Introduction David Rusenko
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s most popular web builders out there. Unlike particular opponents, they appear less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than improving their platform’s technology. David Rusenko
This all sounds fairly good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it looks in practice. In this review, we will have a look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for producing a website, blog or online shop.
On The wide range of website building alternatives, Weebly lives at the finish that’s comprehensive and provides all you want to get started and develop your website. It is compared to options where you purchase, install, and handle all the”bits” of your website separately.
It is Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is kind of like renting 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 — but you leave the building, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is critical since there’s usually a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality that are contained with Weebly work seamlessly together as a platform. That is what lets them own drag and drop design, design, and articles.
As Much as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a group compete with choices like WordPress.org (that provides the totally free software to construct a site which you own & control — see my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to choices like typing actual HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive to the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a disclosure — I receive referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this post. My opinions & research derive from my experiences like a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. The first thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface is designed. Just choose the element you need on the left, and set it upon your design on the rightside.
You might Discover That elements snap into position And arrange themselves perfectly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it’s very possible to end up with overlapping components. With Weebly, no probability of that happening.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you would like to edit and type your own words in the box. A few other options use”entry masks” which are somewhat more abstract and not necessarily easy to work with.
The navigation system also works wonders. You can dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Ultimately, should you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a lot of questions through clear tutorials and step-by-step guides. Failing that, the support is exceptional, whether via email, chat, or telephone. David Rusenko
So are there Any drawbacks? This depends. If you would like more freedom with your layouts, 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 may perhaps shave a few minutes of your site building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d love to see. First is a worldwide reverse button. It is possible to undo everything you type in text boxes, but it would be wonderful to erase mistakes when you move or add components. Secondly, Weebly does not have an overall media database that keeps all your pictures. You’ll have to re-upload images for each and every element that requires them.
That Weebly Pricing Program is Ideal for Me?
We would say the primary question to ask is. Do I wish to sell online? Quite simply, if you do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It will offer all you will need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header with slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module to allow users sign in and get personal sections of the website
If any of the Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll have 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 Website Rank On Google?
Let’s get 1 thing out of the way . if You’re an innovative search engine optimization specialist who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive keyword, you might have a difficult time with Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There is a free program that lets you add key words from h1 to h6, but it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not incorporate it into their system.
· Certain pages (groups and product pages) add a mandatory 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 blog posts, they will have’/blog/’ in the URL structure and this can’t be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. However, you’re 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. You can customize themalong as Alt texts for images. This is especially important to position your own images. David Rusenko
· 301 redirects. It is possible to control them to prevent broken links as soon as a page URL was changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a great job at compressing the pictures you upload. This improves speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a bit 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 Site?
Just as we Know, really safe. The company takes safety very seriously. They market strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all programs. The free tier will run on https which offers an extra layer of safety. 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 have to take care of it manually by saving your site for a .zip file regularly. And there’s no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, monitors new changes and lets you jump back in time to a previous version of your site.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Good
We have a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. But, we wish to give 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 (around 50), but you should easily have the ability to find one that you like. There are different categories out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on every Apparatus (by being reactive ), and they can be adapted to match your own personal needs, together with the templates as a foundation. No need for you to receive a web design diploma!
Obviously, if You’re all about design, and absolutely need to have the ability to personalize it down to the last pixel, you need to have a look at Wix also. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more elastic editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is since Weebly, unlike other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig beneath the hood and modify the CSS and HTML? You’ll have free reign here, because 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 stores, but not for huge ones. Even though you may use the import and export function to handle many items, you might discover Weebly lacking in features for massive stores.
For instance, we don’t like that there Are not any offline payment choices (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). David Rusenko
Ultimately, it’s worth noting that although You can create a store using the Starter and Pro plan, upgrading to Business and higher makes more sense. You’ll get the automated delivery and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful for serious shop owners. What’s more, you won’t have to cover an additional transaction charge of 3%.
Still confused About the various online store plans? You can discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App shop. Can I Boost My Website 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 built by Weebly, some by third party developers. For the latter, there is always an (unlikely) chance that it might shut down one day. Additionally a shame the apps produced by Weebly are rather restricted.
However, 1 thing all the programs have in Common is a super simple installation feature. Click and bam! All apps are analyzed and will work instantly on your site. We tried 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 from the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Using Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the experts of Weebly — not only compared with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a general online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all the websites that are built on their platform. That may be good or awful, however in Weebly’s case, it is a pro. They have fast load rates. Their websites are optimized for their own hosting. They take care of safety against spam and hackers. With company plans, they install and maintain SSL across your whole site. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety risks, but it’s an advantage for many website owners to have somebody else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with pro and completely free accounts, so it’s a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin some piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there is that moment where you think”ok, what do I do today?” This process is called onboarding, and it is also incredibly tough to implement well.
