Intro Chris Webby
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s hottest web builders on the market. Unlike certain competitors, they appear less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technologies. Chris Webby
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it appears in practice. Within this review, we will look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for producing a web site, site or online shop.
On The wide spectrum of website building solutions, Weebly resides at the finish that’s comprehensive and provides all you want to begin and grow your site. It’s in contrast to options where you buy, install, and manage all of the”bits” of your site individually.
It is Like trading off a few 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 what living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is key since there’s usually a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The functionality and design that are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a stage. That is what allows them to have drag and drop design, design, and articles.
As Much as rivalry, 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 (which offers the free software to build a site that you have & control — see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing real HTML code into a text document. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive into the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a disclosure — I receive referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this post. My opinions & study derive from my experiences like a paying client or adviser to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. First thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface was created. Just choose the element you want on the left, and set it on your design on the rightside.
You’ll Discover That elements snap into place And arrange 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 simply click what you want to edit and sort your words from the box. A few other solutions use”entrance masks” that are a bit more subjective and not always easy to work with.
The navigation system also works miracles. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them like a charm.
Ultimately, should you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a lot of questions through clear tutorials and step by step guides. Failing this, the support is excellent, whether via email, chat, or phone. Chris Webby
So are there Any downsides? That is different. If you would like more freedom with your layouts, then you might feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You ought to go to get Wix. This competition also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that can build the web site for you pretty much by itself. You may possibly shave a few minutes of your website building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d like 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 once you move or add components. Secondly, Weebly does not have a general media database which keeps all your pictures. You’ll have to re-upload images for every element that requires them.
Which Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We would say the main question to ask yourself is. Do I want to market online? Quite simply, if you do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It will offer all you need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header using slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module to allow users sign in and get private sections of the Site
If some of the Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll have to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And for a more complete breakdown, please refer to our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let us get 1 thing out of the way . if You’re an advanced SEO specialist who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive keyword, you may have a difficult time with Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There’s a free app which lets you insert headings from h1 to h6, but it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder Weebly does not integrate it into their system.
· Certain pages (groups and product pages) add 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 blog posts, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. However, you’re in your as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the other hand, Weebly does things actually Well when it comes 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. Chris Webby
· 301 redirects. It is possible to control 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 pictures you upload. This enhances speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a little Curious about SEO? Don’t forget that we’ve got a full guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
As far as we Know, very secure. The business takes security very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all programs. The free tier will operate on https that offers an excess layer of safety. Especially crucial for on-site 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 have to take care of it manually by saving your website for a .zip file frequently. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, monitors new changes and allows you to jump back in time to a previous version of your website.
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. However, we want to provide you a quick summary of the key features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly does not have a whole lot of template designs (around 50), but you should easily have the ability to find one that you like. There are different classes out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on every Apparatus (by being reactive ), and they can 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 are all about design, and absolutely have to have the ability 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 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 under the hood and modify the CSS and HTML? You will have free reign here, as 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 physical and digital products for small and medium-sized stores, but not for big ones. Even though you can use the export and import function to manage large number of items, you might find Weebly lacking in features such as massive stores.
For Example, we do not like this there Aren’t any offline payment options (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it is also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for example (but also has less features). Chris Webby
Ultimately, it is worth noting that although You’re able to create a store using the Starter and Guru program, updating to Business and higher makes more sense. You’ll find the automated shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very useful for serious shop owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to pay an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the various online store plans? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App Store. Can I Enhance My Site with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 programs in Quite a few classes like eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Some are free, some are compensated. Some are built by Weebly, some by third-party developers. For the latter, there is always an (unlikely) possibility that it might shut down one day. Additionally a shame the apps produced by Weebly are quite restricted.
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 own site. We attempted some cool ones such as a way to add tables, event calendars, and info bars to display specific information. Our only qualm is that the quality and amount of programs is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Utilizing Weebly
Here’s What I found to be the pros of Weebly — not just in comparison to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all of the websites which are constructed on their platform. That can be good or awful, however in Weebly’s case, it is an expert. They have fast load speeds. Their sites are optimized to their hosting. They take care of security against spam and hackers. With business plans, they install and maintain SSL across your entire website. Here is my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety dangers, 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 completely free accounts, so it is a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin some piece of software — no matter how instinctive — there is that moment where you think”ok, what can I do today?” This process is called onboarding, and it is also incredibly tough to execute well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t wish to be annoying, but they also want to help. I love how Weebly builds in solid onboarding and instruction not only via email trickle arrangement but also via small info buttons constructed with their own platform.
