Weebly is one of the leading website building solutions and has been one of the most popular for years. But, as the demands of site creation are constantly changing, can the Weebly website keep up with evolving customer demands? So we decided to find out in this Weebly review, highlighting the best and worst of the platform.
Ease of use
Value for Money
Starting from: $5/month
Pricing Model: Subscription
Yes, has free trial
Yes, has free version
- Excellent free version
- Affordable next to main rivals
- Amazing UI for quick site creation
- Ideal for small businesses and individuals
- Nice features and integrations
- Missing some important features
- Not as flexible as other services
- Customization is not as deep as rival website builders.
- Small business
- Medium business
- Cloud, SaaS, Web-Based
- Mobile - Android
- Mobile - iPhone
- Mobile - iPad
Weebly – Website Builder
In the realm of website building software, Weebly is one of the big names. As we found out in the Weebly review, the platform still scores top marks for usability, and the free version is amazing. However, while there is a lot to love about Weebly, there are also some problems with the platform as it further transitions to a division of Square (which acquired the site in 2018).
Read on to find out what the Weebly website builder gets right and some of our problems with the service. Then, as a quick spoiler, we can say Weebly is still an excellent choice for personal and small business users, but organizations requiring more power are better off looking elsewhere.
What is Weebly?
Weebly is a major provider in the website building space, with over 50 million sites built using the platform. As one of the largest site development solutions, Weebly website builder delivers plenty of tools for creating a site that you can put a personal touch on. Whether using templates or taking a more customized approach, Weebly delivers a robust set of tools.
Traditionally, Weebly was known for putting a focus on developing its platform with interesting features. However, in recent years, and since the service was acquired by eCommerce giant Square in 2018, that focus has changed. New features have been few and far between since then, with some tools starting to look archaic next to rivals such as Wix and Squarespace.
There is still plenty of power in Weebly website creator, especially for small or medium business owners or even personal users. However, unless the increasing feature gap is addressed soon, the platform risks becoming out of touch with modern website building. The unclear development makes this Weebly review hard to define because we like the product but have some concerns about its longevity.
Don’t let our concerns put you off because there is a lot to like about Weebly, including excellent portfolio options, a generous free option, and a very user-friendly experience.
What is Weebly Used For?
If you want to build an efficient online presence, you will need a website. While creating your own site from scratch can be fun, it requires a specific set of skills (coding, design know-how, domain management) to do it effectively. Instead of bogging yourself down, a website-building tool is the best way to create your site.
Weebly web host is one of the most popular website builders available while remaining one of the best. We think it is best for small to medium organizations, and personal users will also like Weebly. Please create a free website with an easy-to-use platform, allowing businesses to streamline their website building without consuming too much time or resources.
If you are part of a larger organization, we think you would be better off choosing Wix or Squarespace. Moreover, it seems to lack the same level of customization as those rival platforms, with larger corporations likely to want more control.
Weebly for Education
Weebly website builder has pros and cons for teachers and educators, making it a solid if unspectacular addition. Firstly, we want to praise the free version of Weebly again, which allows teachers to create up to 40 accounts for their students. If your school is willing to pay, you can expand that number.
However, we think Weebly education thrives more as an individual tool that promotes project learning. Teachers can challenge students to create their own Weebly free website that includes written work, interactive content, media, and presentations. Whether individually or in groups, the slick templates and drag and drop UI of Weebly make it an ideal tool for learners.
One slight drawback is Weebly template designs are clearly focused on e-commerce rather than education. However, this highlights the increasingly deep integration the platform has with the parent company Square.
Creating an online portfolio is one of the areas where Weebly comes alive. In many cases, a portfolio is used by an individual user to sell themselves. However, you can leverage Weebly to create a portfolio that highlights your unique work. Weebly portfolio sites provide more flexibility and detail than a LinkedIn page while also offering robust customization options.
Is Weebly Good for Portfolio?
Thanks to its rich template catalog, ease-of-use, and focus on “anyone can build a portfolio,” Weebly is an excellent choice for your portfolio. Drag and drop elements into place and put your own distinctive touch on your site. In addition, you can give your portfolio a lot of power and appeal with tools such as Parallax and animation effects, video backgrounds, and custom fonts.
How to Create a Portfolio on Weebly
Creating a Weebly portfolio is easy. When you sign up for a Weebly account, you can select a site template. As you aim for an online presence that sells you and your work, we suggest choosing one of the portfolio templates. Building the site is simple, thanks to the excellent UI that lets you easily drag and drop design choices, text, and media into the template.
Whether you create a Weebly teaching portfolio, a writing portfolio, or a design portfolio, we recommend checking out Weebly Portfolio examples to get some inspiration.
How to Use Weebly
You will be pleased to know the focus on ease of use extends to the general user experience. For example, the Weebly login process is simple and efficient, allowing you to access the website builder with minimum fuss. As mentioned, Weebly puts a big emphasis on allowing anyone to build a website no matter their skill level.
Thanks to the intuitive drag and drop editor, building sites is easy even if you have never done it before. Getting to grips with the basics takes just a few minutes, allowing you to focus on understanding more complex tools, such as apps and website features across SEO and eCommerce. Think of Weebly as a website builder that aims to save you time and money.
That is not to say you cannot customize and tweak beyond the templates and UI editor. In fact, Weebly hosts a built-in code editor if you want to develop a truly unique online experience. However, there is no doubt other services do the customization part of website design better. For example, Wix gives you much more flexibility in terms of working beyond templates.
