Introduction Great Free Websites
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s most popular web builders out there. Unlike particular opponents, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. Great Free Websites
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 producing a website, blog or online store.
On The broad spectrum of site building alternatives, Weebly lives on the end that is comprehensive and provides everything you need to begin and grow your site. It is compared to solutions where you buy, install, and handle all the”pieces” of your site individually.
It is Like trading off a few control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is kind of like renting and customizing an apartment in a wonderful development instead of getting and owning your own house. You are still in charge of decoration, cleaning, and what living-wise — but you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is critical because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The design and functionality which are included with Weebly work together collectively as a stage. That is what allows them to 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.
Website Builders as a team compete with choices like WordPress.org (that provides the free software to build a website that you have & control — see my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to choices like typing real HTML code into a text document. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive to the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a disclosure — I receive referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this post. My opinions & research derive from my experiences as either a paying client or adviser 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 choose the element you want on the left, and set it upon your design on the rightside.
You’ll find that components snap into position And organize themselves flawlessly on the page. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it’s quite possible to end up with overlapping elements. Together with Weebly, no risk of that occurring.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you want to edit and type your words from the box. Some other options use”entrance masks” that are a bit more subjective and not necessarily easy to utilize.
The navigation system also works miracles. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them like a charm.
Finally, should you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a great deal of questions through clear tutorials and step by step guides. Failing this, the service is excellent, whether via email, chat, or phone. Great Free Websites
So are there Any drawbacks? This is different. If you would like more freedom with your layouts, then you may feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You should go to get Wix. This competition also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that can build the website for you pretty much by itself. You may possibly shave off a few minutes of your site building time.
There are also two things we’d like to see. First is a worldwide undo button. It is possible to undo what you type in text boxes, but it would be wonderful to erase mistakes when you move or add components. Secondly, Weebly doesn’t have a general media database that keeps all your pictures. You’re going to have to re-upload pictures for each and every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Program is Best for Me?
We would say the main question to ask is. Do I wish 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 provides all you will need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or business 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 webpages
· Membership module — to let users sign in and access personal sections of the Site
If some of those Above are must-haves for your website, you will have to update to Weebly Pro. And for a more complete breakdown, please refer to our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let us get 1 thing out of the way first. if You are an advanced SEO expert who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines for a very competitive keyword, you may have a difficult time with Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There’s a free app that allows you insert headings from h1 to h6, but it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder Weebly doesn’t integrate it in their system.
· Particular pages (categories and product pages) include a compulsory string to 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 blog articles, they will have’/blog/’ in the URL structure, which can’t 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 actually Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize them, along as Alt texts for pictures. This is particularly important to position your images. Great Free Websites
· 301 redirects. It is possible to command them to avoid broken links when a page URL was changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a great job at controlling the pictures you upload. This enhances speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a bit Curious about SEO? Don’t 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 secure. The company takes safety very seriously. They market strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will run on https which delivers an excess layer of safety. Especially crucial for on-site 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’ve got to take care of it manually by conserving your site for 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 site.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Good
We have a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the key pros and cons. However, we wish to give you a quick summary of the main features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly does not have a whole lot of template designs (around 50), but you should easily have the ability to find one that you like. There are various classes available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on each Apparatus (by being reactive ), and they may 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!
Of course, if You are all about layout, and absolutely need to be able to customize it down to the last pixel, you need to 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 because Weebly, unlike other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig beneath the hood and change 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 physical and digital products for small and medium-sized stores, but not for huge ones. Even though you can use the import and export function to handle many items, you might discover Weebly lacking in features such as massive stores.
For instance, we do not like this there Aren’t 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). Great Free Websites
Ultimately, it is worth noting that even though You’re able to create a store using the Starter and Pro 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 shop owners. Furthermore, you won’t have to cover an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the various online store strategies? 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 Quite a few classes like eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Some are free, some are paid. Some are built by Weebly, some by third-party developers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) chance that it may shut down a single day. Also a shame the programs produced by Weebly are quite restricted.
However, 1 thing all the apps have in Common is that a super easy installation feature. One click and bam! All programs are tested and will work immediately on your own site. We attempted some cool ones such as a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display specific information. Our only qualm is that the quality and amount of apps is a slightly inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Using Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the pros of Weebly — not only in comparison to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all of the websites which are built in their own platform. That can be good or bad, but in Weebly’s case, it’s a pro. They have rapid load speeds. Their sites are optimized for their own hosting. They treat safety against hackers and spam. With company plans, they even install and maintain SSL across your whole site. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still speed and security risks, but it’s an advantage 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 good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start any piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there is that moment where you think”okay, what can I do today?” That approach is called onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software maker does not wish to be annoying, but they also want to help. I really like how Weebly assembles in solid onboarding and instruction not just via email drip arrangement but also via small info buttons constructed with their platform.
