It seems like everyone has their own website these days, whether it be for their business, art, or even just a personal blog. You might wonder how so many folks can put together a good-looking website without spending years learning how to code everything from scratch. Fortunately, there are specialized tools out there that make designing your own professional website easy. This Weebly review will help shed some light on one of the most popular tools you can use to create a stellar looking website.
What Is a Web Builder?
Before we get into the Weebly review, we want to talk about web builders in general. There are a lot of different ways to build a website or blog, but the most popular tool for beginners is a web builder. This is a type of software that runs in your browser and makes all the coding and construction of each page automatic. These are often drag-and-drop tools that break each page into individual editable parts. This turns the focus away from the complicated tagging and coding required to put everything where you want it on the page.
For this Weebly review, we will compare the most popular beginner-level web builders currently available. While some of these builders are bundled with a hosting option, we will focus on the actual designer tools used to construct the pages rather than the web hosting utilities themselves.
What Is Weebly?
For this Weebly review, we looked at the free version of the platform available to anyone with their own domain or hosting service. Weebly is focused on commerce sites, which includes any type of service or product-centric site where visitors might make a purchase. There are a lot of web builders available online, but as we discovered for this Weebly review, none of them are aimed at ecommerce like this one. Powered by Square, a trusted payment processing company, Weebly has a sharp focus on selling through its specialized platform.
Weebly Web Builder Specs
We looked at the full suite of features for this Weebly review, starting with the basic user interface. This platform operates with an intuitive drag-and-drop toolset, which means you can literally grab elements from the building panel and place them onto the page exactly where you need them. You start with a basic template and customize your titles and text one step at a time. There’s a built-in flow that makes navigating your new pages easy and makes sure you don’t miss any important entries.
The Weebly Interface
The drag-and-drop interface is designed for the beginning web designer, so there’s no pressure to learn complicated coding to keep everything running smoothly and securely. A reoccurring theme we found while researching for this Weebly review, from many current customers, is how easy and intuitive the tools were. A brand new web developer can come onto the Weebly platform and have a new, secure, working website up and running in a matter of minutes.
The Weebly App Center
The integrated app center allows you to access advanced features like social media integration, video embedding, and even third-party advertising widgets. There are also several pre-designed ecommerce tools that can help take payments, issue invoices, or notify customers of sales and promotions. These types of add-ons are difficult to integrate from scratch, but the Weebly app center makes it easy to add them into your template.
Exclusive Weebly Templates
Weebly has a lot to offer, but the template choices might be the best part. We looked at a lot of different designs for this Weebly review, and all of them looked amazing. The drag-and-drop interface works great with the templates, making it simple to customize the text and headers to fit your needs. The pre-made templates looked professional and slick, and we came out of this Weebly review feeling like we could design just about anything through this platform.
The pricing for this platform, along with the three others we looked at for this Weebly review, isn’t as simple as a single dollar figure. Each of these platforms offers tiered packages for their services, which can get tricky when adding in web hosting, commerce protection, and other premium-type services.Weebly is free to use if you already have a web hosting service, so that makes it the least expensive right off the bat. The prices we found for the premium services for all four providers started around five dollars a month and went up to forty dollars per month.
How Weebly Compares
To see how this web builder compares to the competition, we looked at three alternate web building platforms similar to one and other. For this Weebly review, we compared the basic features, available templates, ease of use, browser compatibility, and the customer service quality of each of the four providers.
What We Reviewed
- Gator Website Builder
Ease of Use
If there was anything we took away from this Weebly review, it was how easy it was to work with. The interface is clean and intuitive as it was designed specifically for first-time web designers. Without a doubt, Weebly was the easiest to learn out of the four tools we looked at.
The Weebly customer support team had some great customer feedback, and we have no reason to disagree. There is a dedicated customer service team ready to answer your emails and help solve whatever issues you might be experiencing. They are a great resource to help guide you through your first web build and get everything working smoothly.
The Weebly interface and toolset isn’t the most dynamic one we looked at, but for a first-time designer, it serves its purpose. There are clean feature sets you can implement depending on what type of site you’re putting together. The features depend on the product or service you’re offering, which is all informed by the initial template you choose.
There are currently over seventy templates available through Weebly with more being added all the time. There’s a lot of variety between the templates, and the ones we looked at for this Weebly review were easily edited, with a responsive movement and a clean look.
The Weebly system works in most browsers with no reports of loading or formatting issues from previous users. The platform works with a modified Java language so that even older browsers and operating systems should be able to load the toolset for editing.
Where You Can Learn More
You can learn more about the Weebly builder and their hosting options at the following link: Weebly.com
This is a platform for the more creative minded, as you have complete control over the final look of your site. There aren’t a lot of choices for middle-ground designs, so it’s nice to have an option where you can start with a blank slate. Wix is the most customizable platform we looked at for this Weebly review and the only one that offers a clean starter page that can be edited with no CSS or Java language knowledge.
