Background Weebly Desktop Version
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s most popular web builders on the market. Unlike particular competitors, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. Weebly Desktop Version
This all sounds fairly 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’s any good for creating a web site, site or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad range of site building alternatives, Weebly resides at the end that is comprehensive and provides everything you want to begin and develop your site. It is in contrast to solutions where you buy, set up, and handle all of the”pieces” of your site individually.
It is Like trading off a few control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is kind of like renting and customizing an apartment in a nice development instead of getting and owning your own house. You’re still in charge of decor, cleaning, and what living-wise — but you leave the building, plumbing, security, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is key since there’s typically a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The functionality and design that are included with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That’s what allows them to have drag and drop layout, design, and articles.
As Much as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a group compete with choices like WordPress.org (which offers the free software to construct a site which you own & control — see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to choices like typing actual HTML code into a text document. 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 post. My remarks & research derive from my experiences as either a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. First thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface was created. Just select the element you want on the left, and place it on your layout on the right.
You’ll find that components snap into position And organize themselves perfectly on the webpage. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it is quite possible to end up with overlapping elements. Together 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 type your own words from the box. Some other options use”entry masks” that are a bit more abstract 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.
Finally, if you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a lot of questions through tutorials that are clear and step by step guides. Failing this, the service is excellent, whether via email, chat, or phone. Weebly Desktop Version
So are there Any downsides? This is different. If you want to have more freedom with your layouts, 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 can build the web site for you pretty much by itself. You may possibly shave off a couple of minutes of your site building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d love to see. First is a global 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 elements. Secondly, Weebly doesn’t have a general media database which keeps all of your pictures. You’ll need to re-upload pictures for each and every element that requires them.
Which Weebly Pricing Program is Ideal for Me?
We would say the main question to ask is. Do I want to sell online? Quite simply, if you really do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It provides everything you need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or company 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 pages
· Membership module — to allow users register and get personal sections of the Site
If any of those Above are must-haves for your site, you will need 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 Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way . if You’re an advanced SEO expert who certainly needs to 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 limits.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There’s a free program which lets you insert key words from h1 to h6, however, it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not integrate it in their system.
· Certain pages (categories and product pages) include a mandatory string to 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 posts, they will have’/blog/’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. However, you’re in your as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the plus side, Weebly does matters really Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize them, along as Alt texts for images. This is especially important to rank your images. Weebly Desktop Version
· 301 redirects. You can control them to avoid broken links as soon as a page URL has been changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at compressing the images you upload. This enhances speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a bit Confused about SEO? Don’t forget that we have a full guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
Just as we Know, really secure. The business takes security very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will run on https that delivers an extra layer of safety. Especially crucial for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. charge 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 conserving your site as a .zip file regularly. And there is no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, monitors new changes and allows you to jump back in time to a previous version of your site.
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 a quick summary of the key features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly doesn’t have a ton of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are various classes available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on each Apparatus (by being responsive), and they may be adapted to match your personal needs, together with the templates as a base. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Obviously, if You are all about layout, and absolutely need to have the ability 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 elastic editor…
… unless you are confident using coding. This Is because 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’ll have free reign here, as you can see in the image 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 big ones. Although you can use the export and import function to manage many items, you might find Weebly lacking in features for massive stores.
For Example, we don’t like that there Aren’t any offline payment choices (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it’s also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Weebly Desktop Version
Ultimately, it is worth noting that even though You can create a store using the Starter and Guru program, updating to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to get the automated shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely useful for serious shop owners. Furthermore, you won’t have to pay an additional transaction charge of 3%.
Still confused About the various online store strategies? You can discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program Store. 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 is always an (unlikely) possibility that it might shut down one day. Additionally a pity the programs made by Weebly are quite limited.
However, 1 thing all of the programs have in Common is a super easy installation attribute. Click and bam! All apps are tested and will work instantly on your site. We attempted some cool ones like a way to include tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special information. Our only qualm is 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 website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all the websites that are constructed on their own platform. That may be good or awful, however in Weebly’s situation, it’s an expert. They have rapid load speeds. Their websites are optimized for their hosting. They take care of security against spam and hackers. With company plans, they even install and keep SSL across your entire website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety risks, but it’s an edge for many website owners to have somebody else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with pro and free accounts, so it is a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin some piece of software — regardless of how intuitive — there is that moment where you think”ok, what do I do now?” This process is called onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software maker doesn’t wish to be annoying, but they also wish to help. I love how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and instruction not only via email drip sequence but also via little info buttons constructed with their platform.
