In this Weebly review, I’ll share with you the opinions I have of the Weebly website builder in comparison to other website builders and WordPress. I primarily work in WordPress with my clients and do these reviews so I know which website builders are best to send people to when WordPress isn’t a good fit.
My Weebly review is done just for the sake of educating myself and my clients. I am not paid by Weebly or any other website builder to do reviews.
Is Weebly free to use?
Yes, Weebly is free to use! However, of course, there are a LOT of things you cannot do with a free Weebly account that you are going to want and need, like your own custom domain name. But a free account will allow you to experience the drag-and-drop Weebly editor and this is really important, in my opinion, because you need to know if the software is easy to use for you, not me, you. Not other reviewers, you. There’s probably hundreds of website builders and each one functions in its own special way; some ways make more sense to me than others and the same will be true for you. So do it. Create a free Weebly account and try to do some of the things you really want to do on the site you hope to build so you can decide if you like the way it works or not. Oh, while you’re at it, email tech support (you can’t call them with a free or Starter account) when there’s something you don’t know how to do; how friendly and helpful are they? Use their support documentation and see if it makes sense. Just spend an entire afternoon trying to build your dream site with Weebly and see how you feel at the end of it all. That’s what a free account is for, in my opinion.
Would you like some free help preparing for your site? Cool. Here’s a free download I created just for you.
This guide will tell you all the things you need to know before you build your own site and, if you decide to hire someone, it will also help you hire a better someone than if you didn’t have this knowledge in advance (you know, like the first time you bought a car or house on your own and didn’t know what you were really doing…). Get my free download; it’s based on my 18 years of building websites and teaching people to build websites; you’ll be really happy you did and I promise I won’t bug the crap out of you after you download it.
How much does Weebly cost?
Weebly costs between $8.00 and $49 a month when paid annually. I’m not sure what it costs if you want to go month-to-month. I don’t like that they aren’t clear about the pricing differences, but I am sure all plans are more if you pay month-to-month. I highly recommend paying month-to-month for the first three months or so until you are sure it is meeting your needs. Why? Because some companies won’t rebate you your money if you have paid for a year upfront and then cancel somewhere in the year; this is an excellent question to ask Weebly’s sales department, actually.
How much does it cost to buy a domain name on Weebly?
Getting a domain through Weebly is free as long as you have a Starter account or higher. But here’s the thing that I want you to think about BEFORE acquiring your domain through Weebly or any other website builder: What happens when you leave Weebly (or another website builder) one day? Weebly is a website builder; that’s their main bread and butter. They aren’t saying they sell domains. Yes, you can acquire one through them if you have a Weebly account, but I am not clear if you actually get to keep the domain or how hard it is to move the domain if you leave Weebly. My advice is to go to somewhere that will let you just buy a domain name and handle your domain name and your domain-based emails through them, like GoDaddy. GoDaddy.com will let you buy a domain name and get a domain-based email account (email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org is way more professional) and they don’t care where you are hosting your website. You can connect your domain name to any website service out there when you own a domain through GoDaddy or a myriad of other domain name registrars. I like GoDaddy because I’ve used them for years. My students have used them as well. I’m from Arizona and GoDaddy is based in Arizona. I contracted with them for the better part of a year recently and saw what things were like from the inside and still liked them. So sure, there are tons of other options out there, but GoDaddy is my preferred choice.
Pros and cons of Weebly
- Weebly websites, like all sites built using any of the website builders, are challenging to transfer to another provider. You’ll basically need to rebuild your site from scratch. Blech.
- You are working with a very specialized product, Weebly. So getting a pro to help you will likely mean you need to work directly with Weebly rather than finding someone on your own and not being tied to them exclusively.
- If you do want to sell on your website, your site isn’t secure until you level up to the Business account ($25 a month if you pay for a year at one time). This means when someone purchases from you, they get sent to a different URL to complete the process rather than staying on your site. People buying stuff online are fussy; I do all I can to make them feel as comfortable and safe as possible, so I really don’t want them being sent to a purchasing URL.
- For $8.00 a month you can have a website with a shopping cart that has up to 10 products. You may not know this, but that is really a great deal. Oh, and they handle the transactions for you as well. Again, you might not know this, but when you have to deal with your own setup of PayPal or Stripe or some payment gateway get ready to say hello to headaches. I guess that counts as two Pros :)
- If you do want a pro to help you, they are ready for you.
Get my free download before you talk with Weebly so you have your ducks in a row and you’ll probably save yourself some money, have a much better site, and a quicker website build from start to finish.
- You can have a membership site! You have to go up to the Pro account to get this feature ($12 a month), but if you are playing with the idea of having some members-only stuff, like an online course, this could be a great way to get that started without much hassle or expense. That’s super exciting.
- You can edit your site from your mobile device! That’s nice. I would never do this, but some of you peeps who do everything on your tablet or phone will probably love this feature. I’m more of a three-monitor, two computers sort of website developer; the very thought of working on a mobile device pretty much causes me an anxiety attack, but I am pretty sure there are some out there that will love this feature. To me, more than anything, this tells me Weebly is trying out ways to meet their audience’s needs and to stay current. Nice job, Weebly.
- Weebly lets you edit your photos in their editor! I love this. Again, it’s probably something I wouldn’t use because I use Photoshop. BUT I have a ton of clients that would truly, truly appreciate being able to adjust their photo from within their site instead of having to learn yet another tool to edit their images, like Canva or PicMonkey.
- Hey, guys! Weebly’s templates are all free! I love, love, love this. Some website builders have free and premium themes. Not here. Also, if you are a bit of a code nerd, you can dig into their HTML and CSS for the theme and modify it a bit.
- Yes, all Weebly themes are mobile-friendly. This means they change size and appearance based on the device you are using. All website builders should be this way. All. It is bad user experience and knocks your site down in search results if your website doesn’t change to accommodate the device.
- Since I code websites, I look at the behind-the-scenes code when I am evaluating a website builder. I like things to be as clean as possible because it is very good for search engines and for screen reader devices for people who can’t surf the web without assistance. Weebly’s back-end code looks okay. Drag-and-drop editors are usually a bit bloated with code due to the way the editors have to function in order to allow us, the users, to drag and drop. I didn’t see anything that was unusual or “bad,” so yeah, I’ll conclude this Weebly review by saying that I would feel good about sending someone over to Weebly to build a website.
Click here to grab my free download to help you get all your ducks in a row before your build your site. Even though I made it for people who are getting ready to hire a web pro, 80% of it will help you if you are building your site on your own.