With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is among the world’s hottest web builders on the market. Unlike particular opponents, they appear less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than improving their platform’s technology. Weeblycom
This all sounds fairly good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it looks 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 web site, site or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide spectrum of site building solutions, Weebly resides on the finish that’s comprehensive and provides all you need to get started and develop your site. It is in contrast to options where you buy, set up, and manage all of the”pieces” of your site separately.
It’s Like trading off some control for greater convenience.
Using Weebly is sort of like renting and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development instead of getting and owning your own house. You are still in control of decoration, cleaning, and what living-wise — but you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is critical since there’s typically a direct tradeoff between control and convenience.
All The design and functionality that are included with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That is what allows them to have drag and drop layout, design, and content.
As Far as competition, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a group compete with options like WordPress.org (that 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 real HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive into the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a revelation — I get referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this post. My opinions & research are based on my experiences like a paying customer or consultant to a paying client.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. 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’ll find that elements snap into place And arrange themselves flawlessly on the page. Other options, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it is very possible to end up with overlapping elements. With Weebly, no risk of that occurring.
Working with text can also be a breeze in Weebly. You just click what you want to edit and sort your words from the box. Some other solutions use”entrance masks” which are a bit more abstract and not necessarily 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 can answer a great deal of questions through tutorials that are clear and step by step guides. Failing this, the service is excellent, whether via email, chat, or telephone. Weeblycom
So are there Any drawbacks? This depends. If you want more freedom with your layouts, then you might feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You ought to go for Wix. This competitor also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that can build the website for you pretty much by itself. You may possibly shave a few minutes of your website building time.
There are also two things we’d love to see. First is a worldwide reverse button. You can undo everything you type in text boxes, but it will be nice to erase mistakes when you add or move elements. Secondly, Weebly does not have a general media database which keeps all of your pictures. You’re going to need to re-upload pictures for every element that requires them.
That Weebly Pricing Program is Best for Me?
We would say the primary question to ask is. Do I wish to sell online? Quite simply, if you do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually enough. It will offer all you need for displaying info about your services, portfolio or business details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header using slideshow or video background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to allow users sign in and access personal sections of the Site
If any of those Above are must-haves for your site, you’ll need to upgrade to Weebly Pro. And to get a more comprehensive breakdown, please refer to our complete Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Site Rank On Google?
Let’s get 1 thing out of the way first. if You are an innovative SEO expert who absolutely must rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive keyword, you may have a difficult time using Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are confined to H2. There is a free app which allows you add key words from h1 to h6, but 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 for your URL. You get things like www.yoursite.com/store/p1/my-product/yellow. Not a massive issue unless your site is not in English. Same with the blog articles, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure and this can not be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. However, you’re in your as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the other hand, Weebly does matters really Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. It’s possible to customize themalong as Alt texts for images. This is particularly important to position your own images. Weeblycom
· 301 redirects. You can command 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 improves speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a little Confused about SEO? Do not forget that we’ve got a full guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
As far as we Understand, really safe. The business takes security very seriously. They promote strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. The free tier will operate on https that delivers an excess 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 way 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 is no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for example, tracks 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’ve Got a Detailed article about Weebly’s templates where you can read the main pros and cons. However, we wish to provide you a quick overview of the main features here.
The First thing to note is that Weebly doesn’t have a whole lot of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily have the ability to find one that you like. There are different categories available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on each Device (by being reactive ), 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 layout, and absolutely have to have the ability to customize it down to the last pixel, you should check out Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have an even more elastic editor…
… unless you’re 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 will 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 physical and digital products for small and medium-sized shops, but maybe not for huge ones. Although you may use the import and export function to manage large number of items, you might find Weebly lacking in features for enormous stores.
For Example, we don’t like that there Are not any offline payment options (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it is also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Weeblycom
Finally, it is worth noting that even though You can create a shop using the Starter and Guru program, updating to Business and higher makes more sense. You are going to get the automatic shipping and sales tax calculator, which is extremely useful for serious store owners. What’s more, you won’t need to cover an additional transaction fee of 3 percent.
Still confused About the various online store plans? You can find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
Program shop. Can I Enhance My Site 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 constructed by Weebly, some by third-party developers. For the latter, there is always an (unlikely) possibility that it may shut down a single day. Also a pity the apps produced by Weebly are rather limited.
However, 1 thing all the apps have in Common is a super simple installation feature. One click and bam! All apps are analyzed and will work immediately on your website. We attempted some cool ones like a way to add tables, event calendars, and data bars to display special information. Our only qualm is that the quality and quantity of programs is a marginally inferior those in the Wix App Store.
Advantages of Utilizing Weebly
Here is What I found to be the pros of Weebly — not only in comparison with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a general online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all the sites which are built in their platform. That may be good or bad, but in Weebly’s case, it’s a pro. They have rapid load speeds. Their websites are optimized for their own hosting. They take care of safety against spam and hackers. With company plans, they even install and keep SSL across your entire site. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still pace and security risks, but overall, it’s an edge for many website owners to have somebody else take care of 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 instinctive — there is that moment where you think”okay, what can I do now?” That approach is known as onboarding, and it’s also incredibly tough to execute well.
