What Is Weebly?

On the wide spectrum of website building solutions, Weebly lives on the end that is all-inclusive and provides everything you need to get started and grow your website. It’s in contrast to solutions where you buy, install, and manage all the “pieces” of your website separately.It’s like trading off some control for more convenience.

Using Weebly is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a nice development instead of buying and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control. All the functionality and design that are included with Weebly work seamlessly together as a platform. That’s what allows them to have drag and drop design, layout, and content.

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Weebly competes directly with all-inclusive website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com.

Pros Of Using Weebly

Here are some pros of weebly
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Speed & Security

Weebly provides hosting for all the websites that are built on their platform. That can be good or bad, but in Weebly’s case, it’s a pro. They have fast load speeds. Their websites are optimized for their own hosting. They take care of security against hackers and spam. With business plans, they even install and maintain SSL across your entire site.

    Overall Pricing

    Overall pricing is very competitive not only compared to other all-inclusive website builders but also with buying your own hosting. Their Starter plan starts around $8/mo when paid up front. And they don’t have the typical caps of other website builders. The Pro plan adds solid features and still stays under $12/mo. And again – you’ll notice that everything is bundled and unlimited. There are no caps on pages or storage space. And unlike competitors like Wix, they remove all ads with the first paid tier. Even their business pricing, while more expensive than doing the same thing on your own hosting, is much cheaper than comparable plans with direct competitors. Compared to building your own website on your host and especially with other website builders, Weebly’s pricing is very competitive. Price isn’t everything, but I really like how they structure it.

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      Site Building Process

      One advertised advantage of using an all-inclusive website builder is that you won’t have to write HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop elements. What you see in the builder is what you get on the website.It’s not always that simple. There’s a lot of nuances to “drag and drop.” Most of us actually mean “I want to click and drag this element and move it to a general area where it will look good – you know, automatically centered, etc.” In other words, it’s like playing tee-ball instead of baseball…or bowling with gutter guards up. You want to do the thing, but also have a bit of help.For the most part, Weebly pulls this off. Their drag and drop actually works. And, for the control freaks among us, they provide access to a custom CSS module, so that you can edit the template to exactly your choosing.

        Onboarding & Education

        Whenever you start any piece of software – no matter how intuitive – there’s that moment where you think “ok, what do I do now?” That process is called onboarding, and it’s also incredibly tough to implement well. The software maker doesn’t want to be annoying, but they also want to help. I love how Weebly builds in solid onboarding and education not only via email drip sequence but also via little info buttons built with their platform.

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          Built-in Feature Set + Extensions

          The big advantage of building your own website on your own host is that you don’t have to depend on a platform’s feature set. If you go the platform route, it’s key to make sure they have all the features you want and need. Weebly’s feature set is strong. They’ve got all the basics – like blog functionality, contact forms, etc, but also the necessary advanced features like URL redirects and page-level custom code placement. Even beyond the advanced necessities, Weebly even includes features like forums, membership options, integrated advertising options, file uploads, etc. They also have eCommerce options, which I’ll cover separately below. If you go the all-inclusive website builder route, Weebly’s feature set should provide everything you need for typical personal/business sites (though as we’ll see in the Cons section, you do want to be specifically aware of advanced options). Additionally – Weebly has plenty of built-in features, but it doesn’t have everything. Platforms overcome this by allowing 3rd Party apps (think the App Store or Shopify’s App Store).

            Customer Support

            For free accounts, Weebly offers an email support option and a well-done Knowledge Base. For paid accounts (even starter), they offer email, chat, AND phone. Response times for me were solid. With an all-inclusive platform, customer support is able to troubleshoot and fix any issue. This is a huge advantage of website builder platforms in general, but especially with Weebly since they have phone support. If you run your own site, you have to figure out exactly who can fix a problem before getting in touch with them. With Weebly, you just get in touch with them.

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              Product Investment & Company Structure

              One overarching trend is that a company’s structure drives product investment more than the marketing team or the product team. Even in a fast-growing market, a company’s structure and end goals will dictate how it behaves and what investments it makes. As I outlined in my Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespace structure can vary wildly among direct competitors. For years, Weebly was an independently owned and operated company going for organic growth. However, in 2018, they sold to Square – the big player in payments processing. Weebly now operates as an independent subsidiary of Square. On one hand, that could be a big downside. Acquisitions are notorious for destroying companies and value. However, this acquisition has a huge upside for one market segment – Anyone who retails online.If you are starting a website and plan on selling a few things here and there or if you have an offline presence (ie, pop-up shops) and you want to sell online, the Weebly offers a ready-made solution with tightly integrated ecommerce features that should only get better.

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