Background Steve Weebly
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s hottest web builders on the market. Unlike certain competitors, they appear less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. Steve Weebly
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s figure 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.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide range of website building solutions, Weebly lives on the finish that’s all-inclusive and provides all you need to begin and grow your website. It is in contrast to options where you buy, set up, and manage all the”pieces” of your website separately.
It’s Like trading off some control for greater convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development instead of buying and owning your own residence. You are still in control of decor, 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 control and convenience.
All The design and functionality which are included with Weebly work seamlessly together as a platform. That’s what allows them to own drag and drop layout, layout, and articles.
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 (that provides the free software to build a site which you have & control — see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to choices like typing real HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive into the Weebly review.
One Other fast aside — a disclosure — I receive referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this informative article. My opinions & study derive from my experiences like a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
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 choose the element you want on the left, and place it upon your design on the right.
You’ll Discover That elements snap into place And arrange themselves perfectly on the webpage. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it is quite possible to end up with overlapping elements. With Weebly, no probability of that occurring.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you would like to edit and type your own words in the box. A few other solutions use”entrance masks” that are somewhat more subjective and not always 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, should you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a great deal of questions through tutorials that are clear and step-by-step guides. Failing this, the service is excellent, whether by email, chat, or phone. Steve Weebly
So are there Any drawbacks? This depends. If you want more freedom with your designs, then you might feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You ought to go for Wix. This competition also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that may build the website for you by itself. You can possibly shave a couple of minutes of your site building time.
There are also two things we’d love to see. First is a worldwide undo button. It is possible to undo everything you type in text boxes, but it will be nice to erase mistakes when you add or move components. Second, Weebly does not have a general media database that keeps all your pictures. You’re going to have to re-upload images for every element that needs them.
That Weebly Pricing Program is Ideal 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 will need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header with slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module to allow users sign in and access personal sections of the website
If some of those Above are must-haves for your website, you will have to update to Weebly Pro. And to get a more comprehensive breakdown, please refer to our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. if You’re an advanced search engine optimization expert who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines to get a very competitive key word, you might have a tough time using Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There is a free program which allows you add headings from h1 to h6, but it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder Weebly does not incorporate it into their system.
· Certain pages (groups and product pages) include 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 is not in English. Same with the blog posts, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is done via source code. But you are in your as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does matters really 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. Steve Weebly
· 301 redirects. You can control them to prevent broken links as soon as a page URL was changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at controlling the images you upload. This improves speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a bit Confused about SEO? Don’t forget that we’ve got a full guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
As far as we Understand, really secure. The company takes security very seriously. They market strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all programs. The free tier will run on https which delivers an excess layer of security. Especially important for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly provided more in the way of backup and restore systems. You have to look after it manually by saving your website as a .zip file regularly. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, tracks new adjustments and lets you jump back in time to a previous version of your website.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Good
We’ve Got a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you can read the key 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 different categories out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on each Device (by being responsive), and they can be adapted to match your own personal requirements, using the templates as a foundation. No need for you to get a web design diploma!
Of course, if You’re all about design, and absolutely have to be able to customize it down to the last pixel, you should check out Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more flexible editor…
… unless you’re confident with coding. This Is because Weebly, contrary to other builders, gives 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. Is a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We would say yes, with a caveat. It’s great to Sell digital and physical products for small and medium-sized shops, but maybe not for huge ones. Even though you can use the import and export function to manage large number of items, you might discover Weebly lacking in features for enormous stores.
For Example, we don’t like that there Are not any offline payment options (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it is also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for example (but also has less features). Steve Weebly
Finally, it’s worth noting that although You’re able to create a shop with the Starter and Guru plan, updating to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to get the automated delivery and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful for serious shop owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to pay an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the many online store strategies? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program Store. 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 paid. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third party programmers. For the latter, there is always an (unlikely) chance that it may shut down one day. Also a pity the programs made by Weebly are quite limited.
However, one thing all of the apps have in Common is a super easy installation attribute. One click and bam! All programs are tested and will work immediately on your site. We attempted some cool ones such as a way to include tables, event calendars, and data bars to display special info. Our only qualm is the quality and quantity of programs is a marginally inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Utilizing Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the experts 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 which are built on their own platform. That may be good or awful, however in Weebly’s situation, it’s a pro. They have fast load speeds. Their websites are optimized to their hosting. They treat safety against spam and hackers. With business plans, they install and keep SSL across your whole site. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety dangers, but overall, it’s an advantage for many site owners to have somebody else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with expert and free accounts, so it is a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start any piece of software — regardless of how instinctive — there’s that moment where you think”okay, what do I do today?” This process is called onboarding, and it is also incredibly tough to execute well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t want to be annoying, but they also want to provide help. I really like how Weebly assembles in solid onboarding and education not only via email drip sequence but also via small info buttons built with their own platform.