The Software manufacturer does not wish to be bothersome, but they also wish to help. I love how Weebly assembles in strong onboarding and instruction not just via email drip arrangement but also via little info buttons built with their platform.
After You sign up, it is simple to dive right in. Weeblycom
Website Building Process
One Promoted advantage of utilizing a comprehensive site builder is you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop components. What you find in the builder is exactly what you receive on the website.
It is Not necessarily that simple. There’s a lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us really mean”I want to click and drag this element and move it to a general area where it will seem good — you know, automatically focused, etc.” Put simply, it is 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 help.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop really functions. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to some custom CSS module, so that you can edit the template to exactly your own choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly provides an email support alternative along with 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, client service is able to troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a huge advantage of website builder platforms in general, but especially using Weebly since they have telephone support.
If You conduct your site, you have to figure out exactly who can correct a problem prior to getting in touch with them. With Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of creating your own website on your own host is that you don’t have to count on a platform’s feature set. If you proceed the stage route, it is essential to make certain that they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They have got all the fundamentals — such as website functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement.
Even Beyond the complex necessities, Weebly also includes features like discussion, membership options, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc.. They also have eCommerce options, which I will cover separately below.
If You go the all-inclusive site builder route, Weebly’s attribute set should provide whatever you need for typical personal/business websites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you really do need to be specifically aware of innovative options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot 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, including functionality is as simple as installing a plugin. Together with Weebly — you can navigate their growing (though still somewhat restricted ) app center.
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’s why they purchased Weebly — and why 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 stores ) and you would like to market on the internet, the Weebly provides a readymade alternative with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics that should just 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 the industry for the past five decades. 1 overarching trend is a firm’s structure pushes product investment over the marketing group or the product group.
Even In a fast paced marketplace, a company’s construction and end targets will dictate how it acts and what investments it gets. As I summarized 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 natural growth. However, in 2018, they offered to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On 1 hand, that might be a huge downside. Acquisitions are renowned for ruining value and companies. However, this purchase has a Massive upside for a single market segment —
If You don’t mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiry. A pretty good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is quite competitive not only compared to other all-inclusive site buildersbut also with buying your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts around $8/mo when paid up front. And they do not possess the common caps of other website builders. The Guru plan adds solid features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll notice that everything is accessible and infinite. There are no caps on webpages or storage area. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the initial paid grade.
Even Their small business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your own hosting, is considerably more affordable than similar plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To building your own site on your host and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Price isn’t everything, but I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Complaints About Utilizing Weebly
But 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 found.
Content Management System
A Content management system is exactly what it resembles. It’s an interface which permits you to sort, filter, edit, and print different kinds of content on your website. Weeblycom
Weebly Kind 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 click to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from an efficient system.
There’s No method to add custom content types (except within an individual page). If you’re planning a large site (like hundreds of pages), the articles within Weebly would need a personal system to maintain it all sorted and readily reachable.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, but I wish content could be more easily managed 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 own WordPress powered website, migrating your articles and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult procedure.
Weebly lets You to export your Page content via zip file but blog articles will have to be manually copied or migrated through RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be hard, but it is something to consider if you are planning on rapidly expanding content or traffic.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, most marketing tools and features can be added to your website. But since you still do not have 100% control over your site & server — it can be challenging or not impossible to add advanced marketing tools like an EV SSL, custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages, custom social shares, specific Schemas and A/B testing computer software.
In The jargon — the main issue isn’t having”origin” or”FTP” access to your server files. This isn’t an unsolvable problem, but it’s something to be careful of if you are planning a long-term job.
For Most all website owners with average traffic you’ll want to know about the constraints, especially if you are planning for rapid expansion.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad showing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce performance. It’s possible to sell products from the Weebly website without switching platforms or performing any distinctive developments. It fits in seamlessly and contains solid performance.
The Pricing is cheap. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the full eCommerce package for business plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful piece of functionality, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online shop platforms like Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly includes a shopping cart, basic inventory management, and payment approval. Here is how Weebly fits about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Great for websites that are primarily lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few products. Additionally, it is a fantastic fit for anybody testing out products before moving to a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term fit for websites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an online store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialization eCommerce platform such as Shopify (inspection ) or Bigcommerce (review) would be a much better fit.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the purchase from Square does come with a downside. That’s regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive is to invest in features that make it even more valuable as a complete for Square. Weeblycom
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 website, then I’d look at WordPress.com (for articles ) 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 first started testing Weebly many Years past, it was only another website builder. That has completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding site building tool which is far better than most competitors. It is simple, uncluttered and easy to use — that is precisely what individuals with limited technical abilities need in regards to creating their own online presence.
Obviously, it’s 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 little expensive, as they recommend G Suite, that costs $5 per month, per user. (Although there are workarounds, as you can see in the FAQ below).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the very top of our list of website builders. Their ease of use together with cool tools like the iOS or Android app for editing your website on the move, or the amount of add-ons available from the app center makes it robust, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!