Webs.com Revamps Its DIY Site Creation Tools, Ditches Banner Ads For Free Users

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DIY website creation service Webs.com is launching an all-new version of its flagship product today with the introduction of the completely revamped SiteBuilder3. The new website designing tool now includes a number of new features allowing for improved drag-and-drop WYSIWYG (i.e., “what you see is what you get”) editing, plus more customization tools, themes, social media integrations…oh, and no more banner ads for the site’s free users.

Explains Webs CEO Haroon Mokhtarzada, the previous interface was also WSYIWYG, but it wasn’t totally drag-and-drop as it is today . With the update, you can now drop website images or modules onto your page, and it will then smartly place them to maintain a grid layout. One of the new draggable elements is a carousel module, which lets you build homepages that have a rotating banner at the top, offering text, images, buttons and more. It’s a feature you’ll often find on business websites – Webs.com’s top audience.

Also new are social media modules, like those that let you insert your Twitter feed, a Facebook “Like” button, or other social icons, for example. There are dozens of new themes being launched, too, as well as a new Theme Designer which lets users recolor sites without having to manually tweak each color involved to create a new scheme.

Header and footer editing is also now possible, the latter a premium feature. (The free version’s footer indicates the site was built using Webs.com).

However one of the biggest updates to the DIY website maker today is the removal of ads. “This is a pretty main thing – Webs used to be ad-supported. We used to put big banner ads on [our websites], but with the new builder we’re not putting ads on the sites,” Mokhtarzada says, “so people can create free websites with no ads.”

(Hooray!)

“We’re primarily a subscription-based service,”  he adds as to why the change. “There was a time when we thought ads were important, but the more we focus on really professional websites, we think that ads flies in the face of the value proposition that we offer people.”

The company will continue to support the old version of the SiteBuilder for a time being, allowing current customers to play around with the new interface, preview their site, then publish.

The new version of the Webs.com SiteBuilder is going live today. Webs has over 50 million signups since its inception, and is now an over $10 million revenue business, says Mokhtarzada.