Intro Great Weebly Sites
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s most popular web builders out there. Unlike particular opponents, they appear less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than improving their platform’s technology. Great Weebly Sites
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it appears in practice. In this review, we will have a look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for creating a web site, site or online store.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad spectrum of website building solutions, Weebly lives at the finish that’s all-inclusive and provides everything you want to begin and grow your site. It is in contrast to solutions where you purchase, set up, and manage all the”bits” of your site separately.
It’s Like trading off some control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is kind of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a nice development instead of buying and owning your own house. You’re still in charge of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure to the house owner. That point is critical since there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality which are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a stage. That is what lets them have drag and drop layout, layout, and content.
As Much as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a team compete with options like WordPress.org (which offers the totally free software to build a website that you have & 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’s dive to the Weebly review.
One Other fast aside — a revelation — I get referral fees from all the companies discussed in this post. My remarks & research derive from my experiences like a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
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 select the element you need on the left, and place it upon your layout on the right.
You’ll Discover That components snap into position And organize themselves perfectly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it’s quite possible to end up with overlapping components. Together with Weebly, no probability of that happening.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you want to edit and sort your words in the box. Some other solutions use”entrance masks” that are somewhat more abstract and not necessarily easy to work with.
The navigation system also works wonders. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Finally, should you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a lot of questions through clear tutorials and step by step guides. Failing that, the support is exceptional, whether by email, chat, or phone. Great Weebly Sites
So are there Any drawbacks? This is different. If you want to have more freedom with your layouts, then you may feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You should go for Wix. This competitor also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that can build the web site for you by itself. You may possibly shave off 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 would be nice to erase mistakes when you add or move elements. Secondly, Weebly doesn’t have an overall media database that keeps all your pictures. You’re going to need to re-upload pictures for every element that needs them.
That Weebly Pricing Program is Ideal for Me?
We would say the main question to ask is. Do I want to sell online? Quite simply, if you really do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It provides all you will need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header using slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to let users sign in and access personal sections of the Site
If any of the Above are must-haves for your site, you will have to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And to get a more comprehensive breakdown, please consult with our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. if You are an advanced search engine optimization expert who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines to get a really competitive key word, you might have a tough time using Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There is a free program that allows you insert headings from h1 to h6, but it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not integrate it in their system.
· Certain pages (categories and product pages) include a mandatory string for 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 website articles, they’ll have’/blog/’ 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 does not help.
On the other hand, Weebly does matters really Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize them, along as Alt texts for images. This is particularly important to position your images. Great Weebly Sites
· 301 redirects. You can command them to avoid broken links when a page URL has been changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at controlling the pictures you upload. This improves speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a little Curious about SEO? Don’t forget that we’ve got a complete guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
As far as we Know, really secure. The company takes security very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all programs. The free tier will operate on https which offers an excess layer of security. Especially important for onsite 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 have to take care of it manually by conserving your site for a .zip file regularly. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, tracks new changes and lets you jump back in time to a previous version of your site.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Great
We have a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the main pros and cons. But, we want to give you a quick summary of the key features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly does not have a whole lot of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are various classes available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on every 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 design, and absolutely need to have the ability to customize it down to the last pixel, you should have a look at Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more flexible editor…
… unless you are confident using coding. This Is because 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 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 stores, but maybe not for big ones. Even though you can use the export and import 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 a month it’s also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Great Weebly Sites
Finally, it is worth noting that even though You’re able to create a shop with the Starter and Pro program, updating to Business and greater makes more sense. You are going to find the automatic delivery and sales tax calculator, which is very useful for serious store owners. What’s more, you won’t have to cover an additional transaction charge of 3 percent.
Still confused About the various online store plans? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program Store. Can I Enhance My Site with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 programs in Quite a few categories like eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Some are free, some are paid. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third party programmers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) possibility that it may shut down one day. Additionally a pity the programs produced by Weebly are quite restricted.
However, 1 thing all 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 website. We tried some cool ones such as a way to include tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special info. Our only qualm is the quality and amount of apps is a marginally inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Using Weebly
Here is What I found to be the experts of Weebly — not only compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a general online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all the websites which are constructed in their own platform. That can be good or bad, however in Weebly’s case, it’s a pro. They have rapid load speeds. Their websites are optimized for their own hosting. They take care of safety against hackers and spam. With business plans, they even install and keep SSL across your whole site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still pace and safety risks, but overall, it’s an edge for many site owners to have someone else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with expert 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”ok, what can I do now?” That approach is known as onboarding, and it is also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software manufacturer does not wish to be bothersome, but they also wish to help. I really like how Weebly assembles in strong onboarding and education not just via email drip sequence but also via little info buttons built with their own platform.
