Background Build Your Own Professional Website
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s most popular web builders out there. Unlike particular competitors, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than improving their platform’s technology. Build Your Own Professional Website
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it appears in practice. Within this review, we will have a look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for producing a web site, blog or online store.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide spectrum of site building alternatives, Weebly resides on the end that is comprehensive and provides all you want to get started and develop your site. It’s compared to options where you purchase, install, and manage all of the”pieces” of your website individually.
It is Like trading off a few control for more convenience.
Using Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a nice development instead of buying and owning your own residence. You’re still in charge of decor, cleaning, and what living-wise — however you leave the building, plumbing, security, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is key because 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 platform. That’s what allows them to have drag and drop design, layout, and content.
As Far as competition, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (that offers the totally free software to build a site that you own & control — see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing real HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive into the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a disclosure — I get referral fees from all of the companies mentioned in this post. My opinions & study derive from my experiences as either a paying client or adviser to a paying client.
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 choose the element you need on the left, and set it upon your layout on the right.
You’ll Discover That components snap into position And organize themselves flawlessly on the page. 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 happening.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you would like to edit and type your words from the box. A few other options use”entry masks” which are somewhat more subjective and not necessarily easy to utilize.
The navigation system also works miracles. You can dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Ultimately, should you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a lot of questions through clear tutorials and step by step guides. Failing this, the service is excellent, whether by email, chat, or phone. Build Your Own Professional Website
So are there Any drawbacks? This is different. If you would like to have more freedom with your designs, then you may feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You ought to go for Wix. This competition also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that can build the web site for you pretty much by itself. You may perhaps shave off a few minutes of your site building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d love to see. First is a global undo button. You can undo what you type in text boxes, but it would be nice to erase mistakes once you add or move elements. Secondly, Weebly doesn’t have a general media database which keeps all your pictures. You’ll need to re-upload images for each and every element that needs them.
That Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We’d say the primary question to ask is. Do I wish to market online? Quite simply, if you do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It will offer all you need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro features.
· Fancy header with slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module — to let users sign in and access private sections of the website
If any of the Above are must-haves for your website, you will have to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And for a more complete breakdown, please consult with 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 are an innovative search engine optimization expert who certainly must rank #1 on search engines for a very competitive keyword, you might have a difficult time using Weebly. It’s 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, but it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly doesn’t incorporate it in their system.
· Particular pages (groups and product pages) include a compulsory string to your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a huge issue unless your website is not in English. Same with the blog articles, they’ll have’/site /’ in the URL structure and this can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. However, you are on your own as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the other hand, Weebly does things really Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize them, along as Alt texts for images. This is particularly important to position your images. Build Your Own Professional Website
· 301 redirects. You can control them to avoid broken links as soon as 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 little Curious 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 Site?
Just as we Know, very safe. The company takes safety very seriously. They market strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will run on https that offers an excess layer of security. Especially crucial 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 site as a .zip file regularly. And there is no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, monitors new adjustments and allows you to 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 main pros and cons. However, we wish to give you here a quick overview of the key features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly does not have a ton of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are different categories available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on each Apparatus (by being reactive ), and they may be adapted to match your personal needs, using the templates as a foundation. No need for you to get a web design diploma!
Of course, if You are all about design, and absolutely need to be able to customize it down to the last pixel, you need to check out Wix also. Their template selection is unmatched and they have an even more flexible editor…
… unless you are confident using 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. Is 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 not for big ones. Although you can use the export and import function to handle large number of things, you might discover Weebly lacking in features such as enormous stores.
For Example, we don’t like that there Are not any offline payment choices (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it’s also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Build Your Own Professional Website
Ultimately, it is worth noting that even though You can create a store using the Starter and Pro plan, upgrading to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll get the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very useful for serious shop owners. Furthermore, you won’t have to pay an additional transaction fee of 3%.
Still confused About the many online store plans? You can find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program shop. Can I Boost My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 apps in Quite a few classes such as eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Many are free, some are paid. Some are built by Weebly, some by third party programmers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) possibility that it may shut down one day. Also a shame the apps produced by Weebly are rather limited.
However, 1 thing all the programs have in Common is a super simple installation attribute. One click and bam! All programs are analyzed and will work immediately on your own website. We attempted 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 quantity of apps is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Using Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the pros 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 built in their own platform. That can be good or bad, however in Weebly’s situation, it is an expert. They have fast load rates. Their websites are optimized for their own hosting. They treat security against hackers and spam. With business plans, they even install and maintain SSL across your whole website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and safety risks, but it’s an advantage for many site owners to have somebody else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with expert and free accounts, so it’s a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start some piece of software — regardless of how instinctive — there’s that moment where you think”okay, what can I do now?” That approach is called onboarding, and it is also incredibly tough to execute well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t wish to be annoying, but they also wish to help. I love how Weebly builds in solid onboarding and instruction not just via email drip arrangement but also via little info buttons constructed with their platform.
