Intro Free Website Design Sites
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s most popular web builders out there. Unlike particular competitors, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than improving their platform’s technology. Free Website Design Sites
This all sounds fairly good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it appears in practice. In this review, we’ll look at their drag and drop editor and see if it’s any good for producing a web site, site or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad range of website building solutions, Weebly lives at the finish that is all-inclusive and provides all you need to get started and develop your website. It is in contrast to solutions where you purchase, install, and manage all of the”bits” of your website individually.
It is Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a nice development rather than getting and owning your own residence. You are still in control of decor, cleaning, and what living-wise — but you leave the building, plumbing, security, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is critical because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The functionality and design which are included with Weebly work seamlessly together as a stage. That is what lets them own drag and drop layout, design, and articles.
As Much as competition, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a team compete with options like WordPress.org (that offers the totally free software to build a website that you have & control — visit my own 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 disclosure — I receive referral fees from all of the companies mentioned in this informative article. My opinions & research derive from my experiences like a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. The first thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface is designed. Just select the element you need on the left, and set it upon your layout on the right.
You’ll find that elements snap into position And arrange themselves flawlessly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it’s very possible to end up with overlapping elements. With Weebly, no risk of that occurring.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you want to edit and sort your own words in the box. A few other options use”entry masks” that are a bit more abstract and not necessarily easy to work with.
The navigation system also works miracles. You can dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them like a charm.
Ultimately, should you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a great deal of questions through tutorials that are clear and step-by-step guides. Failing that, the service is exceptional, whether via email, chat, or phone. Free Website Design Sites
So are there Any downsides? This is different. If you want more freedom with your layouts, then you might feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You ought to go for Wix. This competition also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the website for you pretty much by itself. You can possibly shave off a few minutes of your website building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d love to see. First is a global reverse button. It is possible to undo what you type in text boxes, but it will be nice to erase mistakes when you move or add elements. Second, Weebly does not have an overall media database that keeps all your pictures. You’ll need to re-upload pictures for each and every element that requires them.
Which Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We’d say the main 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 need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro features.
· Fancy header with slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module — to let users sign in and get personal sections of the Site
If some of the Above are must-haves for your site, you’ll need to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And to get a more complete breakdown, please refer to our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let us get 1 thing out of the way first. if You’re an innovative search engine optimization specialist who certainly needs to rank #1 on search engines to get a very competitive keyword, you might have a tough time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There is a free app which allows you add headings from h1 to h6, but it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly doesn’t incorporate it in their system.
· Particular pages (categories and product pages) add 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 isn’t 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 when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize themalong as Alt texts for images. This is particularly important to position your own images. Free Website Design Sites
· 301 redirects. You can command them to avoid broken links as soon as a page URL was 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 little Confused about SEO? Do not forget that we have a full guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
Just as we Know, very secure. The company takes safety very seriously. They market strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all programs. Even the free tier will operate on https that delivers an extra layer of safety. Especially crucial for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Regrettably, we wish Weebly provided more in the method of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to take care of it manually by saving your website as a .zip file frequently. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, monitors new changes and allows you to jump back in time to a previous version of your website.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Great
We have a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. However, we wish to provide you here a quick overview of the key features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly doesn’t have a ton of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily have the ability to find one you like. There are different categories available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on each Device (by being responsive), and they can be adapted to match your personal requirements, together with the templates as a foundation. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Of course, if You are all about design, and absolutely need to have the ability to personalize it down to the last pixel, so you need to have a look at Wix also. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more flexible 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 under the hood and modify 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’d 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 can use the import and export function to handle large number of items, you might find Weebly lacking in features for massive stores.
For Example, we do not like this there Aren’t any offline payment choices (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it is also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Free Website Design Sites
Finally, it’s worth noting that although You can create a shop with the Starter and Pro plan, updating to Business and greater makes more sense. You are going to get the automated delivery and sales tax calculator, which is extremely useful for serious shop owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to cover an additional transaction fee of 3%.
Still confused About the various online store plans? You can discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App shop. Can I Enhance 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 paid. Some are constructed 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 shame the programs made by Weebly are quite limited.
However, 1 thing all of the programs have in Common is a super simple installation attribute. One click and bam! All programs are analyzed and will work immediately on your website. We tried some cool ones like a way to include tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special information. Our only qualm is the quality and amount of programs is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Using Weebly
Here is What I found to be the pros of Weebly — not only compared with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a general online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all of the sites which are constructed on their own platform. That may be good or awful, however in Weebly’s situation, it is an expert. They have fast load speeds. Their sites are optimized to their hosting. They take care of security against spam and hackers. With business plans, they install and keep SSL across your whole site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still pace and safety dangers, 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 free accounts, so it is a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start any piece of software — regardless of how intuitive — there is that moment where you think”okay, what do I do today?” That process is known as onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to execute well.
