The Weebly website builder is one of the more popular solutions out there, but I often get questions as to how effective it is for scaling up.
You may have also heard that search engines are more likely to discount sites from simple website builders like Weebly, because they aren’t considered actual websites.
In terms of scaling up, you’re better off going with a WordPress site if you plan on making a website with thousands of visitors. However, Weebly serves as a nice tool for small businesses without a developer.
If you’re still wondering whether or not builders like Weebly affect your SEO, you shouldn’t have to worry about this at all. If a website delivers quality content, Google will take notice. As long as the proper SEO tools are built-in, you’re good to go.
So, now that we’ve gotten some of the bigger questions out of the way, it’s time to explore the facets of Weebly that make it special. That’s not to say that it’s all good, so continue reading to figure out if Weebly should serve as your website builder.
How Many Sites Have Been Made With This Website Builder?
Weebly claims around 20 million sites, but it’s definitely far below that. This was reported in 2014 and they most likely counted every user they ever had.
Sometimes people want to get a little more creative with their websites, so the custom code embedding enables you to be a little more advanced with your design.
Along with apps, themes and email marketing built right into the website builder, we particularly enjoy that you can also make mobile apps based on your current website. Ecommerce is constantly an option with the plans, so you don’t necessarily have to upgrade in order to try selling one or two products.
You receive a few features such as form builders, free hosting and a blogging interface that all combine together to construct a website without missing anything important.
Weebly Ease of Use
The backend designer is a drag and drop builder. it provides support for items like media, maps, forms, commerce and social buttons. It can get a little finicky sometime , but overall the dashboard serves as a simple place for beginners to learn and construct their content.
You even get welcomed with a tutorial and steps on how to complete your website. The app and theme stores are accessible directly from the designer. I like that a blog comes along with your theme, but the design formats aren’t anything crazy.
As you may have noticed in this article title, one of my favorite parts of Weebly is the pricing structure. It’s not too often you can make a site without paying anything, and even after the free plan you can continue onto a few other packages that are reasonable and feature-rich. Let’s take a look:
- Free – Pay nothing for unlimited pages and free hosting. You get a drag and drop builder and chat and email support. The problem with this one is that you don’t receive a custom domain, and your storage has a limit. Oh, and Weebly puts ads on your site.
- Starter – Pay $8 per month for all features in the previous plan, a free custom domain, unlimited storage, expanded stats, a customizable footer and the Weebly branding removed. We like this plan for small businesses. The ecommerce tools allow for up to 10 products, 3% transaction fee and a checkout on the Weebly web designer.
- Pro – Pay $12 per month for all features in the previous plan, phone support, HD video and audio players, password protected pages, site search and membership options. The ecommerce tools allow for up to 25 products, 3% transaction fee and a checkout on the Weebly website builder.
- Business – Pay $25 per month for all features in the previous plan, member registration and SSL security. The ecommerce tools allow for unlimited products, 0% transaction fee and a checkout on your own domain. You also gain access to digital goods, inventory management, shipping/tax calculator and coupon codes.
Weebly Templates and Design
Changing a theme can be done at anytime, and your content pretty much stays the same during the switch. Themes are simple, but they look gorgeous, with responsive elements and lots of space for imagery. Some of the categories are business, online store, personal, events, blog and portfolio.
Around ten templates are available in each of the categories, which seems like a good number. You also have access to older themes but they aren’t great for mobile responsiveness.
The ecommerce outlook for Weebly is grim. Although you can generate an ecommerce shop with three of the plans, the Business solution is the only reasonable one. It’s the only solution with zero transaction fees, checkout on your domain and inventory management.
That said, I would only use this as my online store maker if I was selling maybe a maximum of ten products. The price is solid, but solutions like Bigcommerce and Shopify give you much more for about the same price.
Weebly SEO and Marketing
SEO and marketing are just fine with Weebly, but we have to point out one of the newer features, which is listed under the Promote menu button.
This is a fully integrated email marketing system, meaning that you can collect email addresses from customers and send out messages for events, promotions, coupons and more. It doesn’t have the design features you’d find in MailChimp, but they look pretty nice.
Otherwise you can implement social media buttons for sharing on other builders, while also using Google Adsense. That’s about it when it comes to built-in features, but tons of marketing and SEO tools are available through the Weebly app store. For example, you can find event calendars, reviews, coupon creators and more.
Weebly Customer Support
Besides the always helpful Weebly blog, you have plenty of ways to learn about the website builder and reach out to the support team. Starting with the online documents, Weebly has a knowledge base for searching about your problems and finding solutions yourself. It’s filled with insights from past situations, and there’s even a community forum for chatting with other people just like you. Phone support is offered through some of the plans, but the main way to contact Weebly is through email. You basically submit a request and they get back to you within about 24 hours.
In my experience the Weebly team is rather knowledgeable and they are more willing to go off the script than with other systems like WIX.
As you may have already assumed, we recommend this for people who are not sure about building a website. The free option is a godsend, and you don’t have to spend much money for the plans after that. A huge ecommerce store won’t find the tools needed through Weebly, but smaller informational sites and little stores are perfect.