The Software manufacturer does not want to be bothersome, but they also want to provide help. I really like how Weebly assembles in strong onboarding and instruction not just via email trickle arrangement but also via little info buttons constructed with their platform.
After You sign up, it is simple to dive in. David Rusenko
Site Building Process
One Promoted advantage of utilizing an all-inclusive site builder is you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop components. Everything you find in the builder is what you get on the site.
It is Not always that simple. There is a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us actually mean”I wish to click and drag this component and move it to a general place where it’ll seem great — you know, mechanically focused, etc.” In other words, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You want to do the thing, but also have a bit of help.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop actually works. As well as for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so that you can edit the template into exactly your own choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly provides an email support alternative and a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they provide email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive system, customer support can troubleshoot and correct any issue. This is a massive advantage of site builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly since they have telephone support.
If You run your site, you have to figure out just who can correct a problem before getting in contact with them. Together with Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of creating your own site on your own host is that you don’t need to depend on a platform’s attribute set. If you go the stage route, it’s key to make certain they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all of the fundamentals — like blog performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Past the complex requirements, Weebly even includes features including forums, subscription choices, integrated advertising 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 attribute set must provide whatever you need for typical personal/business sites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do need to be especially aware of innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in attributes, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome it by allowing 3rd Party apps (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
With your Own WordPress site, including performance is as simple as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can navigate 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 why they purchased Weebly — and the future is really bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You are starting a site and plan on selling a couple of things here and there or in case you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up stores ) and you would like to market on the internet, the Weebly provides a ready-made alternative with closely integrated ecommerce features that should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I have Been using site builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com days and have been paying attention to the sector for the previous 5 decades. 1 overarching trend is that a company’s structure pushes product investment more than the marketing team or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a company’s construction and end goals will dictate how it acts and what investments it makes. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ tremendously among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for natural growth. However, in 2018, they sold to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that could be a big downside. Acquisitions are notorious for ruining companies and value. However, this purchase has a Massive upside for one 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 — especially for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is quite aggressive not only in contrast to other comprehensive website buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not possess the typical caps of other site builders. The Pro plan adds solid features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will see that everything is accessible and infinite. There are no limits on webpages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they remove all advertisements with the first paid grade.
Even Their business pricing, while more costly than doing the same thing on your hosting, is much cheaper than similar plans with direct competitors.
In comparison To constructing your own site in your server and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very competitive. Cost isn’t everything, but I love how they structure it.
Cons + Complaints About Using Weebly
However, Of course, no Weebly review will be complete without studying the downsides. Each piece of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management system is precisely what it sounds like. It is an interface that permits you to sort, filter, edit, and print unique kinds of content on your website. David Rusenko
Weebly Sort of features 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 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 massive site (such as hundreds of webpages ), the articles within Weebly would need a private system to maintain it sorted and readily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however 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 want to move someplace else, including your own WordPress powered website, Assessing your content and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult process.
Weebly allows You to export your Page content through zip file but blog content is going to have to be manually duplicated or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be difficult, but it is something to consider if you’re planning on rapidly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, many marketing tools and features can be added to your website. However, as you still do not have 100% control over your site & host — it can be challenging and/or impossible to include advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, habit social stocks, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the principal issue isn’t having”root” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, but it is something to be careful of if you are planning a long-term job.
For Most all site owners with average traffic — you’ll want to know about the limitations, particularly if you’re 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. It’s possible to sell products from your Weebly website without changing platforms or doing any special developments. It fits in seamlessly and has strong functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the full eCommerce package for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful piece of functionality, but remember that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, fundamental stock management, and payment acceptance. Here’s 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 goods. Additionally, it is a fantastic match for anyone testing out products prior to going into a long-term stage. It is not a long-term fit for websites which are eCommerce-first. For those, an internet shop you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or Bigcommerce (review) are a better fit.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That is regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features which make it even more precious as a whole for Square. David Rusenko
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 articles or lead generation website, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for general drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs today, they may not in the 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 that is far better than most competitors. It’s simple, uncluttered and simple to use — which is exactly what people with limited technical skills need when it comes to creating 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 a own domain name is also a bit expensive, as they urge G Suite, which costs $5 per month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, since you can see in the FAQ under ).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the very top of the list of website builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools like the iOS or Android program for editing your site on the go, or the amount of add-ons out there in the app centre makes it robust, and fun to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!