Review of Weebly: intuitive website builder

Review of Weebly: intuitive website builder

Weebly is an intuitive website builder that also offers a free version. You are able to create and publish websites, blogs, and online stores with a responsive design that are attractive, but the platform could use more themes and a better photo repository.

Overview of Weebly: pros and cons


  • Themes with enticing designs that are also responsive.
  • Complete commercial capabilities, including the capacity to sell downloadable products.
  • Including various site statistics.
  • Enables you to change themes without having to rebuild your website.
  • Transfers of data are unlimited across all plans.
  • Excellent uptime.
  • Free tier.


  • Small amount of theme customization.
  • Absence of reusable photo storage.
  • There is no undo functionality across the entire user interface.
  • Tested customer service is slow to respond.

Weebly from Square, which should not be confused with Squarespace, continues to be a formidable competitor in the market for website builders that are accessible online. The site-creation tool is remarkable because of its clean and straightforward user interface, which makes it incredibly easy to create responsive websites that also look great. In addition, Weebly's numerous, appealing template designs and integrated e-commerce tools offer good site-creation flexibility, particularly for mobile sites. These features can be found on the Weebly platform. Unfortunately, Square does not have a universal undo button or the capability to reuse images that have been uploaded, and it only allows for limited customization of the theme.

The Free and Paid Plans on Weebly

Your email address and a password are all that are required for you to get started with the construction of your Weebly site. In contrast to Squarespace, Weebly does offer a free tier for its users. The free option will, of course, have some restrictions attached to it. Your website will have a maximum file size of 10 megabytes, just 500 megabytes of storage space, a domain name based on Weebly, and Square ads. On the bright side, unlimited monthly data transfers are included in all of Weebly's pricing plans.

The Weebly branding will be removed from your site, you will be able to connect a custom domain name, sell digital goods, and make use of a shipping calculator if you upgrade to the Personal plan, which costs $9 per month. The Professional account adds unlimited storage, a free domain name, site search, password protection for up to 100 site members, and improved site stats. The cost of the Professional account is $16 per month. You'll be able to sell an unlimited number of products, accept payments via PayPal, enable customers to leave product reviews, print shipping labels, and get priority customer service if you upgrade to a Performance account, which costs $29 per month. The performance tier of Weebly is the plan to go with if you want to sell products through your website. Finally, the Premium tier can be purchased for a one-time fee of $79 and includes additional business features such as real-time shipping as well as reduced processing rates to assist businesses in expanding their operations.

When you begin the process of building with Weebly, the first decision you will need to make is whether or not you want to sell items on your website. After you have made that determination, the next step is to select a format. There is not a questionnaire that can assist you in narrowing down your options, nor is there a system of tags that you can search through, as there is in Squarespace. Weebly, on the other hand, consists of a few different categories, such as Blog, Business, and Portfolio. Weebly's selection of website themes is significantly less extensive than those provided by Squarespace or Wix, which was selected as Editors' Choice.

Weebly is not like other website builders in that it does not allow you to preview your site on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. On the bright side, Weebly's themes sport attractive, contemporary designs, and you can switch between them without having to rebuild your website from the ground up, as you would have to do with Squarespace 7.1. The recommendation of the editors You can also change templates without having to rebuild your website using Gator.

Many website builders will have you fill out a form early on in the process of creating your website. This form will contain your fundamental business and contact information, which will then be incorporated into the design of your website. Weebly, on the other hand, requires that you either manually enter the business information into pages or activate this feature in the Settings menu.

Website Design Tools

The editor provided by Weebly is uncluttered and simple to read, and it features a top bar that is gray and allows users to manage pages and change settings such as the category or name of their website. You can drag and drop elements onto your site in the edit window from a panel that is dark gray in color and houses site elements. This panel is located on the left side of the editor. When you make selections from the menu that runs across the top of the screen, the panel will switch between its various function modes. These modes include Build, Pages, Theme, Store, Apps, Settings, and Help. You are presented with a large orange button that encourages you to upgrade from a free account to a paid account, and a blue button that allows you to publish the website that you are building.

