Introduction Design Your Website
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s most popular web builders on the market. Unlike particular competitors, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than improving their platform’s technology. Design Your Website
This all sounds fairly good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it appears in practice. In this review, we will look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for creating a web site, site or online store.
On The wide spectrum of website building solutions, Weebly resides at the end that’s all-inclusive and provides all you want to get started and grow your website. It is in contrast to solutions where you purchase, install, and manage all of the”bits” of your site separately.
It’s Like trading off a few control for more convenience.
Using Weebly is kind of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a wonderful development instead of buying and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is critical because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The functionality and design which are included with Weebly work together collectively as a stage. That’s what lets them have drag and drop design, layout, and content.
As Far 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 provides the free software to construct a site which you own & control — visit my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to choices like typing real HTML code into a text document. 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 & research are based on my experiences as either a paying client or adviser to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Good question. 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 place it upon your design on the right.
You might find that components snap into place And organize themselves flawlessly on the webpage. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it’s very possible to end up with overlapping elements. Together with Weebly, no risk of that happening.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you would like to edit and sort your words from the box. Some other options use”entry masks” which are a bit 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 like a charm.
Ultimately, if you get stuck anywhere, 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. Design Your Website
So are there Any drawbacks? This depends. If you want more freedom with your designs, then you may feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You ought to 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 perhaps shave off a few minutes of your site 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 add or move elements. Second, Weebly does not have an overall media database which keeps all of your pictures. You’re going to need to re-upload images for every element that requires them.
That Weebly Pricing Program is Best for Me?
We’d say the primary question to ask is. Do I want to sell online? Quite simply, if you do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds 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 with slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module — to let users sign in and access private sections of the Site
If any of those Above are must-haves for your site, you will need to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And to get a more complete breakdown, please refer to our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way . if You are an innovative SEO specialist who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines for a very competitive key word, you might have a tough time with Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There is a free program that lets you add headings from h1 to h6, but it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not incorporate it in their system.
· Certain pages (categories and product pages) include a compulsory string to your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a huge issue unless your website is not in English. Same with the website articles, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. But you are in your as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the other hand, Weebly does matters really Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize themalong as Alt texts for pictures. This is especially important to position your own images. Design Your Website
· 301 redirects. You can command them to prevent broken links when a page URL was changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a great job at controlling the pictures you upload. This enhances speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a little Curious about SEO? Don’t forget that we’ve got a full guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
As far as we Know, very secure. The company takes safety very seriously. They market strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will operate on https that offers an extra layer of security. Especially important for onsite 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 conserving your site for a .zip file regularly. And there is no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, tracks new changes and allows you to jump back in time to a previous version of your site.
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. But, we want to give you here a quick summary of the main features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly doesn’t have a ton of template layouts (approximately 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 mechanically look great on every Apparatus (by being reactive ), and they may be adapted to match your personal requirements, together with the templates as a foundation. No need for you to receive a web design diploma!
Of course, if You’re all about design, and absolutely have to have the ability to personalize it down to the last pixel, so you should check out Wix also. Their template selection is unmatched and they have an even more flexible editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is because Weebly, contrary to other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig under the hood and change the CSS and HTML? You’ll have free reign here, as you can see in the image above.
Ecommerce. Is a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We’d say yes, with a caveat. It is great to Sell digital and physical products for small and medium-sized stores, but maybe not for huge ones. Although you can use the import and export function to manage many things, you might discover Weebly lacking in features for massive stores.
For instance, we don’t like that there Aren’t any offline payment choices (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it’s also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Design Your Website
Finally, it’s worth noting that even though You can create a store using the Starter and Pro program, updating to Business and greater makes more sense. You are going to get the automated shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely helpful for serious store owners. What’s more, you won’t have to pay an additional transaction charge of 3%.
Still confused About the various online store strategies? You can find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App shop. Can I Enhance My Site with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 apps in A number of classes like eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Many are free, some are paid. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third party developers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) possibility that it might shut down a single day. Additionally a shame the apps made by Weebly are quite restricted.
However, one thing all of the programs have in Common is that a super easy installation feature. Click and bam! All apps are analyzed and will work immediately on your website. We attempted some cool ones like a way to include tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special info. Our only qualm is the quality and amount of programs is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Using Weebly
Here’s What I found 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 provides Hosting for all of the sites that are constructed in their platform. That can be good or awful, but in Weebly’s situation, it’s a pro. They have rapid load speeds. Their websites are optimized for their own hosting. They take care of safety against spam and hackers. With company plans, they even install and keep SSL across your whole website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and security dangers, but overall, it’s an advantage for many website owners to have somebody else care for 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 start any piece of software — regardless of how instinctive — there’s that moment where you think”okay, what do I do now?” This process is known as onboarding, and it’s also incredibly tough to execute well.
