStarts commits to provide a website whose every element depends on your designing, and not on a template.
With a drag and drop editor, you can add, move, orient, and remove whatever you wish. However, there is no option to undo, so you need to manually negate the changes.
- Categorized Template Library: The library is categorized under various sections by which a particular template can be selected according to your requirement.
- Add Live Chat to your website: Adding live chat would help you to interact with visitors of your website. That is one of the major factors that help to increase engagement.
- Resourceful Editor: The editor contains elements of all kinds. Multiple layouts for each section of your website are also provided. That helps the user to modify his website to a high extent.
- Listing express: Getting listed on Google’s search engine is a time-consuming task. Listing Express lists your website on Google in less than three hours.
- Traffic Booster: One needs to update the website regularly to generate fresh content. Traffic Booster submits the website to the search engines every month which provides them the information that the website has been updated.
- Catch the eyes of your potential customers: The local listing feature is specially added for the businesses who are trying to get the attention of potential local The add-on submits your business information to the local directories which upgrade the online presence.
- Add and schedule blogs directly from the dashboard: There is no need for opening the website editor everything whenever the blog is required to be added. You can choose to add or schedule a blog directly from the dashboard by opening the blog manager.
- HTTPS Protocol for free websites: Almost all the website builders offer HTTPS for paid users, but a very few offers such security to free users. WebStarts is one of those few builders.
- Inefficient AI for creating a website: If a user chooses to create a website using AI, there is a series of questions that the builder asks him about his website. However, whatever answer the user provides, results remain the same.
- Limited options for Blog Page: WebStarts doesn’t offer many options to customize the blog section. You can not add background and presentation of blogs can only be done using the predefined layouts.
In this review, We will discuss the editor, its components, and its efficiency in detail in the editor section.
Even though they claim to be targeted towards uniqueness, it would be tough to start without the support of predefined templates. They have delivered a base by setting up a template library which is appropriately categorized.
Furthermore, there is another way of generating website using artificial intelligence. We have placed our focus on both the ways which will help the user to find out which method is more beneficial.
Other aspects such as important add-ons, speed, security, and SEO are also taken into consideration.
After going through the review, you will be able to judge that what’s extraordinary in this application and what’s absent.
Template library and its categorization
Templates are designed to simplify the website building. However, a template alone may not fulfill the design requirements of a user.
The user may need to perform multiple edits in the predefined layout to finally generate the desired layout. More the number of edits and inputs, more the time developer will take to create the final website.
A user would surely wish to save as much time as possible by eliminating unnecessary edits.
That’s only possible when you select the correct template which matches to your desired website or at least appears close to its layout.
A website builder’s template library holds the answer to your needs. A comprehensive library must be available bearing all the types of websites in mind: business, blog, online store, etc.
As every user has a different purpose of creating a website. The website serving the purpose highly depends upon the template.
For instance, you cannot use a blog’s website template to create an online store. The information won’t fit perfectly as the presentation of blogs and products is done in a different way.
That proves the essentiality that the template library must contain solutions for the users.
First, it will reduce the time and efforts you need to put, and secondly, you will find what you want people to have on their screens when they visit your website.
WebStarts library has selected sixteen different categories which are further divided into subcategories. This diversification simplifies the selection process.
As you can see, they have also provided sorting options for the templates: most popular and new. These sorting options can be helpful for beginners who have just started using website building.
The most popular sorting feature lets you find the template which many people have used for their websites.
The reason could be the flexibility of the template that it is adjustable and can serve multiple purposes. Or it could be because of the uncomplicated design which is easy to grasp.
If you wish to find to deliver uniqueness to your website, you can use the newest one as very few people would have used it.
After the sorting options, if you move down to categories, you will find an arrow mark next to the website type. Clicking it will open the list of subcategories for that particular website.
For reference, you can have a look at the subcategories of the photography section (Events & Portraits, Commercial & Editorial, and Travel & Documentation) as shown in the above image.
Even though the segmentation looks profound, the total number of templates is nearly eighty.
The number of templates is insufficient especially when they have divided them into sixteen categories which have further subcategories.
However, when you visit any category, you will find a satisfactory number of templates. So, how did they manage to provide a huge number of templates under every category even if the total templates are not more than eighty?
While we were visiting various categories, we found that a template is not necessarily displayed under one particular category, i.e., two different categories may share one particular template.
So, summarizing the facts, initially you may find the template library vast, but in reality, it just delivers eighty choices for you. If we compare it to Webflow, we can state that WebStarts has an urgent necessity of adding more templates.
However, the categorization acts as a helping tool here which leads the user to the best match that WebStarts can offer.
After you choose the template, you need to do the obvious task of entering the domain name, and it will lead you to the dashboard containing several options for improving the website.
