Whether you’re a small local business or an ecommerce platform, one of the key ways to win customers is through a website.
But some businesses don’t have a website either because they don’t know how to create one or because it falls out of their budget.
Are you one of them?
Then meet your best friend, your ideal website builder – Weebly.
Weebly is best for those who are starting off fresh in the market and want low overheads. Unlike most other website builders, it has multiple plans, the basic of which is free of cost and also user friendly for the first timers.
What is Weebly?
Weebly is a website and an ecommerce service provider, simply known as a website builder. It backs more than 50 million websites.
The Weebly website builder is trusted by quite a number of businesses and people worldwide given that it has been around in the industry for more than 14 years now.
Additionally, Weebly now has all the features to enable an ecommerce platform after Square’s $365 million acquisition of Weebly in 2018.
The features and tools such as advanced analytics, taxes management, handling of shipping, etc. on Weebly makes the ecommerce management easy.
Why use Weebly?
Here are the other key reasons why you should use Weebly –
Weebly is easy to use
With Weebly, the process of building a website begins with creating an account. From there on, it’s just drag and drop!
Literally, the platform doesn’t need any sort of coding to build a website. Everything right from photos to text boxes are all dependent on the drag and drop function.
Weebly has four plans in total. It has a free plan which comes with some limitations such as limited disk space, no free domain, etc. Though the advanced plans are also quite affordable. They’re suited for big as well as small businesses.
Free – $0/month
Personal – $6/month
Professional – $12/month
Performance – $26/month
We will discuss these plans in more detail a little later in the article.
If you’re experiencing any difficulties or challenges when building your website on Weebly, you can reach out to their customer support at any time.
The platform offers customer support via phone and live chat during the working hours and beyond that, they offer email support all around 24×7.
They’re quite prompt over all the three mediums of support and they also have a simple help centre with help guidelines to address all issues and doubts.
Weebly helps SEO Ranking
Since the objective of creating a website is to drive traffic to the website for possible conversions, and one way to do that is through Search Engine Optimization.
You need to use SEO tools and features that will help you rank better on Google and other search engines.
For an optimized website on Weebly, follow Weebly’s tips on how to use and optimize the features of description, title, permalinks, 301 redirects, header and footer codes and more on it’s platform.
Also remember to stick to the minimum word limit and use keywords where possible, incorporating them in a natural fashion.
How to create a Weebly website?
Creating a Weebly website is extremely simple and if you’re someone who’s worried about coding, you can then thank your lucky stars for this beautiful platform.
STEP 1: Sign up with Weebly
As mentioned earlier, Weebly has four different types of plans. Depending on your business needs, select a plan that best suits your functioning.
You can sign up with Weebly using Facebook, Google or Email as per your choice. There is no charge for signing up on Weebly.
If you just want to create a website, select the “Website button” under “Create your professional website.” If you’re launching your store online then click on “Online Store.”
Fill up all your details and then select continue.
STEP 2: Choose a Theme
Once your account is created, you move to the next basic stage.
Remember to choose a theme that best matches your requirements and then go ahead with it. As such, Weebly categorizes it’s themes for using in a blog, for business use or for personal use.
STEP 3: Select your Domain
After selecting a theme, you need to finalize a domain. A domain will give you your identity on Weebly and on the world wide web.
(And you don’t need hosting if you choose a website builder platform like Weebly, Weebly also helps keep your data safe and backed up for a rainy day.)
You can either purchase a new domain on Weebly, or connect to an already existing domain elsewhere or also choose to use a free subdomain on Weebly.
If you choose to buy a domain from Weebly itself, you may have to spend a minimum of $20 per year as renewal fees.
If this is out of your budget, then it’s better that you purchase a domain outside of Weebly. Here’s a list you can refer to for more information.
On the other hand, if you already own a domain name, you’ll have to pay renewal fees to Weebly if you so choose to move it to the platform. Or you can choose to use a free subdomain from Weebly.
STEP 4: Begin designing!
Now you can get creative with your website. Remember, your website is made of text boxes, images, etc. so make good use of them.
Weebly editors usually run scripts so just make sure you allow that to happen so that they can function smoothly on your website.
If you want to add a building block to your website, simply drag it from the left navigation bar and place it on your website.
Once you’re done with doing that, you can start editing that building block.
For example, if you dragged a building block and dropped it on your website, you’re then going to want to write something enticing. So you click on edit and begin writing.
You can try different placements on the website using the drag and drop feature and can experiment quite a bit to see what looks good for you and your website.
Apps are great to compliment the website building experience on Weebly, more so, if you are already familiar with Weebly and the entire process of adding these apps.
Weebly website builder is a simple and a straight forward builder. And that means if you want added functionality and features on your website, you then need to go get yourself more apps.
Hop onto the App Centre and search for a functionality, feature or an app that you would like to use to further develop and enhance your website experience.
While some of these apps are paid apps for which you need to pay monthly charges, some of the other apps are also free.
Be aware of the number of paid apps that you use as your overhead cost could exceed your budget if this is left unmonitored.
Are you building an online store on Weebly? Then this will be helpful for you.
Click on your navigation bar.
Choose “Store.” Fill in all the required details.
Here you will find some more settings that are dedicated to enabling your ecommerce website experience and functionality.
This is right from adding products, accepting payments to that of displaying other important information about your online store.
Optimize for the user, optimize for mobile
The most popular and common device among all the people, all around the world is the mobile phone. In 2019, a study by Statista revealed that 3.5 billion people owned smartphones.
This simply means that your website, irrespective of it’s objective, should always be optimized for mobile in order to get a better reach.
You’ll find an icon on the navigation bar that helps you view your website in both the modes – mobile and desktop.