The Software manufacturer does not wish to be annoying, but they also want to help. I really like how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and education not only via email drip sequence but also via small info buttons built with their platform.
Once You join, it is simple to dive in. Free Website Design Sites
Site Building Process
One Promoted advantage of using a comprehensive site builder is you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop elements. What you see in the builder is exactly what you receive on the site.
It’s Not always that easy. There’s a whole lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us really mean”I wish to click and drag this element and transfer it to a general place where it will look good — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” Put simply, it’s like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You wish to do the thing, but also have a little bit of help.
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 which you can edit the template into precisely your choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly provides an email service option along with also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they offer email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive platform, customer support can troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a massive benefit of website builder platforms generally, but especially using Weebly since they have phone support.
If You run your own site, you have to work out exactly who can correct a problem before getting in touch with them. Together with Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own site on your own host is that you don’t need to count on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the stage route, it is key to be certain they have all the qualities you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all of the fundamentals — 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 also includes features like discussion, membership options, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce options, which I will cover separately below.
If You go the all-inclusive site builder course, Weebly’s attribute set must provide everything you will need for typical personal/business sites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you really do want to be especially aware of innovative options).
Also — Weebly has a lot of built-in features, but it does not have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party apps (think 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 growing (though still somewhat limited) app center.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re enormous offline and wish to be larger in the on/offline arena. That is why they bought 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 couple of things here and there or in case you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up stores ) and you would like to sell on the internet, the Weebly provides a ready-made alternative with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics which 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 this industry for the past 5 decades. 1 overarching trend is a firm’s structure pushes product investment over the marketing group or the product group.
Even In a fast paced marketplace, a company’s construction and finish targets will dictate how it acts and what investments it makes. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ tremendously among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for organic expansion. However, in 2018, they offered to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that might be a big downside. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying value and companies. However, this acquisition has a huge upside for one market segment —
If You don’t mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiry. A fairly good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Overall Pricing is very aggressive not only compared to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t possess the typical caps of other website builders. The Pro plan adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no caps on webpages or storage space. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they remove all advertisements with the first paid grade.
Even Their small business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your own hosting, is considerably cheaper than comparable plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To building your own website on your server and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Cost is not everything, however I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the downsides. Each piece of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management system is exactly what it resembles. It’s an interface which allows you to sort, filter, edit, and print different types of articles on your site. Free Website Design Sites
Weebly Kind of features that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your site. It allows you to drag and drop the hierarchy and click to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from an efficient system.
There is No way to add custom content forms (except inside an individual page). If you’re arranging a large site (such as hundreds of webpages ), the content within Weebly would need a private system to maintain it sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, however that I wish content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last big drawback of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is difficult. If you want to move somewhere else, such as your own WordPress powered website, migrating your articles and redirecting your URLs are going to be a challenging 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 hard, but it’s something to consider if you’re considering 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 website & host — it can be difficult or not impossible to include advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, special Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the main issue isn’t having”origin” or”FTP” access to your server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, however it’s something to be aware of if you are planning a long-term project.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic you’ll want to know about the limitations, especially if you’re planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad revealing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce functionality. It’s possible to sell products from your Weebly site without changing platforms or doing some special developments. It fits in effortlessly and contains solid performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce package for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice piece of functionality, but keep in mind that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or 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 primarily lead-generation, informational, etc also want to sell a few products. Additionally, it is a fantastic fit for anybody testing out products prior to moving into a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term match for websites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an online shop you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (inspection ) or Bigcommerce (review) are a better fit.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the purchase from Square does come with a downside. That is regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it more precious as a whole for Square. Free Website Design Sites
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent company.
If You are wanting to build a long-term articles or direct generation website, then I’d consider WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for general drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs today, they may not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was only another website builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is far better than many competitors. It is easy, uncluttered and easy to use — which is precisely what people with limited technical abilities need in regards to creating their own internet presence.
Of course, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, for instance. Finding an email address attached to a domain is also a bit pricey, as they recommend G Suite, which costs $5 per month, per user. (Though there are workarounds, since 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 combined with cool tools like the iOS or Android app for editing your site on the move, or the number of add-ons out there from the app center makes it robust, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!