Weebly Review 2017 | The Easiest-To-Use Website Builder Today?

Last updated on December 29, 2016

Here is our Weebly review summary – To help you evaluate whether Weebly is a good website builder for you:

 

1) Introduction to Weebly

We’ve used Weebly extensively and based on our experiences, Weeblyis one of the easiest to use, intuitive, user-friendly, drag & drop website builders available in the market right now (and we’ll show you why in this Weebly review).

Even though they’re not the most comprehensive, features-rich website builder, Weebly is so easy and intuitive to use, they’re a great option for you to consider using if you are really afraid of technology, or you just want to find a reliable, steady platform that doesn’t require you to spend days or weeks in learning how to use.

Further, it is a completely code-free web builder – meaning you don’t need to know how to code at all (though you could edit the HTML / CSS codes, which you can take advantage of if you know how to code a little bit).

Weebly currently powers over 40 million websites, which is more than 2% of all websites on the internet. That’s a pretty impressive statistic which is an indication that other people do enjoy using Weebly.

Here are some success stories from Weebly users, just so you can get a sense of their experiences with using this website builder.

2) What We Like About Weebly

Here are 3 of the top things we like about Weebly:

1) Very User-Friendly, Code-Free, Drag & Drop Website Builder

As mentioned above, Weebly is hands-down one of the easiest website builder to use. They don’t overwhelm you with all sorts of bells and whistles and keeps things nice and clean – suitable for users who are beginners all the way up to advanced users.

Weebly has been introducing more advanced designs and tools lately, and they are still able to ensure that these features are easy to use which stays true to Weebly’s core competency – making website building easy.

Weebly’s user interface is very intuitive, which is good for all levels of users – even non-technical beginners. It is entirely possible that you can build a good looking and functional website in a couple of hours.

2) Template Designs Are On-Trend With A Good Selection

In the past, Weebly’s design templates are “basic”, at best. That was one of their biggest weaknesses. Having said that, they’ve been making big improvements with their template collection. Right now, they have a good selection of designs that are on-trend with the latest designs. They are also mobile responsive so your website will look professional across desktop and mobile devices.

Further, Weebly gives you the option to switch templates. It’s very easy to do if you want to change up your design once in a while. All your content will be automatically transferred into the new template you pick. Not all the website builders give you this capability.

Weebly also gives you the ability to edit the HTML and CSS codes to the templates. This is hugely beneficial for you to customize your design extensively if you know how to code (or if you are working with a coder). This feature is optional for more advanced users.

3) Pre-Designed Page Layouts

Listen, not everyone is a skilled website builder or a designer. So it’s not unusual if you don’t know where to start when you want to build professional looking webpages.

Weebly offers you over 40 pre-set page layouts to get you started. You can pick from a variety of page layouts (such as home page, about us page, services, contact us page, restaurant menus, portfolio layouts, etc) and start customizing the layout with your own content to make the page your own.

3) Things You Should Be Aware Of

Here are a few things you should be aware of:

1) Limited Template Customization Options

When it comes to template design customizations, once again, Weebly’s tools are a bit limited when compared to others (such as Wix and Squarespace).

If you want to make specific design modifications to areas such as the menu bar color, content background design, adjusting the width of your content body area, etc, you’ll have to edit the codes.

Weebly is really easy to use, so this is a trade-off you should consider.

2) Slower in Introducing New, Innovative Features

Weebly introduces new features once or twice per year, which is not as frequent as users want. Weebly users are always thirsty for new and improved tools! Wix (which is Weebly’s biggest competitor) introduces new or improvements to existing features on a monthly basis.

Weebly introduces new features once or twice per year, which is not as frequent as users want. Weebly users are always thirsty for new and improved tools! Wix (which is Weebly’s biggest competitor) introduces new or improvements to existing features on a monthly basis.

Further, even though the new functions are advanced, Weebly is still able to keep them very user-friendly, which is one of Weebly’s core competencies.

3) Blog Features Need Improvement

When it comes to blogging features, Weebly’s tools are quite basic. Nowadays, a lot of website owners want more advanced blog features such as the ability to display related posts, most popular posts or most recent posts. Weebly don’t offer these tools yet.

They do offer you some basic blogging tools, such as the ability for your readers to share your blog posts, or even the ability to schedule when a draft post should be published in the future. But in our view, the ability to display related, popular or latest posts are quite important, too.

