Many of the best website builders (opens in new tab) are targeted at beginners with little site creation experience, and Weebly (opens in new tab) is no different. However, its recent partnership with Square Online (opens in new tab) has seen it offer even more advanced ecommerce solutions than it traditionally has, making it an attractive option for those who want to sell online, and ranking it among the best ecommerce website builders (opens in new tab).
There are numerous ecommerce tools on offer, and the basic set is available with all plans. The free-forever plan offers a decent way to test the builder before committing to a paid subscription, but you may find it a little confusing to get started.
As our Weebly review will show, this website builder is one of the most affordable on the market. It offers quite limited design flexibility and some tools could certainly be better, but overall, it’s a solid option backed by a selection of marketing, analytics, and other native features.
Weebly: Plans and pricing
Weebly has quite a basic price structure. There’s a free-forever plan along with three premium options (opens in new tab). Monthly and annual payment options are available, and all plans come with online store functionality.
The free plan is a little limited, though. You won’t be able to connect a custom domain, and your site will have Weebly advertising and limited storage. The Personal plan (from $6 a month) enables custom domain connection, but it’s still quite limited.
Upgrading to a Professional subscription (from $12 a month) begins to add more advanced features such as unlimited storage, a free domain, and advanced site statistics. And finally, the Performance plan (from $26 a month) adds advanced ecommerce insights, priority support, and a range of high-end online store tools.
|Cost per month||Free||$9||$16||$26|
|Cost per year||Free||$72||$144||$312|
|Custom domain connection||✖||✔||✔||✔|
Building a website with Weebly
If you’re using Weebly for the first time, we’d recommend starting with the free-forever plan. Create an account, add a small amount of personal information, and follow the prompts to get started.
Now, it’s worth noting that Weebly is owned by payment-processing giant Square. Once you’ve created your account, you will be prompted to choose between Square Online to create a business or ecommerce website, and Weebly Websites for a personal site. In order to test the full extent of the features on offer, we went with Square Online.
You will be guided through a short questionnaire asking about your goals and what sort of functionality you want your website to have. Then, you will be taken to your site-management dashboard.
Access the editor by clicking the "Edit My Site" button on the top right of the dashboard, and begin personalizing your content. Now, the editor is far from the most advanced we’ve used. It uses a section-based design method, enabling you to add new sections as required. However, you won’t have great flexibility, and it can be quite difficult to achieve the look you want.
Ecommerce management with Weebly
One thing that stands out about Weebly—thanks to its integration with Square Online—is its excellent ecommerce tools. It offers much more powerful online selling features than most other website builders, making it an excellent option for those who want to create a basic store with a low budget.
We created a simple online store to test the platform’s online store management tools, and we were very impressed. You can access a variety of different management pages via the menu on the left of your website dashboard, including orders, products, reports, sales channels, and various fulfilment options. These make it very easy to take care of your store.
Manage customer reviews, add and remove items as necessary, and track your inventory, sales volume, and more. There are various reporting tools that offer detailed insights into the performance of your store, with specialized reports analyzing things like order sources, abandoned carts, popular items, and more.
Weebly has long been one of the world’s leading website builders, and it boasts a standout selection of features to back this position. It’s known for its advanced ecommerce tools, which are offered through the Square Online platform, but there are plenty of other things to like as well.
If you’re looking for a website builder that focuses on streamlined store creation and ongoing management, it’s hard to look past Weebly. It now offers its online store tools through Square Online, which comes with a great selection of ecommerce features.
For example, you will have access to advanced shipping tools, enabling you to send items across the world. The inventory management portal is excellent, and you can integrate things like coupons, customer reviews, and product searches.
More advanced tools such as abandoned cart emails and discount codes can also be used to enhance the functionality of your store. And those with a high-end plan will benefit from detailed analytics and reporting that can be used to monitor the performance of your store.
All Weebly users will benefit from a suite of integrated marketing tools. There’s an attractive email builder, which enables you to create and send custom messages to your mailing list. Use the Weebly Promote platform to manage your contacts and marketing campaigns, and take advantage of the integrated Facebook marketing and SEO tools for increased success.
If you would like to add extra functionality to your Weebly website, you can do so by installing an add-on from the native app market. Here, you will find countless apps covering everything from social media management to marketing and more. Use the built-in search box to find what you’re looking for, and take advantage of the selection of free options if you’re on a tight budget.
One thing that stands out about Weebly is its excellent mobile management app. This is available across iOS and Android operating systems, and it enables you to take care of your site from the comfort of your smartphone or other mobile devices.
In addition, you can make edits to your site with the Weebly app. Manage ecommerce orders and product listings and ensure you never miss anything important by having everything you need at your fingertips.
