Introduction Design Your Own Website Free Software
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s hottest web builders out there. Unlike certain competitors, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technologies. Design Your Own Website Free Software
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 creating a web site, blog or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad range of website building alternatives, Weebly lives on the end that is all-inclusive and provides everything you want to get started and develop your site. It’s in contrast to solutions where you buy, set up, and manage all of the”pieces” of your website separately.
It’s Like trading off some control for greater convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like renting and customizing an apartment in a wonderful development rather than getting and owning your own residence. You are still in charge of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise — but you leave the building, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is critical since 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 platform. That’s what allows them to have drag and drop layout, design, and articles.
As Far as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (which offers the totally free software to build a site that you own & control — visit my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to choices like typing real HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive into the Weebly review.
One Other fast aside — a revelation — I get referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this post. My opinions & study are based on my experiences as either a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
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 was created. Just choose the element you want on the left, and place it upon your layout on the rightside.
You might find that elements snap into place And organize themselves flawlessly on the page. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid , 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 just click what you want to edit and sort your own words from the box. A few other solutions use”entrance masks” that are somewhat more subjective and not always easy to utilize.
The navigation system also works miracles. You can dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them like a charm.
Finally, should you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a great deal of questions through clear tutorials and step by step guides. Failing this, the support is excellent, whether via email, chat, or telephone. Design Your Own Website Free Software
So are there Any downsides? That depends. If you want more freedom with your layouts, then you may feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You should go for Wix. This competition also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the website for you by itself. You may 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 worldwide undo button. You can undo everything you type in text boxes, but it would be nice to erase mistakes when you move or add elements. Second, Weebly does not have a general media database which keeps all of your pictures. You’ll have to re-upload images for every element that requires them.
That Weebly Pricing Plan is Best 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 recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It provides everything you will need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro features.
· Fancy header using slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module to allow users register and access 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 to get a more comprehensive breakdown, please consult with our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way . if You are an advanced search engine optimization specialist who absolutely needs to rank #1 on search engines to get a very competitive keyword, you may have a difficult time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There’s a free app that allows you insert headings from h1 to h6, however, it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly doesn’t integrate it into their system.
· Particular pages (groups and product pages) include a compulsory string to your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a massive issue unless your website is not in English. Same with the website articles, they will have’/blog/’ in the URL structure and this can not be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is done via source code. But you’re on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does matters actually Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize them, along as Alt texts for images. This is especially important to position your images. Design Your Own Website Free Software
· 301 redirects. You can command them to prevent broken links when a page URL has been changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at compressing the images you upload. This improves speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a bit Curious about SEO? Do not forget that we have a complete guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
Just 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 run on https which offers an excess layer of safety. Especially important for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Regrettably, 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 as a .zip file frequently. And there’s no restore function if 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 post about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the main pros and cons. However, we want to provide you a quick summary of the main features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly does not have a whole lot of template layouts (around 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 every Device (by being reactive ), and they may be adapted to match your personal needs, using the templates as a foundation. No need for you to get 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 choice is unmatched and they have a much more flexible editor…
… unless you’re confident with 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. Although you can use the export and import function to manage many items, you might discover Weebly lacking in features for enormous stores.
For instance, we don’t like this there Aren’t any offline payment choices (only 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 Your Own Website Free Software
Finally, it is worth noting that although You can create a store with the Starter and Guru plan, upgrading to Business and greater makes more sense. You are going to find the automatic delivery and sales tax calculator, which is extremely useful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t have to pay an additional transaction fee of 3%.
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 programs in Quite a few categories such as eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Many are free, some are paid. Some are built by Weebly, some by third party programmers. For the latter, there is always an (unlikely) possibility that it may shut down one day. Additionally a pity the programs produced by Weebly are quite restricted.
However, 1 thing all of the programs have in Common is that a super simple installation feature. Click and bam! All apps are tested and will work instantly on your own site. We tried some cool ones like 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 in the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Using Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the pros of Weebly — not only in comparison to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a general online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all of the sites that are built in their platform. That may be good or bad, however in Weebly’s situation, it is an expert. They have fast load speeds. Their sites are optimized for their own hosting. They treat safety against hackers and spam. With company plans, they install and maintain SSL across your entire website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still speed and security risks, but it’s an advantage for many site owners to have somebody else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with expert and free accounts, so it is a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin any piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”okay, what do I do now?” This approach is known as onboarding, and it’s also incredibly tough to execute well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t wish to be bothersome, but they also want to provide help. I really like how Weebly assembles in solid onboarding and education not just via email drip arrangement but also via small info buttons built with their platform.
