With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s most popular web builders out there. Unlike particular competitors, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technology. Weebly/Kings-Banner
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s find out how it looks in practice. In this review, we’ll look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for producing a web site, blog or online store.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide spectrum of site building alternatives, Weebly lives at the finish that is comprehensive and provides all you want to get started and develop your site. It is compared to options where you buy, install, and handle all of the”pieces” of your site separately.
It’s Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is kind of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a nice development instead of getting and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decoration, cleaning, and everything living-wise — but you leave the building, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is critical since there’s usually a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality which are contained with Weebly work seamlessly together as a platform. That is what lets them have drag and drop layout, layout, and content.
As Far as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a team compete with choices like WordPress.org (which offers the totally free software to build a website that you own & control — see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing real HTML code into a text document. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive into the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a disclosure — I get referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this informative article. My opinions & research are based on my experiences like a paying client or adviser to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Good question. The first thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface was created. Just select the element you need on the left, and set it on your design on the rightside.
You’ll find that elements snap into position And arrange themselves flawlessly on the webpage. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it is quite possible to end up with overlapping components. With Weebly, no probability 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 from the box. Some other solutions use”entry masks” which are a bit more subjective and not always easy to utilize.
The navigation system also works miracles. You can dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Finally, if 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 exceptional, whether by email, chat, or phone. Weebly/Kings-Banner
So are there Any downsides? That is different. If you want to have more freedom with your designs, then you might feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You should go for Wix. This competitor also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that can build the web site for you by itself. You may perhaps shave a couple of minutes of your website building time.
There are also two things we’d like to see. First is a worldwide 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. Secondly, Weebly does not 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’d say the main question to ask is. Do I want to market online? Quite simply, if you really do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It will offer everything you need for displaying information 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 register and access personal sections of the website
If any of those Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll need to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And for a more comprehensive breakdown, please consult with our complete Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let us get 1 thing out of the way first. if You are an innovative SEO specialist who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines to get a very competitive key word, you may have a tough 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 insert key words from h1 to h6, however, it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder Weebly does not incorporate it in their system.
· Particular 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 site is not in English. Same with the blog articles, they’ll have’/site /’ in the URL structure, which can not be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is done via source code. However, you’re on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the other hand, Weebly does matters really Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize them, along as Alt texts for images. This is particularly important to position your images. Weebly/Kings-Banner
· 301 redirects. It is possible to control them to prevent broken links as soon as a page URL was changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a great job at compressing the images you upload. This enhances speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a bit Confused about SEO? Do not forget that we have a full guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
As far as we Understand, very secure. The company takes safety very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will operate on https that offers an extra layer of safety. Especially important for on-site 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 have to take care of it manually by saving your site as a .zip file regularly. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, tracks new changes and lets you jump back in time to a previous version of your site.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Great
We have a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you can read the key pros and cons. But, we want to give you a quick overview of the key features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly does not have a whole lot of template layouts (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one that you like. There are different classes available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on every Device (by being reactive ), and they may be adapted to match your personal needs, together with the templates as a foundation. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Of course, if You are all about layout, and absolutely have to have the ability to customize it down to the last pixel, so you should check out Wix also. Their template selection is unmatched and they have a much more flexible editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is because Weebly, contrary to 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, because you can see in the image above.
Ecommerce. Is a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We’d say yes, with a caveat. It is great to Sell digital and physical products for small and medium-sized shops, but maybe 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 don’t like this there Are not any offline payment options (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it is also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Weebly/Kings-Banner
Finally, it is worth noting that even though You can create a store with the Starter and Pro plan, updating to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to find the automated shipping and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful 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 discover detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App shop. 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 built by Weebly, some by third party programmers. For the latter, there’s always an (unlikely) possibility that it might shut down a single day. Also a shame the programs produced by Weebly are quite limited.
However, 1 thing all the programs have in Common is a super simple installation attribute. Click and bam! All programs are tested and will work immediately on your website. We attempted some cool ones like a way to include tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special info. Our only qualm is that the quality and quantity of programs is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Utilizing Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the experts of Weebly — not just compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all the websites which are built on their own platform. That may be good or awful, but in Weebly’s situation, it is a pro. They have rapid load rates. Their sites are optimized for their own hosting. They take care of safety against spam and hackers. With company plans, they install and maintain SSL across your entire website. Here is my speed test.
There Are still pace and safety dangers, but overall, it’s an advantage for many website owners to have someone else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with pro and free accounts, so it’s a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start some piece of software — no matter how instinctive — there is that moment where you think”ok, what can I do now?” That process is called onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to execute well.
The Software maker does not want to be annoying, but they also wish to help. I love how Weebly builds in solid onboarding and education not only via email drip sequence but also via little info buttons constructed with their platform.
