One of the most popular web hosting services around today is Weebly, which also offers a website builder that operates with drag and drop features. The company’s headquarters is located in San Francisco, CA, and the company’s officers are David Rusenko, who is the CEO; Chris Fanini, who is the CTO; and Dan Veltri, who is the COO. As a startup company, it took on some big competition, including SnapPages, Yola, Jimdo, Squarespace.com, WordPress, Webs, and Wix, as well as a wealth of other website creation and web hosting services.
History of Weebly
Weebly was founded in 2006 by Dan Veltri, Chris Fanini, and David Rusenko, who all attended Penn State University. Fanini and Rusenko went to Pennsylvania State University’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, while Veltri was enrolled in the Smeal College of Business. When they were studying at the university, the school required all of its students to create and maintain an internet portfolio. This caused the formation of their business idea, because it resulted in their having to create software packages for make the building of a personal website easy.
In January 2006, Weebly’s formal development started. In June of that same year, the company announced its invitational beta release. Then, in September, the private beta was officially launched. A few months later, in January 2007, the company was selected for the winter startup program by Y Combinator, which is based in Silicon Valley, CA. This was also when running and managing Weebly became a full time job for Fanini, Veltri, and Rusenko.
By March 2007, the company relaunched, offering an editing interface that focused on “what you see is what you get” or WYSIWYG. They also raised $650,000 from a range of angel investors, including Paul Buchheit, Mike Maples, Steve Anderson, and Ron Conway.
The three Penn State friends continued to develop their services and, by 2008, they added Google AdSense monetization features, as well as launch their Pro account. They also made Weebly compatible with Safari and Google Chrome. That same year, they reached one million users and officially announced that it was now a profitable company.
When Weebly first started, it was heavily criticized because it did not offer support for HTML and CSS editing. This was why, in 2009, they added this functionality. Two years later, the company added Roelof Botha to its directors’ board after a Sequoia Capital growth stage round of funding.
Another $35 million was raised in Series C funding in April 2014. This came from Sequoia Capital, their existing partner, as well as from Tencent Holdings Ltd. This money enabled Weebly to expand and reach new markets, while also investing more heavily in their research and development. Weebly’s mission has always been to empower users to follow their dreams, and this money enabled them to drive this forward.
In August 2013, Rusenko announced that they had leased a large San Francisco warehouse because they expected the company to continue to grow. Before renting this warehouse, just 80 people worked for the company and it was based in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights. The warehouse had the capacity to house some 600 employees, which they aimed to add to their global team.
The expected growth came true. In October 2015, the company expanded internationally, opening an office in Berlin, Germany. This enabled them to offer marketing and support to European users.
Weebly is at its heart a website builder. Additionally, they offer web design services for those who don’t want to do it themselves.
Features of Weebly
Weebly offers a number of interesting features, including:
- The app center that allows for one click integration, enabling people to grow and market their business
- A personalized domain and email, so that professional brands can be promoted
- Membership functions through social sharing, RSS, and community tools. These increase engagement potential.
- Hosting services, which are reliable and free, and create a secure experience
- Customization options, offering full control over HTML and CSS
- Round the clock support, including help articles, dedicated support, live webcasts, video tutorials, and so on
- Advanced ecommerce tools
Weebly is used by some 30 million people around the world right now. They all praise the company for enabling them to build the perfect website. Additionally, thanks to their cutting edge mobile applications, users can interact with visitors, track performance, and manage their store orders even when on the go. This is thanks to a number of more specific features:
- The website builder uses simple but very powerful drag and drop tools.
- Businesses can grow online through a complete ecommerce solution.
- Mobile apps are included to manage, edit, and build a website using mobile device.
- Photographs can be added for custom backgrounds, slideshows, and galleries.
- Weebly is fully responsive, meaning it looks beautiful on mobile devices as well.
- It offers a wealth of templates that are all professionally designed but can also be fully customized.
- The app center comes with a range of different third party integrations.
- Custom domain names are provided.
- It enables for form integration, including surveys and RSVP lists.
- Hosting is included for free.
- Videos can be added to the website.
- Weebly offers a range of tools for business branding.
- It includes statistics to shed light on performance and visitor behavior.
Weebly users have a wealth of design tools available to them. These give them the freedom to create their vision in any way they see fit. The resulting websites are professional looking and fully responsive, meaning they work on any device and truly stand out. One of Weebly’s strengths is that it can be used by anyone, regardless of whether or not that person has any web design experience.
Users are encouraged to bring the world to their site. They are given all the help they need to grow their personal ideas, using not just the Weebly builder, but also the variety of third party apps that can be accessed in their App Center. The SEO or search engine optimization tools, meanwhile, ensure that the websites can be found as well.
One of the things that also set Weebly apart is that they allow for full blog integration. This is also a drag and drop feature, with very strong design elements. Additionally, the blog comes with a dedicated and free infrastructure, loading the blog in record time and enhancing visitor experience.