Background Weebly Website Builder Review
With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s hottest web builders on the market. Unlike certain opponents, they appear less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than improving their platform’s technology. Weebly Website 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 is any good for producing a website, blog or online store.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide spectrum of site building alternatives, Weebly lives on the finish that’s all-inclusive and provides everything you need to get started and grow your website. It is compared to options where you buy, install, and manage all of the”pieces” of your website separately.
It is Like trading off a few control for more convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is kind of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development rather than buying and owning your own residence. You are still in charge of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure into the house owner. That point is key because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The functionality and design that are contained with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That is what allows them to have drag and drop layout, layout, and articles.
As Far as competition, Weebly competes directly with comprehensive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (which offers the totally free software to construct a website that you own & control — visit my own WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive into the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a revelation — I receive referral fees from all the companies discussed in this post. My opinions & research are based on my experiences like a paying client or consultant 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 well 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 Discover That components snap into place And organize themselves flawlessly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid , so it is very possible to end up with overlapping elements. With Weebly, no probability of that happening.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you want to edit and sort your own words from the box. A few other solutions use”entrance 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 like a charm.
Ultimately, 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 that, the support is exceptional, whether by email, chat, or telephone. Weebly Website Builder Review
So are there Any drawbacks? That depends. If you would like to have more freedom with your designs, then you may feel frustrated with the rigid grid system. You should go to get Wix. This competitor also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that may build the website for you pretty much by itself. You can perhaps shave a couple of minutes of your site building time.
Additionally, there are two things we’d love to see. First is a worldwide undo button. You can undo what you type in text boxes, but it would be nice to erase mistakes once you move or add elements. Secondly, Weebly doesn’t have a general media database that keeps all your pictures. You’ll have to re-upload images for every element that needs them.
Which Weebly Pricing Plan is Ideal for Me?
We’d say the primary question to ask is. Do I wish to sell online? Quite simply, if you really do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other kinds of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It provides all you need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro features.
· Fancy header with slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected webpages
· Membership module to allow users sign in and access personal sections of the Site
If any of the Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll need to update to Weebly Pro. And for a more comprehensive breakdown, please consult with our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get one thing out of the way . if You’re an innovative SEO expert who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive keyword, you might have a tough time using Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There is a free app which allows you add headings from h1 to h6, however, it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not incorporate it in their system.
· Particular 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 site isn’t in English. Same with the blog articles, they will have’/blog/’ in the URL structure, which can’t be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. However, you are in your as Weebly does not help.
On the plus side, Weebly does matters actually Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize themalong as Alt texts for pictures. This is especially important to rank your own images. Weebly Website Builder Review
· 301 redirects. It is possible to control them to avoid broken links as soon as a page URL was changed. Google deeply admires 404 pages.
· Image optimization. Weebly does a great job at compressing the pictures you upload. This enhances speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a little Confused about SEO? Don’t forget that we’ve got a full guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. The Way Safe and Secure is a Weebly Site?
Just as we Understand, very secure. The company takes safety very seriously. They market strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. The free tier will run on https which offers an extra layer of security. Especially crucial 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 conserving your site for a .zip file frequently. And there’s no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, monitors new changes and lets you jump back in time to a previous version of your website.
Weebly Design Options and Templates. Making it Look Great
We have a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the key pros and cons. But, we wish to provide you a quick overview of the key features here.
The First thing to notice 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 mechanically look great on each Apparatus (by being reactive ), 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 diploma!
Obviously, if You’re all about layout, and absolutely need to be able to personalize it down to the last pixel, you should check out Wix also. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more elastic editor…
… unless you are confident with coding. This Is because Weebly, unlike other builders, provides you access to the template source code.
Want to dig under the hood and change 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 would say yes, with a caveat. It is great to Sell digital and physical products for small and medium-sized shops, but not for big ones. Even though you may use the export and import function to manage large number of items, you might find Weebly lacking in features such as enormous stores.
For Example, we don’t like that there Aren’t any offline payment options (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it’s also rather expensive. Wix’s Online Store is only $20 US for example (but also has less features). Weebly Website Builder Review
Ultimately, it is worth noting that even though You can create a store with the Starter and Guru plan, updating to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to find the automated shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely helpful for serious shop owners. Furthermore, you won’t need to cover an additional transaction charge of 3%.
Still confused About the many online store plans? 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 apps in Quite a few classes such as eCommerce, Communication, Marketing, Social, or Site Tools. Many are free, some are paid. Some are built by Weebly, some by third-party programmers. For the latter, there is always an (unlikely) possibility that it may shut down one day. Additionally a pity the programs produced by Weebly are quite limited.
However, 1 thing all the programs have in Common is that a super easy installation attribute. One click and bam! All apps are analyzed and will work immediately on your own website. We attempted some cool ones like a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display special info. Our only qualm is that the quality and amount of apps is a marginally inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Utilizing Weebly
Here is What I found to be the experts of Weebly — not just compared to Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an general online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly provides Hosting for all the sites that are built on their own platform. That may be good or awful, but in Weebly’s situation, it is an expert. They have rapid load rates. Their websites are optimized to their hosting. They treat safety against hackers and spam. With company plans, they even install and keep SSL across your whole site. Here is my speed test.
