Weebly Website Builder by Square
- No nonsense website builder: Weebly is arguably the easiest website builder out there. A fantastic site can be created within hours whether you have experience or not
- Customisable templates: Impressive, very cool, mobile responsive template (themes) designs are available to choose from. Unlike Wix, Weebly allows theme switching, customisation using HTML & CSS is yours and you can download site code
- Page layouts: With over 40 pre-designed page layouts covering different page types, ease of navigation should be assured
- Wide choice of Apps: The Weebly App centre gives access to more than 200 free and paid-for apps. This range of tools & widgets complements the 3rd party apps available
- Limited feature-set: Ease of use is a plus, particularly for 1st-timers, but its feature-set and customisable elements are on the low side compared to other builders
- Less updates: There are fewer Weebly website creator updates released when compared to their major competitors
- Blog posts features need further improvement: This is an area Weebly have improved recently, but further improvements would be welcome. It is true that all basic functions such as social sharing buttons and scheduled publishing are yours, but something we feel is a basic blog feature; highlighting the latest or most popular posts, is not yet possible.
- Support: UK and European customers should note that GMT is 7 hours ahead of Pacific Time
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Weebly's eCommerce Suite just got a whole lot stronger!
Excellent news for all online stores currently using Weebly and those for those considering it.
Since the initial completion of this very recent Weebly review, the extremely well-positioned, all-in-one payment processing company Square (please do not confuse them with Squarespace!) has purchased Weebly for a reported $365 Million Dollars.
What does this mean to current and future Weebly users?
In Short: E-Commerce platform benefits that are worthy of note.
The union of Weebly’s excellent web building platform with the wide-ranging payment platform that Square brings to the Global Payment table can only be good news for the existing Weebly eCommerce platform.
Whether you have your sights set on capturing local, national or global on-line business (or all three!), the ease of purchase is a crucial aspect for visitors.
The Square acquisition of Weebly has just made online stores built and managed through the Weebly platform a lot more attractive to purchase from. An added bonus is that these stores should benefit from lower sales transaction fees when sales are completed via the Square platform.
It stands to reason that an all-in-one purchase and payment transaction system coupled to your products and services offers customer convenience. It also has the ability to keep them closer to you.
Any online businesses with ambitions to showcase their products or services while promoting the ease of transaction an integrated payment platform offers will see benefits from the new Weebly + Square offering.
We have already upgraded our Weebly by Square reviews and scores accordingly![/alert_box]
What Weebly is all about?
Weebly site builder review articles across the board quite rightly praise this simple drag and drop web builder. This platform has been created to stay close to company principles of making website building as easy as possible. All newly introduced features, including those after becoming Weebly by Square, adhere to this ethos.
In this respect it is crystal clear that the company have struck a good balance; in excess of 40 million weebly blogs and websites are currently powered by this platform.
In terms of global usage, the platforms home market (USA) is dominant, Weebly UK comes 2nd, closely followed by Canadian users.
Weebly is an intuitive, user-friendly builder that allows users, entrepreneurs and small businesses with little or no experience to create a website with good design without worrying about a single line of code. It also goes a step further:
Weebly has a code editor built-in. This means that anyone who is HTML or CSS-aware can develop and customise their site far more extensively.
Ease of use:
Weebly is WYSIWYG
(‘what you see is what you get’) – Basically you can drag, drop, resize and move around different elements such as menus, icons and photographs onto your screen pages without concerning yourself about any code whatsoever.
The WYSIWYG Weebly website creator tools available mean that what you see is exactly what your visitors will see once you have published your website. It goes without saying that you can add to and change your sites appearance and attraction as new ideas come to you.
The functionality of the Weebly website creator is so easy to grasp. You will find continual website improvement and enhancing its overall look becomes a natural part of your web building experience.
It is also important to bear in mind that ‘professional’ improvements can be achieved by those who have HTML or CSS experience.
If that is not currently you, do not fear, many find that paying for the services of a professional web design agency reaps rewards. These competitively priced services could be considered if you have the budget After all, if you are going to prospoer, your ultimate goal should be to attract, engage and encourage visitors to come back time and again. But important to note you dont need this to use Weebly well.
