With More than 40M sites 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 technology. Doodlekit
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it looks in practice. In this review, we will look at their drag and drop editor and see if it’s any good for creating a website, blog or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide range of site building alternatives, Weebly lives on the end that is all-inclusive and provides all you need to get started and grow your website. It’s compared to options where you purchase, install, and handle all of the”pieces” of your site separately.
It is Like trading off a few control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is kind of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a nice development rather than getting and owning your own residence. You are still in charge of decor, cleaning, and what living-wise — but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure into the house owner. That point is key 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 stage. That’s what allows them to own drag and drop layout, layout, and content.
As Far as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a team compete with options like WordPress.org (that provides the free software to build a site that you own & control — see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text document. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive into the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a revelation — I receive referral fees from all the companies discussed in this post. My opinions & study are based on my experiences like a paying customer or adviser to a paying client.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. First thing you’ll notice Is how nicely the drag and drop interface is designed. Just choose the element you need on the left, and set it on your layout on the right.
You might find that components snap into position And organize themselves flawlessly on the webpage. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it is quite possible to end up with overlapping elements. Together with Weebly, no risk of that occurring.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you would like to edit and type your words from the box. Some other options use”entrance masks” that are a bit more subjective 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.
Finally, if you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a lot of questions through tutorials that are clear and step by step guides. Failing this, the support is exceptional, whether by email, chat, or telephone. Doodlekit
So are there Any downsides? This is different. If you would like more freedom with your layouts, then you might feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You should go to get Wix. This competitor also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that can build the web site for you by itself. You may perhaps shave a few minutes of your website building time.
There are also two things we’d love to see. First is a global reverse button. You can undo what you type in text boxes, but it will be wonderful to erase mistakes when you add or move components. Secondly, Weebly doesn’t have an overall media database that keeps all of your pictures. You’re going to need to re-upload pictures for each and every element that requires 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 advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It will offer all you need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro features.
· Fancy header with slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to allow users register and get private sections of the Site
If some of those Above are must-haves for your site, you will need 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 one thing out of the way . if You are an innovative search engine optimization expert who certainly must rank #1 on search engines to get a very competitive keyword, you might have a tough time using Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There is a free program which lets you insert key words from h1 to h6, however, it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not incorporate it into their system.
· Certain 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 huge issue unless your website isn’t in English. Same with the blog posts, they’ll have’/site /’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via source code. But you’re on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the other hand, 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 own images. Doodlekit
· 301 redirects. You can command them to prevent broken links when a page URL has been changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a great job at compressing the images you upload. This improves speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a little Curious about SEO? Don’t forget that we have a complete guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
As far as we Understand, really safe. The company takes safety very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. The free tier will run on https that offers an excess layer of security. Especially crucial 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 conserving your website for a .zip file frequently. And there’s no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for example, 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 Good
We have a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you can read the key pros and cons. But, we want to provide you here a quick overview of the key features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly doesn’t have a ton of template designs (around 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are different classes out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on each Device (by being reactive ), and they may be adapted to match your own personal requirements, using 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, you should check out Wix in addition. Their template selection is unmatched and they have a much more elastic editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is because Weebly, unlike other builders, provides 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 picture above.
Ecommerce. Can be a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We’d say yes, with a caveat. It’s great to Sell digital and physical products for small and medium-sized shops, but maybe not for huge ones. Even though you may use the export and import function to handle large number of items, you might find Weebly lacking in features such as enormous stores.
For instance, we do not like that there Are not any offline payment choices (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it’s also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Doodlekit
Finally, it is worth noting that even though You can create a shop with the Starter and Guru program, upgrading to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to find the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely helpful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t have to pay an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the many online store plans? You may discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App shop. Can I Boost My Site 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 paid. Some are built by Weebly, some by third party programmers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) possibility that it might shut down a single day. Also a pity the apps produced by Weebly are rather restricted.
However, one thing all the apps have in Common is a super easy installation attribute. One click and bam! All apps are analyzed and will work immediately on your site. We tried some cool ones like a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display specific information. Our only qualm is that the quality and amount of programs is a marginally inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Using Weebly
Here’s What I found to be the experts of Weebly — not only in comparison with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all of the sites that are built in their platform. That can be good or awful, however in Weebly’s situation, it’s an expert. They have fast load speeds. Their websites are optimized for their hosting. They treat security against spam and hackers. With business plans, they install and maintain SSL across your whole site. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and security dangers, but overall, it’s an edge for many website owners to have someone else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with pro and free accounts, so it is a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start some piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”okay, what can I do now?” This approach is called onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to execute well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t want to be annoying, but they also wish 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 own platform.
