With More than 40M websites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s most popular web builders on the market. Unlike certain opponents, they seem less interested in flashy marketing campaigns than enhancing their platform’s technologies. Weeblys
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’s any good for producing a website, blog or online store.
What Is Weebly?
On The wide range of site building solutions, Weebly lives on the finish that is comprehensive and provides all you want to get started and develop your site. It’s compared to solutions where you purchase, install, and handle all the”pieces” of your site individually.
It is Like trading off some control for greater convenience.
Utilizing Weebly is sort of like renting and customizing a apartment in a wonderful development instead of buying and owning your own residence. You’re still in charge of decoration, cleaning, and what living-wise — however you leave the building, plumbing, security, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is critical because there’s typically a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The design and functionality that are contained with Weebly work seamlessly together as a stage. That is what allows them to own drag and drop design, layout, and articles.
As Much as competition, Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.
Website Builders as a group compete with choices like WordPress.org (which offers the 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 document. Make sense? Awesome, let us dive into the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a revelation — I receive referral fees from all of the companies discussed in this informative article. My opinions & study derive from my experiences like a paying customer or adviser to a paying client.
Weebly’s Company Pitch.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. First thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface is designed. Just select the element you want on the left, and place it upon your layout on the right.
You might find that elements snap into position And organize themselves perfectly on the page. Other solutions, such as Wix, forego the grid system, so it is quite possible to end up with overlapping elements. Together with Weebly, no risk of that happening.
Working with text can also be 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 somewhat more subjective and not necessarily 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.
Finally, should 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 phone. Weeblys
So are there Any downsides? That depends. If you want to have more freedom with your designs, then you may feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You ought to go for Wix. This competitor also has an automatic solution (Wix ADI) that can build the website for you pretty much by itself. You may possibly 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 nice to erase mistakes once you add or move elements. Second, Weebly doesn’t have a general media database that keeps all of your pictures. You’ll need to re-upload images for each and every element that needs them.
That Weebly Pricing Plan is Best for Me?
We would say the primary question to ask yourself is. Do I want to sell online? Quite simply, if you do, we recommend you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It provides all you will need for displaying information about your services, portfolio or company details. However, the Starter plan overlooks a few Pro attributes.
· Fancy header using slideshow or movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module — to let users sign in and get personal sections of the website
If some of those Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll need to update to Weebly Pro. And for a more comprehensive breakdown, please refer to our full Weebly pricing comparison page.
SEO. How Will My Weebly Website Rank On Google?
Let’s get 1 thing out of the way first. if You’re an innovative search engine optimization specialist who absolutely needs to rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive key word, you may have a difficult time using Weebly. It is not impossible, but there are limits.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free app that lets you add key words from h1 to h6, but it messes somewhat with your formatting. We wonder why Weebly does not 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 website isn’t in English. Same with the website posts, they’ll have’/blog/’ in the URL structure, which can’t be changed.
· Adding structured data ( Rich Snippets) is performed via code. But you are in your as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the plus side, Weebly does things actually Well when it comes to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize themalong as Alt texts for pictures. This is particularly important to position your images. Weeblys
· 301 redirects. You can control them to prevent broken links as soon as a page URL has been changed. Google deeply dislikes 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 Curious about SEO? Don’t forget that we have a full guide on the subject here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
Just as we Understand, really safe. The business takes security very seriously. They market strong passwords, and supply SSL encryption on all plans. Even the free tier will run on https which offers an extra layer of safety. Especially important for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly offered more in the way of backup and restore systems. You have to look after it manually by saving your site for a .zip file frequently. And there’s no restore function if disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, tracks new adjustments and lets you 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 main pros and cons. But, we want to provide you here a quick summary of the main 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 have the ability to find one that you like. There are various categories available. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on every Device (by being reactive ), and they may be adapted to match your own personal needs, together with the templates as a base. No need for you to receive a web design degree!
Of course, if You are all about layout, and absolutely have to be able to customize it down to the last pixel, so you should check out Wix in addition. Their template selection is unmatched and they have an even more flexible editor…
… unless you are confident with coding. This Is since Weebly, contrary to other builders, provides you access to the template source code.
Want to dig beneath the hood and change the CSS and HTML? You’ll have free reign here, as you can see in the image above.
Ecommerce. Is a Weebly Online Store Worth it?
We would say yes, with a caveat. It’s great to Sell digital and physical products for small and medium-sized shops, but not for big ones. Although you can use the export and import function to manage large number of items, you might find Weebly lacking in features such as massive stores.
For instance, we don’t like this there Are not any offline payment options (only credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD a month it’s also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for instance (but also has less features). Weeblys
Ultimately, it is worth noting that even though You can create a shop using the Starter and Guru program, upgrading to Business and greater makes more sense. You are going to get the automated delivery and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful for serious store owners. What’s more, you won’t have to pay an additional transaction fee 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 Enhance 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 paid. Some are constructed 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 pity the programs made by Weebly are rather limited.
However, 1 thing all the apps have in Common is a super simple installation attribute. Click and bam! All programs are analyzed and will work instantly on your own website. We tried 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 amount of apps is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Utilizing Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the experts of Weebly — not just compared with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as an overall online site solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all the sites that are built in their own platform. That can be good or awful, but in Weebly’s situation, it’s an expert. They have fast load rates. Their websites are optimized to their own hosting. They treat security against hackers and spam. With company plans, they even install and maintain SSL across your entire website. Here’s my speed test.
There Are still speed and safety risks, but overall, it’s an edge for many site owners to have somebody else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The price tag is bundled with expert and free accounts, so it’s a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start some piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there is that moment where you think”okay, what do I do now?” That approach is called onboarding, and it is also incredibly tough to execute well.
