Introduction Weebly Sites
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s hottest web builders on the market. Unlike certain competitors, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than improving their platform’s technology. Weebly Sites
This all sounds fairly good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it looks in practice. Within this review, we will look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for creating a website, blog or online shop.
On The broad range of site building alternatives, Weebly lives at the end that is all-inclusive and provides everything you need to get started and develop your site. It’s in contrast to solutions where you purchase, install, and handle all the”pieces” of your site individually.
It is Like trading off a few control for greater convenience.
Using Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a wonderful development instead of getting and owning your own residence. You are still in charge of decoration, cleaning, and everything living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key since there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The functionality and design that are contained with Weebly work seamlessly together as a platform. That’s what allows them to have drag and drop design, design, and articles.
As Much as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Site Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (which offers the totally free software to build a site which you have & control — visit my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing real HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive to the Weebly review.
One Other fast aside — a revelation — I get referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this post. My opinions & research are based on my experiences like a paying client or adviser to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Good question. The first thing you’ll notice Is how nicely the drag and drop interface was created. Just choose the element you need on the left, and set it upon your design on the rightside.
You might Discover That components snap into place And organize themselves flawlessly on the webpage. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it’s very possible to end up with overlapping elements. With Weebly, no risk of that occurring.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you want to edit and type your words in the box. Some other solutions use”entrance masks” that are a bit more abstract and not always easy to work with.
The navigation system also works miracles. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Finally, should you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a great deal of questions through clear tutorials and step-by-step guides. Failing that, the service is exceptional, whether via email, chat, or phone. Weebly Sites
So are there Any downsides? This is different. If you want more freedom with your designs, then you may feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You ought to go for Wix. This competition also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that can build the website for you pretty much by itself. You can possibly 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 undo button. You can undo everything you type in text boxes, but it will be wonderful to erase mistakes when you move or add elements. Secondly, Weebly doesn’t have an overall media database which keeps all your pictures. You’ll have to re-upload images for each and every element that requires them.
That Weebly Pricing Program 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 Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It will offer all you need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro features.
· Fancy header using slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to allow users sign in and access private sections of the Site
If some of the Above are must-haves for your site, you will need to update to Weebly Pro. And for a more complete 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 first. if You are an advanced search engine optimization expert who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines for a very 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 app which allows you insert key words from h1 to h6, however, it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not integrate it into their system.
· Particular pages (categories and product pages) add a compulsory string for your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a huge issue unless your site isn’t in English. Same with the website posts, they will have’/blog/’ in the URL structure, which can’t be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is done via code. However, you are on your own as Weebly does not help.
On the other hand, Weebly does things really Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize themalong as Alt texts for images. This is especially important to rank your images. Weebly Sites
· 301 redirects. You can control them to avoid broken links when a page URL was changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at controlling the pictures you upload. This improves speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a bit Confused about SEO? Don’t forget that we’ve got a complete guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
Just as we Know, very safe. The business takes security very seriously. They market strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all programs. Even the free tier will operate on https which delivers an extra layer of safety. Especially crucial for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Unfortunately, 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 website for a .zip file frequently. And there is no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, 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 have a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the main pros and cons. However, we wish 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 you like. There are different classes available. 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 needs, using 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 need to be able to personalize it down to the last pixel, so you should check out Wix also. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more elastic editor…
… unless you are confident using coding. This Is since Weebly, contrary to other builders, gives 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, because you can see in the image above.
Ecommerce. Can be 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 stores, but not for big ones. Although you may use the import and export function to handle many things, you might find Weebly lacking in features such as massive stores.
For Example, we don’t like that there Aren’t any offline payment options (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 Sites
Ultimately, it’s worth noting that even though You can create a shop with the Starter and Guru program, upgrading to Business and higher makes more sense. You’ll get the automatic delivery and sales tax calculator, which is extremely useful for serious store owners. Furthermore, you won’t have to cover an additional transaction charge of 3%.
Still confused About the various online store plans? You can discover 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 apps in Quite a few categories such as eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Many are free, some are compensated. Some are built by Weebly, some by third party developers. For the latter, there is always an (unlikely) chance that it may shut down one day. Also a shame the programs made by Weebly are rather limited.
