Background Can I Make My Own Website For Free
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s most popular web builders out there. Unlike certain competitors, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technologies. Can I Make My Own Website For Free
This all sounds fairly good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it looks in practice. In this review, we’ll look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for producing a website, blog or online store.
On The broad range of website building solutions, Weebly resides at the finish that is comprehensive and provides all you need to begin and grow your site. It is in contrast to options where you purchase, set up, and manage all the”bits” of your site separately.
It is Like trading off a few control for more convenience.
Using Weebly is kind of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a nice development instead of buying and owning your own house. You are still in charge of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise — but you leave the building, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is critical since there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality that are included with Weebly work seamlessly together as a stage. That’s what allows them to own drag and drop design, design, and content.
As Far as competition, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a team compete with options like WordPress.org (that offers the totally free software to construct a site that you own & control — see my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive into the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a revelation — I get referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this informative article. My opinions & study are based on my experiences as either a paying customer or adviser to a paying client.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. First thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface is designed. Just select the element you want on the left, and place it on your design on the right.
You might Discover That elements snap into place And organize themselves perfectly on the webpage. 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 can also be a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you would like to edit and type your words in the box. Some other solutions use”entrance 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 like a charm.
Ultimately, should you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a lot of questions through tutorials that are clear and step-by-step guides. Failing that, the service is exceptional, whether via email, chat, or telephone. Can I Make My Own Website For Free
So are there Any drawbacks? This is different. If you would like more freedom with your designs, then you might feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You should go for Wix. This competitor also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that can build the web site for you by itself. You can perhaps shave a couple of minutes of your site building time.
There are also two things we’d like to see. First is a worldwide undo button. You can undo everything you type in text boxes, but it will be nice to erase mistakes when you move or add components. Second, Weebly does not have an overall media database which keeps all of your pictures. You’ll need to re-upload images for each and every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Program is Best for Me?
We would say the primary question to ask yourself is. Do I want to sell online? Quite simply, if you really do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It provides all you will 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 movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to allow users sign in and access personal sections of the Site
If any of those Above are must-haves for your site, you’ll have to update to Weebly Pro. And to get a more comprehensive breakdown, please refer to our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let us get 1 thing out of the way first. if You’re an advanced SEO expert who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines to get a really competitive key word, you may have a difficult time with Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There is a free app which allows you add key words from h1 to h6, however, it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder Weebly doesn’t integrate it in their system.
· Particular pages (categories and product pages) include a mandatory string to your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a huge issue unless your site isn’t in English. Same with the website posts, they will have’/blog/’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. But you are in your as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the other hand, Weebly does matters really Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize themalong as Alt texts for pictures. This is particularly important to position your own images. Can I Make My Own Website For Free
· 301 redirects. It is possible to command them to avoid broken links when a page URL was changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at controlling the images you upload. This improves 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 secure. The business takes safety very seriously. They market strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all programs. Even the free tier will operate on https that offers an excess layer of security. Especially important for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Regrettably, we wish Weebly provided more in the way of backup and restore systems. You have to look after it manually by saving your website as a .zip file regularly. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, tracks new changes and lets you jump back in time to a previous version of your website.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Great
We’ve Got a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the main pros and cons. But, we want to provide you here a quick overview 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 different classes available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on every Device (by being reactive ), and they can be adapted to match your own personal needs, together with the templates as a base. No need for you to receive a web design degree!
Obviously, if You are all about design, and absolutely have to have the ability to customize it down to the last pixel, so you need to have a look at Wix also. Their template selection is unmatched and they have an even more elastic editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is since Weebly, contrary to other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig under the hood and modify the CSS and HTML? You will have free reign here, because you can see in the picture above.
Ecommerce. Is a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We would say yes, with a caveat. It is great to Sell physical and digital products for small and medium-sized shops, but maybe not for big ones. Even though you may use the export and import function to manage large number of items, you might find Weebly lacking in features for enormous stores.
For Example, we do not like that there Aren’t any offline payment options (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it is also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for example (but also has less features). Can I Make My Own Website For Free
Finally, it’s worth noting that even though You’re able to create a shop using the Starter and Pro plan, upgrading to Business and greater makes more sense. You are going to get the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful for serious shop owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to pay an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the many online store plans? You can discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App Store. Can I Boost My Site with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 apps in Quite a few categories like eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Some are free, some are compensated. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third party developers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) possibility that it may shut down a single day. Also a shame the apps produced by Weebly are rather limited.
