Weebly by Square: Best for beginners
- Easy to use site builder
- Impressive range of themes and templates
- Great selection of in-house and 3rd party apps
- Free website builder
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Lacks customisation: design flexibility not as good as other builders
- Full support options available only to higher-tier subscribers
Introduction: Weebly – Member of the Website Builder A-Team
Welcome to our review of Weebly – one of the most exciting website builders to date!
Just how important is a website builder these days? With practically every business going digital, everyone is on the prowl for a smart, easy to use site builder. In this Weebly review, we find out how this platform meets expectations. We'll also learn why it's considered among the elite in website builders.
The Weebly website creator has been promising its users a fully-functional and highly engaging website since it first made itself known to the world in 2006. So, can it quickly transform a vanilla website into one that will certainly pull in hit after hit? Do Weebly UK users consider this builder reliable and friendly? Are there perks with Weebly students and educators can benefit from? Learn the essentials about the Weebly website creator in this review.
Overview: Our Weebly review can point you in the right direction.
If its user base is any indication, the Weebly website creator is a really well-liked platform. The San Francisco-based website building company now boasts of building more than 50 million websites and the patronage of over 625,000 paid subscribers across the globe. Originally developed for individual or company sites, the Weebly website creator has since expanded its scope to include web solutions for ecommerce firms and online retail hubs since its acquisition by mobile payment solutions developer Square Inc in 2016.
But going to back to what we came for in this review of Weebly, how does this site builder fare against the competition? What’s the real score in the Wix vs Weebly and Weebly vs WordPress rivalries? In this Weebly review, we give you a rundown on the following parameters and point you in the right direction:
- Features and functionality;
- Ease of use;
- Flexibility in terms of form and design; and
- Ecommerce readiness.
Let's begin our review of Weebly!
Ease of use:
First up – how easy is Weebly to use? Have you ever had the experience of going into someone’s workshop and finding everything you need right there? That’s the déjà vu feeling you might get almost as soon as you log into the Weebly website builder.
As with most of today’s generation of website builders, the Weebly website creator is an easy-to-use drag-and-drop affair. You can easily pick and mix your elements, haul them into your workspace, and post a fully-functional site in next to no time at all. Regardless of whether you’re a total novice whose knowledge of site building is absolute zero or if you’re an expert site-builder who’s on the look-out for better bells and whistles for your site or a client’s, you’ll find the Weebly website builder sheer delight to use.
Features and Flexibility:
In our Weebly review, let's jump into the details to determine just how good a site builder Weebly is.
Weebly Website Creator in a Nutshell:
- Drag-and-Drop website editor
- Powerful elements menu
- Video backgrounds for a dynamic appearance
- Custom headers
- Full-width image and colour backgrounds
- Mobile-ready apps for different operating systems
- Blogging platform
- App Centre
Note that there is actually a dedicated Weebly website builder that is specific for those building online stores. We cover this more further down in our Weebly review.
For our review of Weebly – it's important to note that Weebly website creator has the distinction of having a country-specific edition: Weebly UK. It's a great value-added feature for Weebly UK users! It has all the features and functions of the standard Weebly website builder. Specifically, Weebly UK offers the following perks for subscribers in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland:
- Localised domains. Adds the *.co.uk suffix to a Weebly UK website’s URL;
- EU-specific cookie popup. Complying with the EU Cookie Law which mandates the need to post a notice informing Weebly UK site visitors of cookie regulations governing the site;
- Localised technical support. Enables Weebly UK users to get assistance from an EU-based support team; and
- Localised payment options. Give customers at Weebly UK-build retail sites to pay for their purchases in British pounds, US dollars, and euros.
Themes and Templates:
In our review of Weebly, the platform does sport some good-looking themes and templates. In this light, it definitely edges GoDaddy when you compare Weebly vs GoDaddy templates. Unfortunately, Weebly tends to fall flat against either Wix or Squarespace.
As of writing, Weebly has a total of 50 themes and templates for site builders to use – that’s quite small when you realise that Squarespace has over 100 and Wix more than 800! But what Weebly lacks in numbers, it makes up for in adaptability: all 50 of the platform’s templates have already been optimised to look good on both desktop and mobile screens.
What about flexibility – what's the range of customisation?
In our review of Weebly, the builder lets you modify your page using its drag-and-drop UI. What makes it even more appealing to novice site developers, is its Elements Menu. Here, you can edit blocks of text as easily as you would with word-processing software like MS Word. You can also do slight modifications to images and other visual elements for your layout. Likewise, Weebly has its own fully-functional CMS-driven blogging platform. Its blogging feature easily rivals that of other popular platforms like WordPress or Blogger.
Thanks to the built-in App Centre, Weebly website creator offers users numerous ways by which they can improve their websites. The platform also offers its own custom code editor. This editor is available across all subscription plans. You can edit both the HTML and CSS codes behind their sites, as well as use the Embed Code command in certain areas. It’s a handy tool that gets around the limited number of available templates on the platform, but one best used by those with a solid knowledge of coding under their belts.
3rd Party Integrations:
For this Weebly review, let's talk apps. If you really want to boost the functionality and the engagement appeal of your website, you’re in luck. The Weebly App Centre offers more than 200 third-party integrations. These apps range from the standard social media widgets to integrations that are specific to online marketing and ecommerce.
Weebly’s 2016 acquisition by Square Inc has ensured that the latter’s apps can integrate easily with sites built on the platform. Most of these are ecommerce-centric, such as Square’s flagship payment portal CashApp as well as a number of point of sale (POS) options for use with online checkout counters. Square also has a dedicated marketing support app that can be used by those subscribing to the two top-tier subscription plans.
