Best for Small Businesses
- Best website builder for small businesses, with all the basic tools you need to build a great business site, or even an online store.
- Cool customizable templates – all Weebly’s themes are simple, stylish, and mobile responsive, and you can even switch between them.
- Really helpful SEO guides in Weebly’s help and support center, for advice on coding, keyword optimization, and tips on boosting your site’s ranking
- Drag-and-drop customization is limited – unless you’re confident with code, you might find Weebly frustrating in its lack of creative freedom.
- No personal restore option, so if your site goes down you’re totally reliant on the Weebly support team to restore your site for you.
- No ADI option – Artifical Design Intelligence (ADI) is where a website builder uses information you provide to automatically create a site for you, saving you time. With Weebly, you have to create your site manually.
Weebly is a wonderfully accessible website builder that lets you create a great-looking site without having to write a single line of code.
Its drag-and-drop editing tool makes light work of creating a web presence for your project, hobby or small business, even if you’re a complete beginner.
Weebly is user-friendly and intuitive. It’s powerful enough to let you build a great-looking site without knowing any HTML at all.
But if you are handy with HTML or CSS, Weebly gives you the option to use them. Unlike its rival website builder Wix, Weebly has a built-in code editor that lets you customize your site more extensively.
Weebly’s features, versatility and value for money have earned it some excellent feedback from users, including small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Click here to read their success stories – you may find them quite inspirational.
Weebly currently powers more than 40 million websites, which works out at roughly 2% (and growing) of all websites on the internet. Read on to discover why it’s so popular, and to find out if it’s the right website builder for you.
“Weebly is great for small businesses, making it a great choice for entrepreneurs, start-up companies, and small online stores.”
Even if you want to build a personal website, online photo gallery, or even an event site, Weebly is versatile and provides a diverse range of templates.
There are more sophisticated website builders out there, but Weebly is catching up by introducing advanced features and updated designs.
Everything it does is intended to help users of all skill levels build good-looking and functional websites, quickly and painlessly.
Here at Website Builder Expert we got everyday people to test Weebly and we got some really positive feedback. Here’s just a couple of things people said:
“The editing screen is laid out quite nicely. It’s a good introductory-level web builder.”
“It was fairly straightforward to add things, you had the app store that was easy to go into, you just had to type in what you wanted and pull it into your site. Similar with the features, they were all really easy, it was a drag-and-drop motion to move it onto the page, and then the editing of text was also fairly straightforward.”
One of our favorite things about Weebly is it gives you room to grow and learn. You can edit your site’s code once you feel confident enough – making it the ideal tool if you fancy learning HTML.
This all gives Weebly a much broader appeal than its simple drag-and-drop nature may at first suggest.
As mentioned, you can even use it to build an online store (here’s our detailed Weebly ecommerce review). But if you have big ambitions for your store, you’ll be better off with an ecommerce specialist such as Shopify. If you want to build an online store and would like to consider more options, check out our article on the Best Ecommerce Platforms.
“Building your website with Weebly is as simple as dragging and dropping elements onto a page. You can see your website take shape before your eyes.”
As you may know, Weebly is a WYSIWYG (‘what you see is what you get’) website builder.
This means it lets you build your entire website by dragging elements (such as photos, icons and menus) onto pages on your screen, then move them around and resize them, without having to touch any code at all.
With WYSIWYG tools, what you see in the template editor is what your visitor will see after you publish your website. There’s no WordPress-style flipping back and forth between editing mode and preview mode to check how your site will actually look.
Here at Website Builder Expert, we like to put these website builders through their paces. One test we do, as mentioned above, is getting everyday folk to test the builders and see how easy they find them.
We asked them to score a list of tasks based on their difficulty and interviewed them after to discuss how they found it.
Despite its intuitive nature, Weebly actually proved quite difficult to use in comparison to its peers. Wix and SiteBuilder came out as the easiest products to use with Weebly being distinctly average.
“Weebly has been busy releasing stylish new designs that you can use to create professional-looking websites.”
Weebly used to have a reputation for mediocre templates, and users regularly badgered the company to improve the quality of its designs.
Eventually Weebly got the message. It’s been brushing up its themes and creating more and better designs for its Themes Gallery.
Many of Weebly’s newer themes are automatically mobile-responsive. If you choose one of these themes, you can be sure your site will look great, whatever size screen it’s viewed on.
We’ll have more on this in the section on mobile-readiness below.
Weebly also lets you access your site’s code with one click using an HTML/CSS editor. So you have the option to extensively modify your website’s design (or hire someone to help you). It’s great to have this choice if you really want a customized design.
You could also consider buying a Weebly theme created by an independent designer. Take a look at Mojo template marketplace, for example.