However, 1 thing all the programs have in Common is a super simple installation attribute. One click and bam! All programs are analyzed and will work immediately on your own site. We tried 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 slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Using Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the experts of Weebly — not only in comparison to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all the websites which are built on their own platform. That can be good or bad, however in Weebly’s case, it is a pro. They have fast load speeds. Their sites are optimized for their hosting. They take care of security against spam and hackers. With company plans, they install and maintain SSL across your entire website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and security risks, but it’s an advantage for many site owners to have somebody else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with pro and completely free accounts, so it’s a good value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin any piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”ok, what do I do today?” That approach is known as onboarding, and it is also incredibly tough to implement well.
The Software maker doesn’t wish to be bothersome, but they also want to provide help. I really like how Weebly builds in solid onboarding and instruction not only via email drip sequence but also via little info buttons built with their own platform.
Once You join, it is straightforward to dive right in. Weebly Sites
Website Building Process
One Advertised advantage of utilizing an all-inclusive site builder is that you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop components. 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”drop and drag.” The majority of us really mean”I wish to drag and click this element and transfer it into a general place where it will seem great — you know, automatically centered, etc.” In other words, it’s like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You want to do something, 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 provide access to some custom CSS module, so which you may edit the template into exactly your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly provides an email service option along with a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they provide email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive system, customer support can troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a huge benefit of site builder platforms generally, but especially with Weebly because they have telephone support.
If You run your own site, you’ve got to work 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 Big advantage of building your own website on your host is you don’t need to count on a platform’s attribute set. If you go the stage route, it is essential to make certain they have all the features you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They’ve got all of the basics — like website performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level customized code positioning.
Even Past the complex requirements, Weebly even includes features including discussion, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce options, which I will cover individually below.
If You proceed the comprehensive site builder course, Weebly’s attribute set must provide everything you need for typical personal/business sites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you really do need to be specifically aware of innovative options).
Additionally — 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).
With your Own WordPress site, adding performance is as simple as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can browse their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re enormous offline and want to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That is 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 if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you want to market on the internet, the Weebly offers a readymade solution with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics that should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Construction
I have Been using site builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com days and have been closely paying attention to the industry for the previous 5 years. 1 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 organization’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 vary tremendously 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 huge player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that might be a big downside. Acquisitions are notorious for ruining companies and value. 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) then Weeblyis free with no expiry. A pretty good deal — particularly for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is quite aggressive not only in contrast to other comprehensive website buildersbut also with buying your own hosting. Their Starter plan begins approximately $8/mo when paid up front. And they do not have the common caps of other website builders. The Guru program adds sound features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will notice that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no caps on pages 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 same thing on your hosting, is considerably cheaper than similar plans with direct competitors.
Compared To building your own website on your server and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very competitive. Price isn’t everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without looking at the downsides. Each piece of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 unique cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management system is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an interface which allows you to sort, filter, edit, and print different types of content on your website. Weebly Sites
Weebly Sort of has that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all 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 an efficient system.
There’s No way to add custom content forms (except inside an individual page). If you’re arranging a large site (like hundreds of pages), the articles contained in Weebly would require a private system to keep it sorted and readily reachable.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, however that I wish content could be easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge disadvantage of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is difficult. If you want to move somewhere else, such as your WordPress powered website, migrating your content and redirecting your URLs will be a challenging procedure.
Weebly lets One to export your Page content through zip file but blog articles is going to need to be manually duplicated or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be difficult, but it is something to consider if you’re considering quickly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most marketing tools and attributes can be added to your website. However, as you still do not have 100% control over your site & server — it can be difficult and/or impossible to include advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection tools, custom analytics packages, habit social stocks, specific 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 isn’t an unsolvable problem, but 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 be aware of the constraints, particularly if you are planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s advertisement showing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce performance. You can sell products from your Weebly website without changing platforms or doing any distinctive developments. It fits in effortlessly and has strong functionality.
The Pricing is cheap. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce bundle for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful piece of functionality, 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 approval. Here’s how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Ideal for websites that are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc also wish to sell a few products. It’s also a fantastic match for anyone testing out products before moving to a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term fit for websites which are eCommerce-first. For all those, an online shop you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialization eCommerce platform like Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) would be a better match.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the purchase from Square does include a downside. That’s regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features which make it more precious as a complete for Square. Weebly Sites
Characteristics 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 content or lead generation website, then I’d 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 future.
When we started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was just another site builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding website building tool that is better than most competitors. It is simple, uncluttered and simple to use — that is precisely what people with limited technical skills need when it comes to making their own online presence.
Of course, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To see a bit more templates, as an example. Finding an email address attached to your own domain name is also a bit expensive, as they recommend 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 app for editing your website on the go, or the amount of add-ons available in the app center makes it robust, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!