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Weebly Review

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Introduction

Weebly, founded in 2007, is a complete software platform that provides anyone with the ability to create their own website and start their online business. In 10 years of work, Weebly has managed to help millions share and spread their work around the world, build up their business and achieve their dreams. More than 325 million unique visitors are going to more than 40 million Weebly sites every month.

Our Weebly review will cover everything about the website builder, every feature, in detail will be presented to you so you can better decide your next step towards your very own website. If you’re wondering Weebly vs Wix, or Weebly vs any other website builder, hopefully our review will help you make your decision.

Weebly has been designed for anyone who wants to reach a global audience, grow their  customer base, increase their sales and spread their idea. Everyone is given the ability to create high-quality and multi-platform websites, that work perfectly across all devices. Weebly has a variety of pricing plans, including a free plan, and is also the highest rated website building mobile app. To find out more, read on in this Weebly drag and drop builder review!

 

Ease of Use

Web builders have many aspects to their platforms such as the amount of tools and features offered, customizability of the websites, ecommerce options and other things  that make up a website builder. One thing will always be the most important though, the one thing that is the reason that these builders exist. How easy is the platform to use.

The whole point of website builders is that anybody should be able to design a website. That was what drove David, Dan and Chris, Weebly’s owners, to create the platform in the beginning.

The homepage is a perfect example of what a website builder offers. From the beginning to the very bottom, as you scroll you can notice and analyze what the most important parts of a website really are, and the different ways you can make them.

At the top you have the different sections of the website such as websites, online stores, pricing and more. As you scroll towards the bottom you can see that one part has different pictures symmetrically situated, the other section contains highlights, the following has pop-ups with pictures, after that moving pictures and the list goes on.

For this review, I needed to create my Weebly login information before I could begin creating my website. I went to the Weebly sign up page and easily made my account. The Weebly sign in was a walk in the park, foreshadowing the whole thing right from the start.

Intuitive?

As soon as you pick a pre-existing website template, or theme, you can press “Start Editing” and hop into it. The user interface, or the website building platform is right in front of you and it is neatly and clearly set up. The main elements of the Weebly platform can be found in the upper part of the website where you can access the builder, theme selection, the app store, settings and more. In the lefthand side of the screen, you have all the tools offered to you by the Weebly website builder, and all you need to do is drag and drop them on the website.

The Weebly education system that is set in place guides you through the features and options of the platform. Having even a minimal experience with programs such as Microsoft Office, will make the Weebly platform feel like a walk in the park. After an hour of dabbling with the options myself, I believe I became handy enough with the system that I could remember where everything was almost instantly.

Drag and Drop

In the left-hand menu, you can drag the component that you would like to add to your website, such as an image, for example. You just click and drag the icon unto the website and a section is added to site. You click the newly created “Image” section and you have the option to select images from different sources such as  your computer, favorites that you have added previously on weebly or by adding an image URL.

The whole drag and drop system makes things a lot easier and faster. You basically re-edit, reconfigure or create your whole website from scratch really fast if you build up some experience. The only problem that I personally had, which to be honest might be my fault as I am fairly clumsy, was sorting the new elements that I added on the website.

Image Editing

By double clicking an image, you open the image editing menu. You can choose to have the lightbox option, to add a link, to align the pictures, to add a caption, spacing and more. This part of the menu mainly dealt with the positioning or formatting of the picture. If you’d like to edit the picture itself, and its various characteristics, press “Edit Image”.

In this menu, you can crop the picture, choose between plenty premade filters, adjust brightness saturation and contrast, add text and focus.

Content Editing

Arguably the most important part of a website builder’s system, editing content has to be easy. To be quite honest, I haven’t seen an easier content editing platform ever.

As previously mentioned, you drag content or sections and you drop them on the website to add them. To edit that content, you simply press the content box you wish to edit and the respective menu pops up. Let’s say you wish to edit a text window. You press the text window and a menu opens up, containing all the tools needed to edit it. Bolding, italics, underlining, font size and style changes, adding and removing links are just some of the things you can change in textual content. All the different types of content, of course have different menus.

