Background Customize Your Own Website
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s hottest web builders on the market. Unlike particular opponents, they appear less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technologies. Customize Your Own Website
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it appears 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, site or online shop.
On The wide range of website building solutions, Weebly resides at the finish that is all-inclusive and provides everything you want to get started and develop your site. It is in contrast to solutions where you buy, set up, and handle all of the”bits” of your site individually.
It’s Like trading off a few control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a nice development instead of buying and owning your own residence. You are still in control of decor, cleaning, and what living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure to the house owner. That point is key because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality that are included with Weebly work seamlessly together as a stage. That is what lets them own drag and drop design, design, and articles.
As Far as competition, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive 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 WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive to the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a disclosure — I receive referral fees from all the companies discussed in this post. My remarks & study are based on my experiences like a paying client or adviser to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Good question. The first thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface is designed. Just choose the element you want on the left, and place it on your design on the right.
You might find that components snap into place And organize themselves perfectly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it’s quite 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 in the box. A few other options use”entry masks” which are a bit more abstract and not always easy to work with.
The navigation system also works miracles. 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 may answer a great deal of questions through tutorials that are clear and step-by-step guides. Failing this, the support is exceptional, whether by email, chat, or phone. Customize Your Own Website
So are there Any drawbacks? This depends. If you want more freedom with your designs, then you might feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You should go to get Wix. This competition also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the web site for you by itself. You may possibly 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 what you type in text boxes, but it will be nice to erase mistakes when you move or add elements. Second, Weebly does not have a general media database that keeps all your pictures. You’ll need to re-upload images for each and every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Program is Ideal for Me?
We would say the primary question to ask yourself is. Do I want to market online? Quite simply, if you really do, we recommend 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 company details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header using slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module to allow users register and access personal sections of the website
If some of the Above are must-haves for your website, you will have to update to Weebly Pro. And for a more comprehensive breakdown, please refer to our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let us get 1 thing out of the way . if You’re an advanced search engine optimization expert who certainly must rank #1 on search engines to get a very competitive key word, you may have a tough time with Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There’s a free program which lets you insert headings from h1 to h6, but it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not incorporate it in their system.
· Particular 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 huge issue unless your site isn’t in English. Same with the website articles, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure and this can’t be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is done via source code. But you are on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does matters actually Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize them, along as Alt texts for images. This is especially important to position your images. Customize Your Own Website
· 301 redirects. You can control them to prevent broken links when a page URL has been changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a great job at controlling the pictures you upload. This improves speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a little Confused about SEO? Don’t forget that we’ve got a complete guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
As far as we Know, really secure. The company takes security very seriously. They market strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will run on https which delivers an extra layer of security. Especially crucial for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly offered more in the way of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to look after it manually by conserving your site for a .zip file regularly. 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 Good
We’ve Got a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the main pros and cons. However, we want to give you a quick overview of the key features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly does not have a ton of template layouts (around 50), but you should easily be able to find one that you like. There are various classes out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on every Device (by being responsive), and they can be adapted to match your own personal needs, using the templates as a base. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Obviously, if You are all about layout, and absolutely have to be able to customize it down to the last pixel, so you need to have a look at Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more elastic editor…
… unless you are confident with coding. This Is because Weebly, contrary to other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig beneath the hood and change the CSS and HTML? You will have free reign here, as you can see in the image above.
Ecommerce. Can be a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We would say yes, with a caveat. It’s great to Sell digital and physical products for small and medium-sized shops, but not for big ones. Although you can use the import and export function to manage many things, you might discover Weebly lacking in features such as enormous stores.
For Example, we don’t like this there Are not any offline payment options (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it’s also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Customize Your Own Website
Ultimately, it’s worth noting that although You can create a store with the Starter and Guru program, upgrading to Business and higher makes more sense. You’ll get the automatic delivery and sales tax calculator, which is very useful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to cover an additional transaction fee of 3%.
Still confused About the various online store strategies? You can 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 apps in Quite a few classes such as 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 is always an (unlikely) chance that it might shut down a single day. Also a shame the apps produced by Weebly are rather limited.
However, one thing all the programs have in Common is that a super simple 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 information. Our only qualm is the quality and amount of apps 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 an overall online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all of the websites which are built on their platform. That can be good or awful, but in Weebly’s case, it is an expert. They have rapid load rates. Their websites are optimized for their hosting. They take care of security against hackers and spam. With company plans, they even install and keep SSL across your entire site. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still speed and security risks, but it’s an edge for many website owners to have someone else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with expert and free accounts, so it’s a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start any piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there is that moment where you think”okay, what can I do now?” This process is called onboarding, and it is also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t wish to be annoying, but they also wish to help. I love how Weebly assembles in strong onboarding and instruction not only via email drip sequence but also via small info buttons constructed with their own platform.
