Background How Can I Build My Own Website For Free
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s most popular web builders out there. Unlike certain competitors, they appear less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. How Can I Build My Own Website For Free
This all sounds fairly good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it looks 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 website, site or online store.
On The broad range of site building alternatives, Weebly lives on the finish that is all-inclusive and provides everything you want to begin and grow your website. It’s compared to options where you buy, install, and manage all the”bits” of your website separately.
It is Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Using Weebly is kind of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a nice development instead of buying and owning your own house. You’re still in charge of decor, cleaning, and what living-wise — but you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure to the house owner. That point is key because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality which are contained with Weebly work seamlessly together as a stage. That’s what allows them to own drag and drop layout, design, and content.
As Much as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (which provides the totally free software to construct a website which you own & control — see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options 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 receive referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this informative article. My remarks & study derive from my experiences like a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. 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 upon your layout on the rightside.
You’ll Discover That components snap into place And organize themselves flawlessly on the webpage. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it’s very possible to end up with overlapping elements. With Weebly, no probability of that happening.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you want to edit and sort your words from 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 like a charm.
Finally, if you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a lot of questions through clear tutorials and step-by-step guides. Failing this, the support is excellent, whether via email, chat, or telephone. How Can I Build My Own Website For Free
So are there Any drawbacks? This is different. If you would like to have more freedom with your layouts, then you might feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You ought to go for Wix. This competition also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that can build the website for you by itself. You can perhaps shave off a few minutes of your website building time.
There are also two things we’d like to see. First is a worldwide reverse button. It is possible to undo everything you type in text boxes, but it will be wonderful to erase mistakes when you add or move elements. Secondly, Weebly does not have a general media database which keeps all your pictures. You’ll need to re-upload images for each and every element that needs them.
That Weebly Pricing Plan is Best for Me?
We’d say the main question to ask is. Do I wish to market online? Quite simply, if you really do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It will offer everything you need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro features.
· Fancy header using slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module to let users register and get private sections of the Site
If any of those Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll need to update to Weebly Pro. And for a more comprehensive breakdown, please refer to our complete Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let us get one thing out of the way . if You are an innovative SEO specialist who certainly needs to rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive keyword, you might have a tough time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There is a free program that allows you insert headings from h1 to h6, but it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder Weebly doesn’t integrate it into 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 huge issue unless your website is not in English. Same with the website posts, they’ll have’/site /’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is done via code. But you’re on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does matters really Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize themalong as Alt texts for images. This is particularly important to position your own images. How Can I Build My Own Website For Free
· 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 fantastic job at controlling the images you upload. This improves speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a little Confused about SEO? Don’t forget that we have a complete guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
As far as we Understand, really secure. The business takes safety very seriously. They market strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. The free tier will run on https which delivers an excess layer of security. Especially important for onsite 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 frequently. And there is no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for example, monitors 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 article about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the key pros and cons. But, we want to give you here a quick summary of the key features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly doesn’t have a ton of template layouts (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 every Apparatus (by being responsive), and they may be adapted to match your own personal needs, together with the templates as a foundation. No need for you to receive a web design diploma!
Of course, if You are all about design, and absolutely have to be able to personalize it down to the last pixel, you should check out Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more flexible editor…
… unless you’re confident with coding. This Is since 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. 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 can use the import and export function to handle many things, you might discover Weebly lacking in features such as enormous stores.
For instance, we do not like that there Are not any offline payment choices (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it is also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for example (but also has less features). How Can I Build My Own Website For Free
Ultimately, it’s worth noting that even though You can create a shop with the Starter and Pro plan, upgrading to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll find the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very useful for serious shop owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to cover an additional transaction charge of 3 percent.
Still confused About the various online store strategies? You can find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App shop. Can I Boost My Website 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 compensated. Some are built by Weebly, some by third-party programmers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) possibility that it might shut down a single day. Also a shame the apps made by Weebly are quite restricted.
However, one thing all the apps have in Common is that a super simple installation attribute. Click and bam! All programs are analyzed and will work instantly on your 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 quantity of programs is a slightly inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Using Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the pros of Weebly — not just in comparison with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a general online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all of the sites which are constructed on their platform. That can be good or awful, but in Weebly’s case, it is an expert. They have rapid load speeds. Their sites are optimized for their own hosting. They treat security against hackers and spam. With company plans, they install and keep SSL across your entire website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and security dangers, 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 pro and free accounts, so it’s a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start any piece of software — regardless of how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”ok, what can I do now?” That approach is known as onboarding, and it is also incredibly tough to implement well.
