Intro Free Professional Website Builder
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s hottest web builders on the market. Unlike particular competitors, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. Free Professional Website Builder
This all sounds fairly good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it looks in practice. Within this review, we will have a look at their drag and drop editor and see if it’s any good for creating a web site, site or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad spectrum of website building alternatives, Weebly lives on the finish that’s all-inclusive and provides all you need to begin and develop your site. It is in contrast to solutions where you buy, install, and manage all of the”pieces” of your site separately.
It’s Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Using Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a nice development instead of getting and owning your own residence. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise — but you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is critical because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality which are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a stage. That’s what lets them have drag and drop layout, layout, and articles.
As Far as rivalry, 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 totally free software to construct a site which you have & control — see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing real HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive into the Weebly review.
One Other fast aside — a disclosure — I receive referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this informative article. My remarks & research are based on my experiences as either a paying customer or adviser to a paying client.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Good question. First thing you’ll notice Is how nicely the drag and drop interface was created. Just select the element you want on the left, and place it on your design on the right.
You’ll Discover That elements snap into position And arrange themselves perfectly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it’s quite possible to end up with overlapping elements. With Weebly, no probability of that happening.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you would like to edit and type your own words from the box. A few other solutions use”entry masks” that are a bit more abstract and not necessarily easy to work with.
The navigation system also works miracles. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them like a charm.
Finally, should you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a lot of questions through clear tutorials and step-by-step guides. Failing this, the service is exceptional, whether by email, chat, or phone. Free Professional Website Builder
So are there Any drawbacks? That depends. If you would like more freedom with your designs, then you may feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You ought to go to get Wix. This competition also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the website for you pretty much by itself. You can possibly shave a couple of minutes of your website building time.
There are also two things we’d love to see. First is a worldwide undo button. It is possible to undo everything you type in text boxes, but it would be wonderful to erase mistakes when you add or move elements. Secondly, Weebly does not have a general media database which keeps all of your pictures. You’ll have to re-upload images for every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Program is Ideal for Me?
We’d say the main question to ask yourself 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 all you will need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header with slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module to allow users sign in and access personal sections of the website
If some of the Above are must-haves for your site, you’ll need to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And to get a more comprehensive breakdown, please consult with our complete Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let us get one thing out of the way . if You are an innovative SEO expert who certainly needs to rank #1 on search engines to get a really competitive keyword, you may have a difficult time using Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There is a free program that allows you add headings from h1 to h6, but it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder Weebly does not integrate it in their system.
· Particular pages (groups 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 isn’t in English. Same with the website articles, they’ll have’/site /’ in the URL structure and this can’t be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is done via source code. But you are in your as Weebly doesn’t 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 particularly important to rank your images. Free Professional Website Builder
· 301 redirects. You can control them to avoid broken links as soon as 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 blessing for SEO.
Still a little 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?
Just as we Understand, very secure. The company takes security very seriously. They market strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. The free tier will operate on https which delivers an extra layer of security. Especially important for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly provided more in the method of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to look after it manually by saving your site as a .zip file frequently. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, monitors new changes and lets you jump back in time to a previous version of your website.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Good
We’ve Got a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the main pros and cons. But, we wish to provide you here a quick overview of the main features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly does not have a ton of template layouts (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one that you like. There are various classes out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on every Apparatus (by being responsive), and they can be adapted to match your own personal needs, together with the templates as a base. No need for you to get a web design diploma!
Of course, if You are all about layout, and absolutely have to be able to personalize it down to the last pixel, you should have a look at Wix also. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more flexible 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 would 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. Although you may use the import and export function to handle large number of items, you might discover Weebly lacking in features for enormous stores.
For Example, 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 pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Free Professional Website Builder
Finally, it’s worth noting that although You’re able to create a store using the Starter and Guru program, updating to Business and higher makes more sense. You’ll find the automated shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely useful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to pay an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the many online store plans? You may find 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 apps in Quite a few classes such as eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Some are free, some are paid. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third party programmers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) chance that it may shut down one day. Additionally a pity the programs made by Weebly are rather limited.
However, one thing all of the programs have in Common is that a super easy installation feature. One click and bam! All apps are tested and will work immediately on your own website. We tried some cool ones such as a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display special information. Our only qualm is the quality and amount of programs is a slightly inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Utilizing Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the pros of Weebly — not only compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an overall online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all of the sites that are built on their platform. That can be good or awful, however in Weebly’s case, it is a pro. They have rapid load rates. Their websites are optimized to their own hosting. They treat safety against spam and hackers. With company plans, they even install and keep SSL across your whole site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety dangers, but overall, it’s an advantage for many website owners to have somebody else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with expert and completely free accounts, so it’s a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start some piece of software — regardless of how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”ok, what can I do now?” That approach is known as onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to execute well.
