Weebly – is a versatile website builder, which allows creating great-looking websites without the necessity to write a single line of code. The website builder comes with a convenient drag-and-drop editor and uses a “box” model, which lets you modify your website structure and design with regard to your web building needs.
Launched in 2006 in San Francisco by David Rusenko, Chris Fanini and Dan Veltri, the service has grown into one of the most powerful and well-known drag-and-drop website builders. It has won popularity with 1,058,250 live websites across the globe. The number of people willing to use it as a major web building tool keeps increasing with every passing year. Such worldwide recognition is explained by the intuitive nature and convenience that allow building quality websites from scratch.
But is Weebly really that simple? To find that out, it makes sense to analyze the service in details. That’s exactly what we are going to do right now.
1. Pros and Cons
Just like any other website builder, Weebly has its list of pros and cons. This means that each person, who is right about to start using the system, should be aware of these specific system nuances to know what to expect of the web design process in the long run. Here they are:
| ✔ Ease of use with no coding required.|
✔ Free personalized URL.
✔ Pre-designed customizable themes.
✔ No hosting fees.
✔ Code embedding option.
✔ Mobile-ready storefront.
✔ Integration options.
✔ eCommerce focus.
✔ Mobile editor included.
✔ Weebly for Education.
| ✘ Absence of undo/redo edits.|
✘ No website backup.
✘ 3% transaction fee for all sales.
✘ Lack of innovative features triggered by the rapid development of the web design niche.
2. What Is It Good for?
Weebly is one of the most user-friendly website builders available in the contemporary niche, which makes it perfect for beginners. Besides, it is powerful enough to build visually-appealing websites with excellent performance even without any coding knowledge or web design experience. However, if you are lucky to be aware of CSS or HTML basics, Weebly gives you the option of using this knowledge to build high-quality sites of different types.
The platform is perfect for small merchants and growing marketplaces that want to sell products online. It makes it easy to create small business sites, professional portfolios, personal business pages, event projects, and so on. Weebly comes with a powerful blogging and eCommerce functionality, which allows launching online stores and blogs to extend your business popularity. Whatever website type you intend to build, Weebly seems an easy-to-use, quick, effective and enjoyable solution for both complete beginners and web design pros.
In April 2018, Weebly was acquired by the payment-processing giant – Square. As a result, the platform has developed a stronger focus on eCommerce, offering an extensive feature set needed to launch and manage small-to-large online stores.
3. Ease of Use
The transition to the new editor is seamless, thanks to the Weebly’s quick startup guide and the overall ease-of-use. At the core, it’s the same good old Weebly you know, but with a facelift. The dashboard provides quick and easy access to the information that matters. Get helpful tips, see site stats, store order, blog comments, and more.
To get access to the system’s functionality, you need to register first. The procedure hardly differs from those offered by other website builders. You will need to indicate your full name in addition to your address, password, and country of residence. To make things easier for users, Weebly lets them sign up using Google or Facebook accounts.
At the next stage, the system will specify additional information to come up with the best-matching layout for you. Users should indicate the type of website they want to build. It can be either a content-based or small business website with baseline functionality or an eCommerce project with a set of merchants’ tools already integrated.
Now, you may choose a platform from a specific category depending on your needs. It might be a small business website or a personal page with outstanding online representations featuring a professional portfolio. Each category comes with pre-designed website layouts. Choose the one you like and start editing.
The editor of the website builder is logically-structured, clear and well-designed, letting the subscribers make use of the extensive and versatile feature set of the service and effectively organize it in unique combinations to gain the desired result.
This concerns integration of such tools as image galleries, slideshows, text boxes, product ads, audio and video players, contact forms, custom HTML embedding options, maps integration and what not. The only notable demerit of the system editor is the absence of undo/redo buttons, which results in the inability of users to cancel the edits they make and restore the previously-saved version of the website. The rest of the features and elements of the editor are on a decent level.
To build a website, just choose a theme and start adding your content. You can edit and rearrange content by dragging and dropping elements right on your webpage, without having to use a separate editor.