The Software manufacturer does not wish to be annoying, but they also want to provide help. I love how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and education not only via email drip arrangement but also via little info buttons built with their platform.
After You join, it is straightforward to dive right in. Design Your Website
Website Building Procedure
One Promoted benefit of using an all-inclusive website builder is you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop elements. Everything you find in the builder is what you get on the site.
It is Not necessarily that easy. There is a lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” Most of us really mean”I wish to click and drag this element and transfer it into a general area where it’ll seem great — you know, automatically centered, etc.” Put simply, it’s 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 off this. Their drag and drop really works. As well as for the control freaks among us, they supply access to a custom CSS module, so which you can edit the template into precisely your choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly provides an email support alternative along with also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they provide email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive system, client service can troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a huge advantage of site builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly because they have phone support.
If You conduct your own site, you’ve got to work out just who can correct a problem before getting in contact with them. With Weebly, you just get in touch with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of building your own website on your host is you don’t have to count on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the platform route, it is key to make certain that they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all of the basics — like blog performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Past the advanced necessities, Weebly also 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 proceed the comprehensive site builder route, Weebly’s attribute set should offer everything you need for typical personal/business sites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you really do need to be especially aware of innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in attributes, but it does not have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party apps (think the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together with your Own WordPress site, including performance is as simple as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can navigate their climbing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are enormous offline and wish to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That is why they bought Weebly — and why the future is really 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 market online, the Weebly offers a readymade alternative with tightly 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 this industry for the previous 5 years. 1 overarching trend is a company’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing team or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing market, a company’s construction and finish targets will dictate how it behaves and what investments it makes. 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 firm going for natural growth. But in 2018, they sold to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that could be a big drawback. Acquisitions are renowned for ruining value and companies. However, this purchase has a Massive upside for a single 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 sites.
Total Pricing is very aggressive not only in contrast to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with purchasing your hosting. Their Starter plan begins approximately $8/mo when paid up front. And they do not have the typical caps of other site builders. The Guru plan adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll notice that everything is bundled and unlimited. There are no limits on pages or storage area. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they remove all advertisements with the first paid tier.
Even Their small business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your own hosting, is considerably cheaper than similar plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To building your own site in your host and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite aggressive. Price isn’t 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 piece of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management process is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an interface that permits you to type, filter, edit, and publish unique kinds of articles on your site. Design Your Website
Weebly Kind of has that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your site. It allows you to drag and drop the hierarchy and then click on to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from an efficient system.
There is No method to add custom content forms (except within a single page). If you’re planning a massive site (such as hundreds of pages), the articles contained in Weebly would need a personal system to maintain it sorted and easily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however I wish content could be easily managed within Weebly.
The Last huge drawback of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you want to move somewhere else, such as your own WordPress powered website, migrating your articles and redirecting your URLs will be a difficult process.
Weebly lets You to export your Page content through zip file but blog content will have to be manually copied and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be difficult, but it’s something to think about if you are planning on quickly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, most marketing tools and features can be added to your website. However, as you still do not have 100% control over your website & host — it can be challenging and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection tools, custom analytics packages, habit social shares, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the main issue is not having”root” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, however it is something to be careful of if you are planning a long-term job.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic — you’ll want to be aware of the constraints, especially if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad showing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. It’s possible to sell products from your Weebly site without switching platforms or performing some distinctive developments. It fits in effortlessly and has solid performance.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the complete eCommerce package for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice piece of functionality, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, basic stock management, and payment approval. Here is how Weebly fits about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for websites that are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc also want to sell a few goods. It’s also a fantastic fit for anyone testing out products prior to going to a long-term stage. It’s not a long-term match for sites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an online shop you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialization eCommerce platform like Shopify (inspection ) or Bigcommerce (review) would be a much better fit.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the purchase from Square does come with a downside. That’s regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features which make it more precious as a complete for Square. Design Your Website
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You’re wanting to construct a long-term articles or lead generation site, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs now, they may not in the medium 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 which is far better than most competitors. It is easy, uncluttered and easy to use — that is exactly what people with limited technical skills need in regards to creating their own online presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To see a bit more templates, for instance. Finding an email address attached to a own domain name is also a bit pricey, as they urge G Suite, which costs $5 a month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, since 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 such as the iOS or Android program for editing your website on the go, or the number of add-ons out there in the app center makes it robust, and fun to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!