Background Weebly Designer Platform Review
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s hottest web builders on the market. Unlike certain opponents, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. Weebly Designer Platform Review
This all sounds fairly good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it appears in practice. Within this review, we will have a look at their drag and drop editor and see if it’s any good for creating a website, blog or online store.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide spectrum of site building solutions, Weebly resides at the finish that is comprehensive and provides everything you want to begin and grow your site. It’s compared to options where you buy, install, and handle all of the”pieces” of your website separately.
It is Like trading off some control for more convenience.
Using Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a nice development rather than getting and owning your own house. You are still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is key since there’s usually a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality that are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a stage. That’s what allows them to own drag and drop design, layout, and articles.
As Far as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a team compete with options like WordPress.org (which offers the totally free software to construct a website which you own & control — see my own 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 receive referral fees from all the companies discussed in this post. My remarks & research derive from my experiences like a paying customer or adviser to a paying client.
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 set it upon your design on the right.
You’ll find that components snap into place And arrange themselves perfectly on the webpage. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it’s very possible to end up with overlapping components. Together with Weebly, no probability of that occurring.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you would like to edit and sort your words from the box. A few other solutions use”entry masks” that are somewhat more subjective 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.
Ultimately, should you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can 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. Weebly Designer Platform Review
So are there Any downsides? That depends. If you want to have more freedom with your designs, then you may feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You should go to get Wix. This competition also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the web site for you by itself. You may perhaps shave off a couple of minutes of your site building time.
There are also two things we’d like to see. First is a worldwide reverse button. You can undo everything you type in text boxes, but it would be wonderful to erase mistakes once you move or add components. Secondly, Weebly doesn’t have an overall media database which keeps all of your pictures. You’ll have to re-upload pictures for every element that needs them.
That Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We would say the primary question to ask yourself is. Do I wish to sell online? Quite simply, if you do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It will offer all you need for displaying information 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 pages
· Membership module to allow users register and access private sections of the website
If some of those Above are must-haves for your site, you will 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 Site Rank On Google?
Let us get 1 thing out of the way . if You are an advanced SEO specialist who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines to get a very competitive key word, you might have a difficult time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free program which allows you add key words from h1 to h6, but it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly doesn’t incorporate it into 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 huge issue unless your website is not in English. Same with the website articles, they will have’/blog/’ in the URL structure and this can’t be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. But you’re in your as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the other hand, Weebly does things really Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize them, along as Alt texts for images. This is particularly important to position your own images. Weebly Designer Platform Review
· 301 redirects. You can control them to prevent broken links when a page URL was changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a great job at controlling the pictures you upload. This improves speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a bit Confused about SEO? Do not forget that we’ve got a complete guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
As far as we Know, very safe. The company takes security very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will operate on https which offers an extra layer of security. Especially crucial for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Regrettably, we wish Weebly offered more in the way of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to take care of it manually by conserving your site for 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 site.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Good
We have a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. However, we wish to provide you here a quick summary of the main features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly does not have a whole lot of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily have the ability to find one you like. There are different classes out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on each Device (by being responsive), and they may be adapted to match your own personal requirements, using the templates as a foundation. No need for you to get 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, you should have a look at Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more flexible editor…
… unless you are 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 change the CSS and HTML? You’ll have free reign here, as you can see in the picture above.
Ecommerce. Can be a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We’d 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. Even though you may use the export and import function to handle large number of items, you might discover Weebly lacking in features for massive stores.
For Example, we don’t like that there Aren’t any offline payment options (only 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). Weebly Designer Platform Review
Finally, it’s worth noting that even though You’re able to create a store using the Starter and Pro plan, updating 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. What’s more, you won’t need to pay an additional transaction charge of 3%.
Still confused About the various online store plans? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program shop. Can I Boost My Site with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 apps in A number of categories such as eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Many are free, some are paid. Some are constructed by Weebly, some by third-party programmers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) possibility that it might shut down one day. Additionally a pity the programs made by Weebly are rather limited.
However, 1 thing all of the programs have in Common is a super easy installation feature. Click and bam! All apps are tested and will work instantly on your site. We tried some cool ones such as a way to include tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special info. Our only qualm is the quality and quantity of apps is a marginally inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Using Weebly
Here’s What I found to be the experts of Weebly — not just compared with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all the websites that are constructed on their 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 to their hosting. They treat security against spam and hackers. With business plans, they install and keep SSL across your whole website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and security risks, but it’s an advantage for many website owners to have someone else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with expert and free accounts, so it’s a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin any piece of software — regardless of how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”ok, what do I do now?” That process is called onboarding, and it is also incredibly hard to execute well.
