Intro Free Weebly Themes
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s hottest web builders out there. Unlike certain opponents, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than improving their platform’s technologies. Free Weebly Themes
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it looks in practice. In this review, we will look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for producing a web site, blog or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad range of site building solutions, Weebly lives on the finish that’s comprehensive and provides everything you want to begin and develop your site. It is in contrast to solutions where you purchase, install, and handle all the”pieces” of your site separately.
It is Like trading off some control for more convenience.
Using Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a nice development rather than getting and owning your own residence. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise — but you leave the building, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is critical since there’s usually a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality that are contained with Weebly work seamlessly together as a stage. That’s what lets them have drag and drop design, design, and articles.
As Far as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a team compete with choices like WordPress.org (that offers the totally free software to build a website which you have & control — visit my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to choices like typing actual 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 of the companies discussed in this post. My remarks & study derive from my experiences like a paying customer or adviser 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 nicely the drag and drop interface is designed. Just choose the element you want on the left, and place it on your design on the rightside.
You might find that elements snap into position And arrange themselves flawlessly on the page. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it is quite 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 would like to edit and type your own words from the box. Some other solutions use”entry masks” which are somewhat more abstract and not necessarily 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.
Ultimately, if you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a lot of questions through clear tutorials and step by step guides. Failing that, the service is excellent, whether by email, chat, or phone. Free Weebly Themes
So are there Any drawbacks? That depends. If you want to have more freedom with your designs, then you may feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You should go to get Wix. This competitor 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 website building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d love to see. First is a global undo button. You can undo what you type in text boxes, but it will be wonderful to erase mistakes when you move or add elements. Second, Weebly does not have a general media database that keeps all of your pictures. You’ll need to re-upload pictures for every element that requires them.
Which Weebly Pricing Plan is Best for Me?
We would say the primary question to ask is. Do I want to market 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 will need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro features.
· Fancy header using slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to allow users sign in and access personal sections of the Site
If any 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 Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get 1 thing out of the way . if You are an innovative search engine optimization expert who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive keyword, you may have a difficult time using Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There’s a free program that allows you add headings from h1 to h6, however, it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder Weebly doesn’t integrate it in their system.
· Certain pages (groups and product pages) add a compulsory 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 website articles, they’ll have’/site /’ in the URL structure, which can’t be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is performed via source code. But you are on your own as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the other hand, Weebly does matters actually Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize them, along as Alt texts for pictures. This is especially important to rank your images. Free Weebly Themes
· 301 redirects. You can command 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 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 topic here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
As far as we Understand, really safe. The company takes safety very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all programs. Even the free tier will operate on https which offers an excess layer of security. Especially crucial for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly offered more in the way of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to take care of it manually by saving your site as a .zip file frequently. And there is no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, tracks 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 article 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 notice is that Weebly doesn’t have a whole lot of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are various categories available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on each Device (by being reactive ), and they may be adapted to match your personal needs, together with the templates as a base. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Obviously, if You’re all about layout, and absolutely have to be able to personalize it down to the last pixel, so you need to 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, contrary to other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig beneath the hood and modify the CSS and HTML? You’ll have free reign here, as you can see in the picture above.
Ecommerce. Can be a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We would say yes, with a caveat. It is great to Sell digital and physical products for small and medium-sized shops, but maybe not for big ones. Even though you can use the export and import function to handle large number of things, you might find Weebly lacking in features such as enormous stores.
For instance, we don’t like that there Are not any offline payment choices (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it is also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Free Weebly Themes
Finally, it’s worth noting that even though You can create a store using the Starter and Pro plan, updating to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll get the automated shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very useful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t have 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 Boost My Website 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 built by Weebly, some by third party programmers. For the latter, there is always an (unlikely) chance that it might shut down one day. Additionally a pity the programs made by Weebly are quite restricted.
However, one thing all the apps have in Common is a super easy installation attribute. One click and bam! All programs are tested and will work instantly on your website. We tried some cool ones like a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display special info. Our only qualm is the quality and amount of programs is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Utilizing Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the pros of Weebly — not just compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an general online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all of the sites which are constructed on their platform. That can be good or bad, however 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 whole site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety risks, but it’s an advantage for many website 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 start some piece of software — regardless of how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”okay, what do I do now?” This approach is called onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t wish to be bothersome, but they also want to help. I love how Weebly assembles in strong onboarding and instruction not just via email drip sequence but also via little info buttons constructed with their own platform.
