Introduction: Weebly X-RAY: An In-Depth Weebly Review
Yes, I have trust issues—we all do, don’t lie—. I had to know for myself why everyone is head-over-heels about Weebly. So, I went on and made my research, ran some tests, and wrapped up my thoughts. And now you can enjoy the fruits of my hard work! To give you a good notion of what all the Weebly fuzz is about, check out this in-depth Weebly review on Weebly’s main characteristics and features.
Influenced by websites like Pinterest, we increasingly live in a world in love with the idea of do-it-yourself solutions. And the trend knows no boundaries. From paper crafts to home improvements, the DIY fever is everywhere. Even in the web design world. And although many times this approach can be quite easy, convenient, and actually just as effective as if done by a hired professional—even when it comes to such a nerdy thing as website building—, initially, not everyone loved the idea. Not too long ago, using a website builder to DIY your website had a similar stigma attached to it as trying to run your car off of reused cooking oil. It could be smelled out from a mile away and the performance often left much to be desired. But recently, things have taken a change for the better—hooray! —and there are many capable choices for website builders out there if you are looking towards the do it yourself path.
If you have time, are on a tight budget, and have a lot of patience—rather, TONS of it—, you should definitely give a website builder a shot. You will save a good deal of money and be much more involved—actually, as closer as it gets—with the developmental process of your website. It’s never been easier to set up a professional-looking, design-forward website!
There are numerous website builders on the market, many of which include snazzy items, layouts, and features. WordPress, Jimbo, Strikingly, Wix, Google Sites—the list goes on and on—are just some of the CMS options available, which is essentially an application that allows you to create and modify digital content using a simple interface. And there are dozens of those.
But in the vast ocean of website builders, how could you know which one is the absolute best?
I didn’t have to do a lot of digging before finding out who the pro’s darling is. For many experts on the field, the website builder Weebly is, without a doubt, one of the best options available. But you know what they say, “don’t believe everything you read on the Internet”. I wanted to see by myself what the whole Weebly-rave was about. But before getting into that, I should begin by giving you a proper but quick Weebly introduction.
What is Weebly?
In case you didn’t know yet, Weebly is a web-hosting service that offers both free and low-cost website hosting options. Basically, a website for people who want to create a website. The app is popularly known for its drag-and-drop interface, designed to allow anyone—and I mean anyone that knows the basics of computers—to build a website, even with zero knowledge of HTML or scripting.
Weebly went into business in 2006 and was founded by David Rusenko (chief executive officer), Chris Fanini (chief technology officer), and Dan Veltri (chief operating officer), three college buddies who listened to their friends complain about having no chance on building a website on their own. The 22-year old’s were all attending Penn State University when Weebly made its beta launch. Although it all started a as collage project idea, a year after its introduction, Weebly’s founders sized a huge opportunity when applying for Y Combinator’s winter startup program, just as it was becoming more prominent. After being interviewed and accepted, David, Chris, and Dan moved out to technology’s Mecca, Silicon Valley. That’s when the full-time work really started.
After many 15 hours+ work days, months and months with less than $100 in their bank accounts, and endless “hold your breath” type of moments, things finally started picking up for Weebly’s team. By 2007, Weebly ended up raising a $650k round from Mike Maples, Steve Anderson, and a bunch of other angel investors. And just after two years on the market, Weebly reached the one million users mark. More recently, on 2014, Weebly raised $35 million in Series C funding, money to be spend on expanding into new markets, increasing investment in research and development, and driving Weebly’s mission of empowering people to pursue their passion.
Today, more than 40 million entrepreneurs from all over the world use Weebly every month. Not for nothing it consistently is the highest rated website building app in the App Store and Google Play— and in case you didn’t know, they both are a big deal.
Weebly’s road to success has certainly being an inspiring story. But I know what you’re thinking. Yes, Rusenko, Fanini, and Veltri’s triumph is amazing, but the question that brought us to this fairly-tale remains: is Weebly really the right website builder for you? It certainly is the most popular—just check its 343 rank on Alexa—, but let’s see if it truly is the greatest.
Weebly has a wide selection of fresh, modern themes and templates that work variety of purposes. With its over 72 templates on its library, you can give your store, portfolio, business website, or personal blog any look you want. Weebly’s themes and templates will give you a great head start on your website. And if you care to have something a little more unique, Weebly includes a fair amount of theme customization options, mostly around changing fonts (colors, sizes and families). It also includes around 5-8 color options for themes, although it doesn’t have custom color option. And if after choosing your favorite theme and personalizing it, you end up not liking the design, you can easily swap to another one without breaking your website, since the themes are fully transferable. On top of that, you can edit HTML/CSS codes—that if you know how to, of course.