4) Is Weebly Ideal For You?

Given Weebly is straightforward to use and does not have a high learning curve, it is suitable for all beginners to intermediate users.

If you are an advanced user who knows how to code (or if you’re interested in learning how to code), you do have access to edit your website’s codes to make further customizations.

As mentioned above, Weebly also offers pre-set page layouts where you can pick these layouts and just start inserting your own content. This way, you don’t have to worry about not knowing how to lay out your page design as it is all done for you already.

These page layouts are specifically catered to businesses, photographers, designers, restaurants or ecommerce online stores.

There are definitely more advanced website buildersavailable to you today, but if you want something user-friendly, intuitive, yet can help you build a professional looking and functional website, Weebly is a great choice for you to consider using. It’s really a pleasant and pain-free way of building websites.

5) Weebly Template Options

Just a few short years ago, the quality of Weebly’s templates was mediocre at best. They’ve really upgraded this aspect of their offering and so the newer templates are much better designed than their previous ones.

You can see their template designs here.

As mentioned above, you have the flexibility to edit the HTML and CSS codes to the template so you can completely customize your design. If you don’t know how to code, you still have the option to hire someone to help you do so. This is an option that not all website builders offer.

Even though Weebly has made big strides in “modernizing” their designs, a couple of their competitors Wix andSquarespace) also offer trendy designs and arguably they have better selections. But Weebly is definitely progressing well in this aspect of their offering and we’re excited to see more new templates from them!

Just a side tip, there are third party premium template sellers out there, where they sell more advanced templates that are compatible with Weebly websites. You can purchase a premium template from them and just upload it to your website. They’re affordable as well. You can see some of these premium templates here.

6) Weebly Support & Resources

Weebly offers you numerous different ways to get support:

  1. Email (24/7)
  2. Live chat (Monday – Friday 6am – 6pm PST / Saturday – Sunday 8pm – 5pm PST)
  3. Phone (1-844-493-3259)
  4. Help Center (online tutorials)
  5. Community Forum

In our experience, Weebly’s support team is quite responsive and helpful. They’ve been growing their support team over the years so it’s a good sign that they are placing emphasis on helping users.

It’s also nice that you can get help through different channels. For instance, if you need immediate help, or if you prefer more hands-on assistance, the live chat and phone support are great options.

Another tip is that you can also get quick feedback throughWeebly’s Facebook page. You won’t get in-depth, technical answers on Facebook, so reserve those questions for the other support channels.

7) Weebly App Center

Even though Weebly’s website building tools are not as advanced as its competitors, they do offer you an App Centerwhere you can “bolt on” more sophisticated tools.

These apps are created by independent (non-Weebly) tools creator and enable you to supercharge your website with these advanced apps.

Offering these apps to you is quite brilliant. Weebly strives to keep their own building platform minimalistic (not to overwhelm you with excessive bells & whistles), so for those who need more, the App Center is there to cater to such needs.

These apps help users in marketing, ecommerce, social media, communications, and various tools such as pricing tables, team charts, accordion tabs, etc. These apps offer you tools above and beyond what Weebly offers you.

These apps are all 1-click installations. Normally, you’d have to manually integrate external tools to your website. But Weebly has streamlined this process, so you can install these apps with just a single click.

Some of these apps are free and some are paid. For the latter, you have free trial periods so you can test them out risk-free, to see if you’d like to upgrade.

8) Membership Creation

If you want to build some sort of community, Weebly has a membership function that can help you achieve that without having to touch any codes.

Why would you want to create a membership system with Weebly? It allows your website visitors to sign up in order to have access to certain restricted pages – to get exclusive content such as courses. So it’s a really easy way for you to share content (written material, videos, etc) only with people who register to be part of your “club”.

Or, you just might want to share private content with a selected group of people who are members of your club. The internet is way too public sometimes, so Weebly makes it easy for you to protect your material.

To use Weebly’s membership creation tool, you’ll have to sign up to either their Pro or Business plans (we have more discussion about their pricing plans below).

The Pro plan enables you to manage up to 100 members. The Business plan (priced higher than the Pro plan) allows you to have an unlimited number of members. The advantage of using the Business plan is that you can insert a membership registration button directly on your webpages.

With the Pro plan, you’ll have to manually add your members into your system.
This might sound like a pain, but it’s quite easy to do so in Weebly. Though personally, I like to automate as much of this process as possible and the Business plan enables you to do that (though at a higher monthly price).

