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Weebly Review

Wednesday, March 3rd

2021 Website Builder Reviews

Weebly Review 3 Star Rating

Weebly

3 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $12 to $72 per month

When it comes to website builders, Weebly is best described as "average". On the positive side, the service has integrated shipping and eCommerce solutions. But, it's not as well-rounded as our higher-ranked providers.

Getting Started With Your Website

You'll still find quite a few people talking about Weebly, so let's look at how to use this website builder. To start using Weebly, sign up for an account and then choose whether you want to create a regular website or one with an online store. If you choose the online store option, even before you create the website you'll be prompted to enter a physical address and sign up for a Square payment processing account. If you're not ready for that kind of commitment, that's too bad because there's no way to opt out of it once you start. So, be sure that this is what you want when you select that option.

Confusing Branding

Once you're into the main Weebly dashboard, choose "Edit Site" to begin using the editor. In the eCommerce scenario we tested, it confusingly took us to the Square store editor, with the Square logo in the browser tab. But then we noticed that the URL still said "Weebly", so it appears that we were in the right place, just with confusing labels. This, we later realized after re-examining the branding of the Weebly home page, was because Square had acquired Weebly as its website builder software.

Wizard-like Interface

The editor will ask you for features you want to include in your website and online store using a wizard-like interface to add features, logo, and style. If you don't have a logo yet, you can skip that step.

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Pre-made Options For Website Sections

The rest of the editing experience is a series of choosing pre-made options for headers, footers, banners, layouts, sections, and elements like images, buttons, and forms. There doesn't appear to be a blogging option.

ECommerce Setup

For eCommerce, creating an item involves filling out a simple form with item type, title, price, description, images, and fulfillment options for shipping, in-store pickup, or local delivery. There is a "More Options" button in product creation that reveals options such as making an item tax exempt and creating variations of a product according to various attributes. You can also allow customers to modify an item with text or based on a selection.

Square Delivers More Bang For The Buck

Overall, for eCommerce you do get more bang for the buck because of the Square-centric eCommerce focus of Weebly. Square brings in a lot of analytics and store management tools that other website editors don't provide.

Creativity Is Limited

However, the Weebly design experience is limited to the constraints the theme designers have established. Even though there's an option to hire a Weebly designer to address whatever parts you feel are lacking, most website owners are eventually going to want to have more creative freedom as to sizing and positioning of elements and will then feel frustrated with these limitations.

Good If You Don't Needmuch Flexibility

We suggest that you try another builder if you want more design flexibility. But if your focus is more on eCommerce, Weebly is a good choice, at least to start. If you decide later to move to a WordPress and WooCommerce setup, Weebly does allow you to export your data for use with WordPress/Woocommerce import plugins.

Which Service Offers the Best Website Builder?

The way you build a website can directly impact the success your website has in attracting and retaining customers. So, it's important to choose a website builder that maximizes things like search engine optimization (SEO), usability, the speed at which each page loads (page speed), mobile browser compatibility, accessibility for users with disabilities, and dozens of other requirements.

Website builder software and services aim to remove the technical barriers that come with more sophisticated methods of building websites. With a website builder, not only is content easier to author, you also become a "drag and drop" designer of your home page and supporting sub-pages. This can be a blessing or it can be a burden depending on the quality of the website builder, how much time you have and your tolerance for learning curves.

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Website Builder FAQ

Yes, but free website builders should generally be avoided because they fall short of many features that paid website builders include. There are exceptions, such as WordPress, which is free (if you download and self-host your own copy) and is a very powerful and flexible website builder.
It all depends on how comfortable you are with the features of a particular website builder. Some are easier to use than others. For example, some will build your website for you after you fill in a form with your business details, resulting in a new website in just a few minutes. Others will require you to have a basic understanding of the common parts and pages of a typical website, which can take up hours of work on your part.
It depends on the website builder you choose. There are several that offer a full package, including the ability to register your domain, build your site, and host it on your domain right within the same service. Others split up domain registration and hosting into separate concerns.
Anyone who is approaching the task of creating a website for the very first time, especially with little knowledge of how to make successful websites, should consider hiring someone who has that expertise. In spite of the ease of use promised by many website builder companies, websites can be quite complicated when it comes to things like user experience, proper calls to action, image rights, color coordination, search engine optimization, and accessibility for people with disabilities.
Generally, professionals prefer to have creative input prior to any work being done on your website. If you've already done some design or content placement, you'll find it more difficult to find someone who is willing to finish what you've started. If you want a professional to do it, but still want to use a website builder for easy content maintenance, engage their services before you sign up for a website builder plan. Your professional may have some ideas of which one to use and how to make it easier to use your website builder.
Using a website builder can definitely harm your search ranking if you are not careful. Be sure to follow all the guidance the builder may give you on search engine optimization. If the builder doesn't provide that information, or the capabilities necessary for better SEO, you should not choose that builder. Do your research into which builders provide better SEO than others.
The number one reason to use WordPress is content portability. Many website builders want to lock you into their services, so while they may make it easy to import your content from another builder, they sometimes make it difficult or impossible to export your content for importing to another service. If you start with WordPress, you'll have the most content portability.
WordPress is very popular. It currently runs 35% of the websites across the entire Internet. Even though it's very easy to get a new website up and running with a default theme, free theme, or paid theme, it can sometimes become more complicated and frustrating as your content grows or your needs become more advanced.
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Continued from above...

Whatever you choose, remember that you may be stuck with your decision for a long time. In other words, think in the long term and visualize what your needs will be not just months from now, but years from now.

As you decide which website builder will be the best choice for your needs, there are several factors to keep in mind:

  • Flexibility. How will the site builder hold up as your site needs change over time?
  • Usability. How easy is the tool to use?
  • Search Engine Optimization. Does the service allow you to manage SEO?
  • Stability. Does the builder work without errors or glitches?
  • Cost. What will you spend to use the builder and get all the features you want?
  • Reputation. What do other users have to say about the website builder?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best website builders available today. We hope this information helps you create the perfect site for your business, non-profit organization, or your own personal projects!

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