Website Builder

Weebly Review 2022: One of the Best Website Builders?

Author
Martin Gschwentner
Last update

Dragging and dropping instead of programming: Weebly is just one of many website builders asserting that it goes furthest in facilitating website creation. In theory, the amount of time that this frees up should allow you to devote more of your energy to what matters most, namely, your website's content. In this review, we'll check whether the platform is as easy to use as its developers claim, as well as how it matches up with the other services we've assessed.

What Is Weebly?

Weebly is a website builder and hosting service based in San Francisco that has helped create more than 50 million websites. In 2018, the service was purchased by Square Inc., a financial services company, to augment its e-commerce portfolio. Weebly aims to provide customers with the best of both website creation and e-commerce in a user-friendly interface.

In order to find out how well Weebly fares we put its site builder to the test.

Review

Review
4.2 / 5
09/2022
good
Visit Website
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
4.7 / 5
Features
4.3 / 5
Support
4.3 / 5
Configuration & Usability
4.0 / 5
Templates & Design
3.7 / 5
1.

Pros and Cons

Convenient and intuitive drag and drop interface

Excellent mobile app for tinkering with your site from anywhere

App center for third-party extensions and add-ons

Powerful e-commerce features

Limited personalization

Little variety among design themes

2.

Configuration and Usability

You won't need long to find your feet with Weebly. Since the service is available for free, after registering (for which you won't need to input any payment information), you'll be taken directly to the user dashboard. In the main navigation menu to the left, you'll be able to manage your website(s) and products, should you be offering any of the latter. Contacting support, purchasing upgrades, and tweaking account settings are all possible through the upper menu bar.

New users are walked through the first few steps of designing a website in a brief tutorial.

You'll be able to find everything you're looking for in Weebly's tidy dashboard, with the tutorial walking you through the first steps of using the service.

To get started, click on "Add a website" in the right of the upper menu. Then, you'll need to answer a few basic questions, such as whether you want a standard website or one with store capabilities. If you plan on the latter, you'll be asked if you have already made sales, and if so, what sorts of products you've sold.

Following this, you'll be asked for your physical address (for tax purposes), after which your site will be good to go.

To start creating a website with Weebly, you'll need to answer a few basic questions.

Before you can begin detailing your site, you'll need to select from one of several ready-made themes. After a brief preview, you can switch to the editor, and start building. Weebly embraces the "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) principle, which means that the design you see in the editor, is that which users of your site will be shown once it's published.

To the left, you'll find content blocks that can be integrated into your site by dragging and dropping them.

Drag and drop - with limitations

In the editor, elements are arranged like blocks and can be moved around by dragging and dropping them. With Weebly, you'll literally drag blocks out of the menu., Unlike with Wix though, you can't position them freely, but rather to preset areas, in a manner similar to Squarespace. Unfortunately, the editor was a bit clunky to use and we weren't always sure where a particular element would wind up.

Alongside the usual suspects such as text, images, and slideshows, you can also move audio and video content blocks, newsletter forms, and even entire sections, like a team page, or restaurant menu.

Depending on which content block you've selected, you'll be able to choose from a variety of design styles.

Using the upper menu bar, you can manage and arrange your site's pages, changing themes and fonts, as well as alternating between mobile and desktop views. Here, you'll also find an extensive app center for third-party extensions and add-ons, something which other website builders might want to include in their offerings.

Smart app for on the go

Android or iOS users won't have to limit site-building with Weebly to a laptop or PC, since a simplified app version of the desktop editor, offering the same drag and drop functionality, is available. Because its interface is very similar to that of the main editor, getting used to Weebly's mobile app takes no time at all.

Few other website builders from our sample facilitate working on a website on the go to the same extent that Weebly's mobile app does. As a result, those who value tinkering from anywhere should keep Weebly in mind.

Using Weebly's mobile app, you can manage your website from anywhere.

Overall, Weebly is easy enough to use, offering a fairly intuitive platform for website design according to the WYSIWYG principle. The user interface has a few areas for improvement: As just one example, there's no button for undoing the last action you took or change you made.

Being unable to freely arrange the on-screen elements has both advantages and disadvantages, however, the editor's design does not appear to have followed a cohesive strategy. Apart from these issues, a few of the areas, such as that for uploading images, look slightly dated.

