Weebly Review Highlights
- Easiest drag & drop website builder to use – Very painless way to build your website
- Professional, mobile responsive designs to make your site look good – access HTML/CSS to modify your design further
- Need help with your layout? Pick from pre-designed layouts to get started – popular layouts include home, about, services, contact, restaurant menu or portfolio pages
Weebly is a very user friendly, robust and reliable website builder. It’s one of the easiest drag and drop, code free website builders available in the market today.
They enable you to build a great looking website without having to write a single line of code. You literally just use your mouse, and drag in pictures, slideshows, products, without the need to deal with any codes.
So if you are looking to build a professional looking business website, or just a personal website to showcase your hobbies or interests, Weebly can help you accomplish your goals with very little technical knowledge on your part – we’ll discuss this in great depth in this Weebly review.
By far, Weebly is the easiest website builder to use. It’s very user-friendly and intuitive – you don’t have to know any codes at all and you can still build a good looking website.
Feedback from Weebly users is that they are very satisfied with building websites with Weebly given it’s comprehensive website building tools, ease of use, at very affordable prices (free for most people). Here are some success stories from Weebly users – you might find them quite inspirational.
Weebly currently powers over 30 million websites, equivalent to more than 2% (and growing) of the websites on the internet are currently run on Weebly – that’s very impressive considering there are a lot of websites across the entire internet!
Click on the following links to read the specific sections:
4. Ease of Use
10. Mobile Display
1. WEEBLY REVIEW – TOP 3 PROS AND CONS
- Very User-Friendly, Drag & Drop Website Builder – They don’t overwhelm you excessive number of bells and whistles, and include all the necessary basics to build a functional website. Weebly’s user interface is very intuitive to use, which is good for all levels of users especially if you are fearful of anything to do with technology. You can literally build a good website in less than an hour.
- Mobile Responsive Templates – Weebly’s latest template designs are all mobile responsive, so your website will look professional across desktop and mobile devices. If you want to change templates at some point to give your design an updated look, just click on a new template and all your existing content will be automatically transferred over. Weebly also gives you access to the templates’ HTML / CSS codes. So if you know a bit of code (or if you hire someone who does), this gives you the flexibility to customize your design extensively.
- Pre-Designed Page Layouts – When it comes to designing your pages, if you don’t know where to start, Weebly has over 40 pre-set page layouts for you to choose from to get you started. They’ve compiled popular page layouts for home, about, services, contact, restaurant menu and portfolio pages. You can pick any one of them, and start customize or altering the layouts to make it your own. More about this below.
- Design Templates Are Basic – A common complaint amongst users is that Weebly’s templates don’t offer you any advanced designs. Some examples include single page scrolling design, parallax (which is very popular nowadays), page transitions (such as fading or sliding effects), or background video players. Weebly is all about keeping things very simple so if you are looking for more advanced designs, other website builders such as Wix or Squarespace might be better for you.
- Limited Template Customization Options – Weebly only allows you to change font styles, and overall color scheme for each template. So if you want to make modifications beyond that, such as changing the menu bar color, content background design, or adjusting the content width, etc, you will have to modify the codes of the template in order to do so. So it’s definitely possible to make detailed customizations, there just isn’t a code-free way of doing so. Again, other website builders such as Wix or Squarespace offer you code-free way to customize your design.
- Blog Features Need Improvement – Another common complaint amongst users is that Weebly’s blogging functions are fairly primitive. Nowadays, websites with blogs want the ability to highlight related posts, most popular posts or latest posts. Weebly have yet to incorporate these tools into their blog. They give you the basics, such as social sharing buttons, the ability to drag and drop content into each post, or even the ability to schedule when a post should be published in the future. But in our view, showcasing related, popular or latest posts are very basic tools each blog should have.
See what other leading experts are saying about Weebly
2. WEEBLY REVIEW VIDEO
3. IS WEEBLY IDEAL FOR YOU?
“Weebly is really easy to use, and suitable for all ranges of businesses, personal sites or e-commerce stores.”
Based on our review, Weebly is ideal for small businesses, photographers, designers, restaurants, personal websites, and less advanced ecommerce online stores (see our discussion about their ecommerce features here).
There are definitely more advanced website builders out there. But if you want something intuitive and user-friendly, that can help you build a good looking and functional website quickly and painlessly, Weebly is a really good choice for you.
