Introduction Build Your Website For Free
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s hottest web builders out there. Unlike certain opponents, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than improving their platform’s technology. Build Your Website For Free
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it appears in practice. In this review, we’ll have a look at their drag and drop editor and see if it’s any good for producing a website, blog or online store.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad range of website building alternatives, Weebly lives at the finish that is comprehensive and provides everything you want to get started and develop your website. It is compared to options where you purchase, set up, and handle all the”bits” of your website separately.
It’s Like trading off some control for greater convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is kind of like renting and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development rather than getting and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decoration, cleaning, and everything living-wise — but you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key since 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 is what allows them to own drag and drop layout, design, and articles.
As Much as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (which provides the free software to build a website that you own & control — visit my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text document. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive into 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 like a paying customer 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 want on the left, and place it upon your layout on the right.
You might Discover That components snap into position And organize themselves flawlessly on the webpage. Other options, 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 simply click what you want to edit and type your own words from the box. Some other solutions use”entry masks” that 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 like a charm.
Finally, should 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 telephone. Build Your Website For Free
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 competitor also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that can build the web site for you by itself. You may perhaps shave off a couple of minutes of your site building time.
There are also two things we’d love to see. First is a worldwide undo button. It is possible to undo everything you type in text boxes, but it will be wonderful to erase mistakes when you add or move elements. Secondly, Weebly does not have an overall media database which keeps all your pictures. You’re going to need to re-upload pictures for each and every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Program is Ideal for Me?
We’d say the primary question to ask yourself is. Do I wish to sell online? Quite simply, if you do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It will offer everything you will need for displaying information 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 sign in and get private sections of the Site
If some of the Above are must-haves for your site, you will need to update to Weebly Pro. And for a more comprehensive breakdown, please consult with our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let’s get 1 thing out of the way first. if You’re an innovative search engine optimization expert who certainly must rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive key word, you may have a difficult time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There’s a free program that allows you insert headings from h1 to h6, but it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly doesn’t integrate 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 is not in English. Same with the blog articles, they’ll have’/blog/’ in the URL structure and this can not be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is performed via source code. However, you’re in your as Weebly does not 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 pictures. This is particularly important to position your own images. Build Your Website For Free
· 301 redirects. You can control them to avoid broken links when a page URL has been changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a fantastic 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’ve got a full guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
Just as we Know, really secure. The company takes security very seriously. They market strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. The free tier will operate on https that delivers an extra layer of safety. Especially important for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly provided 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 in case disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, tracks new adjustments and allows you to jump back in time to a previous version of your website.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Good
We’ve Got a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the key pros and cons. However, we want to provide you a quick summary of the main features here.
The First thing to notice 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 out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on every Apparatus (by being responsive), and they may be adapted to match your personal needs, together with the templates as a foundation. No need for you to get a web design diploma!
Obviously, if You are all about design, and absolutely need to have the ability to customize it down to the last pixel, you should have a look at Wix in addition. Their template selection is unmatched and they have an even more elastic editor…
… unless you are confident using coding. This Is because Weebly, unlike other builders, gives 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, 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 shops, but not for big ones. Even though you may use the export and import function to manage many things, you might discover Weebly lacking in features such as enormous stores.
For Example, we do not like this there Aren’t 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). Build Your Website For Free
Finally, it is worth noting that although You can create a shop using the Starter and Pro plan, upgrading to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to find the automatic delivery and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful for serious shop owners. What’s more, you won’t need to cover an additional transaction charge of 3 percent.
Still confused About the many online store plans? You may discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program Store. Can I Enhance My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 programs in Quite a few categories such as eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Some are free, some are compensated. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third-party programmers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) chance that it might shut down one day. Additionally a pity the apps made by Weebly are quite limited.
However, 1 thing all the apps have in Common is a super easy installation feature. Click and bam! All apps are tested and will work immediately on your own site. We attempted some cool ones such as a way to include tables, event calendars, and data bars to display special info. Our only qualm is the quality and amount of apps is a marginally inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Using Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the experts of Weebly — not only in comparison with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all the websites that are built on their platform. That can be good or awful, however in Weebly’s situation, it’s a pro. They have fast load rates. Their websites are optimized to their hosting. They take care of safety against hackers and spam. With company plans, they even install and maintain SSL across your entire site. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and safety risks, but it’s an edge for many website owners to have somebody else care for 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 any piece of software — no matter how instinctive — there’s that moment where you think”okay, what do I do now?” This process is known as onboarding, and it is also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software manufacturer does not want to be bothersome, but they also want to provide help. I love how Weebly assembles in solid onboarding and instruction not just via email trickle arrangement but also via little info buttons constructed with their own platform.
