Intro Weebly Gillian Walker
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s hottest web builders out there. Unlike certain competitors, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. Weebly Gillian Walker
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it looks in practice. In 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, blog or online store.
On The broad range of site building solutions, Weebly resides on the finish that is all-inclusive and provides everything you need to begin and grow your website. It’s compared to solutions where you purchase, install, and handle all the”pieces” of your website individually.
It is Like trading off some control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is kind of like renting and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development rather than buying and owning your own house. You’re still in charge of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise — but you leave the building, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the house owner. That point is key since there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The functionality and design which are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That’s what lets them own drag and drop layout, design, and articles.
As Far as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a team compete with choices like WordPress.org (which offers the totally free software to construct 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 document. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive to the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a disclosure — I get referral fees from all of the companies mentioned in this post. My opinions & research are based on my experiences as either a paying customer or consultant to a paying client.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Good 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 set it on your design on the rightside.
You might Discover That components snap into place And organize themselves perfectly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it is quite possible to end up with overlapping elements. With Weebly, no risk of that occurring.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you would like to edit and type your own words in the box. Some other solutions use”entry masks” that are somewhat more subjective and not always easy to work with.
The navigation system also works miracles. You can dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them like a charm.
Ultimately, if you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a lot of questions through clear tutorials and step by step guides. Failing this, the service is excellent, whether via email, chat, or phone. Weebly Gillian Walker
So are there Any downsides? This is different. If you would like to have more freedom with your layouts, then you might feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You should go for 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.
Additionally, there are two things we’d like to see. First is a global reverse button. It is possible to undo everything you type in text boxes, but it would be wonderful to erase mistakes when you move or add elements. Second, Weebly doesn’t have an overall media database that keeps all your pictures. You’ll have to re-upload images 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 want to market online? Quite simply, if you do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It provides everything you will need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or business 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 webpages
· Membership module — to let users register and get private sections of the website
If some of the Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll need to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And to get a more complete breakdown, please refer to our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let us get 1 thing out of the way . if You’re an advanced search engine optimization expert who certainly needs to rank #1 on search engines for a very competitive key word, you may have a difficult time with Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There is a free program which lets you add key words from h1 to h6, but it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly doesn’t incorporate it in their system.
· Certain pages (categories and product pages) add a mandatory string to your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a massive issue unless your website isn’t in English. Same with the website articles, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure and this can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via source code. But you are on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the other hand, Weebly does things really Well in regards 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 images. Weebly Gillian Walker
· 301 redirects. It is possible to command them to avoid broken links as soon as a page URL was changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at controlling the pictures you upload. This enhances speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a bit Curious about SEO? Do not forget that we have a complete guide on the subject 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 market strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all programs. The free tier will run on https that offers an excess layer of safety. Especially important for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly offered more in the method of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to look after it manually by conserving your website as a .zip file frequently. And there is 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 Good
We have a Detailed post 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 notice is that Weebly does not have a ton of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one that you like. There are different categories available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on each Apparatus (by being reactive ), and they can be adapted to match your personal needs, using the templates as a base. No need for you to receive a web design degree!
Of course, if You’re all about design, and absolutely need to be able to personalize 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 elastic editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is because Weebly, unlike other builders, provides you access to the template source code.
Want to dig beneath the hood and modify 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 would say yes, with a caveat. It is great to Sell digital and physical products for small and medium-sized stores, but not for huge ones. Even though you can use the export and import function to manage many things, you might find Weebly lacking in features for massive stores.
For instance, we do not like this there Are not any offline payment options (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it is also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for example (but also has less features). Weebly Gillian Walker
Finally, it’s worth noting that even though You can create a shop using the Starter and Pro plan, updating to Business and greater makes more sense. You are going to get the automatic delivery and sales tax calculator, which is extremely useful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t have to pay an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the various online store strategies? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program shop. Can I Boost My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 programs in A number of classes like eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Many are free, some are paid. Some are built by Weebly, some by third-party developers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) chance that it may shut down a single day. Also a shame the programs made by Weebly are rather limited.
However, one thing all of the apps have in Common is that a super simple installation feature. Click and bam! All apps are tested and will work immediately on your website. We tried some cool ones like a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display special info. Our only qualm is the quality and quantity of programs is a slightly inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Using Weebly
Here is What I found to be the pros of Weebly — not only compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all the websites that are constructed in their own platform. That can be good or awful, however in Weebly’s case, it’s an expert. They have rapid load speeds. Their websites are optimized to their hosting. They treat security against spam and hackers. With company plans, they even install and keep SSL across your entire site. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety risks, but it’s an advantage for many site owners to have someone else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with expert and free accounts, so it is a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start any piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”okay, what can I do today?” That process is known as onboarding, and it is also incredibly hard to execute well.