Once You sign up, it’s straightforward to dive in. Free Weebly Themes
Website Building Process
One Promoted advantage of utilizing an all-inclusive website builder is that you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop elements. Everything you find in the builder is exactly what you get on the website.
It’s Not always that easy. There’s a lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” The majority of us really mean”I wish to drag and click this component and transfer it into a general place where it’ll seem good — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” In other words, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You want to do something, but also have a little bit of help.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop actually functions. As well as for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so that you may edit the template to exactly your choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly offers an email support alternative along with 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, customer support is able to troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a huge advantage of website builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly because they have telephone support.
If You run your site, you’ve got to figure out exactly who will correct a problem before getting in touch with them. Together with Weebly, you merely get in contact with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of creating your own site on your own host is that you don’t have to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you go the platform route, it is key to be certain they have all the qualities you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They’ve got all the basics — such as blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level customized code placement.
Even Beyond the advanced requirements, Weebly even includes features like discussion, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover separately below.
If You proceed the comprehensive site builder route, 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 want to be especially aware of advanced options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in attributes, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome it by allowing 3rd Party programs (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
With your Own WordPress site, including functionality is as simple as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can browse their growing (though still somewhat limited) app center.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are huge offline and wish to be larger in the on/offline arena. That’s the reason why they purchased Weebly — and why the future is really bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You’re 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 want to sell on the internet, the Weebly offers a readymade solution with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics that should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I have Been using website builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com days and have been closely paying attention to the sector for the previous five decades. 1 overarching trend is that a company’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing team or the product group.
Even In a fast-growing market, a organization’s construction and finish goals will dictate how it acts and what investments it makes. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ tremendously among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for natural expansion. However, in 2018, they offered to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that could be a huge downside. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying companies and value. However, this purchase has a huge upside for a single market segment —
If You really do not mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiry. A pretty good deal — particularly for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is quite aggressive not only in contrast to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with buying your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts around $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t possess the typical caps of other website builders. The Guru program adds solid features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll notice that everything is accessible and infinite. There are no limits on pages or storage area. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they remove all ads with the first paid grade.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your hosting, is considerably more affordable than comparable plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To building your own site in your host and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Price isn’t everything, however I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Utilizing Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without studying the downsides. Each piece of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management process is exactly what it sounds like. It is an interface that allows you to type, filter, edit, and publish unique kinds of content on your website. Free Weebly Themes
Weebly Kind of features that. It has a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your site. It allows you to drag and drop the hierarchy and click on to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from an efficient system.
There’s 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 contained in Weebly would require a personal system to keep it sorted and readily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, but I wish content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is difficult. If you would like to move someplace else, such as your 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 have to be manually copied and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be hard, but it’s something to think about if you are considering rapidly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, most advertising tools and features can be added to your site. However, since you still do not have 100% control on your site & server — it can be challenging and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, specific Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the principal 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 constraints, especially if you’re planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s advertisement revealing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. It’s possible to sell products from your Weebly site without changing platforms or performing some distinctive developments. It fits in seamlessly and has solid functionality.
The Pricing is cheap. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the complete eCommerce bundle for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice bit of functionality, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, basic inventory management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Ideal for websites that are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few goods. 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 websites which are eCommerce-first. For those, an internet shop you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform such as Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) would be a better fit.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the acquisition from Square does come with a downside. That is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features which make it more valuable as a complete for Square. Free Weebly Themes
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You’re looking to construct a long-term articles or lead generation site, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they may not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years past, it was only another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding website building tool which is better than many competitors. It is easy, uncluttered and easy to use — that is precisely what individuals with limited technical abilities need in regards to creating their own online presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe a bit more templates, for instance. Getting an email address attached to your own domain is also a bit pricey, as they urge G Suite, which 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 very top of the list of website builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools like the iOS or Android program for editing your website on the move, or the number of add-ons out there from the program centre makes it robust, and fun to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!