Introduction How Can You Make Your Own Website For Free
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s most popular web builders out there. Unlike certain competitors, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than improving their platform’s technologies. How Can You Make Your Own Website For Free
This all sounds pretty 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 shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide spectrum of website building alternatives, Weebly resides at the end that is comprehensive and provides everything you need to begin and develop your website. It’s in contrast to options where you purchase, set up, and manage all the”pieces” of your website separately.
It is Like trading off a few control for more convenience.
Using Weebly is sort of like renting and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development instead of buying and owning your own residence. You’re still in charge of decoration, cleaning, and what living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure to the house owner. That point is key because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The functionality and design which are included with Weebly work seamlessly together as a stage. That’s what allows them to have drag and drop design, layout, and content.
As Far as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (that offers the totally free software to build a site which you own & control — visit my 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 fast aside — a disclosure — I get referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this informative article. My opinions & research derive from my experiences as either a paying customer or adviser to a paying client.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
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 select the element you need on the left, and set it on your design on the right.
You’ll Discover That elements snap into place And arrange themselves flawlessly on the page. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it’s very 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 type your own words in the box. Some other options use”entry masks” which are somewhat more abstract and not always easy to work with.
The navigation system also works miracles. You can dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Ultimately, if 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 excellent, whether by email, chat, or phone. How Can You Make Your Own Website For Free
So are there Any drawbacks? That depends. If you would like to have more freedom with your layouts, then you might feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You should go for Wix. This competitor also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that can build the website for you by itself. You can possibly shave a couple of minutes of your site building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d like to see. First is a worldwide reverse button. You can undo what you type in text boxes, but it would be nice to erase mistakes once you move or add elements. Second, Weebly does not have an overall media database that keeps all of your pictures. You’re going to have to re-upload pictures for each and every element that requires them.
Which Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We would say the main question to ask yourself is. Do I wish to market online? Quite simply, if you really do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It provides everything you need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or business 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 webpages
· Membership module — to allow users sign in and access private sections of the website
If any of those Above are must-haves for your site, you will have to update to Weebly Pro. And for a more complete breakdown, please consult with our complete Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let us get one thing out of the way . if You’re an innovative SEO expert who certainly must rank #1 on search engines to get a really competitive key word, 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 app 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 isn’t in English. Same with the website posts, they will have’/blog/’ in the URL structure and this can’t be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. But you are in your as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does things actually Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize themalong as Alt texts for pictures. This is particularly important to position your images. How Can You Make Your Own Website For Free
· 301 redirects. You can command them to avoid broken links as soon as a page URL was changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at compressing the pictures you upload. This enhances speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a little Confused about SEO? Do not forget that we have a complete guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
Just as we Understand, very safe. The business takes safety very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all programs. The free tier will operate on https which delivers an extra layer of security. Especially crucial for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Regrettably, we wish Weebly provided more in the method 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’s no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for example, monitors new adjustments and lets you 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 article about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. However, we wish to provide you a quick summary of the key features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly doesn’t have a whole lot of template layouts (around 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are different categories available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on every Device (by being responsive), and they can be adapted to match your personal requirements, together with the templates as a foundation. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Obviously, if You’re all about design, and absolutely have to be able to personalize it down to the last pixel, you should check out Wix also. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more elastic editor…
… unless you’re confident with coding. This Is since Weebly, unlike other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig beneath the hood and modify the CSS and HTML? You will have free reign here, because you can see in the picture 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 shops, but not for huge ones. Although you can use the import and export function to handle large number of things, you might discover Weebly lacking in features such as massive stores.
For Example, we don’t like this there Are not any offline payment options (only 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). How Can You Make Your Own Website For Free
Ultimately, it is worth noting that although You can create a shop using the Starter and Pro program, upgrading to Business and greater makes more sense. You are going to find the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely helpful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to pay an additional transaction fee of 3%.
Still confused About the many online store strategies? You can discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program shop. Can I Enhance My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 apps in A number of classes like eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Some are free, some are compensated. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third party developers. For the latter, there is always an (unlikely) possibility that it might shut down a single day. Also a pity the programs produced by Weebly are rather limited.
However, 1 thing all the apps have in Common is a super simple installation attribute. One click and bam! All programs are analyzed and will work instantly on your own website. We tried some cool ones such as a way to include tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special information. Our only qualm is the quality and amount of apps is a marginally inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Using Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the pros of Weebly — not just compared with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all the websites that are built in their own platform. That can be good or awful, but in Weebly’s case, it is an expert. They have rapid load speeds. Their websites are optimized for their hosting. They treat safety against hackers and spam. With business plans, they install and maintain SSL across your entire site. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and security dangers, but it’s an edge for many website owners to have someone else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with pro and free accounts, so it is a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin any piece of software — regardless of how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”okay, what can I do today?” That process is called onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to execute well.