Weebly boasts a strong suite of features that allow you to build websites quickly. As you might expect, Weebly features focus on making site creation as seamless as possible while also providing tools to manage your website properly. As a result, there is a lot to look at, from the drag and drop website builder to Weebly eCommerce features.
We will cover some of the main tools below in this Weebly review, including some pro features for power users.
We have already discussed Weebly’s website builder, which includes a handy drag and drop UI for quick site-building. Ease of use is core to the Weebly experience, including an editor that is easy to master in minutes. On the left side of the page, you can find a bar that holds elements that you drag and drop into your site template.
You can also switch this bar depending on the function you require: Theme, Pages, Apps, Store, Build, and Settings. Elements you can drop into the site editor window include typical site features like images, text boxes, spacers, images, video, and maps. It is worth noting some of these elements are only available to Weebly customers on paid plans.
While drag and drop are undoubtedly amazing, it does have some limitations. For example, Weebly does not let you drop elements wherever you want onto the site editor. Instead, specific elements have certain areas in a template where they fit. This means customization is relatively restricted on Weebly. If you value more flexibility, Wix and WordPress allow more personalization.
Managing Site Pages
If your site has multiple pages, you can manage them on Weebly from the sidebar via the “Pages” menu option. Importantly, you can manage pages while keeping the preview page open. Tools available for managing pages include deciding what type of page you want to create (external, store, blog, or standard). In addition, you can click elements on the site to head to the area you want to see, a UI feature that is much better than similar tools on Wix and Squarespace.
Weebly also has one glaring usability omission that we cannot ignore. There is no global Undo function on the site editor. Essentially this means while you can undo a single element, such as a text error, you cannot delete wider mistakes in batches. However, Wix, Squarespace, and Duda provide an undo button that functions for everything in the editor.
While you can add images to your site on Weebly, it is an exercise in frustration. That’s because there is no native media database. In addition, Weebly will not store your images, so if you want to re-use a photo, you must re-upload it. For a platform that thrives on saving users time, this seems to contradict the whole concept.
Once you have an image on Weebly, the platform provides a fine photo editor. You can toggle settings such as color saturation, brightness and apply filters like on Instagram. Other image editing abilities include text inclusion, focus effects, and more.
Blogging and Publishing
Once you have a Weebly site up and running, you will want to add content frequently. Whether you are blogging or simply publishing site content focused on your business, Weebly makes it easy. Like WordPress, the service offers a “New Post” button on the bottom of all pages on a Blog site.
Despite its rich catalog of templates, Weebly strangely does not offer specific blog designs. This means building a blog-like website involves dragging and dropping all elements and essentially building from scratch. We like the drag and drop system on Weebly, but not enough that we want to build whole sites with it.
If you are trying to make money from your site, Weebly provides one of the best eCommerce options. You can chalk up Weebly’s prowess in this area to its affiliation with the parent company and eCommerce juggernaut Square. By tapping into Store Mode on Weebly, you can create eCommerce-focused sites.
Elements include sale prices, invoices, shopping carts, coupons, and digital downloads. This is an improvement on rivals like Wix, which only allow digital goods to be sold through third parties. Also available on Weebly is the direct integration of AdSense ads on your website. Finally, we like the ability to leverage the newsletter email feature to have direct access to customers.
Understanding how your site is performing is one of the key principles of online success. Weebly provides a good selection of analytics and activity stats, even some for free version users (Rivals like Wix, Virb, and Squarespace do not offer this for free). Weebly is also unique in the fact it allows you to host your site away from the platform.
You can download your site as a ZIP file and send it to other web hosting services. It is worth noting you may lose some features, such as storefronts, but it is still a tool that other website builders do not offer.
Weebly pricing plans are available across some tiers, including perhaps the best free website builder currently available. In addition, you can get Weebly monthly pricing depending on your level of demands, with more features added the more you pay. If you want to find more about its pricing plans, you can read our dedicated review page.
Starting From: $5/month (Annually Plan)
Pricing Model: Subscription
Free Trial: 30-days
Weebly scores well in terms of connections with other applications for third parties. In fact, with over 300 widgets available in the App Center, you can add a lot of power to your site through integrations. Some of these add-ins are paid, while many are free, depending on the third-party service you are tapping into.
Think of this as a similar functionality to WordPress plug-ins, and like on WordPress, the quality of the apps varies. Still, with over 300 available, you will almost certainly find some that will help to improve your website. In addition, while other services offer more widgets, you never feel like you miss out on a must-have integration when using Weebly. In other words, the widgets on offer cover all bases.
If you are looking for a Weebly alternative, you do not have to go far. Website building is a hotly contested market, and there are several obvious Weebly competitors. Some of these options are better than Weebly, while others are worse. For example, companies like Squarespace deliver a more rounded experience, while website builders such as Virb do many things right but do not have the overall functionality of Weebly.
Weebly Review Conclusions
Thus, here we are at the end of this Weebly review. In conclusion, Weebly does many things right and then a couple of things completely wrong. It is something of a mixed bag that seems to be caught between being the dedicated website builder it once was and an eCommerce website creator for Square (its parent company). However, there is no doubt that the Weebly website builder is a joy to use and perfect for small businesses, educators, and individuals.
If you want it as an enterprise-grade solution, it falls some way short. As this Weebly review shows, the service is missing some important features next to rivals like Wix and Squarespace. However, they are by no means dealbreakers, and certainly, the best-in-class free Weebly version is hard to ignore. Still, if you want complete website building software, Weebly is not it.