Weebly Weebly
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4.5 5stars

Weebly Review

Weebly
Rating:
Bottom Line:
Many detailed features for setting up an online store on your website; drag-and-drop editor makes page building easy; stellar customer service

Full Review:
Weebly is a San Francisco-based website builder that allows users to create websites, blogs or online stores. Its mission is to "help you bring your ideas to life by creating a unique, high-quality site that you're proud to share." We found that Weebly's services hold true to its mission statement, especially with its easy-to-use editing tools that take the stress out of customizing a website.


Plans and Pricing

Weebly offers one free plan and three different paid plan options, all of which have complete mobile optimization for your website. Its free plan gives you unlimited pages but also includes Weebly ads and a Weebly subdomain in your URL (e.g. yoursite.weebly.com). You do have the option to add e-commerce features with this plan, but it is limited to up to five products and charges you a 3% transaction fee.

You can upgrade your account to any of the premium plans at any time. All of these paid plans feature unlimited pages, premium customer support (phone, chat and email), a customizable footer, the ability to remove "Weebly.com" from your domain name and the option to add your own, personalized Favicon image to your URL. It's important to note that with all the paid plans, you must commit to a six-month, one-year or a two-year subscription, as there is no month-to-month billing option. Also, if you sign up for two years, your discount is greater than that with the six-month or annual subscription.

Starter Plan
The first of the premium plans is the Starter plan, which costs $10/month for a six-month subscription or $8/month with an annual subscription. In addition to the features that all paid plans offer, you'll also get $100 in Google advertising and the ability to add up to 10 products for e-commerce with a 3% transaction fee that Weebly charges whenever you make a sale through your site.

Pro Plan
The Pro plan includes all of the features from the Starter plan as well as a header slideshow, high-definition video and audio players, password-protected pages, up to 100 collaborators, a site search, up to 25 products and a 3% transaction fee for e-commerce. This plan costs $18/month for six months or $16/month for a year. For both the Starter and Pro plans, the integrated shopping cart for e-commerce will include "checkout.weebly.com" in the URL.

Business Plan
The next step up is the Business plan, which costs $37/month for six months or $29/month for one year. This plan hosts all the features the other paid plans offer as well as additional e-commerce features, including SSL security encryption, unlimited products, a 0% transaction fee and an integrated shopping cart on your website.




Getting Started

Once you submit your name, email address and password, you are prompted to select the focus of your site. Here, you have the option to choose whether you are creating a general website, a blog site or an online store. No matter which option you select, you will still have access to the same features, but the templates will vary slightly to accommodate your respective focus. For example, if you choose a store as your focus, it will automatically generate three pages for you: contact, store and about us. We also received a welcome email after inputting our account information, which included links to a site planner to get ideas and video tutorials as well as a link to Weebly's training sessions, which are 55-minute video walk-throughs. This welcome email also gives you the option to continue with your free account or upgrade to a paid account.


Creating Your Website

After selecting the focus of your site, you choose your theme; this can be changed at any time. Weebly claims to host hundreds of different themes to choose from, but we found the selection to be a little sparse. One thing we did like here was the option to preview the themes with different color interfaces right on the theme selection page. However, this option is not available for all themes.

Once you select your theme, you are prompted to choose your domain name. You can use a subdomain of Weebly for free, or if you have a paid account, you also have the option to register a new domain with Weebly or connect it to a domain you already own. You can always bypass this step if you aren't sure which route you'd like to take and come back to it later. After these selections are made, or skipped, a welcome video pops up and plays automatically, giving you a brief overview of the features Weebly offers.



