Introduction Can You Create Your Own Website For Free
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s most popular web builders out there. Unlike certain opponents, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. Can You Create Your 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 will have a look at their drag and drop editor and see if it’s any good for creating a website, blog or online store.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad range of site building solutions, Weebly lives on the finish that’s comprehensive and provides all you need to begin and grow your website. It’s in contrast to options where you purchase, set up, and handle all the”bits” of your site individually.
It’s Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like renting and customizing a apartment in a nice development instead of buying and owning your own house. You are still in control of decoration, cleaning, and what living-wise — but you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is key because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The functionality and design which are contained with Weebly work seamlessly together as a stage. That’s what allows them to have drag and drop layout, design, and articles.
As Much as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (that offers the free software to construct a site which you have & control — visit my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing real HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive into the Weebly review.
One Other fast aside — a disclosure — I receive referral fees from all of the companies mentioned in this informative article. My opinions & research are based on my experiences as either a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. 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 set it on your design on the rightside.
You might find that components snap into position And organize themselves flawlessly on the webpage. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it’s very possible to end up with overlapping components. Together with Weebly, no probability of that occurring.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you want to edit and type your words from the box. Some other options use”entry masks” that are somewhat more subjective and not always easy to utilize.
The navigation system also works wonders. You can dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Ultimately, if you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a lot of questions through clear tutorials and step-by-step guides. Failing this, the service is exceptional, whether by email, chat, or phone. Can You Create Your Own Website For Free
So are there Any drawbacks? That is different. If you would like more freedom with your layouts, then you may feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You ought to go for Wix. This competition also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that can build the website for you pretty much by itself. You can perhaps shave off a couple of minutes of your website 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 will be nice to erase mistakes when you add or move elements. Secondly, 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 requires 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 really do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It will offer all you will need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro features.
· Fancy header using slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module to let users register and get private sections of the website
If any of those Above are must-haves for your website, you will need to update to Weebly Pro. And for a more comprehensive breakdown, please refer to our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get 1 thing out of the way . if You’re an advanced SEO expert who certainly needs to rank #1 on search engines to get a really competitive key word, you may have a difficult time using Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There’s a free program that allows you add headings from h1 to h6, however, it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not integrate it in their system.
· Particular pages (categories and product pages) include a compulsory string for your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a massive issue unless your site is not in English. Same with the website posts, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure, which can’t be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. But you’re in your as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does things actually Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize themalong as Alt texts for images. This is especially important to position your own images. Can You Create Your Own Website For Free
· 301 redirects. It is possible to control them to avoid broken links when a page URL has been changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a great job at compressing 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 topic here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
As far as we Know, really secure. The business takes safety very seriously. They market strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. The free tier will operate on https which offers an extra layer of safety. Especially crucial for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly offered more in the way of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to take care of it manually by saving your website for a .zip file frequently. And there is no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, 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 Great
We have a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. But, we want to provide you here a quick overview of the key features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly doesn’t have a ton 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 may be adapted to match your personal requirements, using the templates as a foundation. No need for you to receive a web design degree!
Obviously, if You’re all about design, and absolutely have to be able to personalize it down to the last pixel, you should check out Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more flexible editor…
… unless you are confident with 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 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 stores, but not for huge ones. Although you may use the import and export function to handle many items, you might find Weebly lacking in features for massive stores.
For Example, we do not like that there Are not any offline payment choices (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it’s also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for example (but also has less features). Can You Create Your Own Website For Free
Ultimately, it is worth noting that even though You can create a shop using the Starter and Pro plan, updating to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll find the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very useful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t have to pay an additional transaction charge of 3%.
Still confused About the many online store plans? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program Store. Can I Boost 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. Some are free, some are paid. Some are built by Weebly, some by third-party programmers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) chance that it might shut down a single day. Additionally a shame the apps produced by Weebly are quite restricted.
However, 1 thing all of the programs have in Common is that a super easy installation attribute. One click and bam! All programs are tested and will work immediately on your own site. We tried some cool ones like a way to include tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special info. Our only qualm is the quality and amount of apps is a slightly inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Utilizing Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the experts of Weebly — not just compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all of the sites that are constructed in their own platform. That can be good or bad, but in Weebly’s case, it’s an expert. They have rapid load speeds. Their sites are optimized to their own hosting. They take care of security against hackers and spam. With business plans, they install and maintain SSL across your entire website. Here is my speed test.
There Are still pace and security risks, but overall, it’s an advantage for many website owners to have somebody else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with expert and completely free accounts, so it’s a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start some 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 execute well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t wish to be annoying, but they also want to provide help. I really like how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and instruction not only via email drip arrangement but also via little info buttons constructed with their own platform.
