Try Weebly for Free You can upgrade to Weebly’s paid services which includes Weebly Pro and Weebly Starter plans.
For a small monthly fee, you get (1) new website building features that are previously not available with their free service, and (2) enhanced / improved elements that are not available to their free service users.
It’s important to note that Weebly Pro and Weebly Starter plans include all the free features under their free service, so if you sign up with Weebly’s premium packages, you will get more features, and better features.
(Read this article to see detailed breakdown and our opinion about Weebly’s Pricing)
If you are a business, photographer or just anyone looking to build a professional looking website, Weebly Pro and Starter can be especially helpful for you. I will explain why in this article.
Also, later on in this article, I’m going to show you how to get Weebly Pro and Starter for free, and without any risks to you.
Before I give you my opinion about if Weebly’s premium plans are worth it, let’s take a look at the Pro and Starter features that you get when you sign up.
Here is a list of features that you get. Notice that with Weebly Pro, you will get all the updated features. With Weebly Starter, you will get a subset of tools that is offered to Weebly Pro subscribers.
We will go over in more details including what they are, and how they can benefit you:
[UPDATE – since August 2013, as part of upgrading to Weebly Pro or Starter Plans, you can connect your own custom domain name to your website. Prior to this, you were able to do this under Weebly’s free plan. Going forward, you will need to upgrade to have your own custom domain name for the website.]
Premium Weebly Features
1) Site search
The site search element is a recent addition to the family of Weebly elements, and is a very useful one. Note that this tools is only available to Weebly Pro users. It allows your visitors to quickly and easily find relevant and useful information on your website.
This element can be inserted into your Weebly website just like how you would normally insert elements. Just drag and drop it from the element tool bar at the top into any drag and drop area (such as in the main body area or in the footer area).
Another neat feature is that you can control search results, so if you don’t want a particular page to show up, you can hide it by going to the Page Settings and click on “Hide this page from search engine”.
This is a nice tool to have especially if you are a business website, or if you have a website that has a lot of information and features. This will make life a lot easier for your visitors, and can bring you more business.
2) Header slideshows
This Weebly Pro feature can make your website a lot more interactive and professional.
Normally, if you are using Weebly’s free service, you can only insert a static image into the header section of your website. However, if you subscribe to Weebly Pro, you can transform the entire header area into a slideshow.
You can also insert text captions into the header slideshow, and hyperlink them to other web pages. Weebly allows you to configure the following features in the header slideshow:
- Transition style (choose between slide, fade, mosaic, slide or fold effects)
- Slide delay – here you control how fast your slides will transition to the next slide
- Navigation style – you can configure how your visitors can control the slideshow by using arrows, dots, or nothing
- Edit image – you can use Weebly’s ImagePerfect editor to actually edit the images that you insert into the slideshow. You can crop, rotate, or add all sorts of effects into your images.
This Pro feature is particularly useful if you have products you want to showcase, if you are a photographer, or you just have different messages you want to present to your visitors.
3) HD Video Player
If you have videos to display, and want your website to remain professional and project the feeling of high quality, the HD video element is a must have (only available to Weebly Pro users).
If you are using Weebly’s free service, you can insert YouTube videos into your website. However, the video player will be branded as YouTube and some of you may want an option to have an unbranded video player to keep your website professional.
Weebly’s HD video player element allows you to insert an unbranded, HD video player into your website. It supports M4V, MPG, MOV, WMV and most other standard video formats and you can upload as many videos as you wish, as long as each video is under 1 gigabyte in size.
You can configure the video player so that it provides full HD playback on web, mobile, and iPads.
4) Customizable footer area & Removing Weebly footer link
If you upgrade to Weebly Pro or Starter, you can insert your own information into the footer area of your Weebly website, including removing the Weebly footer link that exists for all free service websites (if you are not using Weebly Pro).
In the footer section, simply drag and drop any Weebly elements into the footer. The most commonly inserted items include contact forms, social media icons, “About Us” information or even location map.
Some other Weebly users also like to insert important links which is also very effective, so you can guide your visitors to important parts of your website, or even to your other websites if you wish.
Removing the Weebly footer link is important, especially if you have a business website, or you just want your website to look more professional. Granted, the footer link isn’t big or too prominent, but it’s still more professional to be able to get rid of it.
5) Premium Weebly Support
According to our own experiences and from what we hear from many other Weebly users, Weebly responds to all questions when you email them – which is awesome.
However, if you subscribe to Weebly Pro or Weebly Starter plans, Weebly will place your support email ahead of free users so you get your questions answered sooner, which is nice especially if you are under time constraints. This is only fair as you are a paying premium user!!
6) Password Protected Pages
Once you subscribe to Weebly Pro, you can password protect individual webpages or your entire website. You can control which specific webpage you want to password protect, simply by going to the Page Settings control panel.
This is especially useful if you are building a new webpage (although you can also Hide the webpage until it is ready), or if you only want limited people with your password to access that particular page (in which case you can use BOTH the password protection and hide functions), so only those who know about the page can find it, and can access it with your password.
One downside about this feature is that you can only set one single password for your entire site. So you can not have individual passwords for each webpage.