Once You join, it’s simple to dive in. Build Your Website For Free
Site Building Process
One Advertised benefit of using an all-inclusive site builder is that you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop elements. What you find in the builder is exactly what you receive on the site.
It is Not always that simple. There is a lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” Most of us actually mean”I wish to drag and click this component and move it into a general area where it will seem great — you know, mechanically focused, etc.” Put simply, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You wish to do something, but also have a bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop really functions. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to some custom CSS module, so that you may 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 offer email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive system, client support is able to troubleshoot and correct any matter. This is a huge benefit of site builder platforms generally, but especially using Weebly since they have phone support.
If You conduct your site, you have to work out exactly who will correct a problem before getting in contact with them. With Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own site on your host is you don’t have to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you go the platform route, it’s key to make certain they have all the qualities you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They’ve got all of the basics — such as website performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.
Even Past the advanced requirements, Weebly even includes features including forums, subscription choices, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover separately below.
If You go the comprehensive 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 want to be specifically aware of innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in features, but it does not 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 functionality is as easy as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can browse their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re huge offline and want to be bigger 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’re starting a website and plan on selling a few things here and there or in case you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up stores ) and you want to sell online, the Weebly offers a readymade solution with closely integrated ecommerce characteristics which should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I have Been using website builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com days and have been closely paying attention to this sector for the previous 5 years. 1 overarching trend is a firm’s structure pushes product investment over the marketing team or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a organization’s structure and end goals will dictate how it behaves and what investments it makes. 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 company going for natural growth. But in 2018, they sold 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 value and companies. However, this purchase has a Massive upside for a single market segment —
If You do not mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiration. A pretty good deal — particularly for temporary sites.
Total Pricing is quite aggressive not only compared to other all-inclusive website buildersbut also with purchasing your own hosting. Their Starter plan begins around $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not have the typical caps of other site builders. The Guru program adds sound features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll notice that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no caps on webpages or storage area. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they eliminate all ads with the first paid tier.
Even Their small business pricing, while more costly than doing the same thing on your hosting, is much cheaper than comparable plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To building your own site in your server and especially with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Cost isn’t everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the downsides. Every piece of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 unique cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management process is precisely what it sounds like. It is an interface which permits you to sort, filter, edit, and publish unique kinds of articles on your website. Build Your Website For Free
Weebly Kind of has that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your website. It allows you to drag and drop the hierarchy and click to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from an efficient system.
There’s No way to add custom content types (except within an individual page). If you are planning a massive site (such as hundreds of webpages ), the articles within Weebly would need a personal system to maintain it all sorted and easily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, but that I wish content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last big drawback of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is difficult. If you would like to move someplace else, including 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 website articles will need to be manually copied 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 traffic and/or content.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, most marketing tools and attributes can be added to your website. But since you still do not have 100% control on your site & server — it can be difficult and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages, habit social shares, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the main issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, however it is something to be careful of if you’re arranging a long-term job.
For Most all website owners with average traffic you’ll want to know about the constraints, particularly if you are planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s advertisement revealing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce performance. You can sell products from the Weebly website without changing platforms or performing some distinctive developments. It fits in seamlessly and has strong performance.
The Pricing is affordable. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the full eCommerce bundle for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful piece of functionality, 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, basic inventory management, and payment approval. Here is how Weebly fits about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Ideal for sites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few goods. Additionally, it is a fantastic fit for anyone testing out products prior to going into a long-term stage. It is not a long-term match for sites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an online store you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialty eCommerce platform such as Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a better match.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features which make it more valuable as a complete for Square. Build Your Website For Free
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You are looking to build a long-term content or lead generation site, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they may not in the future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years past, it was only another site builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding website building tool that is far better than many competitors. It’s easy, uncluttered and simple to use — which is exactly what individuals with limited technical skills need when it comes to making their own online presence.
Of course, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe 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 per month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, since you can see in the FAQ below).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the top of the list of website builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools such as the iOS or Android program for editing your site on the go, or the number of add-ons available in the program centre makes it robust, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!