Weebly has five plans, charged monthly: Free ($0), Starter ($4), Pro ($8), Business ($25), and Performance ($49). Let’s go one by one on their premium—a.k.a. paid—plans.
- Weebly Performance Plan offers you all of Weebly Business features (some advanced eCommerce tools), and very powerful online store functions including real-time shipping rates, abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, and email marketing campaigns.
- Weebly Business Plan offers you all Weebly Pro features—keep reading to find out 😉 – advance eCommerce tools to allow you to build a good online store, and unlimited membership creation function.
- Weebly Pro Plan offers you all the upgraded tools which enable you to build a much better website.
- Weebly Starter Plan offer you a subset of tools that are available to Weebly Pro. Under this plan, however, you won’t get Performance, Business or Pro features such as advance eCommerce tools (you do get some basic features, but not advance features), membership creation, site search, header slideshow, HD video and audio players, password protection for your webpages, advance controls over Editor permissions, or lower file size upload limit.
Even the free service from Weebly already provides tremendous value if you wanted to build a basic website. But from the perspective of everyday living costs—your Starbucks, a fancy bottle of water, or a bigger size French fries order—, upgrading to any of their premium plans it not too enormous of a financial commitment when you consider that the cost of hiring a professional website designer could be very expensive.
I ran some tests on a few websites made with Weebly on GTmetrix and the results were quite surprising. Although it varies from one template to another, and from desktop to mobile, Weebly has an overall average loading speed of 8.1 seconds. And while that’s a not-too-bad number, Weebly does not offer any automatic site optimization features like other website builders do. Of course, you could try and optimize the code with the app’s HTML/CSS editor, hence improving the loading time, but that’s a viable option for a very narrowed—and techie 😛 – audience. After all, the issue with these load time results is the fact that the user really has no influence on many of the underlying causes of slow page speeds. For the general question-click-answer” expectation, I will say Weebly could do a lot better.
This is a restaurant website made by using Weebly – tampabay kitchen visit site
We have Performed speed test for Online store Made by Weebly- chairigami Visit site
Speed tested a blog, made by weebly – aprilborrelli visit site
We also tested the speed of a Business page – Leadapreneur Visit site
The newest templates and themes on Weebly’s library are responsive designs—the better option, for sure—, meaning they look really good on mobile devices without you having to configure the mobile version of the template separately. On the other hand, older templates are not responsive, however, they do have a separate mobile theme. And although this isn’t something you have to do, you can tweak your automatically created mobile version of your website to your taste via the mobile builder, which again, uses the drag-and-drop feature. It is a perfect way to cut out non-essential data on your website to make things easier to read when viewing on a mobile device. All and all, every theme on Weebly is mobile-friendly—on its own way—, which is a great thing!
Preview of Mobile friendly editor in weebly
Example mobile friendly sites
Since Google changes to its search engine algorithm, SEO basically comes tow to 2 things: design a beautiful, functional website that meets the need of your visitors, and get high authority back links to your website. So yes, Weebly will more than adequately meet your website’s SEO needs. In fact, all SEO settings are easy to find and adjust. Title, keywords and meta descriptions are allowed and fully customizable, both in the general configuration of the site, as in each page individually. Weebly also allows the inclusion of codes in the site header and footer, a great place to place verification and tracking codes, as well as other HTML codes. In Weebly, the page name gets used for the URL, although in a Weebly blog post you can actually set the end of the URL to be whatever you want. In short, Weebly is very SEO friendly, meaning that search engines—yes, I mean Google—can easily read the contents of your website in order to determine what your site should rank for.
Weebly offers the possibility to directly add widgets to your site. You can head to the App Center, the place that lets you install “apps” and widgets that add cool new features and functionality to your website without the need to had code it into your site. With Weebly Apps will help you boost traffic, increase sales, and create better marketing strategies. Some of the available apps include PayPal, Authorize.net, Google Apps, Etsy, Quickbooks, the regular social media stuff, along with other widgets like galleries, videos and music players, polls, forums, files, documents, flash and dozens more, some free, some with fees—sigh—. In terms of sheer numbers, Weebly has a respectable 250+ widgets and applications to make your site very dynamic.
If you want to engage with you visitors, Weebly has you covered! It offers elements that require users’ participation. Like its membership system. You can create private pages that require people to register with your site. Membership creation is very useful if you’re looking to make a private club of some sort or restrict certain content from the general public, like courses for student or tutorials that are premium content. Another great way to engage with your audience is with through Weebly’s commenting system. Everyone’s got an opinion, right? The comment feature allows people to share their thoughts, spark discussion, and ask questions. In other word, be engaged! Weebly has a built-in comments system and you can easily make use of it. But if you prefer to use something else—because, you know, why not? —Weebly also makes it easy for you to use Disqus, a third-party commenting system. You can easily switch between the 2 systems and keep the conversation rolling.