With the Business plan, you’ll get an email notification every time someone registers to become a member. You can either approve or deny this registration, so you have full control over who becomes a member.

However, one piece that is missing is that you can’t charge your members a monthly fee, yet. Hopefully, Weebly will insert this feature in the near future so you can earn monthly membership fees!

9) Mobile

If you create a website using Weebly, your website will be mobile friendly.

As mentioned above, all of Weebly’s updated templates are mobile responsive, meaning that the template you use to design your website will automatically re-arrange itself to fit within a small, mobile viewing screen.

You don’t have to do anything extra to make this happen – the template automatically adjusts on its own to fit nicely into mobile devices!

Having a mobile friendly website is so critical nowadays, even Google is emphasizing that this will significantly improve user experiences. If you don’t create a mobile optimized website, Google can actually penalize your search engine ranking. Thankfully, Weebly’s mobile responsive templates have you covered.

If having a mobile friendly website is very important to you, we have a guide here that compares Weebly’s mobile features with other leading website builders.

10) Weebly SEO

Having your website be discoverable on search engines (such as Google) is important, to say the least.

Thankfully, Weebly has all the basic SEO settings setup for you – right on par with other drag & drop website builders including the ability to customize the URL webpage addresses for any one of your webpages.

Just know that if you are using Weebly’s free plan, your website will not be indexed by search engines. You will have to upgrade to one of the paid plans before your website can be discovered by search engines like Goggle.

So if you are trying to build a website for your business, for instance, it’s worthwhile to consider upgrading to a paid plan. At the end of the day, this is not an unreasonable price to pay if operating a good website is your final goal. Weebly’s prices are not expensive either – we’ll get into that below.

Having said that, just having the basic SEO settings configured does not mean that your website will rank high in Google searches. If it was only that easy!

Contrary to some myths floating around on the internet, having a Weebly website rank high in search results is entirely possible – we’ve done it a few times ourselves.

We share more of our thoughts about this topic, as well as how Weebly stacks up against other website builders in our SEO guide here.

11) Hosting & Export Options

One of the benefits of using Weebly to build your website is that you don’t have to manage any of the technical aspects of operating and maintaining a website. Weebly has teams of technicians to do all that for you.

Operating a website is not as easy as some people think, especially if you are managing everything yourself. You have to know how to configure your host, take care of security upgrades, troubleshoot server issues, etc. Who has time for that?

Weebly manages all the technical aspects of running a website for you, so you can focus on other aspects of your business or life.

Another advantage of using Weebly is that they actually allow you to export your website. Portability of websites is not offered by all drag & drop website builders. However, you will need to be quite technical to take the exported files, upload them to a separate host, and configure them manually.

Once you are outside of Weebly’s drag and drop user interface, any changes you make to your site will have to be done with coding. So this option has its own set of challenges. But this option is available for you, at the very least.

12) Weebly Pricing

Weebly offers you 5 different pricing plans (including a free plan, if you are not ready to upgrade yet):

  • Free
  • Starter – $8 / month
  • Pro – $12 / month
  • Business – $25 / month
  • Performance – $49 / month

The higher the plan, the more features you have access to.

These prices per month are based on their 1-year plans. If you sign up to their 2-year plans, the prices per month decrease to $5, $9, $21 and $45 for their Starter, Pro, Business and Performance plans, respectively.

To put this into context, if you were to build a website with a more advanced platform such as WordPress, you’ll have to pay for your own hosting services which will cost you around $4 to $6 per month right off the bat. Not to mention that you won’t get a dedicated support team and a code-free way of building websites.

Further, Weebly gives you a free custom domain name for your first year if you sign up to at least their 1-year plan. This in itself, will save you about $10 – $12 for your first year.

If you’re wondering how much it takes to build a website without using Weebly, we have a definitive guide here. This will give you a sense the costs today.

Most importantly, as suggested above, the important savings that you might not see right away is that you don’t have to spend days or weeks figuring out all the technical aspects of building a website. It is really is a pain especially if you are not a technical person. This is a massive hidden cost to building a website that most people don’t consider!

Weebly takes all of that off your plate. They have full-time teams managing all that for you, so you can actually get to build a website quickly and easily instead of being buried in technical “stuff”.

So given what you get from Weebly – the ability to build a professional looking and functional website without touching codes – the monthly fee, in our view, is definitely well worth it.

