Intro Weebly Site Builder Review
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s most popular web builders on the market. Unlike certain competitors, they appear less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technologies. Weebly Site Builder Review
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it appears in practice. In 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 shop.
On The broad range of site building solutions, Weebly resides at the end that’s all-inclusive and provides everything you need to begin and develop your website. It is compared to options where you purchase, set up, and handle all of the”bits” of your website separately.
It’s Like trading off some control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a wonderful development rather than getting and owning your own residence. You are still in charge of decoration, cleaning, and everything living-wise — however you leave the building, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is critical since there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The functionality and design that are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a stage. That’s what allows them to have drag and drop layout, layout, and content.
As Far as rivalry, 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 (that provides the free software to construct a site which you own & 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 fast aside — a disclosure — I receive referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this informative article. My remarks & 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?
Fantastic question. The first thing you’ll notice Is how nicely the drag and drop interface was created. Just select the element you want on the left, and place it on your layout on the rightside.
You might find 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. Together 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 from the box. A few other options use”entry masks” which are somewhat more abstract 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.
Ultimately, should you get stuck everywhere, the Weebly knowledge base can answer a great deal of questions through clear tutorials and step-by-step guides. Failing that, the support is exceptional, whether by email, chat, or phone. Weebly Site Builder Review
So are there Any downsides? That is different. If you would like more freedom with your layouts, then you might feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You should go for Wix. This competitor also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the website for you by itself. You may perhaps shave a couple of minutes of your website building time.
There are also two things we’d love to see. First is a global reverse button. You can undo everything you type in text boxes, but it will be wonderful to erase mistakes when you add or move components. Secondly, Weebly does not have a general media database that keeps all your pictures. You’re going to need to re-upload images for each and every element that requires them.
Which Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We would say the primary 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 will offer everything you need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or company 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 let users sign in and access personal sections of the website
If some of those Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll have to update to Weebly Pro. And to get a more complete breakdown, please refer to our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get 1 thing out of the way . if You’re an advanced search engine optimization expert who certainly must rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive keyword, you may have a difficult time with Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free program that lets you insert headings from h1 to h6, however, it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder Weebly doesn’t incorporate it in their system.
· Certain pages (groups and product pages) include a compulsory string for your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a massive issue unless your site isn’t in English. Same with the blog articles, they’ll have’/blog/’ in the URL structure and this can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via source code. However, you are on your own 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 especially important to rank your images. Weebly Site Builder Review
· 301 redirects. It is possible to control them to prevent broken links as soon as a page URL has been changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a great job at controlling the images you upload. This enhances speed, always a blessing for SEO.
Still a little Curious about SEO? Do not forget that we have a complete guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
As far as we Know, really safe. The company takes safety very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all programs. Even the free tier will operate on https that offers an extra layer of security. Especially important for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly offered more in the method of backup and restore systems. You’ve got to take care of it manually by saving your site for a .zip file frequently. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for example, monitors 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’ve Got a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the key pros and cons. However, 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 (around 50), but you should easily be able to find one that you like. There are different classes out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on every Device (by being responsive), and they may be adapted to match your personal needs, using the templates as a foundation. No need for you to receive a web design degree!
Of course, if You are all about design, and absolutely need to be able to customize it down to the last pixel, you need to check out Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more flexible editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is since Weebly, contrary to other builders, provides you access to the template source code.
Want to dig under the hood and modify the CSS and HTML? You’ll have free reign here, as you can see in the image above.
Ecommerce. Can be 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 stores, but not for big ones. Although you can use the export and import function to handle large number of things, you might find Weebly lacking in features such as enormous stores.
For Example, we don’t like this there Are not any offline payment choices (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it is also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Weebly Site Builder Review
Ultimately, it’s worth noting that although You can create a shop with the Starter and Pro program, updating to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll get the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely useful for serious shop owners. What’s more, you won’t need to cover an additional transaction charge of 3 percent.
Still confused About the various online store strategies? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App Store. Can I Enhance My Website 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 may shut down a single day. Additionally a shame the programs made by Weebly are quite restricted.
However, one thing all of the programs have in Common is a super easy installation attribute. Click and bam! All programs are tested and will work immediately on your own site. We attempted some cool ones such as a way to add tables, event calendars, and info bars to display special info. Our only qualm is that the quality and amount of programs is a marginally inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Using Weebly
Here’s What I discovered to be the pros 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 websites which are constructed in their own platform. That may be good or bad, but in Weebly’s case, it’s a pro. They have fast load speeds. Their sites are optimized to their hosting. They treat safety against hackers and spam. With company plans, they install and maintain SSL across your entire site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still pace and security dangers, but it’s an advantage for many website owners to have somebody else take care of speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with pro and completely free accounts, so it is a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin any piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there is that moment where you think”ok, what can I do now?” This approach is called onboarding, and it’s also incredibly tough to execute well.