The Software maker doesn’t want to be annoying, but they also want to provide help. I love how Weebly assembles in solid onboarding and instruction not only via email trickle arrangement but also via little info buttons constructed with their own platform.
Once You sign up, it is simple to dive in. How Can You Make Your Own Website For Free
Website Building Procedure
One Advertised benefit of utilizing a comprehensive site 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 what you get on the website.
It’s Not necessarily that simple. There is a whole lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us actually mean”I want to click and drag this element and move it into a general place where it will seem great — you know, automatically centered, etc.” Put simply, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You wish to do the thing, but also have a 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 supply access to a custom CSS module, so that you may edit the template into precisely your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email service alternative along with a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they provide email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive platform, client service can troubleshoot and fix any matter. This is a huge benefit of website builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly since they have phone support.
If You run your site, you have to figure out just who can fix 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 creating your own website on your own host is that you don’t need to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the stage route, it is essential to be sure they have all the features you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all of the basics — such as website performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level customized code positioning.
Even Past the complex requirements, Weebly also includes features including discussion, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I’ll cover separately below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive site builder route, Weebly’s feature set must offer everything you need for typical personal/business sites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do need to be especially aware of innovative options).
Also — Weebly has plenty of built-in attributes, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party programs (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together with your Own WordPress site, including functionality is as simple as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can browse their climbing (though still somewhat limited) app center.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are huge offline and wish to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That is the reason why they purchased Weebly — and why the future is really bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You’re starting a website 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 market online, the Weebly offers a readymade solution with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics that should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I have Been using site builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com days and have been closely paying attention to the industry for the past 5 years. One overarching trend is a firm’s structure drives product investment over the marketing group or the product group.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a company’s construction and end goals will dictate how it acts and what investments it makes. As I outlined 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 organic expansion. However, in 2018, they offered to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that could be a huge drawback. Acquisitions are renowned for ruining companies and value. However, this acquisition has a Massive upside for one market segment —
If You don’t mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiration. A pretty good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is very aggressive not only compared to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with buying your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. And they don’t have the common caps of other website builders. The Guru plan adds solid features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will see that everything is accessible and infinite. There are no limits on pages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the first paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your hosting, is much more affordable than similar plans with direct rivals.
Compared To building your own site on your host and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very competitive. Price is not everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Using Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without studying the drawbacks. Each piece of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 specific cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management system is precisely what it sounds like. It’s an interface which allows you to type, filter, edit, and publish different kinds of articles on your site. How Can You Make Your Own Website For Free
Weebly Kind of features that. It has a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your website. It allows you to drag and drop the hierarchy and then click to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from a efficient system.
There is No way to add custom content forms (except inside a single page). If you’re planning a massive site (like hundreds of pages), the content within Weebly would need a private system to maintain it sorted and readily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, but I wish content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge drawback of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is difficult. If you would like to move someplace else, such as your WordPress powered site, Assessing your content and redirecting your URLs are going to be a challenging procedure.
Weebly allows You to export your Page content via zip file but website articles will have to be manually copied and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be difficult, but it’s something to consider if you are planning on quickly expanding content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, many marketing tools and features can be added to your website. However, as you still do not have 100% control on your website & server — it can be difficult or not impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, special Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the principal issue isn’t having”root” or”FTP” access to your server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, however it’s something to be aware of if you are arranging a long-term job.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic — you’ll want to be aware of the constraints, particularly if you’re planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s ad revealing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce performance. You can sell products from the Weebly site without changing platforms or performing any special developments. It fits in effortlessly and contains strong functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the complete eCommerce package for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful piece of performance, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, fundamental stock management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Great for sites that are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc also wish to sell a few goods. It’s also a good match for anyone testing out products before moving into a long-term stage. It’s not a long-term fit for sites which are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet shop you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (inspection ) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a better match.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That’s regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features that make it even more valuable as a whole for Square. How Can You Make Your Own Website For Free
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent business.
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 meets your needs now, they may not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was only another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is better than most competitors. It is simple, uncluttered and simple to use — that is exactly what people with limited technical abilities need in regards to making their own online presence.
Of course, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, for instance. Finding an email address attached to a own domain name is also a bit 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 very top of the list of website builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools like the iOS or Android app for editing your site on the go, or the number of add-ons available from the program centre makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!