Intro 10 Best Free Websites
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s hottest web builders out there. Unlike certain competitors, they appear less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than improving their platform’s technologies. 10 Best Free Websites
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it appears in practice. Within this review, we’ll look at their drag and drop editor and see if it’s any good for producing a web site, site or online shop.
On The wide range of website building solutions, Weebly resides on the end that is all-inclusive and provides everything you want to begin and develop your site. It is compared to solutions where you purchase, set up, and handle all the”pieces” of your website separately.
It’s Like trading off a few control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a nice development instead of buying and owning your own house. You’re still in charge of decoration, cleaning, and everything living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the house owner. That point is key since there’s typically a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The design and functionality that are included with Weebly work seamlessly together as a stage. That’s what lets them own drag and drop layout, layout, and articles.
As Much as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a team compete with options like WordPress.org (which provides the free software to build a site that you have & control — visit my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to choices like typing actual HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive into the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a disclosure — I get referral fees from all the companies discussed in this post. My opinions & research are based on my experiences like a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. First thing you’ll notice Is how nicely the drag and drop interface was created. Just choose the element you want on the left, and set it on your layout on the right.
You might find that components snap into place And arrange themselves flawlessly on the page. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it is very possible to end up with overlapping elements. With Weebly, no risk of that occurring.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you would like to edit and type your own words from the box. A few other options use”entry masks” that are a bit more subjective and not always easy to work with.
The navigation system also works miracles. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Ultimately, should you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a lot of questions through tutorials that are clear and step-by-step guides. Failing that, the service is exceptional, whether via email, chat, or phone. 10 Best Free Websites
So are there Any downsides? That depends. If you would like more freedom with your layouts, then you may feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You ought to go to get Wix. This competition also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the website for you pretty much by itself. You may possibly shave a couple of minutes of your website building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d like to see. First is a global undo button. You can undo what you type in text boxes, but it would be wonderful to erase mistakes once you move or add components. Second, Weebly does not have an overall media database that keeps all your pictures. You’re going to need to re-upload images for each and every element that requires them.
That Weebly Pricing Plan is Best for Me?
We would say the primary question to ask is. Do I wish to sell online? Quite simply, if you do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It will offer all you need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro features.
· Fancy header with slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module to allow users sign in and access personal sections of the Site
If any of the Above are must-haves for your site, you will have to update to Weebly Pro. And to get a more comprehensive breakdown, please consult with our complete Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let us get one thing out of the way first. if You’re an innovative search engine optimization specialist who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive keyword, you may have a difficult time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There is a free app which lets you insert headings from h1 to h6, however, it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly doesn’t integrate it into their system.
· Particular pages (groups and product pages) include a compulsory string for your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a huge issue unless your site isn’t in English. Same with the blog posts, they’ll have’/blog/’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is done via source code. But you’re in your as Weebly does not help.
On the other hand, Weebly does matters actually Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize them, along as Alt texts for images. This is especially important to rank your own images. 10 Best Free Websites
· 301 redirects. It is possible to control them to prevent broken links as soon as a page URL was changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a great job at controlling the images you upload. This improves speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a bit Confused about SEO? Do not forget that we’ve got a full guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
As far as we Understand, really safe. The company takes safety very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will operate on https which offers an extra layer of security. Especially important for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Regrettably, we wish Weebly offered more in the method of backup and restore systems. You have to take care of it manually by saving your site as a .zip file frequently. And there’s no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, tracks new adjustments and lets you jump back in time to a previous version of your website.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Great
We have a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you can read the key pros and cons. However, we wish to give you here a quick summary of the main features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly does not have a whole lot of template layouts (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one that you like. There are different categories available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on each Device (by being responsive), and they can be adapted to match your personal needs, using the templates as a foundation. No need for you to receive a web design degree!
Of course, if You’re all about design, and absolutely need to be able to customize it down to the last pixel, you should check out Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more elastic editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is since Weebly, contrary to other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig beneath the hood and change the CSS and HTML? You will have free reign here, as you can see in the picture above.
Ecommerce. Can be a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We’d say yes, with a caveat. It is great to Sell physical and digital products for small and medium-sized shops, but not for big ones. Even though you can use the export and import function to handle many things, you might discover Weebly lacking in features such as massive stores.
For instance, we don’t like that there Aren’t any offline payment options (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it’s also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for example (but also has less features). 10 Best Free Websites
Ultimately, it is worth noting that even though You can create a shop using the Starter and Pro program, updating to Business and higher makes more sense. You’ll get the automatic delivery and sales tax calculator, which is very useful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t have to cover an additional transaction fee of 3%.
Still confused About the various online store plans? You can discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App Store. Can I Boost My Site with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 programs in A number of classes like eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Many are free, some are paid. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third party developers. For the latter, there is always an (unlikely) possibility that it may shut down a single day. Also a shame the programs produced by Weebly are rather limited.
