Introduction Free Web Software
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s most popular web builders out there. Unlike certain competitors, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than improving their platform’s technologies. Free Web Software
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it appears in practice. Within this review, we will have a look at their drag and drop editor and see if it’s any good for producing a web site, blog or online store.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide spectrum of website building alternatives, Weebly lives on the finish that is comprehensive and provides all you need to begin and grow your website. It’s in contrast to solutions where you purchase, set up, and manage all of the”bits” of your site separately.
It is Like trading off some control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a wonderful 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 to the property owner. That point is key since there’s usually 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 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 (that provides the totally free software to build a site which you have & control — see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to choices like typing real HTML code into a text document. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive into 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 adviser to a paying client.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Good question. The first thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface is designed. Just choose the element you want on the left, and place it on your design on the right.
You might Discover That elements snap into place And arrange themselves perfectly on the page. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it is very possible to end up with overlapping components. Together with Weebly, no probability of that happening.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you would like to edit and type your own words in the box. A few other solutions use”entrance masks” which are somewhat more abstract and not always easy to work with.
The navigation system also works wonders. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them like a charm.
Finally, if you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a lot of questions through tutorials that are clear and step by step guides. Failing that, the service is excellent, whether by email, chat, or phone. Free Web Software
So are there Any downsides? This depends. If you would like more freedom with your layouts, then you may feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You ought to go for Wix. This competitor also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that may build the web site for you by itself. You can perhaps shave off a couple of minutes of your site building time.
There are also 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 wonderful to erase mistakes when you add or move components. Second, Weebly does not have a general media database that keeps all of your pictures. You’re going to need to re-upload images for each and every element that needs them.
That Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We’d say the primary question to ask yourself 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 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 features.
· Fancy header using slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to allow users register and access private sections of the Site
If any of those Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll have to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And for a more complete breakdown, please consult with our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way . if You are an advanced SEO specialist who certainly needs to rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive key word, you may have a tough time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free program that allows you add key words from h1 to h6, however, it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not incorporate it in their system.
· Particular pages (groups and product pages) include a mandatory string for your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a massive issue unless your site is not in English. Same with the blog posts, they will have’/blog/’ in the URL structure and this can’t be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is done via code. However, you are in your as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the plus side, Weebly does things actually 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 own images. Free Web Software
· 301 redirects. It is possible to control them to prevent broken links when a page URL was changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a great job at compressing the images you upload. This enhances speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a bit Curious about SEO? Don’t forget that we’ve got a complete guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
Just as we Understand, very secure. The business takes security very seriously. They market strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will operate on https which delivers an extra layer of safety. Especially important for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Regrettably, we wish Weebly provided more in the way of backup and restore systems. You have to look after it manually by saving your site as a .zip file regularly. 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 Great
We have a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the main pros and cons. But, we wish to give you a quick overview of the key features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly does not have a ton of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one that you like. There are different categories available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on each Device (by being reactive ), and they can be adapted to match your own personal requirements, using the templates as a base. No need for you to receive a web design diploma!
Obviously, if You are all about design, and absolutely need to be able to customize it down to the last pixel, so you need to check out Wix in addition. Their template selection is unmatched and they have a much more flexible editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is because Weebly, unlike other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig beneath the hood and change the CSS and HTML? You’ll have free reign here, because you can see in the image 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 stores, but maybe not for big ones. Even though you may use the export and import function to handle large number of things, you might find Weebly lacking in features for enormous stores.
For instance, we don’t like that there Are not any offline payment options (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it’s also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Free Web Software
Ultimately, it’s worth noting that although You can create a store with the Starter and Pro program, upgrading to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll get the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t have to cover an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the various online store strategies? You can discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program Store. Can I Boost My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 programs in Quite a few categories such as 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 is always an (unlikely) chance that it may shut down a single day. Also a pity the apps made by Weebly are rather restricted.
However, one thing all of the programs have in Common is a super simple installation feature. Click and bam! All apps are tested and will work instantly on your website. We tried some cool ones like 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 marginally inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Utilizing Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the experts of Weebly — not only compared with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all of the sites which are built in their platform. That may be good or bad, however in Weebly’s case, it is an expert. They have rapid load speeds. Their sites are optimized to their own hosting. They treat security against spam and hackers. With business plans, they even install and keep SSL across your entire site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety dangers, but overall, it’s an edge for many website owners to have somebody else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with expert and completely free accounts, so it is a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start some piece of software — no matter how instinctive — there is that moment where you think”ok, what do I do now?” That approach is known as onboarding, and it is also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software manufacturer does not want to be annoying, but they also wish to help. I really like how Weebly builds in solid onboarding and instruction not just via email drip arrangement but also via little info buttons constructed with their platform.
