Intro Best Free Website Design
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s most popular web builders on the market. Unlike particular competitors, they appear less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technologies. Best Free Website Design
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it appears in practice. Within this review, we’ll have a look at their drag and drop editor and see if it’s any good for producing a web site, site or online store.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad spectrum of website building solutions, Weebly lives at the finish that is all-inclusive and provides all you want to get started and grow your site. It is compared to solutions where you buy, install, and handle all of the”bits” of your website separately.
It is Like trading off a few control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like renting and customizing an apartment in a nice development rather than getting and owning your own house. You are still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise — but you leave the building, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the house owner. That point is critical because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The design and functionality that are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That’s what allows them to own drag and drop design, layout, and content.
As Far as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a group compete with choices like WordPress.org (that offers the totally free software to construct a site that you own & control — see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive to the Weebly review.
One Other fast aside — a disclosure — I get referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this post. My opinions & research are based on my experiences like a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. The first thing you’ll notice Is how nicely the drag and drop interface is designed. Just choose the element you need on the left, and place it on your design on the rightside.
You might Discover That components snap into place And organize themselves flawlessly on the webpage. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it’s quite possible to end up with overlapping components. With Weebly, no risk of that happening.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you want to edit and type your own words from the box. Some other options use”entry masks” which are somewhat more abstract and not always easy to utilize.
The navigation system also works wonders. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them like a charm.
Ultimately, if you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a great deal of questions through clear tutorials and step-by-step guides. Failing that, the service is exceptional, whether via email, chat, or phone. Best Free Website Design
So are there Any downsides? That is different. If you want to have more freedom with your layouts, then you may feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You ought to go for Wix. This competitor also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the web site for you pretty much by itself. You may possibly shave a couple of minutes of your site building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d like to see. First is a worldwide undo button. It is possible to undo everything you type in text boxes, but it will be nice to erase mistakes once you move or add components. Second, Weebly does not have a general media database which keeps all your pictures. You’re going to have to re-upload images for each and every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Plan is Best for Me?
We would say the primary question to ask is. Do I wish to market online? Quite simply, if you really do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It will offer all you need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header with slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module to let users register and access private sections of the Site
If any of the Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll have to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And for a more complete breakdown, please refer to our complete Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. if You’re an innovative search engine optimization specialist who certainly needs to rank #1 on search engines to get a very competitive key word, you may have a difficult time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free program that allows you insert headings from h1 to h6, however, it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder Weebly does not incorporate it in their system.
· Certain pages (groups and product pages) include a mandatory string to your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a massive issue unless your website is not in English. Same with the website articles, they’ll have’/site /’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. But you are on your own as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the other hand, Weebly does things actually Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize them, along as Alt texts for pictures. This is particularly important to position your images. Best Free Website Design
· 301 redirects. It is possible to command them to prevent broken links when a page URL has been changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a great job at compressing the images you upload. This enhances speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a bit Confused about SEO? Don’t forget that we have a full guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
Just as we Know, really secure. The company takes safety very seriously. They market strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all programs. The free tier will operate on https that offers an excess layer of safety. Especially important for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly provided more in the method of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to take care of it manually by conserving your website as a .zip file regularly. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, 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 post about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the key pros and cons. However, we want to give you a quick summary of the main features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly doesn’t have a whole lot of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are various categories out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on every Device (by being reactive ), and they may be adapted to match your personal needs, together with the templates as a base. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Obviously, if You’re all about layout, and absolutely need to have the ability to personalize it down to the last pixel, so you should check out Wix in addition. Their template selection is unmatched and they have an even more flexible editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is since Weebly, contrary to other builders, provides you access to the template source code.
Want to dig under the hood and modify the CSS and HTML? You’ll have free reign here, as you can see in the image above.
Ecommerce. Is a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We’d say yes, with a caveat. It is great to Sell digital and physical products for small and medium-sized stores, but not for huge ones. Even though you can use the import and export function to manage many items, you might find Weebly lacking in features for massive stores.
For instance, we don’t like that there Are not any offline payment options (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it’s also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for example (but also has less features). Best Free Website Design
Finally, it is worth noting that even though You’re able to create a shop using the Starter and Guru plan, upgrading to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll get the automatic delivery and sales tax calculator, which is very useful for serious shop owners. What’s more, you won’t need to pay an additional transaction charge of 3%.
Still confused About the many online store plans? You can discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App Store. Can I Enhance My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 apps in Quite a few categories such as eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Many are free, some are compensated. Some are built by Weebly, some by third-party developers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) possibility that it may shut down a single day. Additionally a shame the apps made by Weebly are rather restricted.