Creating a website through artificial intelligence
WebStarts provides you the provision of connecting your website to Facebook. After this, a series of questions are asked, and the website is initially created by your answers.
You can skip this option, but choosing to establish the connection will customize the website with the help of your Facebook account.
If you don’t wish to share your Facebook data with WebStarts, perhaps you must avoid using this option.
Moreover, customizing the website according to the information added on Facebook may lead to the unwanted revealing of details which your visitors may find easily.
After you skip this option, it will lead you to the next one that the AI has set for you. It will ask whether the website is dedicated to personal use or it represents an organization.
However, the purpose of this question is not known to us. We conducted a test in which we let the AI generate the website layout for both options keeping everything else the same.
The result produced by WebStarts was the same, and hence, this question doesn’t seem meaningful to us. But it is mandatory to answer it as there is no skip option provided.
In the next question, whatever name you add expressing you or your organization will appear as the heading on the template. That’s all this question does.
Such information can be added manually within no time. However, you can skip it if you don’t wish to provide a name.
Next, it will ask you to add photographs from your local system. It is obvious that these photos will be used in various sections where pictures are required to be added.
This is again something that you can do manually. Instead of letting the website add images for you, it is suggested to add images yourself.
A user would know which images must be placed in which section. If he lets the AI do that, then, unfortunately, it is not smart enough to know where which image should be positioned.
In such a case, if you let the website builder do it, you may need to change the images while editing. So, it is not a favorable option as instead of reducing the time consumption, it may increase it.
In the end, it is compulsory to select the category. We thought that it would be similar to template selection which we discussed in the previous section.
But it is not true, and there is no extensive customization done according to the selected category selection.
In short, it doesn’t matter whatever category you select, the results for all categories remains the same.
The only difference is the images that are dedicated to a particular category. Other than that, the layout remains the same.
If you again go through every question that their “AI” has asked us, you will realize that most of them are not useful, and the final result doesn’t matter whatever you choose.
Hence, we don’t suggest using this option as it won’t help you generate a unique and appealing website. The results will remain confined to the predesigned structure, and you don’t get the desired flexibility.
When you generate the final design, you will find a remix option. There are some other layout options available which you can discover one at a time by clicking on the remix button.
These actually act as predefined templates which fit all categories. The number for layout doesn’t cross six, and you will realize that the room for creativity is limited here.
However, this option can be used by someone who is not familiar with website building. The cloud product itself will perform most of the tasks for you. But that costs the uniqueness of your website.
After going through various layouts, choosing one, and clicking on continue option will lead you the same dashboard that is provided for the website that we create using the template.
Even the editor for both the cases is the same. Thus, it is better to select the templates rather than depending on the AI which is inefficient to deliver unique customization for your website.
Now, let’s move to the dashboard and see what WebStarts has got for you here.
Dashboard and the provided add-ons
WebStarts’ Dashboard contains the routes leading to editor, features, and plan upgradation.
It is the center webpage from where you need to select the website that you need to edit amongst all the created website.
As you can see in the image, there are a lot of add-ons provided by WebStarts. You need to buy some of them even if you are a paid user. On the other hand, some are even available for free users.
For instance, you need to purchase email marketing application additionally irrespective of your plan. However, other add-ons such as store manager, live chat, etc., comes free for everyone.
Whenever you make any changes using these add-ons present on this page (Store Manager, Blog, Email Marketing, etc.), the changes will only be applicable to the selected website, not to all websites.
In the further sections, we will review some of the important add-ons in detail. As of now, by having an overall view, we found that the builder is not only focused on the making of the website, but also its growth.
Integrations such as Traffic Booster, Listing Express, Local Listing, etc., are the significant implementations which are introduced to increase the number of visitors.
It would not be practical to talk about working on every add-on separately. However, we can make sure that these aforementioned integrations do affect the reach of your website.
A website builder’s editor is a major component that functions to create the components of your website.
An advanced website builder must have an editor which is loaded with an enormous number of features that could provide power to the user to design his website without any restrictions.
However, as the number of features increases, it is likely that the learning curve will get steeper.
The steep learning curve is because of the complexities that develop in the interface due to the inefficient mapping of the editor.
To avoid it, a website builder should group the features of its editor in such a way that navigation doesn’t appear challenging.
When a user easily discovers the features, he would surely use the website builder. Even we would recommend using the website builders who know how to deliver ease without compromising the feature.
When it comes to WebStarts, in the two initial sections, we discussed the steps that you need to perform before editing a website.
You already know that there are two ways by which you can generate the basic design of a website: using a template and Artificial Intelligence.
We also commented that the website generated with the AI is oversimplified.
