Introduction Free And Easy Website Builder
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 seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than improving their platform’s technology. Free And Easy Website Builder
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 is any good for producing a website, site or online store.
On The broad range of website building solutions, Weebly resides at the end that’s comprehensive and provides everything you want to get started and develop your site. It is compared to solutions where you purchase, install, and handle all the”pieces” of your website individually.
It’s Like trading off a few control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development rather than buying and owning your own residence. You are still in control of decor, cleaning, and what living-wise — but you leave the building, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the house owner. That point is critical because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The functionality and design that are included with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That is what allows them to have drag and drop layout, layout, and articles.
As Much as competition, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (that provides the free software to build a site which you own & control — see my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing real HTML code into a text document. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive to the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a revelation — I receive referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this post. My opinions & study derive from 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. The first thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface is designed. Just select the element you need on the left, and set it on your design on the right.
You might Discover That components snap into place And arrange themselves perfectly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it is quite possible to end up with overlapping components. Together with Weebly, no risk of that happening.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you want to edit and type your words from the box. Some other options use”entry masks” that are somewhat more subjective and not necessarily easy to work with.
The navigation system also works wonders. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Finally, should you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a great deal of questions through tutorials that are clear and step-by-step guides. Failing that, the service is exceptional, whether by email, chat, or phone. Free And Easy Website Builder
So are there Any downsides? That depends. If you want more freedom with your layouts, then you may feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You should go for Wix. This competitor also has an automatic 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 what you type in text boxes, but it will be wonderful to erase mistakes once you add or move elements. Secondly, Weebly doesn’t have a general media database which keeps all your pictures. You’re going to need to re-upload images for every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Program is Best for Me?
We would say the primary question to ask is. Do I want to market online? Quite simply, if you really do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It will offer everything you need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro features.
· Fancy header with slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to allow users register and access personal sections of the website
If some of those Above are must-haves for your site, you’ll need to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And for a more comprehensive breakdown, please consult with our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let us get 1 thing out of the way first. if You’re an advanced search engine optimization specialist who certainly must rank #1 on search engines to get a really competitive key word, you may have a tough time using Weebly. It is 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, but it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not integrate it in their system.
· Particular pages (categories and product pages) add a mandatory string to your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a huge issue unless your site is not in English. Same with the website articles, they will have’/blog/’ in the URL structure and this can’t be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is done via source code. But you’re in your as Weebly does not help.
On the other hand, Weebly does things really Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize them, along as Alt texts for pictures. This is particularly important to position your own images. Free And Easy Website Builder
· 301 redirects. It is possible to control 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 controlling the images you upload. This improves speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a bit Confused about SEO? Do not forget that we have a full guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
As far as we Know, very secure. The company takes safety very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will run on https which offers an excess layer of safety. Especially crucial for onsite 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 take care of it manually by conserving your website for a .zip file regularly. And there is no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, tracks new adjustments and allows you to jump back in time to a previous version of your site.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Good
We have a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. However, we want to give you a quick overview of the key 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 that you like. There are different classes out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on every Device (by being responsive), and they can be adapted to match your personal needs, using the templates as a base. No need for you to receive a web design diploma!
Obviously, if You are all about design, and absolutely have to be able to personalize it down to the last pixel, you should have a look at Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more elastic editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is because 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 is great to Sell digital and physical products for small and medium-sized stores, but maybe not for big ones. Although you may use the import and export function to manage large number of things, you might discover Weebly lacking in features such as enormous stores.
For instance, we don’t like that there Are not any offline payment options (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). Free And Easy Website Builder
Ultimately, it’s worth noting that although You’re able to create a shop with the Starter and Guru program, updating to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to get the automatic delivery and sales tax calculator, which is extremely useful for serious store owners. What’s more, you won’t need to pay an additional transaction charge of 3 percent.
Still confused About the various online store plans? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App Store. 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. Many are free, some are compensated. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third-party programmers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) possibility that it may shut down one day. Also a shame the apps produced by Weebly are rather limited.
However, 1 thing all of the apps have in Common is a super simple installation attribute. Click and bam! All programs are analyzed and will work instantly on your own website. We attempted some cool ones such as a way to include tables, event calendars, and data bars to display special info. Our only qualm is the quality and amount of apps is a slightly inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Using Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the pros of Weebly — not just compared with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all of the websites which are constructed in their own platform. That can be good or bad, but in Weebly’s situation, it is an expert. They have rapid load speeds. Their sites are optimized for their own hosting. They take care of security against spam and hackers. With business plans, they even install and keep SSL across your entire site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still pace and safety risks, but overall, it’s an advantage for many website owners to have someone else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with pro and completely free accounts, so it is a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin any piece of software — regardless of how instinctive — there is that moment where you think”okay, what can I do today?” This process is called onboarding, and it’s also incredibly tough to execute well.
