Intro Free Website Demo
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s hottest web builders out there. Unlike certain competitors, they appear less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technologies. Free Website Demo
This all sounds fairly 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, site or online store.
On The wide spectrum of site building alternatives, Weebly resides on the end that’s comprehensive and provides everything you need to begin and grow your website. It’s compared to options where you buy, install, and manage all the”bits” of your website separately.
It is Like trading off some control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like renting and customizing a apartment in a nice development rather than buying and owning your own residence. You’re still in control of decoration, cleaning, and everything living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, security, 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 that are contained with Weebly work seamlessly together as a platform. That’s what lets them have drag and drop design, layout, and content.
As Much as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (that provides the free software to build a website 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 of the companies discussed in this post. My remarks & research are based on my experiences like a paying client or adviser to a paying client.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Good question. First thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface is designed. Just choose the element you need on the left, and place it on your design on the rightside.
You might find that components snap into place And arrange themselves flawlessly on the webpage. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it’s 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 just click what you want to edit and sort your words in the box. Some other options use”entry masks” that are somewhat more subjective and not necessarily easy to utilize.
The navigation system also works miracles. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Ultimately, 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 this, the service is excellent, whether by email, chat, or phone. Free Website Demo
So are there Any downsides? This depends. If you want 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 web site for you by itself. You may perhaps shave a couple of minutes of your site building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d like to see. First is a global reverse button. It is possible to undo everything you type in text boxes, but it would be nice to erase mistakes when you add or move elements. Second, Weebly doesn’t have an overall media database which keeps all your pictures. You’re going to need to re-upload images for every element that requires them.
Which Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We’d say the primary question to ask is. Do I want 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 provides all you need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header using slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to let users sign in and get personal sections of the website
If some of those Above are must-haves for your site, you will have to update to Weebly Pro. And for a more complete breakdown, please consult with our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let us get 1 thing out of the way first. if You are an advanced search engine optimization specialist who absolutely needs to rank #1 on search engines to get a really competitive key word, you may have a difficult time with Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There is a free app that allows you insert key words from h1 to h6, however, it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not incorporate it into 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 website is not in English. Same with the website articles, they’ll have’/site /’ in the URL structure, which can’t be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is done via code. But you are on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does matters really 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 position your own images. Free Website Demo
· 301 redirects. You can control them to avoid broken links as soon as a page URL has been changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a great job at controlling the images you upload. This enhances speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a bit Curious about SEO? Don’t forget that we’ve got a full guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
As far as we Know, very safe. The company takes safety very seriously. They market strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. The free tier will run on https which offers an excess layer of security. Especially important for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly offered more in the way of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to take care of it manually by saving your site for a .zip file regularly. And there is no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, monitors new adjustments and lets you jump back in time to a previous version of your site.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Great
We have a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. But, we wish to provide you here a quick summary of the main features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly does not have a ton of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily have the ability to find one that you like. There are different categories out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on each Device (by being responsive), and they may be adapted to match your own personal needs, together with the templates as a base. No need for you to receive a web design diploma!
Obviously, if You’re all about layout, and absolutely need to be able to customize it down to the last pixel, you need to have a look at Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more elastic editor…
… unless you’re confident with coding. This Is since Weebly, unlike other builders, provides 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 picture above.
Ecommerce. Can be a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We would say yes, with a caveat. It’s great to Sell physical and digital products for small and medium-sized stores, but maybe not for huge ones. Although you may use the import and export function to manage many items, you might find Weebly lacking in features for enormous stores.
For Example, we don’t like that there Are not any offline payment options (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 Website Demo
Finally, it is worth noting that although You can create a store with the Starter and Guru program, upgrading to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to find the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful for serious shop owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to cover an additional transaction charge of 3 percent.
Still confused About the various online store strategies? You may discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program Store. Can I Enhance My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 apps in A number of categories such as eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Many are free, some are paid. Some are built by Weebly, some by third party programmers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) chance that it might shut down one day. Also a pity the apps produced by Weebly are rather restricted.
However, 1 thing all the apps have in Common is a super simple installation attribute. One click and bam! All programs are tested and will work instantly on your site. We tried some cool ones such as a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display specific information. Our only qualm is that the quality and amount of apps is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Utilizing Weebly
Here is What I found to be the pros of Weebly — not only compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all of the sites which are constructed in their own platform. That can be good or bad, but in Weebly’s situation, it is a pro. They have fast load rates. Their websites are optimized to their hosting. They take care of safety against spam and hackers. With business plans, they even install and maintain SSL across your entire website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and safety risks, but it’s an advantage for many site owners to have somebody else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with expert and free accounts, so it’s a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin any piece of software — no matter how instinctive — there is that moment where you think”ok, what do I do today?” This process is called onboarding, and it is also incredibly tough to implement well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t wish to be annoying, but they also wish to provide help. I love how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and education not just via email drip sequence but also via small info buttons constructed with their platform.
