With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s hottest web builders out there. Unlike certain opponents, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than improving their platform’s technologies. Snappages
This all sounds fairly 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’s any good for producing a website, blog or online store.
On The broad spectrum of website building solutions, Weebly lives at the finish that is all-inclusive and provides all you need to begin and develop your site. It’s compared to solutions where you buy, install, and manage all the”bits” of your site individually.
It’s Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like renting and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development instead of buying and owning your own house. You are still in control of decoration, cleaning, and what living-wise — however you leave the building, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The functionality and design which are included with Weebly work together collectively as a stage. That’s what lets them have drag and drop layout, layout, and content.
As Much as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a team compete with choices like WordPress.org (that offers the free software to build a website that you have & control — see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text document. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive to the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a disclosure — I get referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this post. My remarks & research are based on my experiences as either a paying customer or adviser to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. The first thing you’ll notice Is how nicely the drag and drop interface is designed. Just select the element you want on the left, and place it on your layout on the right.
You’ll Discover That elements snap into position And arrange themselves perfectly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it is quite possible to end up with overlapping components. 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 sort your words from the box. Some other solutions use”entry masks” which are somewhat more subjective 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 just like a charm.
Ultimately, if you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a lot of questions through clear tutorials and step by step guides. Failing that, the service is excellent, whether via email, chat, or telephone. Snappages
So are there Any downsides? This depends. If you would like to have more freedom with your layouts, then you may feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You ought to go to get Wix. This competitor also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the website for you pretty much by itself. You can perhaps shave a couple of 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 everything you type in text boxes, but it would be nice to erase mistakes once you move or add components. Second, Weebly does not have an overall media database that keeps all your pictures. You’ll need to re-upload pictures for every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Plan is Best for Me?
We would say the main question to ask yourself is. Do I want to sell 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 will offer everything you need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header using slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to let users register and access private sections of the website
If any of those Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll 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 us get one thing out of the way first. if You are an advanced search engine optimization expert who certainly must rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive keyword, you might have a difficult time using Weebly. It’s 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, however, it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly doesn’t integrate it into their system.
· Certain pages (categories and product pages) add a compulsory string for your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a huge issue unless your website isn’t in English. Same with the website articles, they’ll have’/blog/’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is done via code. But you are in your as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does matters really 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 own images. Snappages
· 301 redirects. It is possible to command them to avoid broken links when a page URL was changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at compressing the pictures you upload. This improves speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a little Confused about SEO? Do not forget that we have a full guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
As far as we Understand, really secure. The business takes security very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. The free tier will operate on https that offers an excess layer of safety. Especially crucial for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Regrettably, we wish Weebly provided more in the way of backup and restore systems. You have to look after it manually by conserving your site for a .zip file regularly. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, monitors new adjustments 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’ve Got a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the key pros and cons. But, we want to provide you here a quick overview of the key features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly doesn’t have a ton of template designs (around 50), but you should easily have the ability to find one that you like. There are different classes available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on every Apparatus (by being responsive), and they may be adapted to match your personal requirements, using the templates as a base. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Obviously, if You are all about design, and absolutely need to be able to personalize it down to the last pixel, so you should check out Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more flexible editor…
… unless you are confident using coding. This Is since 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’d say yes, with a caveat. It is great to Sell physical and digital products for small and medium-sized shops, but not for big ones. Even though you can use the export and import function to handle large number of items, you might discover Weebly lacking in features such as massive 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’s also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for example (but also has less features). Snappages
Ultimately, it is worth noting that even though You’re able to create a store using the Starter and Pro plan, upgrading to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll get the automated shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely helpful for serious shop owners. What’s more, you won’t have to pay an additional transaction fee of 3%.
Still confused About the various online store strategies? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App shop. Can I Enhance My Site with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 apps in Quite a few classes 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 is always an (unlikely) chance that it may shut down a single day. Additionally a pity the programs produced by Weebly are quite limited.
However, one thing all the apps have in Common is that a super easy installation feature. Click and bam! All programs are analyzed and will work instantly on your own site. We tried some cool ones like a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display specific information. Our only qualm is that the quality and amount of programs is a slightly inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Utilizing Weebly
Here’s What I found to be the pros of Weebly — not only compared with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a general online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all the sites that are built in their own platform. That may be good or awful, however in Weebly’s situation, it is a pro. They have rapid load speeds. Their websites are optimized for their own hosting. They treat security against spam and hackers. With business plans, they install and keep SSL across your entire website. Here is my speed test.
