Weebly Review & Rating 2017
Is Weebly a good website builder? Read our full Weebly review with pros & cons, complaints, recommended use, FAQs, & more to find out!
|Drag & drop:||Yes|
|# of templates:||30+|
|Money-Back Guarantee:||30 days|
A Quick Overview:
Weebly is a very popular website builder which has a user-friendly drag and drop interface, and has features which allows for blogging and eCommerce. It was created in 2006 and since then it has grown to over 40 million active users. Weebly has a really good public reputation as well. In 2007 Weebly was listed as one of the 50 Best Websites by TIME Magazine and it has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and Entrepreneur Magazine among other top publications. In October 2015, Weebly launched an improved version of its platform called Weebly Carbon which allows user to add plugins among other features. We recommend Weebly as one of the best website builders on the market. It is user friendly but still something that professional web developers can appreciate because it offers flexibility such as changing templates, being able to edit its CSS / HTML codes, and exporting your website. Weebly is ideal for small businesses, personal websites, and basic to medium-traffic online stores.
Why choose Weebly:
- Drag and drop editor is fairly easy to use
- Has the capability to export data from your website via a zip file
- Ability to edit CSS/HTML codes which allows for true customization of templates
- Fast load times because websites are optimized for their own hosting
- Competitive pricing
- Websites are automatically mobile responsive
- Helpful customer support via chat, email, and phone
- Improved template selections that are modern and trendy
- Helpful onboarding process and pre-designed page layouts to help those who are new
- Impressive mobile app available for iOS and Android devices
What are the disadvantages:
- Customizing templates will be difficult if you don’t understand CSS/HTML
- Blog design is a bit primitive and needs improvement
- If you choose the free plan, your website will use Weebly’s domain
- Slow to introduce new features
The bottom line:
Weebly is one of the best and most solid website builders on the market today. It allows for full customization of your website through the use of CSS/HTML. That may not be exciting news for those who are new to web design but the drag and drop interface of Weebly makes up for that. There is a lot that can be achieved with the pre-made or pre-designed features of this platform. The pricing is very comparable to its competitors like Wix, Squarespace and SiteBuilder. If you want to build a personal website/blog, basic online store or a small businesses website then Weebly will be a great option. As it relates to functionality, Weebly is definitely one of the best. As it relates to flexibility and customization, you may need some help from someone who knows HTML, but even with that, Weebly is still worth serious consideration.
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Weebly was founded in 2006 by David Rusenko, Chris Fanini, and Dan Veltri who were all young students at Penn State University at the time. The idea for Weebly came about from one of Penn State’s requirements which was that every student maintain an internet portfolio. The trio decided to create a software that would simplify the process of building a website and the private-beta of it launched in September 2006. In 2008 the company launched its “Pro” accounts and announced that they reached the milestone of 1 million users. Today, they boast having over 40 million users and counting. Google Chrome features Weebly in the Chrome web store under the Utilities section and Weebly was actually one of the first featured apps when the Chrome web store launched. Business Insider, InGeek and Vikitech have all mentioned Weebly as one of the best apps available for Google Chrome. Weebly is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Berlin and team members across the globe.
Essentially, Weebly has 5 different plans that you can choose from. Four are paid plans and one is free. As with most website builders, the free option is not much of an option as the free website will display a Weebly banner ad ant the bottom of your website and you won’t be able to connect your own domain. If you use the free plan, you will be given a subdomain like www.yoursite.weebly.com. If you just want a trial or test website, this won’t be a problem but if you want something more professional, you’ll have to upgrade to one of their paid plans namely, Starter, Pro, Business, and Performance. One notable feature of all the paid plans is that Weebly offers a free domain for one year and credit for Google Ads. Apart from that each plan offers different features which explains the price difference.
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Starter: The main two features that differentiates this plan from the Free Plan are that with the Starter plan, the Weebly banner is removed and you can connect your own domain to your website. You can buy your domain through Weebly which is free for one year, or you can choose to connect a domain which you purchased through an external provider. On this plan, you can also set up an online store. Weebly charges 3% per transaction but even with that it’s still one of the most affordable eCommerce solutions available today.
Pro: In addition to the features that are available on the Starter plan, this plan also offers Site Search, Password Protection so that you can block certain parts of your website, video backgrounds, HD Video/Audio and up to 100 members. In regards to eCommerce, this plan allows you to list up to 25 products which an improvement from the 10 items offered in the Starter plan. For Customer support, this plan and higher upgrades allow for phone support along with the standard community forum and email/chat support.
Business: This plan has everything that the Pro plan has and more. Now you can enable membership registration and have an unlimited number of members on your website. The main benefits of this plan are in eCommerce. There are no transaction fees, you can list unlimited products including digital goods, you can manage inventory and issue coupons and there is impressive SSL Security among other features. This plan is suitable for new/upcoming online stores. There are just enough features for you to get the ball rolling.
Performance: This plan offers everything that the Unlimited plan offers except for 3 notable difference. For the eCommerce plan, the bandwidth is down to 20GB, the storage is also 20GB and of course you now have the ability to add an online store to your website. This plan is suitable if you want to display and sell products on your website. It is not the most robust option out there for building an online store but if your store is relatively small, it will get the job done. It is also worth saying the that the design, which tends to be Weebly’s strongest area, is quite impressive.
