Intro Best Free Website Design Sites
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s most popular web builders on the market. Unlike particular competitors, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. Best Free Website Design Sites
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it appears in practice. Within this review, we will look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for creating a website, site or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide range of website building solutions, Weebly resides at the finish that is all-inclusive and provides everything you need to get started and grow your site. It’s in contrast to options where you purchase, install, and handle all of the”bits” of your site separately.
It’s Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a wonderful development rather than getting and owning your own residence. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and what living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure into the house owner. That point is key since there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality which are contained with Weebly work seamlessly together as a platform. That’s what allows them to own drag and drop design, design, and articles.
As Much as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a team compete with choices like WordPress.org (that provides the totally free software to construct a site which you have & control — visit my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing real HTML code into a text document. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive to the Weebly review.
One Other fast aside — a revelation — I receive referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this informative article. My remarks & research are based on my experiences as either a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Good 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’ll find that elements snap into position And arrange themselves perfectly on the page. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it’s quite possible to end up with overlapping components. With Weebly, no risk of that occurring.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you want to edit and sort your own words from the box. A few other options use”entry masks” that are a bit more subjective and not necessarily easy to utilize.
The navigation system also works wonders. You can dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Ultimately, if 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 this, the service is excellent, whether via email, chat, or telephone. Best Free Website Design Sites
So are there Any downsides? This depends. If you want to have more freedom with your designs, then you might feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You should go to get Wix. This competition also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that can build the web site for you by itself. You can perhaps shave off a few minutes of your site building time.
There are also two things we’d love to see. First is a worldwide undo button. You can undo everything you type in text boxes, but it would be nice to erase mistakes once you add or move components. Secondly, Weebly does not have an overall media database which keeps all your pictures. You’re going to have to re-upload images for each and every element that requires them.
Which Weebly Pricing Program is Best for Me?
We’d say the main question to ask yourself is. Do I want to market online? Quite simply, if you really do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It provides all you will need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header using slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module to allow users register and access personal sections of the website
If any of the Above are must-haves for your site, you will have to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And to get a more complete breakdown, please refer to our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let us get one thing out of the way first. if You’re an advanced search engine optimization expert who certainly must rank #1 on search engines to get a very competitive keyword, you might have a tough time with Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free app which lets you add key words from h1 to h6, but it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder Weebly doesn’t integrate it in their system.
· Certain pages (categories 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 is not in English. Same with the blog articles, they’ll have’/site /’ in the URL structure, which can’t be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. But you’re in your as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the other hand, Weebly does matters actually Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize themalong as Alt texts for pictures. This is especially important to position your own images. Best Free Website Design Sites
· 301 redirects. You can control them to prevent broken links when a page URL has been changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a great job at controlling the pictures you upload. This improves speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a little Confused about SEO? Do not forget that we have a complete guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
Just as we Know, really safe. The company takes safety very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all programs. Even the free tier will operate on https that offers an extra layer of security. Especially crucial for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly offered more in the way of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to look after it manually by saving your website for a .zip file regularly. And there is no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, tracks new changes and lets you jump back in time to a previous version of your site.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Good
We have a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the main pros and cons. But, we want to provide you here a quick summary of the main features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly doesn’t have a whole lot of template layouts (approximately 50), but you should easily have the ability to find one you like. There are different classes out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on every Apparatus (by being responsive), and they can be adapted to match your personal needs, together with the templates as a base. No need for you to receive a web design diploma!
Of course, if You’re all about design, and absolutely need to be able to personalize it down to the last pixel, you should check out Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more elastic editor…
… unless you are confident with coding. This Is since Weebly, unlike other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig beneath the hood and modify the CSS and HTML? You’ll have free reign here, because you can see in the image above.
Ecommerce. Can be a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We’d say yes, with a caveat. It’s great to Sell physical and digital products for small and medium-sized stores, but maybe not for big ones. Although you can use the import and export function to manage large number of items, you might find Weebly lacking in features for massive stores.
For Example, we don’t like this there Are not any offline payment options (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it is also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for example (but also has less features). Best Free Website Design Sites
Finally, it is worth noting that even though You’re able to create a store using the Starter and Guru program, upgrading to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to find the automated shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very useful for serious shop owners. Furthermore, you won’t have to cover an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the various online store plans? You can find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program Store. Can I Boost My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 programs in A number of categories like eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Some 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 might shut down one day. Additionally a shame the programs made by Weebly are rather restricted.