The Software manufacturer does not wish to be bothersome, but they also want to provide help. I really like how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and instruction not only via email trickle sequence but also via small info buttons built with their own platform.
Once You sign up, it’s straightforward to dive in. Weebly Site Builder Review
Site Building Process
One Promoted advantage of utilizing an all-inclusive site builder is that you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop components. What you see in the builder is exactly what you get on the website.
It’s Not necessarily that simple. There is a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us actually mean”I wish to click and drag this element and move it to a general area where it will look great — you know, automatically centered, etc.” Put simply, it’s like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You wish to do the thing, but also have a little bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop really functions. As well as for the control freaks among us, they supply access to some custom CSS module, so that you can edit the template into exactly your choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly provides an email support alternative and also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they offer email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive platform, client support is able to troubleshoot and correct any matter. This is a huge benefit of website builder platforms generally, but especially with Weebly since they have phone support.
If You run your own site, you have to figure out exactly who can fix a problem before getting in touch with them. With Weebly, you just 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 depend on a platform’s attribute set. If you go the stage route, it’s key to be certain they have all the qualities you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They’ve got all of the basics — 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 complex requirements, Weebly even includes features including discussion, membership options, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce options, which I’ll cover separately below.
If You go the comprehensive website builder route, Weebly’s feature set must provide everything you need for typical personal/business websites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do want to be specifically aware of advanced options).
Additionally — Weebly has plenty of built-in features, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party programs (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together with your Own WordPress site, adding performance is as easy as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can browse their growing (though still somewhat limited) app center.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re enormous offline and wish to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That is why they purchased Weebly — and why the future is really bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You are starting a site and plan on selling a couple of things here and there or in case you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you want to sell on the internet, the Weebly provides a ready-made solution with closely integrated ecommerce characteristics that should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I have Been using site builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com days and have been paying attention to this industry for the past 5 decades. 1 overarching trend is that a company’s structure pushes product investment over the marketing group or the product group.
Even In a fast paced marketplace, a company’s structure and end goals 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 Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for natural growth. But in 2018, they offered to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that could be a big downside. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying companies and value. However, this acquisition has a Massive 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 quite aggressive not only compared to other comprehensive site buildersbut also with purchasing your hosting. Their Starter plan begins around $8/mo when paid up front. And they do not possess the common caps of other site builders. The Guru plan adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is bundled and unlimited. There are no caps on pages or storage area. And unlike competitors like Wix, they eliminate all ads with the initial paid grade.
Even Their small business pricing, while more costly than doing the exact same thing on your hosting, is much more affordable than comparable plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To constructing your own site in your server and notably with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is very aggressive. Price isn’t everything, but I love how they structure it.
Cons + Truth About Utilizing Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the drawbacks. Each piece of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management process is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an interface which permits you to sort, filter, edit, and publish different types of content on your site. Weebly Site Builder Review
Weebly Sort of has that. It has a Pages section that lists out all the pages on your site. 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 inside an individual page). If you’re arranging a large site (such as hundreds of pages), the articles contained in Weebly would need a personal system to maintain it sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however that I wish content could be more easily managed within Weebly.
The Last big 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, Assessing your content and redirecting your URLs will be a difficult process.
Weebly allows One to export your Page content via zip file but blog content will need to be manually duplicated and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain hard, but it’s something to consider if you are planning on rapidly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, many advertising tools and attributes can be added to your website. But since you still do not have 100% control over your website & server — it can be challenging or not impossible to add advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, custom analytics packages, custom social stocks, specific Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the main issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, but it is something to be aware of if you are arranging a long-term job.
For Most all website owners with typical traffic you’ll want to be aware of the limitations, especially if you’re planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s advertisement revealing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. You can sell products from your Weebly site without switching platforms or performing some distinctive developments. It fits in effortlessly and contains strong functionality.
The Pricing is affordable. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the complete eCommerce bundle for business 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 Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, basic stock management, and payment approval. Here’s how Weebly fits about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Great for sites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc also want to sell a few goods. Additionally, it is a fantastic match for anyone testing out products before going into a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term fit for sites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an online store you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialty eCommerce platform such as Shopify (inspection ) or Bigcommerce (review) are a better fit.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the acquisition from Square does come with a downside. That is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it even more valuable as a complete for Square. Weebly Site Builder Review
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent business.
If You’re looking to construct a long-term content or direct generation site, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for general drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly matches your needs now, they may not in the future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years past, it was just another website builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding site building tool which is better than most competitors. It’s easy, uncluttered and simple to use — that is precisely what individuals with limited technical skills need in regards to creating their own internet presence.
Obviously, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to a own domain name is also a little pricey, as they urge G Suite, that costs $5 per month, per user. (Though there are workarounds, as you can see in the FAQ below).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the top of the list of site builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools such as the iOS or Android app for editing your site on the move, or the number of add-ons out there in the program center makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!