Weebly uses a ‘box model’ which means all your content will fall to specific containers or boxes when you drag it to the page. This approach makes it easy to transfer existing content from one template to another in the future.
4. Features and Flexibility
Weebly has a lot of ready widgets and apps you can integrate with just a few clicks, including image galleries, slideshows, maps, audio, search box and more. You can also go beyond the default list of widgets by taking advantage of the ‘Embed code’ option. You can add as many elements to a page as you need. The page itself will get longer to accommodate however many widgets and content you drag on.
When adding a new page, you can use one of the ready Page Layouts as an alternative to a blank page. There are over 30 different Layout designs to choose from, including homepages, contact, about, creative menu designs for catering companies and restaurants and service pages, among others.
When you choose a layout, it will automatically add new site elements to your new page. You can then edit, remove or add new elements to the chosen layout.
Recently we showcased different Weebly-powered websites, from portfolios to web stores, to show how flexible the builder is.
Weebly’s eCommerce engine is chock-full of versatile business-specific features that notably enhance the performance of your online store. These features allow creating functional and visually-attractive web stores in a quick and hassle-free way, without the necessity to use coding knowledge.
As soon as you start your Weebly-based web store, the system provides it with an integrated shopping cart, thus, allowing you to start selling your products immediately without wasting your time to handle technical problems. The service also ensures safe payment options and the ability to control your product and material stock.
Whether you plan to sell dozens or thousands of products, you will manage them with ease to ensure timely product shipping, boost customer interest in your offers and make clients aware of the recent updates and top selling products. If a user has chosen a product that is out of stock, the system will make it possible to notify him/her when it is available for sale.
Weebly also offers powerful and convenient search filter options to speed up and simplify the shopping process. Clients will be able to sort out the products by the major parameters like price, color, type, dimensions and other characteristics. It doesn’t matter, whether you plan to sell digital, physical products or any other services – a flexible product range accessible in the web store will be accessible to current and potential customers, who will get email notifications as soon as new offers become available in the online store.
The system also provides multiple settings for physical products, exclusive offers, handmade items, services etc. You can make use of the iPhone and Android apps allowing to manage your business on the go and get in touch with customers from any part of the world. This is a surefire way to keep them interested in your offers.
How to Start an Online Store With Weebly?
Launching and managing an online store with Weebly is super easy. You just need to:
- Choose one of the multiple templates and show windows for your online store;
- Add products;
- Adjust shipping and tax settings;
- Specify the available payment options.
The system will automatically do the rest for you.
To enhance your web store building experience, Weebly offers a wide spectrum of unique themes and color combinations, free hosting, various merchandising and product display options, social network integration, advanced SEO characteristics, easy content and product info integration, quick order management options, flexible shipping and payment options, integrated mailouts and what not.
Do you have an intention to transfer your Etsy or Shopify web store to Weebly platform? Just import it or upload a CSV file to the service for quick and effective set up. Right after that, you’ll be able to set up your online store design to give it unique look.
Blogging With Weebly
A blog on your Weebly site is easy in setting up and configuring. The system lets you launch an amazing blog in less than several minutes by making use of the drag-and-drop feature. You will be able to:
- schedule posts;
- pre-select social media sharing options for scheduled articles;
- choose between different commenting systems, including Facebook, Disqus and Weebly comments;
- specify meta tags for individual posts;
- add custom headers and footers to each post and more.
Flexible Weebly interface allows creating a blog and filling it with content much quicker than you could imagine. Powerful editing and publishing elements make it possible to focus on the content of your blog, while Weebly services will take care of the background design.
The website builder offers a collection of free blog templates, which can be used independently or as a part of large websites and online stores. Free hosting guarantees fast load speed and availability for users. Blog templates are fully customizable and can easily come up to your tasks.
Developed added a new blogging instrument also known as Stories Overview. In other words, you will be able to create a dynamic page with a blog post and links to specific stories located on separate pages of the website. With this feature, users no longer need content blocks. They can implement the same building instruments as for any other website page to create a smooth and engaging structure. What’s more, with Stories it is possible to use additional layouts below the blog post to make the page look more interactive.
