Introduction Design My Own Website
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s most popular web builders on the market. Unlike particular opponents, they appear less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. Design My Own Website
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it looks in practice. Within this review, we will look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for creating a web site, blog or online shop.
On The wide range of site building solutions, Weebly lives on the end that’s comprehensive and provides everything you need to begin and develop your site. It is compared to options where you buy, install, and manage all of the”bits” of your website separately.
It is Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Using Weebly is sort of like renting and customizing a apartment in a nice development instead of getting and owning your own house. You are still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise — but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the house owner. That point is key because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The functionality and design that are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That’s what allows them to have drag and drop design, design, and content.
As Much as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (which provides the free software to build a website that you own & control — see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to choices like typing real HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive to the Weebly review.
One Other fast aside — a revelation — I get referral fees from all the companies discussed in this informative article. My remarks & research 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?
Good question. The 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 place it on your layout on the rightside.
You might Discover That elements snap into place And arrange themselves flawlessly on the page. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it is very possible to end up with overlapping components. Together with Weebly, no risk of that happening.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you would like to edit and type your own words in the box. Some other solutions use”entrance masks” which are somewhat more abstract and not always easy to work with.
The navigation system also works wonders. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them like a charm.
Finally, if 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 support is exceptional, whether by email, chat, or phone. Design My Own Website
So are there Any drawbacks? This depends. If you want more freedom with your layouts, then you might feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You should go for Wix. This competitor also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the web site for you pretty much by itself. You may possibly shave a few minutes of your website building time.
There are also two things we’d like to see. First is a worldwide reverse button. You can undo what you type in text boxes, but it will be nice to erase mistakes when you add or move components. Secondly, Weebly doesn’t have a general media database which keeps all of your pictures. You’ll have to re-upload pictures for every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Program is Ideal for Me?
We would say the primary question to ask is. Do I want to sell online? Quite simply, if you do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It will offer all you need for displaying information 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 website
If any of those Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll need to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And for a more complete breakdown, please consult with our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. if You are an advanced search engine optimization expert who absolutely needs to rank #1 on search engines to get a very competitive key word, you might have a tough time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There’s a free program which lets you add key words from h1 to h6, but it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not incorporate it in their system.
· Certain 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 website isn’t in English. Same with the blog articles, they’ll have’/blog/’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via source code. However, you are on your own as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the other hand, 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 particularly important to rank your images. Design My Own Website
· 301 redirects. You can control them to prevent broken links when a page URL was changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at controlling the images you upload. This improves speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a little Curious about SEO? Don’t forget that we’ve got a complete guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
Just as we Know, very secure. The business takes safety very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all programs. The free tier will run on https which offers an extra layer of security. Especially crucial for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly provided more in the way of backup and restore systems. You have to look after it manually by conserving your website as a .zip file regularly. And there is no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, monitors new adjustments and lets you jump back in time to a previous version of your site.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Great
We’ve Got a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. But, we want to provide you a quick summary 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 categories available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on each Apparatus (by being responsive), and they can be adapted to match your own personal needs, using the templates as a foundation. No need for you to receive a web design diploma!
Of course, if You are all about layout, and absolutely need to have the ability to customize it down to the last pixel, so 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 because 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 picture above.
Ecommerce. Can be a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We’d say yes, with a caveat. It is great to Sell physical and digital products for small and medium-sized shops, but maybe not for huge ones. Even though you can use the import and export function to manage many things, you might find Weebly lacking in features such as massive stores.
For instance, we don’t like that there Are not any offline payment choices (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it is also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Design My Own Website
Finally, it is worth noting that although You can create a shop with the Starter and Pro plan, upgrading to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll find the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely helpful for serious shop owners. Furthermore, you won’t have to cover an additional transaction charge of 3 percent.
Still confused About the many online store plans? You can find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program shop. Can I Boost My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 apps in A number of categories such as 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. Also a pity the apps made by Weebly are rather 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 site. We attempted some cool ones such as a way to include tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special information. Our only qualm is the quality and quantity of programs is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Utilizing Weebly
Here’s What I found to be the pros of Weebly — not just compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an general online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all the websites that are built on their own platform. That may be good or awful, however in Weebly’s situation, it is an expert. They have rapid load speeds. Their sites are optimized for their hosting. They treat safety against spam and hackers. With company plans, they install and keep SSL across your whole site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still pace and security risks, but it’s an advantage for many website owners to have somebody else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with pro and free accounts, so it’s a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin any piece of software — no matter how instinctive — there is that moment where you think”okay, what do I do now?” This approach is known as onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to execute well.