Editing Your Website

When you are ready to begin editing your website, you are presented with a clean interface and lots of customization tools, all of which use a drag-and-drop editor. The left-hand side of this page has five different sections under the Build toolbar: Basic, Structure, Media, Commerce and More. Basic allows you to add and edit things such as text, titles, images, photo galleries, photo slideshows, maps, contact forms and backgrounds. When adding a title to your website, you have the option to upload your custom logo or keep it as simple text, which we thought was a really nice touch in branding your website. When selecting a background image for your site, you can upload your own or choose one of the default images that Weebly has; it even allows you to alter these images by using lightening, darkening and blurring effects. You also are given the option to save it to all pages, save to one page or save to selected pages.


Structure is exactly what it sounds like — tools to edit the structure of your pages with dividers, spaces, buttons, headers and footers. Business and Pro plan holders also have the ability to add a search box to their website using this tool. The Media tool allows you to enhance your page with high-definition videos (if you have a paid plan), audio, YouTube videos, Flash files (such as GIF files) and other files or documents from your computer. The Commerce tool allows you to create a store and add products to your site, and the More button features tools to add quotes, polls, social media icons, RSVP forms, surveys and bookings.


Other Features

The additional features that Weebly offers outside of the standard website building tools are quite detailed and extensive, especially when it comes to building your online store.

Commerce
The drag-and-drop product tool under Commerce allows you to connect a product from your inventory. If you don't have any products in your inventory yet, you must click on the Store button at the top of the page. Here, you can add as little or as much detail as you'd like. When adding a product, you can add its name, its description, its price, a sales price, an image and put it under any categories you've created. You can also add online coupons for your customers to use as well as edit how you'd like to collect money and change the form of currency displayed. Weebly automatically creates a list of your orders for you, which includes order number, order date, customer name, status and total.


Social Media
Weebly hosts one type of display for your social media icons. You can connect your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and contact email address for visitors to connect with you; however, there is no option to display live feeds from any of these social media platforms with this tool — it's just a button to "Like" or "Follow" your accounts.



Feed Reader
This tool will allow you to add a live feed, like a news updates feed or Twitter feed, to display on your website in real time. Simply enter a URL in the address field, and Weebly will generate a live feed that you can edit the width, position and spacing of on any of your pages.


Password Protection
There are several different forms that you can add to your website with Weebly, some of which require you to connect with a third party. The poll tool, for example, creates a poll for your users to vote with, but you must either have an account with PollDaddy or create a new one. The same thing applies to its bookings tool, which you can use for creating forms for reservations or other appointments on your website. The survey and RSVP tools don't require additional accounts outside of Weebly and are great features to use to generate feedback from your visitors.


Customer Support

The help section of Weebly has extensive FAQs and guides to get you started as well an integrated search bar to easily find what you're looking for. Additionally, it offers webcast training sessions, which you can watch live-streams of followed by a Q&A session afterwards, or watch pre-recorded ones. You can also contact Weebly's customer support team via email, live chat or phone, the latter two of which are both available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT. Weebly's website says that premium support is offered to those with paid plans, but even with the free plan, we experienced little wait time. The representatives were expedient and pleasant in their responses, and all of our questions were addressed completely. After our live chat session ended, we received an email within a few seconds that detailed a full transcript of our session. This is an especially nice touch that you don't find with many companies and really made Weebly stand out to us.


Conclusion

Overall, Weebly is a great choice for those who want to use their website to sell things online. It features tons of customizable details for setting up your online store, including transaction and payment features, and the plans featured offer different options for big and small businesses alike. Additionally, its customer support team makes it shine as a top contender for website building. The only real complaint we had was that its premium plans tend to be a little pricier when compared to other website building services.

Compare to Other Website Building Services

If you have a question or concern we haven't answered on our site, please let us know. Your question will be added to the NextAdvisor Forums so that we and other experts in our community can answer it. Due to volume, we aren't able to respond to every question, but we answer as many as we can.



Service Details

Free Trial:Free plan option
Cheapest Plan:$10/mo (w/6-month plan) or $8/mo
(w/annual plan)
Page Allowance:Unlimited
SEO:Varies with plans
Additional Apps/Features:
Customer Service:Email, phone, live chat

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