Background Free Web Platforms
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 marketing campaigns than improving their platform’s technologies. Free Web Platforms
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s figure 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, blog or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad spectrum of site building solutions, Weebly resides at the finish that is comprehensive and provides all you need to begin and develop your website. It’s in contrast to solutions where you buy, set up, and manage all the”bits” of your site individually.
It is Like trading off a few 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 residence. You are still in charge of decor, cleaning, and what living-wise — but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure into the house owner. That point is critical because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality that are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a stage. That is what allows them to have drag and drop layout, design, and articles.
As Far as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a group compete with choices like WordPress.org (that provides the totally free software to build a website which you own & control — visit my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing real HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive into the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a disclosure — I receive referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this post. My opinions & study derive from my experiences like a paying client or adviser to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. First thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface was created. Just select the element you want on the left, and place it upon your design on the rightside.
You might Discover That components snap into place And organize themselves perfectly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it is very possible to end up with overlapping components. With Weebly, no probability 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 from the box. A few other options use”entry masks” that are somewhat 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.
Ultimately, if you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a lot of questions through tutorials that are clear and step by step guides. Failing this, the support is exceptional, whether by email, chat, or telephone. Free Web Platforms
So are there Any downsides? That depends. If you would like to have more freedom with your layouts, then you might feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You should go for Wix. This competition also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the website for you by itself. You may possibly shave a couple of minutes of your website building time.
There are also two things we’d like to see. First is a worldwide undo 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 doesn’t have a general media database which keeps all your pictures. You’re going to need to re-upload pictures for each and every element that requires them.
That Weebly Pricing Plan is Best for Me?
We’d say the main question to ask is. Do I want to market online? Quite simply, if you do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It provides all you need for displaying information 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 sign in and get private sections of the Site
If some of those Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll need to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And to get a more complete breakdown, please consult with our complete Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way . if You’re an advanced SEO specialist who certainly needs to rank #1 on search engines for a very competitive keyword, you might have a difficult time using Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free program which allows you add key words from h1 to h6, but it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not incorporate 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 huge issue unless your site isn’t in English. Same with the website articles, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure and this can’t be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is done via code. However, you’re on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does things really Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize themalong as Alt texts for images. This is especially important to position your images. Free Web Platforms
· 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.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a great job at controlling the images you upload. This improves speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a little Confused about SEO? Do not forget that we have a complete guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
As far as we Understand, really 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 crucial for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Regrettably, we wish Weebly offered more in the way of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to look after it manually by saving your site for a .zip file frequently. And there’s no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for example, monitors new adjustments 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. However, we wish to give you a quick overview of the main features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly doesn’t have a ton of template layouts (around 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are various classes out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on every Device (by being reactive ), and they may be adapted to match your personal requirements, together with the templates as a foundation. No need for you to receive a web design diploma!
Obviously, if You are all about design, and absolutely have to be able to customize it down to the last pixel, so you should have a look at Wix in addition. Their template selection is unmatched and they have a much 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 beneath the hood and modify the CSS and HTML? You will have free reign here, as you can see in the picture 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 huge ones. Although you can use the import and export function to handle many things, you might find Weebly lacking in features such as massive stores.
For instance, we don’t like this there Aren’t any offline payment options (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it is also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for example (but also has less features). Free Web Platforms
Finally, it is worth noting that even though You’re able to create a shop with the Starter and Pro program, 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 store owners. What’s more, you won’t have to pay an additional transaction charge of 3 percent.
Still confused About the many online store strategies? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App Store. Can I Boost 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. Many are free, some are compensated. Some are built by Weebly, some by third party developers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) possibility that it may shut down one day. Also a shame the apps produced by Weebly are rather limited.
However, one thing all of the programs have in Common is that a super easy installation attribute. Click and bam! All apps are tested and will work instantly on your own website. We attempted some cool ones such as a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display specific info. Our only qualm is the quality and quantity of programs is a marginally inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Using Weebly
Here is What I found to be the pros of Weebly — not just compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an general online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all the sites which are constructed on their platform. That may be good or bad, however in Weebly’s case, it is an expert. They have rapid load rates. Their sites are optimized for their hosting. They take care of 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 security risks, but it’s an edge for many site owners to have somebody else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with pro and completely free accounts, so it is a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start any piece of software — regardless of how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”okay, what do I do now?” This approach is called onboarding, and it is also incredibly tough to implement well.