However, 1 thing all of the apps have in Common is a super simple installation attribute. Click and bam! All apps are tested and will work instantly on your site. We attempted some cool ones such as a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display special info. Our only qualm is that the quality and quantity of apps is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Utilizing Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the experts of Weebly — not just in comparison to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an overall online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all the sites which are constructed in their platform. That can be good or bad, however in Weebly’s situation, it is a pro. They have fast load speeds. Their websites are optimized to their hosting. They treat safety against spam and hackers. With business plans, they even install and keep SSL across your entire website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety risks, but overall, it’s an edge for many website owners to have someone else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with expert and completely free accounts, so it’s a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start some piece of software — no matter how instinctive — there is that moment where you think”okay, what can I do now?” This approach is called onboarding, and it is also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software maker does not wish to be annoying, but they also want to provide help. I really like how Weebly assembles in solid onboarding and education not just via email drip sequence but also via little info buttons built with their own platform.
After You sign up, it is simple to dive right in. 10 Best Free Websites
Site Building Procedure
One Promoted advantage of using a comprehensive site builder is that you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop components. Everything you see in the builder is exactly what you get on the website.
It’s Not necessarily that easy. There is a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us really mean”I wish to click and drag this element and transfer it into a general area where it’ll look good — you know, automatically focused, etc.” In other words, it is like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You wish to do the thing, but also have a little bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop really functions. And, for the control freaks among us, they supply access to some custom CSS module, so which you can edit the template into precisely your choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly offers an email service alternative along with a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they provide email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive system, client service can troubleshoot and correct any matter. This is a massive benefit of website builder platforms in general, but especially with Weebly because they have telephone support.
If You run your own site, you have to work out exactly who will correct a problem prior to getting in contact with them. Together with Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of building your own site on your own host is that you don’t have to depend on a platform’s attribute set. If you go the stage route, it’s key to be sure they have all the qualities you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They have got all of the fundamentals — such as blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level customized code positioning.
Even Past the advanced requirements, Weebly even includes features like discussion, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover separately below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive website builder route, Weebly’s feature set should provide whatever you need for typical personal/business sites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do want to be specifically aware of advanced options).
Also — Weebly has plenty of built-in attributes, but it does not have everything. Platforms overcome it by allowing 3rd Party programs (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
With your Own WordPress site, including functionality is as easy as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can navigate their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re enormous offline and want to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That is the reason why they purchased Weebly — and why the future is really bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You’re starting a website and plan on selling a few things here and there or if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you would like to market on the internet, the Weebly offers a readymade solution with closely integrated ecommerce characteristics that should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I’ve Been using site builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com days and have been closely paying attention to this industry for the previous 5 years. One overarching trend is a firm’s structure drives product investment over the marketing group or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing market, a company’s construction and finish targets will dictate how it acts and what investments it gets. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ tremendously among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for organic expansion. But in 2018, they offered to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that could be a big drawback. Acquisitions are renowned for ruining companies and value. However, this purchase has a Massive upside for a single market segment —
If You do not mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiration. A pretty good deal — particularly for temporary sites.
Total Pricing is very aggressive not only in contrast to other comprehensive site buildersbut also with purchasing your own hosting. Their Starter plan begins around $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t have the typical caps of other site builders. The Pro program adds solid features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is bundled and unlimited. There are no limits on pages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all ads with the first paid grade.
Even Their small business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your hosting, is much cheaper than similar plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To building your own website in your server and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Cost isn’t everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Using Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the drawbacks. Each bit of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 unique cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management process is exactly what it resembles. It’s an interface which allows you to type, filter, edit, and print different types of content on your site. 10 Best Free Websites
Weebly Sort of has that. It has a Pages section that lists out all the pages on your site. It allows you to drag and drop the hierarchy and then click to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from a efficient system.
There is No way to add custom content types (except inside an individual page). If you are arranging a large site (such as hundreds of webpages ), the articles contained in Weebly would need a personal system to keep it all sorted and easily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however that I want content could be easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge drawback of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you want to move someplace else, such as your own WordPress powered site, migrating your articles and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult procedure.
Weebly allows You to export your Page content via zip file but website content will have to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain difficult, but it is something to consider if you’re planning on rapidly expanding traffic and/or content.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most advertising tools and features can be added to your site. But since you still don’t have 100% control over your site & host — it can be challenging and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages, habit social shares, special Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the principal issue is not having”root” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, however it is something to be careful of if you’re arranging a long-term project.
For Most all website owners with typical traffic you’ll want to be aware of the limitations, particularly if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s ad revealing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce performance. You can sell products from your Weebly website without switching platforms or doing some special developments. It fits in effortlessly and contains solid functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce bundle for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful piece of performance, but remember that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, basic inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Ideal for websites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few products. It’s also a fantastic match for anybody testing out products before going into a long-term platform. It is not a long-term match for sites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet store you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a better match.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That’s regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features that make it more precious as a complete for Square. 10 Best Free Websites
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You’re wanting to build a long-term content or direct generation site, then I’d consider WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs now, they might not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was just another site builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is far better than most competitors. It’s easy, uncluttered and simple to use — that is precisely what individuals with limited technical skills need when it comes to making their own internet presence.
Obviously, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To see a bit more templates, for instance. Finding an email address attached to your domain is also a bit expensive, as they urge G Suite, which costs $5 a month, per user. (Though there are workarounds, since you can see in the FAQ under ).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the very top of the list of website builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools like the iOS or Android app for editing your site on the go, or the amount of add-ons out there from the app centre makes it robust, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!