Introduction Free Website Maker
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 appear less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than improving their platform’s technologies. Free Website Maker
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it looks in practice. Within this review, we will have a look at their drag and drop editor and see if it’s any good for creating a web site, site or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad range of site building solutions, Weebly resides on the end that is comprehensive and provides everything you need to get started and grow your website. It’s in contrast to solutions where you purchase, set up, and manage all of the”bits” of your website separately.
It is Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Using Weebly is kind of like renting and customizing an apartment in a wonderful development rather than buying and owning your own house. You’re still in charge of decoration, cleaning, and everything living-wise — but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the house owner. That point is key since there’s typically a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The functionality and design which are contained with Weebly work seamlessly together as a platform. That is what allows them to have drag and drop design, layout, and articles.
As Much as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (which offers the totally free software to build a site that you own & control — see my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing real HTML code into a text document. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive into the Weebly review.
One Other fast aside — a disclosure — I get referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this informative article. My opinions & research are based on my experiences as either a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
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 is designed. Just select the element you want on the left, and place it on your design on the right.
You’ll find that components snap into position And organize themselves flawlessly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it’s very possible to end up with overlapping components. Together with Weebly, no risk of that happening.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you want to edit and type your words in the box. Some other solutions use”entry masks” which are a bit more subjective and not necessarily easy to work with.
The navigation system also works miracles. You can dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Finally, should you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a great deal of questions through tutorials that are clear and step-by-step guides. Failing that, the support is exceptional, whether via email, chat, or telephone. Free Website Maker
So are there Any drawbacks? 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 competitor also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that may build the website for you pretty much by itself. You can perhaps shave off a few minutes of your site building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d like to see. First is a worldwide undo button. It is possible to undo everything you type in text boxes, but it would be nice to erase mistakes when you move or add components. Secondly, Weebly does not have a general media database that keeps all your pictures. You’ll need to re-upload pictures for each and every element that requires them.
That Weebly Pricing Program is Best for Me?
We’d say the primary question to ask yourself is. Do I want to market online? Quite simply, if you do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It will offer everything 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 webpages
· Membership module to let users sign in and access personal sections of the website
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 Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get 1 thing out of the way first. if You are an advanced SEO specialist who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines to get a very competitive keyword, you might have a difficult time with Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There is 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.
· 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 is not in English. Same with the website posts, they’ll have’/site /’ in the URL structure, which can’t be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. But you’re in your as Weebly does not help.
On the other hand, Weebly does things actually Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize them, along as Alt texts for pictures. This is particularly important to rank your own images. Free Website Maker
· 301 redirects. It is possible to control them to prevent broken links when a page URL has been changed. Google deeply admires 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? Do not forget that we’ve got a complete guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
As far as we Understand, really secure. The company takes safety very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will run on https which delivers an extra layer of security. Especially important for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly offered more in the way of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to look after it manually by conserving your website as a .zip file frequently. And there is no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, tracks new adjustments and allows you to 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 post about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the main pros and cons. However, we wish to provide you here a quick summary of the main features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly doesn’t have a whole lot of template layouts (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are different classes available. 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, using the templates as a base. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Obviously, if You are all about design, and absolutely need to be able to personalize it down to the last pixel, you need to have a look at Wix also. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more elastic editor…
… unless you are confident using coding. This Is since 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 picture above.
Ecommerce. Is a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We’d say yes, with a caveat. It’s great to Sell digital and physical products for small and medium-sized stores, but not for big ones. Although you may use the export and import function to handle large number of things, you might discover Weebly lacking in features such as enormous stores.
For Example, we do not like that there Aren’t any offline payment options (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it’s also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Free Website Maker
Ultimately, it is worth noting that even though You’re able to create a store with the Starter and Guru program, updating to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll find the automatic delivery and sales tax calculator, which is extremely useful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to pay an additional transaction charge of 3 percent.
Still confused About the many online store plans? You can discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App Store. Can I Enhance My Site with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 programs in A number of classes like eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Some 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 one day. Additionally a pity the programs produced by Weebly are quite limited.
