Weebly Review August 2020 : What to Expect

Weebly Review

Weebly has over 40 million sites and remains to be one of the most extensive website builders.  Featuring ready designer templates and an array of useful Ecommerce tools, Weebly makes it much simpler to get a site up and running. You can build a functional and stylish website with Weebly, whether you’re looking for a business site, portfolio, or an online eCommerce store.

In this Weebly review, we look at what to expect from this site builder, some of its pros and cons, and we also answer some questions you might have in the FAQ section.

Things You Should Expect?

Weebly as a site builder allows you to create a website and offers you a domain name, email address, and hosting space.  That means you won’t need to get a different domain registrar or hosting provider.

To get started, you’ll be prompted to choose the type of website you want to build, whether it  is an online store or a personal business website.  Users can customize or develop their sites by using the edit site option.

Weebly comes with a live drag-and-drop website builder tool that allows you to change the text on existing templates. You can also make changes to a selected template by adding custom text, title, or things like a button or a slideshow. The design and functionality included in Weebly enable them to have drag and drop design, layout, and content.

The simple to use website making tools enable you to create a mobile-optimized site without editing any code. You also get tools for analytics, marketing, and SEO.

The interface has a list of pages on the canvas and sidebar. You’ll find the canvas on the right side of the sidebar. You can hide/show the navigation bar on pages, change the header style, manage the SEO of individual pages, control a page’s visibility, and more from this interface.

When it comes to the theme, you’ll get an option to export the template, change the current theme, switch from boxed to full-width layout or change the font/color scheme. You get to edit the themes JS, HTML, and CSS code.  Note that the changes made to the theme are displayed in real-time.

Weebly has a simple pricing plan. The first is the free plan that comes with a Weebly ad in the footer. You also get premium options called Performance, Professional, and Personal. We’ll get into this in detail later.

The website builder is also perfect for anyone into programming as it allows you to add or edit some code. What’s more, Weebly works well with bigger sites, something you may find challenging to deal with when using Squarespace or Wix.

Weebly was acquired by Square in 2018. The acquisition by an online payment company means that you can now explore more Ecommerce features and more payment options.

Here’s a look at the pricing and features of the Weebly website builder.

Pricing

Free Personal Professional Performance
$0 $6/month billed annually or

$9per month

$12/month billed annually or

$15 per month

$26/month billed annually or

$29 per month

Weebly starts with a free plan that allows for basic use. You get full access to the UI, complete SSL security, chat/email support, SEO tools, and access to the community forum.  However, with the free plan, you’ll need to use a Weebly subdomain and have display ads on the site.

The Personal Plan starts at $6 a month when billed annually or $9 every month. This plan allows you to connect to a custom domain as opposed to selling for the Weebly subdomain.

The Professional Plan starts at $12 a month, and it allows you to build a professional branded site for your business. Users get extra features like phone support, video/audio players, and an ad-free experience.

The Performance Plan starts at $26 a month. Being a premium plan, you can grow and manage your business with integrated eCommerce tools. It’s ideal for large web stores.  This plan also works if you’re looking to create an online store and run advanced marketing campaigns.

Note that you get a free domain and email address in the first year. However, you need to renew it at $19.95 a year.  Also, Weebly provides six months and two-year payment options for added flexibility.

If you are wondering which Weebly pricing plan is best for you, you need to determine what type of website you need. You also need to decide if you want it ad-free. The Professional plan gives you a fully ad-free website, and it offers all you need to display your company details, services, or portfolio.

Other features included are password-protected pages, an integrated video/audio player, a fancy header with slideshow, and a membership module that allows users to sign in and access private sections of the site.

Pros/Cons of Weebly

Here are some pros of using Weebly as a site builder.

Ease of Use

If you are looking for a simple site builder, Weebly is one as it uses a simple drag and drop approach. The interactive system makes even the complex task easy. When you need to change anything, find the icon you need and drag it onto the page.

The site builder has various areas of every page within the theme that can be adjusted automatically to fit. Beginners with little to no experience in web development will find Weebly convenient as you don’t have to worry about tweaking any code.

The designs are page-specific, which makes the platform easy to use.  You never have to worry about dragging some components and breaking the theme. Find the App Store in the same top bar for pages.  You can browse for the app you want and click add to install it. Use the drag and drop UI to put the app on your site.

Additional editor features include customized code for advanced users. You can customize your CSS and HTML files. The SEO features allow for entry of header and footer code, redirects, and Search Engine indexing control.

If you would like to bring someone along like a writer or a designer, Weebly allows you to invite people to collaborate with from the settings page.

A Huge Selection of Apps

Weebly has an App Center that offers you add-on options to enhance your site appearance.  That’s an excellent thing as users who need extras can have something to sample, and those who’d rather keep it simple don’t get an interface that has tons of features they’ll never use.

