Introduction Free Web Design
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s hottest web builders out there. Unlike particular competitors, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than improving their platform’s technologies. Free Web Design
This all sounds fairly 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’s any good for creating a web site, blog or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad spectrum of website building solutions, Weebly resides on the end that’s all-inclusive and provides everything you want to begin and grow your site. It is in contrast to options where you buy, install, and handle all the”pieces” of your website individually.
It is Like trading off some control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like renting and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development rather than getting and owning your own residence. You are still in charge of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise — but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is critical since there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The functionality and design which are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That is what lets them have drag and drop layout, design, and articles.
As Far as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a team compete with options like WordPress.org (which provides the totally free software to build a site which you own & control — see my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing real HTML code into a text document. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive to the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a revelation — I receive referral fees from all of the companies mentioned in this post. My remarks & research are based on my experiences like a paying client or adviser to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. First thing you’ll notice Is how nicely the drag and drop interface was created. Just choose the element you want on the left, and set it on your layout on the right.
You’ll Discover That components snap into place And arrange themselves perfectly on the webpage. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it’s quite possible to end up with overlapping elements. With Weebly, no risk of that happening.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you would like to edit and sort your own words in the box. A few other solutions use”entry masks” which are a bit more abstract and not necessarily easy to work with.
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 everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a great deal of questions through clear tutorials and step-by-step guides. Failing this, the support is excellent, whether via email, chat, or phone. Free Web Design
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 should go to get Wix. This competitor also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that can build the website for you pretty much by itself. You may possibly shave off a few minutes of your site building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d love to see. First is a worldwide reverse button. You can undo everything you type in text boxes, but it would be nice 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’ll need to re-upload images for every element that needs them.
That Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We would say the main question to ask is. Do I wish 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 information about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header with slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module — to allow users sign in and get personal sections of the website
If any of those Above are must-haves for your site, you will have to update to Weebly Pro. And to get a more comprehensive breakdown, please refer to our complete Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. if You’re an advanced SEO specialist who certainly must rank #1 on search engines for a very competitive key word, you may have a tough time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There is a free app which lets you add key words from h1 to h6, however, it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly doesn’t integrate it in their system.
· Certain pages (groups and product pages) include a compulsory string to your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a massive issue unless your website is not in English. Same with the blog articles, they will have’/blog/’ in the URL structure and this can not be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is performed via source code. But you are in your as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does things actually Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize them, along as Alt texts for pictures. This is particularly important to position your images. Free Web Design
· 301 redirects. It is possible to control them to avoid broken links as soon as a page URL was changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at controlling the images you upload. This enhances speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a little Curious 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 Site?
As far as we Know, really safe. The company takes security very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all programs. Even the free tier will run on https that delivers an excess layer of security. Especially important for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Regrettably, we wish Weebly offered more in the method of backup and restore systems. You have to look after it manually by saving your site for a .zip file regularly. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, tracks new adjustments 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 article about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. But, we want to give you here a quick summary of the key features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly does not have a whole lot of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are various categories 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 foundation. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Of course, if You’re all about design, and absolutely have to have the ability to personalize 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 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 under the hood and modify the CSS and HTML? You will have free reign here, because you can see in the picture above.
Ecommerce. Is a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We would say yes, with a caveat. It is great to Sell physical and digital 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 find Weebly lacking in features such as enormous stores.
For instance, we do not like this there Are not any offline payment choices (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it’s also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for example (but also has less features). Free Web Design
Finally, it’s worth noting that even though You’re able to create a shop using the Starter and Guru plan, updating to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll get the automatic delivery and sales tax calculator, which is very useful for serious store owners. What’s more, you won’t have to cover an additional transaction charge of 3%.
Still confused About the many online store strategies? You may discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program shop. Can I Enhance My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 apps in Quite a few categories like eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Some are free, some are compensated. Some are built by Weebly, some by third party programmers. For the latter, there is always an (unlikely) possibility that it might shut down a single day. Also a shame the programs made by Weebly are rather restricted.
However, 1 thing all the apps have in Common is that a super easy installation attribute. One click and bam! All programs are analyzed 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 specific info. Our only qualm is that the quality and quantity of apps is a slightly inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Utilizing Weebly
Here’s What I found to be the pros of Weebly — not only compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a general online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all of the sites that are constructed on their own platform. That can be good or bad, however in Weebly’s situation, it’s an expert. They have rapid load speeds. Their websites are optimized to their own hosting. They take care of security against hackers and spam. With business plans, they even install and keep SSL across your whole site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still pace and security dangers, but overall, it’s an edge 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 solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin some piece of software — regardless of how instinctive — there is that moment where you think”ok, what can I do today?” This approach is known as onboarding, and it’s also incredibly tough to execute well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t wish to be bothersome, but they also want to provide help. I love how Weebly assembles in solid onboarding and instruction not just via email trickle sequence but also via little info buttons constructed with their platform.
