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Whether you’re trying to start an ecommerce business or you’re simply looking to bring your business’s presence online, you’re going to need a website. Luckily, it’s no longer necessary to have advanced technical knowledge to create, customize, and launch a business website—you can do it all using a website builder. From simple drag-and-drop editors to those that double as ecommerce platforms, there are a variety of website builders available for business owners on the market.
Perhaps one of the most well-known of these website builders is Weebly, powering over 50 million sites around the world. Acquired by Square in 2018, Weebly nevertheless remains a top website tool known for its ease of use, and therefore, approachability for all different kinds of business owners. Is Weebly the right website builder for your business? This Weebly review is here to help you find out. We’ll explore Weebly’s features, pricing, as well as discuss the most notable pros and cons of this platform. Finally, we’ll offer top alternatives to provide you with all the information you need to decide if Weebly is the best option for you.
On the whole, Weebly is a website builder that allows you to create, customize, and launch your business website, blog, or online store. With Weebly, you have the option to develop and manage your website—completely free—or, opt for one of four paid, premium plans to receive additional site, ecommerce, marketing, and customer support tools.
Regardless of the plan you choose, Weebly also gives you the ability to edit and monitor your website using their mobile app, as well as integrate with the third-party tools in their App Center to expand your capabilities. You can sign up for a free Weebly account directly from their website, no credit card required.
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With this overview of Weebly in mind, let’s dive deeper into the different features of this website builder.
Weebly provides free web hosting, with a cloud-based infrastructure to provide reliable performance and ensure that your site loads quickly. In order to host a domain with your website, Weebly offers a few options. If you have any of the paid plans, Weebly allows you to purchase your own business domain name directly from them, offering it free for the first year of your subscription.
Weebly also gives you the ability to create a free subdomain, allowing you to transfer everything over if you choose to upgrade to a new domain in the future. Moreover, Weebly provides a domain import tool to use a domain you’ve purchased from another provider.
With Weebly, you can set up and start a blog, whether on its own or part of a larger website or online store. You have the ability to control the layout and structure of your blog posts, create custom URLs, title tags, and meta descriptions, as well as complete category, tag, and sidebar customization. Moreover, Weebly’s blog tools allow you to manage comments, integrate media, comment, or social media systems, and utilize sharing and scheduling capabilities.
In order to help you promote your website, blog, or online store, Weebly provides built-in SEO tools, including alt tags on images, page specific descriptions, meta descriptions, and more. Weebly also allows you to create custom forms, RSVP lists, and surveys to encourage engagement and data collection.
In addition, Weebly tracks your visitors and website statistics, displaying them through your Weebly dashboard. From pages visited, to search terms used, to website referrals, Weebly monitors your statistics in real-time—plus, allows you to add Google Analytics code for advanced tracking.
Furthermore, with Weebly Promote, Weebly gives you the ability to create email marketing campaigns such as newsletters, promotions, product announcements, and events. You can utilize pre-designed email templates as well as create your own. Weebly Promote also allows you to build an email list, import contacts from other platforms, and sync Weebly contacts from membership groups, store orders, and forms.
Moreover, Weebly Promote tracks your email stats, providing a dashboard for you to monitor opens, views, and clicks. You can also send test emails, schedule emails for a later time or date, and segment your list into custom groups.
Example of a Weebly theme. Photo credit: Weebly.
As we’ll discuss shortly, three out of the four Weebly paid plans include ecommerce capabilities, allowing you to create and launch an online store. With a Weebly store, therefore, you’ll have built-in online shopping cart functionality and a secure checkout. You’ll also be able to add products, track your inventory, and sell digital goods, physical products, and services.
Moreover, Weebly offers additional ecommerce features such as:
As we briefly mentioned above, Weebly gives you the ability to integrate with a variety of third-party applications using their App Center. In the App Center, you’ll find hundreds of different tools, including those for shipping, reporting, marketing, social media, live chat, and more. Some notable integrations that Weebly offers are Google Ads, Eventbrite, Shipstation, Facebook chat, and rankingCoach.