Features and Flexibility:
When considering Weebly, reviews and actual user experience are important pointers to what is on offer:
Out of the box:
The basics to establish an easily created, attractive website all come out of the box. As with all other web builders, the more you want to do with your site the more you will pay in terms of a higher subscription plan or through paid-for apps.
Weebly UK users as well as those building websites in many other languages should find no problems. It must be said that there are no special multilingual site features, but workarounds do exist. Although anyone building a ‘non-English’ character set such as Chinese, Russian or Arabic would be better suited using another builder as Weebly does not fully support these languages.
While Weebly's themes and templates are not as exessive as other major competitors there are certainly offer enough choice to please the vast majority of users and don’t forget, if you are confident with coding, or choose to invest in the services of a professional design company, an added Weebly advantage is that, unlike other builders they give you access to the template source code.
3rd party Apps market:
Weebly offer in excess of 200 apps from their App Store centre which are categorised into 4 groups:
Made by Weebly:
This range of apps includes such things as form and FAQ builders, tables and Gmail integration that are either free or paid for. Many Weebly reviews are not so favourable with regard to some of these apps and due to this we recommend you also look in one of the following 3 groups.
These are apps designed to boost traffic by improving search rankings through the use of SEO tools (we have a separate section below on SEO).
These apps help increase sales by enabling you to collect Weebly reviews and testimonials as well as creating coupons and promotions.
This range of apps allows social media account integration, the insertion of sharing buttons, streaming of social feeds and much more.
The free and subscription-based plans include free hosting. This web hosting is cloud-based and offers unlimited storage (bar the free and connect options that have a 500 MB limit). A maximum of 10 websites can be hosted on one account. It should also be noted that Weebly is one of the few web building platforms that allows you to export a site to another platform.
You can download backups from your site but this is a manual process and you will not be able to restore them.
The Weebly cost for an annual subscription includes the first-year domain name for free. After this it will cost $19.95 or more per year. You can bring your own domain with you from your current provider, or redirect it to Weebly. In all cases their customer support will assist.
Weebly SEO features:
When assessing Weebly reviews and comments from existing users relating to the SEO features available you should find the vast majority are positive, but there are two important exceptions. All is explained below:
SERPs (Search engine results pages) will display this title for your page. Weebly make this available for all pages, but they tag on the site name at the end. From an SEO point of view this is not best use.
Available for all pages.
This important feature is available on all Weebly pages. Those using Weebly to promote and sell products/services need to be aware that the platform adds strings to some of its pages. Examples being; ‘store products’ and ‘categories’.
Yet another very important function, but only H2 is offered as standard. However, it is possible to use apps from the Weebly app centre to add other headers such as H1, H3, H4 and H5. So, you can certainly get around the H tags issue by using the free apps available, but we feel this really should come ‘out of the box’.
Customisation of image alt attributes:
Https is seen as the standard for securing your website and is particularly important if you intend selling online. This feature is available on all Weebly cost plans.
Search Engine Instructions:
This is automatically generated.
This advanced way of allowing search engines to ignore duplicated content can manually be added.
Source file access:
Weebly allows this access. For advanced SEO purposes this should be seen as a huge plus.
While not exactly needed for search rankings, the in-depth analysis afforded is very useful to understand and improve SEO efforts and is available on Weebly.
Google Search Console:
This is also available via Weebly and gives lots of additional information to help improve site optimisation.
As can be seen from the above, and comments from various users of the Weebly website creator there are 2 stand-out issues that need addressing from an SEO perspective. These are to do with Heading (H) tags and URLs.
Although the header tags can be worked around, the URL issue, this is more frustrating:
These cannot be removed and therefore have the ability to hurt rankings. By default, they are in English and are obviously of concern to Weebly UK and other English-language regional sites, but there is much more of a concern for online stores that are non-English.
For this reason, in respect of SEO, those serious about getting noticed while moving up the rankings really should consider utilising cost-effective services offered by a professional marketing agency. We feel this type of assistance is well worth budgeting for and will reap rewards.
Weebly mobile functionality:
All of Weebly’s themes/templates are responsive and all automatically adapt to any device. This is obviously good news for your visitors, however the Weebly website creator (editor) does not allow you to edit the mobile version of your site. It is possible to switch the editor to ‘mobile view’ but you cannot use it to change any elements.
We would hope that this is on Weebly’s priority list of ‘advanced features to introduce’ due to the growing importance of mobile access to websites.