We still think Weebly’s biggest competitor, Wix, has more versatile templates, but Weebly seems keen to catch up. We’ll let you know about new design options from Weebly – so stay tuned!
“If you want more sophisticated tools, Weebly’s App Center offers a collection of fully integrated, one-click installation tools to help you grow your business.”
Weebly’s theme editor offers basic tools to add to your site, but if you want more sophisticated tools, check out the Weebly App Center.
While Weebly strives to keep its tools easy and minimal, it’s great to have the option of more advanced tools that you can bolt onto your website with one click.
A great example of how apps can improve your Weebly site is by integrating social media – you can now connect Facebook messenger to your website, allowing you to interact with your users in a more modern, efficient way!
Apps fall into numerous categories such as marketing, communications, ecommerce and social, plus the more generic ‘tools’ (such as pricing table, accordion tabs, team charts, and so on – utilities that go above and beyond the basics that Weebly provides).
The App Center gets around the need-to-use-code or codecs to add extra functions to your site. With the App Center, all tools are automatically fully integrated with Weebly’s platform. To add an app to your site, just click the Add button.
Apps are built by independent developers, whose entire businesses are focused on improving and servicing their tools. Some of the apps are free and some are paid-for.
Most paid-for apps have free trial periods, so you can give them a test drive without having to commit any cash.
“Weebly’s editor is quite simple, so you probably won’t need as much support as you would with more complex website builders – but it provides email and live chat support anyway.”
Weebly Customer Support
Weebly’s support team have improved over the past year to help service the growing number of users. It’s good to see this is a priority for Weebly.
You can reach the support team three different ways: 1) support tickets (see screenshot below), 2) live chat, and 3) phone. Support tickets are answered 24/7.
If you want a more personal experience, live chat is available from Monday to Friday, 6am-6pm Pacific Standard Time (PST), and Saturday to Sunday 8am-5pm PST.
Phone support is available for paying subscribers (Pro plan or higher). Call 1-844-493-3259 from 6am-6pm PST. The support team is based almost entirely in the US.
Weebly Tutorial Resources
Weebly also has an online Weebly Support Center which is basically a how-to guide to using the service to build your website.
There are videos in the Help Center if you want to learn a few more advanced tips and tricks.
Weebly Community Forum
For years we bemoaned the fact that Weebly didn’t have a community forum, while its rival Wix did – now it’s up to speed and going from strength to strength.
Here you can find users’ stories and insider tips, questions and answers, and chat with like-minded souls who are having the same problems and ideas as you.
“Weebly lets you create your own membership club, where you have full control over who gets to see what pages.”
Weebly’s membership gateway is a neat optional function. If you enable it, only your registered members can access certain restricted pages, and you have full control over who sees what.
This is especially helpful to you if you want to create courses for students; share private information with certain visitors only; create a private club of some sort, or just block certain content from the general public.
To use Weebly’s membership creation tool, you will have to be at least a Weebly Pro, Business or Performance plan subscriber (we’ll have more on the pricing plans below).
By default the registration button appears on your site’s menu bar. If you prefer, you can create a pop-up box containing a button or link for visitors to click, or display a form for them to fill in.
Every time a new member signs up, you’ll receive a notification email from Weebly.
The membership function also lets you create membership groups, and then control access to certain pages. You’re also given a dedicated members’ login page with functions such as password reset.
Weebly doesn’t let you charge users to become members – but there is a third-party app that does. Paid Members costs from $9.97 per month and lets you instantly and securely accept payment via PayPal for members who want to pay for, say, online course access on your Weebly site.
“Weebly automatically takes your website, creates a mobile version of it, and gives you a preview.”
As mentioned above, Weebly’s latest theme designs are automatically mobile-responsive.
This means your design will adjust by itself to fit your viewers’ mobile touchscreens. You don’t have to do anything more, but you can preview how your site will look on phones and tablets.
Weebly does still host a few older themes that aren’t mobile-responsive, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work on touchscreens.
If you’ve decided to use an older theme that isn’t automatically optimized for mobile, you can switch between the web and mobile views in the editor to check how your site looks and works on different devices.
For more detail, see our full review of Weebly’s Mobile Editor. Here we dig deep into the tool’s functions and compare it with mobile editors offers by other website builders.
“Weebly is great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with useful guides and tips on everything from coding optimization to keyword support.”
We’ve seen arguments that website builders perform very poorly in search engine rankings.
However, this is a myth. There are thousands of Weebly websites ranking really well in Google, achieving first-page positions. We’ve built Weebly websites that have ranked high in search results
SEO is about planning, technique, and persistence, but that’s beyond the scope of this review. Find out which website builders are best for SEO in our handy guide here.
Weebly allows you to insert all the basic SEO functions, such as editing meta titles and descriptions, customizing URLs, and adding alt text to images.