You have the ability to add any and all common elements to the page of your website, such as text boxes, images, maps, separators, and media. The latter includes video, audio, and document files; however, only the Professional, Performance, and Premium tiers have access to the ability to insert audio and high-definition video. There are also components for polls, surveys, and RSVP forms in addition to feeds and forums. If what you're looking for isn't currently available, you might be able to locate it in the Apps section; further information on this can be found below.

Weebly, much like Squarespace (but not Wix), does not exactly give you the freedom to just drag and drop elements on the page wherever you like. During testing, the object that we attempted to drag to a specific location frequently jumped to a different location on the page that was roughly where we wanted it to be. When you move the mouse cursor away from the toolbar in the direction of the right, it disappears, allowing you to see more of the website you're designing. If you drag a button that belongs to a premium object onto your page, you will see a message requesting that you upgrade your account. These buttons are denoted by an orange lightning icon.

The Section element provides a means by which a content area can be added, into which additional objects can be dropped. The layout of a Section can be one of five different types: gallery, contact, menu, featured, or team. Alternatively, a Section can be a free-form rectangle. Team is the typical name given to the staff profile page that can be found on corporate websites; the rest of the pages speak for themselves. When you want to resize a Section, you can do so by dragging the top or bottom of the element upwards or downwards. This is something that, surprisingly, you cannot do with many elements; however, you can use the Space element to resize areas.

There are not many options available for customizing the theme. You have the ability to modify the text in specific sections; more specifically, you can change the font, color, spacing, and size of any text type, and you can generally select from a selection of limited color options. You are able to customize the color scheme of the website design template in the majority of website builders, including Squarespace. The upside to these restrictions is that you are free to switch themes whenever you like without having to start over and construct the website from scratch.

Managing Pages

When you select Pages from the main menu bar at the top of the page, a sidebar will appear on the screen where you can add pages to the website. This is something that we appreciate because it does not remove you from the preview page of your website. You have the option of selecting a standard page, blog page, store page, or page that links to an external website. The way that clicking on navigation elements in the Weebly builder takes you to the desired location is another feature that we appreciate. You are required to navigate using the sidebar when using Wix. Wix, on the other hand, gives you the ability to do some cool things that aren't built into Weebly at all, such as animate the text that would seem in your title and use backgrounds that are image carousels.

Unfortunately, Weebly does not have an Undo feature for site changes such as adding elements or changing the theme. This is in stark contrast to Wix, which has a full history feature that enables users to revert their entire website to an earlier version of itself. Weebly, on the other hand, provides buttons labeled Undo and Redo for editing simple text entries. Both Wix and Duda have permanent undo and redo buttons for everything you do in the builder. With Wix, you can undo a box resizing by pressing Ctrl-Z, for example. Duda also has these buttons.

We like how Weebly, similar to Wix, allows you to enter text directly on the page rather than in a sidebar. Squarespace and a few other platforms still require you to do this, but Weebly does not. But Wix goes one step further by providing options for editing text and replacing images via a context menu that appears when you right-click. Wix even allows you to add animation to the objects on your website!

Images and Apps

You can navigate to the App Center by clicking the Apps button on the toolbar. Once there, you'll find more than 350 widgets to add to your site; some of them are free, while others require payment. These work much like WordPress plug-ins in that they extend the capabilities of your site. To incorporate a Frequently Asked Questions app into our Weebly website, all that was required of us was to grant the app access to our Weebly account. This process is analogous to authorizing a web app with Facebook. After they have been added, your apps will be found in the Installed Apps section. The quality of the apps is variable, much like that of WordPress; some of the apps that we tested had tutorials, while others did not.

Other apps such as Facebook Chat, Printful, and Privy are also available, and they fall into the categories of eCommerce, Marketing, or Social apps respectively. Weebly offers a widget selection that is comparable to that of Wix in terms of the total number of options. Wix's apps, on the other hand, are more seamlessly integrated and simpler to navigate.