In the past, Weebly has published regular product updates and release notes on its blog. These have slowed down in the past few years, but there are still a few recent updates that are well worth touching on.
On 26th June 2021, Weebly released a comprehensive product update focusing on a range of new integrated features. One thing that will benefit ecommerce store owners across the world is the addition of kerbside pickup options. With this, customers can request contactless kerbside pickup, reducing postage costs and ensuring the health and safety of all parties is maintained.
Support for announcement banners has also been added. With these, you can promote products, sales, or anything else you would like customers to know. There’s also a neat buy button, which you can add to an existing website to enable customers to make purchases through Square Online checkout.
Alternatives to Weebly
Weebly has traditionally been one of the big three website builders, alongside Wix (opens in new tab) and Squarespace (opens in new tab). In many ways, though, it has failed to keep up with the competition in recent years, and other builders have come through with more attractive offerings.
For one, Wix offers industry leading design flexibility. The Wix Editor is up there with the most advanced website builders we’ve used, and the drag-and-drop customizability is excellent. Weebly’s editor is much more limited, and you will be constrained by pre-coded element positions.
The Wix ADI tool also stands out, particularly for beginners who would like to take advantage of artificial intelligence to help them create their site. On the downside, Wix is quite expensive compared to Weebly and many other alternatives. But you will benefit from a huge template library, integrated ecommerce tools, a free domain with a premium subscription, and much, much more.
If you value design flexibility over professional templates and low prices, we’d definitely recommend using Wix over Weebly.
If you’re looking for something a little more beginner-friendly, GoDaddy (opens in new tab) could be the right option. Its editor is very simple, and it lacks design flexibility, but this could be a good thing, particularly if you just want to get online in a fast, hassle-free manner.
Like Weebly, GoDaddy enables you to create a simple online store. However, its ecommerce tools are very basic, and you will be much better off going with Weebly if selling online is going to be your main focus. There are various social media and marketing tools available, and the GoDaddy Studio contains a range of design and branding tools that you can take advantage of.
|Pros||- Attractive, professionally designed templates - Foolproof editing interface - Impressive ecommerce tools||- Huge template library - Industry-leading design flexibility - Beginner-friendly AI design tools||- Enables you to get online fast - Beginner-friendly editing interface - Attractive free-forever plan|
|Cons||- Limited design flexibility - No global undo button - Average customer service||- Can be a little confusing for beginners - Ecommerce tools are expensive - Storage and bandwidth constraints||- Very limited design flexibility - Small selection of average templates|
|Free domain||✔ (with high-end plans)||✔||✖|
|Ecommerce support||✔ (advanced)||✔||✔ (basic)|
|Support||Email, chatbot, phone with high-end plans||Online ticketing, 24/7 phone callback||24/7 live chat, phone|
|Basic plan||$6 a month||$14 a month||$6.99 a month|
|Verdict||Weebly is known as a leading website builder, especially for those who are looking for attractive templates or advanced ecommerce tools.||Wix offers excellent design flexibility backed by a large template library and a huge range of advanced features.||GoDaddy is one of the most beginner-friendly website builders we’ve used, and it enables you to get online in next to no time.|
|View deals||Visit site (opens in new tab)||Visit site (opens in new tab)||Visit site (opens in new tab)|
Weebly: The verdict
Overall, Weebly has fallen a little by the wayside in recent years. In the past, it was a leading website building option, sitting alongside Wix as a clear premium choice. However, many of its competitors have caught up, offering more attractive solutions. And this is despite Weebly’s integration with Square Online.
There are numerous professional templates that you can use to start your site. However, design flexibility is more than a little limited, and you will have a lot of trouble if you want to make significant changes to your template’s pre-coded layout.
On the plus side, the ecommerce tools on offer are excellent. Online stores are created and managed through the Square Online interface, and you will have access to a full range of tools for order management, inventory management, marketing, analytics, and store optimization.
All in all, Weebly remains an attractive website building option, but it’s certainly not a clear leader in the space anymore. It’s a good choice for ecommerce and simple personal sites, but we wouldn’t recommend it for larger or more complex sitesーthere simply isn’t enough design flexibility or scalability here.
The bottom line: take advantage of Weebly’s free-forever plan if you would like to test the platform, but don’t expect too much power.
Further reading on website builders and web hosting
Learn more about Square Online in our step-by-step guide on how to build a website with Square Online (opens in new tab). If you're looking for a small business site, check out our guide to the best small business website builders (opens in new tab); and if you want something with more flexibility and customization, check out the best web hosting (opens in new tab) services.