Once You sign up, it is straightforward to dive in. Chris Webby
Site Building Process
One Promoted benefit of using an all-inclusive website builder is 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 what you receive on the site.
It’s Not always that easy. There’s a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” Most of us really mean”I wish to click and drag this component and transfer it to a general place where it’ll look great — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” In other words, it’s like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You want to do something, but also have a little bit of help.
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 which you may edit the template into precisely your choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly provides an email service alternative along with also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they offer email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive system, client support is able to troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a massive advantage of site builder platforms generally, but especially using Weebly because they have phone support.
If You conduct your site, you have to figure out exactly who will fix a problem prior to getting in touch with them. With Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of creating your own website on your own host is that you don’t need to count on a platform’s attribute 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 have got all of the basics — such as website performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Beyond the advanced requirements, Weebly even includes features like forums, subscription choices, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I’ll cover separately below.
If You go the comprehensive site builder course, Weebly’s attribute set should provide whatever you need for typical personal/business websites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you really do want to be especially aware of advanced options).
Also — Weebly has plenty of built-in attributes, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome it by allowing 3rd Party programs (think the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together with your Own WordPress site, adding performance is as simple as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can navigate their growing (though still somewhat limited) app center.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re 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 in case you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up stores ) and you want to sell online, the Weebly provides a readymade solution with tightly integrated ecommerce features which should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I have Been using site builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com times and have been closely paying attention to the industry for the previous five years. 1 overarching trend is that a company’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing team 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 gets. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary wildly among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for organic growth. However, 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 could be a huge downside. Acquisitions are notorious for ruining value and companies. 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 expiry. A fairly good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is very aggressive not only compared to other all-inclusive website buildersbut also with purchasing your hosting. Their Starter plan starts around $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not have the typical caps of other website builders. The Pro program adds solid features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will see that everything is accessible and infinite. There are no caps on webpages or storage area. And unlike competitors like Wix, they remove all ads with the first paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your own hosting, is considerably more affordable than comparable plans with direct competitors.
Compared To constructing your own website in your server and especially with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is very competitive. Cost isn’t everything, however I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without looking at the downsides. Each 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 resembles. It’s an interface which allows you to type, filter, edit, and publish unique kinds of articles on your site. Chris Webby
Weebly Kind of features that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your website. It permits you to drag and drop the hierarchy and then click on to edit each. But it’s far from a efficient system.
There’s No method to add custom content types (except inside an individual page). If you’re arranging a large site (such as hundreds of webpages ), the content within Weebly would require a private system to keep it all sorted and easily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, but I wish content could be easily handled 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 WordPress powered website, migrating your articles and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult procedure.
Weebly lets One to export your Page content through zip file but blog content is going to have to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain difficult, but it’s something to think about if you are planning on rapidly expanding content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, many advertising tools and attributes can be added to your site. But as you still do not have 100% control on your website & host — it can be difficult or not impossible to include advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social stocks, special Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the main issue isn’t having”origin” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re planning a long-term job.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic you’ll want to know about the constraints, especially if you are planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s advertisement revealing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce performance. You can sell products from your Weebly site without changing platforms or doing any distinctive developments. It fits in seamlessly and has solid functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the complete eCommerce package for business 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 Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here is how Weebly matches about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for sites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few products. Additionally, it is a good match for anybody testing out products before moving into a long-term platform. It is not a long-term fit for sites that are eCommerce-first. For those, an internet store you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform such as Shopify (inspection ) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Construction
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 which make it even more valuable as a complete for Square. Chris Webby
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You’re looking to construct a long-term content or direct 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 now, they may not in the future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was only another site builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is better than many competitors. It is simple, uncluttered and simple to use — that is exactly what individuals with limited technical abilities need in regards to making their own internet presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To see a bit more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to your own domain name is also a bit pricey, as they urge G Suite, which costs $5 a month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, as you can see in the FAQ below).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the top of our list of website builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools like the iOS or Android app for editing your site on the move, or the number of add-ons out there from the app centre makes it robust, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!