The Software maker doesn’t want to be bothersome, but they also want to provide help. I love how Weebly builds in solid onboarding and instruction not just via email drip sequence but also via little info buttons constructed with their platform.
After You join, it is straightforward to dive right in. Design My Own Website
Website Building Process
One Advertised benefit of using an all-inclusive site builder is that you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop elements. What you find in the builder is exactly what you receive on the site.
It’s Not necessarily that easy. There is a whole lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” Most of us really mean”I wish to drag and click this component and move it to a general place where it’ll look great — you know, automatically focused, etc.” In other words, it’s like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You wish to do the thing, but also have a little 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 a custom CSS module, so that you can edit the template into exactly your choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly provides an email service option along with 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 system, customer support can troubleshoot and fix any matter. This is a massive advantage of website builder platforms generally, but especially with Weebly since they have telephone support.
If You conduct your site, you have to work out exactly who will fix a problem prior to getting in contact with them. Together with Weebly, you merely get in contact with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of creating your own site on your own host is you don’t have to count on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the platform route, it’s essential to be certain that they have all the features you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They’ve 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 Past the advanced necessities, 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 proceed the all-inclusive website builder course, Weebly’s feature set must provide everything 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 innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in features, but it does not 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 functionality is as simple as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can navigate their climbing (though still somewhat limited) app center.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are huge offline and wish to be larger in the on/offline arena. That is why they bought Weebly — and why the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s ecommerce features.
If You’re starting a website 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 provides a readymade solution with closely integrated ecommerce characteristics which should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I have Been using site builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com days and have been paying attention to the sector for the past 5 decades. One overarching trend is a company’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing group or the product group.
Even In a fast-growing market, a organization’s construction and end targets will dictate how it behaves and what investments it gets. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ wildly among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for organic expansion. But in 2018, they offered to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that might be a huge downside. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying companies and value. However, this purchase has a huge upside for one market segment —
If You really don’t mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiry. A fairly good deal — especially for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is quite competitive not only in contrast to other comprehensive site buildersbut also with purchasing your own hosting. Their Starter plan begins around $8/mo when paid up front. And they don’t possess the common caps of other site builders. The Pro plan adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll notice that everything is accessible and infinite. There are no limits on webpages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the initial paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more costly than doing the same thing on your own hosting, is much more affordable than similar plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To building your own site on your server and notably with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite aggressive. Cost isn’t everything, but I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Utilizing 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 discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management process is exactly what it sounds like. It is an interface that permits you to type, filter, edit, and publish different types of content on your website. Design My Own Website
Weebly Kind of has that. It has a Pages section that lists out all the pages on your website. It permits you to drag and drop the hierarchy and then click on to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from a efficient system.
There is No method to add custom content forms (except inside an individual page). If you’re planning a large site (such as hundreds of pages), the content contained in Weebly would need a personal system to keep it sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however I want content could be more easily managed within Weebly.
The Last big disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is not difficult. If you want to move somewhere else, such as your WordPress powered site, migrating 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 is going to need to be manually duplicated and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be difficult, but it’s something to consider if you’re planning on quickly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most marketing tools and features can be added to your site. But since you still don’t have 100% control on your site & host — it can be challenging or not impossible to include advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the principal issue is not having”root” or”FTP” access to your server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, but it’s something to be careful of if you’re arranging a long-term project.
For Most all website owners with average traffic you’ll want to be aware of the constraints, especially if you’re planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s ad showing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce functionality. It’s possible to 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 packages the complete eCommerce bundle for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice piece of functionality, but remember that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, fundamental inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly fits about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Ideal for websites which are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few products. Additionally, it is a good fit for anybody testing out products before going to a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term fit for websites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialization eCommerce platform such as Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the purchase from Square does come with a downside. That’s regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it more precious as a complete for Square. Design My Own Website
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent business.
If You are wanting to construct a long-term content or direct generation site, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for general drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs today, they might not in the future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years past, it was only another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is far better than most competitors. It’s simple, uncluttered and simple to use — that is precisely what people with limited technical skills need when it comes to creating their own online presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, for instance. Finding an email address attached to your domain name is also a little expensive, 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 top of our list of site builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools like the iOS or Android program for editing your website on the move, or the amount of add-ons available from the program centre makes it powerful, and fun to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!