The Software manufacturer does not wish to be annoying, but they also wish to help. I love how Weebly builds in solid onboarding and education not just via email trickle sequence but also via little info buttons built with their platform.
Once You sign up, it is simple to dive in. Free Web Platforms
Website Building Procedure
One Promoted advantage of utilizing an all-inclusive website builder is that you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop elements. What you find in the builder is exactly what you receive on the website.
It’s Not always that easy. There’s a lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” The majority of us actually mean”I want to drag and click this element and move it into a general place where it’ll seem great — you know, automatically centered, etc.” In other words, it’s like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You wish to do the thing, but also have a little bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop actually works. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to some custom CSS module, so that you may edit the template to precisely your choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly provides an email service alternative 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, customer support can troubleshoot and fix any matter. This is a huge advantage of site builder platforms generally, but especially with Weebly since they have telephone support.
If You conduct your site, you have to figure out exactly who will correct a problem before getting in touch with them. Together with Weebly, you merely get in touch with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own website on your host is that you don’t have to depend on a platform’s attribute set. If you go the platform route, it is key to be sure they have all the qualities you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They’ve got all of the fundamentals — like website functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Beyond the complex requirements, Weebly even includes features including forums, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover separately below.
If You go the comprehensive site builder course, Weebly’s attribute set must provide whatever you will need for typical personal/business sites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do need to be specifically aware of advanced options).
Additionally — Weebly has plenty of built-in attributes, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome it by allowing 3rd Party programs (think the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together with your Own WordPress site, including performance is as simple as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can navigate their climbing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re enormous offline and want to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That is the reason why they bought Weebly — and why the future is really bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You’re 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 sell on the internet, the Weebly offers a readymade alternative with closely integrated ecommerce characteristics that should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I’ve Been using website builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com times and have been closely paying attention to the industry for the previous five decades. 1 overarching trend is that a company’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing group or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a organization’s structure and finish targets will dictate how it behaves and what investments it gets. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary tremendously among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for natural expansion. However, 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 renowned for ruining value and companies. However, this acquisition has a huge upside for a single market segment —
If You really don’t mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiry. A fairly good deal — particularly for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is very aggressive not only compared to other all-inclusive website buildersbut also with purchasing your hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. And they do not have the common caps of other website builders. The Guru program adds solid features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll notice that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no caps on pages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all ads with the first paid tier.
Even Their small business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your hosting, is considerably more affordable than similar plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To building your own site on your host and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Price isn’t everything, however I really like how they structure it.
Cons + Truth About Using Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without studying the drawbacks. Each bit of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 unique cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management system is precisely what it sounds like. It is an interface that allows you to type, filter, edit, and print different kinds of content on your site. Free Web Platforms
Weebly Kind of features that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all the pages on your website. It allows 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 method to add custom content forms (except inside a single page). If you are planning a massive site (like hundreds of pages), the articles contained in Weebly would require a private system to keep it all sorted and easily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, but I want content could be more easily managed within Weebly.
The Last huge drawback of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you would like to move somewhere else, including your WordPress powered site, migrating your articles and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult procedure.
Weebly allows You to export your Page content through zip file but website articles will have to be manually duplicated and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be hard, but it’s something to think about if you are considering rapidly expanding traffic and/or content.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, many advertising tools and features can be added to your site. However, as you still do not have 100% control on your site & 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 shares, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the principal issue isn’t having”origin” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, but it’s something to be careful of if you are planning a long-term job.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic — you’ll want to be aware of the limitations, especially if you’re planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad revealing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. You can sell products from your Weebly site without switching platforms or doing some special developments. It fits in effortlessly and has strong functionality.
The Pricing is cheap. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the full eCommerce bundle for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice piece of functionality, 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, basic inventory management, and payment approval. Here is how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Great for sites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc also wish to sell a few products. It’s also a good fit for anybody testing out products before going to a long-term stage. It’s not a long-term match for websites that are eCommerce-first. For those, an online shop you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That’s regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features that make it more precious as a complete for Square. Free Web Platforms
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent business.
If You’re wanting to build a long-term content or lead generation website, then I would consider WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs today, they might not in the future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was only another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is far better than most competitors. It is simple, uncluttered and simple to use — that is exactly what individuals with limited technical skills need in regards to making their own online presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, for instance. Finding an email address attached to a domain name is also a little pricey, as they recommend 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 top of the list of website 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 amount of add-ons out there from the app centre makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!