The Software maker doesn’t want to be annoying, but they also wish to provide help. I love how Weebly assembles in solid onboarding and education not just via email trickle arrangement but also via little info buttons built with their platform.
Once You sign up, it’s simple to dive in. Free And Easy Website Builder
Website Building Process
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 components. What you find in the builder is exactly what you receive on the website.
It is Not always that easy. There is a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us really mean”I want to drag and click this component and transfer it into a general area where it’ll look great — you know, automatically centered, etc.” In other words, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You wish to do something, but also have a little bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop actually functions. And, for the control freaks among us, they supply access to a custom CSS module, so that you may edit the template into exactly your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly provides an email support option and a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they offer email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive system, customer service can troubleshoot and correct any matter. This is a huge advantage of website builder platforms generally, but especially using Weebly since they have telephone support.
If You conduct your site, you’ve got to work out just who will correct a problem before getting in contact with them. Together with Weebly, you merely get in contact with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of building your own website on your host is you don’t need to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you go the platform route, it’s essential to make sure they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They’ve got all the fundamentals — such as website functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.
Even Beyond the complex necessities, Weebly also includes features including forums, membership options, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover individually below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive website builder route, Weebly’s feature set must offer everything you need for typical personal/business websites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you really do need to be specifically aware of advanced options).
Also — 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).
Together with your Own WordPress site, including functionality is as easy as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can browse their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re huge offline and want to be larger in the on/offline arena. That’s the reason why they purchased Weebly — and why the future is really bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You’re starting a site and plan on selling a few things here and there or if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you want to sell on the internet, the Weebly provides a readymade solution with closely integrated ecommerce features that should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I have Been using website builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com days and have been paying attention to this sector for the past 5 decades. One overarching trend is a firm’s structure drives product investment over the marketing group or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a company’s structure and finish targets will dictate how it acts and what investments it gets. As I outlined 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 natural growth. But in 2018, they offered to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that might be a huge drawback. Acquisitions are renowned for destroying companies and value. However, this purchase has a Massive upside for one market segment —
If You don’t mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiration. A fairly good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is quite competitive not only compared to other all-inclusive website buildersbut also with purchasing your hosting. Their Starter plan begins approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not possess the common caps of other website builders. The Pro plan adds solid features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll see that everything is accessible and infinite. There are no limits on webpages or storage space. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the initial paid tier.
Even Their small business pricing, while more costly than doing the exact same thing on your own hosting, is considerably cheaper than comparable plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To constructing your own website on your host and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Cost is not everything, but I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review would 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’s an interface which allows you to sort, filter, edit, and publish unique kinds of articles on your site. Free And Easy Website Builder
Weebly Sort of features that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all of 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 an efficient system.
There’s No way to add custom content types (except within an individual page). If you’re arranging a massive site (like hundreds of webpages ), the articles contained in Weebly would require a personal system to keep it all sorted and easily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however I want content could be easily handled 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 content and redirecting your URLs are going to be a challenging process.
Weebly lets You to export your Page content through zip file but website content will need to be manually duplicated and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain hard, but it’s something to consider if you’re planning on quickly growing traffic and/or content.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, many marketing tools and attributes can be added to your site. But as you still do not have 100% control on your site & host — it can be challenging or not impossible to include advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, custom email collection applications, custom analytics packages, habit social shares, special Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the principal issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, however it is something to be careful of if you’re planning a long-term project.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic you’ll want to be aware of the constraints, especially if you’re planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s ad showing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce performance. It’s possible to sell products from the Weebly site without switching platforms or performing some distinctive developments. It fits in seamlessly and has solid performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the full eCommerce package for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful bit of performance, but keep in mind that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, basic stock management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly matches about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Ideal for sites that are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc also want to sell a few products. It’s also a fantastic fit for anyone testing out products before going to a long-term stage. It is not a long-term match for websites which are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet store you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialization eCommerce platform such as Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a better fit.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That’s regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features which make it more precious as a whole for Square. Free And Easy Website Builder
Characteristics 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 website, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for general drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs today, they may not in the future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years past, it was just another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is better than most competitors. It is easy, uncluttered and easy to use — that is exactly what individuals with limited technical abilities need in regards to creating their own online presence.
Obviously, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To see somewhat more templates, for instance. Finding an email address attached to a domain is also a little expensive, as they recommend G Suite, which costs $5 a month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, as you can see in the FAQ below).
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 app for editing your site on the move, or the number of add-ons available from the program centre makes it robust, and fun to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!