Introduction Free Blog Site Builder
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s hottest web builders out there. Unlike certain opponents, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. Free Blog Site Builder
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it looks in practice. In this review, we’ll have a 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 wide range of website building alternatives, Weebly resides on the end that is comprehensive and provides all you need to get started and grow your site. It is compared to solutions where you purchase, set up, and handle all of the”bits” of your site individually.
It is Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Using Weebly is kind of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development instead of buying and owning your own house. You are still in charge of decoration, cleaning, and everything living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is critical because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality that are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That’s what lets them own drag and drop design, design, and articles.
As Much as competition, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a group compete with choices like WordPress.org (that offers the totally free software to construct a website which you own & control — see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive into the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a revelation — I receive referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this post. My opinions & research are based on my experiences like a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Good question. First thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface was created. Just select the element you want on the left, and place it upon your layout on the right.
You’ll find that elements snap into place And arrange themselves flawlessly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it’s 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 sort your own words from the box. A few other options use”entry masks” that are somewhat more subjective and not necessarily easy to utilize.
The navigation system also works wonders. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them like a charm.
Finally, should you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a great deal of questions through tutorials that are clear and step by step guides. Failing that, the support is excellent, whether by email, chat, or phone. Free Blog Site Builder
So are there Any downsides? That depends. If you would like 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 pretty much by itself. You can possibly shave off a couple of minutes of your site building time.
There are also two things we’d like to see. First is a worldwide undo button. You can undo everything you type in text boxes, but it would be wonderful to erase mistakes when you add or move elements. Secondly, Weebly doesn’t have a general media database that keeps all of your pictures. You’re going to have to re-upload pictures for every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We would say the main question to ask is. Do I want to market online? Quite simply, if you do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It will offer everything you will need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro features.
· Fancy header with slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module to let users register and access personal sections of the website
If some of the Above are must-haves for your site, you’ll have to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And for a more complete breakdown, please consult with our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let us get 1 thing out of the way first. if You are an innovative search engine optimization specialist who certainly must rank #1 on search engines to get a really competitive keyword, you might have a difficult time with Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There is 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 in their system.
· Certain pages (groups 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 site isn’t in English. Same with the blog posts, they’ll have’/site /’ in the URL structure and this can’t be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. However, you are on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does things really Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize themalong as Alt texts for images. This is especially important to rank your own images. Free Blog Site Builder
· 301 redirects. You can command them to prevent broken links as soon as a page URL was changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at controlling the images you upload. This enhances speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a little Confused 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 Website?
Just as we Understand, really safe. The company takes safety very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will operate on https that offers an excess layer of safety. Especially crucial for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Regrettably, 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 frequently. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, 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’ve Got a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. But, we wish to provide you a quick overview of the key features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly does not have a ton of template layouts (around 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are different categories out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on every Apparatus (by being responsive), and they may be adapted to match your personal needs, using the templates as a base. No need for you to receive a web design degree!
Obviously, if You’re all about design, and absolutely have to be able to customize it down to the last pixel, so you should have a look at Wix also. Their template selection is unmatched and they have a much more flexible editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is since Weebly, unlike other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig beneath the hood and change 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 digital and physical products for small and medium-sized shops, but maybe not for huge ones. Even though you may use the import and export function to manage large number of items, you might discover Weebly lacking in features for massive stores.
For instance, we do not like that there Aren’t any offline payment options (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it is also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Free Blog Site Builder
Finally, it’s worth noting that even though You can create a store with the Starter and Pro plan, upgrading to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to get the automated shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely helpful for serious shop owners. What’s more, you won’t need to pay an additional transaction fee of 3%.
Still confused About the various online store plans? You may discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program Store. Can I Enhance My Site with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 programs in A number of classes like eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Many are free, some are compensated. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third party developers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) chance that it might shut down one day. Additionally a shame the programs produced by Weebly are quite restricted.
However, one thing all of the apps have in Common is that a super simple installation feature. Click and bam! All apps are analyzed and will work instantly on your own website. We tried some cool ones like a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display specific info. Our only qualm is the quality and quantity of programs is a marginally inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Using Weebly
Here is What I found to be the experts of Weebly — not just in comparison with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all the sites which are built in their platform. That may be good or awful, but in Weebly’s case, it is an expert. They have fast load rates. Their websites are optimized for their hosting. They treat security against hackers and spam. With business plans, they even install and maintain SSL across your whole website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still speed and security risks, but it’s an advantage for many website owners to have somebody else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with pro and completely free accounts, so it is a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin any piece of software — regardless of how instinctive — there’s that moment where you think”okay, what can I do now?” That process is known as onboarding, and it is also incredibly tough to execute well.