Weebly is literally the easiest website builder to use in the market at the moment. You don’t need to know how to write any code whatsoever, as Weebly is designed specifically for non-technical users.
However, if you happen to know a bit of code, this can definitely be an asset as Weebly grants you access to edit your website’s HTML and CSS. This means you can make way more customizations to your web design if you want to.
4. IS WEEBLY EASY TO USE?
“Building your website is as simple as drag & drop. You can literally watch your own website being built in front of you.”
Weebly is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website builder. What this means is that you can build your entire website right in front of your eyes without having to touch any codes.
You drag content into the screen in front of you, and where your content is positioned while you are editing mode, is where your content will show up after you publish your website. There is no flipping back and forth between editing mode and preview mode (such as with WordPress) to see how your website will actually look after publishing.
Based no our review, Weebly is one of the most intuitive and easy to use website builders we’ve tested. As mentioned, they don’t offer you all sorts of bells and whistles to try to impress you. They keep it simple, minimalistic and effective, that’s why we like Weebly.
5. TEMPLATE DESIGN OPTIONS
“Weebly has been releasing new, stylish design templates – enabling you to create professional looking websites.”
Weebly started off with mediocre design templates a few years ago, and users have consistently requested that Weebly “upgrade” the quality of their templates.
Since then, Weebly has been creating more and more template designs that are much better than the previous templates – so they are improving (click here to see their template designs).
Weebly also gives you access to their HTML / CSS editor so if you want, you have the option to extensively modify your website’s design (or hire someone to help you). It’s a very nice option to have if you really want a customized design.
There are also third party templates providers out there that give you more design options and choices at affordable prices – take a look at this template marketplace.
Furthermore, all of the latest design templates from Weebly are mobile responsive – so your website looks professional across all mobile devices.
As mentioned above, some of the drawbacks of Weebly’s templates is that they are quite “basic”. There are a lot of desirable designs today, such as single page scrolling designs, parallax, video background, page transition effects (fade or sliding effects), that are highly demanded by certain users. If you are looking for these design options, Weebly doesn’t have them yet. Take a look at Wix or Squarespace if they are very important to your overall design.
6. PRE-DESIGNED PAGE LAYOUTS
“Not everybody instinctively knows how to make a page look beautiful. Weebly’s Page Layouts give you a head start by offering you over 40 professional layouts to choose from.”
As mentioned above, one of the pros about Weebly is that they have put together over 40 popular page layout designs for you to choose from.
When you add a new page to your Weebly website, the page is initially blank – ready for you to drag and drop content into it. But what if you don’t know how to arrange the content to create a layout that looks good?
This is where their page layouts come in really handy for you. Pick from a selection of popular layouts that are specifically catered to home page designs, about us pages, services offered pages, contact pages, restaurant menu layouts and portfolio pages.
Once you pick a layout suitable for your new page, you’ll see some pre-set content on your page. Just click into these content and swap in your own pictures, text, etc. You can also move the content around to further modify the layout.
This is a really awesome feature that Weebly offers you. Instead of staring at a blank page, the page layouts give you a head start in designing your pages, and you can feel confident that the pages will look good.
7. SUPPORT / TUTORIALS / COMMUNITY RESOURCES
“Weebly provides email & live chat support. Given they’re quite easy to use, you probably won’t need as much support as other complex web builders.”
Weebly Customer Support
Based on our experiences and users feedback, Weebly’s support team quite responsive and helpful. They have been expanding their support team over the past year to help service the growing number of users, so it’s nice to see that support is a primary focus for them.
You can reach Weebly’s support team through 3 different channels: 1) support tickets, 2) live chat and 3) phone. Their support tickets are answered 24/7.
However, if you want a more personal experience, their live chat support is available from Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm Pacific Standard Time.
If you want to speak with someone on the phone, they are available at 1-844-493-3259 from 6am – 6pm Pacific Standard Time.
Weebly Tutorial Resources
Weebly also has an online Support Center which is basically a “How To Guide” to use their tools to build your website.
If you want to learn a few more advanced tips and tricks, DivTag Templates has interesting Weebly tutorials on their YouTube channel which you can watch for free.
