|Weebly standout features|
|Uptime||100% (based on the previous 90 days)|
|Best for||Beginners with no coding knowledge|
|Promotion||30-day money-back guarantee|
What Are the Pros and Cons of Weebly?
Weebly is attractive to e-commerce beginners because it is easy to build an SEO-optimized online store at a reasonable cost. While it will not benefit small businesses looking to scale, it is a great alternative for SMBs looking to test the e-commerce waters. If you start with Weebly, eventually you have to have a Square account. The only reason to use Weebly to start is for its editor, which has always been popular, or because you want a blog with your online store.
Pros of Weebly
- Easy to use: It took me only a few minutes to create a great-looking website using the free plan. I was able to add products, set up checkout and shipping, and optimize my site. Upgrading to a paid plan activated the premium features.
- Scalable: I like that Weebly can manage large websites without trouble. The underlying structure makes it possible for online stores to upload as many product pages as they want and add a blog.
- Customizable through code: Weebly’s themes are not natively customizable, but users can access the API to tweak the code.
- Integrated e-commerce features: Weebly has tools to help you sell online. Aside from essential functions such as creating product pages and checkout, it has strong marketing support.
- Robust customer support: New online store owners need all the support they can get, and Weebly provides that. You can get live help through chat, phone or email. It also maintains active self-service support channels, such as the support center and community forum.
Cons of Weebly
- Paid email platform: Weebly has strong marketing support, primarily because of its SEO and email marketing tools. Unfortunately, its email marketing depends on Weebly Promote, which requires a hefty payment to use.
- High transaction fees: Subscribers of the Pro plan must pay a 3% transaction fee on top of payment processing fees.
- Limited customization: Weebly has a separate builder for online stores that is less customizable than the classic Weebly editor. It’s Square Online’s builder. You must have a Square account for full e-commerce support and updates.
- No more updates or upgrades: Weebly has many things going for it and some that could be improved. But, you can likely rule out any further improvements or upgrades to the platform since it was acquired by Square in 2018 and the focus is now on Square Online.
- Small app store: Unlike most of its competitors, Weebly has just 360 third-party apps in its app store. Having such a small selection limits the possibilities for online store owners.
Weebly has two website builders: Weebly and Square. Weebly is the website editor, and Square is the editor for online stores. Both are easy to use, but Square is less customizable due to limited features. That’s bad news for anyone looking to build an e-commerce website.
However, anyone can create an attractive online store using any of Weebly’s 15 professionally designed themes. It might not seem like many, but the themes are free, and any beginner can customize them. Weebly’s editor is intuitive and easy to navigate. Weebly provides suggestions to personalize the site according to your site category, i.e., Online Store.
The preset templates are professional-looking. But there are very few themes for online stores available. You risk your site looking like others in your category unless you have coding skills. You can customize your site significantly by tweaking the code through the Weebly API.
You can access the back end through the dashboard. Click Edit on the top right of the page, and choose Themes. Look for “Edit HTML/CSS” on the bottom left corner of the screen.
Even on the free plan, you can add product pages to any Weebly website. Your store can sell physical and digital products, subscriptions, and event tickets. However, while you can add products, you can only sell when you upgrade your plan. For example, you can add digital files to download on a free plan, but it will show as out of stock until you upgrade to a paid plan.
Weebly also allows you to import items using a CSV file you create or export from Etsy or Shopify. You can also bulk upload an exported CSV file from Square if you upgrade your plan. Access this feature from your Dashboard by clicking Item > Site Items > Import Items if you have no items yet. If you have existing products, click Item > … > Import Items.
You can also export your products into a CSV file by clicking Item > … > Export Items. Use this feature when you want to update products in bulk.
Adding images in JPG or PNG format to product pages is easy. Just drag an image or click to upload; you can do this for multiple files. While Weebly supports video files on the homepage and other areas of your site, you cannot add them to the product page.
The best thing about Weebly’s product page feature is the chance to add and customize SEO options. It can help people find your online store and product.
Abandoned cart recovery
Like most other e-commerce platforms, Weebly offers abandoned cart recovery. It can help you claw back lost revenue when customers don’t complete an order.
