Intro Free Website Wizard
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s most popular web builders out there. Unlike certain opponents, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technologies. Free Website Wizard
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find 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 web site, site or online store.
On The broad range of website building alternatives, Weebly lives on the finish that is all-inclusive and provides everything you want to get started and grow your site. It’s in contrast to options where you buy, install, and manage all the”bits” of your website individually.
It’s Like trading off some control for greater convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development rather than buying and owning your own residence. You are still in control of decoration, cleaning, and what living-wise — but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key since there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality that are included with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That is what lets them own drag and drop layout, layout, and content.
As Much as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a team compete with options like WordPress.org (which offers the totally free software to build 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 disclosure — I get referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this post. My opinions & research are based on my experiences as either a paying customer or adviser to a paying customer.
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 was created. Just choose the element you need on the left, and place it on your design on the rightside.
You’ll find that elements snap into position And arrange themselves flawlessly on the webpage. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it is very possible to end up with overlapping components. Together with Weebly, no risk of that happening.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you would like to edit and sort your words from the box. Some other options use”entrance masks” which are somewhat more subjective and not always 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.
Ultimately, if you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a great deal of questions through clear tutorials and step by step guides. Failing this, the support is excellent, whether via email, chat, or phone. Free Website Wizard
So are there Any downsides? This depends. If you want more freedom with your layouts, then you may feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You ought to go for Wix. This competition also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that can build the website for you by itself. You may perhaps shave a couple of minutes of your website building time.
There are also two things we’d like to see. First is a global undo button. You can undo what you type in text boxes, but it would be wonderful to erase mistakes once you move or add components. Second, Weebly does not have a general media database which keeps all of your pictures. You’re going to have to re-upload images for each and every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Plan is Best for Me?
We would say the primary question to ask is. Do I wish to market online? Quite simply, if you really do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It provides everything you will need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header with slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module to allow users register and access private sections of the Site
If any of the Above are must-haves for your website, you will need to update to Weebly Pro. And to get a more comprehensive breakdown, please refer to our complete Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way . if You’re an innovative SEO specialist who certainly must rank #1 on search engines to get a very competitive key word, you may have a tough time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free app that allows you add key words from h1 to h6, however, it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder Weebly doesn’t incorporate it in their system.
· Certain pages (categories and product pages) add a mandatory string to your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a huge issue unless your site is not in English. Same with the website articles, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure and this can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. But you’re on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does things really Well when it comes 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 Wizard
· 301 redirects. You can control them to avoid broken links when a page URL was changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at compressing the pictures you upload. This improves speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a bit Curious about SEO? Do not forget that we’ve got a full guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
As far as we Understand, very safe. The business takes safety very seriously. They market strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. The free tier will operate on https that offers an extra layer of safety. Especially crucial for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly provided more in the method of backup and restore systems. You have to take care of it manually by saving your site for a .zip file frequently. And there is no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, tracks new adjustments and lets you jump back in time to a previous version of your site.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Good
We have a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. But, we wish to provide you a quick summary of the main features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly does not have a whole lot of template layouts (approximately 50), but you should easily have the ability to find one that you like. There are various categories out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on each Apparatus (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 degree!
Of course, 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 also. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more flexible 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 under the hood and modify the CSS and HTML? You will have free reign here, because you can see in the image above.
Ecommerce. Is a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We’d say yes, with a caveat. It is great to Sell digital and physical products for small and medium-sized stores, but maybe not for huge ones. Although you may use the import and export function to handle large number of things, you might discover Weebly lacking in features for enormous stores.
For instance, we do not like this there Are not any offline payment options (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it’s also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Free Website Wizard
Finally, it is worth noting that although You’re able to create a store using the Starter and Guru program, upgrading to Business and higher makes more sense. You’ll get the automated shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful for serious store owners. What’s more, you won’t have to cover an additional transaction charge of 3 percent.
Still confused About the many online store strategies? You can find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App shop. Can I Boost My Site with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 apps in Quite a few 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 shame the apps produced by Weebly are rather restricted.
However, one thing all the apps have in Common is a super easy installation attribute. Click and bam! All apps are analyzed and will work instantly on your own site. We tried some cool ones like a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display special information. Our only qualm is that the quality and amount of programs is a marginally inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Using 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 an overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all of the websites that are built on their platform. That may be good or awful, but in Weebly’s case, it is a pro. They have rapid load speeds. Their sites are optimized to their own hosting. They take care of security against spam and hackers. With company plans, they even install and keep SSL across your entire site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety dangers, but overall, it’s an edge for many site owners to have someone else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with pro and completely 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”okay, what can I do now?” That approach is known as onboarding, and it is also incredibly hard to execute well.