Themes

An important part of creating a successful website is the design. If you design an intriguing and beautiful website, it’s bound to attract more customers. Now, while Weebly’s themes aren’t awful, they aren’t stunning either. There’s not too many of them, so don’t worry about not being able to make a choice.

Number of available themes

There’s a bit over 60 free Weebly themes, and a few others that you can pay for. When compared to, for example Wix, which has over 500 themes, Weebly is deeply lacking. Its themes just might be its weakest link.

There are a few ways that you can mitigate Weebly’s lack of theme selection. One way is to upload your own custom themes and add them. If you have the funds, you can also hire a designer to make a customizable and professional theme for your website.

Are the themes responsive?

All of Weebly’s themes are responsive, so whether someone will visit your website from a 30 inch monitor or a tablet or a smartphone, the website will readjust and look its best. Each theme has both responsive design and navigation which is a must in today’s website builder community. iOS users will be pleased to know that Weebly’s themes, as of 2017, are retina-friendly. Your themes will look as beautiful as anywhere else.

Can you develop your own theme?

The best way to develop your own theme, at least on Weebly, is to choose one of the base themes and change what you don’t like. Pick out the theme that resembles most the idea that you have imagined, and proceed to change what needs to be changed one by one. Slowly, but surely, you will end up having your own custom theme.

Mobile accessibility

Weebly websites have been optimized for mobile devices. As such, all websites created with Weebly, will automatically show the mobile version to visitors that access them through a mobile device. As previously mentioned, the theme and the whole website will resize and adjust to the display of the mobile device.

Features

Weebly is one of the most dynamic website builders out there. With no shortage of tools at your disposal, Weebly makes sure you have everything you need to build the perfect website for yourself. Between one of the best drag and drop website builders, the integrated ecommerce platform, performance tracking mobile apps and more, Weebly just might have the most features out of all the website builders. Continue reading in this Weebly website review to find out more about Weebly’s features.

Blog

Under Weebly’s “pages” menu, you can find a News page. This is basically your Blog page and you can even rename it so. With a multitude of different blog options all integrated in the drag and drop system, you can create content easily and quickly. You can use the free Weebly templates made for blogs either as stand alone sites or as parts of larger websites or stores. With the powerful blog SEO, you can create custom URLs, title tags, meta descriptions and more, all with the goal of having your blog reach more people.

With third party media integrations, you can add a lot of images, videos and sounds to your blog to make it feel more alive.

SSL

A few days before I started writing this review, Weebly added free SSL protection to all their pricing plans. Maybe just a bit late to the party, compared to its competition, but better late than never. Your visitors can navigate your site over a secure 128-bit encrypted connection. Thanks to the SSL certificate, it enables customers to directly check out on your domain when using ecommerce. For advanced cyber attack protection, all sites are protected by a DDoS mitigation service.

Email

Weebly have partnered with G Suite to enable its customers to create customized emails for your domain name. All you have to do is go to the G Suite page in your account. Your domain must be pointed to or purchased from Weebly to be able to sign up for G Suite through your Weebly account.

Form Builder

In today’s website builders, it is a must to have an integrated form builder. Forms can server many different purposes and can take a multitude of shapes. In its drag and drop system, Weebly has incorporated multiple form builders such as a contact form, RSVP form and newsletter form builders. All you have to do is click on one of these forms’ icon, and drag it onto the website. Double-click the added form and customize it as needed. Weebly’s drag and drop system makes creating forms a joke.

Menu

When you are creating a website, always pay attention to how navigable your website truly is. Creating a whole navigation system, focused on providing your visitors with the right direction or the right spacing, is so easy when it comes to Weebly.

