Weebly is a drag and drop website builder. It has two products, the website builder that can be supplemented with an ecommerce platform, that it calls “Online Stores”.
It is a software as a service with which you can create your own website without having to sort out domain registration, hosting, or write a single line of code.
Weebly has been around since 2007 and was acquired in 2018 by Square.com. The company that makes it easy for merchants to accept credit cards. This means that Weebly has more resources to build out its ecommerce platform. Since its beginning, it has grown to be one of the most popular website builders. It’s estimated that about 40 million websites are built with Weebly.
Its popularity is due to how convenient and easy it is so that anyone can create portfolios, online stores, business sites, and blogs. It’s so popular that some hosters even provide one-click installation for Weebly.
- Pros and cons of Weebly
- Who is Weebly ecommerce for?
- How easy is Weebly to use?
- Weebly design and templates
- How easy is managing your ecommerce store with Weebly?
- Weebly integrations
- What marketing tools does Weebly provide?
- Weebly payments
- Weebly security
- Weebly customer support
- Weebly pricing
- Is Weebly the right choice for you?
Pros and cons of Weebly
This is the tl;dr section. Weebly is an all-inclusive and everything is provided for you website building solution. For all the convenience you trade in control and flexibility.
- Professional websites that are responsive out of the box: You don’t need technical knowledge and designer skills to build your website.
- No learning curve: Its dashboard is self-explanatory and easy to use so that you can have a website up and running in no time.
- Weebly has an extensive app market so that your site can grow along with your business.
- On the lower tiers, Weebly charges an additional transaction fee.
- Its SEO functionality is limited and inflexible. You are bound by Weebly’s concept of SEO.
- It’s slow (slower than Squarespace). Nowadays, visitors will jump to another site, if yours is slow to load.
- You need to do your backups yourself. Should you screw up somewhere, you need to contact support to restore your entire site.
- The drag and drop interface is buggy. At times, I just couldn’t place the elements where I wanted.
Who is Weebly ecommerce for?
Weebly is a good choice for the budding entrepreneur. Its founders had first-time business owners in mind when they created it. Even if it’s squarely aimed at people without technical expertise, it is also a good pick if you have web development skills. It has a vibrant plugin store so that you can add functionalities and tools that you need.
If you are a small team and value a simple and intuitive interface both for creating and running a store, Weebly is a good fit.
How easy is Weebly to use?
Its dashboard is self-explanatory and very easy to use. On your left-hand side is the navigation for everything that you need to create and manage your store. Weebly has grouped all building functions into the Website and to make it easier to manage the store, it has a separate section for order and inventory.
To build your website, you simply select the features that you want. All the content and design elements behave consistently. When you want to change the heading, you can write directly into the element and don’t need to type into a text field on the sidebar. All changes are automatically saved without the need to constantly press the Save button. It lets you build your site exactly as you’d see it. As a drag and drop tool, you move the text and image elements around by dragging and dropping them to the places you want. It also has a button to show you how your site looks on mobile devices.
Weebly design and templates
Weebly has a wide range of themes to choose from. As expected of all modern website builders, all themes are responsive and work on all devices.
Its design and themes are not geared towards those that have set design as their top priority but its design is clean and simple.
That said, it is not all glorious sunshine with Weebly. I sometimes just could not get to move an element to the position I wanted. It would just jump to another spot than where I placed it. Also, editing the source code doesn’t mean I could just change everything to my heart’s content, the template elements for mobiles are not editable for example.
How easy is managing your ecommerce store with Weebly?
As already mentioned, Weebly has separated order management from inventory. In the Item section, you can add new items and manage your inventory. Depending on your plan you have more options like unlimited SKU or product variants. If your plan allows it, when you create a new product, you can easily add variants (size and colour).
In the order section, you can manage all your orders, handle refunds, and other tasks. Your customer will get a notification when you set the status of the order (you need to have set the order notification email).
