Weebly is a free web-hosting service featuring a drag-and-drop website builder with paid bundled domain name packages and other additional features. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, originally founded by chief executive officer (CEO) David Rusenko, chief technology officer (CTO) Chris Fanini, and chief operating officer (COO) Dan Veltri. Weebly’s main competitors include Wix.com, Webs, WordPress.com, Squarespace.com, Jimdo, Yola, SnapPages, and other web-hosting and creation websites. To date, Weebly hosts over 20 million sites with a monthly rate of over 1 million unique visitors.
- Number of TLDs available
- ICANN fees
- Security features
- Cross selling
- Mobile app
- Simple domain transfer policies
- Customer support
- ICANN accreditation
Number of TLDs Available
Weebly offers a total of 13 additional Top-Level Domains (TLDs), including .net, .co, .org, .info. .us, .nl, .de, .fr, .co.uk, etc. Some companies offer around 100 different TLDs and some offer over 500, but Weebly offers enough variety to choose from.
Weebly is partnered with Register.com so when you purchase a Weebly domain, you become the legal owner of the domain name and agree to the Register.com Terms of Service. Be aware that Weebly places your account on automatic renewal when you checkout, so if you don't want this feature, you have to manually edit it on your account page. Weebly could improve by making this fact more visible for customers during checkout.
When checking out on Weebly's site, the price of the domain is the same price subsequently charged to the credit card or Paypal account. While most domain name providers include this fee in their advertised cost, each tells you this through a small print notice at the bottom of their home pages. Weebly offers no small print on their web page to signify an ICANN fee and the 18 cent fee is not reflected in the total price when submitting your payment. It may be included in the annual/biannual, etc. domain name price, but Weebly makes it hard to tell.
Weebly has several advantageous security features, including:
- Password-Protected Pages: Lets website owners enable password protection to stop unauthorized visitors from seeing their website. You can require a password for your whole website, or just individuals pages.
- SSL certificate: Can be automatically added to your Weebly site. SSL ensures that visitors navigate your site over a secure 128-bit encrypted connection. When using eCommerce this feature enables customers to checkout directly on your domain.
- DDoS mitigation service: Privacy feature that comes free with all Weebly sites that protect them from advanced cyber attack protection.
- WHOIS Privacy Feature: If you don't want your contact information to be visible to the public, Weebly lets you add privacy protection to your domain to hide your personal information. This is an additional cost that is purchased annually with your domain registration for 10.00/year. If you already purchased your domain but decide to add the WHOIS privacy protection later, Weebly will let you do so. Your updated information will show up in your account immediately, but can take up to 24 hours for the change to reflect in the WHOIS Database.
Both Password Protection and SSL Certificates comes free with the cost of Weebly's Business Plan for $25.00/month. If you purchase the SSL Certificate as an add-on with another plan, it is $69.00/year. These features are competitive with the average cost of WHOIS hosting ranging from $10.00-$20.00 a year.
Many domain registration companies try to cross- sell and up-sell you additional services and products during your user experience. Weebly offers approximately 3 cross sells and up-sells combined. This is small compared to other companies-some who annoy users with aggressive up-selling techniques, making consumers go through several additional screens of sales pitches in order to buy a domain name. Weebly, however, does this in a much less aggressive manner. Also, Weebly's cross-sells, in contrast to some competitors who push many add-ons that are more luxuries than necessities, making you feel like they're trying to milk you for all they can, are upgrades that make sense to the purchase at hand. For example, Weebly offers a customized email address for a monthly fee before checking out. The 'Upgrade' button is omnipresent on your dashboard once you become a member, which is only slightly annoying reminder to spend more money.
Weebly is one of the few companies that offer a mobile app that allows you to manage your domains from your smart device. They offer both an Android and an iOS app that works on the iphone, ipad, Apple Watch, Android, and Android Tablet. These apps are free, which puts Weebly at an advantage compared to other companies that don't have apps or charge for their apps. Weebly's iOS app has excellent ratings at an average of 4.5/5 stars. Their Android app also has a very good rating, averaging at 4.1/5 stars. Apple Customers report that the Weebly app is easy to learn, fast and effective. Android Customers feel the current version of the app is great and very user-friendly with the minor critiques of a few glitches with images while previewing and a need to fix the blogging feature since it has update issues.
Simple Domain Transfer Policies
Some Registrars have a bad reputation for holding names hostage, making it difficult to switch registrars if you become dissatisfied or charge exorbitant fees or create delays to avoid losing business. Weebly, however, does not make it terribly difficult or complicated to switch to another domain provider. If you choose to transfer a purchased Weebly domain to another domain provider, you will not be eligible for a refund of registration fees paid to Weebly for transferred domains.
Weebly offers customer support in the form of phone, email and online forums. This is on par with many of their competitors. Weebly-also similar to competitors-only offers phone services for higher tier members (Weebly's Pro and Business Plan members). Phone availability is not 24 hours a day, but it is available 7 days a week, from 6am and 6pm Pacific Standard Time (PST) Monday-Friday and 8am to 5pm PST on Saturday and Sunday. Although Weebly has a phone number you can call, they subtly "nudge" users to contact them through their website using a support ticket. This is a form you complete where you share your information and your issue that needs to be resolved. Weebly also steers you toward their Help Center-an extensive list of Q&A pages with common questions that have been previously addressed in a thorough manner. Calling tends to be the last resort.
- Other TLD prices
- Bulk price
Weebly offers website owners a choice of 4 service plans: A Free Plan, StarterPlan, Pro Plan and Business Plan. Every paid Weebly plan comes with a free .com domain name for one year. After one year, the .com domain name is $19.95 per year. The domain must be registered within 45 days of the plan's purchase. The domain will be included for the lifetime of your Weebly account, and the domain will be registered in your name and is yours to keep, as long as you cover any applicable domain registration fees following the first year. Although the package is highly cost effective for website hosting, the subsequent domain annual fee of $19.95, when compared to several popular domain name companies who charge approximately $13.00-$14.00 annually, is more expensive in price.
Other TLD Prices
Weebly also offers alternate domains range (outside of .com) ranging from $24.99 to $39.95 depending on the term you sign up for (1 year-10 years). When you purchase the domain, your new domain is instantly online without having to set it up and you get a complimentary $100 credit in Google Advertising. The price, however is way beyond the range of many major competitors.
Weebly, unlike some major domain providers, does not offer bulk pricing for nonprofits, schools, or individuals interested in purchasing several domains at once. This puts them at a disadvantage because a nonprofit, for example, would have to make multiple purchases separately. Weebly offers a free .com for one year and any other top level domains would have to be added on during checkout for no discount.