Ease of Use
The Wix web designing platform is easy to use at first but gets a little murky if you need more advanced features. The different programming options are great for someone with a little more knowledge than the average user but are not for someone just starting out. It is essentially only as difficult to use as you need it to be, especially if you decide to integrate newer apps or social connections.
There wasn’t a lot of positive feedback for the Wix customer support, and that stands out in this Weebly review. There is a network of customer service representatives available to field your emails but no option to contact someone immediately through phone or other means. The platform is working to improve this side of things by adding automated assistance for their premium customers.
Our favorite features we found from Wix were the easily integrated media galleries, the optimized mobile designs, and the total freedom of customized layouts. They also have a great set of tools for SEO integration with specialized plans for helping guide you to the top of online search results.
Wix has over five hundred templates to choose from, which makes it easy to find something pre-built for your specific vision. With the added freedom of dynamic editing, you can customize each of the templates to look and load exactly as you need it to. Each template has been designed by an industry professional and is ready to load at the push of a button.
The Wix platform is lightweight in terms of programming language, so there is no real issue with browser support. Some users have reported issues with add-on features, but this wasn’t the typical experience reported by experienced designers. This toolset is programmed to work with all major browsers.
Where You Can Learn More
You can learn about the available Wix packages and try out their web building tools at the following link: Wix.com
This is the most recognizable of the four platforms we looked at for this Weebly review, and there’s some good reason for that. Squarespace has been bombarding the world with advertising, trying to get their name out into the web space for all to see. They are considered the more sophisticated of the design platforms, and the price reflects that added shimmer. It’s easy to use but has a steep learning curve when you turn to designing a commerce-focused website.
Ease of Use
If you can find a template that doesn’t need much editing, then this platform is easy to use. If you need to do some CSS or HTML editing, you might have a tougher time. This is ideal for someone on their second or third web design, so the learning curve might be steep for a first time user.
This was the strongest customer support network we found for this Weebly review. The 24-hour support is manned by living people, and there are no automated systems between you and an actual person. Current customers swear by the support team, and it was easily the best-liked out of the four web tools we looked at in this regard.
Squarespace has every feature you need but lacks out-of-box design features. This means you’re pretty much locked into the template parameters unless you know how to go under the hood and edit the HTML or CSS codes. This isn’t an impossible thing to get around, but it severely limits the things you can do when it comes to secured commerce sites.
These are the most dynamic and beautiful templates we looked at for this review. There was a lot of expertise on display in the template gallery, which is definitely reflected in the final price you pay for using these templates. If you need a commerce-focused site, then this has a few options to choose from; though not as many as Wix or Weebly.
Squarespace was the most dynamic toolset we looked at, which leads to problems with older browsers. This is a toolkit aimed for more advanced websites, and even though it boasts universal access, there were some reported issues with older browsers and operating systems.
Where You Can Learn More
You can learn more about the Squarespace program and their web building tools at the following link: Squarespace.com The Gator Website Builder is the in-house design tool for the popular hosting site, HostGator. It’s a very simple, very easy-to-use tool for someone needing a quick and simple place to showcase their wares. It’s not ideal for someone in need of commerce tools, but it’s good enough as a reference or portfolio type of website. This is really a great option if you combine it with their hosting services.
Gator Website Builder
Ease of Use
The entire system is drag-and-drop without a lot of customizable editing tools, which makes it clean and extremely easy to understand. This was the simplest of the web builders we looked at for this Weebly review, offering easy access with few frills.
The reviews from current and past customers are mostly positive, with many people remarking on how friendly and fast their responses were. Since this isn’t a place for advanced commerce websites, there is no need to dive deep into CSS or security-related issues. This helps streamline their customer support system and keeps the response time to a minimum.
There aren’t really a lot of features available for their basic plans, so if you need something dynamic or commerce related, then we would recommend stepping it up to Squarespace, or ideally, Weebly. If you need a simple, low-impact commerce site, then you should consider the feature-loaded advanced plan from HostGator.
Templates 2 Stars
There are a few hundred templates to choose from with new options being added at a steady pace. Since everything is drag-and-drop, there is a lot of repetition and common themes throughout the available templates.
Browser Compatibility 3 Stars
There was little feedback available from previous customers, so we couldn’t find any issues from that side of compatibility. The toolset offered through the Gator web development team is designed for all the most popular browsers and is compatible with some beta-ready browsers like Chrome or Firefox.
Where You Can Learn More
You can learn more about the Gator website builder at the following link: Hostgator.com
The Final Verdict
There’s no shortage of great options for easy-to-use web builders, but we have to choose a favorite for this Weebly review. While Squarespace has a lot of advanced options we love, it still can’t compare to the full feature set available from Weebly. The interface is intuitive, sharp, and easy to understand. We highly recommend the Weebly platform for creating your own personal website or blog.