It’s hard not to like a site builder like Weebly, that is easy to learn and fun to use. But when it comes to your own website, ease of use isn’t everything. In this case, Weebly’s simple site editor means limited features, especially compared to other popular builders, like Wix and Squarespace. And let’s face it - those feature-rich builders are pretty easy to use as well. Could Weebly still be the right solution for your website or online shop? Read on to find out exactly what it has to offer.
Weebly Is the Easy Option, but Is It Really the Best One?
Weebly has gone through many changes in recent years, growing from a simple website builder anyone could use to create a quick site, to a professional tool with a focus on e-commerce sites.
The good news is that Weebly is still easy to use, whether you’re building a simple personal portfolio website or a full-fledged online store.
The bad news is that… well, Weebly is still easy to use.Perhaps a bit too easy. With its emphasis on ease of use, Weebly seems to have let other features fall behind. For instance, it offers fewer templates and fewer customization options than other popular site builders, like Wix and Squarespace (two of the top website builders that also provide decent e-commerce functionality). This might not be what you want when you’re building a serious e-commerce site.
That’s not to say that Weebly doesn’t have a lot to offer. It might even be the perfect solution for your website, depending on your needs and expectations.
Quality Over Quantity?
Weebly offers only 7 portfolio themes vs. Wix’s 59 portfolio templates
The selection of templates (which Weebly calls “themes”) is small, especially compared to the hundreds of options you’ll get with most leading site builders. There are just over 40 in total, and you can browse them all in the Theme Gallery before you sign up for an account. Just go to Weebly’s theme page, hover over any theme, and click “Preview” in the bottom-right corner to see it live.
I have to take my hat off to Weebly’s design team – they’ve done a great job of maintaining a clean, professional look and feel with each theme. Think crisp lines, parallax scrolling, clever use of white space, and bold, full-width banner images.
You can use your theme of choice as is, or use the drag-and-drop editor to customize it however you like. The themes are all automatically mobile-responsive, which means your site visitors will be able to view your site smoothly on mobile devices. Unlike with other site builders, you don’t have to make any special adjustments to make sure your mobile site doesn’t look messy.
In other good news, unlike Wix,Weebly allows you to change your theme whenever you want, even after you’ve hit Publish. If you’re like me and you have some trouble making up your mind, you’ll find this to be something of a relief. I especially appreciated the Recently Used section, which made it easy to switch between my favorites.
The themes are loosely organized into seven categories: Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event, Blog, and Other. I say “loosely” because many of the themes appear in more than one category, so it can be hard to keep track of which ones you’ve already previewed.
The biggest drawback to Weebly’s themes is, like I mentioned earlier, the limited selection. Moreover, unlike the Wix template gallery where you can search for templates based on your business type, Weebly only lets you scroll through their existing categories with no real search option. You’ve got the biggest selection (at least 30 themes) if you’re building a business site or online store, but if you’re looking for something more personal like a blog or portfolio, then there’s less than 20 relevant themes to choose from.
However, there’s nothing stopping you from using a business or event theme for your personal blog, or vice versa. But the bottom line is, if you go with one of Weebly’s themes, there’s a good chance you’re going to stumble across websites using the same theme as you.
This won’t matter to everyone – I personally wasn’t bothered, because I could still customize my website enough for it to feel like my own. But if you do want a design that’s more exclusive, you’ll be happy to know that there are heaps of premium Weebly themes available from third-party theme markets like ThemeForest. The only drawback is that you’ll have to pay for this template in addition to your Weebly subscription.
There’s lots to love about Weebly, particularly for business and e-commerce sites. You’ll find simple tools to help you do just about anything, from creating a membership program for your customers and scheduling appointments to adding an SSL certificate to your website.
You can transfer an existing domain to Weebly if you already have one, or create a custom domain, with any of the premium plans. On the free plan, you’re limited to a Weebly.com subdomain and there will be Weebly branding at the bottom of your site. Sure, that’s forgivable for a completely free website – but it’s worth upgrading so you can portray a more professional image.
Weebly doesn’t have as many tools and features as WordPress or Wix, so you might find yourself limited if you have a very specific idea in mind for your site. But the tools it does have are thoughtfully designed and easy to find – a nice change from the WordPress dashboard, which can be quite overwhelming.