When enabled, your online store sends out an email to customers with a link to their abandoned cart. You can customize the email design and content by editing it in Store Emails. Weebly also provides a report on the number of abandoned carts, amount of recovered revenue and email stats.
On a free plan, you can enable and set up your abandoned cart emails. However, when you upgrade to a Business Plus plan, your store will send those emails based on the parameters you set .
Nothing really moves without SEO, and Weebly offers excellent SEO features. In keeping with its simplicity mantra, you can optimize your online store in a few steps. Fill out the Description and Keywords for your entire site in Settings > SEO.
For individual pages, you can find these fields under Pages > [Page] > SEO Settings or Pages > [Product Page] > Edit Product.
The built-in SEO functions of Weebly do not rely on on-page SEO, i.e., product descriptions, alone. You can add them in the back end for each page, including the URL. Adding images that reflect your keywords also helps.
It works well to use the SEO options for all pages except the Home page. Leave these fields blank, as your Homepage should cede to the site-level SEO settings.
Payment processing on Weebly carries a 3% transaction fee on a Pro plan, which disappears with Business and Business Plus plans. You have two options for payment processors.
One is by connecting Stripe, which you can do on any plan. You can accept payments through credit cards, Apple Pay, and Android Pay, with a per-transaction fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents. Using Stripe makes the checkout process quick and painless.
The other option is to connect PayPal, which can cost store owners more than Stripe. Using PayPal redirects your customers to the PayPal page, which can be tedious. PayPal is a good option, though, because it is the most popular payment method in the U.S. PayPal is not available for free plans, so you will need to upgrade.
Weebly has one of the most flexible and functional mobile apps around. You can do almost anything you need to manage your online store, from editing to adding products and handling orders. It’s even possible to add a blog and upload blog articles.
You will use the same drag-and-drop interface with the mobile app, so there’s not much of a learning curve. However, you will need to get used to a smaller screen. The mobile app for iOS and Android are available here. Also, you can use a mobile browser in a pinch.
Weebly also provides interactive reports of site analytics in real time. You can monitor traffic patterns, search terms used by your visitors, and referral traffic sources.
The only issue regarding mobile support is the display. Not all themes translate as well as expected on mobile devices, primarily when you use a custom one. Some users experience problems with font sizes, while others find that the text bleeds on certain mobile devices.
Weebly offers basic inventory tracking for Business and Business Plus plans. You can enable this option for each product by supplying the starting inventory and a unique Item ID or SKU. Including the materials costs will also help you keep track of your cost of goods.
In addition, you can add Item Badges that let customers know when a product is on sale, running low or out of stock. This can spur sales by creating a fear of missing out (FOMO).
I found the built-in inventory management feature of Weebly lacking in critical functions. It doesn’t track fulfillment or sync inventory across other platforms like Etsy and Shopify. If you are drop-shipping, you need to get a third-party app to upload products, manage orders, and sync inventory.
However, if you have an online store with a small number of items to sell, Weebly’s essential inventory tools are adequate.
With Weebly Promote, you get a slew of features to help with email marketing. You can create automated emails for customers, such as when they sign up for your site or make a purchase. Also, it’s simple to launch email campaigns for the holidays using a preset template or make a custom one.
To do email marketing, you need a mailing list. Weebly lets you create one manually or import it from a file for unlimited contacts. When you send an email, you can specify to whom you want to send it.
I like the ability to segment the mailing list based on recipients’ behavior. It adds the personal touch that’s crucial for building trust with customers. By using segments, you can send relevant content to your target audience. After sending an email, you can view stats to see how well your campaign performed.
But there’s a huge catch to this email utopia. Weebly Promote fully integrates with Weebly sites, but you must pay for it separately. With the free trial, you receive three marketing campaigns, after which you’ll need to switch to a paid plan.
The least expensive is the Build plan, at $8 per month (five campaigns, 500 recipients per campaign, no automated emails). For unlimited everything (with a 250,000-email quota), you’ll pay a hefty $75 per month for the Accelerate plan.
The Weebly Promote subscription fee is above what you pay for your Weebly store plan. I consider that a serious black mark against Weebly.
Reporting and analytics
The Advanced reporting features, available only on Business and Business Plus plans, are adequate.