However, one thing all the programs have in Common is a super simple installation feature. One click and bam! All programs are analyzed and will work instantly on your website. We attempted some cool ones like a way to add tables, event calendars, and info bars to display specific information. Our only qualm is that the quality and amount of apps is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Using Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the experts of Weebly — not just compared with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a general online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all the websites that are constructed on their own platform. That may be good or bad, but in Weebly’s situation, it is an expert. They have rapid load speeds. Their websites are optimized to their hosting. They take care of safety against hackers and spam. With business plans, they install and maintain SSL across your entire site. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and security risks, but it’s an advantage for many site owners to have somebody else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with expert and completely free accounts, so it is a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin any piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”okay, what do I do today?” That process is known as onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to execute well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t wish to be annoying, but they also wish to help. I love how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and instruction not only via email drip arrangement but also via little info buttons built with their own platform.
Once You join, it’s straightforward to dive right in. Best Free Website Design Sites
Site Building Procedure
One Advertised advantage of using a comprehensive site builder is you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop elements. Everything you see in the builder is what you receive on the site.
It is Not always that easy. There is a lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” Most of us really mean”I want to click and drag this component and transfer it to a general area where it will look great — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” In other words, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You want to do the thing, but also have a 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 that you may edit the template to exactly your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email service option and also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they provide email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive system, customer service is able to troubleshoot and fix any matter. This is a huge benefit of site builder platforms generally, but especially with Weebly since they have phone support.
If You run your site, you’ve got to figure out exactly who will fix a problem before getting in contact with them. With Weebly, you merely get in contact with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of creating 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 platform route, it’s essential to be sure that they have all the features you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They have got all of the fundamentals — such as website functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level customized code positioning.
Even Beyond the complex requirements, Weebly even includes features including forums, subscription choices, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover individually below.
If You proceed the comprehensive site builder course, Weebly’s feature set should offer everything you need for typical personal/business websites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do want to be specifically aware of innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has plenty of built-in attributes, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome it by allowing 3rd Party programs (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together with your Own WordPress site, including performance is as easy as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can browse their climbing (though still somewhat limited) app centre.
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’s why they bought Weebly — and the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You are starting a website and plan on selling a couple of things here and there or in case you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up stores ) and you want to market online, the Weebly offers a readymade alternative with tightly integrated ecommerce features that should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I’ve Been using website builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com times and have been paying attention to this industry for the past five decades. 1 overarching trend is a company’s structure pushes product investment over the marketing group or the product group.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a company’s structure and end goals will dictate how it acts and what investments it makes. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ wildly among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for organic growth. However, in 2018, they sold to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that could be a big downside. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying companies and value. However, this acquisition has a huge upside for one market segment —
If You really don’t mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiry. A fairly good deal — especially for temporary sites.
Total Pricing is very aggressive not only compared to other comprehensive site buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan begins approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not possess the typical caps of other site builders. The Pro plan adds sound features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll see that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no caps on webpages or storage area. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the first paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your hosting, is much cheaper than similar plans with direct rivals.
Compared To building your own site in your server and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Cost isn’t everything, however I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Using Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without looking at the downsides. Each bit of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management system is exactly what it resembles. It is an interface which allows you to sort, filter, edit, and publish unique types of articles on your site. Best Free Website Design Sites
Weebly Sort of has that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your site. It permits you to drag and drop the hierarchy and then click on to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from an efficient system.
There’s No way to add custom content forms (except within an individual page). If you’re planning a massive site (such as hundreds of webpages ), the articles within Weebly would require a personal system to maintain it sorted and readily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however I wish content could be easily managed within Weebly.
The Last big drawback of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is difficult. If you want to move somewhere else, such as your WordPress powered site, Assessing your articles and redirecting your URLs will be a difficult process.
Weebly allows You to export your Page content through zip file but blog content will need to be manually duplicated or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain hard, but it is something to think about if you are planning on rapidly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most marketing tools and attributes can be added to your website. However, since you still don’t have 100% control over your website & server — it can be difficult and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, special Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the main issue isn’t having”root” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, but it is something to be careful of if you are arranging a long-term project.
For Most all website owners with typical traffic you’ll want to know about the limitations, especially if you are planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad showing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce performance. It’s possible to sell products from the Weebly site without changing platforms or doing some distinctive developments. It fits in seamlessly and contains solid performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce package for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice piece of functionality, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here is how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Great for sites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few products. Additionally, it is a good match for anybody testing out products before moving to a long-term stage. It’s not a long-term match for sites which are eCommerce-first. For those, an internet store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a much better fit.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the purchase from Square does come with a downside. That’s regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features that make it even more valuable as a complete for Square. Best Free Website Design Sites
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You’re wanting to construct a long-term articles or direct generation website, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for general drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs now, they might not in the future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was just another website builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is better than most competitors. It’s simple, uncluttered and simple to use — which is precisely what individuals with limited technical abilities need when it comes to creating their own online presence.
Of course, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, as an example. Finding an email address attached to a domain is also a bit pricey, as they recommend G Suite, that costs $5 a month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, as you can see in the FAQ under ).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the very top of the list of site builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools like the iOS or Android app for editing your site on the go, or the number of add-ons available from the program centre makes it robust, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!