Let’s take a closer look at some of my favorites.
1. Drag-and-Drop Page Editor
This is where Weebly gets its reputation for being so easy to use. The drag-and-drop editor lets you build your pages from scratch or customize your theme by simply clicking and dragging elements into the position you want.
There are over 25 individual elements for you to use on your site, including text boxes, images and galleries, maps, custom forms, audio and video, and social media icons.
It’s one of the best page editors to use if you’re not tech-savvy, or don’t want to spend hours fiddling around with code.
2. Built-In E-commerce
One of Weebly’s biggest strengths is its e-commerce capabilities – in part because it has been acquired by payment-processing giant Square. Weebly’s strong set of e-commerce tools makes it one of the best website builders if your primary purpose is creating an online store.
To get the best out of your online store, you’ll need to choose the highest-tier plan, which includes features like abandoned cart emails, shipping solutions, item reviews, and more. There’s a great set of ready-made e-commerce themes, and the Weebly dashboard makes managing your online store incredibly easy.
You should also know that Weebly has two website builders – one for “regular” websites and one for e-commerce websites (though that’s not immediately clear when you’re browsing the site). Both of them allow e-commerce, but there are differences.
The online store version of the builder is geared toward getting your store up and running quickly. It works on a kind of AI (artificial intelligence) basis, asking you questions about your store, your products, your brand colors, and your logo, before presenting you with a customizable website you can start adding your products to.
You can only choose the online store builder when you create a new account – if you have an existing account, you can only use the regular builder to add a store to your website. There are pros and cons to both types:
The theme editor gives you all the basic tools and elements you’d want to add to your site, but the App Center is worth checking out if you want even more functionality. Here you’ll find 350+ free and paid apps from both Weebly and a selection of third-party providers, and they can be easily installed on your site with just one click.
There’s an app for pretty much everything. You can create pricing tables, add a dedicated FAQ page, display an events calendar, accept donations, send automatic thank-you emails, and add pop-ups. You can even integrate with Facebook Messenger or other live chat software to improve your customer service experience.
A surprisingly decent selection of these are free, and I installed a few on my own site to see how they worked. It’s as easy as promised – one click to install and the app shows up in your theme editor to drag into place on your site.
Click on any of the apps in the left-hand menu and drag them to the desired place on your site
Weebly has a good range of apps to work with but if you’re used to WordPress plugins or Wix’s App Market, you’ll probably still find it lacking. For example, I couldn’t find an invoicing or billing app, which seems like a pretty basic need for e-commerce stores.
4. SEO Control
There’s no point investing in a website if nobody can find it on Google. Luckily, Weebly gives you a decent amount of control over your site’s SEO, and anything you can’t tweak from the editor can be changed using an app.
Weebly lets youoptimize every page of your site from the SEO settings. You can modify your meta title and description, URL, header and footer code, meta keywords, and image alt text – all essential if you want to rank in search engines. Your sitemap is also automatically generated for you (just add /sitemap.xml to the end of your homepage URL to see it), which makes it easy for you to submit your site directly to search engines and speed up the ranking process.
It’d be nice if you could optimize image filenames from the theme editor. Weebly doesn’t store your images when you upload them, so you have to re-upload a new image file every time you want to change something. Just a minor gripe, but it’d save so much time when you want to tweak your keyword strategy and you have dozens of images to edit.See full list of features
Ease of use
It Doesn’t Get Easier Than Weebly
I’d heard all about how easy Weebly is to use, but I was still pleasantly surprised by its beginner-friendliness and intuitive site-building process. The learning curve is practically non-existent, so even a complete newbie would be able to get a fully-functional website online in a matter of minutes, complete with online shop.
I’ve built a handful of websites in the past, but only very simple ones – just a couple of pages and certainly no e-commerce, which always seemed like more trouble than it was worth. But with Weebly, all it takes is a few clicks and your store can be up and running.
Here’s what I loved the most about using Weebly.
1. Guided Setup
There’s only a handful of steps you need to take to get going, and Weebly guides you through the process clearly from when you first sign up. You’ll need to input your website name, product categories, store address, and choose a website theme, but I like that you’re not locked into any of the decisions you make at this stage. You can change any of these at any point down the line.