After You sign up, it’s simple to dive in. Steve Weebly
Website Building Procedure
One Promoted advantage of using an all-inclusive website builder is that you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop components. Everything you see in the builder is what you get on the website.
It’s Not necessarily that simple. There’s a whole lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” Most of us actually mean”I want to click and drag this element and move it into a general place where it will look great — you know, mechanically 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 little 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 supply access to some custom CSS module, so that you may edit the template to precisely your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly provides an email service alternative and 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 system, client service can troubleshoot and correct any matter. This is a massive advantage of website builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly since they have phone support.
If You conduct your site, you’ve got to figure out exactly who can fix a problem before getting in touch with them. With Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of creating your own site on your host is you don’t need to count on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the platform route, it’s essential to make certain that they have all the qualities you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They’ve got all the basics — such as blog performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Past the complex requirements, Weebly also includes features like discussion, membership options, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I’ll cover individually below.
If You go the comprehensive site builder course, Weebly’s attribute set should offer whatever you need for typical personal/business websites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you really do want to be specifically aware of advanced options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in features, but it doesn’t 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, adding functionality is as easy as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can browse their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app centre.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re huge offline and wish to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That’s why they bought Weebly — and the future is really bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You’re 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 sell online, the Weebly offers a ready-made solution with tightly integrated ecommerce features which should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I have Been using website builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com times and have been paying attention to this industry for the previous 5 years. One overarching trend is that a firm’s structure pushes product investment over the marketing team or the product group.
Even In a fast paced marketplace, a company’s construction and finish goals will dictate how it acts and what investments it gets. As I summarized in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ tremendously among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for natural expansion. However, in 2018, they sold to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that might be a big downside. Acquisitions are renowned for destroying companies and value. However, this acquisition has a Massive upside for one market segment —
If You really do not mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiration. A fairly good deal — especially for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is quite aggressive not only in contrast to other comprehensive site buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan begins around $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not possess the typical caps of other site builders. The Pro program adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will see that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no caps on webpages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all ads with the first paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more costly than doing the exact same thing on your own hosting, is considerably cheaper than comparable plans with direct competitors.
Compared To building your own site in your host and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Price isn’t everything, but I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Using Weebly
However, Of course, no Weebly review will be complete without looking at the downsides. Every bit of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management system is exactly what it resembles. It is an interface which permits you to type, filter, edit, and print unique kinds of articles on your website. Steve Weebly
Weebly Sort of has that. It’s 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 on to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from an efficient system.
There’s No method to add custom content forms (except inside a single page). If you are arranging a massive site (like hundreds of webpages ), the articles contained in Weebly would require a private system to maintain it sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however I wish content could be easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is not difficult. If you want to move somewhere else, including your own WordPress powered website, Assessing your articles and redirecting your URLs will be a difficult process.
Weebly allows You to export your Page content via zip file but blog articles is going to need to be manually duplicated or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain difficult, but it’s something to think about if you are considering quickly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most marketing tools and features can be added to your site. However, since you still don’t have 100% control over your website & host — it can be challenging and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, customized email collection tools, custom analytics packages, habit social stocks, 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 project.
For Most all website owners with average traffic — you’ll want to know about the limitations, especially if you’re planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad revealing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce performance. It’s possible to sell products from your Weebly website without switching platforms or performing any distinctive developments. It fits in effortlessly and has solid performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the full eCommerce package for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice bit of functionality, but remember that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online shop platforms like Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, basic 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 products. It’s also a good fit for anybody testing out products before going into a long-term stage. It’s not a long-term fit for websites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet store you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialization eCommerce platform such as Shopify (review) or Bigcommerce (review) would be a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the purchase from Square does include a downside. That’s regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it even more valuable as a complete for Square. Steve Weebly
Features 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 content or direct generation website, then I’d consider 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 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 which is better than many competitors. It’s simple, uncluttered and simple to use — that is precisely what people with limited technical skills need in regards to making their own online presence.
Of course, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To see somewhat more templates, for instance. Getting an email address attached to your domain is also a little pricey, as they recommend G Suite, which costs $5 a month, per user. (Though there are workarounds, since you can see in the FAQ below).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the top of our list of site builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools like the iOS or Android app for editing your website on the go, or the amount of add-ons available in the app centre makes it robust, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!