Intro Free Web Builder
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 enhancing their platform’s technologies. Free Web Builder
This all sounds fairly 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 producing a web site, site or online shop.
On The broad range of website building solutions, Weebly lives at the finish that’s comprehensive and provides everything you need to begin and develop your site. It’s compared to solutions where you purchase, set up, and handle all of the”bits” of your website individually.
It’s Like trading off some control for more convenience.
Using Weebly is kind of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a wonderful development instead of getting and owning your own residence. You are still in charge of decor, cleaning, and what living-wise — however you leave the building, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The functionality and design which are included with Weebly work seamlessly together as a stage. That is what lets them own drag and drop design, layout, and articles.
As Far as competition, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a team compete with choices like WordPress.org (which provides the free software to build a website that you have & 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 us dive to the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a revelation — I get referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this informative article. My remarks & study derive from my experiences like a paying customer 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 select the element you want on the left, and place it upon your design on the right.
You’ll Discover That components snap into place And organize themselves perfectly on the webpage. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it is very possible to end up with overlapping elements. Together with Weebly, no risk of that happening.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you want to edit and type your words in the box. A few other options use”entry masks” which are somewhat more abstract and not always easy to utilize.
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 everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a great deal of questions through clear tutorials and step by step guides. Failing that, the support is excellent, whether by email, chat, or telephone. Free Web Builder
So are there Any drawbacks? That is different. If you would like more freedom with your layouts, then you may feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You ought to go for Wix. This competitor also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the website for you pretty much by itself. You may possibly shave a couple of minutes of your website building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d love to see. First is a worldwide reverse 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 components. Secondly, Weebly doesn’t have an overall media database which keeps all your pictures. You’ll have to re-upload pictures for each and every element that requires them.
That Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We’d say the primary question to ask yourself is. Do I wish to sell online? Quite simply, if you really do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. 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 attributes.
· Fancy header using slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to allow users register and access personal sections of the Site
If any of the Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll have to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And for a more comprehensive breakdown, please consult with our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let us get one thing out of the way first. if You’re an advanced search engine optimization expert who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive keyword, you may have a difficult time with Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free app which allows you insert headings from h1 to h6, but it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder Weebly does not integrate it in their system.
· Certain 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 massive issue unless your website isn’t in English. Same with the website posts, they’ll have’/blog/’ in the URL structure, which can’t be changed.
· Adding structured info ( 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 in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize themalong as Alt texts for pictures. This is particularly important to rank your images. Free Web Builder
· 301 redirects. It is possible to command them to prevent broken links as soon as a page URL was changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at controlling the images you upload. This improves speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a little Curious about SEO? Don’t forget that we’ve got a full guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
As far as we Know, really safe. The business takes security very seriously. They market strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all programs. Even the free tier will run on https which delivers an extra layer of security. Especially crucial for on-site 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 conserving your website as a .zip file regularly. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, tracks 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’ve Got a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. But, we want to give you a quick overview of the main features here.
The First thing to notice 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 categories 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 base. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Of course, if You’re all about design, and absolutely need to have the ability to customize it down to the last pixel, so you need to check out Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more flexible editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is because Weebly, contrary to other builders, provides you access to the template source code.
Want to dig under the hood and change the CSS and HTML? You’ll have free reign here, because 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 stores, but maybe not for huge ones. Even though you may use the import and export function to handle large number of items, you might discover Weebly lacking in features such as massive stores.
For Example, we do not like that there Are not any offline payment choices (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it is also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Free Web Builder
Ultimately, it’s worth noting that even though You’re able to create a shop with the Starter and Guru plan, upgrading to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to get the automatic delivery and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful for serious shop owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to cover an additional transaction fee of 3%.
Still confused About the various online store plans? You can 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 programs in Quite a few categories like 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. Also a shame the apps made by Weebly are quite restricted.
However, one thing all the programs have in Common is that a super simple installation feature. One click and bam! All programs are analyzed and will work immediately on your own site. We attempted some cool ones such as a way to include tables, event calendars, and data 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 Using Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the pros of Weebly — not just in comparison with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all the sites which are built on their own platform. That may be good or awful, however in Weebly’s case, it’s an expert. They have rapid load speeds. Their websites are optimized for their own hosting. They treat security against hackers and spam. With business plans, they even install and keep SSL across your entire website. Here is my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety risks, but it’s an advantage for many site owners to have someone else care for 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”ok, what can I do now?” That process is known as onboarding, and it is also incredibly hard to execute well.