Weebly website creator prides itself on being a non-traditional web hosting service in the sense that your site doesn’t have to lag if another website hosted on the same server gets a spike in traffic. The platform describes its hosting service as “data centre-redundant, cloud-based hosting infrastructure.”
Backups are something that needs to be covered in our review of Weebly. This is one problem when it comes to the Weebly website creator: you can’t back up your site automatically. The platform, however, gives detailed instructions on how to back your site up manually: essentially stuffing everything into a ZIP file.
One good thing about Weebly is that you can easily migrate your site from a different platform to it. Ecommerce users will find that there are provisions for moving sites from store platforms like Shopify and Etsy.
There are available workarounds for migrating a Weebly-built site to other platforms like WordPress with options for both manual and automated migration.
Weebly sites load rapidly regardless of the speed of one’s ISP and of any traffic to other Weebly-hosted websites.
SEO and Mobility:
In this Weebly review, can the platform help your sites rank high on Google?
It’s interesting to note that SEO functionality is built into each Weebly site. You can do SEO regardless of whether you’re using the free version or any one of the three paid subscription plans. This means that even if you built your site with the free version (and has the *weebly.com suffix in the URL), you have better chances of being included in the first two pages of an online search than other sites built without built-in SEO parameters.
Weebly allows you to change meta descriptions, image alt attributes, enable 301 redirects, and generate sitemaps automatically. However, it only supports the H2 heading structure natively. A workaround would be to use a 3rd-party app so you can use H1, H3, H4, and H5 headers.
Weebly pages are mobile-responsive. Also, if you’re on the go and need to edit your site on the fly, you can actually download the mobile edition of the Weebly website builder for your Android or iOS device. You can also check out the App Centre for third-party integrations that work best with mobile-optimised websites.
In this review of Weebly website creator, the people behind Weebly are not mucking around when it comes to eCommerce. Right on the homepage, the subtitle in the header proudly declares “eCommerce by Square.”
The platform offers everything from a dedicated shopping cart, to an incredibly easy to use payment facility, to multi-lingual and multi-currency support for pricing, collection, shipping, and taxation. The only downside is the limited number of design options when it comes to creating a custom look for your online store.
Read our exhaustive review of Weebly eCommerce through this link.
Support and Resources:
Can you get quality help when you need it? In this Weebly review, the platform gets a high rating. It has an extensive online knowledge base that is supported by a robust and active online community where users can get information and tips from developers, industry veterans who have used the platform for a while, and those crafting compatible apps.
When it comes to support, however, free and Connect plan users can only access the community forums, chat, and email support. Phone support is only available for those on business or eCommerce plans.
Weebly website creator comes in 4 pricing plans. But you should set your sights on two Weebly plans only: Pro and Business.
- Free: with limited functionalities available
- Connect: $5.00 monthly; limited functionalities available
- Pro: $12.00 monthly, includes free domain + $100 of Google Ads credit
- Business: $25.00 monthly, includes free domain + $100 of Google Ads credits, and all the functions necessary for building and running an eCommerce hub
Free trial/refund policy/money-back guarantee:
You can actually stick to the free website builder without an expiry date. Afterwards, you can upgrade to a paid plan.
Moreover, a 30-day money back guarantee is applicable to all paid subscriptions. Therefore, users who aren't happy with the service can receive a full refund if they cancel their account within 30 days of activation or within 30 days of the service contract renewal.
Conclusion and Recommendation:
To wrap up our review of Weebly –
What is it best for?
Recommended for a broad spectrum of potential users from casual bloggers to eCommerce entrepreneurs.
What is it not best for?
Probably not a good match for those looking for maximum flexibility in terms of coding-free design. You have to know code in order to customize your site.)
Wix would still be the gold standard when it comes to code-free site-building. However, Weebly is already giving it (and Squarespace) a run for its money in the eCommerce arena. Still, if you're gunning for both website creation and eCommerce functionality, Squarespace wins in a Weebly vs Squarespace showdown. If you are planning to go eCommerce straight off the bat then you should strongly consider a Weebly vs Shopify comparison.
To conclude this Weebly review, the platform is highly recommended. While it started out as a site builder for both individual and business websites, Weebly website creator has grown to become a potential contender for one of the best eCommerce site builders available. Granted, it might lack some features, but it’s a great way to gain experience for building your own site.
Subscribe to a Weebly plan today and take advantage of their risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee!
Can I use Weebly for free?
Yes, you can. While the free version has limited functionality, the easy to use builder can help you create a great-looking and well-performing site.
Does Weebly have options for webstore building?
Yes, it does. Weebly has dedicated plans for business accounts and offers an extensive array of store-building tools, SEO and lead generation functionality, and even marketing support.
What is Weebly UK?
It's a country-specific feature that offers perks to users in the UK and Northern Ireland, including localised tech support and payment options.
That’s all for now:
Thanks for reading our Weebly Review. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for our ever-growing blog of review and comparison articles of eCommerce platforms, SEO software, screen capture tools, webinar and conferencing software, education platforms, website builders, and more such as;
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Not only the best tea/coffee maker on the team Sophie keeps the many marketing projects flowing ensuring completion on time. Skilled across multiple marketing skill areas Sophie is our all rounder and a great asset to the team. Sophie is a website building trainer and tech writer who takes pride in helping small businesses and startups build their websites and launch their eCommerce platforms. Sophie is also the practical joker of the team and always wears a smile on her face. In her spare time she likes to spend her time with family. She loves going on holidays and spending time with friends.