There Are still pace and security risks, but overall, it’s an edge for many site owners to have somebody else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with pro and free accounts, so it is a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start any piece of software — no matter how instinctive — there’s that moment where you think”ok, what do I do now?” That process is known as onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software manufacturer does not want to be annoying, but they also wish to help. I really like how Weebly assembles in strong 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 in. Snappages
Site Building Procedure
One Promoted benefit of using an all-inclusive website builder is you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop components. What you find in the builder is what you receive on the website.
It is Not necessarily that easy. There is a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us actually mean”I wish to click and drag this element and transfer it into a general area where it will look good — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” Put simply, it’s like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You wish to do something, but also have a bit of help.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop really works. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so which you can edit the template into precisely your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email service option along with also 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 system, client support can troubleshoot and correct any matter. This is a huge advantage of site builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly because they have telephone support.
If You conduct your site, you have to work out just who can correct a problem prior to getting in contact with them. Together with Weebly, you merely get in contact with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own site on your own host is that you don’t have to count on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the platform route, it is key to be certain that they have all the qualities you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They’ve got all the fundamentals — like website functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Past the advanced requirements, Weebly even includes features like discussion, membership options, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I’ll cover separately below.
If You go the comprehensive website builder route, Weebly’s feature set must provide whatever you need for typical personal/business sites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you really do want to be especially aware of innovative options).
Also — Weebly has plenty of built-in features, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome it by allowing 3rd Party programs (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together with your Own WordPress site, adding performance is as easy as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can navigate their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app centre.
Anyone 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 bought Weebly — and why the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You are 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 would like to market on the internet, the Weebly provides a ready-made alternative with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics which should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I have Been using site builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com times and have been closely paying attention to the industry for the past 5 years. One overarching trend is that a firm’s structure pushes product investment more than the marketing team or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a organization’s structure and end targets will dictate how it acts and what investments it gets. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary tremendously among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for natural growth. But in 2018, they offered to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that might be a huge drawback. Acquisitions are notorious for ruining 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) then Weeblyis free with no expiration. A fairly good deal — particularly for temporary websites.
Overall Pricing is very aggressive not only in contrast to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan begins around $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not have the common caps of other site builders. The Pro program adds sound features and still 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 cheaper than comparable plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To constructing your own site on your server and especially with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Price is not everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the drawbacks. Each bit 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 resembles. It’s an interface that allows you to type, filter, edit, and print unique types of content on your site. Snappages
Weebly Sort of has that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all the pages on your website. It allows you to drag and drop the hierarchy and click on to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from a efficient system.
There is No way to add custom content types (except within a single page). If you’re arranging a massive site (such as hundreds of webpages ), the content contained in Weebly would require a private system to keep it sorted and easily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, but I wish content could be easily handled within Weebly.
The Last big drawback of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you want to move someplace else, including your WordPress powered site, migrating your content and redirecting your URLs will be a challenging process.
Weebly lets One to export your Page content via zip file but blog articles is going to have to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be difficult, but it’s something to think about if you’re planning on quickly expanding traffic and/or content.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most advertising tools and features can be added to your site. But since you still don’t have 100% control over your website & host — it can be challenging and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection tools, custom analytics packages, custom social stocks, specific Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the principal issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re planning a long-term job.
For Most all website owners with typical traffic you’ll want to know about the constraints, especially if you’re planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad showing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. You can sell products from your Weebly website without switching platforms or performing any special developments. It fits in effortlessly and contains solid functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the complete eCommerce bundle for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful bit of functionality, but keep in mind 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 approval. Here is how Weebly matches on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for websites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few goods. It’s also a good fit for anyone testing out products prior to moving to a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term fit for websites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet shop you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or Bigcommerce (review) are a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the purchase from Square does come with a downside. That is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it even more precious as a complete for Square. Snappages
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You are looking to build a long-term articles or direct generation site, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs now, they may not in the future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years past, it was only another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding site building tool which is better than many competitors. It is easy, uncluttered and easy to use — that is exactly what people with limited technical abilities need when it comes to creating their own internet presence.
Of course, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To see somewhat more templates, as an example. Finding an email address attached to your own domain name is also a little pricey, as they recommend G Suite, that costs $5 a month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, since you can see in the FAQ under ).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the top of the list of site builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools such as the iOS or Android program for editing your site on the go, or the amount of add-ons out there from the app center makes it robust, and fun to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!