See our Detailed Review Weebly Review

Weebly Review Summary:

Based on our Weebly review, it is the most user-friendly and intuitive drag & drop website builders in the market today.

What we really like about Weebly is that they make it so easy for you to create a website in a matter of hours, not days or weeks, or even months.

They don’t overpower you with a lot of excessive bells and whistles, but their features and tools are advancing to give you the ability to create really updated website designs.  They keep things minimalistic, intuitive, yet functional, so you can build a good website for your business (or whatever you are trying to accomplish with your website).

You also don’t have to worry about any technical aspects of building a website, as their drag and drop platform manages all that for you, including giving you access to 24/7 support teams should you have any questions.   These are all included in their affordable pricing plans.  Try going out there to hire your own technical team – it’s expensive and it’s not easy at all!

Weebly’s design templates are easy to use, and we particularly like the pre-set page layouts where you can pick and choose specific layouts to get you started (instead of staring at a blank canvas, unsure of how to best lay out your content).  Just pick a pre-set layout and swap in your own content – Weebly has made it really quite straightforward for you.

At the end of the day, there are definitely more powerful website builders out there that offer you much more tools and features.  But the beauty with Weebly is their minimalistic approach to website building which is suitable to even non-technical beginners. It’s really easy to use and it’s very effective.

Considering other website builders?

Take a look at our Website Builder Comparison Chart, or take a Free Quiz to see which website builder matches your needs.

Also see our Comparison Chart of Website Builders for more detailed differences

Not sure which website builder works best for you? Try our Website Builder Matching Quiz

Click here to see our full Weebly review which includes graphics illustration

 

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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6 Responses to Weebly Review 2017 | The Easiest-To-Use Website Builder Today?

  1. #

    I have been with Weebly for two years or more but was in no rush to get a site live on line. I built about 7 pages with no problem
    but have only gone back to working on it after approximately 12 months.
    Many things have been changed by Weebly since then, and I am totally frustrated. My original template is no longer available
    and the new template selection is extremely limited.
    Whereas previously I had no significant problems with building pages, now it is difficult. Dropped photos do not go where I
    want them to. Changing fonts is a problem. Changing sizes does not work all the time, and I cannot get background colors in place.
    I cannot arrange sections arranged as I want them and new sections keep popping up that I do not want.
    Plus other problems.
    An instructional video is very poorly done with the speaker’s voice often indistinct, complete with occasional coughing. The video also
    proceeds much too fast to follow where the presenter’s curser is moving around the screen.
    After a week of trying to get just my Home Page revised, I have given up and will attempt to get my money back for the second
    year of my two year subscription which starts in January.
    I am now looking at Shopify, and the very clear and comprehensive instructional video which covers just about everything to build
    a site from start to finish impresses me very much.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi William,

      Thanks for sharing your feedback with us.

      Weebly has made substantial updates to their builder to “modernize” their website builder. I actually feel that they are positive updates but I perhaps those updates didn’t work well for you. I’m sorry to hear about that!

      When they made updates, they introduced newer designs that can work well with their new tools, and are also mobile responsive. I do agree that they should introduce more templates but that will come with time. I’ve been observing them closely and they have been introducing new templates on a regular basis, but of course we all want them to be rolled out quicker!

      If you are just building a non-ecommerce website, I do suggest you take a look at Wix (see our review of Wix here).

      They are Weebly’s main competitor and they’re really easy to use, as well. We have a guide that compares Wix and Weebly here.

      Shopify is a “pure” ecommerce builder, so if you are not building an online store, take a look at Wix. But if you are building an ecommerce website, Shopify is probably the best option out there for hosted web builders. You can also see what we think of Shopify here.

      Alternatively, take our quiz to see which website builder may work well for you.

      Jeremy

  2. #

    This is a fantastic website, packed with great information if you are feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and not sure what to do next for website building. I think you have nailed it when it comes to embarking on website design.
    Thank you.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks for your feedback, Andrea!

      Jeremy

  3. #

    Thanks, Jeremy, You’ve always been a great resource for me and I thank David A Cox for that referral. Really appreciate all the info you put out and I trust what you have to say. It’s helped me cut through the information overload. Appreciate it ever so much. : ) Roz

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Roz,

      Thanks so much for your feedback! I’m thrilled to hear that you’re finding our discussions here helpful.

      Good luck on building your website!

      Jeremy