Weebly Review – Is This the Website Builder You Should Go For?
Weebly is a very popular website building platform. It was created in 2006 by three college friends and has grown into one of the biggest systems of its kind in the world. The company now has a San Francisco headquarters, and they have been responsible for the creation of some 25 million different websites, including many for small businesses. It is a very popular system that has received thousands of positive reviews. People praise it for its ease of use, affordability, and excellent features. It was also listed in Time Magazine in the 50 Best Websites list in 2007, as well as having received mentions in Newsweek, Entrepreneur Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal.
What I Liked about Weebly
- It is an incredibly user friendly website builder that uses simple drag and drop technology. This means that you don’t have to be an expert website builder in order to create something really cool. Rather, you have everything at your fingertips through an intuitive interface. Whether you have a lot of technological experience, or none at all, you are guaranteed to be able to build a site in just an hour.
- The templates that Weebly offers are fully mobile responsive. This means that your site will look perfect on desktop and mobile devices alike.
- If you ever want to change something in the template, to update your overall look for instance, you only have to choose your new template and all your content will be transferred over automatically. Plus, if you know your way around coding, you can access the CSS and HTML codes and customize it to your needs. This is a really flexible feature.
- All page layouts have been predesigned. This is really good for those who don’t have a lot of experience in building pages. Over 40 options exist that you can choose from. They are divided into categories such as about, home, restaurant menu, contact, services, and portfolio pages, so you don’t have to spend hours finding what you need either. Plus, you can easily customize these page layouts to suit your personal needs.
What I Didn’t Like about Weebly
- The Content Management System, CMS, is weak at best. What you would expect is something that allows you to have control over the content that you publish, filter, edit, and sort. Weebly, on the other hand, has a ‘Page section’, which provides you with a list of your different pages. You can drag and drop them, as well as edit them, but it isn’t a really efficient method. You can’t for instance, add custom content types unless you go into an individual page. If your goal is to build quite a large website, then you would need some sort of personal system in order to make sure your content is easily accessible and properly sorted.
- It is incredibly difficult to move to a new platform once you are with Weebly. This is obviously done to encourage you to stay with them, but a lot of people like to have their sites across multiple platforms and it is nearly impossible to migrate the existing content and to redirect your own URLs. You can export your page content through Weebly, who places it in a zip file, but if you want to migrate your blog content, you have to do it manually or use an RSS function.
- You cannot easily undo any changes that you made to your website.
- The photo editing options that Weebly offers aren’t very good, particularly in comparison to other side builders, and because photo editing is now such a strong part of regular life.
- Weebly does not offer its own email services. You can, however, purchase them from Google and integrate them into your Weebly site.
Features of Weebly
A lot of people choose to build their own website and their own host. This means that you are not fully reliant on the feature set of a single platform. If you do decide to choose a platform, you have to make sure that it comes with all the features you could possibly need now and in the future. Weebly, as a platform, offers an incredibly strong feature set, even in their basic packages. This includes such things as contact forms and blog functionality. They also offer numerous more advanced features, including custom code placement at page level and URL redirect options.
Furthermore, Weebly has gone above and beyond what is needed as a basic. They include things like membership options, forums, file uploads, integrated advertising options, and more. They also have strong ecommerce options, which are perfect for those who want to build an online store. If you do go the platform way, therefore, Weebly offers you everything you could possible need.
Weebly offers templates, which they call ‘themes’, and when you open your account, you have to decide which theme is right for you. You need to think about this properly, because you want to create something that offers consistency across all your pages. Your theme is also your starting point for all your content.
All the Weebly themes are completely free and you have hundreds of options to choose from. They have divided them into categories like Minimalist, Sleek, Fun, Corporate, Bold, and more so that they are easier to browse. Plus, new themes are added very regularly, so you can sort your themes by release date as well. If you want something that works, you can sort them by popularity.
The Weebly themes can all be previewed, so you know what it will look like on a site. You can generally also choose a color scheme, enabling you to customize the template to fit with your own corporate colors. And, luckily, if you make a mistake or even change your mind, switching to a different theme is very easy.