However, one thing all the programs have in Common is a super easy installation attribute. One click and bam! All apps are analyzed and will work immediately on your website. We tried some cool ones like a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display special information. Our only qualm is the quality and amount of apps is a slightly inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Using Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the experts of Weebly — not only compared with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an overall online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all of the sites which are built on their own platform. That can be good or awful, but in Weebly’s case, it’s a pro. They have rapid load speeds. Their websites are optimized to their own hosting. They take care of security against hackers and spam. With company plans, they install and maintain SSL across your whole site. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety dangers, but overall, it’s an advantage for many website owners to have someone else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with pro and completely free accounts, so it is a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start any piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there is that moment where you think”ok, what do I do today?” This process is called onboarding, and it is also incredibly hard to execute well.
The Software maker doesn’t want to be annoying, but they also want to provide help. I love how Weebly assembles in strong onboarding and instruction not just via email drip sequence but also via little info buttons built with their platform.
Once You join, it is straightforward to dive in. Best Free Website Design
Website Building Process
One Advertised benefit 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 elements. What you see in the builder is exactly what you get on the site.
It’s Not always that simple. There is a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” Most of us really mean”I wish to click and drag this element and transfer it into a general place where it will look great — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” Put simply, it is like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You want to do the thing, but also have a little bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop really works. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so that you can edit the template to precisely your own choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly provides 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 strong.
With An all-inclusive platform, client support can troubleshoot and fix any matter. This is a huge benefit of website builder platforms generally, but especially using Weebly because they have telephone support.
If You conduct your site, you have to work out just who will correct a problem before getting in touch with them. Together with Weebly, you merely get in contact with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own website on your host is you don’t have to count on a platform’s attribute set. If you proceed the platform route, it is key to make sure that they have all the qualities you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They’ve got all the fundamentals — like blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level customized code positioning.
Even Past the advanced necessities, Weebly even includes features including forums, subscription choices, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover individually below.
If You proceed the comprehensive site builder course, Weebly’s feature set should provide 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 (think the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together with your Own WordPress site, adding performance is as easy as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can browse their climbing (though still somewhat limited) app centre.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re enormous offline and want to be larger in the on/offline arena. That’s the reason why they purchased Weebly — and why the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s ecommerce features.
If You are starting a site and plan on selling a couple of things here and there or in case you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you want to sell on the internet, the Weebly offers a readymade alternative with tightly integrated ecommerce features which should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I’ve Been using website builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com times and have been paying attention to this industry for the previous 5 years. One overarching trend is a firm’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing team or the product team.
Even In a fast paced market, a organization’s structure and finish targets will dictate how it behaves and what investments it makes. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ wildly among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for organic expansion. However, in 2018, they offered to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that could be a big drawback. Acquisitions are renowned for ruining companies and value. However, this purchase has a huge 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 expiry. A fairly good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is very competitive not only compared to other all-inclusive website buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not have the typical caps of other site builders. The Guru plan adds sound features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no caps on pages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the initial paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your own hosting, is considerably more affordable than similar plans with direct competitors.
In comparison To building your own website on your host and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Cost isn’t everything, however I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Using Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without looking at the downsides. Every piece of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 unique cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management system is exactly what it resembles. It is an interface that permits you to sort, filter, edit, and publish unique types of articles on your site. Best Free Website Design
Weebly Kind of features that. It’s 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 within a single page). If you are arranging a massive site (such as hundreds of pages), the articles within Weebly would need a private system to maintain it all sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, but that I wish content could be easily managed within Weebly.
The Last big disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is not difficult. If you would like to move somewhere else, such as your WordPress powered website, Assessing your articles and redirecting your URLs will be a challenging process.
Weebly lets You to export your Page content through zip file but website articles is going to have to be manually copied and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain difficult, but it is something to think about if you are planning on quickly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most advertising tools and features can be added to your website. But since you still do not 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 applications, custom analytics packages, habit social stocks, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the principal issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, but it’s something to be careful of if you’re arranging a long-term job.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic you’ll want to know about the limitations, particularly if you’re planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s advertisement revealing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce performance. You can sell products from the Weebly site without switching platforms or performing any special developments. It fits in seamlessly and has solid performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce package for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful bit of performance, but keep in mind that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online shop platforms such as 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 Ideal for sites that are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few products. It’s also a good match for anybody testing out products prior to going to a long-term stage. It is not a long-term match for sites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an online store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialty eCommerce platform such as Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) would be a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That’s regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it even more valuable as a whole for Square. Best Free Website Design
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent business.
If You are looking to construct a long-term content or lead generation website, then I would consider WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for general drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs today, they may not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years past, it was just another site builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding website building tool that is better than many competitors. It’s easy, uncluttered and easy to use — which is exactly what individuals with limited technical abilities need in regards to making their own internet presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To see somewhat more templates, for instance. Getting an email address attached to a domain name is also a little pricey, as they urge G Suite, that costs $5 a month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, since you can see in the FAQ under ).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the very top of our list of site builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools like the iOS or Android program for editing your website on the move, or the number of add-ons available from the program center makes it powerful, and fun to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!