Weebly Marketing Tools
Weebly Promote tool has been introduced for the advanced e-mail marketing options comparatively not long ago, but millions of users have already made sure about its efficacy. The tool automatically generates messages based on the activity of the registered users. Newsletter statistics is tracked in the dashboard section.
Weebly Promote service includes a set of ready made templates for various email types, such as bulletins, promo newsletters, product and event introduction etc. These emails will be viewable on all the types of mobile devices, but you should still check the way your email will be displayed. It’s possible to create and save your own templates for future campaigns.
What you need to start your email marketing campaign is the list of emails. Weebly Promote allows creating it in two ways – either by importing the emails from the CSV file or by means of one-click integration required to synchronize the contacts with Weebly community groups, web store orders and online form data.
Your marketing statistics will be available any time of the day to let you keep track of the number of people, who have opened, read the emails and clicked the links they contain. This will help you decide on the most efficient promo campaigns and draw corresponding results regarding your business improvement. Extra marketing services offered by Weebly Promote are as follows:
- Email drag-and-drop constructor;
- Email marketing options allowing to create successful promo campaigns and integrating them into your website, online store and blog;
- Multiple tech support tools, test email distributions and impressive Weebly community;
- Contact segmentation and more.
Weebly offers a standard set of SEO tools. You can give a unique URL to your page, set up title, description and keywords. This allows your web site pages get higher positions in the search engine results, even though, a week or two may be required for Google to index the changes.
Apart from that, Weebly allows setting up and changing the permalinks of all the pages in the corresponding section of SEO settings. Header and footer codes can be embedded into each page separately. You are also able to hide a target page from the search engine just by clicking the checkmark button.
Are you going to transfer your website to Weebly from another host? Then the best way to avoid the lost of all the SEO results and history is to set up 301 redirects (if you change a website structure). This is needed to redirect the traffic and the search engines from the old pages to new ones. Weebly allows doing that with ease in the SEO settings section of the system editor. By getting all these SEO features in place, you’ll soon observe the improvement of your website search engine positions.
Weebly Video Hosting
From now on, Weebly allows uploading and publishing videos at your website. This can be done in two ways, namely:
YouTube Integration. This option makes it possible to integrate videos from YouTube and other websites to your Weebly-based website. You can change intervals and display elements by making use of the integrated Weebly video tools and YouTube features that provide extended options for the use of YouTube videos. You can also integrate videos from other video services like Vimeo etc. Weebly video player features ensure professional control over your website multimedia elements.
Video Upload and Hosting. You can also upload video files directly to Weebly. They are automatically converted to display videos from your Weebly website. Users won’t have to download anything or open a separate media player to watch the video. The content can be stored at the Weebly platform for free to be viewed by the visitors in the high quality.
Weebly Site Stats
With Weebly, you can track your website traffic and manage statistics to define the nuances that require improvement. This data are available at Weebly dashboard and you can find out, how many users visit your website during a particular time interval, what pages they are interested in most of all, what search inquiries drive visitors to your website and from what resources users come to you.
What’s important, your website statistics is displayed in the real-time mode, due to what you can track the data and traffic. To analyze web statistics in details, Weebly allows adding Google Analytics code to find out the extended website statistics with minimum effort and time investment.
The Weebly system makes it easy to gather and view information submitted by your site visitors. The data is stored on your site’s dashboard and can be easily exported to a spreadsheet for future analysis. You can accept docs, images, or other file uploads from your visitors.
Integration with IFTTT
Weebly partners with IFTTT, a smart web service that lets you connect various apps and products to easily create automated tasks and events. For example, you can connect your Weebly website and your Instagram account to add a new blog post when you publish a photo on Instagram. You can use existing if-then recipes available at IFTTT Weebly channel, or create your own recipes.
Weebly Image Editor
Another bid Weebly’s update from January 2017 is the new Image Editor. Now it’s based on HTML5 (while its previous version was on Flash).
