With More than 40M sites under its belt, Weebly is one of the world’s hottest web builders on the market. Unlike particular opponents, they seem less interested in flashy advertising campaigns than improving their platform’s technologies. Wix
This all sounds fairly good on paper, right? Well let’s figure out how it appears in practice. Within this review, we’ll have a look at their drag and drop editor and see if it is any good for creating a web site, blog or online shop.
What Is Weebly?
On The broad spectrum of site building solutions, Weebly resides at the finish that is comprehensive and provides everything you want to get started and develop your website. It’s in contrast to options where you buy, install, and handle all the”bits” of your website individually.
It is Like trading off some control for greater convenience.
Using Weebly is kind of like leasing and customizing a apartment in a nice development rather than getting and owning your own house. You’re still in charge of decoration, cleaning, and what living-wise — however you leave the construction, plumbing, safety, and infrastructure into the property owner. That point is critical since there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
All The design and functionality which are included with Weebly work together collectively as a platform. That is what allows them to have drag and drop design, layout, and articles.
As Much 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 provides the totally free software to build a website that you have & 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 to the Weebly review.
One Other quick aside — a disclosure — I receive referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this post. My remarks & study are based on my experiences like a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Weebly’s Business Travels.
What Makes Weebly So Easy to Use?
Fantastic question. The first thing you’ll notice Is how well the drag and drop interface is designed. Just choose the element you want on the left, and place it on your layout on the right.
You might find that components snap into position And arrange themselves perfectly 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 occurring.
Working with text is also a breeze in Weebly. You simply click what you would like to edit and sort your own words from the box. Some other options use”entry masks” that are a bit more abstract and not always easy to utilize.
The navigation system also works miracles. It’s possible to dig deep into menus and submenus. Weebly handles them just like a charm.
Ultimately, if you get stuck anywhere, the Weebly knowledge base may answer a great deal of questions through tutorials that are clear and step-by-step guides. Failing that, the support is exceptional, whether by email, chat, or phone. Wix
So are there Any downsides? This is different. If you want more freedom with your designs, then you might feel frustrated by the rigid grid system. You ought to go to get Wix. This competitor also has an automated solution (Wix ADI) that may build the web site for you by itself. You may perhaps shave off a few minutes of your site 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 will be wonderful to erase mistakes once you add or move elements. Secondly, Weebly does not have a general media database which keeps all your pictures. You’re going to have to re-upload pictures for each and every element that requires them.
Which Weebly Pricing Program is Ideal for Me?
We would say the main question to ask is. Do I want to market online? Quite simply, if you really do, we advise that you go for Weebly Business.
For other Sorts of websites, Weebly Starter Is usually sufficient. It will offer everything 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 movie background.
· Integrated video / audio player
· Password-protected pages
· Membership module to allow users sign in and access private sections of the website
If any of the Above are must-haves for your website, you’ll have to update to Weebly Pro. And to get 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 1 thing out of the way . if You are an advanced search engine optimization expert who absolutely needs to rank #1 on search engines for a really competitive keyword, you might have a difficult time using Weebly. It’s not impossible, but there are limitations.
· Your headings are limited to H2. There’s a free program which lets you insert headings from h1 to h6, but it messes a bit with your formatting. We wonder Weebly doesn’t incorporate it into their system.
· Particular 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 huge issue unless your site isn’t in English. Same with the blog posts, they will have’/site /’ in the URL structure and this can’t be changed.
· Adding structured info ( Rich Snippets) is done via source code. However, you are in your as Weebly doesn’t help.
On the plus side, Weebly does matters really Well in regards to.
· URL, Title tags & meta-descriptions. You can customize themalong as Alt texts for images. This is especially important to rank your images. Wix
· 301 redirects. You can control them to avoid broken links when a page URL has been changed. Google deeply dislikes 404 pages.
· Picture optimization. Weebly does a fantastic job at compressing the pictures you upload. This improves speed, always a boon for SEO.
Still a little Curious about SEO? Don’t forget that we’ve got a full guide on the topic here.
Security & Backups. How Safe and Secure is a Weebly Website?
As far as we Understand, really safe. The business takes safety very seriously. They market strong passwords, and offer SSL encryption on all plans. The free tier will run on https which delivers an extra layer of safety. Especially important for onsite personal data exchange (e.g. charge card or email address).
Unfortunately, we wish Weebly provided more in the way of backup and restore systems. You have to look after it manually by saving your website as a .zip file regularly. And there’s no restore function in case disaster strikes. Wix, for instance, 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 Good
We’ve Got a Detailed post about Weebly’s templates where you are able to read the main pros and cons. However, we want to give you here a quick summary of the main features here.
The First thing to notice is that Weebly does not have a ton of template designs (approximately 50), but you should easily have the ability to find one that you like. There are different categories out there. Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog.