Score: 4 / 5

3.

Features

Even the vanilla version of Weebly (without any external apps) comes loaded with features. This is important since the difference between a good site builder and a poor one comes largely down to how well their editors perform, and here, Weebly does quite a bit right. You'll find plenty of different content blocks; menus and sub-menus can be easily configured in the side menu and arranged into any sort of hierarchy you'd like. And, should anything be missing, you can take a digital stroll through the well-stocked App Center.

360 apps in the App Center

The 360 apps available as of the time of writing are divided into four categories, with a search function easing your quest. Available extensions include those that add testimonials, forum widgets, or customer service chats to your page.

Like in every app center, you'll need to sniff out the 'good' extensions largely by trial and error. Perhaps helping somewhat is that Weebly's app center is not nearly so crowded as those of WordPress or Wix.

External apps available in Weebly are grouped into one of four categories.

Solid blogging features

Weebly offers good support for those interested in blogging. To get started, click on the "Pages" tab and configure your site as a blog. A menu bar is pinned to the bottom of your blog which helps in managing it and creating new entries. These can be edited in the same fashion as regular pages using drag and drop and content blocks.

Under blog settings, you can specify how many entries are displayed per page and whether comments should be displayed or not. Facebook or Disqus integrations are also available if desired. In addition, you can insert user-defined HTML code in the page header or footer.

Should you want multiple authors to have access rights to the blog, you can add them in the editor. During our last assessment, this feature wasn't present.

Weebly scores thanks to its good support for blogging.

Multiple languages - an unnecessary hassle

Unfortunately, Weebly makes the creation of websites with multiple languages far more complicated than a number of its competitors do, foremost among them, 1&1 IONOS. To do this, you'll need to create a copy of your entire website, linking each individual page to its other localization(s). While perhaps not a problem for static sites, if you plan on undertaking fairly regular updates, this will become time-consuming fairly quickly. As an alternative, a paid extension is available from the App Center.

As noted at the beginning, even Weebly vanilla offers its users an impressive array of features, which can be augmented with additional tools from the App Center. While Weebly has upped its support for blogging since our last assessment, those looking to create multiple language localizations of a website will have to resort to a time-consuming workaround or pay for an external app. Neither option is ideal, particularly considering that several of Weebly's competitors include these capabilities in their vanilla versions.

Score: 4.3 / 5

4.

Templates & Design

With 57 different themes (as of the time of writing), Weebly offers a solid, albeit not an all too expansive choice. Compounding the issue, the themes are not as diverse as those which WordPress or others provide, and all look very similar.

Weebly seems to embrace sleek, stylish designs, which are well-suited for large images and setting clear divisions between content blocks, both of which are a necessity for successful scrolling site navigation. If you're looking for this kind of theme, you'll be very pleased with what Weebly offers, however, we prefer more variety.

Weebly's template offering could be greater and more varied.

Once you've selected a design, you can further personalize it via the upper toolbar. Here too, your options are fairly limited, and you'll only have a free hand in terms of the color scheme and font.

For anyone with programming knowledge, it is possible to add more oomph to the default templates by modifying the page through HTML or CSS. There also exist online marketplaces for self-created Weebly themes, which can be imported.

Coding knowledge comes in handy with Weebly, as this makes it possible to customize your website and themes to a far greater extent.

Weebly comes with visually-appealing themes, but after a while, these all blur together. This lack of variety ultimately shows rather poorly when set against what templates Weebly's competitors offer. Drag and drop functionality in the editor means that so long as you can look past the somewhat limited choice of templates, you'll have a fairly easy time putting your site together. This is aided by the ability to import elements or work directly with your site's source code, both of which do permit some degree of customization.

Score: 3.7 / 5

5.

Marketing, SEO & E-Commerce

In terms of e-commerce, Weebly flexes its capabilities, due, in no small part to its parent company, the payment processing provider, Square Inc. In the store dashboard it's possible to add products, with the service helping you to set prices and configure additional settings, should you be so inclined.

Variations of your products, such as in terms of color or size, can be integrated and displayed to customers as drop-down menus or option fields. Entire sets of options can be saved, which comes in handy should you have the same variations for multiple products in your catalog. With Weebly, you can even grant customers the ability to personalize or modify an item, by adding text (for example). The sale of digital products is also possible.