After You join, it’s simple to dive right in. Customize Your Own Website
Site Building Process
One Advertised benefit of using an all-inclusive site builder is that you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop components. Everything you see in the builder is exactly what you get on the site.
It is Not always that simple. There’s a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” Most of us actually mean”I wish to click and drag this component and move it to a general area where it will seem 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 the thing, but also have a bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop really functions. As well as for the control freaks among us, they supply access to a custom CSS module, so which you can edit the template to exactly your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email service option and 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, customer support is able to troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a huge advantage of site builder platforms in general, but especially with Weebly since they have phone support.
If You run your own site, you have to work out just who will correct a problem prior to getting in touch with them. With Weebly, you merely get in touch with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of creating your own site on your host is you don’t have to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you go the stage route, it is essential to be certain that they have all the features you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They have got all the fundamentals — like website performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.
Even Beyond the advanced requirements, Weebly even includes features including forums, membership options, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce options, which I will cover individually below.
If You go the comprehensive site builder course, Weebly’s feature set should provide whatever you will need for typical personal/business sites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you really do want to be especially aware of innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in features, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome it by allowing 3rd Party programs (think the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
With your Own WordPress site, including functionality is as easy as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can navigate their growing (though still somewhat limited) app centre.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re 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 site and plan on selling a few things here and there or if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you would like to market online, the Weebly provides a ready-made solution with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics which should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I’ve Been using site builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com times and have been paying attention to the industry for the past 5 years. 1 overarching trend is a company’s structure pushes product investment over the marketing team or the product group.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a company’s structure and end goals will dictate how it acts 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 firm going for organic expansion. However, in 2018, they offered to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that might be a big downside. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying companies and value. However, this acquisition has a huge upside for a single market segment —
If You don’t mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiry. A fairly good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is very competitive not only in contrast to other comprehensive website buildersbut also with buying your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. And they don’t possess the typical caps of other website builders. The Pro program adds sound features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is accessible and infinite. There are no limits on pages or storage space. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the initial paid grade.
Even Their business pricing, while more costly than doing the same thing on your hosting, is considerably more affordable than comparable plans with direct rivals.
Compared To constructing your own site on your host and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Price is not everything, however I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without studying the drawbacks. Each piece of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 unique cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management system is precisely what it sounds like. It is an interface which permits you to type, filter, edit, and publish unique types of articles on your website. Customize Your Own Website
Weebly Kind of has that. It has a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your website. It allows you to drag and drop the hierarchy and then click to edit each. But it’s far from a efficient system.
There’s No way to add custom content forms (except inside a single page). If you’re planning a massive site (such as hundreds of pages), the content contained in Weebly would need a personal system to maintain it all sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, however I wish content could be easily managed within Weebly.
The Last huge disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is difficult. If you want to move somewhere else, such as your WordPress powered site, Assessing your articles and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult procedure.
Weebly allows You to export your Page content through zip file but blog articles will have to be manually duplicated or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain hard, but it’s something to think about if you’re planning on quickly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, many advertising tools and features can be added to your website. However, since you still don’t have 100% control over your site & host — it can be difficult and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, customized email collection tools, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, specific Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the principal issue is not having”root” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, but it is something to be careful 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, especially if you are planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s advertisement showing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce performance. It’s possible to sell products from your Weebly site without switching platforms or performing some special developments. It fits in seamlessly and contains solid functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the full eCommerce bundle for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice piece of functionality, but keep in mind that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online shop platforms such as Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly matches about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for sites which are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few products. It’s also a fantastic fit for anyone testing out products before going into a long-term platform. It is not a long-term match for sites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet shop you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (inspection ) or Bigcommerce (review) are a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That is regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features which make it even more precious as a complete for Square. Customize Your Own Website
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent company.
If You are wanting to build a long-term articles or lead generation site, then I would consider WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they may not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was just another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding website building tool that is better than most competitors. It is simple, uncluttered and easy to use — which is precisely what people with limited technical abilities need when it comes to making their own internet presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe a bit more templates, as an example. Finding an email address attached to your own domain is also a little pricey, as they urge G Suite, which costs $5 a 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 combined with cool tools like the iOS or Android program for editing your website on the go, or the number of add-ons available from the program centre makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!