Right next to the “Build” menu in the top taskbar is the “Pages” menu. In this menu, you will find all the tools and options to add new pages as well as modify existing ones. From the basic format, to the design elements to the functional features, everything is customizable and easy to do so as well. You should rearrange the order in a way that makes sense and work your way from there on.

Membership system

Weebly has a special membership building system that makes the whole process easy and fun. The membership system allows you to integrate membership programs on your website, blog or store, opening many new opportunities. Pro sites can have up to a 100 members while Business sites can have an unlimited amount of members.

There’s streamlined login and registration which makes it easy for new visitors to signup and returning members to access the member-only content. There are special tools with which you can manage members’ or certain groups’ access to certain pages or features. This whole system adds a whole community aspect to your website which in turn can increase your visitor count, customers and more!

Live Chat

In ways of support, Weebly offer three ways of contact: phone, support ticket and live chat. Out of the three, the most desirable is of course the live chat option. Sadly, it is not available 24/7 seven but it still is present as an option.The support team work on Monday to Friday from 6am to 6pm Pacific Time, while Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 5pm Pacific Time.

Hosting

Weebly offers exceptional site speed and reliability through its hosting service. The data center redundant, cloud based hosting infrastructure makes sure you have optimal performance and a smooth online experience for your visitors.

Ecommerce

Arguably the most important part of a website builder today is their ecommerce section. As online shopping continues to expand, more and more online stores will be needed. Weebly’s ecommerce builder has pretty much everything you might need to create your perfect online store. First thing’s first, Weebly offers a fully integrated shopping cart alongside maximally secure checkout, giving you the option to instantly start selling your products online. With its inventory management system, Weebly’s ecommerce builder helps you keep track of your supply, display the amount of items remaining and in that way, create an urgency for the customers to buy. On an online store created with Weebly, you can sell digital goods, physical goods, services and more. Using the powerful filtered product search system, you will be able to find exactly what you’re looking for in just a few seconds.

Integrations

Weebly’s website builder features an app store from which you can buy a plethora of different apps that can add depth to your website. From the simplest of additions, like a clock or a calendar, to shipping and marketing apps. After you purchase an app, it’s added to the menu of the editor and you can easily find it for future use. With an ever expanding developer community, the Weebly store gets new apps every day, so be sure to check frequently for the newest and best apps to give your website an advantage!

Performance

Having a good-looking website is, of course, very important. Selecting the right content, editing and polishing it is also, very important. None of those things will matter though if your website does not have quality performance. If the loading speeds for your website are slow, and customers often find themselves stuck through a loading process, that will cost you the most in terms of traffic. We went ahead and ran a selection of Weebly-created websites through Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see how they perform. Check out our performance findings in this Weebly website builder review.

Desktop loading speeds

When it came to Weebly-created websites’ performance on desktops, it was slightly higher than the mobile performance. Google’s PageSpeed Insights ranked an average of around 65/100, which isn’t bad but it also isn’t quite good either. It’s interesting to note that while the scoring wasn’t positive, we didn’t experience any slow loading issues whatsoever when we manually maneuvered the websites. There were a couple of websites where we experienced issues, but those were just stacked with too many features and suffered from clutter and bad design.

Mobile loading speeds

Compared to desktop performances of Weebly websites, their mobile counterparts were slightly slower. Testing a selection of over 20 websites with Google’s PageSpeed insights provided an average of 60/100, which according to Google, is poor. Although the score’s show a poor performance, first-hand testing revealed much the same case as with the desktop Weebly sites. If the creator of the website did not overburden and clutter the website with videos and images, the performance would be point.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When all is said and done, it doesn’t matter how intriguing or how fast your website runs if people can’t find it. That’s where SEO comes in. In short, SEO is making sure your website turns up in search engine results for the right words. As most website builders, Weebly has proper SEO for the websites created with tools. If you would like to customize and personally try to improve your SEO, there are few ways to do so and Weebly makes it all easy.