This Editor includes such features as cropping, rotating and adjusting images, adding text to them and offers 29 filters to make images more attractive.
Weebly App Center
The goal of the App Center is to help you create engaging content and thus provide both function and entertainment to your site visitors. Let’s take a look at some of the featured applications:
- PinPoll: this free app allows you to integrate fun and engaging polls into your website giving your site visitors a way to interact with your website and spend more time on it. Each poll can be completely customized with brand colors and images. The app is responsive, so it will look and work great on any device.
- LiveChat: this paid app lets you integrate live chat software into your website in a couple of minutes.
- Call-Out-Box: the free app lets you easily emphasize an important piece of information on your site with a custom background and border color.
With the release of its fourth version, Weebly expanded their included domain name offerings to include 6 new domain zones, most of which are international. These include .com, .net, .org, .us, and .info, among others.
Weebly has an Android and iOS applications that allow Weebly users to create new and edit existing Weebly sites on the go. Their new Weebly for iOS application turns the iPad into a creative tool that works both offline and online, and is specifically developed for tactile site building.
Weebly also offers a special solution for teachers and schools. The platform helps teachers easily create classroom sites and even digitize the entire school or college.
Weebly Form Builder
Weebly has made it possible to create custom forms and manage submissions on the web. The drag and drop online form builder of the service lets users create RSVP lists, custom contact forms and surveys to ensure impressive web browsing experience and make projects more engaging and functional. By integrating these elements into your website, you will be able to create contact forms for better data gathering options. This especially works great for websites that target specific or niche audiences (wedding and restaurant websites are the best samples).
It’s up to you to customize the newly-integrated form by dragging and dropping the required fields like drop down menus, text or checkboxes, for example. Actually, you can create almost any form type you need by fully customizing questions, response options and extra fields you’d like to be displayed in the contact form of your choice.
What’s important, Weebly form builder contributes to simple data storage and access to the available response options. As soon as you are done with the form integration, it becomes available at the website and each visitor may fill it out. After a user provides certain data and submits the form, you’ll immediately get the notification email to the preliminary specified address. For the ease of search and quick review, the data provided will be stored on the dashboard of your website, but you’ll have an opportunity to export it to the spreadsheet for further review and detailed analysis. Mind that the file drop box can also be used to accept photos, documents or other file types visitors will submit. That’s a very handy and useful tool for the owners of large websites with high traffic and rich database of registered users.
Weebly also allows building and managing your website from any location you are in by using the mobile apps. The system has special applications for Android, iPad and iPhone, which let you create impressive content everywhere you are. The use of mobile apps does not only let you stay connected to your website 24/7, but also helps you check your project statistics, while browsing contact form submissions without the need to get to your desktop computer or laptop. That’s very convenient and time-saving, especially for entrepreneurs, who are busy all the day long, yet face the need to control their businesses.
This is also true, when it comes to eCommerce mobile management. By installing the app, you will get an opportunity to launch and manage a web store to start selling online directly from the mobile device you are using. You can create new product lists, photos, descriptions, product parameters, prices etc. It is also allowed to accept online payments with Stripe, process orders, receive notifications for newly placed orders and perform lots of other useful functions.
Hosting and Security
As you know, Weebly is an all-in-one solution that delivers hosting and domain in a single plan. In other words, the platform will host your project for you. There is no need to seek hosting providers and pay for their services separately.
Along with free hosting facilities, users will get integrated security features. They will protect the website from DDoS attacks as well as prevent cyber threats. What’s more, users have a chance to activate the SSL certificate with a click to enable extra data protection and encryption.
5. Design & Templates
In general, there are three options: you can use a ready theme; customize one (in addition to the standard WYSIWYG builder, there’s an advanced HTML/CSS editor); or use a third party template – there are many designers who create custom templates tailored specially for this website builder.
In case you’re using one of the new responsive themes, your website will be automatically optimized for mobile browsing, and you’ll have no control over its look (I mean the look of your mobile version).