Weebly Community Forum
One of the things that some other website builders have is a community forum, where users can exchange ideas, post questions and find answers to questions that have already been asked. Weebly does not have such a forum yet. It’s a “nice to have”, but not absolutely important when it comes to determining how good of a website you can build.
8. WEEBLY APP CENTER – EXTRA TOOLS AT YOUR DISPOSAL
“If you want more sophisticated tools, Weebly’s App Center offers you a collection of fully integrated, one-click installation tools to help you grow your business.”
For users who need more sophisticated tools beyond the basic ones that Weebly provides, the Weebly App Center is very helpful in this regard.
This is something we really like about their features offering. While Weebly strives to keep their tools minimalistic (and not overwhelm you with excessive bells and whistles), they have developed a platform where if you want more advanced tools, you can “bolt” them on to your website via their App Center, with just a click of a button.
These advanced tools / apps relate to marketing, communications, eCommerce, social and tools (such as pricing table, accordion tabs, team charts, etc, that are above and beyond the basic tools that Weebly provide).
Traditionally, if you want to add more tools to your website, you’ll have to manually integrate the tools to your website. You run the risk of having to touch codes, and worst yet, if the tools are not fully compatible, can accidentally crash your website.
With the App Center, all the external tools are fully integrated with Weebly’s platform. So if you want to add the app to your website, you just click the “Add” button and the installation takes place seamlessly.
These additional apps are built by independent developers, and their entire businesses are focused on improving and servicing their tools. Some of the apps are free and some are paid. For the paid apps, most of them have free trial periods, so you can give them a test drive for free.
9. WEEBLY MEMBERSHIP CREATION FUNCTION
“Weebly allows you to create your own membership club, where you have full control over who gets to see what pages.”
One of the neat functions that Weebly offers you is the ability to create a membership gateway, so that only your registered members can have access to certain restricted pages (that you have full control of).
This is especially helpful to you if you want to create a private membership club of some sort, share private information with selected members, create courses for students, or just want to block certain content from the general public.
While you might not need this specific function to run your website, it’s something nice to have for sure.
To use Weebly’s membership creation tool, you will have to be at least a Weebly Pro or Business plan subscriber (more discussion on pricing plans below).
With the Pro plan, you can signup up to 100 members. However, your visitors who want to become members won’t be able to sign up through a registration button on your website. This means that in order for these visitors to become members of your site, you have to invite or add them manually. In our view, while it’s nice that you can have up to 100 membership, these features are really quite limited.
But once you upgrade to their Business plan, you can have unlimited members, and you can have a membership registration button directly on your Weebly website so your visitors can sign up themselves – which is a nice feature.
The registration button can either be placed directly on your menu bar, or you can create a pop up box so that when your visitors click on a button or link, a sign up form will appear for them to sign up to become members.
You can either manually or automatically approve each membership application, and you receive a notification email from Weebly once you have a new member sign up.
With the membership function, you can create membership groups, control permissions for pages so that only your members can see certain pages. You can have a dedicated members log in page for your members, and it also comes with basic functions such as password reset.
One thing that’s missing at the moment, is the ability for you to charge your members for a membership fee. Hopefully this is something that will come in future updates!
10. WHY IS WEEBLY MOBILE SPECIAL?
“Weebly automatically takes your website and creates a mobile version of it. You also get to preview it.”
As mentioned above, all of Weebly’s latest template designs are mobile responsive. This means that if you are using one of their responsive templates, your design will automatically adjust to fit in your viewers’ mobile devices. You don’t have to do anything more as the template automatically adjusts on its own.
However, Weebly has hundreds of other older templates that are not mobile responsive. If you decide to use one of those templates, you can use their mobile editor to manage the mobile version of your web design.
Weebly offers a “Mobile” function where it takes your website, and automatically compresses it to fit into a mobile phone display. You get to preview your mobile optimized site so you know what your visitors will see, and you also get to drag and drop elements into the mobile editor which is pretty cool.
We have a dedicated full review of Weebly’s Mobile Editor here. In the review, we’ll also compare it to the mobile editor of other website builders to see how Weebly stands.
11. WEEBLY SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
“Weebly covers all the basic SEO settings – right on par with other website builders.”
We’ve seen arguments that website builders perform very poorly in search engine rankings. However, we have also seen many Weebly websites rank very well in Google (first page rankings) and we have personally built Weebly websites that have also ranked on first pages of search results.