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 immediately on your site. We attempted some cool ones like a way to include tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special information. Our only qualm is that the quality and quantity of apps is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Using Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the pros of Weebly — not only compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all the websites that are constructed on their platform. That can be good or bad, however in Weebly’s situation, it is an expert. They have fast load speeds. Their sites are optimized to their hosting. They treat safety against hackers and spam. 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 it’s an edge for many site owners to have somebody else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with pro and free accounts, so it’s a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin some piece of software — no matter how instinctive — there’s that moment where you think”ok, what can 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 want to provide help. I love how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and education not just via email trickle sequence but also via little info buttons constructed with their platform.
Once You join, it is straightforward to dive in. Free Website Maker
Website Building Process
One Promoted benefit of using a comprehensive website builder is that you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop components. Everything you find in the builder is exactly what you receive on the website.
It’s Not necessarily that easy. There’s a whole lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us actually mean”I want to click and drag this component and transfer it into a general area where it will seem good — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” In other words, it is like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You want to do the thing, but also have a little bit of help.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop actually functions. 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 own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email service alternative and 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, client service can troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a massive benefit of site builder platforms generally, but especially with Weebly because they have telephone support.
If You conduct your site, you’ve got to figure out just who can correct a problem before getting in contact with them. Together with Weebly, you just get in touch with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of creating your own website 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 make sure they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all of the basics — such as blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level customized code positioning.
Even Beyond the complex requirements, Weebly even includes features like forums, subscription choices, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover individually below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive site builder course, Weebly’s feature set should provide everything you need for typical personal/business websites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you really do need to be especially aware of advanced options).
Also — Weebly has a lot of built-in attributes, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party programs (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
With your Own WordPress site, including functionality is as easy 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 bigger in the on/offline arena. That’s the reason why they purchased Weebly — and 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 if 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 which should just 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 industry for the past five years. 1 overarching trend is a firm’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing group or the product group.
Even In a fast-growing market, a company’s construction and end targets will dictate how it behaves 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 firm going for organic growth. But in 2018, they offered to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that might be a huge downside. Acquisitions are renowned for ruining companies and value. However, this acquisition has a huge upside for a single market segment —
If You really don’t mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiration. A fairly good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Overall Pricing is quite aggressive not only in contrast to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan begins approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not have the typical caps of other website builders. The Pro plan adds solid features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll see that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no caps on pages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they remove all ads with the initial paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your hosting, is much more affordable than similar plans with direct competitors.
Compared To constructing your own site on your server and notably with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is very competitive. Price isn’t everything, however I really like how they structure it.
Cons + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
However, Of course, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the drawbacks. Every piece of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 unique cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management system is exactly what it resembles. It is an interface which permits you to sort, filter, edit, and publish different kinds of content on your site. Free Website Maker
Weebly Sort 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 an efficient system.
There is No method to add custom content forms (except inside an individual page). If you’re arranging a massive site (such as hundreds of pages), the articles contained in Weebly would need a private system to maintain it all sorted and easily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however I wish content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last big drawback of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is not difficult. If you would like to move somewhere else, such as your WordPress powered website, 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 website content will need to be manually duplicated and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain difficult, but it is something to consider if you are planning on rapidly expanding traffic and/or content.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, many marketing tools and features can be added to your site. But since you still don’t 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 applications, custom analytics packages, habit social shares, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the main issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, but it’s something to be aware of if you are arranging a long-term project.
For Most all website owners with typical traffic — you’ll want to be aware of the limitations, especially if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s ad showing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce performance. It’s possible to sell products from your Weebly site without switching platforms or performing any distinctive developments. It fits in effortlessly and has strong functionality.
The Pricing is cheap. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the full eCommerce bundle for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful bit of performance, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here is how Weebly matches on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Ideal for sites that are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few products. It’s also a fantastic match for anybody testing out products prior to going into a long-term stage. It is not a long-term match for sites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet shop you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialization eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a better fit.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it even more precious as a whole for Square. Free Website Maker
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent company.
If You are looking to construct a long-term articles or lead generation website, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they may not in the medium future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was only another website builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding website building tool which is better than most competitors. It is simple, uncluttered and simple to use — that is exactly what individuals with limited technical abilities need in regards to making their own online presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, as an example. Finding an email address attached to your own domain is also a bit expensive, as they urge G Suite, that costs $5 a month, per user. (Though there are workarounds, as you can see in the FAQ below).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the very top of the list of website builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools like the iOS or Android program for editing your website on the move, or the amount of add-ons out there from the app center makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!