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Weebly Review

Weebly is the extremely easy to use— it's what I recommend to anyone who doesn't feel tech savvy. What surprises though, is that Weebly is also one of the most flexible website builders— it's hard to be flexible and easy to use. Watch Video Review »

My work is supported by affiliate commissions. Last Updated Mar 13 2018


User Experience

Weebly is really easy to use— it's what I recommend to anyone who doesn't feel tech savvy. What surprises though, is that Weebly is also one of the most flexible website builders— it's surprising because it's hard to be both flexible and easy to use.

The Weebly editor is a lesson in straightforward UI design.

Right: The Weebly editor is a lesson in straightforward UI design.

Pages are built by dropping elements (text, images, maps) into the body of a page. From there, elements can be dragged and re-arranged into columns and rows. Each element comes with plenty of customization options— for example, the map element includes handy options for controlling markers, adjusting the zoom and setting longitude and longitude markers.

Right: Dragging two paragraph elements into a column.

There are also pre-designed sections that you can add to pages. Sections are for content that requires several elements— for example a contact section or a team listing section. There aren't too many sections to choose from— but it's always nice to have the option.

Right: Adding a section.

Weebly is the only website builder offering an app store— which they call the App Center. App Center apps add new functionality to your website— for example, Simple Table adds a table element and Schedulista lets your visitors book appointments. App Center is a great way to keep Weebly's core interface clean and focussed— while still allowing users to additional functionality if they need it.

Some of the apps in App Center.

Right: Some of the apps in App Center.

One of my favourite things about Weebly is how the interface slides in and out depending on what you need from it. For example, when editing the background image of a section, most of the editor slides away so you can get an unobstructed view of your website. Smart.

Right: The editor slides out so you can get a full view of your website.

Overall Weebly is an incredibly high value package— and it’s always getting better. I’m continually amazed that Weebly builds on its success by shipping new, high quality features that users love (in the last few years they’ve successfully expanded into ecommerce and email marketing). It’s clear Weebly is committed to building excellent software— it's one of two website builders that I highly recommend.

Features

  • Blog

    Good blogging. You create posts by dragging and dropping elements (text, galleries, maps, videos, quotes and more). You can create categories, set posts to publish in the future, create an RSS feed, share secret drafts and more. You can also add Facebook comments, Disqus or use Weebly's comment system (with built-in moderation settings).  Show Screenshot

  • Ecommerce

    Weebly has aggressively moved into ecommerce over the last few years— and the results are impressive. The only other website builder with a comparable package is Squarespace— everyone else is left far behind (note: I'm talking about website builders here— not store builders such as Shopify). Weebly has a long list of ecommerce features: automatic tax calculation, improved shipping rules and estimates, gift cards, custom emails, abandoned cart recovery system and more. One interesting thing I'll be watching: it's hard to keep ecommerce easy to use. Successful ecommerce usually requires sophisticated, often abstract interfaces— fortunately Weebly has managed to keep the interface easy to use. Show Screenshot

  • Form Builder

    Great form builder. There are tons of field options: checkboxes, file uploads, addresses, text boxes, dropdowns and more. Form submissions can be confirmed with a message or by sending the user to another URL. Form results are sent to an email address but a database also stores results (so you don't have to worry about accidentally deleting a form submission).  Show Screenshot

  • iOS & Android Apps

    Weebly has iPhone, Android, iPad and Apple Watch apps. The tablet and phone apps are fully featured— meaning you can design your entire website using them. This is awesome— no other website builder offers this on both phones and tablets. The Apple Watch app is mostly for stats and store notifications (new orders, new form entries etc.).  

  • Retina Ready

    Yes— images were sharp and clear on retina devices (such as new iPhones and Macbooks). 

  • Newsletter

    Weebly is aggressively building out it's own email marketing software called Promote. It's a big part of Weebly's vision: websites, ecommerce and email marketing. In the past I've been skeptical of Promote— but like ecommerce, it has quickly become good. Promote covers everything: lead capture, marketing automation, newsletter design and more. Weebly integrates best with Promote— which leaves 3rd party email marketing companies (such as Mailchimp) without native integrations. (Which means if you'd like to use Mailchimp you'll have to use the Embed Code element.) Show Screenshot

  • Membership System

    The best membership features of any website builder. If you need to build a membership site, Weebly has you covered. You can create private pages that require people to register with your site (this is handy for creating an intranet, or a conference portal for registered members). Other helpful features include: groups and email customization.  

  • Design from Scratch

    No. 

  • Multi-lingual

    Yes. The Multilanguage app in the App Center adds a floating icon to your website that allows visitors to change language. It's not a perfect solution— the icon looks more like a chat prompt than a language choice and the interface for setting up Multilanguage is messy.  Show Screenshot

  • Restaurant Menu

    There are two ways to create restaurant menus: (1) Open Menu, an App Centre app and (2) pre-built menu sections. Of the two I would strongly recommend you use the pre-built menu sections— they're clean and relatively easy to edit. Open Menu requires you to register another company in order to even create a menu. Show Screenshot

  • Donations

    Despite having a full ecommerce system Weebly doesn't include official donation support— instead there is a DonorBox app that you can install. The app has received strong reviews and lets you accept recurring donations, set suggested amounts and collect donor information. (DonorBox requires you to register with them.)  

  • Audio Player

    A basic audio player with two skins (light and dark). No support for playlists.  Show Screenshot

  • Podcasts

    There is no way to create a podcast feed. 

Themes

Weebly has a wide selection of fresh, modern themes that work variety of purposes (stores, portfolios, business websites, personal blogs etc.). Here’s an example:

Right: Example theme

And another example:

Right: Example theme

Unfortunately you can’t manually edit the themes colors (example: the background color). Instead Weebly typically includes 5-8 color options for themes— but no option for setting a custom color. This may frustrate some users. Also, oddly it's not clear what is impacted when you choose one of the preset colors.

Right: I tried clicking different colors but it wasn't clear what was changing in my theme.

Weebly includes a fair amount of theme customization options— mostly around changing fonts (colors, sizes and families).

Adjusting the default paragraph style.

Right: Adjusting the default paragraph style.

Every theme with Weebly is responsive and editable on mobile.

Right: Responsive theme

Good Billing Practices

I signed up Weebly with my own credit card and was able to pay and cancel with ease.

(In the past Weebly has experimented with offering no monthly plan— something I've been critical of. Fortunately Weebly now offers monthly plans.)