Introduction Free Personal Homepage
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s hottest web builders on the market. Unlike particular competitors, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than improving their platform’s technologies. Free Personal Homepage
This all sounds pretty 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’s any good for producing a website, site or online store.
On The broad range of site building alternatives, Weebly lives on the end that is all-inclusive and provides all you need to begin and develop your website. It is compared to options where you purchase, set up, and handle all the”bits” of your site individually.
It is Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Using Weebly is sort of like renting and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development rather than getting and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decoration, cleaning, and what living-wise — but you leave the building, plumbing, security, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is critical since there’s typically a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The functionality and design that are included with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That’s what allows them to have drag and drop design, layout, and articles.
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 (that provides the free software to build a site which you have & 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 of the companies discussed in this informative article. My opinions & research derive from my experiences as either a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. The 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 place it on your design on the right.
You’ll Discover That elements snap into position And organize themselves flawlessly on the webpage. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it is very possible to end up with overlapping components. With Weebly, no risk of that happening.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you would like to edit and type your own words from the box. Some other options use”entry masks” that are a bit more subjective and not necessarily easy to utilize.
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 may answer a lot 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 Personal Homepage
So are there Any downsides? That depends. If you want more freedom with your designs, then you might feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You should go for Wix. This competition also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that can build the website for you pretty much by itself. You can perhaps shave a couple of minutes of your website building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d like to see. First is a global reverse button. It is possible to undo what you type in text boxes, but it would be nice to erase mistakes once you add or move components. Second, Weebly does not have a general media database that keeps all of your pictures. You’ll need to re-upload pictures for each and every element that needs them.
That Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We’d say the primary question to ask 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 will offer everything you need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro features.
· Fancy header using slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module to let users register and access private sections of the website
If some of the Above are must-haves for your website, you will have to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And for a more complete breakdown, please consult with our complete Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. if You’re an advanced search engine optimization specialist who certainly must rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive key word, you may have a difficult time using Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free app that lets you insert key words from h1 to h6, but it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder Weebly doesn’t integrate it in their system.
· Particular pages (categories and product pages) include a mandatory string for your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a massive issue unless your site is not in English. Same with the blog posts, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure and this can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. However, you’re on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does things actually Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize themalong as Alt texts for images. This is especially important to position your images. Free Personal Homepage
· 301 redirects. It is possible to control them to avoid broken links when a page URL has been changed. Google deeply dislikes 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 bit Curious about SEO? Don’t forget that we have a complete guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
Just as we Understand, really safe. The business takes security very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all programs. Even the free tier will run on https which offers an extra layer of safety. Especially important for on-site 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’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 instance, monitors 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 Good
We have a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. But, we wish to provide you a quick summary of the key features here.
The First thing to note 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 classes out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on every Device (by being responsive), and they can be adapted to match your personal requirements, using the templates as a foundation. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Of course, if You are all about layout, and absolutely have to be able to customize it down to the last pixel, so you should check out Wix also. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more elastic editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is since Weebly, contrary to other builders, provides 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, 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 not for big ones. Although you may use the import and export function to manage large number of things, you might find Weebly lacking in features such as massive stores.
For Example, we do not like this there Are not any offline payment choices (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it is also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Free Personal Homepage
Finally, it is worth noting that although You can create a shop with the Starter and Pro program, updating to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to get the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful for serious shop owners. What’s more, you won’t have to pay an additional transaction charge of 3 percent.
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 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 developers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) chance that it might shut down a single day. Additionally a shame the programs produced by Weebly are rather restricted.
However, 1 thing all the programs have in Common is that a super easy installation feature. One click and bam! All apps are tested and will work instantly on your site. We attempted some cool ones like a way to include tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special information. Our only qualm is that the quality and amount of programs is a slightly inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Utilizing Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the experts of Weebly — not only in comparison with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an overall online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all of the websites which are constructed on their platform. That can be good or bad, but in Weebly’s case, it’s a pro. They have rapid load speeds. Their websites are optimized to their own hosting. They take care of security against spam and hackers. With business plans, they install and maintain SSL across your entire website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and safety dangers, but it’s an advantage for many website owners to have somebody else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with expert and completely free accounts, so it’s a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin any piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there is that moment where you think”okay, what do I do today?” This process is called onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software manufacturer does not want to be annoying, but they also want to help. I love how Weebly assembles in solid onboarding and education not only via email drip arrangement but also via little info buttons built with their platform.