The Software manufacturer doesn’t wish to be bothersome, but they also want to provide help. I really like how Weebly assembles in solid onboarding and education not just via email drip arrangement but also via small info buttons constructed with their platform.
Once You sign up, it is simple to dive in. Weebly Gillian Walker
Site Building Process
One Promoted advantage of utilizing a comprehensive website builder is you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop elements. What you find in the builder is exactly what you receive on the website.
It’s Not always that simple. There’s a whole lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” The majority of us actually mean”I want to click and drag this component and move it into a general place where it will seem great — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” Put simply, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You wish to do the thing, but also have a bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop actually works. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to some custom CSS module, so which you may edit the template to precisely your choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly offers an email service alternative and a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they offer email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive system, customer support can troubleshoot and fix any matter. This is a massive benefit of website builder platforms in general, but especially with Weebly because they have phone support.
If You conduct your site, you’ve got to work out exactly who can fix a problem prior to getting in touch with them. Together with Weebly, you merely get in contact with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of creating your own site on your own host is you don’t need to count on a platform’s feature set. If you go the platform route, it is essential to make certain they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They’ve got all of the fundamentals — such as website functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.
Even Past the advanced necessities, Weebly also includes features like forums, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I’ll cover individually below.
If You proceed the comprehensive website builder route, Weebly’s feature set must offer whatever you need for typical personal/business sites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do need to be especially aware of advanced options).
Additionally — 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, including functionality is as easy as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can navigate their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are enormous offline and wish to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That’s the reason why they bought Weebly — and the future is really bright for Weebly’s ecommerce features.
If You are starting a website and plan on selling a couple of things here and there or if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up stores ) and you would like to sell online, the Weebly provides a readymade alternative with closely integrated ecommerce features which should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I’ve Been using site builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com times and have been paying attention to this industry for the previous five decades. One overarching trend is that a company’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing team or the product group.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a company’s construction and end targets will dictate how it acts and what investments it makes. As I summarized 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 growth. But in 2018, they sold to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that could be a huge downside. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying value and companies. However, this acquisition has a huge upside for a single market segment —
If You do not mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiry. A pretty good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Overall Pricing is quite competitive not only in contrast to other all-inclusive website buildersbut also with purchasing your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t possess the common caps of other site builders. The Guru plan adds sound features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no limits on pages or storage area. And unlike competitors like Wix, they remove all ads with the initial paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your own hosting, is considerably cheaper than similar plans with direct competitors.
In comparison To constructing your own website on your host and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Price isn’t everything, however I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Using Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without studying the downsides. Each bit of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 unique cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management system is precisely what it resembles. It is an interface that allows you to type, filter, edit, and publish unique types of articles on your website. Weebly Gillian Walker
Weebly Kind of has that. It has 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. But it’s far from a efficient system.
There’s No way to add custom content types (except within an individual page). If you are planning a massive site (such as hundreds of webpages ), the articles contained in Weebly would need a private system to maintain it all sorted and easily reachable.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, however I wish content could be easily managed within Weebly.
The Last huge drawback of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you would like to move someplace else, such as your own WordPress powered site, Assessing your articles and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult process.
Weebly allows One to export your Page content through zip file but website articles is going to have to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be difficult, but it is something to consider if you are considering rapidly expanding content or traffic.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most marketing tools and attributes can be added to your website. But as you still don’t have 100% control over your site & server — it can be challenging and/or impossible to add 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 principal issue isn’t having”root” or”FTP” access to your server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, but it is something to be careful 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, particularly if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s advertisement showing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce performance. You can sell products from your Weebly site without switching platforms or performing some special developments. It fits in seamlessly and has solid performance.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce bundle for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful piece of performance, but keep in mind that it’s not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic stock management, and payment approval. Here’s how Weebly matches on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Great for websites that are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few goods. It’s also a fantastic fit for anyone testing out products prior to moving into a long-term stage. It’s not a long-term match for sites which are eCommerce-first. For those, an internet shop you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or Bigcommerce (review) would be a better fit.
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 which make it more valuable as a complete for Square. Weebly Gillian Walker
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they gain the parent company.
If You are looking to construct a long-term content or direct generation website, then I’d consider WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for general drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs now, they might not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years past, it was only another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is better than most competitors. It is easy, uncluttered and easy to use — which is exactly what individuals with limited technical skills need when it comes to making their own internet presence.
Obviously, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, as an example. Finding an email address attached to a domain is also a bit expensive, as they recommend G Suite, that 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 top of our list of website 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 program centre makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!