Introduction Free Websites Net
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s most popular web builders on the market. Unlike certain competitors, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technologies. Free Websites Net
This all sounds fairly good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it appears in practice. In this review, we will look at their drag and drop editor and see if it’s any good for creating a web site, site or online store.
On The wide range of website building solutions, Weebly lives on the finish that is all-inclusive and provides everything you need to get started and develop your website. It’s in contrast to solutions where you purchase, install, and handle all the”pieces” of your website individually.
It’s Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Using Weebly is kind of like renting and customizing a apartment in a nice development instead of getting and owning your own house. You are still in charge of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise — however you leave the building, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure into the house owner. That point is key since 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 platform. That is what allows them to have drag and drop layout, design, and articles.
As Far as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a team compete with options like WordPress.org (which provides the free software to build a website which you have & 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 quick aside — a disclosure — I receive referral fees from all the companies discussed in this informative article. My opinions & study are based on my experiences like a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Good question. The first thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface was created. Just choose the element you want on the left, and place it on your layout on the rightside.
You might find that elements snap into place And arrange themselves flawlessly on the webpage. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it’s quite 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 simply click what you want to edit and sort your words in the box. Some other options use”entrance masks” that are somewhat more abstract and not always easy to utilize.
The navigation system also works wonders. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them like a charm.
Finally, should you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a great deal of questions through clear tutorials and step-by-step guides. Failing this, the service is exceptional, whether via email, chat, or phone. Free Websites Net
So are there Any drawbacks? This is different. If you want to have 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 automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the website for you by itself. You may perhaps shave a couple of minutes of your site building time.
There are also two things we’d like to see. First is a global undo button. It is possible to undo what you type in text boxes, but it will be wonderful to erase mistakes when you move or add elements. Secondly, Weebly does not have a general media database that keeps all your pictures. You’ll have to re-upload images for each and every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Program is Ideal for Me?
We would say the main question to ask yourself is. Do I wish to market online? Quite simply, if you do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It provides all you need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header using slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module to let users register and access private sections of the website
If some of the Above are must-haves for your site, you’ll have 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 Website Rank On Google?
Let’s get 1 thing out of the way first. if You are an innovative search engine optimization specialist who absolutely needs to rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive keyword, you may have a tough time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There’s a free app that allows you add headings from h1 to h6, but it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly doesn’t incorporate it in their system.
· Particular 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 isn’t in English. Same with the blog posts, they will have’/blog/’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is done via code. But you are on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does matters really Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize them, along as Alt texts for pictures. This is especially important to position your images. Free Websites Net
· 301 redirects. It is possible to control them to prevent broken links as soon as a page URL was changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at controlling the images you upload. This improves speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a little Curious about SEO? Do not forget that we have a full guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
Just as we Know, really safe. The business takes security very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all programs. The free tier will run on https which offers an excess layer of security. Especially important for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. charge 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 conserving your website as a .zip file regularly. And there’s no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, 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’ve Got a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the key pros and cons. However, we want to provide you a quick overview of the main features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly does not have a ton of template designs (around 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are different classes out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on each Apparatus (by being reactive ), and they can be adapted to match your own personal requirements, together with the templates as a foundation. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Obviously, if You are all about layout, and absolutely have to be able to personalize it down to the last pixel, so you should have a look at Wix also. Their template selection is unmatched and they have an even more elastic editor…
… unless you’re confident with coding. This Is because Weebly, unlike other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig under the hood and change the CSS and HTML? You’ll have free reign here, as you can see in the image above.
Ecommerce. Is a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We would say yes, with a caveat. It’s great to Sell physical and digital products for small and medium-sized stores, but not for big ones. Even though you may use the export and import function to handle large number of items, you might find Weebly lacking in features such as enormous stores.
For instance, we do not like that there Are not any offline payment choices (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it’s also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for example (but also has less features). Free Websites Net
Finally, it’s worth noting that even though You can create a store with the Starter and Pro plan, updating to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to get the automatic delivery and sales tax calculator, which is extremely useful for serious shop owners. What’s more, you won’t have to pay an additional transaction charge of 3%.
Still confused About the many online store plans? You may discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program shop. Can I Boost My Site 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. Many 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 might shut down one day. Additionally a pity the apps made by Weebly are rather restricted.
However, one thing all of the programs have in Common is that a super easy installation feature. Click and bam! All apps are tested and will work immediately on your own website. We tried some cool ones such as a way to add tables, event calendars, and info bars to display specific info. Our only qualm is that the quality and quantity of programs is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Using Weebly
Here’s What I found to be the experts of Weebly — not just compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all of the sites which are constructed in their platform. That can be good or awful, however in Weebly’s case, it is an expert. They have rapid load rates. Their sites are optimized for their own hosting. They treat safety against hackers and spam. With business plans, they even install and maintain SSL across your entire website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and security risks, but it’s an advantage for many website owners to have somebody else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with pro and completely free accounts, so it is 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 do I do today?” That process is known as onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software manufacturer does not want to be bothersome, but they also want to help. I really like how Weebly assembles in solid onboarding and instruction not only via email drip sequence but also via small info buttons constructed with their own platform.