The Software maker doesn’t wish to be annoying, but they also wish 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 built with their platform.
After You join, it is straightforward to dive in. How Can I Build My Own Website For Free
Site Building Procedure
One Advertised benefit of utilizing a comprehensive site builder is you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop elements. What you find in the builder is what you receive on the website.
It is Not always that easy. There is a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” Most of us really mean”I want to click and drag this element and move it into a general area where it will seem good — you know, automatically focused, etc.” In other words, it’s like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You want to do something, but also have a bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop really works. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to some custom CSS module, so which you can edit the template into exactly your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly provides 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, client support is able to troubleshoot and correct any matter. This is a massive advantage of website builder platforms in general, but especially with Weebly because they have phone support.
If You conduct your own site, you’ve got to figure out exactly who will fix a problem before getting in contact with them. With Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of building your own website on your host is you don’t have to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you go the platform route, it’s essential to be sure they have all the qualities you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They have got all of the basics — like website functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.
Even Past the complex necessities, Weebly also includes features like discussion, subscription choices, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce options, which I’ll cover separately below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive site builder route, Weebly’s attribute set must offer everything you need for typical personal/business sites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you do want to be specifically aware of innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has plenty of built-in features, but it does not have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party programs (think the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together with your Own WordPress site, including functionality is as easy as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can navigate their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are huge offline and want to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That is the reason why they bought Weebly — and why the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s ecommerce features.
If You are 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 would like to market online, the Weebly offers a readymade solution with closely integrated ecommerce characteristics that should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I have Been using site builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com times and have been paying attention to the industry for the past 5 decades. One overarching trend is that a firm’s structure pushes product investment more than the marketing group or the product team.
Even In a fast paced market, a organization’s structure and end targets will dictate how it behaves and what investments it gets. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ wildly among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for organic expansion. 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 could be a huge downside. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying value and companies. However, this acquisition has a Massive upside for one market segment —
If You don’t mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiry. A pretty good deal — especially for temporary sites.
Total Pricing is very aggressive not only in contrast to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with purchasing your hosting. Their Starter plan begins around $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t have the typical caps of other website builders. The Pro program adds solid features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll see 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 initial paid grade.
Even Their small business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your hosting, is considerably cheaper than similar plans with direct competitors.
In comparison To building your own website on your host and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very competitive. Cost isn’t everything, but I love how they structure it.
Cons + Truth About Using Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without studying the downsides. Every piece of software will have complaints. Let’s 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 different types of content on your site. How Can I Build My Own Website For Free
Weebly Kind of features that. It’s 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. But it’s far from a efficient system.
There is No method to add custom content types (except inside a single page). If you’re arranging a large site (like hundreds of webpages ), the content contained in Weebly would require a personal system to maintain it sorted and readily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however that I wish content could be more easily managed within Weebly.
The Last huge drawback 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, Assessing your articles and redirecting your URLs will be a challenging process.
Weebly lets One to export your Page content via zip file but blog content will need to be manually duplicated or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain hard, but it is something to consider if you are planning on quickly growing traffic and/or content.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, many advertising tools and features can be added to your site. However, as you still don’t have 100% control over your website & host — it can be difficult or not impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, custom email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, special Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the main issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, however it’s something to be aware of if you’re planning a long-term job.
For Most all site owners with average traffic — you’ll want to know about the constraints, particularly 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 performance. You can sell products from the Weebly site without switching platforms or doing some distinctive developments. It fits in effortlessly and has strong functionality.
The Pricing is cheap. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the full eCommerce bundle for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful bit of performance, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online shop platforms such as Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, fundamental stock management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Ideal for sites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few products. It’s also a fantastic match for anybody testing out products before moving to a long-term platform. It is not a long-term fit for websites which are eCommerce-first. For those, an online store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) would be a much better fit.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the purchase from Square does include a downside. That is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it more precious as a complete for Square. How Can I Build My Own Website For Free
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent business.
If You’re wanting to build a long-term content or direct generation website, then I’d consider 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 started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was just another website builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding website building tool which is far better than most competitors. It’s easy, uncluttered and easy to use — that is exactly what individuals with limited technical abilities need in regards to making their own online presence.
Obviously, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To see a bit more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to a own domain is also a little expensive, as they recommend G Suite, which costs $5 per month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, since you can see in the FAQ below).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the top of the list of site builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools like the iOS or Android app for editing your website on the move, or the number of add-ons available from the app center makes it robust, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!