Once You sign up, it’s simple to dive in. Great Weebly Sites
Website Building Procedure
One Promoted benefit of utilizing a comprehensive site builder is you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop components. What you see in the builder is what you get on the site.
It is Not always that simple. There’s a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us really mean”I wish to drag and click this element and transfer it into a general place where it will seem great — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” Put simply, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You wish 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. And, for the control freaks among us, they supply access to a custom CSS module, so which you can edit the template into exactly your own choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly offers an email support alternative along with also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they offer email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive platform, client service is able to troubleshoot and correct any issue. This is a massive advantage of website builder platforms generally, 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 before getting in touch with them. With Weebly, you just get in touch with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of creating your own site on your host is that you don’t have to count on a platform’s feature set. If you go the stage 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 of the basics — such as blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Beyond the complex necessities, Weebly also includes features like discussion, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce options, which I will cover individually below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive website builder route, Weebly’s feature set should offer whatever you will need for typical personal/business sites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you do need to be especially aware of advanced options).
Also — Weebly has plenty of built-in attributes, 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. Together with Weebly — you can browse their growing (though still somewhat limited) app center.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are enormous offline and want to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That is the reason why they purchased Weebly — and the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s ecommerce features.
If You’re starting a website and plan on selling a few things here and there or in case you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you want to sell online, the Weebly provides a ready-made solution with closely integrated ecommerce features that should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I’ve Been using website builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com days and have been paying attention to this industry for the past five decades. One overarching trend is a firm’s structure drives product investment over the marketing team or the product group.
Even In a fast paced market, a company’s structure and end goals will dictate how it behaves and what investments it makes. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ wildly among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for natural growth. But 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 drawback. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying companies and value. However, this acquisition has a huge upside for one market segment —
If You really don’t mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiry. A fairly good deal — particularly for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is very aggressive not only compared to other comprehensive website buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan starts around $8/mo when paid up front. And they don’t possess the typical caps of other website builders. The Pro program adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll see that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no limits on webpages or storage space. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they remove all advertisements with the first paid tier.
Even Their small business pricing, while more costly than doing the same thing on your hosting, is much cheaper than comparable plans with direct rivals.
Compared To building your own site in your host and notably with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite aggressive. Price is not everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Using Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without studying the drawbacks. Each bit of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management process is precisely what it sounds like. It’s an interface which allows you to type, filter, edit, and publish unique types of articles on your site. Great Weebly Sites
Weebly Kind of has that. It has a Pages section that lists out all 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 is No way to add custom content forms (except inside a single page). If you are planning a massive site (like hundreds of pages), the articles within Weebly would need a private system to maintain it sorted and easily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, but I wish content could be easily managed within Weebly.
The Last big disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you would like to move somewhere else, including your WordPress powered website, migrating your content and redirecting your URLs are going to be a challenging procedure.
Weebly lets You to export your Page content through zip file but website content is going to have to be manually copied and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be hard, but it is something to think about if you are considering rapidly expanding content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, many advertising tools and features can be added to your website. However, since you still do not have 100% control on your site & host — it can be difficult or not impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the principal issue isn’t having”root” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, however it is something to be careful of if you’re planning a long-term project.
For Most all website owners with typical traffic — you’ll want to know about the constraints, especially if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s ad revealing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. You can sell products from the Weebly site without switching platforms or doing some distinctive developments. It fits in seamlessly and contains solid performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce package for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice piece of functionality, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic stock management, and payment approval. Here is how Weebly matches on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for websites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few products. It’s also a good fit for anyone testing out products prior to moving to a long-term platform. It is not a long-term match for websites that are eCommerce-first. For those, an online shop you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) would be a much better fit.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the acquisition from Square does come with a downside. That’s regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features which make it more precious as a whole for Square. Great Weebly Sites
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent company.
If You’re looking to construct a long-term articles or direct generation site, then I would consider WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs now, they may not in the future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years past, it was just another site builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding site building tool which is better than many competitors. It’s easy, uncluttered and simple to use — which is precisely what people with limited technical abilities need when it comes to making their own online presence.
Of course, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To see somewhat more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to your own domain name is also a little expensive, as they recommend G Suite, that 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 very top of the list of website builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools such as the iOS or Android app for editing your website on the go, or the number of add-ons out there in 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!