Introduction Build My Own Website For Free
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s most popular web builders on the market. Unlike particular opponents, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than improving their platform’s technology. Build My Own Website For Free
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 website, site or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide range of site building alternatives, Weebly resides on the end that’s comprehensive and provides everything you need to get started and grow your website. It is in contrast to options where you purchase, install, and handle all of the”pieces” of your website individually.
It is Like trading off a few control for more convenience.
Using Weebly is kind of like renting and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development rather than getting and owning your own house. You are still in charge of decoration, cleaning, and everything living-wise — however you leave the building, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The functionality and design which are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That’s what allows them to have drag and drop design, layout, and articles.
As Far as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a group compete with choices like WordPress.org (that provides the free software to build a website that you own & 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 to the Weebly review.
One Other fast aside — a disclosure — I get referral fees from all of the companies mentioned in this informative article. My remarks & research derive from my experiences as either a paying client or adviser to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. The first thing you’ll notice Is how nicely the drag and drop interface was created. Just select the element you need on the left, and place it upon your layout on the right.
You’ll find that elements snap into position And organize themselves perfectly on the webpage. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it is very possible to end up with overlapping components. Together with Weebly, no risk of that occurring.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you want to edit and type your own words in the box. Some other solutions use”entrance masks” which are somewhat more subjective and not always easy to utilize.
The navigation system also works miracles. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Finally, should you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a great deal of questions through tutorials that are clear and step-by-step guides. Failing that, the service is exceptional, whether by email, chat, or telephone. Build My Own Website For Free
So are there Any downsides? That depends. If you would like to have more freedom with your layouts, then you may feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You should go to get Wix. This competitor also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that may build the website for you pretty much by itself. You can possibly shave off a few 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 add or move components. Second, Weebly doesn’t have an overall media database that keeps all your pictures. You’re going to need to re-upload pictures for every element that requires them.
Which Weebly Pricing Program is Ideal for Me?
We would say the main question to ask yourself is. Do I wish to sell 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 need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro features.
· Fancy header with slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module — to allow users register and access private sections of the Site
If some of those Above are must-haves for your site, you will need 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 Site Rank On Google?
Let us get one thing out of the way . if You’re an advanced SEO specialist who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines to get a really competitive key word, you may have a tough time with Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free program which allows you insert headings from h1 to h6, however, it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder Weebly doesn’t incorporate it into their system.
· Certain pages (categories and product pages) add a compulsory string for your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a massive issue unless your website isn’t in English. Same with the blog posts, they’ll have’/blog/’ in the URL structure, which can’t be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is done via source code. However, you’re in your as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does matters really Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize themalong as Alt texts for images. This is particularly important to position your images. Build My Own Website For Free
· 301 redirects. You can control them to prevent broken links as soon as a page URL was changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Picture 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? Don’t forget that we have a full guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
Just as we Know, really safe. The business takes safety very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will run on https that offers an extra layer of security. Especially crucial for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly offered more in the method of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to look after it manually by conserving your site for a .zip file frequently. And there is no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, monitors 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 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 notice is that Weebly doesn’t have a ton of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily have the ability to find one that 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 responsive), and they may be adapted to match your personal needs, using the templates as a base. No need for you to receive a web design diploma!
Obviously, if You are 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 selection is unmatched and they have a much more elastic editor…
… unless you are confident with coding. This Is because Weebly, unlike other builders, provides you access to the template source code.
Want to dig under the hood and change the CSS and HTML? You’ll have free reign here, because you can see in the image above.
Ecommerce. Is a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We would 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 may use the export and import function to manage many things, you might find Weebly lacking in features for enormous stores.
For Example, we do not like this there Aren’t any offline payment choices (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it’s also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for example (but also has less features). Build My Own Website For Free
Ultimately, it’s worth noting that although You can create a store with the Starter and Pro plan, updating to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll find the automated shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to pay an additional transaction fee of 3%.
Still confused About the various online store strategies? You can discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program shop. Can I Boost My Site with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 apps in Quite a few 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 apps produced by Weebly are quite limited.
However, one thing all of the programs have in Common is a super easy installation attribute. Click and bam! All apps are tested and will work instantly on your site. 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 marginally inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Using Weebly
Here’s What I found to be the experts of Weebly — not only in comparison to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a general online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all the sites that are constructed in their own platform. That can be good or awful, however in Weebly’s case, it’s a pro. They have rapid load rates. Their websites are optimized for their own hosting. They treat security against spam and hackers. With business plans, they even install and maintain SSL across your whole site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety dangers, but overall, it’s an edge for many site owners to have someone else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with expert and free accounts, so it’s a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin some piece of software — regardless of how instinctive — there’s that moment where you think”ok, what do I do now?” That process is called onboarding, and it is also incredibly tough to implement well.