Weebly Light Box
Weebly Social Buttons
Weebly Image editor
You can create posts by dragging-and-dropping elements (text, galleries, maps, videos, quotes, and more). You can also add Facebook comments, Disqus or use Weebly’s comment system, which has built-in moderation settings. Weebly lets you add tags to your posts, and you can save them as drafts before publishing. You can set them to be announced on your Facebook and Twitter feeds automatically too. Weebly automatically produces RSS feeds for your blogs. An orange Publish button takes your site live. There’s no need for a Save button, since edits are saved automatically. You can also have multiple editors working on a site, just send an email and specify whether your coeditor should have full Admin, Author, or Dashboard-only rights. Basically, Weebly is an excellent blogging platform.
Weebly is a very intuitive website builder since its elements and user interface is much more minimalistic than others. One could even say you can have it all figured out in just a few minutes. But if you still manage to get stick, their tech support is what some might say outstanding. Their consumer support team is ready to help seven days a week. They can be contacted via email, live chat, or phone, Monday to Friday from 6am to 6pm Pacific Time (9am to 9pm Eastern) and Saturday-Sunday from 8am to 5pm Pacific Time (11am to 8pm Eastern). Another way to get in touch is to post your question on the Facebook fanpage, or via Twitter. Yes, I know, so milennial.
For a much more professional overall vibe, Weebly partnered with Google Apps to create provide a complete email solution for your domain name. You can log in to this inbox by going to gmail.com or by going to mail.google.com/a/yourdomainhere.com. Or, for your convenience—or laziness—you can manage your business website and email all from the same location. Access your inbox right from the Google Apps tab in your Weebly account using the Go to Inbox option. All this for and additional modest price of $4.08 per user, per month.
Weebly allows users to have multiple websites on one account. All customers can build up to 10 sites. Nevertheless, that’s all you can do: build them. Truth is you can only have one domain per package, so if you really want to launch each and every one of the 10 potential sites, you’ll have to pay for an upgraded Weebly plan for each one. Not cool, Weebly. Not cool.
With its modern and well-designed templates and more importantly because of its wide range of cool and useful features and apps to choose from, you can basically build whatever type of site you want/need: an online store, a business page, a portfolio, a personal blog, etcetera, etcetera. There are many features you can set on each page that you can use to customize your websites functionality. Ultimately, Weebly has enough tools to design any type of website you want and supply for all your web-building needs.
Not too long ago, website building was exclusive to those who knew a secret design language, or to those who could afford—or were willing make the sacrifice for—a professional web designer. But since those dark years, web design has evolved drastically. No longer is it necessary to know programming languages like HTML and CSS to build a beautiful, functional website. Custom coding is no longer required.
In other words, building an awesome web on your own—AND functional! Is not all about the looks, people—, is fairly easy.
An entire industry has been built around this premise. Companies like WordPress, Jimbo, Strikingly, Wix, and Google Sites have created their own CMS platforms. And still, the web building gurus—and even ordinary users—all agree on one thing: Weebly is the best online web design platform… in the world.
So, back to square one: Is Weebly really the best website builder on the market? Despite my skepticism, and after a lot of research and many tests, I have to agree with the popular opinion. Yes, I’m sold! Weebly is the best online web design platform available. With a set of excellent tools, it empowers users to build some truly beautiful and efficient websites.
One of the best things about Weebly is that even though they are advancing over the years, they still maintain a focus on keeping their user interface intuitive and user-friendly—not to mention very affordable! —. This helps users of all skills levels, from non-technical morals to programming gods, build a good looking and functional website quickly and painlessly—not to mention for a reasonable price!
I wouldn’t say Weebly is for everyone, though. Let’s get real: paying a professional website builder to have your site exclusively done for you and only you, will forever be the most appealing option. But not everyone can afford such luxury, especially when you’re getting a business started—you know, because of the expenses, expenses, expenses situation—. But if you are on a tight budget, or the do it yourself trend is simply impossible to resist, the website builder that offers the best results for the less effort—a.k.a. headaches—and the lowest price, is, without a doubt, Weebly.
Yes, our favorite website builder has its areas of opportunity, especially when it comes to loading times and the multiple websites availability. But with every update and added features, Our Weebly review say they keep getting better—and they don’t have any intention to stop! — so I have no doubt that, sooner rather than later, they would turn their cons into pros.
All and all, Weebly is great for creating well build websites with pleasant designs and complete functions, by a fraction of a professional’s hiring rate. Today, 40 million users are loving it—now including me—and the Weebly fan club keeps growing as you read. Design, functionality and fair prices. What else do you need! Are you convinced yet? compare with Wix click here