After You sign up, it is simple to dive in. Doodlekit
Site Building Process
One Promoted advantage 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 elements. What you find in the builder is what you get on the website.
It is Not always that simple. There is a whole lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” Most of us really mean”I want to click and drag this component and move it into a general place where it’ll look great — you know, mechanically focused, etc.” In other words, it is like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You want to do the thing, but also have a little bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop really functions. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so which you may edit the template to exactly your choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly offers an email service alternative along with a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they offer email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive system, customer service is able to troubleshoot and correct any matter. This is a massive benefit of site builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly since they have telephone support.
If You conduct your own site, you have to work out exactly who will correct a problem before getting in touch 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 you don’t need to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the platform route, it’s essential to make certain they have all the qualities you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They’ve got all of the fundamentals — like blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level customized code placement.
Even Beyond the complex requirements, Weebly also includes features like discussion, membership options, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I’ll cover individually below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive website builder route, Weebly’s attribute set must offer whatever you need for typical personal/business sites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you 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 (think the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together 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 want to be larger in the on/offline arena. That’s why they bought Weebly — and why the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You’re starting a website and plan on selling a couple of things here and there or in case you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you would like to sell online, the Weebly provides a readymade solution with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics that should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I have Been using site builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com days and have been closely paying attention to the industry for the previous five decades. 1 overarching trend is that a firm’s structure pushes product investment more than the marketing group or the product team.
Even In a fast paced marketplace, a organization’s construction and finish goals will dictate how it acts and what investments it gets. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary wildly among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for organic growth. However, in 2018, they offered to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that might be a big downside. Acquisitions are renowned for destroying companies and value. However, this purchase has a huge upside for a single market segment —
If You don’t mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiry. A fairly good deal — particularly for temporary sites.
Total Pricing is very aggressive not only compared to other comprehensive website buildersbut also with buying your own hosting. Their Starter plan begins around $8/mo when paid up front. And they don’t have the typical caps of other website builders. The Guru program adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no limits on webpages or storage area. And unlike competitors like Wix, they remove all advertisements with the first paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more costly than doing the same thing on your hosting, is much cheaper than similar plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To constructing your own website on your server and notably with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Cost is not everything, however I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Utilizing Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without studying the downsides. Every bit of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 unique cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management system is precisely what it resembles. It’s an interface which allows you to sort, filter, edit, and publish unique kinds of articles on your site. Doodlekit
Weebly Kind 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 method to add custom content types (except inside an individual page). If you’re planning a large site (like hundreds of pages), the content contained in Weebly would need a private system to keep it all sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, but that I want content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is difficult. If you want to move somewhere else, including your WordPress powered website, migrating your content and redirecting your URLs will be a challenging process.
Weebly lets You to export your Page content via 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 consider if you are considering quickly growing traffic and/or content.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most advertising tools and attributes can be added to your site. However, since you still don’t have 100% control over your website & host — it can be difficult and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, custom email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, special Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the principal issue is not having”root” or”FTP” access to your server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, but it’s something to be careful of if you are arranging a long-term project.
For Most all website owners with average traffic you’ll want to be aware of the limitations, especially if you’re planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s advertisement showing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. It’s possible to sell products from your Weebly site without changing platforms or performing some special developments. It fits in effortlessly and contains strong performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the full eCommerce package for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful bit of functionality, but remember that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online shop platforms like Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here is how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Great for websites which are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc also want to sell a few products. Additionally, it is a fantastic fit for anybody testing out products prior to moving to a long-term stage. It is not a long-term match for sites which are eCommerce-first. For those, an online shop you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (inspection ) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the purchase from Square does include a downside. That’s regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it even more precious as a whole for Square. Doodlekit
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent business.
If You are looking to build a long-term articles or lead generation site, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for general drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they may not in the future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was only 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 easy, uncluttered and easy to use — that is exactly what people with limited technical abilities need in regards to making their own internet presence.
Obviously, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To see a bit more templates, for instance. Finding an email address attached to a own domain is also a bit pricey, as they recommend G Suite, which costs $5 per month, per user. (Though there are workarounds, since you can see in the FAQ under ).
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 amount of add-ons available from the app centre makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!