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Webs (web hosting)

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(Redirected from Freewebz)
Type of businessSubsidiary
Type of site
Web hosting
Available inEnglish
Founded2001; 23 years ago (2001)
DissolvedAugust 31, 2023
Successor(s)Vista x Wix
HeadquartersSilver Spring, Maryland, USA
Founder(s)Haroon Mokhtarzada
Zeki Mokhtarzada
ServicesWeb hosting service
URLwww.webs.com (Dead link)
Launched2001; 23 years ago (2001) (as Freewebs)[1]
Current statusDefunct

Webs, formerly Freewebs, was a freemium, primarily static site-only web host founded in 2001. The service offered free and premium website hosting plans, and their own templated website building service. Unusually, Webs does not offer any dynamic content support aside from their own dynamic "apps", despite offering FTP access and allowing HTML uploads.



Webs began in 2001 as Freewebs just after the dot-com bubble. It was a start-up launched by brothers Haroon and Zeki Mokhtarzada during their last year at the University of Maryland, College Park with the help of their younger brother Idris.[2][3] Their goal was to enable anyone in the world to express themselves through the creation of their own website.[4] Between 2003 and 2007, the company grew 1704%.[5]

By April 2007, the site recorded 18 million unique visitors a month.[3]

On November 14, 2008, Freewebs changed its name to Webs, but users' URLs remained in the freewebs.com domain unless they chose to change over. Now, new websites are given subdomains of webs.com, but the old freewebs.com/sitename format still works, even for new websites. Users can also upgrade to a premium package and receive a custom web address without a Webs subdomain.

On December 28, 2011, the online printing service Vistaprint completed its acquisition of Webs for $117.5 million.[6]

On June 4, 2012, Webs released a new version of their Sitebuilder product, called Sitebuilder3. The new version includes a new drag and drop interface, more customizable themes, and simple social media integration.[7]

In early 2013, Webs underwent a redesign of the internal site, which overhauled the user’s building experience. It involved the removal of ads, the modernization of the user interface, and the addition of a step-by-step “successful website” checklist.

On May 3, 2013, Webs introduced a SEO Booster, a search engine optimization tool that helps users identify the best keyword phrases to build into their website in order to improve its position in search engine results.[8]

In late 2020, the parent company, Vistaprint, announced that on March 31, 2021 all the paying websites hosted by webs.com will be migrated to the Vistaprint domain and all the free websites deleted, with their owners' accounts removed. This change was postponed to June 30, 2021.[9] The last free subdomains were finally shut down on August 31, 2023, with all existing domains transferred to ExactHosting.com.[10]



Webs offered a "drag-and-drop" interface and professional-looking themes for users creating a new website. For pro-level websites, there were additional e-commerce features. including unlimited "webstore" items, and Google and Facebook advertising credits. All users could also link their websites to social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.[citation needed]

Webs offered its own themes and site builder, as well as a selection of its own dynamic "apps" such as a blog, photo gallery, or webstore.

Free websites were limited in features and also had a Webs banner on the bottom of the screen. The company offered premium plans with more tools and features and also allowed customers to buy custom domain names.

Webs offered 80% uptime guarantee, after many customers had complained about excessive downtime.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "FreeWebs.com WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". WHOIS. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  2. ^ "CEO Haroon Mokhtarzada Interview". Social Networking Watch. April 3, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Hart, Kim (April 9, 2007). "Venture Capital Drawn to Freewebs". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
  4. ^ Sandoval, Greg (April 26, 2007). "The free-speech fundamentals of Freewebs". CNET News. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
  5. ^ "Webs.com (Freewebs) Ranks 119th Fastest Growing Company in North America on Deloitte's 2008 Technology Fast 500". Reuters. November 12, 2008. Archived from the original on April 24, 2014.
  6. ^ Mitroff, Sarah. "Vistaprint completes $117.5M acquisition of DIY website builder Webs Inc". VentureBeat. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Announcing the Newest Version of the Webs Sitebuilder". Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Introducing Webs SEO Booster". Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  9. ^ Webs to Shut Down March 31st 2021
  10. ^ "I received an email advising my WEBS site will be shut down and my domain and email is being transferred to the company Exact Hosting, what does this mean? - VistaPrint Help Center". www.vistaprint.com. Retrieved 2024-02-28.