They automatically look great on each Apparatus (by being responsive), and they may be adapted to match your personal requirements, together with the templates as a base. No need for you to get a web design degree!
Of course, if You are all about layout, and absolutely need to have the ability to customize it down to the last pixel, so you should check out Wix in addition. Their template choice is unmatched and they have a much more flexible editor…
… unless you’re confident using coding. This Is since Weebly, unlike other builders, gives you access to the template source code.
Want to dig beneath the hood and modify 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’d say yes, with a caveat. It’s great to Sell physical and digital products for small and medium-sized stores, but maybe not for huge ones. Although you can use the import and export function to manage large number of items, you might discover Weebly lacking in features for massive stores.
For instance, we do not like that there Aren’t any offline payment choices (just credit card, PayPal, etc). At $30 CAD per month it’s also rather pricey. Wix’s Online Store is just $20 US for example (but also has less features). Wix
Ultimately, it’s worth noting that even though You’re able to create a shop with the Starter and Guru program, updating to Business and greater makes more sense. You’ll find the automated delivery and sales tax calculator, which is very helpful for serious store owners. What’s more, you won’t have to cover an additional transaction fee of 3%.
Still confused About the many online store strategies? You may find detailed information in our Weebly Online Shop review.
App Store. Can I Enhance My Website with Add-Ons?
You bet! There are no less than 300 programs in A number of classes like 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) chance that it might shut down one day. Additionally a shame the programs made by Weebly are rather restricted.
However, one thing all the programs have in Common is a super easy installation attribute. One click and bam! All programs are analyzed and will work instantly on your own website. 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 the quality and amount of programs is a slightly inferior those from the Wix App Store.
Benefits of Utilizing Weebly
Here is What I discovered to be the pros of Weebly — not only compared with Squarespace and Wix or WordPress, but also as a overall online website solution.
Speed & Security
Weebly supplies Hosting for all the websites which are constructed on their platform. That can be good or awful, however in Weebly’s case, it’s an expert. They have fast load rates. Their websites are optimized to their hosting. They take care of security against spam and hackers. With business plans, they 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 advantage for many website owners to have somebody else care for speed, security, backups, etc.. The cost is bundled with expert and free accounts, so it’s a solid value-add.
Onboarding & Education
Whenever You start any piece of software — no matter how intuitive — there’s that moment where you think”ok, what can I do today?” This approach is known as onboarding, and it is also incredibly hard to implement well.
The Software maker does not want to be annoying, but they also wish to provide help. I love how Weebly assembles in strong onboarding and instruction not just via email trickle arrangement but also via small info buttons built with their own platform.
After You join, it is straightforward to dive right in. Wix
Website Building Procedure
One Advertised advantage of using a comprehensive website builder is that you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You only have to drag and drop elements. Everything you find in the builder is what you receive on the website.
It is Not always that simple. There’s a whole lot of nuances to”drop and drag.” Most of us actually mean”I want to click and drag this element and transfer it to a general area where it’ll look good — you know, automatically focused, etc.” In other words, it is like playing tee-ball rather than baseball…or bowling with up gutter guards. You want to do the thing, but also have a little bit of assistance.
For The most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop really works. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so that you can edit the template to exactly your choosing.
For Free of charge accounts, Weebly offers an email service option and a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they offer email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were strong.
With An all-inclusive system, customer support can troubleshoot and fix any matter. This is a huge advantage of site builder platforms generally, but especially with Weebly because they have telephone support.
If You run your site, you’ve got to figure out exactly who can correct a problem prior to getting in touch with them. With Weebly, you merely get in touch with them.
Built-in Feature Set + Extensions
The Big advantage of creating your own site on your own host is that you don’t have to depend on a platform’s attribute set. If you go the platform route, it is key to be sure that they have all the features you desire and need.
Weebly’s Feature set is strong. They’ve got all of the fundamentals — like website performance, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level customized code placement.
Even Beyond the complex necessities, Weebly even includes features including forums, membership options, integrated marketing options, file uploads, etc.. In addition they have eCommerce alternatives, which I’ll cover separately below.
If You proceed the comprehensive site builder route, Weebly’s feature set must offer everything you will need for typical personal/business sites (though as we will see in the Cons section, you really do need to be especially aware of advanced options).
Additionally — Weebly has a lot of built-in features, but it does not have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party apps (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 centre.
Anyone who retails online
Why? Square is a payments processor. They’re enormous offline and wish to be larger in the on/offline arena. That is why they bought Weebly — and the future is pretty bright for Weebly’s ecommerce 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 sell online, the Weebly provides a readymade solution with tightly integrated ecommerce characteristics that should just get better.
Product Investment & Company Structure
I’ve Been using site 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 a company’s structure pushes product investment more than the marketing group or the product group.