It is possible that the lack of online storage for your site's images and videos, which would allow you to reuse them, is one of the most significant drawbacks of Weebly. Instead, you are required to save the images on your local computer and then re-upload them each time you want to use them in a different context. The exception to this rule are the backgrounds, which appear on more than one page. Wix, Duda, and Squarespace are all examples of website builders that provide an online repository for your image files.

Weebly is equipped with excellent image editing shops. You can change the brightness, contrast, and color saturation of the image, as well as apply over two dozen Instagram-style filters that are adjustable. You also have the option of adding text to your image, in addition to choosing between a linear or circular focus effect. The fact that the last tool is only a circle is a drawback because it makes it difficult to contour it to a particular face. With the integration of Aviary's online image editing tools, Squarespace and Wix provide users with access to a more comprehensive set of photo editing tools.

Using the enticing gallery widget that Weebly provides, you are able to upload multiple images at once. In addition, it is simple to link an image to either an internal or an external resource. Wix not only allows you to access your photos from other online sources, such as Flickr and Facebook, but it also provides stock photography for you to use (as Squarespace also does). You can search for images on Flickr using Weebly's image search, but it is up to you to determine whether or not those images are licensed and who should receive credit for them. You are able to mark these images as favorites, but you are unable to do so for images that you have uploaded yourself.

Publishing and blogging

The blogging interface provided by Weebly is just as simple to use as the rest of its site builder. A New Post button will appear at the bottom of any page of the Blog type that you create. You are able to drag and drop any element from the sidebar into your blog post; however, Weebly can be a little cumbersome in this regard. Because there are no predefined templates for blogs, every time you want to use text, images, or galleries, you will need to drag and drop them into place. You have the ability to exercise control over social sharing and commenting, and comments are organized into threads and can be deleted with ease.

You have the ability to add tags to your posts on Weebly, and before you publish them, you can save them as drafts. You also have the option of setting posts to automatically announce themselves on your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Weebly does a better job of presenting the archive and categories list, in addition to providing badges for Flickr and LinkedIn. Wix provides a few more blog-related widgets, such as tag clouds and featured posts, but Weebly offers Flickr and LinkedIn badges. Both of these services will, on their own, generate RSS feeds for your blogs.

When you click the Publish button, your Weebly site will go live. Because changes are saved on their own, there is no need for a Save button to be present. In contrast to this, Wix necessitates that you click "Save" after making any changes to your website if you want them to be permanent. Your preferred method of operation should determine which option you go with. Weebly, in contrast to other website builders such as 1&1 IONOS, does not immediately publish your changes after you make them, thereby allowing you to retain the option to change your mind. Another advantage of using Weebly is that, similar to Wix, it enables multiple editors to collaborate simultaneously on a single website. Sending an email and indicating whether your co editor should have full Admin rights, Author rights, or Dashboard-only rights is all that is required to set it up.

Ecommerce for Your Website

Weebly's paid users have access to a comprehensive suite of e-commerce tools, which they can use to add page types like Store and Product to their websites. Even products from Etsy, Shopify, or a CSV file can be imported into your store. You can begin accepting payments through Square and Stripe, in addition to PayPal, once you upgrade to the Performance plan. Inventory tracking and notifications when a shopping cart is abandoned are both included in the builder; however, the latter feature requires a top-tier Performance account to access. Weebly, in contrast to Simvoly, Squarespace, and Wix, levies an additional transaction fee of 2.9 percent (plus an additional $0.30 per transaction) on top of the fees that are levied by the payment processor.

The Store builder includes all of the components that you would anticipate, such as a shopping cart, sale prices, invoices, coupons, sizes, and colors. E-commerce components are available within the page editor. Weebly enables you to sell digital downloads, just like Squarespace does; however, you will need a Personal account to do so. Weebly gives you the ability to mass-edit or delete products, as well as redesign product categories. In addition to that, it gives your customers the ability to review the products you sell.

You can add an additional (albeit typically insignificant) stream of revenue to your Weebly pages by pasting AdSense advertisements on them. You can authorize Weebly to use your AdSense account through a feature of the integrated setup that is very simple to use (or even create a new one).