You’ll also be prompted to choose a domain name, or transfer an existing one if you want to use a domain you already own.
As you’re editing your website, Weebly has an interactive step-by-step guide at the bottom-right of your screen where you can follow along and tick things off as you go.
While this feature stays automatically minimized unless you click on it, I actually prefer it that way – I’m not a fan of pop-ups and full-screen tutorials that interrupt your workflow. This way, you can easily access the guide if you want it, and it stays out of the way if you don’t.
2. No-Frills, User-Friendly Platform
The builder itself is really well-designed, with a smooth drag-and-drop interface. You don’t need to be finicky about formatting and placement – when you move an element into position, it automatically snaps into place, perfectly aligned.
Unlike with WordPress, there’s no clicking back and forth between Edit and Preview mode to see how your site will look when you hit Publish. With Weebly, whatever you see in the page editor is what your visitors will see when your site is live.
The dashboard is clear and easy to understand, and I had no trouble figuring out where everything was. From the top navigation bar, you can add and rearrange pages, change your theme, visit the App Center, tweak SEO settings, and toggle between desktop and mobile view to see how your website will look across different devices.
3. Detailed Knowledge Base
If you do happen to get stumped, Weebly’s support articles should cover everything you’d want to know. There are well over 200 articles to guide you through building your website, managing your e-commerce store, choosing and transferring a domain, and marketing your site.
I checked out a few articles to make sure I set up my online store correctly, and they’re written clearly, with screenshots to help you follow along. I was able to make sense of some of the more complicated e-commerce features, like the material cost calculator and sales tax configuration.
At the end of the day, it’s a really good thing Weebly’s support documentation is so comprehensive because as you’ll see in the next section, its in-person support leaves a lot to be desired.
Help Is Hard to Find
Oh boy. Customer support is not one of Weebly’s strong suits, let me tell you. Getting hold of a live agent is like Mission Impossible.
For starters, the support team is only available during US business hours, which is a huge hassle for anyone not based there (myself included). The website is a bit sneaky with the way they use “24/7,” because while you technically can contact them anytime, the team is only there from 6am to 6pm PST on weekdays, and 8am to 5pm PST on weekends.
But in my experience, even when you do reach out during standard business hours, you’ll be lucky to get a response.
Live Chat (Supposedly)
Here’s the thing: Weebly used to offer 24/7 live chat a few years ago. But it hasn’t been available for a while now, and much of the website and marketing still doesn’t clearly reflect that.
If you click Contact us at the very bottom of the Support Center page, you can type your message, which will allegedly be passed along to a “live” agent.
But hit Continue and you’ll be prompted to send an email instead. Note that I got this message even when I tried to contact them during their business hours.
So, I sent Weebly an email to ask the same question about whether themes were mobile-responsive or just mobile-friendly.
Four days later, I got a very generic, automated reply that briefly answered my question and directed me to a support article for more information. But the article wasn’t relevant to the topic I’d asked about, and didn’t even address themes at all.
If you’re in need of urgent help, you’re going to have some trouble getting it here.
Weebly also offers phone support to premium users. But even after I managed to line up time zones to call in the first half of the US business day, I still had no luck.
I sat on hold for almost 20 minutes and then got disconnected. If you’re not based in the US, the international call costs alone make Weebly’s phone support a pretty unviable option.
Social media isn’t listed as an official Weebly support channel, but surprisingly enough, this is where I had the best response.
A support person got back to me on the same day, and they were very polite and helpful. It was nice that they prompted me for more information (even if it was partly to gauge if I was paying customer), and that they gave me a personal answer to my question instead of just dropping a link to a support article.
Free and Paid Plans for Businesses of Every Size
Weebly offers four paid plans as well as a free option – although the plans available differ depending on where in the world you’re located.
The free plan is a great option for a basic website, and it’s also the best way to get a feel for the platform before committing to a paid plan. It comes with free hosting, 500MB storage, and access to all of Weebly’s themes, but your site will have the Weebly logo at the bottom of every page.