After You sign up, it is simple to dive right in. Free Web Design
Website Building Process
One Advertised benefit of utilizing a comprehensive website builder is that you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop components. What you find in the builder is exactly what you get on the site.
It’s Not always that easy. There is a lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” The majority of us actually mean”I want to drag and click this element and transfer it into a general place where it’ll look good — you know, automatically focused, etc.” Put simply, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. 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 supply access to some custom CSS module, so which you may edit the template into precisely your choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email support option and a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), 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 matter. This is a massive benefit of website builder platforms generally, but especially using Weebly because they have telephone support.
If You run your own site, you’ve got to work out just who can correct a problem prior to getting in contact with them. Together 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 need to count on a platform’s attribute set. If you proceed the platform route, it is essential to make certain that they have all the qualities you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They’ve got all the fundamentals — such as website functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.
Even Past the complex necessities, Weebly also includes features like forums, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce options, which I will cover separately below.
If You go the all-inclusive site builder route, Weebly’s attribute set must provide everything you will need for typical personal/business websites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you really do want to be especially aware of advanced options).
Also — 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).
With your Own WordPress site, including performance is as simple as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can browse their climbing (though still somewhat restricted ) app centre.
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 is why they purchased 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 if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you would like to sell on the internet, the Weebly offers a readymade solution with closely integrated ecommerce characteristics which should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I have Been using site builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com times and have been closely paying attention to the industry for the past five years. 1 overarching trend is that a firm’s structure pushes product investment more than the marketing group or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a organization’s structure 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 firm going for organic growth. But in 2018, they sold to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that might be a big downside. Acquisitions are renowned for ruining value and companies. However, this purchase has a Massive upside for one market segment —
If You don’t mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiry. A pretty good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Overall Pricing is very aggressive not only compared to other comprehensive site buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. And they do not have the typical caps of other website builders. The Guru program adds solid features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is bundled and unlimited. There are no limits on pages or storage area. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the first paid grade.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your hosting, is much more affordable than comparable plans with direct competitors.
In comparison To building your own website in your host and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Price isn’t everything, however I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Using Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without studying the downsides. Every bit of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 unique cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management system is exactly what it sounds like. It is an interface that permits you to type, filter, edit, and print different kinds of content on your website. Free Web Design
Weebly Sort of features that. It’s 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. Nevertheless, it’s far from a efficient system.
There is No way to add custom content forms (except within an individual page). If you are arranging a massive site (such as hundreds of pages), the articles contained in Weebly would require a private system to maintain it all sorted and easily accessible.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, but I wish content could be easily managed within Weebly.
The Last huge drawback of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is not difficult. If you want to move somewhere else, such as your WordPress powered website, migrating your content and redirecting your URLs will be a difficult procedure.
Weebly lets One to export your Page content through zip file but website content will have to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain hard, but it is something to think about if you’re considering rapidly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, many marketing tools and attributes can be added to your site. However, as you still don’t have 100% control on your site & server — it can be challenging and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection tools, custom analytics packages, habit social stocks, specific Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the main issue is not having”root” or”FTP” access to your server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, but it is something to be careful of if you are arranging a long-term job.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic you’ll want to know about the constraints, particularly if you are planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s advertisement revealing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. You can sell products from your Weebly website without changing platforms or performing some distinctive developments. It fits in effortlessly and has solid performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce package for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice piece of performance, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly matches on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Ideal for websites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc also wish to sell a few products. Additionally, it is a fantastic fit for anybody testing out products before moving into a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term fit for sites which are eCommerce-first. For those, an internet store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialty eCommerce platform such as Shopify (review) or Bigcommerce (review) would be a better fit.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the purchase from Square does include a downside. That is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features that make it more valuable as a whole for Square. Free Web Design
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent business.
If You are looking to construct a long-term content or direct generation website, then I’d consider WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they may not in the future.
When we first 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 which is better than many competitors. It’s easy, uncluttered and easy to use — which is precisely what individuals with limited technical abilities need in regards to creating their own internet presence.
Obviously, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To see somewhat more templates, for instance. Finding an email address attached to a domain is also a little pricey, as they recommend G Suite, which costs $5 per month, per user. (Although 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 together with cool tools such as the iOS or Android program for editing your site on the move, or the number of add-ons available from the app center makes it powerful, and fun to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!