Weebly Review Highlights
- Easiest drag & drop website builder to use – Very painless way to build your website
- Good looking templates to make your site professional (with access to HTML / CSS codes if you need more design flexibility)
- Solid e-commerce tools that is fully integrated into the website builder
Weebly is a very user friendly, robust and reliable website builder.
If you are looking to build a business website or even 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.
Weebly is a drag and drop website builder, so you literally drag website building blocks (such as a picture or a paragraph) into your screen when you are building a website. Very user friendly and intuitive to use and you don’t have to know codes.
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).
Weebly currently powers over 20 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!
Whether people want to do business or sell things online, reach new people and be found, showcase their achievements, or communicate with their friends or family, Weebly is the best way for them to create a high-quality site that meets their goals. – David Rusenko, Weebly CEO & Co-Founder
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WEEBLY REVIEW - TOP 3 PROS AND CONS
- One of the easiest and user friendly drag & drop website builder in the market - They don’t overwhelm you excessive number of tools, but all the strong basics to build a functional website. Weebly’s user interface is very intuitive to use, which is good for all levels of users. You can literally build a good website in less than an hour.
- Free to use - Weebly’s free platform provides you enough tools to build a functional website (even when you’re not paying a dime, which is awesome). There is no pressure to upgrade to the paid platform, but only if you want to. No credit card information is required to sign up for a free account, and there is no time limit to the free account – you can use it forever if you want to.
- Broad range of templates allows you to build a professional looking website. You get access to all the templates from Weebly (even with a free account) and they are adding more designs on a regular basis. Weebly also grants you access to their HTML / CSS editor so you can modify the website design as you wish (or hire someone to help you do this). Very flexible indeed.
- Not designed for complex e-commerce needs – If you are looking to build an online shop with a lot of products, Weebly’s e-commerce tools are not advanced enough yet to help you manage your online shop needs (such as multiple product displays, inventory tracking, item options, different payment option other than PayPal, customization of emails to confirm orders). However, there are third party shopping carts that you can integrate into a Weebly website to supplement this – Weebly is flexible enough to support this. [See our other website builders for more advanced shopping cart functions][UPDATE - Weebly launched a brand new eCommerce solution in November 2013 which makes their eCommerce features some of the best amongst website builders (click here to see our detailed review)]
- Limited number of designer-caliber templates – The quality of Weebly’s templates is relatively average when compared to other website builders. However, they are ramping up their designs and are getting much better at this – so they are improving. There are also third party Weebly templates providers which really help (more on this below). [Wix and Squarespace has much more attractive designer templates. See our Wix vs Weebly review as well.]
- Very basic blog functions Weebly’s blogging function gives you the bare basics. However, if you manage a large number of blog posts with a wide range of categories, this is where Weebly falls behind as they currently don’t provide users with an efficient way to organize and manage articles. Further, they only have the basic Twitter share and Facebook share buttons without options to include Google Plus, Pinterest or other social media sharing buttons to promote your blog posts. Weebly could also improve with features such as “Most Popular Posts” or “Related Posts”. These would help improve user experiences as visitors can quickly get to the most popular read articles, or allow visitors to see other related posts which might also interest them. These are features that can be improved, but not detrimental to building a good website.
WEEBLY REVIEW VIDEO
Weebly updated their Editor and created a new Mobile Editor. See our thoughts on them.
WEEBLY IS IDEAL FOR….
Based on our review, Weebly is ideal for small businesses, photographers, designers, personal websites, online stores (but only if you integrate third party shopping cart add-ons).
Basically, if you want to build a good looking and functional website quickly and painlessly so you can focus on other things, Weebly is a good choice for you.
If you are looking to build a very complex or intricate website, there are other more “complicated” website builders.
EASE OF USE
Weebly is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website builder, meaning you build the entire website right in front of you and what you see when you are building, is what actually shows up after you publish the website.
There is no flipping back and forth between editing mode and preview mode 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.
TEMPLATE DESIGN OPTIONS
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 can also customize the website’s design there (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 - here is one that provides premium Weebly templates.
Overall, there are plenty of good quality options for designing your Weebly website.
SUPPORT / TUTORIALS / COMMUNITY RESOURCES
Weebly Customer Support
Based on our experiences and users feedback, Weebly’s support team is responsive and will answer all emails. They have a small team that is servicing a very large group of users, so be patient on the response time. Additional support channels include posting your questions on their Facebook page or even contacting them via Twitter.
[Update - Weebly recently introduced live chat service in which is accessible through their Support Center, so you to ask them questions on the spot which is great. Although this service is only available from Monday to Friday, 11am - 9pm Eastern Standard Time, this is a much needed support which shows that they are starting to dedicate even more resources to supporting Weebly users.]
Weebly does not offer phone support which would be nice for extra support . But this is understandable especially that Weebly is powering over 2% of all the websites across the entire internet – imagining how big their call center needs to be is scary enough. Having said that, Webs.com and Bluehost do offer phone support for their website builders.
Based on or experiences and review, Weebly is responsive when it comes to supporting their users. They don’t have the capacity to handhold each person (such as one-on-one phone calls), but given Weebly’s existing support services, friendly and intuitive user interface, you really don’t have to be a technical guru use Weebly proficiently.
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 which you can receive for free. DivTag Templates is a premium Weebly designer templates provider (they’re one of the third party independent Weebly templates provider we mentioned above).
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 influencing how good of a website you can build.
WEEBLY MOBILE DISPLAY
Weebly offers a “Mobile Optimization” 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.
WEEBLY SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
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.
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.
HOSTING AND EXPORT OPTIONS
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.
Try Weebly for Free
PRICING – IS IT WORTH THE INVESTMENT?
You can use Weebly for free, and have access to all the basic tools you will need to build a website. They 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 use their Business Plan, upgrade to Weebly Pro or Weebly Starter plan, which gives you access to more features and tools, you have that option as well.
Currently, you can sign up for Weebly Business for $19.54 per month, Weebly Pro for as low as $6.63 per month or Weebly Starter plan for as low as $3.29 per month, which is about 65 cents per day, 22 cents per day or 11 cents per day, respectively. Not bad considering most people probably spend way more than that on a cup of coffee or chocolate bar everyday.
The Business Plan is decided for for users who want to create a comprehensive e-commerce online store. So if you have plans to build a business and sell products online, Weebly e-Commerce (Business Plan) is an excellent option. See our review on their e-Commerce tools.
WEEBLY REVIEW – CONCLUSION / RECOMMENDATION
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.Try Weebly for Free
Looking for Professional Weebly Templates?
Check out DivTag Templates for beautiful Premium Weebly templates and add-on’s to transform your website from looking an ordinary looking design to something looking stylish and professional. (Disclosure: We operate DivTag Templates)
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