Once You join, it is straightforward to dive in. Build Your Own Professional Website
Site Building Procedure
One Promoted advantage of using an all-inclusive website 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 what you receive on the website.
It’s Not always that simple. There’s a whole lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” Most of us actually mean”I want to drag and click this element and move it to a general area where it will look good — you know, automatically focused, etc.” Put simply, it’s like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. 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 actually works. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so which you may edit the template into precisely your choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly offers an email support option along with a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they provide email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive system, customer support is able to troubleshoot and correct any issue. This is a huge advantage of site builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly since they have telephone support.
If You run your site, you have to figure out just who will correct a problem prior to getting in contact with them. Together with Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own site on your host is that you don’t need to count on a platform’s feature set. If you go the stage route, it’s essential to make sure they have all the qualities you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They’ve got all of the fundamentals — like blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level customized code placement.
Even Beyond the advanced requirements, Weebly even includes features like forums, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce options, which I will cover separately below.
If You go the all-inclusive website builder route, Weebly’s feature set must offer whatever you need for typical personal/business websites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you really do need to be especially aware of innovative options).
Also — Weebly has a lot 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).
Together with your Own WordPress site, including performance 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 are enormous offline and want to be larger in the on/offline arena. That’s the reason why they bought Weebly — and why the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You are starting a website and plan on selling a few things here and there or if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up stores ) and you want to market online, the Weebly provides a readymade solution with closely integrated ecommerce features which should just 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 sector for the past five years. 1 overarching trend is that a firm’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing team or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing market, a company’s structure and end targets will dictate how it behaves and what investments it makes. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ wildly among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for organic growth. But in 2018, they offered to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that might be a big downside. Acquisitions are renowned for ruining value and companies. However, this purchase has a huge upside for one market segment —
If You really don’t 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.
Overall Pricing is very competitive not only compared to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with purchasing your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t possess the common caps of other website builders. The Guru plan adds sound features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no limits on webpages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they remove all advertisements with the initial paid grade.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your own hosting, is considerably cheaper than similar plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To constructing your own website 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.
Cons + Complaints About Using Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the drawbacks. Every piece of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 unique cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management system is exactly what it sounds like. It is an interface that permits you to sort, filter, edit, and publish unique types of articles on your website. Build Your Own Professional Website
Weebly Kind of features that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all the pages on your website. 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 is No method to add custom content types (except within an individual page). If you are arranging a massive site (like hundreds of pages), the articles contained in Weebly would require a private system to keep it all sorted and easily reachable.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, but that I want content could be easily managed within Weebly.
The Last big disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is difficult. If you would like to move somewhere else, such as your own WordPress powered site, Assessing your content and redirecting your URLs will be a challenging procedure.
Weebly lets One to export your Page content through zip file but blog articles is going to need to be manually duplicated and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be hard, but it’s something to think about if you’re considering quickly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, most advertising tools and features can be added to your website. However, since you still don’t have 100% control over your website & server — it can be challenging and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, habit social shares, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the principal issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, however it’s something to be aware of if you’re planning a long-term project.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic — you’ll want to be aware of the limitations, particularly if you are planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad revealing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce performance. You can sell products from the Weebly site without switching platforms or doing some distinctive developments. It fits in effortlessly and contains strong functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce bundle for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice bit of functionality, but remember that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online shop platforms such as Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, fundamental inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Ideal for websites that are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few products. Additionally, it is a good fit for anyone testing out products prior to going into a long-term platform. It is not a long-term match for websites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or Bigcommerce (review) are a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features which make it more valuable as a complete for Square. Build Your Own Professional Website
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent business.
If You are wanting to construct a long-term content or direct generation site, then I would look at WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs today, they might not in the medium future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was only another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding site building tool which is far better than most competitors. It’s simple, uncluttered and simple to use — that is precisely what people with limited technical abilities need when it comes to making their own internet presence.
Of course, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe a bit more templates, for instance. Getting an email address attached to a domain is also a bit expensive, as they urge G Suite, that costs $5 per month, per user. (Though there are workarounds, as you can see in the FAQ below).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the top of the list of site builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools like the iOS or Android app for editing your website on the move, or the number of add-ons available in the program center makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!