That’s fine for a blog or personal portfolio, but probably won’t cut it for a professional business. And if you want to set up an online store, you’ll need to upgrade in order to get the e-commerce features. (Outside the US, e-commerce isn’t even available on the free plan.)
The premium plans are affordable, especially when you pay yearly or two-yearly rather than monthly. You’ll get unlimited storage and a custom domain, as well as phone support (but as I found out, that’s nothing to get too excited about). For a full breakdown of what you get with each plan, check out our guide to Weebly pricing.
One thing I did notice when trying out Weebly is that its pricing plans and features aren’t the same worldwide. In the UK, for example, you have to be on a premium plan to sell products online, while in the US, Weebly allows you to sell on its free plans. It’s vital to check what you’re able to do with your Weebly website before you commit!
You can upgrade to a paid plan at any time from your Weebly account dashboard, as well as from the page builder itself. Payment options include Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal.
Updated Plans and Pricing for More Selling Freedom
Weebly has recently changed the names (and features) of its plans – but these don’t apply everywhere in the world, unfortunately. One of the biggest changes with Weebly plans is that if you’re based in the US, you can sell products and accept payments via Square on the free plan.
The plans on the US pricing page are Free, Personal, Professional, and Performance (instead of the Connect, Pro, Business, and Business Plus plans available in other parts of the world). I reached out to Weebly to ask if the new plans would be rolled out worldwide, but haven’t had a response yet.
Cancellations & Refunds
Canceling your account isn’t as intuitive as it should be. From your account dashboard, you need to click Manage Account and then Deactivate My Weebly Account.
The inconsistent wording makes it a bit confusing – is deactivating the same as canceling? I had to check the support articles, but yes, it is. Deactivating your account will cancel all future payments.
Weebly also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on premium plans, but you’ll need to contact them to take them up on it. When I did that, I learned the hard way that this money-back guarantee doesn’t apply to monthly plans, so be sure to keep that in mind. You’ll need to be on a yearly or two-yearly plan to get a full refund.
It would’ve been nice if that was clearer when I first signed up.
To start off totally dislike the new update I cannot see the total sales for the day, and to top it off to many clicks we should have a choice on which dashboard to use. another con is customer service is horrible I cannot get anyone on the phone and it requires some kind of code?? really I have had enough of this bad service I have not been able to contact customer support will be making a change.
I used to be with Weebly years ago and was really happy with them. I just rejoined two days ago and need support but I am not able to get support anywhere either via chat or via phone. All their links send you in a circle back to the help center which goes nowhere. If you need support go somewhere else. I subscribed to their Startup package which isn't listed below.
It is not working in so many areas: The video is malfunctioning permanent on mobile (look it up), it is partly responsive, it is slow, it is the WORST. Stay away!!!!!!! I am switching to WordPress as I am embarassed and loosing business over my Weebly business site. This is not good either in customer service.
I was on weebly for a short time and found their web interface to be very user friendly and easy to use. However, the support was so bad that and non courteous that i would never use them again. The support agents do not know the concept of listening to your questions. They assume and give you wrong information or in my last interaction with an agent named cassie she reversed my pland to a free plan out of spite.
I was facing a real problem with my news website. I sent them x3 emails and no one answered. After I called them 3 weeks later, they sent me their help page link which I was struggling to find someone to help me in it. I’m so disappointed of this service.
We love Weebly for simplicity, its so easy to use. There's still long way to go to be the major CMS on the net but the team is doing good job. Last few months editor get more features, community of users seems to grow also. Support and documentation is really bad. Market place with designs and plugins would be nice too :D If you like Weebly there's few places where you can get Premium Themes and Web Designs services like ours under http://modernwebthemes.com
Weebly is known and loved for its ease of use, and it definitely lives up to its reputation. You can build a professional, customized business website or online store in less than five minutes – without skimping on quality. Both technically and visually, Weebly websites tick all the boxes.
Wix enthusiasts may find the tools and features limiting though, with a much smaller selection of themes to choose from and the App Center missing a few essentials. You’ll also need a lot of patience to deal with customer support. I’d recommend bypassing the official support channels altogether and just going straight to social media if you want to actually speak to someone on the same day. But luckily, with how quick and simple it is to build a website with Weebly, it’s unlikely you’ll need to.