The App Center has five categories-communication, eCommerce, social, marketing, and site tools. You can try the free option or opt for the premium features.

Ecommerce users will love the MarketGoo and Promo Bar features.

Market Goo is a must if you’re planning on using Weebly’s SEO analysis feature. The feature allows you to monitor your site,  and let you know what needs fixing to optimize your SEO.

Promo Bar is a tool that fixes a customizable bar on your website that you can use to highlight featured products or sales. You can also feature discount codes here or whatever information you want.

Apart from having a vast list of apps from third parties, there are also some Weebly built apps in the Apps Center.

Responsive Themes

One thing you’ll love about Weebly is the appealing theme that also adapts well to mobile devices. While all sites have a mobile-optimized view, the responsive themes keep the design style consistent between mobile and web views, which is impressive.  Bradley and Squared  integrate design elements on different devices.

Although Weebly may not have a lot of themes like other site builders, they have unique designs with a clean layout. Their customization options and professional appeal ensures that you get a theme that works for your customers.

Speed and Security

Despite Weebly providing hosting on all the websites built on their platform, they have impressive load speeds. All the websites are optimized for their hosting, which means they handle any security against spam and hackers. Business plan users get SSL installed and maintained across the whole site.

Version 5.0 Weebly Mobile App

Weebly puts a lot of detail in its mobile app, which is unique and not something you’ll find with other site builders. The app works on your smartphone and allows you to edit your website at your convenience.

You can find the app on both Android and iOS. The app also allows you to check your visitor statistics and other essential data apart from editing it. Find drag and drop editor that allows you to manage complex back-end tasks like inventory check, fulfillment, order processing, acceptance of payments, and more.

Another impressive aspect is that you can opt to work offline and sync any changes made when you return online. As a Weebly mobile app user, you can also track data, leverage on insights like where most traffic is from, and get site overviews if you have multiple sites.

These features on the app make Weebly outstanding and perfect for anyone looking to work on the go.

Customer Support

Weebly provides a detailed knowledge base and an email support option for free accounts. They have stable response times, which is impressive.  Starter and paid accounts have a phone, email, and chat options,

The site builder has an all-inclusive platform with experienced technicians that can help with any issue. You’ll find that Weebly is one of the website builder platforms that offers phone support. Professional and Personal plan users also get priority support, which is a plus.

Gives You a Chance to Migrate

If you feel that Weebly is no longer a reliable service provider and you’d instead move to a new platform, Weebly allows you to export your site and they also have a tutorial that will teach you what to do.  Wix locks its users within the platform and won’t allow you to move. You can only delete your site and create a new one.

Comes with Bonus Extras

Weebly also includes a free domain with every plan. You also get a free SEO analysis report if you install the MarketGoo App. That allows you to tweak your SEO settings for optimization. You can also scale up at any time you feel like you need a better plan.

Cons of Weebly

Some of the drawbacks of Weebly include:

Reduced Design Flexibility

Unlike Wix, Weebly doesn’t give you the freedom to move things around.  While some are comfortable with the Weebly structure, others love exploring and experimenting to find what works for them. In this case, Weebly gives you limited design flexibility as you are locked in a specified platform.

Not Ideal for International Websites

If you’re planning to have an international website, you’re better off looking for another site builder as Weebly makes it challenging to create a website in multiple languages and remain SEO friendly.

Weebly also blocks traffic from countries like China, Russia, and Ukraine.

Not Easy to Manage Content

Although Weebly does have a content management system, it lacks the extended functionality that you’ll find on WordPress, which is more inclined to content.  Unlike WordPress, where you can add content and edit, Weebly allows you to have a blog section where you drag and drop bits onto a canvas.

What’s more, the format is fixed, and there are limits on what you can and can’t add.  You can’t add custom content apart from an individual page. Having a site with hundreds of pages will require a personal system to keep all the content organized and accessible.  It would be easier to manage content within Weebly.

Limited Photo Editing

Weebly only allows you to do a few things with their inbuilt photo editor.  You can only apply a color filter, zoom, darken, or blur. There are no options for cropping or adding some things to your photos.

Your Support Depends on the Plan You Purchase

Although Weebly has support like video tutorials, a knowledge base, and FAQ for everyone, your options are limited depending on the plan you opt to purchase.  The site builder also has email, phone, and live chat.

You won’t have priority support or phone support unless you are on the Professional or Performance plan. They also have a community forum, which doesn’t have much activity going on.

Free Plan Users are Stuck With the Weebly Subdomain

When you opt for the free plan, you’re stuck with the Weebly subdomain. You can only have a custom domain if you are on a Professional or Performance plan. You’re also allowed to purchase a domain name through Weebly to avoid having the subdomain.

Also, note that you’re stuck with Weebly branding through ads on your sites when choosing to use the free plan.