Weebly's extensive e-commerce features make it an excellent choice for anyone looking to open a store online.

Even though it's possible to add products in Weebly's editor, store management takes place entirely in the platform's dashboard. There, you'll be able to keep tabs on your orders, check statistics related to page visitors, and much more. Additional settings for tax, shipping costs, and payment options can also be configured here. For the latter, PayPal and Stripe for credit cards and digital wallets can be integrated.

Comprehensive marketing suite

Beyond this, Weebly also offers plenty of options for promoting your store: It's possible to add gift cards and coupons, launch sales, and allow customer reviews and ratings. You can also set when customers should receive emails from your shop, and what these emails should say. When it comes to email marketing most site builders offer a few token features - thankfully, Weebly goes far beyond this.

To access these (as well as most of the e-commerce features), you'll need to purchase a Weebly subscription, but more on that below in the "Pricing" section of this review.

Email marketing remains one of the most popular methods to encourage sales.

SEO & Analytics

Search engine optimization (SEO) settings can be accessed in the page menu for any page you've made in Weebly. Using this, it's possible to add page titles, descriptions, meta keywords, and specify URLs. Unfortunately, no tools are offered that make SEO easier for less-experienced users.

Paying Weebly subscribers can view visitor and other statistics in the "Reports" area. Google Analytics and other trackers can also be readily integrated if desired.

As a platform for creating a web business, Weebly does almost everything right, impressing with its versatile marketing and sales tools, all of which can be at your fingertips, so long as you're ready to pay for them.

Score: 4.7 / 5

6.

Customer Support

Weebly's Support Center includes an extensive knowledgebase, a blog, forum, and so-called "Inspiration Center". In the last of these, experts write about specific topics, making it a sort of second blog.

When it comes to support, Weebly's thoroughness is impressive.

Live support is offered seven days a week from 6 AM to 6 PM (US Pacific Time) on weekdays and from 3 AM to 3 PM (US Pacific Time) on weekends. Should you have a question or issue outside of business hours, you can send an email. During testing, we received an answer to our email query within four hours.

In total, Weebly shines in terms of support, offering a great deal more than its competitors.

Score: 5 / 5

7.

Pricing

A free version of Weebly, including all editor features, is offered, however, this limits users to a less-than-aesthetic Weebly subdomain, all the while restricting access to a number of premium tools and metrics. Anyone who wants their own domain will need to book one of the four paid packages (Connect, Starter, Pro, and Business). Each of these comes with a free domain for a year, as well as an SSL certificate. Storage space is limited in the Connect package to 500 MB, however, unlimited in all other plans.

Beyond that, as the subscription package of each price increases, so does the number of features it includes. Beginning with the Starter package, you can remove ads from your site and view page statistics. Pro subscribers can integrate a search bar into their site, password-protect pages, and display video backgrounds.

The Business package is an absolute must for larger online stores, since it is the only package that allows subscribers to make unlimited sales, and to do so without transaction fees to boot.

All pricing plans can be purchased on a monthly, yearly, or two-year basis, the last of which is considerably more affordable (per month) than the other two options.

Below, we've provided an overview of Weebly's current pricing:

FreePersonalProfessional
Pricing
Set-up fee $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Effective monthly price $0.00 from $6.00 from $12.00
Contract period (months) 0 1 - 12 1 - 12
Included
Space (GB) 0.5 0.5 unlimited
Pages unlimited unlimited unlimited
Traffic (GB) unlimited unlimited unlimited
Custom domain
Domains included 0 0 1
Features
Free of ads
SSL encryption
Blog
Ecommerce
Multilingual sites

And how does Weebly stack up against the rest of our sample? In the table below, we compared the yearly subscription price for the most affordable package offered by each provider which includes a unique domain and is ad-free. Based on these criteria, Weebly is one of the pricier options:

1&1 IONOS
Starter
$36.00
Visit Website
Strikingly
Limited
$78.00
Visit Website
Webador
Pro
$84.00
Visit Website
Webnode
Mini
$90.00
Visit Website
Jimdo
Dolphin Start
$96.00
Visit Website
SITE123
Basic
$101.40
Visit Website
GoDaddy
Basic
$113.88
Visit Website
Wix
Combo
$120.00
Visit Website
Weebly
Professional
$144.00
Visit Website
Webflow
Website Basic
$144.00
Visit Website
Squarespace
Personal
$168.00
Visit Website