After You sign up, it is straightforward to dive right in. Weebly Desktop Version
Site Building Process
One Advertised advantage of utilizing an all-inclusive website builder is that you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop elements. Everything you see in the builder is exactly what you receive on the site.
It is Not necessarily that simple. There is a whole lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” Most of us really mean”I want to drag and click this component and move it into a general place where it will look good — you know, automatically focused, etc.” In other words, 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 assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop actually works. As well as for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so which you can edit the template into exactly your 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 provide email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive system, client service can troubleshoot and fix any matter. This is a massive benefit of site builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly since they have phone support.
If You run your own site, you’ve got to work out exactly who can fix a problem prior to getting in touch with them. With Weebly, you just get in touch with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of building your own website on your host is you don’t need to count on a platform’s feature set. If you go the platform route, it’s essential to make sure they have all the qualities you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They’ve got all the fundamentals — such as blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Beyond the complex necessities, Weebly even includes features like forums, subscription choices, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover individually below.
If You go the all-inclusive website builder route, Weebly’s attribute 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 specifically aware of innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in attributes, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome it by allowing 3rd Party apps (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
With your Own WordPress site, adding performance is as simple as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can browse their climbing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are huge offline and want to be larger in the on/offline arena. That is 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 if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up stores ) and you would like to market on the internet, the Weebly provides a ready-made solution with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics that should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I’ve Been using website builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com days and have been paying attention to the industry for the past five years. 1 overarching trend is that a firm’s structure pushes product investment over the marketing team or the product group.
Even In a fast-growing market, a company’s structure and finish targets will dictate how it behaves and what investments it makes. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ wildly among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for organic expansion. However, in 2018, they sold to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that could be a huge downside. Acquisitions are renowned for destroying value and companies. However, this acquisition has a Massive upside for a single market segment —
If You really don’t mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiry. A pretty good deal — particularly for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is very competitive not only in contrast to other all-inclusive website buildersbut also with buying your hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. And they don’t have the common caps of other site builders. The Pro plan adds solid features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will see that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no caps on pages or storage area. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the initial paid grade.
Even Their small business pricing, while more costly than doing the exact same thing on your own hosting, is much more affordable than similar plans with direct competitors.
Compared To building your own site on your server and notably with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite aggressive. Price isn’t everything, however I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Using Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without studying the drawbacks. Each bit of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management system is precisely what it resembles. It’s an interface that permits you to sort, filter, edit, and publish different kinds of content on your site. Weebly Desktop Version
Weebly Kind of has that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all the pages on your site. It allows you to drag and drop the hierarchy and click to edit each. But it’s far from an efficient system.
There’s No way to add custom content forms (except inside a single page). If you’re planning a large site (like hundreds of pages), the content contained in Weebly would need a private system to maintain it all sorted and easily reachable.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, however I want content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last big disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is not difficult. If you would like to move someplace else, including your own WordPress powered website, Assessing your content and redirecting your URLs will be a challenging process.
Weebly allows You to export your Page content via zip file but website articles is going to need to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be hard, but it’s something to think about if you are considering 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. However, as you still do not have 100% control on your website & server — it can be difficult and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages, custom social stocks, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the principal issue is not having”root” or”FTP” access to your own 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 site owners with average traffic — you’ll want to know about the constraints, 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 that their eCommerce functionality. It’s possible to sell products from the Weebly site without switching platforms or performing some distinctive 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 wonderful bit of performance, but keep in mind 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 approval. Here’s how Weebly fits about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Ideal for sites which are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few products. It’s also a good match for anyone testing out products before moving to a long-term stage. It’s not a long-term match for sites which are eCommerce-first. For all those, an internet shop you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform such as Shopify (inspection ) or Bigcommerce (review) are a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the purchase from Square does include a downside. That is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features that make it even more precious as a complete for Square. Weebly Desktop Version
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 would consider WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs today, they may not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was only another website builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is far better than many competitors. It is simple, uncluttered and easy to use — that is exactly what people with limited technical abilities need in regards to making their own internet presence.
Of course, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To see somewhat more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to a own domain name is also a little expensive, as they urge G Suite, which costs $5 a month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, since you can see in the FAQ below).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the very top of our list of website builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools such as the iOS or Android program for editing your website on the move, or the amount of add-ons out there in the program center makes it robust, and fun to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!