So when selecting a theme for your website, always check on how this theme will show up and look in the mobile screen.
Here in settings, Weebly allows you to make the most basic changes right from the adding of collaborators to optimizing the site for SEO and more.
Weebly’s goal is to make your experience of building a website easy, fun and user-friendly. You can also go in for advanced functionality through apps by adjusting the same through settings.
STEP 5: Publish
Once you’ve completed the previous steps and are done with editing, check your website thoroughly for any mistakes.
Do this thrice before finalizing the website.
Done with the three checks? It’s time to hit publish!
Congratulations! You now officially have a website of your own on the world wide web.
Choosing your Weebly plan
This is a move that often confuses most people and unfortunately, most business owners think they’ve either invested too much or too little in their website building.
That’s why it’s important to know the plans well enough before you actually commit to one.
As the name suggests, this plan is completely free.
Being a free plan, the features here in the free plan are quite limited as compared to the paid plans.
The free website building plan comes with SSL which means that your website will be safe from hacks and other malware.
Moreover, you can also track your website through an embedded custom code, and all this without the need of a developer.
In terms of ecommerce, you have features like shopping cart, option to add unlimited products or items on the website, product or item badges and quick shop.
To complete your ecommerce website set up, you also have features such as inventory management, coupons, in-store pick up (a customer places an order online and picks up the product in person from the store).
You also have automatic tax calculator (taxes will be added to the order automatically) and Square gift cards.
These basic features and mechanisms though not very advanced can do the job just right for your ecommerce website, all without any problem.
However, the marketing features are pretty limited in the free plan.
The marketing features that you have in the free plan are Search Engine Optimization, Lead capture (a customized form to help you get leads from your website) and Instagram feed.
If you’re just starting off and just want to focus on setting up the website correctly, then you don’t need to be so much bothered about marketing on the platform at the very outset.
If in case you are still experiencing some trouble with setting up your website, then in this free plan you’ll have three options available for a quick resolution.
The first is, “Community Support” where you can talk to other online store owners on Weebly and ask them to help you solve your issues and doubts that you’ve encountered through the process.
The second one is Chat support which is functional during the working hours of the day while the third, i.e Email support is available 24×7.
Although these support features may not seem to be enough, Weebly is known to be prompt in reaching out, so don’t let this stop you from developing your website for free at the very beginning on Weebly.
This plan is available to users at $6/month.
The Weebly Personal is best suited for small businesses who are just starting off with their online presence i.e. in terms of a website.
In addition to the benefits of the free version (such as the free SSL and the third party embed code), you can also connect the website to a custom domain.
This means that you can either integrate your website with a domain that you already own or if you don’t own one, you’re free to search on Weebly’s domain searcher and purchase one.
But, as mentioned earlier, if you’re on a strict budget, a domain from outside of Weebly is advisable.
Again, when talking about the ecommerce functionality, this plan does include the features that the free plan offers and further adds to the experience with two more features – digital goods and shipping calculator.
Digital goods include products like eBooks, online movie downloads, songs, podcasts, etc. With this feature, you can control the number of downloads per person and its availability per day, etc.
On the other hand, shipping calculator estimates the shipping cost as per different criteria like the cost of the item, the weight of the item ordered and the number of items in the order, the distance of the shipment, etc.
Marketing in this personal plan is better than the free plan with the addition of one more feature (to the previous three).
Here you can also avail Pop-up notifications which can display some offer or other conversion worthy content that can help build your engagement and sales.
The support experience remains the same as in the free plan with working hours based chat, 24×7 email support availability and the community forum.
If you’re looking forward to building a professional website that can generate some brand worthy experience and functionality, then you should probably invest in this plan.
Adding to the Weebly Personal plan, the features here in the Weebly Professional plan are doubled with password protection, a free domain and unlimited storage. Well, the list doesn’t stop there!
You get access to advanced site statistics which tell you which page interests visitors the most, which sites generate your traffic and how much, how people find you, and more.
You can also remove Square ads from your website if you so wish to.
While your ecommerce and marketing features are the same as Weebly Personal, the customer support experience is way better as in this plan you can also reach out to them through phone calls.
But here too, do remember that the phone calls to customer support is available only during the working hours and not otherwise.
All of this is accessible at a cost of $12/month. If you’ve got a decent budget and are used to Weebly’s platform and want to set up your website, then this plan is best suitable for you.
Is your business heavily dependent on Ecommerce?
Then this plan is for you.
Available at $26/month, this Weebly plan offers twice the features as the Professional plan.
Here you get ecommerce tools like abandoned cart emails, accepting PayPal payments, shipping labels (printing directly from the online dashboard) and product and item reviews.
For reviews, emails are sent directly to the customers requesting necessary feedback.
Marketing also adds one more feature to this list along with the features that are already available in the Professional plan.
That is the ecommerce insights feature gives you analytics about your online sales, page wise lead generation, conversion, etc.
And lastly, customer support is highly prioritized for this plan. So you can expect prompt replies and help within a very short time of reaching out to them.
If your business thrives on ecommerce, then it’s recommended that you get this plan as this plan will help you grow your business manifold with it’s added sales centric features.
Weebly is a great website builder if you’re a first timer.
Since moving your store to the online space can be quite intimidating, this platform however, can make things pretty simple and make the website building process an enjoyable experience.
If you own a business and want to build a website to kickstart your online and digital presence, then Weebly will do a great job for you.
It’s advisable to always keep exploring and experimenting with the Weebly website builder to see what best suits your website and your business goals.
So what are your thoughts about Weebly? Have you build a Weebly website before? Would you build and invest in a Weebly website in the near future and why?