Weebly – website builder is a popular program on the market.
Do you know him?
Surely you have seen him in all kinds of rankings, where you can read about him.
It is usually in the same analysis as WIX.
The increasing number of customers, the popularity, the big development plans, …
But the question arises whether everything is as beautiful as it seems at first glance.
What is Weebly?
Weebly is a pretty popular website builder.
Without knowing programming you can create a simple and functional website for personal purposes and for your company.
Everything in the site-builder is based on the mechanism already known from other programs of the given genre, it is about the so-called drag&drop that I also encountered in other platforms (WebWave, Webnode)
Due to the simple interface and the relatively small number of functions and effects, exploring the program does not take much time.
It is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
The effect obtained by the authors of the program is ambiguous – I think this is the most important aspect that I came across in the assessment of the program, the possibilities offered and its limits.
Adjusting the site to mobile devices, specifically the responsiveness of the site is not a big problem.
It works well and your site will display correctly on all mobile devices.
The first contact, access to use the program will cost you the name, email address and password for your account.
Regardless of this choice, you will have one of the templates at your disposal – there are more than 60.
These templates are grouped into the following categories:
- Online shop
- Website for the company
- Personal site
It’s worth going through them all and choosing something that’s right for you – I’ll say from the start that this choice is not final (we’ll describe this aspect below).
After choosing the template, you can start customizing it, editing it – change the texts, arrange the elements, change the graphic elements.
Getting started in the Weebly editor
The editor itself is not complicated and using it is not a challenge.
On the left side you will find the functional menu.
You can choose the necessary elements, to place them on the site, it is enough to “grab them and let them go”.
On the top bar we have the list of instrument categories.
- The first category initially selected is Build – it corresponds to the elements panel for building the site.
- The following Pages group will include all subpages, where you can access the corresponding subpages for editing or adding a new subpage.
- Theme – here you will find the option to change the color, choose another template or edit the site’s fonts.
- The next Store category includes online store settings – adding products, payment methods, delivery.
- Apps – provides the possibility to connect the site to external applications.
- Settings – includes general site settings and basic SEO settings, editor settings, and blog settings.
Is the Weebly editor complicated?
The simplicity of the drag&drop possibilities in the case of this program can be an advantage for amateurs who have never made websites before. At the same time, for the most experienced Weebly can look like a simplistic program with very limited functions.
There are several limits:
- The module-based arrangement of elements on the page limits the arrangement of elements. Free setting of elements on the site is not possible. It is not possible to freely set the width of the elements or adjust the position of the elements in pixels. This way of building sites is very widely applied by platforms of this kind. But there are platforms like WebWave and WebFlow that offer much wider possibilities.
- Plus, the lack of the “Undo” function for a certain action can generate a lot of hassle and minor frustrations.
- Formatting text is a challenge
- Changing fonts is only possible for the entire site. For specific elements, once you have chosen the font, you can only set the dimensions and basic settings: bold, italic, underline.
- In addition, to simplify work with the site, I recommend that you choose the necessary images from the start.
- The Weebly platform does not have a free image database. However, it is not a program only with minuses.
- An interesting solution is to modify the template at any time without losing the work done on the site.
- Everything you save will stay on the site. Only the template will change. But the question arises: how can you understand if you write well?
SEO positioning and coding
Both aspects positively surprised us.
In the free version you have the possibility to set for the main subpage and other subpages meta title, meta description, keywords – more than just one keyword. You can do it right from the beginning of working on your project.
Enjoy the ability to set ALT tags for images and graphics used on your site.
Many website builders forget that website positioning is very important. It is also very useful to paste the codes in the appropriate sections – header and footer – for integrations with other tracking or remarketing tools.
Unfortunately, the option to create a robots.txt file is missing.
But talking about positioning we can’t leave out the chapter of creating a website helped for mobile devices.
How does RWD work in the Weebly – website builder?
Responsive Web Design responds well to changes to be implemented on the site.
Arrangement of elements is adjusted automatically and there is no need to manually adjust each element. This is largely due to the templates, which are already adjusted from the start.
Likewise, the section-based layout of the site mentioned above contributes to the simplicity of adjusting the site for mobile devices.
As a result, the created site is perfectly optimized for mobile.
But nothing is in vain.
Is the Weebly – website builder free?
In the free plan we have quite a few features.
Moreover, these functions are sufficient for creating a presentation site. But you have to pay for more.
I will start from the free plan. In fact, most of the elements for creating the site are accessible here.
Only a few are missing: own HD video materials, audio materials and search function.
Of course this web page will display the Weebly banner, but you can edit the site’s subdomain address instead.
What do you have to pay for?
As with any other web program when you buy a plan you get a wider palette of functions and accessible possibilities. Likewise, the Weebly ads will be gone.
Depending on the chosen plan, you get access to statistical data, the search function on the site, the placement of HD audio and video files on the site, the password protection of subpages on the site, the possibility to create a site in a team with other people and option to send email campaigns once a month to 500 addresses.
Additionally you get access to technical help by phone.
Online store in Weebly
At first glance, you have the impression that the possibilities of the Weebly online store are relatively wide, if we compare them to other programs for creating websites.
But this is only the first impression.
The free version is very limited. If you are satisfied with the lack of a payment system, a shopping cart and many other elements needed to have an online store, then this is a solution for you.
Because the other functions are in the paid plans and here you have to be careful to choose that paid plan that gives you what you are looking for.
You need to choose not the Connect plan but the PRO plan, where you will be able to place a maximum of 25 products and you will pay Weebly 3% of each transaction.
Only in the most expensive plan you will find the lack of commission, and an unlimited number of products on the site and advanced possibilities of site administration. An interesting option is to send an email with abandoned shopping carts. Of course, this feature is only accessible in the most expensive plan.
But there are things that are not accessible even in the most expensive package.
Other functions or rather the lack of them
Creating a more in-depth custom site requires in-depth work with HTML codes.
Writing articles is not a strong point of this website builder. Each time you have to add all the elements from the beginning: the title, the picture, and the text of the article.
There is no article template where you can paste the content and graphics and the program will do the rest. As a result all the posts will look the same and the blog will have an integrated image.
An even more serious inconvenience is the lack of the option to recover its previous version.
If you accidentally published something you didn’t mean to, or something went wrong?
In such situations, working directly with the technical support service awaits you, which is not pleasant.
They have a huge tutorial base.
Phone technical support is only available on paid plans.
And if we’re talking about plans, let’s move on to concrete things.
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How much does a Weebly site cost you?
A simple answer would be free, so and so, expensive and very expensive. You have a choice of 3 paid options.
- Connect $5 per month – a simple plan just to connect your own domain.
- Pro for $12/month gives you many site building features, but includes many limitations when it comes to running an online store.
- Business $25 monthly – in fact only within this option you have access to all Weebly features.
Is Weebly Website builder worth using?
Simple and easy to use? Yes
Will you publish your website in minutes based on a simple template? Yes
Will you be able to create an individual site? Not
Do you feel that the created site will do the job? Not
The answer is ambiguous.
If you are looking for a place where in 10 clicks you will launch your own presentation site and it is not important for you to differentiate yourself from the competition…
Then this is a good place for you.
But if you’re looking for a one-to-one approach and want to develop your site, then Weebly is a solution I won’t recommend.
It will spoil your impression of all drag-and-drop programs and influence you to spend thousands of $$ for a project written in HTML.
But this is not something mandatory. There are other programs available that work well.