Track the performance of your online store through the Reports section of your Dashboard. You can get insights from the following:
- Traffic summary — top pages, search terms, and referring sites
- Site activity — most active pages by month
- Sources — most popular search terms and referring sites
- Sales summary —latest sales data and trends
- Items — performance of top items and variants
- Abandoned cart
- Coupons — coupon performance
I believe Weebly should have granted access to Reports to Pro plan users. It makes it less attractive to startups eager to test the e-commerce waters.
Given Reports’ limitations, I recommend adding your site to Google Analytics for better insights. This guide can help you with that.
When shipping a physical product, Weebly offers these carrier options:
- U.S. Postal Service
- Canada Post
If you choose Real Time Shipping in the General Shipping Profile, you only need to specify the box size and maximum weight allowance. Weebly will generate the shipping prices automatically at checkout. Real-Time Shipping is a premium feature only available in Business and Business Plus plans.
You can also choose the shipping rate types:
- Flat rate
- Free shipping
- Order weight
- Order total
- Item quantity
Shipping discounts of up to 55% may apply (UPS and U.S. Postal Service) for online stores in the U.S. The rate will depend on your plan.
Enabling the SSL certificate ensures your site has a secure 128-bit encrypted connection that will let visitors browse and check out securely. Additionally, Weebly sites have protection from cyberattacks through a DDoS mitigation service.
My big issue with Weebly is its inability to backup store data automatically. But it’s easy enough to export your site manually into a zip file as an offline backup. All you need is to provide an email address and hit “Email Archive” to receive a link to your download file.
But there is no easy way to restore the site if it crashes or otherwise loses data. And it does not archive blog and store pages, which I find perplexing as this is most of the data an online store owner will want to get back. I think Weebly missed the mark without this feature.
Weebly, through Square, offers live chat and phone support during business hours, although in my experience, it can be a while before someone picks up. Email support is available 24/7, as are the self-service options, including chatbot, blog articles, community forum, and the support center.
- Chat: The chat option is always available and responsive. I got help immediately.
- Email: It takes about 24 hours to get a response, and longer if you have a complex reason for getting in touch.
- Phone: You can request a call from the Customer Success team from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. U.S. Pacific Standard Time (9 a.m. to 9 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time) daily. If you don’t want to wait, call them by clicking the “Let’s talk” link to view the phone number.
- Community: The community is somewhat responsive. Someone on the Square support team tackles most issues and a response can take a few days.
There is no direct link to contact the customer success team for a phone call or live chat. You must go through the chatbot to get routed to these support channels. When you hit the “Let’s talk” link, you get the hotline number and a single-use PIN that you will need to enter when you call in. The PIN is good for 30 minutes.
I think Weebly should make it easier for subscribers to access phone support.
Compare Weebly Alternatives
Weebly is a popular e-commerce platform contender even now, with Square Online as its successor in the market. It still adequately services millions of customers worldwide, which is quite impressive given the merger. But how does it compare with its competitors?
See how Weebly compares to other top-tier e-commerce platforms that the team here at Digital.com recommends:
Frequently Asked Questions About Weebly
Can you use Weebly without Square?
How do I back up my Weebly site?
How do I get help from Weebly?
Does Weebly give you an email address?
How do I restore a Weebly website?
Can you make multiple websites on Weebly?
Can I use my own domain name with Weebly?
Should I choose Wix or Weebly?
While you can choose either of them to build your website, Wix is easier to use and gives you ample scope for customization. Weebly has a “forever free” version and is good for those on a budget.
If you want to be able to design a stellar, fully customized website, go for Wix. Weebly is for those looking for a value-for-money website builder.
Is Weebly trustworthy?
Is Weebly good for small businesses?
How I Rated Weebly
I test e-commerce providers based on the following factors:
- Value: What do you get for each plan — and does it hit that sweet spot of cost ratio to features?
- Ease of use: Is it simple to use the platform with intuitive tools, familiar interfaces, and supportive tutorials or tours?
- Features: Does the platform offer tools that support your business, including marketing integrations, plug-ins, reporting, and management? How effective are the features?
- Security: Which measures does the platform take to protect your business? Does it offer Payment card industry (PCI) compliance and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates?
- Support and improvements: How well does the platform help when you need it? And will it continue to grow with your needs?
Learn more about our review methodology.