Weebly scores well in regards to “ease of use” especially with the introduction of Weebly Carbon.
The introductory process/tour of Weebly Carbon is smooth and easy to understand as was the original onboarding process/tour. The sign-up process is standard and simple. Once you sign up with your email address and create a password, you will be led to the Template selection page. All templates are responsive which means that your website will be optimized for each device (smartphone, tablet, desktop ect.) Weebly has maintained its minimalistic look with its templates but they have added more options recently so you’ll likely find one that’s right for you. If you don’t find one that you like, remember that you can always customize your website using the drag and drop editor or by editing the source code. The templates just act as a guide.
Once you’ve selected your template/theme, a pop up will appear for you to select your domain. Remember that you can only connect a custom domain if you are upgrading to a premium plan. If you plan to stick with the free plan, then you will select a subdomain name. On the topic of domains, it’s important to mention that Weebly does offer domains free for one year when you get it through Weebly and upgrade to any of the 4 paid plans.
After you have selected your domain, you will be on the Editor screen, but before that, let’s look at the main Dashboard which is essentially the account management page. To arrive there from any page, just click the “W” home icon at the top-left of the page. Here are a few main features of the Weebly Dashboard.
If you want to create your first website, you would click the plus sign icon at the left side of the header. If you have already created multiple websites on your account, you will see a drop down icon there, click that and then click “Add Site” to create your new website. On the Dashboard, you can also view your website’s statistics, access domains and email accounts, manage current apps on your website and try out new recommended apps.
One of the main focus points of any website builder is the Editor because this is where the user will build and customize their website.
The Weebly Editor is very straightforward even for new users. The drag and drop interface is user-friendly but it might be a bit restrictive if you don’t understand how to edit the source code. There are numerous features that you can use to customize your website such as slideshows, galleries, maps, embedded code, video and music players, amongst other gadgets and widgets. There are additional applications such as tables, calendars, and more which can be found in the Weebly App Center.
Helpful FAQs About Weebly
Here are some frequently asked questions you may have about SiteBuilder:
It is good for total beginners but it is not a great blog system overall. It has some basic necessities that a blog requires. It is search engine-friendly and can work to your advantage if you know how to use SEO. The title, metatags, description, and images can be customized as well, but it does not allow for multiple authors, and you are unable to highlight related posts, most popular posts or latest posts, among other features. These missing elements are almost expected to be a part of any serious blogs now so Weebly does need to improve that.
Weebly accepts all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, & Discover) but does not accept PayPal.
If you decide that Weebly is not right for you, the cancellation process is simple and hassle-free. On the Dashboard page, you would click your name in the top right corner and select “Account” from the drop down menu. On the account page, you will see the red button “Permanently delete your Weebly account”.
Disadvantages Explained – Things Weebly Could Improve
Weebly has quite a few impressive features but as with any platform, it also has its downfalls. Here are a few areas that Weebly could improve on and some points for you to consider before you sign up.
Design Flexibility Limitations: When using the regular drag and drop interface, Weebly only allows for font style changes and color scheme changes. Making changes such as adjusting the content width, changing the menu bar color or content background design will require you to modify the codes of the templates which most web design newbies won’t know how to do. Especially because other website builders such as Squarespace and Wix offer code-free ways of making these changes, Weebly’s restrictive design capability is a downfall for the platform.
Slow to introduce new features: Weebly introduces new features only once or twice a year which is slow in comparison to its competitors. When they do come out with something new, it tends to be really good but it’s a long wait for a lot of users who are constantly hungry for new and innovative features. Other website builders like Wix make changes or introduce new features almost every other month so Weebly scores low in this area when compared to its competitors.
Additional Features Worth Mentioning
Overall Weebly is quite impressive as a website builder. It has more advantages than disadvantages. We mentioned a few of those advantages earlier in this review but here are 3 features we’d like to elaborate on.
Mobile App: Weebly has a mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices. The capabilities are impressive. Not only does it allow you to manage your website but you can actually create a website directly from the app. Some other features of the Weebly app include: monitoring your site’s activity/statistics in real time, managing your online store’s inventory and orders, and managing your blog. You can even work offline, save your work, and then sync it to all devices.
Team Management: If you have additional persons working on your website for different purposes, you can assign other editors who would have their own login information. The best part is that you can choose whether they get access to everything or just specific areas. This may come in handy if you’re a newbie to web design and you’re getting help from a professional to edit the template’s source code. You won’t have to worry about them having access to any personal information.
Visitor Statistics Tool: Every Weebly plan including the free plan comes with a visitor statistics tool which becomes more advanced with each upgrade. This feature allows you to view analytics such as how many persons visited your website, what pages they visited, where they are from, how they found your website and how long they stayed on your website. This is very useful when looking to optimize and improve your website. If you try this statistics tool and find that you prefer Google Analytics, Weebly allows you to integrate that too.
Conclusion – To Build or Not to Build?
As we reach the conclusion of our Weebly review, it’s important to keep in mind that every website builder has different strength and weaknesses. If you’re considering Weebly, you’ll need to determine if this website builder offers the right features, pricing, and services to best suit your needs. For further information about Weebly, visit their website at www.Weebly.com. If you found this review helpful, please like and share it!
Let Us Know Your Thoughts
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