Even In a fast-growing marketplace, a organization’s structure and finish 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 Years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated firm going for natural expansion. However, in 2018, they sold to Square — the big player in payments processing. Weebly now functions as an independent subsidiary of Square.
On One hand, that could be a huge downside. Acquisitions are renowned for ruining value and companies. However, this purchase has a huge upside for a single market segment —
If You don’t mind your site on a subdomain (ie, http. //yourwebsite.weebly.com) afterward Weeblyis free with no expiration. A pretty good deal — particularly for temporary websites.
Overall Pricing is quite competitive not only compared to other comprehensive website buildersbut also with purchasing your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts approximately $8/mo when paid up front. And they don’t possess the typical caps of other site builders. The Guru program adds sound features and still stays under $12/mo.
And Again — you’ll see that everything is accessible and infinite. There are no limits on pages or storage space. And unlike competitions such as Wix, they eliminate all advertisements with the initial paid grade.
Even Their small business pricing, while more costly than doing the exact same thing on your hosting, is much cheaper than similar plans with direct rivals.
In comparison To constructing your own site on your server and especially with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is quite competitive. Price isn’t everything, however I love how they structure it.
Disadvantages + Truth About Utilizing Weebly
However, Obviously, no Weebly review will be complete without looking at the drawbacks. Each piece of software will have complaints. Let us look at 3 specific cons I discovered.
Content Management System
A Content management system is exactly what it resembles. It is an interface that permits you to sort, filter, edit, and print different kinds of content on your site. Wix
Weebly Kind of features that. It has a Pages section that lists out all of the pages on your website. It permits you to drag and drop the hierarchy and then click to edit each. Nevertheless, it’s far from an efficient system.
There is No way to add custom content types (except inside a single page). If you’re arranging a large site (such as hundreds of webpages ), the articles within Weebly would require a personal system to maintain it sorted and readily reachable.
This Disadvantage can be overcome, however that I want content could be easily handled within Weebly.
The Last huge drawback of Weebly is that moving to a different platform is difficult. If you would like to move somewhere else, such as your WordPress powered site, migrating your articles and redirecting your URLs are going to be a difficult procedure.
Weebly allows One 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 difficult, but it is something to consider if you’re planning on quickly growing traffic and/or content.
Advanced Advertising Tools
Since Weebly allows for HTML editing, many marketing tools and attributes can be added to your site. But as you still do not have 100% control over your website & host — it can be difficult or not impossible to include advanced marketing tools such as an EV SSL, custom email collection applications, custom analytics packages, habit social stocks, special Schemas and A/B testing software.
In The jargon — the main 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 aware of if you’re planning a long-term project.
For Most all site owners with typical traffic — you’ll want to be aware of the limitations, especially if you are planning for rapid growth.
Weebly eCommerce Addendum
Here is Weebly’s ad revealing their new eCommerce installation.
A bonus for Weebly is their eCommerce functionality. You can sell products from the Weebly site without switching platforms or doing any special developments. It fits in seamlessly and has strong functionality.
The Pricing is cheap. On lower tiers, Weebly charges transaction fees but packages the complete eCommerce bundle for company plans.
Ecommerce Is a wonderful piece of performance, but remember that it is not a full-fledged eCommerce that online store platforms like Shopify or Bigcommerce have. Weebly has a shopping cart, fundamental stock management, and payment approval. Here is how Weebly fits about the eCommerce”spectrum” —
It’s Ideal for sites that are mostly lead-generation, informational, etc but also wish to sell a few products. It’s also a good match for anyone testing out products before going into a long-term platform. It’s not a long-term fit for websites that are eCommerce-first. For all those, an online shop you have with WordPress + WooCommerce or a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify (inspection ) or even Bigcommerce (review) would be a much better match.
Product Investment & Company Construction
Now — the acquisition from Square does come with a downside. That’s regular site builder features. Weebly’s incentive would be to invest in features which make it more precious as a whole for Square. Wix
Features Like appointment scheduling, blogging, etc are only valuable in so far that they benefit the parent company.
If You are 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 site builder. That’s completely changed. Weebly has evolved into an outstanding site building tool that is better than many competitors. It’s simple, uncluttered and easy to use — that is precisely what people with limited technical abilities need in regards to creating their own internet presence.
Obviously, it is not 100% perfect. We’d like To observe somewhat more templates, as an example. Finding an email address attached to your domain name is also a little expensive, as they urge G Suite, which costs $5 a month, per user. (Though there are workarounds, as you can see in the FAQ under ).
But all in all, Weebly reaches the very top of the list of website builders. Their ease of use combined with cool tools such as the iOS or Android program for editing your website on the go, or the number of add-ons out there in the program center makes it robust, and enjoyable to use.
Enough with the theory. Try it out for Yourself and see how you enjoy it!