Also, be aware that even if your website is indexed by search engines, this doesn’t guarantee it’ll rank high in search results. We have more about this in our FAQ (look under the SEO question).
You can also enable Google Analytics for your site, to start tracking your visitor statistics. Weebly provides a website statistics dashboard that tracks page views and unique visitors from the past 30 days.
Weebly replaced its old analytics tool with a new one called Insights, which provides you with tons of rich information, including traffic, sales, and marketing data. It also provides you with better ways to segment and compare data to give you the best insight possible into your website’s performance.
Weebly Pro users get a little extra help, such as information about your site’s most visited pages; search terms used by visitors to discover your website; and referring sites that sent your visitors to you.
We recommend using a combination of Google Analytics and Weebly’s own tracking to get as much data and analysis as possible.
Website Builder SEO Guide – what do we really think about SEO and website builders? Here we reveal how Weebly measures up against its rivals in the search rankings.
“Weebly takes care of all your hosting and technical needs – so you can focus on building your site.”
Weebly hosts your site for you, even if you’re on the free plan, so you do not have to pay for hosting separately.
It manages the entire process for you, so you can concentrate on building your website and focusing on other more important things (such as life!)
Weebly also takes care of all technical maintenance and security upgrades, to ensure your website runs smoothly and doesn’t fall prey to hackers.
One of Weebly’s biggest advantages over other website builders is that it lets you download your entire website as a ZIP archive file. You can then import it to another host or website builder, or give it to a web designer to work on.
“Weebly makes it easy to build all kinds of websites without using any code – so it potentially saves you thousands on hiring a designer. And its cheapest plan is completely free.”
It doesn’t cost a penny to build a website using Weebly. The free plan lets you create and publish as many sites as you want, and provides many of the basic tools you need at no extra cost.
There are no deadlines or expiry dates to worry about – your free sites will be up and running for as long as Weebly is around.
So is it worth paying for an upgrade to a premium plan? Absolutely.
A subscription of $5 or more per month gets you a paid plan (Connect, Pro, Business or Performance) buys you access to Weebly’s full suite of website building tools and premium support.
Weebly’s Connect, Pro, Business and Performance plans cost $5, $12, $25 and $38 per month respectively, if you pay annually under the one-year plan.
They’re pretty cheap on average compared to the rest of the market, and this is one of the reasons why it got such a good value for money score from our research.
Here’s what you get under each plan:
As mentioned, those are the prices you pay if you sign up for a full year. If you’d rather pay month by month, the price goes up slightly. Weebly also offers six-month and two-year options as well.
You could save anywhere between 11% to 50%, depending on which plan you subscribe to and the length of your subscription. The longer you commit, the steeper the discount:
|Weebly Pricing Plans||1 Month ($/month)||1-Year ($/month)||Savings (%)||2-Years ($/month)||Savings (%)|
If you do commit to two years, the Connect plan drops to just $5 per month; Pro plan to $9, Business plan to $21, and Performance to $35 per month.
Opting for the two-year plan compared with the one-year default plan, you save up to $1.15 per day (Performance plan).
Not bad, considering most people probably spend way more than that on a cup of coffee or chocolate bar every day.
The Business and Performance plans are geared for users who want to create a comprehensive online store and run advanced marketing campaigns.
So if you have plans to build a business and sell products online, Weebly eCommerce (Business and Performance plans) are excellent options. See our review of Weebly’s ecommerce tools.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that external domains cannot be connected to Weebly’s Free plan. For that, you’ll have to pay for the Connect plan.
Weebly provide you a free domain for the first year up to the value of $20, so your best option is to transfer your external domain and incur the $47 annual connection fee extension cost.
Should you wish to make your website advertisement free however, you’ll have to upgrade to Weebly’s Starter plan.
After giving it a thorough test, we can confidently say Weebly is the best website builder for small businesses on the market right now. It’s uncluttered, simplistic, and relatively easy to navigate, so you won’t feel overwhelmed.
It may have come out of our testing with a lower ease of use score than Wix, but once you’ve got used to the platform, it becomes a breeze.
It offers you the option to fine-tune your site using HTML and CSS, and even export it for editing elsewhere, so Weebly isn’t only for beginners. It also offers numerous subscription levels, including ecommerce plans.
To get the best out of Weebly, we recommend that you start with a free website. This is your chance to get to know the editing interface and judge for yourself how easy and difficult its various features are.
You may find there’s enough in the free plan to deliver the website of your dreams, although you’ll have Weebly branding on the pages and in the URL. You can use the free plan for as long as you want, and create as many sites as you want.
Once you’ve got used to using Weebly, you’ll then have a better idea of which subscription plan is right for you.
Before you go: See our expert analysis of the Weebly Pro and Weebly Starter Plans – plus our secret trick for getting them free.
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