Weebly App Market
Weebly has its own App Center, where you can access a range of really sophisticated, fully integrated tools that all come with simple one click installation. This really is something that sets Weebly apart from other businesses of their kind. They have kept everything very minimalistic, giving you exactly what you need without any bells and whistles that only get in the way. Their platform is also very intuitive and user friendly and you can use it to find a range of advanced tools that you can simply ‘bolt’ to your Weebly site. It literally takes just a click of a button to do that.
The list of apps and tools is extensive and includes things such as ecommerce, communication, marketing, and social. You also get tools like team charts, accordion tabs, and pricing tables. These really are fantastic and you can simply access what you need, rather than be bogged down with all sorts of features you may never use anyway.
In the past, adding tools to a website would involve a complex manual integration. This meant that you could accidentally touch codes and destroy parts of your website. It was also quite common for tools to be incompatible, crashing the site completely. Weebly has solved this through their App Center, offering only apps that are 100% compatible. All you have to do is click on ‘Add’ and the app will seamlessly be installed on your site.
The apps are independent constructions, but Weebly has checked all of them to make sure that they service and improve their existing tools. There are quite a few free apps, and a number of paid for ones. The paid for apps generally come with a free trial, so you don’t have to worry about wasting your money.
If you want to build an online store, it is very easy to do that on Weebly. It comes with a full slate of options for ecommerce sites that are perfect for small businesses. You can easily find the features on the left side of the screen, inside the dock, which means you can add products to any part of your site with great ease. All of the Weebly plans, including the free accounts, allow you to set up a store with an included shopping cart. Premium plans give you extra tools for better selling, and allow you to sell more, however.
There are millions of people who pay nothing at all in order to use Weebly. Unfortunately, while the free account is great, it is also quite limited. It comes with an unlimited amount of web pages, but all of those will be branded as Weebly. If you don’t want to have any of the branding, and you want to have access to some of the better features, then you should upgrade and choose a premium plan. There are a number of plans to choose from, including:
- The Starter package, which is priced at around $5 per month. It removes all the branded Weebly ads and it allows you to link to a custom domain. Furthermore, you get premium support, expanded stats, the ability to sell 10 products, and customized footers.
- The Pro package, which is around $10 per month. This is the Starter package and then some. You can add high definition audio, a header slideshow, and video clips. Plus, you can password protect your pages, register as many as 100 users, and sell 25 products.
- The Business package is the best option for ecommerce companies. You can sell digital goods, manage your inventory, access a shipping and tax calculator, including coupon codes and more. You can sell as many products as you want, and register as many members as you want as well.
The Pro plan is the most popular plan of all, particularly because it is affordable compared to similar sites, so you should be able to see a return on investment.
Weebly is incredibly user friendly and easy to use. Nevertheless, should you have an issue, there is a support representative ready to help you. You can chat with them, email them, or even telephone them. They are open between 5am and 5pm (Pacific Time) Monday through Friday, as well as between 7am and 4pm (Pacific Time) on Saturday and Sunday. Based in San Francisco, they can be reached at 1-844-493-3259.
Chat facilities are available on the website builder itself, which is great because there is almost always someone online. You can also go to the Weebly website and submit a help ticket. Lastly, you can access the support forums and ask the Weebly community if they have any tips for you.
The Final Verdict
When you choose Weebly, you will notice that editing a website is more than easy. It is actually also a whole lot of fun. There are literally thousands upon thousands of positive reviews for Weebly out there, and millions of people have been perfectly happy with their free accounts as well. Of course, there are a few complaints as well, but some people simply like to complain and will find and issue with everything. The most pertinent disadvantages of Weebly have been listed above, and they are quite minor.
Weebly is also very happy to speak to potential site owners. This means that if, after reading this review, you are still not sure about whether or not Weebly is for you, you can phone or email them or start a chat, and ask them whatever question you still want to be answered.
Personally, I find Weebly to be the very best site builder out there, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone, whether you are a small business, an organization, or an individual.