Getting a website up and running is crucial for every business, especially these days when even the smallest firms have an online presence. Solutions like Weebly make it quick, easy, and quite affordable for everyone.
There was a time when building a website required extensive technical knowledge and skill, and everyone who wanted to have a website needed to hire an expert to create one for them. These days, doing it is as simple as it can get, thanks to website builders, among which Weebly stands as one of the longest-standing and fastest-growing.
Today, we will help you learn all there is to know about Weebly. You will be able to tell whether it is a good website builder for you by the time you finish reading this review.
What is Weebly?
The best way to start out is to explain in detail what Weebly is. As mentioned, it is a website builder software, and while there are many different solutions out there, Weebly stands out due to its all-inclusiveness.
It can be considered an all-in-one solution for creating a website. It has everything you need to get started and make a professional site, even if you have never made another website before.
Many other website builders require you to buy, install, and manage different parts of it separately, which can be expensive, time-consuming, and complex.
Weebly, on the other hand, allows you to do everything from a single place, including customization, security, and all other aspects of a professional site.
It also doesn’t trouble you with the infrastructure details, which makes it very user-friendly, and it is useful to newcomers and experienced users alike.
Simply put, this website builder is one of the best there is, and its competitors include the like of WordPress itself, as well as Wix or Squarespace, all of which are known for being at the very top of the website builder spectrum.
Now that we know all that, let’s start our Weebly review in earnest and take a deeper look into its features and abilities.
Speed and Security
The first thing to talk about is speed. Speed is crucial for websites as it determines how long it takes for a website to load for every one of its visitors.
The reason why we are talking about speed here is the fact that Weebly does not only provide a top-notch website builder but also hosting for all of the sites that are built on its platform.
This is not always a positive thing, depending on the site, but Weebly does it in a good way, so in its case, it is definitely a positive thing.
Weebly features excellent speeds, but it also handles security. Fortunately, it does this very good as well, especially when it comes to protecting your website from spam and hackers.
Weebly comes with top-notch speed.
If you purchase higher Weebly plans, such as its business plan, you will also get installed and maintained SSL certificate for your entire website, which means that all of the data traveling between your site and your visitors will be encrypted and protected.
Of course, you should know that it is not possible to achieve flawless security, nor to have unreasonably high speeds, and issues in regard to both areas may still be encountered every now and then. However, in general, this is a major pro for Weebly, as it mostly works to its advantage.
Since the price is always an important matter, especially for someone who is starting a new business, we would talk about Weebly’s cost.
There are five different Weebly plans from which you can choose, and they include the following:
- Free plan — $0 per month (displays ads)
- Connect plan — $5 per month (paid annually)
- Pro plan — $12 per month (paid annually)
- Business plan — $25 per month (paid annually)
- Business Plus plan — $38 per month (paid annually)
The free plan is probably the best for non-business websites, which you might want to create simply as a hobby.
Also, the site will be on a subdomain (.weebly.com), which is something that a lot of people would not mind, but if you don’t want it, then this plan might not be for you.
As for the rest of the Weebly plans, they are not particularly expensive, especially when compared to other site builders. Add to the fact that you get a pretty decent hosting as a part of the package, and you can see how this is a rather good deal.
Weebly plans also do not add any limitations when it comes to necessary aspects, such as storage space or a number of pages that you can make. Not only that, but even the lowest premium plan eliminates all ads, which come as a part of the free plan.
Finally, even its most expensive plans are cheaper than what its competitors have to offer, so we expect that you would be rather pleased, from the Weebly pricing standpoint.
Easy to Use
Of course, the site-building process is a critical point when choosing a website builder. Thanks to its all-inclusive properties, Weebly doesn’t disappoint its users.
The biggest benefit lies in the fact that you do not have to write CSS or HTML code, which is excellent news since a lot of people has no knowledge and experience in that department.
In other words, you don’t need to know anything code-related, nor do you have to hire someone else to do it for you. You can create an entire website by using drag-and-drop elements, and the site-building site can be created with ease from what the builder already offers.