After You join, it’s simple to dive in. Free Website Demo
Site Building Process
One Promoted advantage of using an all-inclusive site builder is that you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop components. Everything you find in the builder is what you receive on the site.
It is Not always that easy. There is a whole lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” The majority of us actually mean”I wish to drag and click this element and move it to a general place where it’ll seem great — you know, mechanically focused, etc.” Put simply, it’s like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You want to do the thing, but also have a bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop really functions. As well as for the control freaks among us, they provide access to some custom CSS module, so which you can edit the template into exactly your own choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly offers an email service option and also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they provide email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive platform, client support is able to troubleshoot and fix any matter. This is a huge advantage of website builder platforms generally, but especially with Weebly since they have phone support.
If You run your own site, you have to figure out just who will correct a problem prior to getting in touch with them. Together with Weebly, you just get in touch with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of building your own website on your host is you don’t need to depend on a platform’s attribute set. If you go 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 have got all the basics — like blog performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.
Even Past the advanced requirements, Weebly even includes features including discussion, membership options, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover separately below.
If You go the comprehensive site builder course, Weebly’s attribute set should offer whatever you will need for typical personal/business sites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you really do need to be especially aware of advanced options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot 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, adding performance is as simple as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can browse their climbing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are huge offline and want to be larger in the on/offline arena. That’s the reason why they purchased 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 few things here and there or if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up stores ) and you would like to sell on the internet, the Weebly provides a readymade alternative with closely integrated ecommerce features which should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I’ve Been using website builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com days and have been closely paying attention to the industry for the past 5 decades. 1 overarching trend is that a firm’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing group or the product group.
Even In a fast paced marketplace, a company’s structure and finish goals will dictate how it acts and what investments it makes. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ wildly among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for organic expansion. However, in 2018, they sold to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that could be a big drawback. Acquisitions are notorious for ruining companies and value. However, this acquisition has a Massive 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 very competitive not only in contrast to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with purchasing your hosting. Their Starter plan starts around $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not possess the typical caps of other site builders. The Pro plan adds solid features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will see that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no limits on webpages or storage area. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they remove all ads with the first paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your own hosting, is much more affordable than comparable plans with direct competitors.
Compared To constructing your own site on your server and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very competitive. Cost is not everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the drawbacks. Each piece of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management process is exactly what it resembles. It’s an interface which allows you to sort, filter, edit, and print different kinds of content on your site. Free Website Demo
Weebly Kind of has that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your website. It permits you to drag and drop the hierarchy and click on to edit each. But it’s far from an efficient system.
There’s No way to add custom content forms (except inside a single page). If you’re arranging a large site (like hundreds of pages), the articles contained in Weebly would require a private system to maintain it sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, but I want 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 would like to move somewhere else, including your own 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 will need to be manually duplicated and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain difficult, but it’s something to think about if you’re planning on quickly expanding traffic and/or content.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, most advertising tools and attributes can be added to your site. However, since you still do not have 100% control over your site & server — it can be difficult or not impossible to include advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages, custom social stocks, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the principal issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, however it is something to be careful of if you’re arranging a long-term job.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic you’ll want to know about the limitations, particularly if you’re planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s ad revealing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. It’s possible to sell products from your Weebly website without switching platforms or performing any special developments. It fits in seamlessly and contains strong functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the complete eCommerce bundle for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice bit of functionality, but keep in mind that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online shop platforms like Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, fundamental stock management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for websites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few goods. It’s also a good match for anyone testing out products prior to going into a long-term stage. It is not a long-term fit for sites which are eCommerce-first. For those, an internet shop you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform such as 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 is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features which make it even more precious as a whole for Square. Free Website Demo
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent business.
If You are wanting to construct a long-term content or lead generation site, then I would look at 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 first started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was just another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding site building tool which is better than many competitors. It’s simple, uncluttered and easy to use — that is exactly what individuals with limited technical skills need when it comes to making their own internet presence.
Of course, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To see somewhat more templates, for instance. Finding an email address attached to your own domain name is also a bit expensive, as they recommend G Suite, that costs $5 per month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, since you can see in the FAQ under ).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the top of our list of website builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools like the iOS or Android program for editing your site on the go, or the number of add-ons available in the app centre makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!