You can test all of Weebly's basic features for no charge with its free version. In addition, all paid subscriptions come with a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

Conclusion

Review
4.2 / 5
09/2022
good
Visit Website
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
4.7 / 5
Features
4.3 / 5
Support
4.3 / 5
Configuration & Usability
4.0 / 5
Templates & Design
3.7 / 5

Weebly is a powerful website builder that makes site creation easy thanks to its intuitive editor. With it, you can tinker around with your site even if you don't have any knowledge of programming, while business owners have a variety of highly versatile e-commerce tools put at their fingertips. Weebly also stands out owing to its nifty mobile app, which makes site building from practically anywhere much easier than other services.

Turning to the negatives, we'd like to see greater variety in terms of templates and a more free-form drag and drop editor, so that stores, in particular, can be customized more readily.

Apart from these issues, there's little about Weebly that we take issue with: The website builder is an excellent choice for beginners lacking in programming knowledge, as well as anyone who wants to easily create a store online.

Weebly Website Builder Test
Weebly Website Builder
(142,704)
free beginners plan
intuitive drag-and-drop editor
great mobile app
powerful e-commerce features
limited customization
With its intuitive drag-and-drop functionality and an unrivaled smartphone app for mobile website building, Weebly makes homepage creation easy even for beginners.
Space
0.5 - ∞
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
100+
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
Weebly Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Try for Free
Review
4.2 / 5
good

Customer Ratings

In most review aggregators that we consulted, Weebly was among the best performing site builders. Most commended was its ease of use, with a majority of reviewers appearing to be beginners lacking any background in programming. On Trustpilot, reviews were mixed, with some complaining about poor customer support and recurring usage issues.

Review
4.4 / 5
142,704 Ratings
good
We analyzed the reviews and ratings from various portals and found 142,704 ratings with an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 .
Show sources

Alternatives

Most of Weebly's competitors share its focus on simple and intuitive site builders for users lacking in programming knowledge. One of these, Squarespace offers similar drag and drop functionality, enhanced personalization, as well as templates that are more aesthetically pleasing.

Should you want even more creative freedom, look no further than Wix, where drag and drop is taken very literally and page elements can be arranged and moved at will.

Further alternatives to Weebly can be found here:

1&1 IONOS MyWebsite Test
1&1 IONOS MyWebsite
(29,167)
24/7 phone support
supports multilingual sites
powerful editor
large, established provider
lots of templates, average quality
1&1 IONOS MyWebsite makes getting started a little more complicated, but rewards hobbyists without programming skills with a variety of design options for unique websites.
Space
unlimited
Domains
1 domain
Templates
400+
Contract Period
1 - 12 months
1&1 IONOS Starter
$3.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days risk-free
Review
4.4 / 5
good
Webflow Website Builder Test
Webflow Website Builder
(647)
mix of CMS & website builder
almost infinite possibilities
learning platform "Webflow University"
good ecommerce integration
somewhat steep learning curve
Webflow requires an understanding of programming logic and is less suitable for beginners. As a hybrid of website builder and CMS, it offers its target group countless possibilities to create user-friendly dynamic websites.
Space
unlimited
Domains
0 domains
Templates
30+
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
Webflow Starter
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Start for Free
Review
4.3 / 5
good
SITE123 Website Builder Test
SITE123 Website Builder
(6,984)
free plan for beginners
clean editor, easy to use
great customer support
good blogging and e-commerce features
limited customization options
Space
0.5 - 270 GB
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
200+
Contract Period
0 - 36 months
SITE123 Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Try for Free
Review
4.0 / 5
good
Author (German Version): Martin Gschwentner
Martin Gschwentner majored in American Studies and Media Studies in Germany, the USA and France and works as a freelance editor in Paris. He is a doctoral student at the Institute for English and American Studies at the University of Paris Diderot, where he is researching the influence of money on US politics. On EXPERTE.com he writes about IT security, data protection and software for the self-employed and small businesses.
Translator & Editor: D Bare
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