Based in San Francisco, Weebly is a popular free website provider. Over the last 8 years, Weebly has grown from a small business to a major web hosting and website building service in the world. In 2007 Weebly was ranked as one of TIME magazine's best websites. They offer these online services to more than 20 million customers in 11 languages. According to Weebly, the company hosts more than 2 percent of websites on the Internet, approximately 11 million.
The four service plans they offer allow their customers to really customize the experience they have and make Weebly work for their business. There is something for any type of customer through Weebly.
The ability to sell items online is an important feature to many businesses these days. Most website building companies offer tools to help their customers build online stores, but the majority of these companies only offer them to higher package paying members. So if the customer needs to take advantage of the eCommerce tools they will have to upgrade to a higher monthly payment. But this is not the case for Weebly customers. No matter what the package is, Weebly customers can take advantage of these eCommerce tools. There are a variety of levels to these tools as the packages increase. Starting with the free package the customer can add 5 products to their shop, the Starter package customers can have 10 products, then 25 products for the Pro package. And finally the Business package members can have unlimited products in their store. There is a transaction fee (3%) that applies to some of the packages but that fee goes away if the customer becomes a Business package member.
Weebly offers great features, like a drag and drop website builder, and a mobile optimized version of your site. Weebly tries to make all of their features accessible to each of their customers by making them affordable. The offer a completely free plan that includes free hosting, email support, drag and drop editor, and unlimited pages. This package is great for those customers that want to get a website up quickly and for free until they have the need to expand. It also works great for portfolios and personal blogs. For the customer that needs more features, storage or wants to list more products, there are three other paid packages. Their prices range from $4 per month to $25 per month. Each of these packages offers a little bit more to the customer and lets them customize their experience a little bit more. As they increase their package, the customer also gets more access to custom service avenues. Each of these packages fit well with a different type of customer and are easily affordable for any budget.
- Limited design tools
- Data center
The design aspects of a website are very important since it is the first thing that customers see and how they make their opinions of the business. Weebly offers their customers free design tools but they are very limited. They offer a stockpile of templates to choose from but this stockpile only has a little over 50 designs. These designs are organized into the different types of websites they offer; blog, business, creative, non-profit, and store. This separation makes it easier for the customers to find exactly what type of website they are looking for. Each of these templates are also free, which makes them accessible to every customer. But this limited number of templates can make it difficult for the customer to find the specific design they need. There are only certain customization options as well, so it is important for them to find a design that fits most of their needs and wants since it can't be customized very much. If a customer cannot find a design template that they like, there is no custom design option for the customers. This means that there is no dedicated design expert who can build a website from scratch for a specific customer's website. Again, this will only be a problem if the customer does not find a design they are pleased with from the small stockpile of pre-made templates.
Their data center was also difficult to find information on, though it seemed like a standard enough data center. Their forum and Weebly help center can be difficult to navigate.
The Bottom Line
Despite their lack of design options for the websites published, Weebly gives their customers a great set of features to choose from in order to make their website very successful. Their customers can create a portfolio, blog, or online store that works for either personal or business ventures. To make their services even sweeter, they all come at a very affordable price (including free).
We would recommend this company for starting businesses, or simple websites. If you have any experiences with Weebly.com we invite you to leave a comment of your experiences so that future users may benefit from your experiences.