Once You join, it is simple to dive right in. Free Web Software
Site Building Process
One Advertised advantage of using a comprehensive site builder is you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop components. Everything you see in the builder is exactly what you get on the site.
It’s Not always that easy. There’s a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us actually mean”I want to click and drag this element and move it to a general area where it will seem great — you know, automatically focused, etc.” Put simply, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You wish to do something, but also have a bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop really works. As well as for the control freaks among us, they supply access to some custom CSS module, so that you may edit the template into precisely your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email support alternative and also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they offer email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive platform, customer support can troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a huge advantage of website builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly because they have telephone support.
If You conduct your site, you have to figure out exactly who can correct a problem prior to getting in contact with them. Together with Weebly, you merely get in contact with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of creating your own site on your own host is that you don’t have to count on a platform’s feature set. If you go the platform route, it is key to be sure that they have all the features you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They have got all the fundamentals — like website performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Past the complex necessities, Weebly also includes features including forums, membership options, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce alternatives, which I’ll cover individually below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive website builder route, Weebly’s feature set should provide whatever you will need for typical personal/business sites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you really do need to be especially aware of innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has plenty of built-in features, 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, adding performance is as easy as installing a plugin. Together 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 huge offline and want to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That’s why they bought Weebly — and the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s ecommerce 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 shops) and you would like to market online, the Weebly provides a ready-made alternative with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics that should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I’ve Been using site builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com times and have been closely paying attention to this sector for the past 5 decades. 1 overarching trend is that a company’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing team or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a company’s structure and end goals will dictate how it behaves and what investments it makes. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary wildly among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for natural expansion. But in 2018, they sold to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that could be a big downside. Acquisitions are renowned for destroying companies and value. However, this acquisition has a Massive upside for one market segment —
If You do not mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiry. A pretty good deal — especially for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is very aggressive not only in contrast to other comprehensive website buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t have the common caps of other website builders. The Guru plan adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll see that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no limits on webpages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all ads with the initial paid grade.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your own hosting, is much cheaper than similar plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To building your own website on your server and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very competitive. Cost is not everything, but I love how they structure it.
Cons + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without looking at the downsides. Every bit of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management process is precisely what it resembles. It is an interface that permits you to type, filter, edit, and print unique kinds of content on your website. Free Web Software
Weebly Kind of features that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your website. It allows you to drag and drop the hierarchy and then click to edit each. But it’s far from a efficient system.
There’s No method to add custom content types (except inside a single page). If you are planning a large site (such as hundreds of pages), the content contained in Weebly would require a private system to maintain it all sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however that I wish content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is not difficult. If you would like to move someplace else, including your own WordPress powered site, Assessing your content and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult procedure.
Weebly lets One to export your Page content via zip file but blog articles will have 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 quickly expanding content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, many marketing tools and features can be added to your site. But since you still do not have 100% control over your site & server — it can be difficult or not impossible to add advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, 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 isn’t an unsolvable problem, however it is something to be careful of if you’re arranging a long-term project.
For Most all website owners with typical traffic you’ll want to know about the limitations, especially if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s advertisement showing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce performance. You can sell products from the Weebly site without switching platforms or performing some special developments. It fits in seamlessly and contains solid performance.
The Pricing is affordable. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce package for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice piece of performance, 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, fundamental inventory management, and payment approval. Here is how Weebly matches about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Ideal for websites which are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few goods. Additionally, it is a good fit for anyone testing out products prior to going to a long-term stage. 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 even a specialization eCommerce platform like Shopify (inspection ) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a better fit.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the purchase from Square does include a downside. That is regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features which make it even more precious as a whole for Square. Free Web Software
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent company.
If You’re looking to build a long-term content or lead generation site, then I would consider WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for general drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs today, they might not in the future.
When we 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 that is better than many competitors. It’s simple, uncluttered and easy to use — which is precisely what people with limited technical skills need when it comes to creating 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 below).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the top of our 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 go, or the number of add-ons available in the app center makes it powerful, and fun to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!