The Software manufacturer does not wish to be bothersome, but they also want to provide help. I really like how Weebly assembles in solid onboarding and instruction not just via email drip sequence but also via small info buttons built with their platform.
Once You sign up, it is simple to dive right in. Free Professional Website Builder
Site Building Process
One Advertised advantage of utilizing an all-inclusive site builder is you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just 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 whole lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us really mean”I wish to click and drag this element and transfer it into a general place where it’ll seem great — you know, automatically focused, etc.” Put simply, it’s like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You wish to do something, but also have a bit of help.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop actually works. And, for the control freaks among us, they supply access to a custom CSS module, so that you can edit the template to precisely your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly provides an email support option along with also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they offer email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive platform, client service can troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a huge benefit of site builder platforms in general, but especially with Weebly since they have telephone support.
If You run your own site, you have to figure out exactly who can correct a problem prior to getting in contact with them. Together with Weebly, you just get in touch with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of creating your own site on your host is you don’t need to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you go the platform route, it is essential to be certain that they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all the basics — like website functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Past the complex requirements, Weebly even includes features like discussion, membership options, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover individually below.
If You proceed the comprehensive site builder course, Weebly’s attribute set should provide everything you will need for typical personal/business websites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you really 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 programs (believe 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.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re huge offline and wish to be larger in the on/offline arena. That’s the reason why they bought Weebly — and why the future is really bright for Weebly’s ecommerce features.
If You are starting a site and plan on selling a couple of things here and there or if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up stores ) and you want to sell on the internet, the Weebly provides a ready-made solution with closely integrated ecommerce features which should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I have Been using website builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com days and have been paying attention to this sector for the previous five decades. 1 overarching trend is that a firm’s structure drives product investment over the marketing team or the product team.
Even In a fast paced market, a organization’s construction and end goals will dictate how it behaves and what investments it makes. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary tremendously among direct competitors.
For Decades, 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 could be a huge downside. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying companies and value. However, this purchase has a Massive upside for a single market segment —
If You do not mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiration. A pretty good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is quite competitive not only compared to other comprehensive website buildersbut also with purchasing your own hosting. Their Starter plan begins around $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t have the typical caps of other site builders. The Guru plan adds solid features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will see that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no caps on pages or storage space. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they eliminate all ads with the initial paid tier.
Even Their small business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your own hosting, is considerably more affordable than comparable plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To building your own website on your host and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Cost is not everything, however I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the downsides. Every bit of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 specific cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management process is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an interface that permits you to sort, filter, edit, and publish unique types of articles on your site. Free Professional Website Builder
Weebly Kind of has that. It has 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 to edit each. But it’s far from an efficient system.
There’s No method to add custom content forms (except within a single page). If you’re arranging a large site (like hundreds of pages), the content contained in Weebly would require a personal system to keep it sorted and readily reachable.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, however that I wish content could be easily managed within Weebly.
The Last big drawback of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is not difficult. If you want to move someplace else, including your own WordPress powered site, migrating your articles and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult procedure.
Weebly allows One to export your Page content via zip file but blog articles is going to need to be manually copied and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain difficult, but it’s something to think about if you’re considering rapidly expanding traffic and/or content.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, many marketing tools and features can be added to your website. But since you still do not have 100% control on your site & server — it can be difficult and/or impossible to include advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, custom email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the main issue isn’t having”origin” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, but it is something to be careful of if you’re planning a long-term project.
For Most all website 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 is Weebly’s ad showing their new eCommerce setup.
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 effortlessly and contains solid functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the complete eCommerce bundle for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful piece of functionality, but remember that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic stock management, and payment approval. Here is how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Ideal for sites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few goods. It’s also a good match for anybody testing out products prior to going to a long-term platform. It is not a long-term match for sites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an online store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform such as Shopify (inspection ) or even Bigcommerce (review) would be a better match.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it more precious as a complete for Square. Free Professional Website Builder
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You are wanting to build a long-term articles or direct generation website, then I would look at WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for general drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs now, they might not in the future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years past, it was just another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding website building tool which is better than most competitors. It’s easy, uncluttered and easy to use — that is exactly what people with limited technical skills need in regards to creating their own internet presence.
Obviously, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To see somewhat more templates, as an example. Finding an email address attached to a domain is also a little pricey, as they urge G Suite, which costs $5 a month, per user. (Though there are workarounds, as 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 like the iOS or Android program for editing your website on the go, or the number of add-ons available in 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!