Intro Free Website Options
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s most popular web builders on the market. Unlike particular competitors, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. Free Website Options
This all sounds fairly good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it appears in practice. In this review, we will look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for creating a web site, site or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad range of site building solutions, Weebly resides at the end that’s comprehensive and provides everything you want to get started and grow your site. It is in contrast to options where you buy, set up, and handle all of the”bits” of your website separately.
It is Like trading off some control for greater convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is kind of like renting and customizing an apartment in a wonderful development rather than getting and owning your own house. You are still in charge of decor, cleaning, and what living-wise — but you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure into the house owner. That point is critical because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The functionality and design that are included with Weebly work together collectively as a stage. That is what allows them to have drag and drop layout, layout, and articles.
As Far as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a team compete with choices like WordPress.org (that offers the free software to construct a website that you own & control — see my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to choices like typing actual HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive into the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a revelation — I receive referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this informative article. My opinions & study derive from my experiences as either a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. First thing you’ll notice Is how nicely the drag and drop interface was created. Just choose the element you want on the left, and set it on your design on the rightside.
You’ll Discover That components snap into place And arrange themselves perfectly on the webpage. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it is very possible to end up with overlapping elements. With Weebly, no risk of that happening.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you want to edit and type your own words in the box. Some other solutions use”entry masks” which are somewhat more abstract and not always 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.
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 via email, chat, or telephone. Free Website Options
So are there Any downsides? That depends. If you would like to have more freedom with your designs, then you might feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You should go for 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 website building time.
There are also two things we’d love to see. First is a global undo button. It is possible to undo what you type in text boxes, but it will be nice to erase mistakes once you add or move components. Second, Weebly doesn’t have a general media database which keeps all your pictures. You’re going to have to re-upload pictures for each and every element that needs them.
That Weebly Pricing Plan is Best for Me?
We’d say the primary question to ask yourself is. Do I want to sell online? Quite simply, if you really do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It provides everything you need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro features.
· Fancy header with slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to let users register and access personal sections of the website
If some of those Above are must-haves for your website, you will have 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 Website Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way . if You are an advanced SEO specialist who absolutely needs to rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive key word, you might have a difficult time using Weebly. It’s 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, but it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder Weebly doesn’t incorporate it in their system.
· Certain 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 huge issue unless your site isn’t in English. Same with the website posts, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure and this can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is done via source code. However, you are on your own as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the plus side, Weebly does matters actually Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize them, along as Alt texts for images. This is particularly important to rank your images. Free Website Options
· 301 redirects. You can control them to avoid broken links when a page URL has been changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a great job at controlling the images you upload. This enhances speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a bit Curious about SEO? Don’t forget that we have a complete guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
Just as we Understand, very secure. The business takes security very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. The free tier will run on https which delivers an extra layer of security. Especially important for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Regrettably, we wish Weebly offered more in the way of backup and restore systems. You have to take care of it manually by conserving your website for a .zip file regularly. And there is no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, tracks 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’ve Got a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you can read the key pros and cons. But, we want to provide you a quick overview of the main features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly doesn’t have a whole lot of template layouts (around 50), but you should easily have the ability to find one that you like. There are different classes available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on each Apparatus (by being reactive ), 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!
Of course, if You are all about design, and absolutely have to have the ability to personalize it down to the last pixel, you should have a look at Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more flexible editor…
… unless you are confident with 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 would say yes, with a caveat. It is great to Sell physical and digital products for small and medium-sized shops, but maybe not for huge ones. Even though you may use the export and import function to manage large number of things, you might find Weebly lacking in features for massive stores.
For instance, we do not like that there Are not any offline payment choices (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it is also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for example (but also has less features). Free Website Options
Ultimately, it’s worth noting that even though You can create a store with the Starter and Pro plan, updating to Business and greater makes more sense. You are going to get the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to pay an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the many online store plans? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App Store. Can I Boost My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 programs in Quite a few classes such as eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Some are free, some are compensated. Some are built by Weebly, some by third-party programmers. For the latter, there is always an (unlikely) possibility that it may shut down one day. Also a shame the apps made by Weebly are quite limited.