So don’t let others discourage you – just because they can’t do it, doesn’t mean you can’t either! SEO is about planning, technique and persistence, but that’s beyond the scope of this review.
Weebly allows you to insert all the basic SEO functions, such as descriptions, titles and keywords for each web page.
Do note that with Weebly’s free plan (the Limited Plan), your free website will not be indexed by search engines. If you want your website to be able to show up in search engine search results, you will have to upgrade to one of Weebly’s paid plans.
This could be problematic if you don’t have the intention of upgrading to a paid plan, and you want your website to be discoverable via search engines. Having said that, my view is that if you want your website to be searchable, upgrading is not an unreasonable price to pay. No such thing as a free lunch, right?
Also, just be aware that even if your website is indexed by search engines, this does not guarantee that it will be ranked high in search results. We have a bit more information about this in our FAQ page (look under the SEO question).
You can also insert Google Analytics to start tracking your website visitor statistics as well. Alternatively, Weebly also provides a website statistics dashboard which tracks page views and unique visitors on your behalf from the past 30 days.
Weebly Pro users also get important information such as most visited pages, search terms (what keywords your visitors used to discover your website) and referring sites (which website referred your visitor to you).
We recommend using a combination of Google Analytics and Weebly’s own tracking to maximize the usefulness of the information.
12. HOSTING AND EXPORT OPTIONS
“Weebly takes care of all your hosting & technical needs – so you can focus on building your site.”
Weebly hosts all the websites for you, even if you are using their free platform, so you do not have to pay for hosting separately.
The advantage is that they manage the entire process for you so you can concentrate on building your website and focusing on other more important things (such as life!)
Weebly takes care of all the security upgrades for hosts and do all the techie stuff to ensure your website is always up and running, and doesn’t get hacked.
One important benefit that makes Weebly stands out is that they allow you to export / archive your website. So if you ever want to export your website to another host, you can be free to do so.
It’s nice when a website builder doesn’t hold you hostage – that’s a nice touch. Here is a quick video tutorial on how to export a Weebly website and import it into another host.
13. PRICING – IS IT WORTH THE INVESTMENT?
“Weebly enables you to build a website even if you don’t know how to code. You get really great value from Weebly especially if you don’t want to pay a developer thousands of dollars to build a site for you.”
You can use Weebly for free, and have access to most of the basic tools you will need to build a website. You can also create as many page as you want to under their free plan. They also don’t impose a time limit if you sign up for a free website, so you can build and have a free website for as long as Weebly is still around!
But if you want to access their full suite of website building tools and premium support, you can upgrade to their paid plans (Starter, Pro or Business).
The listed monthly price for Weebly’s Starter, Pro and Business plans are $8, $12 and $25 per month, respectively – these are based on their 1 year plans. However, you can reduce the monthly price significantly if you sign up to their 2 year plans.
If you do commit to 2 years, the Starter plan is available to you at $5 per month, Pro plan at $9 per month and Business plan at $21 per month.
This is equivalent to approximately 16 cents per day, 30 cents per day and 69 cents per day for the Starter, Pro and Business plans. Not bad considering most people probably spend way more than that on a cup of coffee or chocolate bar everyday.
The 2 years plan gives you the best pricing per month.
The Business Plan is geared specifically for users who want to create a comprehensive online store. So if you have plans to build a business and sell products online, Weebly eCommerce (Business Plan) is an excellent option. See our review on their eCommerce tools.
Weebly Pro & Starter Plan Features – see our discussion of what you get with Weebly Pro
14. WEEBLY REVIEW – CONCLUSION / RECOMMENDATION
Based on our Weebly review, it is our opinion that Weebly is the easiest website builders to use at the moment. Their user interface is minimalistic, so it is designed intentionally to not overwhelm you.
Weebly’s difficulty level is rated as “Low” – it is suitable for users of all technical skill levels (even if you are an absolute beginner).
A good approach is to start with a free website, familiarize yourself with their tools and how easy or difficult it is for you to use Weebly, then make your decision to upgrade or not.
Keep in mind that there is no time limit to use their free services.
HELPFUL TIP: See our expert analysis on Weebly Pro and Weebly Starter Plans, and how to get them for free.
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