There Are still pace and security risks, 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 free accounts, so it’s a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start any piece of software — regardless of how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”okay, what do I do today?” This approach is called onboarding, and it’s also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software manufacturer does not want to be bothersome, but they also wish to provide help. I really like how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and education not only via email drip sequence but also via small info buttons built with their own platform.
Once You join, it is simple to dive in. Weebly Website Builder Review
Site Building Procedure
One Advertised benefit of using a comprehensive site builder is that you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop components. Everything you see in the builder is what you receive on the site.
It’s Not always that easy. There is a whole lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us really mean”I want to drag and click this component and move it into a general place where it’ll look good — you know, mechanically centered, etc.” Put simply, it’s like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You want to do something, but also have a little 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 supply access to some custom CSS module, so that you may edit the template into precisely your choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly provides an email support alternative and also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even newcomer ), they offer email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive system, client service is able to 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 run your own site, you have 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.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own site on your own host is you don’t need to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the platform route, it is essential to make certain that they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They have got all of the basics — like blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level customized code placement.
Even Beyond the advanced requirements, Weebly also includes features including discussion, membership options, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I will cover separately below.
If You proceed the comprehensive site builder route, Weebly’s feature set must provide whatever you will need for typical personal/business sites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you do need to be specifically aware of advanced options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in features, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party apps (believe the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together with your Own WordPress site, adding functionality is as easy as installing a plugin. With Weebly — you can browse their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
Anybody who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re enormous offline and want to be bigger in the on/offline arena. That’s why they bought Weebly — and the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s e commerce features.
If You’re 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 would like to market on the internet, the Weebly provides a ready-made solution with closely integrated ecommerce characteristics which should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I’ve Been using website builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com times and have been paying attention to the sector for the previous five years. 1 overarching trend is that a company’s structure drives product investment over the marketing group or the product team.
Even In a fast paced market, a company’s construction and end targets will dictate how it behaves and what investments it gets. 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 firm going for natural growth. However, in 2018, they sold to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that might be a big drawback. Acquisitions are renowned for ruining value and companies. However, this purchase has a Massive upside for a single market segment —
If You really do not mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiration. A pretty good deal — especially for temporary sites.
Total Pricing is quite competitive not only compared to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with purchasing your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts around $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they do not possess the typical caps of other website builders. The Guru program adds sound features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you will see that everything is bundled and infinite. There are no caps on pages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they remove all ads with the first paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the exact same thing on your hosting, is much cheaper than similar plans with direct competitors.
Compared To building your own site in your host and notably with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Price is not everything, but I really like how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Using Weebly
But Obviously, no Weebly review would be complete without studying the downsides. Each bit of software will have complaints. Let’s 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 permits you to sort, filter, edit, and publish unique types of articles on your website. Weebly Website Builder Review
Weebly Kind of features 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 click on to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from a efficient system.
There’s No way to add custom content types (except inside a single page). If you are arranging a massive site (like hundreds of pages), the content within Weebly would need a private system to maintain it all sorted and readily accessible.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, however that I want content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last big drawback of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is not difficult. If you would like to move somewhere else, such as your WordPress powered site, Assessing your content and redirecting your URLs will be a challenging process.
Weebly lets You to export your Page content via zip file but website content will have to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will remain hard, but it’s something to consider if you are planning on quickly growing traffic and/or content.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly enables for HTML editing, most advertising tools and attributes can be added to your website. But as you still don’t have 100% control over your website & host — it can be difficult and/or impossible to add advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, customized email collection tools, custom analytics packages, habit social shares, specific Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the main issue is not having”origin” or”FTP” access to your own server files. This is not an unsolvable problem, however it is something to be aware of if you’re planning a long-term job.
For Most all site owners with average traffic you’ll want to know about the constraints, especially if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here’s Weebly’s ad showing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce functionality. You can sell products from your Weebly website without switching platforms or performing some special developments. It fits in effortlessly and has solid functionality.
The Pricing is cheap. On lesser tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the full eCommerce bundle for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful bit of functionality, but keep in mind that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, fundamental stock management, and payment acceptance. Here’s how Weebly matches about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Great for websites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also want to sell a few products. It’s also a fantastic match for anyone testing out products prior to going into a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term match for websites that are eCommerce-first. For those, an online shop you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (inspection ) or Bigcommerce (review) are a better match.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the purchase from Square does include a downside. That’s regular website builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features that make it more valuable as a whole for Square. Weebly Website Builder Review
Characteristics Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent business.
If You are looking to construct a long-term articles or direct generation website, then I’d consider WordPress.com (for content) or Wix (for general drag & drop) rather than Weebly. Even if Weebly meets your needs today, they might not in the future.
When we first started testing Weebly many Years ago, it was just another site builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding site building tool which is far better than most competitors. It’s easy, uncluttered and simple to use — that is precisely what individuals with limited technical abilities need when it comes to creating their own online presence.
Of course, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, for instance. Getting an email address attached to your domain name is also a little expensive, as they urge G Suite, that costs $5 a 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 like the iOS or Android program for editing your website on the move, or the number of add-ons available in the app centre makes it powerful, and fun to use.
Enough with the concept. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!