Of course, there are some elements that might be problematic, as nuances often are. Most people would want their site builder to automatically center different elements so that they can simply drag the element in the general direction of a site, drop it there, and call it a day.
The good news is that Weebly does this most of the time, as its drag-and-drop feature actually works pretty well. But, if you want greater freedom to position different elements in exactly the right spot, you might need to edit the templates somewhat, or even create your own, if you know how to do it.
Fortunately, Weebly also features a custom CSS module that allows you to do just that.
There is not much else to say regarding this aspect of Weebly, apart from the fact that it is very user-friendly and easy to use, so you should not have too many issues.
And, if you are not sure how to do something, it is easy to learn thanks to Weebly’s next big advantage on our list, which is:
Education and Onboarding
As mentioned, this software is known for its user-friendliness, and the entire point of extremely simple website builders is to make the process of creating a site… well, simple.
With that in mind, it is worth noting that any piece of software — whether a simple smartphone app or a website builder like Weebly — eventually leads to the question of how to do something. This is true for everything, no matter how intuitive it may be.
This is what we call onboarding, and it refers to getting the user on board with the platform or software in question.
Furthermore, it is very difficult to do it properly, as the developers need to be able to put themselves in the shoes of a user that might not consider some of the features obvious.
You will find everything pretty simple.
In order to make all such features obvious and available, software makers often try to help in different ways, usually through educational pop-up hints, a thorough, lengthy FAQ, or an entire page dedicated to educational content, such as images, guides, videos, and more.
Weebly does all of this, and it even includes email drip sequence, in addition.
It also has buttons built into the platform that you can click in order to get an explanation for what different features do and how to use them.
In other words, everything is pretty straightforward, and things that are not will be explained to you on the spot.
Features and Extensions
Next, let’s talk about some actual features and extensions that the website builder offers. Many website builders try to implement all the features that the user might need while building their site.
However, most of the time, it is impossible to include absolutely everything, which is why extensions are there, as well.
That way, you can find and integrate anything that you may want or need, even if it is not a part of the original website builder.
When it comes to Weebly, however, its feature set is pretty all-inclusive as well, and you are likely to find the majority of things that you could ever ask for.
It includes the basic things, such as contact forms, blog functionality, and more. But, it also has more advanced things, such as page-level custom code placement, or URL redirects, and alike.
On top of that, it offers file uploads, membership options, forums, integrated advertising options, eCommerce options, etc. It is also rich with stylish and free Weebly themes, which is also worth noting, and very useful for everyone.
Of course, as mentioned, even Weebly doesn’t have absolutely everything built-in, which is why it allows users to include 3rd party apps through extensions.
Adding the extensions is very easy, and all you need to do is browse its app center, find what you need, and install it. It all takes only a few minutes, and you can continue building your site in no time.
All you need to do is copy and paste a snippet of code, and you will have it included in your site.
There is likely no need to explain to you the importance of good customer support for any product, regardless of whether it is hardware or software. If you have problems, questions, or any sort of issue — you should be able to quickly and easily get in contact with customer support and have the issue resolved as soon as possible.
Weebly does this pretty well also, although it only offers its knowledge base and email support for those who opt to use its free accounts.
However, if you opt to pay, even if that means using its lowest-ranked premium plan, your options expand significantly, and they include the knowledge base, email, live chat, and even phone calls.
Not only that, but the support team’s response time is pretty solid, and the support is more than capable of troubleshooting and fixing any issues that you may have.
Obviously, this is a massive plus for Weebly, as there is nothing more annoying than having to struggle for hours with a simple issue that proper customer support could help resolve within minutes.
24/7 Email support available.
In addition, remember that running your own site is going to lead to all kinds of issues, no matter how easy it is in this day and age.
You simply cannot think of everything, and neither can the developers. In the old days, different people were responsible for managing different parts of your site, and if you had a problem with one aspect, you needed to know who to call.
With Weebly, all you need to do is pick up the phone and dial their number, or send them a message via email or live chat, and your problem will soon be gone.
A Great Choice for Retailers
As mentioned, Weebly has been around for quite a few years, and during that time, it performed excellently on its own.