The Software maker does not want to be bothersome, but they also wish to provide help. I really like how Weebly builds in strong onboarding and instruction not just via email trickle arrangement but also via little info buttons built with their own platform.
After You sign up, it’s straightforward to dive right in. Weeblys
Website Building Process
One Promoted benefit of using a comprehensive website builder is that you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop elements. Everything you see in the builder is exactly what you get on the site.
It’s Not necessarily that simple. There is a whole lot of nuances to”drag and drop.” The majority of us actually mean”I wish to click and drag this element and transfer it to a general area where it will look good — you know, automatically centered, etc.” Put simply, it is like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You want to do something, 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 supply access to some custom CSS module, so which you may edit the template into exactly your choosing.
For Free accounts, Weebly offers an email support option and also a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they offer email, chat, AND telephone number. Response times for me were solid.
With An all-inclusive system, client support is able to troubleshoot and fix any matter. This is a huge benefit of site builder platforms generally, but especially with Weebly because they have phone support.
If You run your site, you have to work out exactly who will correct a problem prior to getting in contact with them. Together with Weebly, you just get in contact with them.
Constructed Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of building your own website on your host is that you don’t need to depend on a platform’s attribute set. If you go the stage route, it is essential to make certain that they have all the features you want and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is powerful. They’ve got all of the fundamentals — like blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary innovative features like URL redirects and page-level customized code placement.
Even Beyond the advanced requirements, Weebly even includes features including forums, subscription choices, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce options, which I’ll cover individually below.
If You proceed the all-inclusive website 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 really do need to be specifically aware of advanced options).
Also — Weebly has plenty of built-in attributes, but it does not have everything. Platforms overcome it by allowing 3rd Party programs (think the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).
Together with your Own WordPress site, adding functionality is as simple as installing a plugin. 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 huge offline and wish to be larger in the on/offline arena. That is the reason why they bought Weebly — and why the future is really bright for Weebly’s ecommerce features.
If You’re starting a website and plan on selling a few 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 provides a ready-made alternative with tightly integrated ecommerce features that should only get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I have Been using website builders for 20 years because the Homestead.com times and have been closely paying attention to this sector for the previous five decades. One overarching trend is that a firm’s structure drives product investment over the marketing group or the product group.
Even In a fast paced market, a company’s construction and end goals will dictate how it acts and what investments it gets. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespacestructure can differ tremendously among direct competitors.
For Decades, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for natural growth. However, in 2018, they offered to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that could be a big drawback. Acquisitions are renowned for destroying value and companies. However, this purchase has a Massive upside for a single market segment —
If You do not mind your website on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) then Weeblyis free with no expiration. A fairly good deal — especially for temporary websites.
Total Pricing is very aggressive not only in contrast to other comprehensive site buildersbut also with purchasing your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. Plus they don’t possess the common caps of other website builders. The Guru plan adds solid features and stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll see that everything is accessible and infinite. There are no caps on pages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they remove all advertisements with the first paid tier.
Even Their business pricing, while more costly than doing the exact same thing on your hosting, is considerably more affordable than comparable plans with direct rivals.
Compared To building your own site in your host and notably with other site builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite aggressive. Price is not everything, however I love how they structure it.
Cons + Truth About Using Weebly
But Of course, no Weebly review would be complete without looking at the downsides. Every bit of software will have complaints. Let’s look at 3 specific cons I found.
Content Management System
A Content management process is precisely what it sounds like. It’s an interface which permits you to type, filter, edit, and print different kinds of articles on your site. Weeblys
Weebly Kind of has that. It’s a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your site. It permits 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 a single page). If you are arranging a large site (like hundreds of webpages ), the content within Weebly would need a personal system to keep it sorted and easily reachable.
This Disadvantage could be overcome, however I want content could be more easily handled within Weebly.
The Last big drawback of Weebly is that moving to a new platform is not difficult. If you would like to move someplace else, including your own WordPress powered website, Assessing your content and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult procedure.
Weebly allows You to export your Page content via zip file but blog content will have to be manually copied and/or migrated via RSS.
Again — migrating platforms will always be hard, but it’s something to consider if you are planning on quickly growing content or traffic.
Advanced Marketing Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, many marketing tools and features can be added to your site. However, as you still don’t have 100% control on your website & host — it can be difficult or not 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 software.
In The jargon — the principal 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 are planning a long-term job.
For Most all website owners with typical traffic you’ll want to know about the constraints, particularly if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s advertisement revealing their new eCommerce setup.
A bonus for Weebly is that their eCommerce performance. You can sell products from your Weebly site without switching platforms or doing some special developments. It fits in seamlessly and has strong functionality.
The Pricing is cheap. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but bundles the complete eCommerce bundle for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a nice bit of performance, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms such as Shopify or even Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, basic stock management, and payment acceptance. Here is how Weebly fits on the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It is Great for sites which are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few products. It’s also a fantastic match for anyone testing out products prior to moving to a long-term stage. It’s not a long-term fit for sites which are eCommerce-first. For those, an online store you own with WordPress + WooCommerce or even a specialization eCommerce platform like Shopify (inspection ) or even Bigcommerce (review) would be a better match.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the purchase from Square does include a downside. That is regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features that make it more precious as a complete for Square. Weeblys
Features 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 would consider WordPress.com (for articles ) or Wix (for overall drag & drop) instead of Weebly. Even if Weebly meets 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’s completely changed. Weebly has now evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is better than many competitors. It is simple, uncluttered and simple to use — that is exactly what people with limited technical abilities need when it comes to creating their own internet presence.
Obviously, it’s not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, as an example. Getting an email address attached to your domain name is also a bit pricey, as they urge G Suite, that costs $5 a month, per user. (Though there are workarounds, since 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 go, or the amount of add-ons available from the app centre makes it powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!