Background Weebly Starter Site
With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s hottest web builders on the market. Unlike particular competitors, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than improving their platform’s technologies. Weebly Starter Site
This all sounds pretty good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it appears in practice. In 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.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide spectrum of site building alternatives, Weebly resides at the finish that is all-inclusive and provides everything you want to get started and grow your site. It is compared to options where you buy, set up, and handle all of the”pieces” of your website individually.
It is Like trading off some control for greater convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a nice development instead of buying 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 critical because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality that are included with Weebly work together collectively as a stage. That’s what lets them have drag and drop layout, design, and articles.
As Far as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a team compete with options like WordPress.org (that offers the free software to build a website which you own & control — see my own 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 revelation — I get referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this post. My remarks & study are based on my experiences as either 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 well the drag and drop interface was created. Just select the element you want on the left, and set it upon your layout on the right.
You’ll Discover That components snap into place And arrange themselves flawlessly on the page. 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 happening.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you want to edit and type your words from the box. Some other solutions use”entry masks” that are a bit more subjective and not necessarily easy to work with.
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 can answer a lot of questions through tutorials that are clear and step by step guides. Failing this, the support is excellent, whether via email, chat, or telephone. Weebly Starter Site
So are there Any downsides? That is different. If you want more freedom with your layouts, then you might 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 website for you pretty much by itself. You can perhaps shave off a few minutes of your website building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d like to see. First is a worldwide undo button. It is possible to undo everything you type in text boxes, but it would be wonderful to erase mistakes when you add or move elements. Second, Weebly does not have an overall media database which keeps all your pictures. You’re going to need to re-upload pictures for each and every element that requires them.
That Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We would say the main question to ask is. Do I wish to market online? Quite simply, if you do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It will offer all you will need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan misses out on a few Pro features.
· Fancy header with slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module to allow users register and get personal sections of the website
If any of the Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll need to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And to get a more comprehensive breakdown, please consult with our complete Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Can My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let us get one thing out of the way . if You are an innovative search engine optimization specialist who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines for a very competitive key word, you may have a tough time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There is a free program that allows you insert headings from h1 to h6, however, it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not integrate it in their system.
· Certain pages (groups and product pages) add a mandatory string to 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 website articles, they will have’/site /’ 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 doesn’t help.
On the plus side, Weebly does things actually Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize themalong as Alt texts for images. This is particularly important to rank your own images. Weebly Starter Site
· 301 redirects. You can control them to avoid 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 boon for SEO.
Still a bit Curious about SEO? Don’t forget that we have a complete guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
Just as we Know, very safe. The business takes security very seriously. They market strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. The free tier will run on https that offers an excess layer of safety. Especially crucial for on-site personal data exchange (e.g. credit card or email address).
Regrettably, we wish Weebly offered 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 frequently. And there is no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for example, tracks new adjustments and lets you 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 can read the main pros and cons. However, we want to give you here a quick overview of the key features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly doesn’t have a ton of template layouts (approximately 50), but you should easily be able to find one you like. There are different categories available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They mechanically look great on each Device (by being responsive), and they can be adapted to match your own personal requirements, using the templates as a foundation. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Obviously, if You’re all about design, and absolutely have to have the ability 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 flexible 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 change the CSS and HTML? You will have free reign here, because 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 big ones. Even though you may use the import and export function to manage many things, you might discover Weebly lacking in features such as 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 expensive. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Weebly Starter Site
Ultimately, it’s worth noting that although You’re able to create a shop using the Starter and Pro plan, updating to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll find the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely useful for serious shop owners. What’s more, you won’t need to pay an additional transaction charge of 3%.
Still confused About the various online store strategies? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App shop. Can I Boost My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 programs in A number of categories like 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’s always an (unlikely) possibility that it may shut down a single day. Additionally a shame the apps produced by Weebly are quite limited.
However, 1 thing all of the programs have in Common is that a super easy installation feature. Click and bam! All programs are tested and will work instantly on your own website. We tried some cool ones like a way to include tables, event calendars, and data bars to display specific information. Our only qualm is that the quality and quantity of programs is a marginally inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Utilizing Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the pros of Weebly — not just compared with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all of the sites that are built on their own platform. That can be good or awful, however in Weebly’s case, it is an expert. They have rapid load rates. Their websites are optimized for their hosting. They treat security against hackers and spam. With business plans, they even install and maintain SSL across your entire site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still speed and security dangers, but it’s an edge for many site owners to have somebody else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with expert and free accounts, so it is a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You begin any piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there is that moment where you think”okay, what do I do today?” That process 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 help. I really like how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and education not only via email trickle arrangement but also via little info buttons built with their platform.