Moreover, Weebly allows you to build and manage your site using their mobile app, available for iOS and Android on both smartphones and tablets. The Weebly app also gives you the ability to manage your web analytics, check and respond to comments and forms, and even work offline. If you have an online store with Weebly, you’ll be able to add products, track, manage, and process orders, and respond to customer inquiries, all through the mobile app.
For both their free and paid customers, Weebly provides support in a number of ways. Depending on your specific plan, you’ll have access to phone support, in addition to the chat and email support that’s offered with all Weebly’s services. Moreover, Weebly includes a support center with a knowledge base, blog, and community forum.
Now that we’ve explored the full range of capabilities this website builder has to offer, let’s move forward in our Weebly review and break down the different plans and pricing options.
As we mentioned earlier, Weebly offers five unique plans, each with increasing functionality. The most basic of the Weebly offerings, once again, is the Free plan, which allows you to create and launch your website without paying a monthly subscription fee.
The Free plan, therefore, is best for testing out and starting a business website. This plan includes:
The next plan, Connect, is only different from the free plan in that it gives you the ability to connect a custom domain. The Connect plan, for $5 per month, billed annually, also includes a one year free domain, if you buy said domain through Weebly.
The third plan Weebly offers is called Pro. The Pro plan not only offers additional capabilities, but also is the first of the Weebly plans to provide ecommerce functionality. This plan is well-suited for groups and organizations who may want to sell a few products, but aren’t going to focus specifically on ecommerce.
For $12 per month billed annually, the Pro plan includes the features of the first two plans as well as:
The fourth Weebly offering, the Business plan, costs $25 per month, billed annually. With more ecommerce tools, this plan will accommodate small businesses who are truly looking to start selling online. In addition to the features of the previous plans, the Business plan includes:
The final plan, Business Plus, provides the greatest functionality of all the Weebly plans, designed specifically for those who want to quickly start and grow an ecommerce operation. The Business Plus plan, at $38 per month when paid annually, offers all of the features of the previous plans, plus:
Additionally, it’s important to note that for any of the Weebly plans that include ecommerce functionality, you’ll also have to pay for the cost to accept payments online. These fees can range depending on the provider you choose, however, if you work with Square (who owns Weebly), you’ll pay 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
Moreover, although many of the apps in the Weebly App Center are free, you may find that some of the premium integrations require an additional monthly fee.
Example of a Weebly online store. Photo credit: Weebly.
Keeping in mind all of the information we’ve covered so far in this Weebly review, let’s continue by discussing how Weebly stands out as a website builder and ecommerce platform, especially in comparison to other solutions on the market.
This being said, here are three advantages of Weebly worth considering:
With four plans under $40 per month, on top of an additional free option, there’s no doubt that Weebly’s affordability is one of the platform’s greatest benefits.
If you’re simply looking to set up a business website, Weebly’s free plan allows you to do so without having to invest money from your budget. Although the free offering has its limitations, it provides the essential tools you would need to get started—plus, Weebly gives you the option to upgrade at any time and keep your site and information if you choose to do so.
Additionally, with the $12 per month Pro plan, Weebly offers perhaps one of the most affordable ways to start an online store. Once again, this plan will only provide you with the most basic ecommerce tools, but you’ll be able to start selling, as well as integrate with any of the free or paid add-ons in the Weebly App Center to extend your capabilities.
Moreover, compared specifically to top competitors like Wix and Squarespace, Weebly’s Pro plan, at $12, is much cheaper than Squarespace’s $18 Business plan and Wix’s $23 Business Basic plan, both of which are the first from their respective providers that provide ecommerce functionality.
Therefore, Weebly’s low cost makes it particularly well-suited for very small businesses, those who are just getting started with a website, and those who want to test an online store before investing significant money and resources into an ecommerce operation.
Another of the most notable benefits of Weebly is the simplicity and ease-of-use of the platform. With a handful of professional, pre-designed templates to choose from, Weebly makes it quick and easy to set up your website, online store, or blog, and customize it using their drag-and-drop editor. Although Weebly does give you the option to edit your site with code, they first and foremost strive to accommodate those without extensive technical knowledge.