The Software maker does not wish to be annoying, but they also wish to provide help. I really like how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and education not just via email drip arrangement but also via little info buttons built with their own platform.
Once You join, it’s simple to dive right in. Free Web Builder
Website Building Procedure
One Advertised benefit of using a comprehensive website builder is you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop elements. What you find in the builder is exactly what you receive on the site.
It is Not necessarily that simple. There’s a whole lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” Most of us actually mean”I wish to drag and click this component and move it to a general place where it’ll look great — you know, automatically centered, etc.” In other words, it’s like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. 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. As well as for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so which you may edit the template to exactly 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 strong.
With An all-inclusive platform, customer service can troubleshoot and fix any matter. This is a huge benefit of website builder platforms in general, but especially with Weebly because they have phone support.
If You run your own site, you have to figure out just who can correct a problem prior to getting in contact with them. With Weebly, you merely get in touch with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own website on your own host is that you don’t have to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the stage route, it’s key to be sure that they have all the qualities you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They have got all the basics — such as blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Beyond the advanced requirements, Weebly even includes features including forums, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce options, which I’ll cover separately below.
If You go the comprehensive website builder route, Weebly’s attribute set should offer everything you will need for typical personal/business sites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do want to be specifically aware of advanced options).
Also — Weebly has a lot of built-in features, but it does not have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party programs (think 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.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re huge offline and want to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That’s why they bought Weebly — and the future is really bright for Weebly’s ecommerce 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 stores ) and you would like to market on the internet, the Weebly provides a ready-made alternative with closely integrated ecommerce features which should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I have Been using website builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com times and have been paying attention to the sector for the previous 5 decades. One overarching trend is that a firm’s structure pushes product investment more than the marketing team or the product group.
Even In a fast-growing 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 tremendously among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for natural growth. But in 2018, they offered to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that might be a huge downside. Acquisitions are notorious for ruining value and companies. However, this acquisition has a huge 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 expiry. A fairly good deal — especially for temporary sites.
Total Pricing is quite aggressive not only compared to other comprehensive site buildersbut also with buying your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t 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 bundled and infinite. There are no limits on pages or storage area. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the initial paid grade.
Even Their small business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your hosting, is considerably cheaper than comparable plans with direct rivals.
Compared To building your own website in your host and especially with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Cost is not everything, but I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Using Weebly
However, Of course, no Weebly review will be complete without studying the downsides. Every piece of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 unique cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management process is precisely what it sounds like. It is an interface which permits you to type, filter, edit, and print unique kinds of content on your site. Free Web Builder
Weebly Sort of has that. It has a Pages section that lists out all the pages on your site. It permits you to drag and drop the hierarchy and click on to edit each. But it’s far from a efficient system.
There is No method to add custom content forms (except within a single page). If you are planning a large site (like hundreds of pages), the content contained in Weebly would require a personal system to maintain it all sorted and easily reachable.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, but that I want content could be easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is difficult. If you want to move somewhere else, including your WordPress powered website, migrating your content and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult procedure.
Weebly lets You to export your Page content through zip file but website content is going to have to be manually duplicated or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be hard, but it’s something to think about if you are considering rapidly growing traffic and/or content.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, most marketing tools and features can be added to your site. But as you still don’t have 100% control on your website & server — it can be challenging and/or impossible to include advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, custom email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social stocks, special Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the principal issue isn’t having”origin” or”FTP” access to your server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, but it is something to be careful of if you’re arranging a long-term job.
For Most all website owners with typical traffic you’ll want to be aware of the constraints, especially if you are planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad revealing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce functionality. It’s possible to sell products from the Weebly site without changing platforms or performing some distinctive developments. It fits in seamlessly and has solid performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the full eCommerce package for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice bit of performance, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, fundamental inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Ideal for sites that are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc also want to sell a few goods. It’s also a fantastic fit for anyone testing out products before going into a long-term platform. It is not a long-term fit for websites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet store you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform such as Shopify (inspection ) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a better fit.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the acquisition from Square does come with a downside. That’s regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features which make it even more precious as a complete for Square. Free Web 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 content or direct generation site, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for general drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they may not in the medium future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years past, it was only another site builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is better than many 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 observe somewhat more templates, as an example. Finding an email address attached to a own domain name is also a bit expensive, as they urge 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 very top of the list of site builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools such as the iOS or Android app for editing your site on the go, or the amount of add-ons out there in the program centre makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!