Then came 2018 when the company got acquired by Square, and many were worried that this might be the death of Weebly. After all, acquisitions often reflect negatively on the companies’ value and quality of service.
With that said, the acquisition by Square is probably one of the best things that happened to Weebly. As you may know, Square is a payment processing service, which is quite huge in the offline world.
A few years ago, it made a goal to become just as big — if not bigger — online, as well. With the acquisition of Weebly, the website builder’s eCommerce future began, as it can now be used by retailers who want to sell their goods online.
Regardless of whether you wish to sell a few items, or develop an entire business based on selling your goods, Weebly and Square have got you covered.
Weebly is a great service, and there is no question about it. However, it is not perfect, and in order for our Weebly review to be as thorough as possible, we need to address the downsides, as well.
The fact that there are downsides should not scare you away — there is literally no software that doesn’t have a flaw or two.
Besides, as you are about to see, there are only a few complaints that we have about Weebly, which might not be that big of an issue in your eyes.
Advanced Tools for Marketing
As we mentioned earlier, Weebly allows you to edit HTML, which means that you can implement pretty much anything into your site. That includes all kinds of new features, as well as most marketing tools out there.
However, the issue lies in the fact that you don’t have full control over the server and site that you are using. That means that adding advanced marketing tools will likely be difficult, if not impossible.
If you were wondering what kind of tools we have in mind, we were thinking of things such as custom tools for collecting emails, analytics packages, EV SSL, and alike.
To put it simply, you do not have root access to the server files, so you cannot perform some deeper changes. This might be important for long-term projects and large businesses, and it is not exactly unsolvable, but it is something that you should be mindful of. If for no other reason, then to know the limitations of this service, and your options while using it.
CMS is a large part of a website, and we think it is rather unfortunate that Weebly’s lacks an efficient one.
As you may know, CMS or Content Management System, is an interface that lets you edit, sort, publish, and do similar development and maintenance tasks on your website.
Weebly does have it in a way, but it is not really that great. You can list all of the pages that your site has, add new ones easily, and use its drag-and-drop feature as described before. However, you cannot add any custom content types, except within an individual page.
This is extremely inefficient for websites that plan to grow and include hundreds of pages. Once again, it is not something that cannot be fixed in a different way, but we consider it a downside also since the efficiency doesn’t come by default.
Lastly, if you create a website on Weebly, and then you change your mind and decide that you wish to move to a new platform — doing so can be very difficult.
Content migration and URL redirections are complicated enough when they are easy, but with Weebly, this is not the case.
It’s not exactly that Weebly will forbid you to do this — it allows you to export all of your page content in the form of zip files — but the majority of your content, such as blog content, will need to be copied manually, or at best, migrated through RSS.
So, once again, it is not an issue that you cannot find your way around, but it is a complication that you probably don’t need.
The Downside of Square Acquisition
We talked before about how Square purchased Weebly and made it an excellent destination for retailers. However, the move also brought a certain downside, which revolves around features that your typical site builder would need to have.
To be more specific — ever since it became a part of Square, Weebly’s investment decisions revolved around a way to make it more valuable to Square itself.
This means that it might not be the best option for those who wish to create a lead generation site, or a site with long-term content, as you never know what the future holds, and whether or not Weebly will be able to meet all of your needs in a few years.
However, we cannot deny that Weebly’s eCommerce functionality is a huge plus for it, as you can sell products directly from your site without ever having to go through any special developments, and you definitely don’t have to switch platforms in order to do it, which might often be the case with other similar services.
The prices are pretty good too, although Weebly does have some transaction fees on lower-level plans.
Do We Recommend Weebly
We feel confident in saying that if you go for Weebly you will not be disappointed.
From what we have seen, Weebly is definitely worth considering, and it is easily one of the best solutions of its kind out there.
It doesn’t come without limitations and downsides, of course, but most of them can be bypassed if they really end up being an issue for you.
In the end, whether or not it is good for you depends on you and your own needs and plans. With our Weebly review, you will at least know what to expect from the service, and most importantly — you can rest assured, knowing that it is legitimate and competent, as well as very easy to use.
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