Additionally, even after building your site, the Weebly interface is intuitive and user-friendly, making it easy for you to manage your operations, make changes, and find new ways to grow and promote your business. Furthermore, Weebly gives you the freedom to switch between themes, something that competitors like Wix do not allow.
Plus, with 24/7 email and chat support (even with the Free plan), the Weebly support team is always available to help you with any questions or issues that you have.
Once again, this Weebly advantage, like its affordability, makes the platform a particularly worthy solution for smaller businesses and those just starting out. If you need a quick and easy way to customize and launch your website, without having to worry about a complex system or technical elements, Weebly will certainly be able to accommodate you.
With the mobile options Weebly offers, you not only have the ability to manage your website or online store on-the-go, but you also have an opportunity to take advantage of mobile traffic and mobile ordering from customers.
This being said, the thorough mobile accommodations Weebly provides are, without a doubt, among the platform’s biggest benefits. Weebly allows significant flexibility with their app, giving you the ability to build and manage your website or online store from your mobile device, as well as track statistics and work offline.
Additionally, if you have a Weebly online store, you can add products and complete orders with the app, regardless of your location. Moreover, with their mobile-responsive designs, mobile shopping cart, and mobile checkout, Weebly helps you attract visitors and customers who are browsing via smartphone or tablet.
With all of these mobile capabilities, therefore, Weebly provides impressive functionality for small business owners on the go, as well as those looking specifically to capitalize on the popularity of mobile commerce and mobile trends.
Despite these noteworthy advantages of Weebly, there are also downsides to this platform we should consider as well. Here are two to keep in mind:
Although Weebly offers a number of different plans with essential and useful capabilities, this platform is lacking when it comes to advanced features. This being said, there are similar competitors trafficking in both the web building and ecommerce space who provide greater built-in functionality and a wider variety of features and tools.
Using Wix, once again, as an example, the website builder provides 500 different design templates, several unique ways to build your site, as well as additional business-focused tools and functions. Likewise, although designed more specifically for ecommerce, Shopify also offers a wider feature-set, including over 100 payment gateway options, multiple languages, reporting, customer accounts, groups, and profiles, and more.
Therefore, even though Weebly can provide you with core features for an affordable cost, it’s lack of more advanced tools and capabilities may be an issue, especially for larger or quickly growing small businesses, as well as those who simply want more from their web builder or ecommerce platform.
Directly related to Weebly’s lack of advanced features is another of the platform’s drawbacks—Weebly is also generally limited in terms of both customization and scalability.
First, in regards to customization—although Weebly provides a handful of templates and allows you to edit using HTML or CSS—overall, the templates are limited and are not nearly as customizable as some of the web builders that also use drag and drop editing.
Similarly, even though Weebly provides various integrations in their App Store for you to fit your website or online store to your business’s needs, once again, there are other solutions that offer greater and more sophisticated add-on possibilities.
In terms of scalability, Weebly does give you the opportunity to start with a free or low level plan and upgrade as your business expands or grows, but with limited customization and advanced feature options, as we’ve just discussed, it can really only accommodate so much growth.
Therefore, if you’re a larger small business, or one that’s growing quickly, you may find that Weebly would be too restricting as a web builder or ecommerce platform. If you’re reading this Weebly review and need your solution to extend into broader and more advanced functionality, you may want to consider an alternative.
What do Weebly users have to say about their experience with this platform? On the whole, Weebly reviews are generally positive, with users writing most frequently about Weebly’s ease of use and their free and inexpensive plan options. This being said, however, many reviewers also comment on the limitations of Weebly in terms of their specific features and customization capabilities.
Along these lines, when we talked to business owners who had used Weebly, we found similar comments.
For example, Jenny Wilson of Wilson Marketing Consulting, told us that she recommends Weebly to other business owners, especially those who have little knowledge about building websites. In her experience, she likes Weebly because of their drag and drop interface, built-in contact forms, maps, and galleries, and ecommerce option, as well as their ability to get your website set up quickly.
