With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s most popular web builders on the market. Unlike certain opponents, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than improving their platform’s technology. Squarespace
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it appears in practice. Within this review, we’ll 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.
On The broad range of site building alternatives, Weebly lives at the finish that is comprehensive and provides all you need to begin and grow your website. It’s in contrast to options where you purchase, set up, and manage all of the”bits” of your website individually.
It is Like trading off some control for greater convenience.
Using Weebly is sort of like renting and customizing a apartment in a nice development rather than getting and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decoration, cleaning, and everything living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is critical because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The design and functionality that are contained with Weebly work seamlessly together as a stage. That is what lets them own drag and drop design, layout, and content.
As Much as rivalry, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (that offers the free software to construct a website which you have & control — see my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive to the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a revelation — I get referral fees from all the companies discussed in this post. My opinions & study derive from my experiences like a paying customer or adviser to a paying client.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Good question. First thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface is designed. Just select the element you want on the left, and set it upon your layout on the right.
You might Discover That elements snap into position And organize themselves flawlessly on the webpage. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it is quite possible to end up with overlapping components. 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. A few other options use”entrance masks” that are a bit more subjective and not always easy to utilize.
The navigation system also works wonders. You can dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them like a charm.
Finally, if 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 support is excellent, whether via email, chat, or phone. Squarespace
So are there Any drawbacks? That depends. If you would like to have more freedom with your layouts, then you may feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You should go to get Wix. This competitor also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the web site for you pretty much by itself. You can possibly shave off a few minutes of your website building time.
There are also two things we’d like to see. First is a global reverse button. You can undo everything you type in text boxes, but it will be nice to erase mistakes once you add or move components. Secondly, Weebly doesn’t have an overall media database that keeps all your pictures. You’ll have to re-upload pictures for every element that needs them.
That Weebly Pricing Program is Best for Me?
We’d say the primary question to ask is. Do I want to sell online? Quite simply, if you do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It will offer all you will need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or company 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 sign in and get private sections of the Site
If some of those Above are must-haves for your site, you will have to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And for a more complete breakdown, please consult with our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let us get 1 thing out of the way . if You are an advanced search engine optimization expert who absolutely needs to rank #1 on search engines for a very competitive keyword, you may have a tough time with Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free program which lets you add headings from h1 to h6, however, it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not integrate it in their system.
· Particular pages (categories and product pages) add a mandatory 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 blog posts, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is done via source code. However, you are 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. It’s possible to customize themalong as Alt texts for pictures. This is particularly important to rank your images. Squarespace
· 301 redirects. You can command them to prevent broken links when a page URL has been changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Picture 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 have 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 market strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all programs. Even the free tier will operate on https that offers 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’ve got to take care of it manually by saving your site for a .zip file frequently. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, tracks 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 can read the main pros and cons. But, we want to provide you here a quick overview of the main features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly doesn’t have a ton of template layouts (approximately 50), but you should easily have the ability 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 responsive), and they can 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!
Obviously, if You are all about layout, and absolutely need to have the ability to customize it down to the last pixel, so you need to have a look at Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more elastic editor…
… unless you are confident using coding. This Is since Weebly, unlike other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig under the hood and change the CSS and HTML? You will have free reign here, as 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 stores, but not for huge ones. Although you can use the import and export function to handle large number of things, you might find Weebly lacking in features for enormous stores.
For instance, we do not like that there Aren’t any offline payment choices (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it’s also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for example (but also has less features). Squarespace
Finally, it’s worth noting that although You can create a shop with the Starter and Guru plan, updating to Business and higher makes more sense. You’ll get the automated shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely helpful for serious store owners. What’s more, you won’t have to cover an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the many online store plans? You may discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App Store. Can I Boost 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. Many are free, some are compensated. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third party developers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) possibility that it might shut down a single day. Additionally a pity the apps produced by Weebly are quite restricted.
However, one thing all the programs have in Common is that a super simple installation feature. Click and bam! All apps are tested and will work immediately on your site. We attempted some cool ones such as a way to add tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special information. Our only qualm is that the quality and amount of programs is a marginally inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Using Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the experts of Weebly — not just in comparison with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an overall online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all the sites that are constructed in their own platform. That can be good or awful, however in Weebly’s situation, it’s an expert. They have rapid load rates. Their websites are optimized for their own hosting. They take care of security against spam and hackers. With business plans, they install and maintain SSL across your entire site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still pace and security dangers, but it’s an edge for many site owners to have someone else take care of 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 some piece of software — regardless of how instinctive — there’s that moment where you think”ok, what do I do today?” This process is called onboarding, and it is also incredibly tough to execute well.