Weebly's paid account tiers come with an integrated newsletter email feature called Promote, and the platform includes a component that allows site visitors to subscribe to the newsletter. Weebly will notify you of any new subscribers by sending an email to the admin email address associated with your account whenever a new user registers. The email marketing tool is simple to operate and provides a versatile means of spreading the word; it can even make suggestions for sending out mail blasts when you have a product that is currently on sale.

Designing Mobile Websites

A mobile site creation strategy that is comparable to Squarespace's is offered by Weebly. On the basis of the template for your site, it will automatically generate a mobile website that is both attractive and responsive. Weebly, much like Duda and Wix, provides a button that, when clicked, takes you to the mobile site editing screen. The responsive designs offered by Weebly do look fantastic on mobile devices, and they even have the capability to completely cover the background with an image; however, this comes at the expense of the website's ability to be customized.

Weebly is far ahead of most of its competitors in terms of delivering touch-friendly, drag-and-drop supporting apps for building websites on both Android and iOS. The Weebly app even has an associated Apple Watch app that sends notifications to your wrist whenever there is activity on your website or in your online store. Jimdo also offers an app; however, the number of page elements that can be added using the app is restricted. You can edit ecommerce features and blog with the Wix app, but it does not offer site creation or design edits like the Weebly app does. In any event, the iPad is not an ideal device for editing the layout of a website. It can be challenging to make certain edits on an iOS device, for instance, because the operating system has its own preconceived notions regarding what should occur when you long-press on an image.

Mobility and Analytics

Weebly is the only website builder that provides its users, even free users, with access to some site-activity stats, in contrast to Wix and Virb. Users with free accounts can view the number of page views and unique visitors for each day of the month, but users with upgraded accounts (beginning with the Professional tier) can view the search terms that were used to access the site as well as the top-visited pages and referring sites.

You are able to transfer a Weebly-created website to another hosting service, which is a significant benefit of using Weebly and a feature that sets it apart from almost all other online site builders. Weebly allows you to email an HTML copy of your site by downloading it as a ZIP archive file from the editor's Settings page. This file contains all of your site's HTML. This indicates that you are able to transfer the website to a regular web hosting service. Even though this much is not possible with Squarespace or Wix, this does not include some of the interactive features such as your storefront and comments. This capability is a significant differentiator, and it is something you should give some thought to if you do not want your website to be bound to a single service.

Support for Customers

Weebly provides a comprehensive knowledge base that contains hundreds of articles to assist you, but in the event that you require additional assistance, the service also provides round-the-clock online chat as well as email support. By default, you will be directed to an online bot that will make every effort to guide you in the direction of a particular article. Every day, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), the Customer Success Team can be reached through chat or email. Unfortunately, it took a representative a full half an hour to get back to us after we asked a question. By that time, we were actually engaged in work in a different tab, so we did not see the response. We have an understanding of the reasoning behind why they want you to use the bot.

Website Reliability

The percentage of time that a website is accessible to users is one of the most essential elements of a hosting service. If your website is down, potential clients and customers won't be able to locate you or get access to the goods or services you offer.

Over the course of a week and a half, we monitored the availability of the test website that we had hosted on Weebly by using a tool that monitors websites. The tool will ping our website once every 15 minutes, and if it is unable to make contact with the site for at least one minute, it will send an email notification. Weebly was monitored for a period of two weeks and did not experience a single instance of downtime during that time period, as evidenced by the test data. Therefore, you can have faith that Weebly will serve as the basis for your website.

Weebly Is a Good Option

Weebly is still one of the most user-friendly website builders, despite the fact that it does not offer an undo function for the entire site or a place to store uploaded photos. It is one of the very few similar services that we've reviewed that allows you to export standard site code, and it provides a number of free customization options. The responsive designs have a nice appearance, but they do not allow for much design customization. However, our Editors' Choice website builders, Duda and Wix, have an advantage over it because they are easier to use and have a greater number of features.

Weebly is a user-friendly website builder that also provides a free plan. It gives you the ability to create and publish websites, blogs, and online stores with an attractive and responsive design; however, it could use more themes and a better photo repository.