The Software manufacturer does not want to be annoying, but they also wish to provide help. I love how Weebly assembles in strong onboarding and instruction not only via email trickle sequence but also via little info buttons built with their own platform.
Once You join, it’s straightforward to dive in. Weebly Designer Platform Review
Site Building Procedure
One Promoted advantage of utilizing a comprehensive site builder is you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop elements. What you see in the builder is what you get on the website.
It is Not always that simple. There’s a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” Most of us really mean”I want to drag and click this element and move it to a general area where it will look great — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” Put simply, it’s like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You wish to do something, but also have a bit of assistance.
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 a custom CSS module, so that you can edit the template into exactly your own choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly provides an email support alternative along with also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they offer email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive platform, client service can troubleshoot and correct any issue. This is a massive benefit of site builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly since they have phone support.
If You conduct your own site, you have to figure out exactly who will fix a problem prior to getting in contact with them. Together with Weebly, you merely get in touch with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own website on your own host is that you don’t need to count on a platform’s feature set. If you go the stage route, it is essential to make sure that they have all the qualities you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all the fundamentals — such as website functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.
Even Past the advanced requirements, Weebly also includes features like discussion, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce options, which I will cover separately below.
If You proceed the comprehensive website builder route, Weebly’s attribute set must provide whatever you will need for typical personal/business websites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you really do want to be especially aware of advanced options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot 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).
With your Own WordPress site, adding performance is as easy as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can browse their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app centre.
Anybody 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 purchased Weebly — and why the future is really bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You are starting a website and plan on selling a few things here and there or if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you want to sell on the internet, the Weebly provides a ready-made alternative with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics that should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I have Been using website builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com days and have been paying attention to this sector for the previous 5 years. One overarching trend is that a company’s structure pushes product investment more than the marketing team or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a company’s construction and end targets will dictate how it behaves and what investments it makes. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary wildly among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for organic expansion. 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 could be a big drawback. Acquisitions are renowned for destroying value and companies. However, this purchase has a huge upside for a single market segment —
If You really don’t mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiry. A pretty good deal — particularly for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is very aggressive not only in contrast to other all-inclusive website buildersbut also with purchasing your hosting. Their Starter plan begins approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t have the typical caps of other website builders. The Guru program adds solid features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will see that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no limits on webpages or storage area. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the first paid grade.
Even Their small business pricing, while more costly than doing the exact same thing on your own hosting, is considerably cheaper than comparable plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To building your own website in your host and especially with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite aggressive. Cost is not everything, however I really like how they structure it.
Cons + Truth About Using Weebly
But Of course, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the downsides. Every bit of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 unique cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management system is exactly what it resembles. It’s an interface that permits you to sort, filter, edit, and publish unique types of content on your site. Weebly Designer Platform Review
Weebly Sort of features 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. 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 pages), the content contained in Weebly would need a private system to keep it sorted and readily reachable.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, however I want content could be easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you would like to move someplace else, including your WordPress powered website, migrating your content and redirecting your URLs will be a challenging process.
Weebly lets One to export your Page content via zip file but website content is going to have to be manually duplicated or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain hard, but it is something to think about if you are planning on rapidly expanding traffic and/or content.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, most marketing tools and attributes can be added to your site. But as you still do not have 100% control over your website & server — it can be challenging or not impossible to include advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social stocks, special 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 is not 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 typical traffic you’ll want to know about the limitations, especially if you’re planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s advertisement revealing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. You can sell products from the Weebly site without switching platforms or doing some special developments. It fits in seamlessly and has solid performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce package for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice piece of performance, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online shop platforms such as Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic stock management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly matches about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for sites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc also wish to sell a few products. It’s also a good fit for anyone testing out products prior to going into a long-term stage. It is not a long-term match for sites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet store you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialty eCommerce platform such as Shopify (inspection ) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a 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 is to invest in features which make it even more valuable as a complete for Square. Weebly Designer Platform Review
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You are wanting to build a long-term content or lead generation website, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for general drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they might not in the future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was just another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding site building tool which is better than many competitors. It’s simple, uncluttered and easy to use — which is exactly what people with limited technical abilities need in regards to creating their own internet presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To see a bit more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to your own domain is also a little pricey, as they urge G Suite, that 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 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 move, or the amount of add-ons available in 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!