However, Wilson also said that Weebly has its downsides, namely, it doesn’t have as many optional widgets as other web builders—plus, it’s not sufficient to accommodate large or complex sites.
Moreover, Glenn Mueller Jr. of Mueller Chocolate Co., says that he would recommend Weebly and used it to build his company’s website. Overall, Mueller found Weebly to be reasonably priced and reliable. He also felt, on the other hand, that it is missing features he expected to see:
“With other websites I’ve built on different platforms, there were canned solutions for spam messages, announcement bars, disabling shipping at the push of a button.”
Mueller continued on to say that these irritations are minor and Weebly has worked well for his business.
As you can see, reviewers seem to like and recommend Weebly despite its limitations, nevertheless acknowledging that the platform has both pros and cons.
Before you decide whether Weebly is the right tool for your business, it’s worth exploring some top competitors. As we’ve mentioned, there are a number of solutions, both web builders and ecommerce platforms that you might consider as alternatives to Weebly. Here are two:
As a web builder that also offers ecommerce functionality, Wix is one of Weebly’s biggest competitors. Like Weebly, Wix gives you the ability to create a business website using their free plan, or opt for one of their eight paid premium plans. Additionally, Wix breaks their premium plans into “Websites” and “Businesses” with the Business plans allowing you to accept credit card payments and sell products online.
The Wix premium plans range in price from $13 to $49 per month, making them generally more expensive than the Weebly plans. This being said, however, Wix does have benefits where Weebly is lacking. For example, as we mentioned earlier, Wix provides a greater variety of theme templates as well as ways to build your site—with a standard web editor, AI-based tool, and an open development platform.
Moreover, whether you’re starting an online store or event, photography, or restaurant website, Wix includes various specific capabilities for these types of businesses. Overall, with over 1,000 features available within their platform, Wix can give you more options and opportunities than Weebly can.
So, if you’re looking for slightly more customization and functionality than Weebly provides, you might consider Wix as a worthy alternative.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a platform that will allow you to set up a website and blog, but first and foremost, gives you the ability to start an online store, you might think about selling on Shopify.
As one of the most popular ecommerce platforms out there, Shopify is known for its overall functionality, user-friendly system, and integration abilities. Although at $29 per month, Shopify is going to be much more expensive than Weebly right off the bat, Shopify can offer many more options for those looking to sell online.
This being said, with the Basic Shopify plan, you’ll be able to create your online store with unlimited products, multiple sales channels, abandoned cart recovery, discount codes, and 24/7 customer support. Moreover, with either of the higher level Shopify plans, you’ll receive advanced ecommerce tools like professional report builders, third-party calculated shipping rates, shipping discounts, and customer reporting.
As a platform created specifically for ecommerce, Shopify’s features, template options, workflows, and add-on tools will be much more conducive to the development, customization, and growth of your online store—in comparison to Weebly or Wix, both of which are, first and foremost, website builders.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a platform to specifically start and promote an online store, you might think about Shopify as a possible alternative to Weebly.
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At the end of the day, whether you want to create a simple business website or an in-depth online store, it will be up to you to decide which website builder or ecommerce platform will best meet your needs—and budget. As we’ve explored both features and pricing in our Weebly review, there’s no doubt that Weebly is a user-friendly and affordable platform, capable of providing you with essential tools to build a website, blog, or online store.
Therefore, with a focus on simplicity, mobility, and affordability, it seems that Weebly is probably best-suited for smaller businesses, especially those who are just starting out. As we learned from talking to small business owners who have used this platform, Weebly can get you set up quickly and easily, without requiring technical expertise—however, it does have limitations.
This being said, if you need more customization and features than Weebly can offer, you might consider a more advanced web builder or ecommerce platform alternative, like Wix or Shopify. Nevertheless, since you can sign up for Weebly and build your website for free, you always have the option to test their system for yourself—this way, you’ll have a better sense of whether the Weebly platform will work for your business.
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