Introduction Free Website Design Services
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s most popular web builders on the market. Unlike particular opponents, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. Free Website Design Services
This all sounds fairly 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 creating a website, blog or online store.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad range of website building solutions, Weebly lives at the finish that’s all-inclusive and provides everything you want to begin and grow your site. It is compared to solutions where you buy, set up, and handle all of the”pieces” of your site separately.
It’s Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Using Weebly is sort of like renting and customizing a apartment in a nice development instead of buying and owning your own residence. You are still in charge of decoration, cleaning, and everything living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure to the house owner. That point is critical since there’s typically a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The design and functionality that 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 rivalry, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (that provides the totally free software to build a site which you own & 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’s dive to the Weebly review.
One Other fast aside — a disclosure — I receive referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this informative article. My remarks & study derive from my experiences as either a paying customer 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 nicely the drag and drop interface is designed. Just choose the element you want on the left, and set it on your design on the right.
You’ll find that components snap into place And arrange themselves perfectly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it’s quite possible to end up with overlapping components. With Weebly, no probability of that happening.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you want to edit and type your words in the box. A few other solutions use”entrance masks” which are somewhat more subjective 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.
Ultimately, should 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 this, the support is excellent, whether by email, chat, or telephone. Free Website Design Services
So are there Any downsides? That is different. If you would like more freedom with your designs, then you might feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You should go to get Wix. This competition also has an automatic 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 love to see. First is a worldwide reverse button. You can undo everything you type in text boxes, but it will be nice to erase mistakes when you add or move components. Second, Weebly does not have an overall media database which keeps all of your pictures. You’ll have to re-upload images for every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Program is Ideal for Me?
We would say the primary question to ask is. Do I want to market online? Quite simply, if you really do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It provides all you will need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro features.
· Fancy header using slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to allow users sign in and access personal sections of the website
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 refer to our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. if You are an advanced SEO expert who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive keyword, you may have a tough time with Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free program which lets you insert key words from h1 to h6, however, it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly doesn’t incorporate it into their system.
· Certain pages (groups 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 site is not in English. Same with the website articles, they’ll have’/blog/’ in the URL structure and this can not be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is done via source code. But you are on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the other hand, Weebly does things really Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize them, along as Alt texts for images. This is especially important to position your images. Free Website Design Services
· 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 compressing the images you upload. This improves speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a bit Confused about SEO? Do not forget that we’ve got a complete guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
Just as we Know, very safe. The business takes security very seriously. They market strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will operate on https which delivers an extra layer of security. Especially crucial for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Regrettably, we wish Weebly provided more in the way of backup and restore systems. You have to take care of it manually by saving your website for a .zip file frequently. And there is no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for example, monitors new changes 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 are able to read the main pros and cons. But, we want to provide you here a quick summary of the main 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 classes available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on each Device (by being responsive), and they can be adapted to match your personal requirements, using the templates as a foundation. No need for you to receive a web design degree!
Obviously, if You’re all about layout, and absolutely have to be able to personalize it down to the last pixel, you need to check out Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more elastic editor…
… unless you’re confident with coding. This Is because Weebly, contrary to other builders, provides you access to the template source code.
Want to dig beneath the hood and change 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 stores, but not for big ones. Although you may use the import and export function to handle large number of items, you might discover Weebly lacking in features for massive stores.
For instance, we do not like this there Are not any offline payment options (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it’s also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Free Website Design Services
Finally, it is worth noting that although You can create a shop using the Starter and Guru program, upgrading to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll find the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely useful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to cover an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the various online store plans? You may find 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 A number of classes such as eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Many are free, some are compensated. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third-party programmers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) chance that it might shut down a single day. Also a shame the programs made by Weebly are rather restricted.
However, 1 thing all of the apps have in Common is that a super simple installation attribute. Click and bam! All apps are analyzed and will work instantly on your own site. We attempted some cool ones such as a way to include tables, event calendars, and data bars to display specific info. Our only qualm is the quality and quantity of programs is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Utilizing Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the experts of Weebly — not only in comparison to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all of the websites which are built in their own platform. That can be good or bad, however in Weebly’s case, it is a pro. They have rapid load speeds. Their sites are optimized for their hosting. They take care of security against hackers and spam. With business plans, they install and keep SSL across your whole site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety dangers, 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 completely free accounts, so it is a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin some piece of software — regardless of how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”ok, what can I do today?” That process is known as onboarding, and it is also incredibly tough to implement well.
