Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, Web.com was originally started as Micron Electronics and sold computers mostly to government entities. Under the leadership of CEO Joel Kocher, Micron shuttered the PC business and entered the web hosting business through a series of acquisitions. Web.com Group, Inc. is a provider of web services catering to small and medium-sized businesses. Since its inception, Web.com has had over 3.3 million subscribers.
- Number of TLDs available
- ICANN fees
- Security features
- Cross selling
- Simple domain transfer policies
- Customer support
- ICANN accreditation
Number of TLDs Available
Web.com offers 11 domain names outside of the .com domain. In total, they offer over 140 Domain Extensions through the company's wholly owned subsidiary, Register.com. Some companies only offer around 100 different TLDs and a select few offer over 500. Web.com falls in the middle, with plenty of domains to choose from. They also offer users the ability to search for a large numbers of domains at once.
Some companies add on the industry-standard 18 cent ICANN fee at checkout- changing the advertised price while others are not transparent with ICANN fees at all. This can put off consumers. Web.com also fails to disclose their ICANN fees during the checkout process.
Web.com offers a few valuable privacy features for your domain. These include:
- Perfect Privacy: This feature ensures that your account, website and other contact information will not be displayed on the public WHOIS database. This helps protect your business domain from Internet predators, spammers and telemarketers with private WHOIS domain name registration. The cost is $1.95/month, which is inexpensive compared to other companies charging $11.00/year for WHOIS privacy.
- Domain Locking: Protects your domain name from hijacking and unauthorized domain transfers by locking up your domain. Web.com does not make clear in their checkout how to add this feature, which is a negative.
- Complete Domain (DNS) Control: Designed for advanced users, this feature allows you to edit your name servers, MX, A and CNAME records for complete control over your domain.
- SSL Certificates: For customers who choose to build and host a website with Web.com, they offer SSL Certificates to protect your website starting at $149/month. It costs more depending on the number of transactions you get on your site's e-commerce page. SSL provides encryption and identity verification for customers checking out, protecting transactions from hacking. Web.com's prices are on par with other SSL Certificates offered by domain companies, which average about the same cost per month for customers.
Many domain registrars only offer WHOIS privacy features and SSL Certificates but do not offer domain locking and complete domain control. The cost for some of these services is lower than most companies as well.
When purchasing a domain on Web.com's site, you are faced with 2 upsells on your way to the checkout process. While some major competitors bombard customers with pop-ups and several additional screens of sales pitches in order to buy a domain name, Web.com is very non-aggressive in this area. For example, when you purchase a .com domain, the site asks you if you want to buy another extension that is currently available and after that only asks if you want to purchase a Privacy feature at an additional cost. This is very minimal compared to checkout experiences with competing domain companies.
Simple Domain Transfer Policies
If customers are dissatisfied with hosting their domain with Web.com, transferring the domain takes approximately 7 days to complete. Web.com does not make the domain transfer process visible on their website, but the information is easily found on the internet. This process is superior to registrars in general who have a terrible reputation for holding names hostage, making it difficult to switch registrars if you become dissatisfied. Some charge exorbitant fees or create delays to avoid losing business. Web.com does not charge fees, only that you follow the appropriate steps they require for you to transfer the domain. This includes calling them via phone to initiate the process. The transfer time (7 days) is also less than some companies who take up to 30 days to transfer.
Web.com offers substantial customer support by phone, which is available 24/7. Representatives are native English speakers and answer quickly without much holding on the line. They also offer a Live Chat feature. When you are searching the website, a window will pop up, asking if you need assistance with an online representative. Also offered is a small business forum blog, which has daily posts on topics related to business ownership and website ownership, i.e. SEO, marketing, etc. This, however, is not on par with regular forums with questions from fellow customers and where you can ask questions of your own. Email support is also not readily available-a disadvantage for customers located in places where phone access is either too expensive or unreliable. Web.com falls short compared to domain companies who offer phone, email live chat and forums combined, but still covers most bases.
- Other TLD prices
- Bulk price
- Mobile app
To purchase a .com domain name with Web.com, it costs $34.99/year. This is expensive compared to some major domain companies that charge under $10.00 to start and cap out at under $15.00. The Web.com price goes up if you opt for privacy domain features, totaling to $36.50 per year.
Other TLD Prices
The cost for other Top-Level Domains (TLDs) (.net, .co, .org, .info, etc) is the same as the .com domain at $34.99/month. This is also expensive compared to major brands offering alternate top-level domains at prices under $15.00/year.
If you are an individual, nonprofit or school interested in purchasing several domains at once, it is unclear if Web.com is able to help. This puts Web.com at a disadvantage compared to domain companies who offer bulk discounts, i.e. 100 domains at a 10% discount. Upon contact with Web.com via telephone, customer representatives did not have direct knowledge of a discount, although they mentioned that there might be. This is very unclear and one would have to dig through all their sales departments to get an answer-very time consuming for the company's main customer base: small businesses.
Unfortunately, Web.com does not offer an app for iOS or Android to manage your domains from your smart device. If you have a website domain and hosting from Web.com and have an online e-commerce store on your site, you can create an app for your site at places like apptuse.com. For customers who are on-the-go and away from a desktop frequently, not having a mobile app to work from is a huge disadvantage.