You’re trying to build a new website.
All of a sudden, people are telling you to buy hosting, get SSL, and so much more.
If all you want is an attractive site, without needing to understand how to code (although some level of HTML is nice), you’re better off looking for a site builder.
A site builder takes care of all the hosting for you, plus all the backend code and a lot of the design. You’re left with a simple way to edit and customize your website.
Weebly is one of the most well known and polished website builders there is.
It’s primarily built for small businesses, nonprofits, and any sort of solo hobbyist.
I wrote this review to break down the most important features of Weebly in simple terms so that you know if it can deliver everything that you’re looking for.
One of the Most Powerful Website Builders That Exists
The website builder itself is the most important feature of Weebly, so let’s start there.
There are a few main components of the site builder that save you time and money.
All sites start with a theme. A theme is simply a design template that is applied to your website.
Weebly has several themes in all main categories (business, portfolio, personal, etc.) to choose from.
You can always switch themes with a few clicks at any time.
Aside from being professionally designed to look great, these themes are also all responsive. That means they show up looking great no matter which devices your visitors use.
Drag and Drop Editor
When you’re editing your website, everything is drag and drop.
You pick a page to edit, and it becomes clickable alongside a menu bar with page elements.
You can click on an element on the page and edit it right there.
You can rearrange elements by dragging them around or add elements by dragging them from the side menu bar onto the page.
Weebly has been around for so long that this is one of the smoothest editors to work with.
Finally, say you do want to learn to code a bit and would like to embed some custom code. You can add an “embed code” element onto the page and paste in your custom code.
So while a site builder does take away some flexibility, you still have quite a bit of room to customize your sites.
Most hosts and site builders offer a way to tie in tools made by other developers or businesses.
Some call them integrations or plugins, while Weebly calls them apps. They’re how you enable advanced functionality on your website.
You can preview all the apps available at Weebly’s app center.
There’s far too many to go through, but examples of what some useful apps allow you to do include:
- Add Facebook live chat.
- Add custom comments section to posts.
- Create a membership site.
- Create shipping labels for products.
Weebly’s store isn’t quite as big as WordPress’ plugin repository, but it’s got an app for all the most useful website functions you could ask for.
Finally, if you’re brand new to building websites, you might find some analytics tools to be a bit complicated.
Weebly has a simple built-in analytics panel that gives you only the most important information about your website’s traffic.
These are live statistics, so you can check in at any point in the day.
Some of the stats you can see are:
- How many people visited your website.
- What pages visitors viewed.
- What search terms visitors found your website with.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for more in-depth analytics tracking, Weebly has an area to paste in your Google Analytics code to easily connect it.
Great for Small E-Commerce Sites
The Weebly site builder is great for building typical static sites, but it can also handle small to medium e-commerce sites.
Here are the most important e-commerce features that you can enable at no extra cost or difficulty:
- Fully integrated shopping cart and checkout. This lets visitors add products to their cart and pay you money.
- Full inventory management. Add your inventory to your website easily. It will automatically update as visitors buy your products.
- Product search. Lets visitors search your inventory by keyword.
- Automatic shipping rates and tax calculations. All the tricky calculations are done for you.
If you were building these features from scratch, it would cost you thousands and a lot of time.
Even if you use third-party solutions, it would still be much more expensive and take you extra time to configure.
Marketing Help Built-In
When you first start building websites, you’ll probably run into a problem: It’s hard getting visitors.
Weebly has some features to help you.
SEO Help Built In
One of the best sources of free traffic is from search engines.
And while SEO can get complex, doing the basics is easy.
Weebly makes it easy to add page titles, meta descriptions, and keep an SEO friendly URL structure.
You just have to fill out standard form fields for each page.
Weebly Promote (for Email Marketing)
Weebly also has a separate product that ties in with the site builder called Weebly promote.
It’s focused around email marketing because it typically produces the best return on investment for businesses (around $43 of return for every $1 spent on email marketing).
Since it’s a separate product, it does have a separate cost. So you don’t necessarily need this.
It allows you to collect email addresses and create emails to send those subscribers and customers.
It features a similar drag and drop interface to the site builder to create emails.
It comes with basic analytics that shows you how many emails you sent and who opened them.
It’s not quite as advanced as some email marketing tools, but if you just want a basic, simple platform to use, it fits well for the price.
The crazy thing about Weebly is that the pricing is comparable to most shared hosting packages.
But not only do you get the hosting, you get the complete site builder and all the features that come with it.
There are multiple plans that you can sign up on, the difference is the number of features you get on each.
For example, there is a free plan, but it has very limited features. It’s good to test out the platform, but at some point, you’ll want to upgrade.
Weebly is an extremely powerful and flexible site builder.
It’s intuitive user interface, along with very low prices make it a perfect option for anyone looking to build a simple, attractive website, without coding.
Weebly is extremely customizable through apps and built-in e-commerce features that allow you to build any simple hobby, business, or e-commerce site.
If you’re new to web development, give the free plan a try and see if it’s right for you.
Your Weebly Review
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