Until then, if you have elements of a page you would like to hide for mobile users, purchasing the ‘Hide if Mobile’ app at $1.99 is an ideal way to achieve this.
Support and Resources:
Our Weebly review has already pointed out the ease of use of this excellent web site builder offers, but it is only natural that at times you will require help and support.
Here are how the platform assists:
Weebly Help centre:
While this is accessed via the top menu ‘help’ section, we would suggest this is kept open in another browser when using the Weebly website creator. This is because there is no in-editor help to refer to.
In terms of assistance, you can either use the search box and type in your question or use 1 of the 8 categories to see common questions and answers, access guides and use the ‘how-to’ section. These categories are:
- Getting Started
- Building your Website
- Email Marketing
- Domains and Email
- Videos and Webinars
- Weebly Mobile Apps
- Weebly for Education
This forum offers help and Weebly staff as well as its user community contribute answers to queries.
When you click on the email icon it takes you to a page displaying a help form. You simply select the issue you need assistance with, describe your issue (file upload is optional) and give your email address.
You will see if staff are online by a chat button which appears at the bottom of the Help Centre screen. Available hours are (Pacific Time) Monday-Friday 06.00-18.00hrs and Saturday/Sunday 08.00-17.00hrs. Weebly UK and European customers should note that GMT is 7 hours ahead of Pacific Time.
Direct phone number:
There is a helpline available for users who are subscribed to the Pro Plan or higher (see our pricing section below for extensive details on Weebly cost and features of each plan)
Weebly pricing structure:
The Weebly cost includes 5 paid plans or “premium plans” but really 4 that you should concentrate on.
|Monthly Plan ($/month)||Annual Plan ($/month)||2 Yearly Plan ($/month)|
Note that a Free plan is also available but is quite limited and not a recommendation we would give as a business platform solution. Better to stick to the business plans. This is because it only includes 500MB of storage space, your site is hosted on a Weebly.com subdomain (yourwebsitename.weebly.com) and as with all other web building platforms, the free plan also means you have Weebly ads displayed on your website.
The Connect plan costs $4 per month but only allows you to connect an external domain to a free Weebly site.
This leaves the 4 we say you concentrate on; the first ad-free tier is the Starter plan, while most small online businesses plump for the Pro plan and then larger online stores go for the Business and Performance plans.
A these full 4 plans are valid in terms of allowing the set-up and operation of an online store. We have covered the extra eCommerce plans, Business and Performance in detail with our Weebly eCommerce Review.
Extensive details are shown below.
|Free Domain **|
|Design options; Header Slideshows, Video Backgrounds|
|Video & Audio Embedding|
|Membership Areas||<100 members|
** Domain names: You can use an existing domain name for free or purchase one through Weebly. They include a free domain name the first year; they renew at $19.95 yearly in all pricing tiers.
Email Accounts: Weebly offers email accounts through G Suite, which costs $45 yearly per user.
Conclusion & Recommendation:
When it comes to ease of use, the Weebly website creator is arguably the easiest builder out there. The platform is intuitive and many of its elements can be fully customised. It should also be remembered that you can import 3rd party themes.
Our Weebly review must point to what can be seen as limited site-building features compared to its competitors, but those who do not wish to invest time in learning how to use an editor will appreciate the WYSIWYG functionality. The other side of this coin is for those looking at the flexibility offered by being able to edit their sites HTML code.
In terms of Weebly cost, the more 3rd party apps included the higher your outlay, but it has to be said that the base monthly subscription plans are highly competitive and whether you have a small online store or a larger presence there is a price plan and features to suit your needs.
All subscription plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee. This should be more than sufficient time for you to decide what features and functions make most sense to you and of course, the free (but limited) plan can be used to get an initial feel for this highly effective web builder.
The money back guarantee means you have nothing to lose, but lots to gain by giving Weebly a spin.
You may be interested in our related website builder, eCommerce platform review and comparison articles below;
That’s all for now:
We hope you have enjoyed this website builder review for Weebly by Square and have gleaned some useful information. Please do keep an eye out for our articles as we have lots of information relating to online services offered.
Being a veteran in the website building and eCommerce game definitely has its benefits. Richard has long been in the industry with more than 10 years of experience with building websites and constructing eCommerce platforms for clients. He’s also a bit of a whiskey connoisseur.