Intro Free Review
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s most popular web builders on the market. Unlike certain opponents, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than improving their platform’s technologies. Free Review
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it looks in practice. In this review, we’ll look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for producing a web site, site or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide range of site building alternatives, Weebly resides at the finish that’s comprehensive and provides everything you need to get started and develop your site. It is compared to options where you buy, set up, and handle all the”bits” of your website individually.
It’s Like trading off some control for more convenience.
Using Weebly is kind of like renting and customizing an apartment in a nice development instead of getting and owning your own house. You’re still in charge of decoration, cleaning, and what living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is key since there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The design and functionality that are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That is what lets them own drag and drop layout, design, and content.
As Much as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a group compete with choices like WordPress.org (which offers the free software to build a site that you own & control — see my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to choices like typing real HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive to the Weebly review.
One Other fast aside — a disclosure — I get referral fees from all the companies discussed in this post. My remarks & research are based on my experiences like a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Good question. The 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 upon your layout on the right.
You’ll Discover That elements snap into place And organize themselves perfectly on the page. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid system, 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 own words from the box. A few other solutions use”entrance masks” which are a bit more abstract 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 anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a great deal of questions through clear tutorials and step by step guides. Failing that, the service is excellent, whether via email, chat, or phone. Free Review
So are there Any drawbacks? That is different. If you would like more freedom with your layouts, then you might feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You ought to go for Wix. This competitor also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that can build the website for you pretty much by itself. You may perhaps shave off a few minutes of your website building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d love to see. First is a worldwide undo button. It is possible to undo what you type in text boxes, but it will be wonderful to erase mistakes when 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 each and every element that requires them.
That Weebly Pricing Program is Best 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 kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It provides 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 using slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module to allow users register and access personal sections of the Site
If some of those Above are must-haves for your site, you’ll need to update to Weebly Pro. And to get a more complete breakdown, please consult with our complete Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. if You are an advanced search engine optimization expert who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines to get a very competitive keyword, you may have a tough time with Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There’s a free program which allows you insert headings from h1 to h6, but it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly doesn’t integrate it in their system.
· Certain pages (groups and product pages) add a compulsory string for 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 website articles, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure and this can not be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is performed via source code. But you are on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does matters actually 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 images. Free Review
· 301 redirects. It is possible to command them to prevent broken links as soon as 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 bit Confused about SEO? Don’t 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 Understand, very safe. The company takes security very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all programs. The free tier will operate on https that delivers an extra layer of security. Especially crucial 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 have to take care of it manually by saving your site for a .zip file frequently. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, monitors new adjustments and allows you to jump back in time to a previous version of your website.
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 whole lot of template layouts (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are different classes available. 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 own personal requirements, using 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 customize it down to the last pixel, so you need to check out Wix also. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more elastic editor…
… unless you are confident using coding. This Is since Weebly, unlike other builders, provides you access to the template source code.
Want to dig under the hood and modify 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 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 big ones. Even though you can use the import and export function to handle many items, you might discover Weebly lacking in features such as enormous stores.
For Example, we do not like this there Are not any offline payment options (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it is also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Free Review
Ultimately, it is worth noting that even though You’re able to create a store with the Starter and Guru plan, updating to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to get the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely helpful for serious shop owners. What’s more, you won’t have to pay an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the many online store strategies? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App shop. Can I Boost My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 programs in A number of categories like eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Many are free, some are paid. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third party developers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) chance that it may shut down one day. Additionally a shame the programs made by Weebly are quite limited.
However, one thing all of the apps have in Common is that a super simple installation attribute. Click and bam! All apps are analyzed and will work instantly on your website. We attempted some cool ones such as a way to include tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special info. Our only qualm is that 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 only compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an general online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all of the websites that are built on their own platform. That may be good or bad, but in Weebly’s case, it’s a pro. They have fast load rates. Their sites are optimized for their own hosting. They treat security against spam and hackers. With company plans, they install and maintain SSL across your entire website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety dangers, but it’s an advantage for many site owners to have someone else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with pro and free accounts, so it is a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin some piece of software — no matter how instinctive — there is that moment where you think”okay, what do I do now?” This process is known as onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to execute well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t wish to be bothersome, but they also want to help. I love how Weebly builds in solid onboarding and education not only via email drip arrangement but also via small info buttons constructed with their own platform.