Once You sign up, it’s simple to dive right in. Can You Create Your Own Website For Free
Website Building Process
One Promoted benefit of utilizing an all-inclusive website builder is that you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop elements. Everything you see in the builder is exactly what you receive on the website.
It is Not necessarily that easy. There is a whole lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us actually mean”I wish to drag and click this component and move it into a general place where it’ll seem good — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” Put simply, it is like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You wish to do the thing, but also have a bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop actually works. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to some custom CSS module, so which you may edit the template into exactly your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly provides 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 strong.
With An all-inclusive system, customer support is able to troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a massive advantage of site builder platforms in general, but especially with Weebly since they have telephone support.
If You conduct your own site, you’ve got to work out just who can correct 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 creating your own website on your host is that you don’t need to count on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the stage route, it is essential to be sure that they have all the qualities you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They’ve got all of the basics — like blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Past the advanced requirements, Weebly also includes features like discussion, membership options, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce options, which I will cover separately below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive website builder route, Weebly’s attribute set should offer whatever you need for typical personal/business websites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you really do want to be especially aware of advanced options).
Additionally — Weebly has plenty of built-in features, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party programs (think the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
With your Own WordPress site, including performance is as easy as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can browse their climbing (though still somewhat restricted ) app centre.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are enormous offline and wish to be larger in the on/offline arena. That is the reason why they purchased Weebly — and the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s ecommerce 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 shops) and you want to sell online, the Weebly offers a ready-made solution with tightly integrated ecommerce features that should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I have Been using site builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com times and have been paying attention to the sector for the previous five years. 1 overarching trend is a firm’s structure drives product investment over the marketing group or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing market, a organization’s construction and end targets will dictate how it behaves 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 expansion. However, in 2018, they sold to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that could be a huge drawback. Acquisitions are notorious for ruining value and companies. However, this purchase has a huge 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 fairly good deal — especially for temporary sites.
Total Pricing is quite competitive not only in contrast to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with purchasing your own hosting. Their Starter plan begins around $8/mo when paid up front. And they don’t have the common caps of other website builders. The Guru plan adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no limits on webpages or storage area. 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 hosting, is considerably more affordable than similar plans with direct rivals.
Compared To constructing your own site in your host and especially with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Price isn’t everything, however I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Utilizing Weebly
But Of course, no Weebly review will be complete without studying the downsides. Each 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 which allows you to type, filter, edit, and print different types of articles on your site. Can You Create Your Own Website For Free
Weebly Sort 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. But it’s far from an efficient system.
There is No method to add custom content forms (except inside a single page). If you’re planning a massive site (such as hundreds of pages), the articles contained in Weebly would require a private system to keep it all sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, but I wish content could be more easily managed within Weebly.
The Last big drawback of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is not difficult. If you would like to move somewhere else, including your WordPress powered site, Assessing your content and redirecting your URLs will be a challenging process.
Weebly allows One to export your Page content through zip file but website articles will have to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain difficult, but it’s something to consider if you are considering quickly growing traffic and/or content.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, most advertising tools and features can be added to your site. But as you still do not have 100% control over your website & host — it can be challenging or not impossible to add advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, special Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the principal issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, however it is something to be aware of if you are arranging 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 growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s advertisement showing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. It’s possible to sell products from the Weebly site without changing platforms or doing some distinctive developments. It fits in seamlessly and has solid performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the full eCommerce bundle for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice bit of performance, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, fundamental inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for websites that are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc also want to sell a few goods. It’s also a fantastic fit for anybody testing out products prior to going to a long-term stage. It’s not a long-term match for websites which are eCommerce-first. For those, an internet store you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform like Shopify (inspection ) or Bigcommerce (review) would be a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the acquisition from Square does come with a downside. That is regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it even more valuable as a complete for Square. Can You Create Your Own Website For Free
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent business.
If You’re wanting to construct a long-term articles or direct generation website, then I would look at WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for general drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they might not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was only another website builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding website building tool which is better than many competitors. It is easy, uncluttered and simple to use — which is precisely what individuals with limited technical skills need when it comes to creating their own online presence.
Of course, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To see a bit more templates, for instance. Getting an email address attached to your own domain is also a bit pricey, as they urge G Suite, which costs $5 per month, per user. (Though there are workarounds, since 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 together with cool tools like the iOS or Android app for editing your website on the go, or the amount of add-ons available from the program center makes it robust, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!