Once You join, it is simple to dive right in. Great Free Websites
Website Building Process
One Advertised benefit of using an all-inclusive website builder is that you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop components. Everything you see in the builder is exactly what you receive on the website.
It’s Not necessarily that easy. There is a lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” The majority of us really mean”I wish to drag and click this element and move it into a general area where it’ll look great — you know, automatically centered, etc.” Put simply, it is like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You wish to do the thing, but also have a little bit of help.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop really works. As well as for the control freaks among us, they provide access to some custom CSS module, so which you can edit the template to exactly 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 starter), they provide email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive system, client service can troubleshoot and correct any matter. This is a huge benefit of site builder platforms generally, but especially with Weebly because they have phone support.
If You run your site, you have to work out just who will fix a problem before getting in touch with them. Together with Weebly, you just get in touch with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of building your own site on your own host is that you don’t have to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the platform route, it’s key to make sure that they have all the features you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They’ve got all the basics — such as website performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.
Even Past the advanced requirements, Weebly also includes features including discussion, membership options, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce options, which I will cover individually below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive site builder route, Weebly’s attribute set should offer whatever you 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 does not 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. With Weebly — you can navigate their climbing (though still somewhat limited) app center.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re huge offline and want to be larger in the on/offline arena. That is why they purchased Weebly — and why the future is really bright for Weebly’s ecommerce 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 stores ) and you would like to market on the internet, the Weebly provides a ready-made solution with tightly integrated ecommerce features which should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I’ve Been using site builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com days and have been paying attention to the industry for the previous five years. 1 overarching trend is that a firm’s structure drives product investment over the marketing team or the product group.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a company’s structure and finish targets will dictate how it acts and what investments it gets. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ tremendously among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for organic growth. However, in 2018, they offered to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that might be a big downside. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying companies and value. However, this purchase has a huge upside for one market segment —
If You really do not 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 competitive not only in contrast to other comprehensive website buildersbut also with buying your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not have the typical caps of other site builders. The Guru program adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no caps on pages or storage area. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the initial paid tier.
Even Their small business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your hosting, is much cheaper than comparable plans with direct competitors.
Compared To constructing your own site in your server and especially with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Price isn’t everything, but I love how they structure it.
Cons + Complaints About Using Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without studying the downsides. Every bit of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management process is exactly what it resembles. It is an interface which permits you to sort, filter, edit, and print unique kinds of articles on your site. Great Free Websites
Weebly Kind of features that. It has a Pages section that lists out all the pages on your website. It allows you to drag and drop the hierarchy and click to edit each. But it’s far from a efficient system.
There’s No way to add custom content types (except within an individual page). If you are arranging a massive 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 want content could be more easily managed within Weebly.
The Last huge drawback of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is difficult. If you would like to move someplace else, including your own WordPress powered website, migrating your content and redirecting your URLs will be a difficult process.
Weebly allows You to export your Page content via zip file but website articles is going to need to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be hard, but it is something to consider if you’re considering quickly expanding traffic and/or content.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, many marketing tools and features can be added to your site. But since you still do not have 100% control on your site & server — it can be challenging and/or impossible to include advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, 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’re arranging a long-term project.
For Most all website owners with average traffic — you’ll want to know about the constraints, especially if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is 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 has strong performance.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce package for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice piece of performance, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online shop platforms like Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, basic stock management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly fits about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for websites that are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few goods. Additionally, it is a fantastic match for anybody testing out products prior to going to a long-term stage. It’s not a long-term fit for sites which are eCommerce-first. For all those, an online shop you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a better fit.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That’s regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features that make it more precious as a complete for Square. Great Free Websites
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent company.
If You’re wanting to construct a long-term content or lead generation site, then I’d consider WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs now, they might not in the future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was just another site builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is far better than most competitors. It’s simple, uncluttered and simple to use — which is precisely what people with limited technical abilities need when it comes to creating their own online presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to your domain is also a little pricey, as they recommend G Suite, which costs $5 per month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, as you can see in the FAQ under ).
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 program for editing your website on the move, or the number of add-ons out there from the app centre makes it robust, and fun to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!