The Software maker doesn’t wish to be bothersome, but they also wish to provide help. I really like how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and education not just via email drip sequence but also via little info buttons constructed with their own platform.
Once You join, it is straightforward to dive in. Build My Own Website For Free
Site Building Process
One Advertised benefit of using a comprehensive website builder is that you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop elements. What you see in the builder is what you get on the site.
It is Not necessarily that easy. There’s 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 place where it will look good — you know, mechanically focused, etc.” Put simply, it’s like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You wish to do the thing, but also have a bit of help.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop actually functions. As well as for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so which you can edit the template to precisely your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email support alternative along with a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they offer email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive platform, client support can troubleshoot and fix any matter. This is a massive advantage of website builder platforms generally, but especially with Weebly because they have phone support.
If You conduct your own site, you have to work out exactly who will fix a problem before getting in touch with them. With Weebly, you merely get in touch with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own site on your own host is you don’t have to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the stage route, it is essential to be sure they have all the qualities you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They’ve 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 placement.
Even Beyond the complex requirements, Weebly also includes features like forums, subscription choices, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce options, which I’ll cover separately below.
If You proceed the comprehensive site builder course, Weebly’s attribute set should offer everything you need for typical personal/business sites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you do want to be specifically aware of innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has plenty of built-in features, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome it by allowing 3rd Party apps (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
With your Own WordPress site, adding performance is as easy as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can navigate their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app centre.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are huge offline and wish to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That’s the reason why they purchased Weebly — and why the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You are starting a site and plan on selling a couple of things here and there or if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up stores ) and you would like to market online, the Weebly provides a ready-made solution with closely integrated ecommerce characteristics that should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I’ve Been using website builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com days and have been closely paying attention to this industry for the past five years. 1 overarching trend is that a company’s structure pushes product investment over the marketing group or the product group.
Even In a fast paced 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 vary tremendously among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for organic growth. But in 2018, they offered to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that might be a big drawback. Acquisitions are renowned for destroying companies and value. However, this acquisition has a Massive upside for one market segment —
If You really do not mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiration. A pretty good deal — particularly for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is very competitive not only compared to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan begins around $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t have the typical caps of other website builders. The Guru program adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll notice that everything is bundled and unlimited. There are no limits on webpages or storage area. And unlike competitors like Wix, they remove all advertisements with the initial paid tier.
Even Their small business pricing, while more costly than doing the exact same thing on your hosting, is much more affordable than comparable plans with direct rivals.
Compared To constructing your own site in your server and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Price is not everything, however I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Using Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without studying the drawbacks. Each bit of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management process is precisely what it sounds like. It’s an interface that allows you to sort, filter, edit, and publish unique kinds of articles on your website. Build My Own Website For Free
Weebly Sort of features that. It has a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your site. It allows you to drag and drop the hierarchy and click on 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 planning a massive site (such as hundreds of pages), the content contained in Weebly would need a private system to maintain it sorted and easily reachable.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, but I wish content could be more 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 somewhere else, including your WordPress powered site, migrating your articles and redirecting your URLs will be a difficult process.
Weebly lets One to export your Page content via zip file but blog content is going to need to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be difficult, but it is something to consider if you’re planning on rapidly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, many marketing tools and features can be added to your site. However, since you still don’t have 100% control over your site & host — it can be difficult and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social stocks, specific Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the principal issue isn’t having”root” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, however it is something to be careful of if you’re planning a long-term job.
For Most all website owners with average traffic — you’ll want to know about the limitations, especially if you’re planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s advertisement showing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce functionality. It’s possible to sell products from the Weebly site without changing platforms or performing some special developments. It fits in seamlessly and contains strong functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the full eCommerce bundle for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful bit of performance, but keep in mind that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, fundamental stock management, and payment approval. Here’s how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Great for websites that are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc also want to sell a few products. Additionally, it is a good match for anybody testing out products prior to moving into a long-term platform. It is not a long-term fit for websites which are eCommerce-first. For those, an internet shop you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform like Shopify (inspection ) or Bigcommerce (review) are a better fit.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the purchase from Square does come with a downside. That’s regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features which make it more valuable as a whole for Square. Build My Own Website For Free
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You are wanting to construct a long-term content or lead generation website, then I would look at 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 future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years past, it was just another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding website building tool that is far better than many competitors. It is easy, uncluttered and easy to use — which is exactly what people with limited technical abilities need in regards to creating their own online presence.
Of course, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to your domain is also a bit pricey, as they urge G Suite, that costs $5 per 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 the list of website builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools like the iOS or Android program for editing your site on the move, or the amount of add-ons out there in the program center makes it robust, and fun to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!