After You join, it’s simple to dive in. Weebly/Kings-Banner
Site Building Procedure
One Advertised benefit of using an all-inclusive site builder is you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop components. What you see in the builder is exactly what you get on the site.
It is Not necessarily that easy. There’s a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” Most of us actually mean”I want to click and drag this component and move it to a general area where it’ll seem good — you know, automatically centered, etc.” Put simply, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You want to do the thing, but also have a little bit of help.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop actually works. As well as for the control freaks among us, they supply access to some custom CSS module, so which you can edit the template into precisely your choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email service option and a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they offer email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive platform, customer support is able to troubleshoot and correct any issue. This is a huge advantage of site builder platforms generally, but especially with Weebly because they have telephone support.
If You conduct your site, you’ve got to figure out exactly who will fix a problem before getting in contact with them. Together with Weebly, you just get in touch with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of building your own site on your host is you don’t need to count on a platform’s attribute set. If you proceed the stage route, it’s key to make certain they have all the qualities you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all of the basics — such as blog performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code positioning.
Even Beyond the complex necessities, Weebly even includes features including forums, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce options, which I will cover individually below.
If You go the comprehensive site builder route, Weebly’s feature set should provide whatever you will need for typical personal/business websites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do want to be especially aware of advanced options).
Also — Weebly has plenty 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).
Together with your Own WordPress site, including performance is as easy as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can navigate their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app centre.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They are enormous offline and want to be larger in the on/offline arena. That is the reason why they bought Weebly — and why the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You’re starting a website and plan on selling a couple of things here and there or in case you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up stores ) and you want to sell on the internet, the Weebly provides a ready-made solution with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics that should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I’ve Been using site builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com days and have been closely paying attention to the industry for the previous 5 years. One overarching trend is a company’s structure drives product investment over the marketing group or the product team.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a company’s structure and end goals will dictate how it acts and what investments it makes. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary tremendously among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for natural growth. However, in 2018, they sold to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that might be a big drawback. Acquisitions are renowned for ruining value and companies. However, this acquisition has a huge upside for a single market segment —
If You do not mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiry. A pretty good deal — particularly for temporary sites.
Overall Pricing is very aggressive not only compared to other comprehensive site buildersbut also with buying your own 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 plan adds sound features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll notice that everything is accessible and unlimited. There are no limits on webpages or storage space. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they remove all advertisements with the first paid tier.
Even Their small business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your own hosting, is considerably cheaper than similar plans with direct competitors.
Compared To constructing your own website on your server and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite aggressive. Price is not everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Using Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without looking at the downsides. Every piece of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management system is precisely what it sounds like. It’s an interface which permits you to type, filter, edit, and publish different kinds of articles on your website. Weebly/Kings-Banner
Weebly Kind of has that. It has a Pages section that lists out all the pages on your website. It allows you to drag and drop the hierarchy and then click to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from a efficient system.
There’s No method to add custom content forms (except within an individual page). If you’re planning a large site (like hundreds of webpages ), the content within Weebly would need a private system to maintain it sorted and easily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however that I want content could be easily handled within Weebly.
The Last big disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you would like to move somewhere else, including your own WordPress powered site, Assessing your articles and redirecting your URLs will be a difficult process.
Weebly lets You to export your Page content through zip file but blog content is going to have to be manually duplicated or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be hard, but it’s something to think about if you’re planning on rapidly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, most marketing tools and features can be added to your website. However, as you still do not have 100% control on your site & server — it can be difficult or not impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as 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 is not 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’re planning a long-term project.
For Most all site owners with average traffic you’ll want to be aware of the constraints, particularly if you are planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad showing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce functionality. You can sell products from the Weebly site without switching platforms or doing some distinctive developments. It fits in seamlessly and has strong functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the full eCommerce package for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful bit of functionality, but keep in mind that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic inventory management, and payment approval. Here’s how Weebly matches on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Ideal for websites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc also want to sell a few goods. Additionally, it is a good fit for anyone testing out products prior to going to a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term fit for websites which are eCommerce-first. For those, an online store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a much better fit.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the acquisition 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 valuable as a whole for Square. Weebly/Kings-Banner
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You’re looking to build a long-term articles or direct generation site, then I would consider WordPress.com (for content) 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 ago, it was just another site builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is better than most competitors. It’s easy, uncluttered and easy to use — that is precisely what people with limited technical skills need when it comes to making their own internet 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 your domain is also a bit expensive, as they urge G Suite, that costs $5 per month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, since you can see in the FAQ under ).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the very top of our list of site builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools like the iOS or Android program for editing your site on the move, or the amount of add-ons available in the program center makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!