However, 1 thing all the programs have in Common is that a super simple installation attribute. Click and bam! All programs are tested and will work immediately on your own site. We attempted some cool ones like a way to add tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special info. Our only qualm is that the quality and quantity of programs is a marginally inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Using Weebly
Here is What I found to be the pros of Weebly — not only compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all of the sites that are constructed on their own platform. That may be good or bad, but in Weebly’s situation, it is an expert. They have fast load rates. Their sites are optimized to their own hosting. They treat security against spam and hackers. With company plans, they even install and keep SSL across your whole site. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and security 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 expert and completely free accounts, so it is a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start any piece of software — regardless of how instinctive — there is that moment where you think”ok, what do I do today?” This approach is known as onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t wish to be bothersome, but they also want to provide help. I love how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and instruction not only via email trickle arrangement but also via little info buttons built with their platform.
After You sign up, it is simple to dive right in. Can I Make My Own Website For Free
Website Building Process
One Advertised benefit of using a comprehensive website builder is you won’t have 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 website.
It’s Not always that simple. There is a lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” The majority of us really mean”I wish to click and drag this element and transfer it to a general place where it will look good — you know, automatically centered, etc.” In other words, it’s like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You want to do something, but also have a little bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop really works. As well as for the control freaks among us, they supply access to some custom CSS module, so which you can edit the template into exactly your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly provides an email service option along with also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they offer email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive platform, client support can troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a massive advantage of site builder platforms in general, but especially with Weebly because they have telephone support.
If You conduct your own site, you have to figure out just who will fix a problem prior to 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 own host is that you don’t need to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the stage route, it’s essential to make sure they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all the basics — like website functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.
Even Past the advanced necessities, Weebly also includes features like forums, subscription choices, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover individually below.
If You go the comprehensive site builder route, Weebly’s attribute set should provide everything you will need for typical personal/business sites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you really do want to be especially aware of advanced options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in attributes, but it does not have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party apps (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together with your Own WordPress site, adding functionality is as easy as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can browse their climbing (though still somewhat limited) app centre.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are enormous offline and want 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 ecommerce features.
If You’re starting a site 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 sell online, the Weebly offers a readymade solution with closely integrated ecommerce characteristics which should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I have Been using website builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com times and have been closely paying attention to the industry for the previous 5 decades. One overarching trend is that a company’s structure pushes product investment over the marketing group or the product team.
Even In a fast paced marketplace, a organization’s structure and end goals will dictate how it behaves and what investments it makes. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ tremendously among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for natural growth. But in 2018, they sold to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now functions 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 Massive upside for a single market segment —
If You really do not mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiry. A fairly good deal — particularly for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is very competitive not only in contrast to other comprehensive site buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. And they do not have the common caps of other site builders. The Guru program adds sound features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll notice that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no caps on webpages or storage space. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they remove all advertisements with the initial paid tier.
Even Their small business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your own hosting, is considerably cheaper than similar plans with direct competitors.
In comparison To constructing your own site on your server and especially with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Price isn’t everything, however I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Utilizing Weebly
However, Of course, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the downsides. Each bit of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 unique cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management process is exactly what it resembles. It is an interface which permits you to sort, filter, edit, and publish unique kinds of content on your site. Can I Make My Own Website For Free
Weebly Kind of has that. It’s 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 an efficient system.
There is No way to add custom content types (except within an individual page). If you’re planning a large site (like hundreds of webpages ), the content within Weebly would require a personal system to keep it all sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, however I wish content could be easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is difficult. If you would like to move somewhere else, such as your WordPress powered site, Assessing your content and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult procedure.
Weebly allows One 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 remain hard, but it is something to consider if you are considering rapidly growing traffic and/or content.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, many advertising tools and attributes can be added to your site. But since you still don’t have 100% control over your website & server — it can be challenging and/or impossible to include advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the main issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, but it’s something to be careful of if you are planning a long-term job.
For Most all website owners with typical traffic — you’ll want to be aware of the constraints, particularly if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad revealing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce performance. It’s possible to sell products from the Weebly website without changing platforms or performing some special developments. It fits in effortlessly and contains strong 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 bit of functionality, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic stock management, and payment acceptance. Here is how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for sites that are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc also want to sell a few goods. Additionally, it is a fantastic match for anybody testing out products prior to going to a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term match for sites which are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet store you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialty eCommerce platform such as Shopify (review) or Bigcommerce (review) would be a better fit.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the purchase from Square does come with a downside. That is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features that make it more valuable as a whole for Square. Can I Make My Own Website For Free
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent business.
If You’re looking to construct a long-term content or lead generation website, then I would look at WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for general drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they may not in the future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years past, it was only another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding website building tool that is far better than many competitors. It’s simple, uncluttered and easy to use — which is exactly what people with limited technical skills need when it comes to making their own online presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe a bit more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to a domain name is also a bit pricey, as they recommend G Suite, which 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 very top of our list of site builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools such as the iOS or Android program for editing your site on the move, or the number of add-ons out there in the app center makes it robust, and fun to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!