It would be nice to have this feature in the feature to give you more administrative control. One simple workaround is to use the “Editor” function so that you can invite other people to only edit very specific pages. This is particularly useful if you are working within a team environment, or if you have hired contractors to help you.
7) Audio Player
If you are a Weebly Pro user, their audio player element allows you to easily add music, podcasts, or other audio files directly to your website. Just drag & drop the audio player element into your website and upload your audio files with 1 click.
Just note that Weebly’s audio player can only accept MP3 files, so ensure your that your music files are MP3 file format before uploading.
8) Your Own Favicon
If you have a Weebly Pro or Weebly Starter account, you can add a Favicon to your website. A favicon is a small icon that appears next to your browser’s address bar or the description tab.
Even though this might seem like a small feature, it does add a lot of professionalism to your website, since all major websites have this feature. It just looks a bit weird if you don’t have one as a lot of people expect it as a standard feature.
9) Expanded Traffic Statistics
Weebly only provides 30 days worth of visitors page views information for free Weebly accounts. If you upgrade to Weebly Pro or Starter plans, you will also get information such as the most viewed pages, search terms your visitors used to find your website, or what websites referred the visitors to you.
Although this is useful data, we’ve heard from many users that the data may not be very accurate. It is best to use Google Analytics to help track visitors information. Google Analytics is free and quick to set up, and can provide you with very rich amount of information.
10) 250MB file Uploads
Weebly’s free accounts provide you with unlimited storage space, but you can’t upload files that are larger than 10 MB in size. This can be restrictive especially if you have large video, audio, documents or download files.
If you subscribe to Weebly Pro, you can then upload file sizes that are up to 250 MB in size. You can even upload up to 1 GB video files. If you subscribe to Weebly Starter, you can then upload file sizes that are up to 100 MB in size.
This is useful if you have larger videos that you want to upload, or if you are a business website and you have a large document or pamphlet that you would like your visitors to download.
11) Membership Creation
One distinction between Weebly’s Pro and Starter plans is that with the Pro plan, you can invite up to 20 people to join your site as members.
You can restrict certain pages that only your members can access. This is really helpful if you want to create a private club, or just want to restrict certain content from the public.
Weebly’s Starter plan doesn’t have this feature, so you will need to upgrade to at least their Pro plan to have access to their membership creation function.
Is Weebly Pro or Starter Worth it?
If you are a business or if you just want to position your website to be more professional and well put together, I think upgrading to a Weebly’s Premium Plan is definitely worth it.
Although not all premium features are created equally (meaning that some are more useful than others), just the Site Search, Customizable Footer Area (including removing Weebly’s footer link) and the Header Slideshow are key features that could be very valuable to you.
Just these 3 Pro features can really upgrade and transform your website from an amateur one, to a very professional looking one. This is especially important as it will provide a much better experience for your visitors, which will likely encourage them to stay longer on your website, and potentially increase your sales if you are a business.
How Much Does Weebly Plans Costs?
Currently, upgrading your Weebly website to Pro or Starter plans is not too expensive. Weebly also offers you discounts if you sign up to their 1-year plan, and even a greater discount under the 2-year plan – so definitely take advantage of these discounts.
The 2-year plan gives you the best value and if you think about it, $4.96 per month for the Weebly Starter plan is about 16 cents per day, and $8.29 per month for the Weebly Pro plan is about 27 cents per day.
That’s not too bad if you compare it to your every day expenses. So if you are serious about your website, all business or living expenses considered, signing up for 2 years is not a heavy investment to have your website be more professional in front of your visitors and customers.
How To Get Weebly Pro or Starter for Free
Here’s an easy way to get Weebly Pro or Starter for “Free”. When you sign up for Weebly’s premium plans, they give you $100 in spending credits that you can apply towards Google Adwords. Google Adwords is an excellent way to promote and market your website on Google.
So what does this mean for you?
If you sign up for Weebly’s 6 month plan, it will be a $98 (Starter) or $158 (Pro) investment per year. If you sign up for a 1 year plan, that’s a $89 (Starter) or $139 (Pro) investment per year. If you sign up for the 2 year plan, that’s a $59 (Starter) or $99 (Pro) investment per year.
If you use up the $100 Google Adwords credits, that’s MORE than your what you would have paid for using Weebly Starter or Pro for the period that you have signed up (except for the 6 month and 1 year plans for Weebly Pro).
Just something to keep in mind. If you use Google Adwords, upgrading to Weebly’s premium plans is a pretty good deal.
Weebly’s Promise: 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
According to Weebly’s Terms of Service, if you sign up for a Weebly Pro or Starter account, and if you are dissatisfied with their services for any reason, they have a 30-day money back guarantee policy.
So there really isn’t any risk to you for trying out Weebly premium plans. They are so confident that you will be satisfied with their services that they are offering you this service without any financial risks to you.
Given all the enhanced and additional features that you can receive from Weebly Pro or Weebly Starter plans, especially the header image slider (Pro), the site search (Pro) and flexible footer function (Pro and Starter), I definitely think Weebly is great value for their low monthly fees.
Upgrading to Weebly Pro or Starter plans is really one of the most valuable ways to create a professional looking website.
And why not, they have a 30-day money back guarantee so if you don’t like it in anyway, no harm will be done to you.
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