Once You sign up, it is straightforward to dive right in. Free Personal Homepage
Site Building Process
One Advertised benefit of using a comprehensive site builder is that 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 site.
It is Not necessarily that simple. There is a whole lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” Most of us actually mean”I wish to drag and click this element and transfer it to a general area where it will seem great — you know, mechanically focused, etc.” In other words, it’s like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You wish to do the thing, but also have a little bit of help.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop actually works. As well as 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 accounts, Weebly offers an email support alternative and 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 platform, customer service is able to troubleshoot and correct any matter. This is a massive benefit of site builder platforms in general, but especially with Weebly because they have phone support.
If You conduct your own site, you have to work out just who can correct a problem prior to getting in touch with them. With Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of building your own site 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 essential to be certain that they have all the features you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all the fundamentals — like website performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level customized code positioning.
Even Beyond the advanced requirements, Weebly also includes features like forums, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce options, which I’ll cover individually below.
If You proceed the comprehensive website builder route, Weebly’s feature set must offer whatever you need for typical personal/business sites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do want to be especially aware of innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in attributes, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party programs (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
With your Own WordPress site, adding functionality is as easy as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can browse their climbing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are enormous offline and wish to be larger in the on/offline arena. That’s why they bought Weebly — and 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 market online, the Weebly offers a readymade alternative with tightly 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 times and have been closely paying attention to this sector for the previous 5 years. 1 overarching trend is a firm’s structure pushes product investment more than the marketing team or the product team.
Even In a fast paced marketplace, a company’s construction and end goals will dictate how it behaves and what investments it gets. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ wildly among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for natural expansion. However, in 2018, they offered to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that could be a huge downside. Acquisitions are renowned for destroying value and companies. However, this acquisition 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 expiration. A pretty good deal — especially for temporary sites.
Total Pricing is very aggressive not only in contrast to other all-inclusive website buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan starts around $8/mo when paid up front. Plus 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 notice that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no limits on pages or storage space. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they eliminate all ads with the first paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your own hosting, is much more affordable than comparable plans with direct competitors.
Compared To building your own website in your host and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Cost is not everything, however I really like how they structure it.
Cons + Truth About Utilizing Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without studying the drawbacks. Every 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 resembles. It is an interface which permits you to type, filter, edit, and publish different kinds of content on your site. Free Personal Homepage
Weebly Kind of features that. It has a Pages section that lists out all the pages on your website. It permits you to drag and drop the hierarchy and then click to edit each. But it’s far from a efficient system.
There’s No way to add custom content forms (except inside a single page). If you’re planning a large site (like hundreds of webpages ), the content within Weebly would need a personal system to maintain it sorted and readily reachable.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, however that I wish content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last big drawback of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is difficult. If you want to move someplace else, such as your WordPress powered site, migrating your content and redirecting your URLs will be a difficult procedure.
Weebly allows One to export your Page content through zip file but blog articles is going to need to be manually duplicated or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain hard, but it is something to think about if you’re considering rapidly expanding traffic and/or content.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most advertising tools and features can be added to your site. However, as you still do not have 100% control over your website & host — it can be difficult or not impossible to include advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, custom email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social stocks, specific Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the main issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, but it’s something to be careful of if you’re arranging a long-term job.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic you’ll want to know about the constraints, especially if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s advertisement showing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce performance. It’s possible to sell products from your Weebly site without switching platforms or doing some distinctive developments. It fits in seamlessly and has strong performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the full eCommerce package for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice bit of functionality, but keep in mind that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, fundamental stock management, and payment approval. Here is how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Ideal for websites which are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc also want to sell a few products. Additionally, it is a good match for anyone testing out products before moving into a long-term platform. It is not a long-term match for websites which are eCommerce-first. For all those, an online shop you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform like Shopify (inspection ) or even Bigcommerce (review) would be a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the purchase from Square does include a downside. That’s regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features which make it even more valuable as a complete for Square. Free Personal Homepage
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent company.
If You’re looking to build a long-term articles or direct generation website, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they might not in the future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was just another site builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding website building tool that is better than most competitors. It is easy, uncluttered and simple to use — which is exactly what individuals with limited technical skills need in regards to making their own internet presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, for instance. Getting an email address attached to a domain name is also a bit pricey, as they recommend G Suite, that 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 top of the list of site builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools such as the iOS or Android app for editing your website on the move, or the amount 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 enjoy it!