Limited Template Customisations

As a web developer, you may need to edit HTML/CSS/Java codes. If you’re planning to make some changes without the code, you may find it challenging as Weebly has limits on theme customizations.

Wix and Squarespace provide decent customization options in the editor, but Weebly only allows you to customize the fonts, colors, and other necessary things.

Weebly Rating Details

CRITERIA RATING COMMENTS
Ease of Use    5 Weebly uses a simple drag and drop interface to input elements onto a webpage. Edit the features and settings by clicking on these elements
Design Flexibility 4.8 Weebly has unique themes with varying page layouts. The themes are responsive, and you can add video backgrounds and animations. Edit the templates through the source code. Note that you can’t change elements or edit on your mobile site.
Ad-Free 4.5 You get a bar at the bottom of the screen with the Weebly logo. Paid plans are ad-free.
Languages 2 Weebly is only available in English as the primary language. It lacks a feature to create multilingual sites. They do not support Arabic, Russian, or Chinese character sets
Features

Domain

Depth of Navigation

Widgets

Ecommerce

SEO

Blog

Backup and Restore

Support

OVERALL RATING

4.8

5.0

4.5

4.2

4.2

4.2

4.0

4.5

4.5

You get a free domain name that is renewable in the second year at$19.95. You can add your domain from another provider.

Unlimited levels of navigation with a drop-down menu

The editor includes video, image galleries, music players, and those extras. The Weebly App Center has more widgets like calendars, tables, social media widgets.

Weebly comes with an easy-to-use shopping cart with payment and SSL encryption. Users can add product photos and images.

It also comes with a shipping calculator, automated tax, and inventory management.

Meta tags, description tags, title, Alt text on images are customized at a page level. Editable URLs, but H1, H2 headlines use is limited.

Basic features and SEO friendly blog entries. Integrate commenting systems like Facebook.

Users can download backups manually.

Weebly offers phone, email, chat, and an FAQ section for users. Performance plan users get priority support.

Weebly is an easy to use website builder with an impressive range of features. They should provide more design flexibility and add a way to create international websites easily. Apart from these issues, Weebly is excellent.

Weebly Key Features

Weebly has an array of features, apps, and widgets that come in handy when designing your website. Here’s an in-depth look at some of these features.

Drag and Drop Interface

Weebly has a drag and drop interface that allows you to pick items and place them where you’d like them on your site.  You won’t have to deal with overlapping elements like in Wix. Adding apps is also easy. You’ll need to download and click add to install it. Once done, use the drag and drop user interface to place it on your site.

You’ll find working with text a breeze as you can edit and add your words.  All the added elements are displayed within a toolbar on the left side of the screen.  However, note that everything is page specific to Weebly.

If you’re looking to add a blog post, you can only add it to a dedicated blog page. Although there are exceptions to this rule, it applies in most cases.

Weebly eCommerce

Weebly outdoes itself with its range of features that are meant to enhance the performance of your online store.  You can create an attractive yet functional web store without too much hassle.

If you choose to create an Ecommerce store on Weebly, the system gives you an integrated shopping cart. That means you can sell products immediately without having to deal with technical issues first.

You can also determine the product stock and enjoy safe payment options.  Users can manage product shipping, alert clients on top selling products,  and boost customer interest with your offers.  Customers can be notified when a product is available in case it was out of stock.

Another fantastic feature is the search filter option that allows customers to enjoy simplicity when shopping and speed up the process.  Your customers can categorize the product by type, color, price, and other factors.  Weebly also has different settings for exclusive offers, physical products, services, handmade products, and more.

Weebly also has exciting themes and color combinations, product display options, product info integration, flexible shipping, payment options, and more to improve your web store building experience.

If you plan to move your Shopify or Etsy web store to Weebly, simply upload a CSV file to the platform for a quick set up.

Weebly Blogging

Setting up and configuring a biog on your Weebly site is simple using the drag and drop feature.  You can add custom headers/footers to each post, schedule posts, specific meta tags, pre-select social media sharing options, and choose between various commenting systems.

The editing and publishing elements allow you to focus on the content of the blog. You’ll also get a collection of blog templates you can use as part of large online stores and websites. Moreover, you can customize the blog templates.

Weebly Marketing Tools

Weebly has the Promote Tool for advanced email marketing options. This tool generates messages automatically depending on the activity of the registered users.  You also get ready-made templates for promo newsletters, bulletins, event intros, and more.

The best part is that the emails can be viewed on your PC and mobile device. You can also create and save templates for future use. To get started, you need a list of emails.

These are then uploaded through one-click integration that synchronizes the contacts with community groups or by importing the emails from the CSV file.