Once You sign up, it is straightforward to dive in. Free Review
Site Building Procedure
One Advertised benefit of utilizing an all-inclusive website builder is that you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop elements. What you see in the builder is what you receive on the website.
It’s Not necessarily that simple. There’s a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” Most of us really mean”I want to click and drag this component and transfer it to a general area where it will seem good — you know, mechanically focused, etc.” Put simply, it’s like playing tee-ball instead of 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. As well as for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so which you may edit the template into exactly your choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email service option along with a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they offer email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive platform, customer support is able to troubleshoot and correct any issue. This is a massive advantage of site builder platforms generally, but especially with Weebly because they have phone support.
If You conduct your site, you’ve got to figure out exactly who can correct a problem before getting in contact with them. With Weebly, you just get in touch with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own site on your own host is you don’t have to count on a platform’s attribute set. If you go the stage route, it is essential to be sure they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They have got all of the basics — like website performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Beyond the complex requirements, Weebly even includes features like discussion, membership options, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce options, which I’ll cover separately below.
If You go the all-inclusive site builder route, Weebly’s feature set should offer everything you need for typical personal/business websites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you do want to be especially aware of advanced options).
Additionally — Weebly has plenty of built-in features, but it does not have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party apps (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
With your Own WordPress site, including performance is as easy as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can browse their climbing (though still somewhat limited) app centre.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are huge offline and wish to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That’s the reason why they bought Weebly — and why the future is really 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 if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you would like to sell online, the Weebly offers a ready-made alternative with tightly integrated ecommerce features which should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I have Been using site builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com times and have been closely paying attention to the sector for the past five years. 1 overarching trend is a firm’s structure pushes product investment more than the marketing group or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a company’s construction and end targets will dictate how it behaves and what investments it gets. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary wildly among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for organic growth. But in 2018, they sold to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that could 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 really do not mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiry. A fairly good deal — particularly for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is quite competitive not only compared to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not have the common caps of other website builders. The Guru plan adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no caps on pages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the first paid tier.
Even Their small business pricing, while more costly than doing the same thing on your own hosting, is considerably cheaper than comparable plans with direct rivals.
Compared To building your own website on your host and notably with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Price isn’t everything, but I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Utilizing Weebly
However, Of course, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the drawbacks. Each piece of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 unique cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management process is exactly what it sounds like. It is an interface that allows you to type, filter, edit, and print different types of content on your website. Free Review
Weebly Kind of has that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your site. It permits you to drag and drop the hierarchy and then click on to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from a efficient system.
There is No way to add custom content forms (except inside an individual page). If you’re arranging a large site (like hundreds of pages), the content contained in Weebly would require a private system to keep it all sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, however that I wish content could be easily handled within Weebly.
The Last big drawback of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is difficult. If you would like to move somewhere else, such as your own WordPress powered site, Assessing your articles and redirecting your URLs are going to be a challenging process.
Weebly lets One to export your Page content through zip file but blog content will have to be manually copied and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be difficult, but it is something to consider if you are considering rapidly growing traffic and/or content.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, many marketing tools and features can be added to your website. But as you still don’t have 100% control on your website & host — it can be difficult and/or impossible to include advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, customized 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 isn’t an unsolvable problem, however it is something to be aware of if you are planning a long-term project.
For Most all site owners with typical 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 showing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce performance. It’s possible to sell products from the Weebly site without switching platforms or doing some distinctive developments. It fits in effortlessly and has strong performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the complete eCommerce bundle for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful bit of functionality, but keep in mind that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic stock management, and payment approval. Here is how Weebly matches about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Ideal for sites that are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few goods. It’s also a fantastic match for anyone testing out products prior to going to a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term fit for websites that are eCommerce-first. For those, an internet store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialization eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) would be a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the purchase from Square does come with a downside. That is regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features which make it even more valuable as a complete for Square. Free Review
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You are looking to construct a long-term articles or lead generation website, then I would look at WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs now, they may not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was just another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding website building tool that is better than many competitors. It is easy, uncluttered and easy to use — that is exactly what people with limited technical skills need when it comes to making their own internet presence.
Obviously, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To see a bit more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to your domain name is also a bit pricey, as they recommend 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 the list of site 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 enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!