The Software maker doesn’t wish to be annoying, but they also want to help. I really like how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and education not just via email drip arrangement but also via little info buttons constructed with their own platform.
Once You sign up, it’s straightforward to dive in. Free Website Wizard
Site Building Process
One Promoted benefit of using a comprehensive site builder is you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop elements. Everything you see in the builder is what you receive on the site.
It is Not always that easy. There’s a lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” Most of us actually mean”I want to click and drag this element and transfer it into a general place where it will seem good — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” In other words, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. 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 supply access to a custom CSS module, so that you may edit the template to precisely your choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email service option along with also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they provide email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive platform, customer service can troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a huge advantage of site builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly since they have phone support.
If You conduct your own site, you’ve got to work out just who will fix a problem prior to getting in contact with them. With Weebly, you merely get in touch with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of creating your own site on your own host is you don’t have to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the platform route, it’s key to be certain that they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They’ve got all of the basics — like website functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.
Even Beyond the complex necessities, Weebly even includes features like discussion, membership options, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce alternatives, which I’ll cover individually below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive website builder course, Weebly’s attribute set must provide everything you will need for typical personal/business sites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do want to be specifically aware of advanced options).
Also — Weebly has plenty of built-in features, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party programs (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together with your Own WordPress site, including performance is as simple as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can browse their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app centre.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are huge offline and wish to be larger in the on/offline arena. That is the reason why they bought Weebly — and the future is really bright for Weebly’s ecommerce 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 shops) and you want to market on the internet, the Weebly offers a readymade alternative with closely integrated ecommerce features which should only 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 sector for the past 5 decades. 1 overarching trend is a firm’s structure drives product investment over the marketing team or the product team.
Even In a fast paced market, a company’s structure and finish goals 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 Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for natural expansion. However, in 2018, they sold to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that might be a huge downside. Acquisitions are renowned for destroying value and companies. However, this acquisition has a Massive upside for one market segment —
If You really do not mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiration. A fairly good deal — particularly for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is quite competitive not only in contrast to other comprehensive site buildersbut also with buying your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts around $8/mo when paid up front. And they do not possess the typical caps of other website builders. The Pro plan adds solid features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no caps on webpages or storage space. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they eliminate all ads with the first paid grade.
Even Their business pricing, while more costly than doing the exact same thing on your own hosting, is much more affordable than similar plans with direct competitors.
In comparison To constructing your own site in your server and notably with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Price isn’t everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Cons + Truth About Using Weebly
However, Of course, no Weebly review will be complete without looking at the drawbacks. Each bit of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 specific cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management process is exactly what it resembles. It is an interface that allows you to type, filter, edit, and print different kinds of articles on your site. Free Website Wizard
Weebly Sort of features that. It has a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your site. It permits you to drag and drop the hierarchy and then click on to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from a efficient system.
There is No method to add custom content forms (except inside a single page). If you are arranging a large site (like hundreds of pages), the content within Weebly would require a private system to keep it sorted and easily accessible.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, but I wish content could be more easily managed within Weebly.
The Last big disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you want to move somewhere else, such as your own WordPress powered site, migrating your articles and redirecting your URLs are going to be a challenging procedure.
Weebly lets You to export your Page content via zip file but website content will need to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be hard, but it’s something to consider if you are considering quickly expanding traffic and/or content.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, most marketing tools and attributes can be added to your website. But since you still do not have 100% control over your website & host — it can be difficult and/or impossible to include advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, habit 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’s something to be careful of if you’re planning a long-term job.
For Most all website owners with typical traffic you’ll want to be aware of the constraints, particularly if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s advertisement showing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce functionality. You can sell products from the Weebly site without switching platforms or performing any distinctive developments. It fits in effortlessly and contains solid 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 functionality, but keep in mind that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, fundamental inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Great for websites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few products. 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 websites that are eCommerce-first. For those, an online store you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform such as Shopify (inspection ) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a much better fit.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the purchase from Square does come with a downside. That’s regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features that make it even more valuable as a whole for Square. Free Website Wizard
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You are looking to build a long-term articles or direct generation website, then I’d consider WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) rather than 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 only another website builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding website building tool that is better than many competitors. It’s simple, uncluttered and simple to use — which is exactly what individuals with limited technical skills need when it comes to creating their own online presence.
Of course, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe a bit more templates, as an example. Finding an email address attached to your own domain is also a little expensive, as they urge G Suite, that 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 our list of website builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools like the iOS or Android app for editing your website on the go, or the number of add-ons available in the program center makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!