Once You sign up, it’s straightforward to dive in. Free Websites Net
Site Building Process
One Advertised advantage of utilizing a comprehensive website builder is you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop components. What you see in the builder is exactly what you receive on the website.
It’s Not always that simple. There is a whole lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” The majority of us really mean”I wish to click and drag this element and move it to a general area where it’ll look great — you know, automatically focused, etc.” Put simply, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You wish to do something, but also have a bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop really functions. And, for the control freaks among us, they supply access to a custom CSS module, so which you can edit the template to exactly your own choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly offers an email service option along with also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they offer email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive system, customer service is able to troubleshoot and correct any issue. This is a massive advantage of site builder platforms generally, but especially using Weebly because they have phone support.
If You conduct your site, you’ve got to figure out just who will correct a problem prior to getting in contact with them. Together with Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of building your own site on your host is you don’t have to depend on a platform’s attribute set. If you proceed the stage route, it’s key to make certain they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They have got all the fundamentals — like website functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level customized code placement.
Even Past the advanced necessities, Weebly also includes features including forums, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I’ll cover separately below.
If You go the all-inclusive website builder route, Weebly’s feature set must offer everything you will need for typical personal/business websites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you do want to be specifically aware of innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in attributes, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome it by allowing 3rd Party apps (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
With your Own WordPress site, adding functionality is as easy as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can navigate their climbing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re huge offline and wish to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That’s the reason why they bought Weebly — and the future is really bright for Weebly’s ecommerce 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 shops) and you would like to market online, the Weebly offers a ready-made alternative with closely integrated ecommerce features that should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I’ve Been using site builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com times and have been paying attention to this sector for the previous 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-growing marketplace, a company’s structure and end goals will dictate how it acts and what investments it gets. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary tremendously among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for organic expansion. But in 2018, they sold to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that could be a huge drawback. Acquisitions are renowned for ruining value and companies. However, this acquisition has a Massive upside for a single market segment —
If You really do not mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiry. A pretty good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Overall Pricing is very competitive not only compared to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with purchasing your hosting. Their Starter plan begins around $8/mo when paid up front. And they do not have the common caps of other website builders. The Guru plan adds solid features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll notice that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no caps on webpages 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 own hosting, is considerably cheaper than similar plans with direct rivals.
Compared To constructing your own website on your host and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Cost isn’t everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Using Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the drawbacks. Each piece of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 unique cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management process is precisely what it resembles. It’s an interface that allows you to sort, filter, edit, and print different types of articles on your site. Free Websites Net
Weebly Kind of has that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all the pages on your site. It permits you to drag and drop the hierarchy and click to edit each. But it’s far from an efficient system.
There is No way to add custom content forms (except inside a single page). If you are planning a massive site (like hundreds of webpages ), the content contained in Weebly would require a personal system to keep it sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, but I want content could be easily managed within Weebly.
The Last huge disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is difficult. If you want to move someplace else, such as your own WordPress powered website, Assessing your articles and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult process.
Weebly allows One to export your Page content through zip file but blog articles will need to be manually copied and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain difficult, but it’s something to think about if you’re considering rapidly expanding content or traffic.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, many marketing 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 challenging and/or 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 computer software.
In The jargon — the principal issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, but it is something to be careful 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’re planning for rapid expansion.
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 your Weebly site without switching platforms or doing any distinctive developments. It fits in seamlessly and contains strong functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce package for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful bit of performance, but remember that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online shop platforms such as Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, fundamental stock management, and payment approval. Here’s how Weebly matches on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Great for sites that are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few products. It’s also a good match for anybody testing out products prior to going to a long-term stage. It is not a long-term fit for sites which are eCommerce-first. For all those, an online store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialization eCommerce platform such as Shopify (review) or Bigcommerce (review) are a better match.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the purchase from Square does come with a downside. That is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it even more valuable as a whole for Square. Free Websites Net
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You’re looking to build a long-term content or lead generation website, then I would look at WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for general drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs now, they may not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years past, it was just another site builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding website building tool which is far better than many competitors. It’s easy, uncluttered and easy to use — that is precisely what people with limited technical abilities need in regards to creating their own internet presence.
Obviously, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To see somewhat more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to a domain name is also a little pricey, as they recommend G Suite, that costs $5 per month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, as 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 program for editing your website on the go, or the amount of add-ons available from the app centre makes it robust, and fun to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!