Freelancer reviews: Weebly
Thinking of building a website with Weebly? Read this first.
Weebly is a drag-and-drop website builder with a focus on e-commerce. Its free option has made it a popular choice in schools across the world, and for many, Weebly was an early introduction to the world of website building. That might factor into its popularity too. Let’s see how Weebly’s pricing, templates, and SEO features weigh up against the competition in 2020.
Quick verdict: Best for beginners on a budget
It’s not the only website builder with a free tier for those in the experimental phase, but it is one of the most user-friendly editors out there, making it a top choice for budding designers on a beginner’s budget.
What we like
- As many category sub-levels as you like (but SEO hopefuls should always stick to two).
- Ecommerce features like SEO customization on products, and product list imports, making it a better free option for online shopping startups.
- Incredibly intuitive grid-based drag-and-drop editor leaves little room for error when it comes to mobile-first design...
What we don’t like
- ... but the grid-based editor is restrictive and might not suit designers with more experience.
- Limited theme and template selection compared to competitors.
- Restricted customization of title tags (h1, h2, etc.)
What is Weebly?
Over 50 million websites have been built in Weebly, making it one of the largest platforms in this space. Weebly’s commitment to improving its platform has maintained its users’ loyalty over all these years. But this loyalty was challenged in 2018 when e-commerce company Square acquired Weebly, and the steady stream of updates began to slow.
Interest in the platform has steadily declined over the last five years, thanks to aggressive marketing campaigns from competitors like Wix and Squarespace.
The website builder landscape has changed since you built your first GIF-heavy HTML site in Weebly, and there’s stiff competition in services if you’re willing to part with some cash. But there’s still plenty to love about Weebly in 2020, whether you pay or not.
Is Weebly free?
Yes! Well, there’s a free tier that gives you access to most of the platform’s basic tools.
Weebly’s Free tier is still a top choice for those looking to get their start. It gets you access to basically all the key features that allow you to build and publish a new website. There are a few exceptions, however.
Upgrading to Pro allows you access to more tools (like header slideshows, search box, video player (though you can still embed YouTube video with Free), audio player, document embeds (e.g., PDF), a higher file size limit, and the option to switch off Weebly branding and ads.
Those are all pretty advanced features, and if you’re starting out, you’re probably a long way off needing most of them.
- Personal: $7/mth
- Professional: $15/mth
- Performance $30/mth
*Prices above are billed annually
Forgetting Weebly’s quality free tier for a second, it also features one of the most generously priced basic/personal tiers on the market at $7 per month (billed annually). You can kick things off at the free tier, then upgrade to Personal when you need to connect a custom domain.
As you progress, and you want to remove the storage cap, remove ads, and nab a free domain, you will need to upgrade to Professional at $15 per month billed annually, which is where Weebly’s plans become less competitive.
Once you reach Professional, it’s worth researching competitors Wix and Squarespace, two website builders that offer superior templates and features for designers with a little experience under their belts.