That’s true, but appearance and working of the final website depend upon the editor of the application.
Whether you use the template option or the AI, in the end, you can still obtain the desired output when the editor is capable of delivering it.
When we opened the predefined template in the editor, the number of editing options were not less than what’s required.
However, it took us some time to learn every aspect of the application. But after we dug out the deepest parts, we obtained the surety that WebStarts’ editor holds a wide range of features for you.
It is not practical to describe each feature in detail before reviewing. Our main objective is to highlight the essential, special, and missing features according to which you can make the decision that WebStarts matches with your requirement or not.
Before we move to the features, designing, and elements, let’s first discuss the working of the editor.
Every unit that acts as the part of your website’s user interface can be deleted. In other terms, if you want, you can start with scratch by removing all the sections which were readily provided on a template.
Considering the other case that you prefer editing the template, we should let you know that every section is moveable.
To make the movement user-friendly, it allows overlapping of one section on the other section. The same is also possible for various elements of a section.
You can send an element to the front or back of another element, or you can choose to make it appear on the front or back of all elements.
Now before we make a comment on this method, let us provide you an example for your better understanding.
For instance, there are two sections whose positions you need to interchange.
For that, you need to move the first section at the position of the second section. It is notable that the section which was added afterward remains in the front, and the another remains in the back.
You can see an “Add” option to the top left corner of the editor. Exploring it will take you to various components which you can add to the website.
The usual ones which you can find in most of the website builders: Text, Button, Box, Image, etc., have an advanced level presence.
Even though most of the website editors offer these features, WebStarts offers numerous settings along with them.
For each element that you add, you can provide animation and choose to show it on pages. These may seem small elements, but they significantly affect the website.
For instance, if you want to add a symbol on every page, you don’t need to do it manually. With the help of option, “show on all pages,” you can put it on every page just by adding it on one.
Using the editor, you can construct a form having multiple input boxes of your choice.
There are also provisions to add fields such as Multiple Choice, Dropdown, Checkboxes, etc., which makes it trouble-free for website visitors to fill the form.
This indirectly helps you to earn more engagement.
If the email to which forms will be submitted is other than your WebStarts email, you can set other emails(s) also.
When we look from a business perspective, the forms create a link between the consumer and the business. This also plays a key role when you are creating a business website.
In the case of other websites also, forms help the visitors reach out the website owners.
Managing pages and SEO
Adding a page is a hassle-free task as the option is provided on the surface, and don’t need to go through complicated sections for finding this option.
When you manage the pages, the settings for every page are kept separate. These settings also house SEO features.
As they have separated the settings for every page, adding page SEO has also become easier.
We only need to add the settings, place a title, provide a keyword, and enter a description. These are the all SEO feature you get here.
On the page manager section, it doesn’t show blog posts, and thus, respective settings for every post aren’t available.
However, you cannot set the SEO parameters for blog posts because of which posts won’t get ranked by search engines
This may affect the ranking significantly as blogs help a lot in increasing the reach. In WebStarts case adding blogs would not be highly effective.
When it comes to formatting, the application has provided flexibility by letting you choose among the various color combinations for the selected template.
You can also set a background color or add an image to the background. Font selection gives a new look to every page. You can even select a different font for every heading.
Overall, all the designing options work together to render uniqueness to every webpage of your website.
The blog is an essential section that adds extra credibility to your website. Especially, when the website is dedicated to a particular subject.
Most of the website builders offer this feature but adding the blog page isn’t sufficient.
There must be multiple features which make the appearance of the blog engaging. The options related to the addition of elements in a blog, availability of SEO tools, provision of scheduling, etc., make the blog page striking and hence, increase the number of visitors.
As WebStarts offers drag and drop tools for every section, here also you get the same. Initially, the blog page is a blank page which you need to edit on your own by adding text boxes, images, and other elements that you can find from add section.
One can say that uniqueness comes when the design is planned from scratch. However, it may become tough for beginners to create a complete blog page without a base.
For avoiding that, WebStarts should have added multiple templates among which users can select one and edit it as per the need.
In the current Blog Manager, you cannot add a template, and the options related to editing the user interface are also limited.
They should work to add formatting options on the Blog page otherwise all blog pages would look similar. And if there is no quirkiness in the webpage, there would be no point of drag and drop option.
You can only choose the organization of blog out of three layout options: Classic, Horizontal Photo, and Grid. Hence, the output blog would not be as interesting as offered by other website builders.
However, if we discuss the features that you can implement for a particular blog, there is some flexibility provided.
You can add images or videos, but again when it comes to adding tables, bullets, etc., there are no options.
For the free plan, there is an option available to share the created blogs on Twitter and Facebook. But if you wish to showcase the blog on websites other than these, you have to do it manually.
