Is Weebly the best website builder? Find out below.
Weebly has an easy to use system which has drag and drop to make things very simple and it is well priced as well, which is why it is popular. The designers always had the aim of making it easier to use than other options that were available and so it is great for those that want something that is easy to use, not just those with little experience in this area but it makes it a quicker system for anyone to have. It also has great speed as well as security too. There is a great building process and there is also an educational system so you will be able to learn how to do everything easily as you go along and it will all be really straightforward. It also has a varied selection of templates to choose from, including modern designs, so you should be able to find something that will suit your business. There is an app centre where you can easily find additions to the basic model. There are various pricing plans including a free option which means that you are able to try before you buy which is always really handy.
Plans & Pricing
There are five pricing levels with the first being free. With the free package you get 500MB storage you have to use a weebly.com subdomain and you get chat and email customer support. In the starter package which is $8 a month there are no Weebly ads, unlimited storage, free domain, $100 google ads credit, Weebly statistics and up to 10 ecommerce products.
For £12 a month you get the pro package which has intra-site search, up to 100 members. Up to 25 ecommerce products and phone customer support. The business package is $25 a month and includes unlimited members, unlimited ecommerce products and extra ecommerce features such as inventory management and SSL security. The $38 performance package has everything and includes email marketing of a value of $86, lots of ecommerce features including real time shipping rates, gift cards and 5 email marketing campaigns per month with up to 500 contacts.
Tools & Features
- Weebly has a blog feature and this means that it is very easy to put this on to your website if you wish to. All that needs to be done is that when you add a new page, you select blog page. The blog will follow the theme of the rest of the site unless you alter it to make it different. It is easy for beginners to use but there are no tags for blogs which can be a bit annoying, although there are categories. Most people would expect both so that they can easily boost their blogs SEO without any coding knowledge.
- SSL is included in the more expensive packages but not in the cheaper ones and it is important to realise that this is something that Google Chrome looks for when ranking search results and so missing it out could be a big problem.
- Email is used through G suite which is useful as many people nowadays use gmail. You will have to pay for a dedicated email address but that is likely to be the case with all web builders and you can use a free trial to see how it all works before you commit to doing so.
- Weebly also has a newsletter function which, although offered by most of its competitors, it is a lot better. It is a standard element when you are editing the page so you can easily click and drag it where you wish and add in your own email address to it (you do not have to sign up for one). There is a database which will store the details of those who sign up.
- The app centre is very useful as well. Not only does it give you the opportunity to expand what you have already been offered. The apps include third party ones and they all have reviews so you will be able to get a good idea about what they will be like before you use them. Some are free and some will need to be paid for.
- With regards to SEO you can make changes to each page adding in meta keywords, titles and descriptions, change the URL and even change the header and footer. It is very easy to do this and sitemaps are generated automatically and they can be submitted to search engines. These are accessible for every user even on a free package. You will have to pay for statistics though, but these are available even for the users on the cheapest packages.
The themes are broken down into sections to make it easier for you to select one relevant to the purpose of your website. They include things like portfolio, business, store etc and each has a range of 6-16 to choose from. There are 48 in total which is less than competitors but they are all free. It is possible to make changing to the theme anyway so that you can make it your own and have a unique look and this is possible even if you do not know how to code. It is worth noting that with all themes some photos will not be top quality when displayed on some Apple devices as they are not retina friendly. All these are mobile friendly though so they can work on PCs and all mobile devices. When you are designing there is an easy way to view how it will look in both so you are able to make sure that it looks the way that you are expecting.
Pros & Cons
Weebly has lots of themes that are stylish and responsive so they all react to mobile devices. The page template system can be adapted to create a unique site really easily and the apps allow you to be able to add lots of extra functions on top. Ecommerce is also included in all of their plans. You can also assign other editors to work on the site so it does not just have to be one person using it. You can also have membership areas where members only can get to certain parts of your site.
However, the app market does not have such a big range as some of the other web builders. There are also limitations with regards to the design. Not all site elements can be moved around freely which means that you may find it restrictive, but this depends on how happy you are with what they look like. Traffic is blocked by Weebly from Russia, Ukraine and China which means that if you are looking for an international market then it might not be the best and it is also difficult to create a website with them in multiple languages.
For your first year you will get a domain name for free and then it will be $19.95 a year after that. There are many options such as those domains with an ending of .com and .ca. You can bring your own domain though from another provider and redirect it, so if you already have one or have found a low priced one them this can be a good option for you. You may prefer to buy one even in the first year so that you can avoid the yearly charge that will follow.
The ecommerce store is very easy to navigate. It has an easy overview where you can easily see all the options that you are likely to need such as adding products, setting up shipping, start accepting payments etc. Once you go to an option there is a useful guide to help you get it right and it means that you will be able to get an online shop up and running extremely quickly. The shopping cart has SSL encryption and all major payment options. It also has an automated tax and shipping calculator which makes these much easier. t also has inventory management which is very useful.
The shopfront is very useful for small and medium sized businesses but it may not be so good for much larger stores even though the import and export function may be a way to get around the problems of inputting all of the items. You can even set one up in the free plan, although this will not look that professional as it will have a Weebly ad in the footer, but it can be a good way to start out and have a play with it all before deciding if you want to upgrade to a professional package (the personal one still has the ads).
If you are looking for something really simple to use, then this could be the answer as it is very user friendly. There is no need to know any coding and you will still be able to put together a website which looks good and is unique to you, even though you can pick between themes and templates. It has a useful ecommerce system and the pricing plan is fair and competitive as well. They have good customer support and although you do not get telephone support with the lower priced packages, you can still get email and live chat and they are available every day for either 7 hours or 12 hours and answer tickets quickly too. There are a lot of great features that are really easy to access and the only main problem is the difficulty with purchasing email accounts and SSL not being included in the lower priced packages.