In its so-called App Center, there are tons of plugins and services that you can add to your site. The plugin pricing ranges from free to a low 3 figures per month. You can add functionalities to your site as you grow your business.
What marketing tools does Weebly provide?
You can edit easily metadata for every web page. You can do the same for every product. But you can not fully customise the URLs, as it automatically adds non-removable strings to some pages such as categories. It’s heading structure, that is its headings tags don’t go beyond H2.
With Weebly Promote, it has its own newsletter service with which you can send marketing emails. It has all the bells and whistles for you to design and sent your newsletter. Once a campaign is sent, you can monitor it. It integrates nicely with the ecommerce part but it is a separate paid service.
You can also opt to integrate other (cheaper) email campaign providers by installing extensions from the App Center.
You can add the social media icons in the standard way to your Weebly Site. You can also add your Instagram feed.
At the time of this review, you can not sell on social media
A blog post in Weebly is called a Story. It’s blogging interface is simple to use and gets out of the way to let you concentrate on writing. Weebly’s Blog feature has a landing page with an overview of your blog posts and the individual post.
You only have access to marketing automation with the higher tiers. You then have the options to show pop-up forms to capture emails for your email campaign, send personalised offers, automate transactional emails, and recover abandoned carts.
Depending on where you are located, you may not have access to the all payment gateway options that Weebly offers. As Weebly is now a subsidiary of Square, it provides access to the Square payment gateway. Further, you can choose to use Paypal, Stripe, and Authorize.Net. If you want to use Paypal, you need to choose a pricier plan.
All tiers provide SSL encryption so your site is protected. But you have to take care of backups and restoring.
Weebly customer support
Only the pricier business plans offer phone support. All other tiers can contact Weebly via chat and email. There is a setup guide that walks you to the process of setting up your site.
There also is a community forum and their Help Center with an extensive knowledge base.
As with its products, Weebly’s pricing also comes in 2 categories: websites and online stores. It has a free tier but doesn’t offer a free trial period for ecommerce.
The free plan is great for you to try if you can work with Weebly, but we don’t recommend it for anything else. Not only does it show the Weebly logo on your site but it will also display ads.
Premium support via phone is dangled as an incentive to go with a higher plan. With each level, you have access to massively more powerful features.
Weebly website builder pricing
The only difference between Weebly Connect at $5 per month and the free plan is that you can use it with your own domain.
Weebly Pro at $12 per month provides a lot of bang for the buck. If you are a simple brick and mortar store with a stock of not more than 25 products and have no qualms that your shopping cart is on Weebly’s checkout page, this is the plan for you. It is also a good plan to start out because it removes the Weebly’s ads altogether. Note though that with this tier, Weebly will tack on a 3% fee on your revenues.
Weebly Business at $26 per month is a good fit for a growing business. If have a large inventory or variant products, this is the plan for you.
Weebly ecommerce pricing
Weebly Pro and Weebly Performance are in both the website and online store categories.
Weebly Business Pro at $38 per month is meant for people who need advanced marketing features like abandoned cart recovery.
Is Weebly the right choice for you?
If you are a nascent entrepreneur and want to concentrate on running your business, Weebly is well suited. You can get a site up and running in about an hour. Its drag and drop builder is easy to use if you stay within the boundaries of what your chosen theme allows. If you are on a tight budget, have less than 25 products to sell, and want to mostly generate leads, the Weebly Pro plan is the way to go.
Weebly is also a good choice if you want to test the market for your ideas and products, but then move on to other more powerful solutions. For example, if you want to sell on Facebook or promote your products on Pinterest, you should look elsewhere.
It seems that Weebly is more suited to people with little technical skills and confidence. You can extend its functionality along the way with its very comprehensive app market. With its free plan, you can see for yourself. Even its ecommerce functionalities are available on this plan, you can really only use them with the higher plans.
What were your experiences with Weebly? Let us know in the comments.