We can optimize SEO for the blog page, but while working on Blog Manager, we have not seen any SEO related options. You can’t add title, keywords, and description for every blog post which you were able to add on main pages.
These features must be implemented as they are already provided for the other pages of the website. Also, adding them would be highly beneficial for the user.
E-commerce websites are coming up with new ideas every day. Not just with the ideas of new products, but also with new methods to present them.
When a product is placed online, a major way by a consumer judges the product is its presentation.
Even if the products are good, because of the drawbacks of a webstore, people may not find them interesting leading to lesser sales.
The focus should also be placed on the other end. There are website builders which have an amazing inventory management system that helps in keeping track of the movement of products.
We will examine every corner of the Store Manager, but before that, it is essential to visit the webpages that WebStarts provides for your store.
When we visited the store webpages, we realized that like the Blog page, Webstarts had not provided options to format the appearance.
You can manually add elements through the Add option, but you can’t expect to enhance it further with the help of an existing editor.
Whatever appears on these pages is added through the store. So, let’s move to the store and find out what are the quirky options present here.
When you add a product, you need to add basic details about it such as price, category, etc. Besides these, in some cases, details such as variants, weight, and a number of items present in the store are also required to be added.
At WebStarts Store Manager, you will get the provision to input all these details, but some important input areas are still found missing.
You can add a numerical quantity for a product, but no unit of measurement is assigned to it. For instance, when you add a number for the number of potatoes available in stock, it doesn’t signify the weight, but a plain number.
You cannot add a subcategory which is required for better filtering of the products.
However, you can add variants to products which can act as a subcategory. You can set three different variant types to these products. Provision for more than three types is absent, but they must allow a user to add as many as he requires.
Also, an option to add a subcategory should also be implemented so that visitors can find the wanted product.
There is an option to manage inventory also. You can add a number for which the WebStarts will notify you that the item is going to get out of stock.
Speed and Security
Speed and security are the major factors which decide the number of users who will visit your website.
If a website gets loaded slow, users may get impatient and choose not to move forward on your website’s webpages.
The speed can be low because of total page size; when the page contains multiple high resolution media elements than the total size increases.
The appearance of the website may get improved, but at the cost of speed. So, if there will be no visitors, who will view those shiny images?
The same may occur when you add animations on a webpage.
Thus, it is better to keep the size low or else, get a website builder that can manage to provide you a high loading speed irrespective of the page size.
Webstarts could be one of them. However, it depends on the size that you are planning for your webpages.
The size of the sample website that we created for review has a page size of 1.73MB for which we obtained a PageSpeed Score of 84% which is above average.
As the page size was not too high, the time taken by the page for getting loaded is just 1.5 seconds.
Hence, there would be no page loading issues when you create a website using WebStarts. However, when you increase the size of the page, you may experience some delay if you take this result in consideration.
The other aspect is security. If the security remains high, there would be no way by which cyber-criminals get access to the admin side of your website.
For achieving that, it is important that the website uses HTTPS protocol instead of HTTP. WebStarts offers this protocol to every website that is built using it, even for the free accounts.
However, for purchasing an SSL certificate, you need to pay additionally. If you are thinking of creating a web store, then you need to buy it without a doubt. SSL is kind of a standard nowadays and notably After Google’s announcements to provide extra weightage in search ranking for secure sites as well as other mesures.
It is required to secure the credit card details and login credentials of your user. It comes with a price of $8 per month. May look like an expensive deal, but it’s a necessity.
If you want to save this extra cost, you can go for website builders such as Site123 where an SSL certificate is provided for free, but there you may find charges for other add-ons which are free here.
Overall, after purchasing an SSL certificate, all your data is safeguarded with strong encryption. Therefore, in the case of security also, Webstarts is a trustable product.
We cannot doubt the astonishing features of Store Manager which proficiently handles the inventory. You can add a lot of information about a product which helps to track its movement.
Blog Manager doesn’t hold the same level of efficiency as it comes with an immense number of limitations which must be removed urgently.
There is no option to add SEO for the blog posts. Also, you can’t add subheadings to the content.
If you have a concern about the editor, we have already discussed the amazing features that it holds. There are elements related to each field which makes it possible for the user to add the required.
Security and Speed are also up to the mark, but you need to purchase the SSL certificate additionally.
WebStarts needs to work on its Blog Manager and work to add options to enhance the appearance of the store.
It is not so expensive, but if you purchase all the add-on price may go very high. So, wisely choose which add-ons are required, calculate the total price, and compare it to the other website builders such as Webflow and Site123.
In addition to this review, the comparison will lead you to a concrete decision about the perfect website builder for your needs.