After You join, it’s simple to dive right in. Design Your Own Website Free Software
Website Building Process
One Promoted advantage of utilizing a comprehensive website builder is you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop elements. Everything you find in the builder is exactly what you receive on the website.
It is Not always that easy. There is a whole 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 look good — you know, automatically focused, etc.” Put simply, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You want to do something, but also have a bit of help.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop actually functions. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so that you can edit the template to exactly your own choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly offers an email service alternative and a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they provide email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive system, client support can 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 run your own site, you have to figure out just who will correct a problem prior to getting in contact with them. With Weebly, you merely get in contact with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own website on your own host is that you don’t have to depend on a platform’s attribute set. If you go the platform route, it is key to make sure they have all the qualities you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They’ve got all of the fundamentals — like blog performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level customized code positioning.
Even Beyond the complex necessities, Weebly also includes features like discussion, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover individually below.
If You proceed the comprehensive website builder course, Weebly’s attribute set should provide everything you need for typical personal/business sites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do want to be specifically aware of advanced options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in attributes, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party apps (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 center.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are huge offline and wish to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That is the reason why they bought Weebly — and why the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s ecommerce 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 want to sell on the internet, the Weebly offers a ready-made alternative 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 days and have been paying attention to the industry for the past five decades. 1 overarching trend is that a firm’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing team or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a organization’s structure and end targets will dictate how it behaves 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 company going for organic growth. But in 2018, they offered to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that might be a big drawback. Acquisitions are renowned for destroying value and companies. However, this acquisition has a huge upside for one market segment —
If You really don’t mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiry. A pretty good deal — particularly for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is very aggressive not only in contrast to other comprehensive site buildersbut also with purchasing your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not have the common caps of other site builders. The Pro program adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll see that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no limits on pages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all ads with the initial paid grade.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your own hosting, is considerably more affordable than similar plans with direct competitors.
In comparison To constructing your own site in your server and especially with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Price is not everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Using Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without studying the downsides. Every bit of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 unique cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management system is precisely what it resembles. It is an interface that allows you to sort, filter, edit, and print different types of articles on your website. Design Your Own Website Free Software
Weebly Sort of features that. It has 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. Nevertheless, it’s far from an efficient system.
There is No way to add custom content types (except inside a single page). If you are planning a massive site (such as hundreds of webpages ), the articles contained in Weebly would require a private system to keep it sorted and easily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, but that I wish content could be easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you would like to move someplace else, such as your own WordPress powered site, Assessing your content and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult procedure.
Weebly allows One to export your Page content via zip file but blog content is going to need to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain hard, but it is something to think about if you’re considering quickly expanding traffic and/or content.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most marketing tools and features can be added to your website. But as you still do not have 100% control on your site & host — it can be challenging or not impossible to add advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, habit social stocks, special Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the main issue isn’t having”root” or”FTP” access to your server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, however it’s something to be careful of if you’re arranging a long-term project.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic you’ll want to know about the limitations, especially if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad revealing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. It’s possible to sell products from your Weebly website without changing platforms or doing any distinctive developments. It fits in effortlessly and contains strong functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the full eCommerce bundle for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful bit of performance, but keep in mind 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 approval. Here’s how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Ideal for websites that are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few products. It’s also a fantastic match for anyone testing out products before going to a long-term stage. It’s not a long-term fit for websites which are eCommerce-first. For those, an online store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialization eCommerce platform such as Shopify (inspection ) or Bigcommerce (review) are a much better fit.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That’s regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features that make it even more precious as a complete for Square. Design Your Own Website Free Software
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent business.
If You are wanting to build a long-term content or direct generation website, then I would look at WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs now, they may not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was just another site builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding website building tool that is far better than many competitors. It’s simple, uncluttered and easy to use — which is exactly what individuals with limited technical skills need in regards to creating their own internet presence.
Obviously, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, for instance. Getting an email address attached to your own domain name is also a little pricey, as they urge G Suite, that costs $5 per month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, as you can see in the FAQ under ).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the 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 move, or the number of add-ons available in the program center makes it robust, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!