The Software maker doesn’t wish to be annoying, but they also wish to provide help. I love how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and instruction not just via email drip sequence but also via small info buttons built with their platform.
After You join, it is simple to dive right in. Free Website Design Services
Site Building Procedure
One Advertised advantage of using an all-inclusive site builder is you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop elements. Everything you find in the builder is exactly what you receive on the website.
It’s Not necessarily that simple. There is a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” Most of us actually mean”I wish to click and drag this element and move it to a general area where it’ll look good — you know, automatically centered, etc.” In other words, it’s like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You want 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 supply access to a custom CSS module, so which you may edit the template into precisely your own choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly provides an email service option along with 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 massive benefit of website builder platforms in general, but especially with Weebly since they have telephone support.
If You run your site, you have to figure out just who can fix 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 building your own site on your host is you don’t need to depend on a platform’s attribute set. If you go the platform route, it is key to make certain they have all the features you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all the basics — like blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.
Even Past the complex requirements, Weebly also includes features including forums, subscription choices, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce options, which I will cover individually below.
If You proceed the comprehensive site builder course, Weebly’s attribute set must offer whatever you need for typical personal/business websites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you really do want to be especially 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 (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
With your Own WordPress site, adding functionality is as simple as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can browse their climbing (though still somewhat limited) app centre.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are huge offline and want to be larger in the on/offline arena. That is why they purchased Weebly — and why the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You are starting a site 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 offers a ready-made solution with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics which should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I have Been using site builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com times and have been closely paying attention to this industry for the previous five years. One overarching trend is a company’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing group or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing market, a company’s construction and end goals will dictate how it acts and what investments it makes. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary wildly among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for organic growth. 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 renowned for ruining value and companies. However, this purchase 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 expiration. A pretty good deal — particularly for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is quite aggressive not only compared to other comprehensive website buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan begins approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t have the typical caps of other website builders. The Guru program adds sound features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is accessible and infinite. There are no limits on pages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the initial paid tier.
Even Their small business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your own hosting, is considerably more affordable than comparable plans with direct competitors.
Compared To building your own site in your host and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Cost isn’t everything, but I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Using Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without looking at the drawbacks. Every piece of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management system is precisely what it resembles. It’s an interface that permits you to type, filter, edit, and print different kinds of articles on your website. Free Website Design Services
Weebly Sort of features that. It has a Pages section that lists out all 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 is No way to add custom content types (except inside an individual page). If you are planning a large site (such as hundreds of pages), the articles within Weebly would need a private system to maintain it all sorted and readily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however I want content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is difficult. If you would like to move someplace else, such as your WordPress powered site, migrating your articles and redirecting your URLs will be a difficult process.
Weebly lets One to export your Page content via zip file but blog articles is going to need to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain hard, but it’s something to consider if you are planning on quickly expanding content or traffic.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, many advertising tools and attributes can be added to your website. However, since you still do not have 100% control on your site & host — it can be difficult and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages, habit social stocks, special Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the main issue isn’t having”origin” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, however it’s something to be aware of if you’re planning a long-term job.
For Most all website owners with typical traffic — you’ll want to know about the constraints, particularly if you’re planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s advertisement revealing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. It’s possible to sell products from your Weebly site without changing platforms or performing any special developments. It fits in effortlessly and contains strong functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the full eCommerce package for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice piece of performance, but keep in mind that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, fundamental inventory management, and payment approval. Here’s how Weebly matches on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Ideal for websites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc also want to sell a few goods. It’s also a fantastic match for anyone testing out products before going into a long-term platform. It is not a long-term match for sites that are eCommerce-first. For those, an internet store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or Bigcommerce (review) would be a much better fit.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the acquisition from Square does come with a downside. That’s regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it even more precious as a complete for Square. Free Website Design Services
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent business.
If You’re wanting to construct a long-term articles or direct generation website, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for general drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs now, they might not in the medium future.
When we first 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 which is far better than most competitors. It is simple, uncluttered and easy to use — that is exactly 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 a bit more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to your 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 combined with cool tools like the iOS or Android app for editing your site on the move, or the number of add-ons available from the app centre makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!