After You sign up, it is straightforward to dive in. Weebly Starter Site
Website Building Procedure
One Advertised benefit of utilizing a comprehensive website builder is you won’t need to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop components. Everything you find in the builder is what you get on the website.
It’s Not always that simple. There’s a lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” The majority of us really mean”I want to drag and click this element and move it into a general place where it’ll look good — you know, mechanically focused, etc.” In other words, it is like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You want to do something, but also have a bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls off this. Their drag and drop really works. As well as for the control freaks among us, they supply access to some custom CSS module, so which you may edit the template into precisely your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email service option and also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they offer email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive system, customer service is able to troubleshoot and correct any issue. This is a huge benefit of site builder platforms in general, but especially with Weebly since they have telephone support.
If You conduct your site, you have to figure out just who will fix a problem before getting in contact with them. With Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Significant advantage of building 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 is essential to be sure they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. 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 custom code placement.
Even Beyond the advanced requirements, Weebly also includes features like discussion, membership options, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I’ll cover individually below.
If You go the all-inclusive site builder route, Weebly’s attribute set should provide whatever you will need for typical personal/business websites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do need to be especially aware of advanced options).
Also — Weebly has a lot of built-in attributes, but it does not have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party apps (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
With your Own WordPress site, including performance is as simple as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can navigate their climbing (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 the reason why they purchased Weebly — and the future is really bright for Weebly’s ecommerce features.
If You are starting a website and plan on selling a few things here and there or in case you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you would like to sell online, the Weebly provides a readymade solution with closely integrated ecommerce features that should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I’ve Been using website builders for 20 years since the Homestead.com days and have been closely paying attention to this sector for the previous five years. 1 overarching trend is that a firm’s structure pushes product investment more than the marketing team or the product group.
Even In a fast paced marketplace, a company’s construction and finish goals will dictate how it behaves and what investments it makes. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can vary wildly among direct competitors.
For Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for organic expansion. But in 2018, they sold to Square — the huge player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that might be a big drawback. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying value and companies. However, this acquisition has a huge upside for a single market segment —
If You really do not mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiry. A fairly good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Overall Pricing is very aggressive not only compared to other comprehensive site buildersbut also with purchasing your own hosting. Their Starter plan begins approximately $8/mo when paid up front. And they do not have the common caps of other site builders. The Pro program adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will see that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no limits on webpages or storage space. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they remove all ads with the first paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more costly than doing the exact same thing on your hosting, is considerably cheaper than comparable plans with direct rivals.
Compared To building your own site on your host and especially with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is very competitive. Cost is not everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Using Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without studying the downsides. Each bit of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 specific cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management system is precisely what it resembles. It’s an interface which allows you to sort, filter, edit, and publish different types of content on your website. Weebly Starter Site
Weebly Kind of has that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your website. It permits you to drag and drop the hierarchy and click to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from an efficient system.
There is No method to add custom content forms (except inside an individual page). If you’re planning a large site (such as hundreds of pages), the articles within Weebly would need a personal system to maintain it all sorted and readily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however I want content could be easily handled within Weebly.
The Last big drawback of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is difficult. If you want to move someplace else, including your own WordPress powered site, Assessing your articles and redirecting your URLs will be a challenging process.
Weebly lets You to export your Page content through zip file but blog content is going to have to be manually copied and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be difficult, but it’s something to consider if you’re considering quickly expanding content or traffic.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, many marketing tools and attributes can be added to your site. However, since you still do not have 100% control over your website & server — it can be difficult and/or impossible to include advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, customized email collection applications, 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 own server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, but it’s something to be careful of if you’re arranging a long-term project.
For Most all website owners with average traffic you’ll want to know about the constraints, especially if you’re planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad revealing 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 any distinctive developments. It fits in effortlessly and has solid performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce package for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice bit of functionality, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online shop platforms like Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic stock management, and payment approval. Here is how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for websites which are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc also wish to sell a few products. It’s also a good match for anyone testing out products prior to moving into a long-term stage. It is not a long-term fit for websites that are eCommerce-first. For those, an online shop you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialty eCommerce platform such as Shopify (review) or even Bigcommerce (review) are a much better fit.
Product Investment & Company Structure
Now — the acquisition from Square does include a downside. That’s regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features which make it even more valuable as a whole for Square. Weebly Starter Site
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent business.
If You are looking to build a long-term content or lead generation website, then I would look at WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for general drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they may not in the medium future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years past, it was only another site builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding website building tool that is better than most competitors. It is simple, uncluttered and easy to use — that is precisely what people with limited technical skills need in regards to making their own internet presence.
Of course, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To see a bit more templates, as an example. Finding an email address attached to a domain is also a bit pricey, as they recommend G Suite, that costs $5 a month, per user. (Though there are workarounds, since you can see in the FAQ under ).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the 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 from the program centre makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you like it!