However, one thing all the apps have in Common is that a super easy installation attribute. One click and bam! All apps are analyzed and will work immediately on your website. We attempted some cool ones like a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display special information. Our only qualm is the quality and amount of apps is a marginally inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Utilizing Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the pros of Weebly — not only compared with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an general online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all of the sites that are built in their platform. That can be good or awful, but in Weebly’s case, it is a pro. They have rapid load rates. Their websites are optimized to their own hosting. They take care of safety against spam and hackers. With company plans, they install and keep SSL across your entire website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still speed and security dangers, but it’s an edge for many site owners to have someone else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with expert and free accounts, so it’s a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin some piece of software — regardless of how instinctive — there is that moment where you think”ok, what do I do now?” This process is known as onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software manufacturer does not wish to be annoying, but they also want to provide help. I love how Weebly builds in solid onboarding and education not just via email drip arrangement but also via little info buttons constructed with their own platform.
After You join, it’s straightforward to dive in. Free Website Options
Website Building Process
One Advertised advantage of using a comprehensive website builder is that you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop elements. What you find in the builder is exactly what you receive on the site.
It’s Not always that simple. There is a whole lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us really mean”I wish to drag and click this element and move it to a general place where it’ll look good — you know, mechanically focused, etc.” In other words, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You wish to do the thing, but also have a little bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop really 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 to exactly your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email support alternative along with also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they provide email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive system, client support can troubleshoot and correct any issue. This is a huge benefit of website builder platforms in general, but especially with Weebly since they have telephone support.
If You conduct your own site, you have to work out exactly who can fix a problem before getting in touch with them. Together with Weebly, you merely get in touch with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own website on your host is that you don’t have to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the stage route, it’s essential to make certain they have all the qualities you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. 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 Beyond the complex necessities, Weebly even includes features like discussion, subscription choices, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I’ll cover separately below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive site builder course, Weebly’s feature set must provide whatever you will need for typical personal/business websites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you really do want to be especially aware of innovative options).
Also — 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).
With your Own WordPress site, adding performance is as simple as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can navigate their climbing (though still somewhat limited) app center.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are enormous offline and want to be larger in the on/offline arena. That’s why they bought Weebly — and why the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s ecommerce 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 shops) and you would like to market online, the Weebly offers a ready-made alternative with tightly integrated ecommerce features which should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I have Been using site builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com days and have been closely paying attention to the 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 team.
Even In a fast paced market, a organization’s structure and finish goals will dictate how it acts and what investments it gets. 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. 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 drawback. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying value and companies. However, this purchase has a Massive upside for one market segment —
If You do not mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiry. A pretty good deal — especially for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is very competitive not only compared to other comprehensive website buildersbut also with buying your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts around $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t have the common caps of other site builders. The Pro plan adds solid features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll see that everything is accessible and infinite. There are no caps on pages or storage area. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all ads with the initial paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your hosting, is considerably cheaper than similar plans with direct competitors.
In comparison To constructing your own website on your server and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Cost is not everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Cons + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without looking at the downsides. Each bit of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management system is precisely what it sounds like. It’s an interface which allows you to sort, filter, edit, and publish unique types of content on your website. Free Website Options
Weebly Sort 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. Nevertheless, it’s far from a efficient system.
There’s No method to add custom content forms (except within an individual page). If you are arranging a large site (such as hundreds of webpages ), the content contained in Weebly would need a private system to maintain it all sorted and easily reachable.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, however that I want content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge drawback of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you would like to move somewhere else, such as your own WordPress powered website, Assessing your articles and redirecting your URLs will be a difficult process.
Weebly allows You to export your Page content through zip file but website content is going to need to be manually copied and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be difficult, but it is something to consider if you’re considering rapidly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most marketing tools and features can be added to your website. But since you still don’t have 100% control on your site & host — it can be challenging or not impossible to add advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social stocks, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the main issue isn’t having”root” or”FTP” access to your server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, however it is something to be aware of if you are planning a long-term project.
For Most all site owners with average traffic you’ll want to know about the constraints, especially 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 doing some distinctive developments. It fits in effortlessly and has strong performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the complete eCommerce package for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful piece of performance, but keep in mind that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic inventory management, and payment approval. Here is how Weebly matches on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for sites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few goods. Additionally, it is a good fit for anybody testing out products prior to going into a long-term platform. It is not a long-term fit for websites that are eCommerce-first. For those, an internet store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) would be a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Structure
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 more valuable as a complete for Square. Free Website Options
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent company.
If You are looking to build a long-term articles or lead generation website, then I would consider WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they might not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years past, it was just another website builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is far better than most competitors. It is easy, uncluttered and easy to use — that is exactly what people with limited technical skills need in regards to creating their own internet presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To see a bit more templates, for instance. Getting an email address attached to a own domain is also a bit pricey, as they urge G Suite, which costs $5 a month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, as you can see in the FAQ below).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the very top of our list of website builders. Their ease of use together 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 centre makes it powerful, and fun to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!