The Software maker doesn’t want to be annoying, but they also wish to provide help. I really like how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and instruction not just via email trickle sequence but also via little info buttons built with their own platform.
Once You join, it’s straightforward to dive right in. Squarespace
Website Building Process
One Promoted advantage of utilizing a comprehensive website builder is that you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop components. What you find in the builder is exactly what you get on the site.
It’s Not necessarily that easy. There is a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us really mean”I wish to drag and click this component and transfer it into a general area where it will look good — you know, automatically focused, etc.” Put simply, it is 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 actually works. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so which you may edit the template into precisely your choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly provides an email service option along with a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they provide email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive system, customer support is able to troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a massive advantage of site builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly because they have telephone support.
If You run your own site, you have to figure out just who will correct a problem prior to getting in touch with them. With Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Big 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 that they have all the qualities you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all the basics — like blog performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level customized code positioning.
Even Beyond the advanced necessities, Weebly also includes features including discussion, membership options, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover individually below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive website builder route, Weebly’s attribute set should provide everything you will need for typical personal/business websites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do want to be specifically aware of innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has plenty of built-in attributes, but it does not have everything. Platforms overcome it 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 climbing (though still somewhat restricted ) app centre.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re enormous offline and want to be larger in the on/offline arena. That is why they bought 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 in case you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you would like to market on the internet, the Weebly provides a ready-made alternative with closely integrated ecommerce features that should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
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 previous 5 decades. One overarching trend is a firm’s structure drives product investment over the marketing group or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a company’s structure and finish goals will dictate how it acts and what investments it makes. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary wildly among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for organic expansion. But in 2018, they sold to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that might be a huge downside. Acquisitions are notorious for ruining companies and value. However, this purchase has a Massive upside for one market segment —
If You do not mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiration. A pretty good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is quite aggressive not only in contrast to other all-inclusive website buildersbut also with purchasing your hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. And they don’t have the typical caps of other website builders. The Pro program adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will see that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no limits on pages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they remove all ads with the initial paid grade.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your own hosting, is considerably more affordable than similar plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To building your own site in your server and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Price isn’t everything, but I love how they structure it.
Cons + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
But Of course, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the drawbacks. Every bit of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management system is precisely what it resembles. It’s an interface that allows you to sort, filter, edit, and print unique kinds of articles on your website. Squarespace
Weebly Sort of has that. It has a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your site. It permits you to drag and drop the hierarchy and click on to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from an efficient system.
There’s No way to add custom content forms (except within a single page). If you’re planning a massive site (like hundreds of pages), the content within Weebly would require a private system to maintain it all sorted and easily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however I want content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last big disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you want to move someplace else, such as your own WordPress powered site, Assessing your articles and redirecting your URLs are going to be a challenging procedure.
Weebly allows You to export your Page content through zip file but website content will have to be manually duplicated and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be hard, but it’s something to think about if you are considering quickly expanding content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, most marketing tools and features can be added to your site. But as you still do not have 100% control on your site & host — 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 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 is not an unsolvable problem, however it’s something to be aware of if you’re arranging a long-term project.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic you’ll want to be aware of the limitations, especially if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad showing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce functionality. It’s possible to sell products from your Weebly site without changing platforms or performing any special developments. It fits in effortlessly and has strong functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the complete eCommerce bundle for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful piece of performance, but keep in mind that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, fundamental inventory management, and payment approval. Here’s how Weebly matches about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Ideal for websites that are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few products. It’s also a good match for anybody testing out products before going to a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term match for websites which are eCommerce-first. For all those, an online store you have 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’s regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it even more precious as a complete for Square. Squarespace
Characteristics 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 articles or direct generation site, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for general drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs now, they might not in the medium future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years past, it was only another site builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding website building tool that is far better than most competitors. It is easy, uncluttered and simple to use — that is exactly what individuals with limited technical skills need in regards to creating their own online presence.
Of course, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe a bit more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to a own domain name is also a little pricey, as they urge G Suite, that costs $5 a 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 site builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools such as the iOS or Android program for editing your website on the go, or the number of add-ons out there from the app centre makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!