You get real-time statistics on people who’ve opened, those who’ve read the emails, and the number of people who accessed your email. Other marketing services by Weebly Promote include contact segmentation, email drag-and-drop constructor, and a variety of tech support tools.

SEO Tools

Weebly has a set of search engine optimization tools that allow you to have a unique URL to your page and set up descriptions, titles, and keywords.  With this, your site gets highly ranked on search engines.  Another fantastic aspect is that Weebly allows you to set up and change the permalinks of all the pages in the SEO settings section.

You can embed the header and for code into each page separately.  Weebly also allows you to hide a target page from the search engine by clicking on the checkmark button.

If you’re planning on transferring your site to Weebly from a different host, you can avoid losing the SEO history and results by setting up 301 redirects.  Doing that will redirect the traffic and search engines from previous pages to new ones.  All you need is to head to the SEO settings in the system editor and get all that set up.

Weebly App Center

The Weebly App Center is one of its kind, given its collection of apps and services. Weebly seeks to enhance your content creation experience, which means more entertainment and functionality to your site visitors.

You can download these apps on iOS and Android. Some typical  applications include:

  • Call-out box-it’s a free app that makes it easy to emphasize essential information on your site using border color and a custom background
  • PinPoll- PinPoll makes it simple to incorporate polls into your site as a way to promote interaction. You can add images and brand colors. The app works on any device, and it’s responsive.
  • LiveChat-LiveChat is a paid app that allows you to include live chat software into your site in a few minutes.

Weebly Form Builder

Weebly allows you to create custom forms on the website. With the drag and drop form builder of the service, users can create custom contact forms, create RSVP lists, and surveys to make your projects functional and engaging.

You can gather data more effectively by integrating these aspects into your site.  This feature works perfectly for people in niche businesses like restaurants and wedding websites.

Weebly gives you the freedom to customize the form by dragging and dropping elements like text, drop-down menus, and checkboxes.

Once a site visitor submits data, you’ll receive a notification email, and the data will be sorted on the dashboard. You can export it to a spreadsheet for detailed analysis.

Weebly Image Editor

Weebly, in 2017 introduced the image editor that is now based on HTML5. The editor comes with features like rotating, cropping and adjusting images option. You can also apply 29 filters and add text when you need to.

IFTTT Integration

Weebly works with IFTTT, a smart web service that allows you to connect different apps to automate events and tasks.

A good example is a fact that you can connect your Instagram account and Weebly site to add a new blog when you publish a photo.

Weebly Video Hosting

Weebly makes it easy to publish and upload videos to your site through YouTube integration or video upload and hosting.

With the YouTube Integration, you can integrate YouTube videos and other sites to your Weebly based website. Users can display elements and change intervals by using Weebly video tools and YouTube tools.

Weebly also allows you to incorporate videos from services like Vimeo.  You get control over your site multimedia elements. It’s also possible to upload videos to Weebly directly. The website builder converts them to display videos from your site. You won’t need to get a different media player or download some app to watch the video.

Do We Recommend Weebly as a Site Builder?

We recommend Weebly if you’re looking for a site builder that allows you to create a website. It’s also ideal if you’re looking to build an effective online store and blog. However, Weebly may not be the best option if you’re looking for all control when placing elements. If you don’t want to pay more for the domain name and email, you’ll find Weebly’s free plan limiting due to the ads and subdomain names.

Weebly FAQs

Some frequently asked questions about Weebly include:

  1. Is Weebly Free?

Yes, Weebly has a free plan. However, for you to use it, you’ll have the Weebly subdomain. Also, free sites come with an advert in the footer.

  1. Can You Build an Ecommerce Store With Weebly?

Yes, Weebly allows you to create a web store that you can use to sell physical products and services. The Ecommerce platform comes with customizable properties like coupon codes, mobile stores, filtered product searches, tax control, checkout, and more.

With the starter package, you can only sell ten products, while the Pro plan allows you to sell 25 products.  Also, a Weebly transaction fee applies to these two plans. However, the Performance and Business plans enable you to sell unlimited products, and you don’t get to incur the Weebly Fee.

  1. Between Weebly and Wix, Which is Better?

Well, it depends on what you’re looking for in a site builder. Weebly is an excellent option if you’re looking for a simple setup, convenient Ecommerce feature, and better pricing plans. Wix is another option if you’re looking for a robust website builder with more integrations, interactive templates, and features.

  1. Does Weebly Have a Free Trial?

Weebly doesn’t have a free trial, but they have a free plan. That means you can check out the website builder as much as you like before upgrading to a paid plan. Each paid plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is a plus.

  1. Do I Need to Pay for Weebly Themes?

All themes are free. All you need is to choose the design you love and begin editing. You can customize and change your theme without at no extra cost. If you wish, you can get premium themes at a price.

Recommended reading:  The 13 Best Free Website Builders of 2020: Their Pros & Cons