For those using old templates, Weebly provides a built-in mobile editor that is accessible from the Weebly Site Creator. Editing the mobile view of your site is simple with a visual editor that allows you to drag and drop elements into a mobile mockup.
Important note: All changes automatically synchronize between desktop and mobile versions, as you remove, edit, or add elements to your mobile website. This feature is available at no extra cost.
6. Customer Support
Weebly provides different types of support. First, the control panel itself contains explanatory pop-ups and prompts to help you easily learn the system. Second, there’s live chat, phone and email support.
Should you encounter any problems, first visit the Weebly Help Center. It contains answers to the most frequently asked questions and many helpful tips. Weebly is also quite active on social media. In urgent cases, you can contact them via Twitter or Facebook.
Beginners may benefit from a pretty helpful chatbot available in the Contact section. It makes it easy to find relevant answers as well as some baseline issues explained and described in the Help Center. Besides, it highlights every step you need to take in order to get started with the platform.
The process takes place in the chat box without the need to browse through several ages at the same time. The bad news is that it will hardly help in case of more complex issues. This is where you may need to contact the support team directly.
7. Plans & Pricing
Weebly users will have a chance to choose a plan that meets their business needs. The system has a free package with some really great features. For example, Free plan subscribers will be able to sell unlimited items and use a built-in shopping cart, SEO tools, coupons, and full access to inventory management, drag-and-drop editor as well as some other baseline features. In other words, even with a free plan, you will have a chance to create a solid project and go online.
Those who plan to scale their business in the future will definitely need advanced features brought by three of the available paid plans. They are as follows:
- Personal costs $6 per month with a connected custom domain, shipping, and tax calculator, and pop-up notifications;
- Professional costs $12 per month for a branded professional portfolio or a small business site. It comes with a free domain, removed ads, password protection, and advanced site analytics.
- Performance costs $26 per month for a scalable business project with an integrated eCommerce feature. It offers payment gateway integration, shipping labels, product reviews, cart abandonment tools, advanced eCommerce insights, and priority customer support.
8. Website Examples
With so many great features to offer, Weebly appears to be a flexible solution for websites of different types. To show the system at work, let’s have a look at several examples built using this particular platform.
The Box Bros – a wooden box store
Japhlet Bire Attias – a musician website
Brand iD – a digital marketing strategy
Classic Cuts – barbershop
Brighton Music – a music school
SF Bay Area Design – graphic design studio
Weebly is undoubtedly a great place to start a website, but you should know that there are many favorable alternatives to it. They are both popular website builders and content management systems.
Although Weebly proved as a versatile website builder, in some cases its features aren’t enough to solve the user’s task. Then a website builder change is the only right way. You may need to switch from Weebly to WordPress to enhance your blogging features, to Wix – if you’d like to have complete visual customization, to Shopify – if you need more eCommerce options. Read the detailed comparisons of main Weebly competitors below:
10. Weebly FAQ
If you have any more questions about how to make a website with Weebly, its powerful Help Center and Community always help you to find the right answer.
Weebly is a user-friendly cloud website builder, which comes with a convenient drag-and-drop editor, abundance of design customization tools and quality templates. The service is a great choice if you’re about to build a small or a medium-sized website that doesn’t require any sophisticated functionality.
There is no need to use coding skills to launch websites with Weebly. However, users, who have CSS/HTML knowledge and web design expertise, can use it to create and manage personalized projects with the system. The website builder offers powerful blogging and eCommerce engines, making it possible to build decent web stores and blogs.
The advanced Weebly Promote tool will help you effectively design and advertise your website on the web, making use of multiple marketing and SEO options the system provides. Another highlight of the service is its Weebly for Education project, which comes with education-specific add-ons and enables teachers to create educational websites with ease. This is the feature that is not available in lots of other popular website builders.
Does Weebly come up to you web design tasks and needs? To find that out, it makes sense to test the service and explore the entire feature set it offers. You can do this for free now to draw the unbiased conclusion.