Pricing

In the website builder business, the different packages, pricings and plans that are offered make a world of difference. There are 5 Weebly pricing plans available, with the free plan not offering any options to build online stores.  Features that are available in cheaper plans are not rewritten.

Plans for websites & online stores

Free – Basic Use – $0.00/mo

  • Drag & Drop builder
  • Weebly Ads
  • 500MB Storage
  • Weebly.com subdomain

Starter – Personal Use $8.00/mo (when paid annually); Free Domain ($20 value) + Google Ads ($100 credit)

  • No Weebly adds
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Connect Your Domain
  • Advanced Site Stats

Pro – Groups & Organizations $12.00/mo (when paid annually)

  • Site Search
  • Password Protection
  • Video Background + HD Video/Audio
  • Up to 100 Members

Business – Small Businesses & Stores $25.00/mo (when paid annually)

  • Unlimited Members
  • Membership Registration
  • Shipping & Tax Calculator
  • Inventory Management
  • Digital Goods
  • SSL Security

Performance – Power Sellers $38.00/mo (when paid annually); Email Marketing ($96 value)

  • Real Time Shipping Rates
  • Abandoned Cart Emails
  • Gift Cards
  • 5 Email Campaigns/mo

It’s important to note that the free plan offers no ecommerce builder, and that the more expensive the plan, the better the ecommerce possibilities. Pro, Business and Performance packages have phone support available to them as well.

Payment options & billing

The longer you subscribe for a package, the cheaper it becomes in the long run. It is important to note that the subscription will be automatically renewed at the end of the billing cycle. If you don’t want to have your subscription be automatically be renewed,  you have to manually turn off auto-renewal in the billing section.

You can pay for your subscription using the following methods:

–   Visa

–   MasterCard

–   American Express

–   Discover

–   PayPal

Customer Support

Weebly’s customer support system is very detailed and professional. You can visit the Weebly Help Center and find many subsections of F.A.Q. lists, compiled to help you navigate any and every problems that can arise. The community surrounding Weebly is really vibrant and active, and on its forums you can find the answers to any question you might have. The community forums, chat and email support are active for any pricing package, even the free package. If you have the Pro, Business or Performance packages, you are also able to instantly contact support through a phone call.

 

Conclusion

With the purpose of writing this Weebly review 2017, I had to see how it worked for both others and myself. Through reading the official Weebly forums, unofficial website builder community forums as well as extensively using the Weebly website builder myself, I can safely say that Weebly is amongst the top three website builder available out there. Check out the Weebly review pros and cons:

 

Pros
  • Highly intuitive and easy to use drag-and-drop builder
  • Mobile accessibility at a high level
  • Website builder quite extensive and customizable
  • High-level hosting
  • SEO for all packages
  • Varied and detailed customer support
  • Different pricing packages fit for everyone

 

Cons
  • Limited theme/template choice (circumventable but a flaw nonetheless)
  • Restrictive free package ( compared to some of its competitors)

 

Obviously, Weebly’s pros outweigh the cons by wide a margin. I would wholeheartedly recommend Weebly’s web builder to anyone out there, especially someone new to the whole business. From regular websites and blogs, to extensive and very profitable online stores, Weebly can do it all. Not only is the website builder itself recommendable, but so is the Weebly review as well.

 

Weebly F.A.Q

Q: Is weebly.com really free?
A: Weebly.com offers multiple packages, one of which one is free with some restrictions.

Q: How much does it cost to register a domain name with Weebly?

A: Depending on the domain extension as well as the duration of the registration, the cost of the domain name can be anywhere from $12.57 to $39.95 a year.

Q: Is Weebly easy to use?
A: Weebly might be one of, if not the easiest to use website builder in the market.

Q: What do you get with Weebly Pro?

A: When you subscribe for the Weebly Pro package, you receive extra site features, a free domain of $20 value, $100 Google ads credit, ecommerce benefits and more.

Q: How much is a Weebly website?

A: There are multiple package options, all with different features and prices.

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