The Software manufacturer does not wish to be bothersome, but they also wish to help. I love how Weebly assembles in strong onboarding and education not only via email trickle sequence but also via small info buttons constructed with their own platform.
Once You sign up, it’s simple to dive right in. Free Blog Site Builder
Site Building Procedure
One Advertised advantage of using a comprehensive website builder is that you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop components. Everything you find in the builder is what you get on the website.
It’s 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 move it into a general place where it’ll seem good — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” In other words, it is like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You want to do something, but also have a little bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop really functions. 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 of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email support alternative and also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they provide email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive system, customer service can troubleshoot and correct any issue. This is a huge advantage of website 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 can fix a problem prior to getting in touch with them. With Weebly, you just get in touch with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of creating your own website on your own host is you don’t need to count on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the platform route, it’s key to make certain they have all the features you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all of the fundamentals — such as blog performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Past the advanced necessities, Weebly even includes features like discussion, subscription choices, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce alternatives, which I’ll cover individually below.
If You proceed the comprehensive website builder course, Weebly’s feature set must offer whatever you will need for typical personal/business sites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you really do want to be especially aware of advanced options).
Additionally — Weebly has plenty of built-in attributes, but it doesn’t 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. With Weebly — you can navigate their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are huge offline and want to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That is the reason why they purchased Weebly — and why the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You are starting a website and plan on selling a few things here and there or in case you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you would like to sell on the internet, the Weebly offers a readymade alternative with tightly integrated ecommerce features which 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 this industry for the past five decades. One overarching trend is that a firm’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing team or the product group.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a organization’s construction and end goals will dictate how it behaves and what investments it makes. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary tremendously among direct competitors.
For Years, 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 huge downside. Acquisitions are renowned for destroying value and companies. However, this acquisition has a Massive upside for a single market segment —
If You really do not mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiration. A fairly good deal — especially for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is very competitive not only compared to other all-inclusive website buildersbut also with buying your own hosting. Their Starter plan begins approximately $8/mo when paid up front. And they do not possess the typical caps of other website builders. The Guru plan adds solid features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll see that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no caps on webpages or storage space. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they remove all advertisements with the initial paid grade.
Even Their small business pricing, while more costly than doing the exact same thing on your own hosting, is considerably more affordable than comparable plans with direct rivals.
Compared To constructing your own website on your host and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Cost isn’t everything, however I really like how they structure it.
Cons + Truth About Using Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without studying the downsides. Each bit of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management system is exactly what it resembles. It’s an interface that permits you to sort, filter, edit, and publish unique types of content on your website. Free Blog Site Builder
Weebly Kind of has 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 way to add custom content forms (except within an individual page). If you are planning a large site (such as hundreds of pages), the content within Weebly would need a private system to keep it sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, but that I wish content could be easily managed within Weebly.
The Last big disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you would like to move somewhere else, such as your WordPress powered site, migrating your content and redirecting your URLs will be a challenging process.
Weebly allows One 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 remain difficult, but it’s something to consider if you are planning on quickly growing traffic and/or content.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most advertising tools and features can be added to your website. But as you still do not have 100% control over your website & server — it can be challenging or not impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages, habit social stocks, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the principal issue isn’t having”origin” or”FTP” access to your server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, however it’s something to be aware of if you’re arranging a long-term job.
For Most all site owners with average traffic — you’ll want to know about the limitations, particularly if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad revealing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce performance. You can sell products from your Weebly site without switching platforms or performing any distinctive developments. It fits in seamlessly and has strong functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the full eCommerce bundle for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful piece of performance, but keep in mind that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, basic inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here is how Weebly matches on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for sites which are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few products. It’s also a good fit for anybody testing out products before moving to a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term match for websites which are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet shop you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (inspection ) or Bigcommerce (review) would be a better match.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the purchase from Square does include a downside. That is regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it more precious as a complete for Square. Free Blog Site Builder
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent business.
If You are looking to build a long-term articles or direct generation site, then I’d consider WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for general drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs today, they may not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was only another site builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding site building tool which is better than most competitors. It is simple, uncluttered and simple to use — that is exactly what individuals with limited technical skills need when it comes to creating their own online presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To see a bit more templates, as an example. Finding an email address attached to a domain name is also a bit expensive, as they urge G Suite, which costs $5 per month, per user. (Though there are workarounds, as you can see in the FAQ under ).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the top of our list of website builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools such as the iOS or Android app for editing your website on the go, or the amount of add-ons out there in the program centre makes it robust, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!