Bottom line: Choosing a website builder often comes down to its site builder, product innovation, and ease of use, all of which Weebly was known for at one point. It still offers one of the best “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) site editors that’s simple for anyone to use. Square, the finance and digital payment company, acquired Weebly in 2018, putting improvements to its features on the back burner. Weebly is still a good e-commerce platform for beginners with limited coding knowledge who want to build a website quickly. Its intuitive drag-n-drop editor is easy to use. While I can’t recommend it for e-commerce, Weebly’s website builder is still a quick and easy solution for getting a website online.
Who should choose Weebly? Small- and midsize businesses (SMBs) looking to build an online store quickly and affordably.
What we like about Weebly
- Ease of use: I’ve always thought Weebly is one of the easiest site builders to use, especially for beginners. The drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor makes it simple to create the site you want, while the grid-based design prevents those with zero design skills from messing up a website entirely. That ease comes at a cost, however, as more design-savvy users may find the builder somewhat restrictive.
- Affordable: There are plenty of cheap website builders, but Weebly doesn’t hide behind high renewal costs. Plans start at $0. Plus, you can sell products with any plan — including the free plan.
- 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.
- Large app center: If you don’t see a feature you need from Weebly, it likely exists in the app center. There are more than 375 apps from which you can choose; some are free, and others have a small monthly cost. You’ll find third-party apps alongside Weebly-built apps to help add functionality to your website.
- Lots of SEO help: Weebly allows you to modify lots of SEO settings, including page titles, URLs, and page descriptions. You can also add alt text for images and update SEO settings for blog posts.
- Easily switch themes: Most website builders won’t allow you to swap out a theme or template on a whim, but Weebly does. I’ve been able to swap themes a few times and keep my content the same, which is a huge timesaver.
What fell flat
- Not scalable: I wouldn’t scale a business website built on Weebly because there just isn’t enough product support to ensure my site would load quickly or have the apps needed for more advanced functionality.
- No mobile optimization: Many, but not all, of Weebly’s themes are mobile responsive, and they’re not perfect. While many website builders have kept up with the changing times, Weebly has not adopted Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project for quick load speeds on mobile.
- Lack of innovation and product development: Ever since Square acquired Weebly in 2018, product development seems to have stopped for the Weebly website builder, so updates have ceased, which will only exacerbate its shortcomings.
- 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.
Weebly’s Editorial Review
Having tried my hand at building my store and testing all of Weebly’s features, I feel that Weebly offers generous features for its entry-level paid plans and e-commerce tools to help small businesses get online quickly. It has good security and user support, and a small app store so you can add features and functions to your online store as needed.
While Weebly’s pricing is attractive and the site editor is so quick to learn, but the old platform isn’t likely to receive an update. Still, it’s a good choice for ultra-small businesses or personal projects.
- Store design and themes
- Product upload
- Abandoned cart email
- Payment processing
- Mobile support
- Inventory management
- Email marketing
- Reporting and analytics
- Shipping options
- Third-party apps
Plans and Pricing
One of the big reasons to choose Weebly is its affordable pricing for all plans, including web hosting. Whether you’re just playing around on the forever-free plan or need unlimited storage for a small business website, Weebly’s plans are meant for those on a budget. Weebly’s online store pricing is straightforward, and even the lowest plans have some cool features.
- Good for: Hobbyists
- Personal–$10 per month
- Good for: Personal websites
- Professional–$16 per month
- Good for: Small businesses, freelancers
- Performance–$29 per month
- Good for: Small to midsized businesses
On Weebly’s two most expensive plans, you’ll save about $3 to $4 per month if you pay annually rather than month-to-month.
All plans come with an online store, the ability to add at least 25 products and add 100 or more memberships, unlimited storage, and a shopping cart. Also, they all include a drag-and-drop editor, hosting, SSL security, and support via chat and email.
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 professionally designed themes.
I only found about 50 themes, but they’re all decent designs. Most are uncluttered and designed to show off your photos or products.
Themes are categorized by the types, such as business, portfolio, and blog. Feel free to pick any that you like, though — you can add a blog or remove a gallery to make a theme fit your needs. Most of the themes I tested are mobile responsive, so your site should look good on any size device.
One of the best features of Weebly is that you can switch a theme at any time without losing your content. As you can see above, my business name, header, button text, and edited image all stayed, but my theme swapped.
This helps if you want to get started with adding content right away and figure out the look and feel of your site later. With that said, it’s no wonder that Weebly theme switching is so easy — most of the themes have similar layouts.
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.
Weebly’s website editor is what has historically set it apart from others, and it’s still helpful.
A WYSIWYG type of website builder editor such as Weebly’s makes it easy to pull together a website in real time. Images, text boxes, spacers, and buttons appear on the page as you drag and drop them. To edit anything, just click on the element you’ve added to the page and add a photo or type your text. I found Weebly’s website builder fairly intuitive.
Another helpful feature of Weebly’s site editor is the built-in photo editor. When you add a photo to a page, you can modify its size, add blur, or apply a filter to give it a new look. This is especially helpful to give free stock images a unique look.
Though the changes you make are saved in your editor, you’ll have to hit the publish button to make the changes live on your site
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 places like 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.
Of all the website builders I’ve used, I find Weebly the most accessible when it comes to on-page SEO for newcomers. Sure, it could’ve titled fields in the blog post options as “meta description” or “meta title,” but it used “SEO” to make it clear that’s what it’s for. And SEO settings are clearly marked for the whole site.
You can add site description, include Google Analytics code for tracking purposes in your footer, and set up 301 redirects. There’s a section for meta keywords also, but it’s not necessary anymore.
I liked that Weebly creates a sitemap for you, which you can access by going to your domain and adding /sitemap.xml. Although you don’t have to create a sitemap yourself, you can access it to submit it to popular search engines, such as Google and Bing. This will help search engines find your whole site, not just a part of it, which contributes to better SEO.
As SEO-friendly as Weebly tries to be, it’s pretty well known for having slow-loading pages, which is terrible for SEO. Google has made it clear that page load speed is factored into search engine page results (SERPs) rankings.
And Weebly doesn’t do much for its customers to make it faster, so there’s no content delivery network (CDN) to help photos load faster, nor does Weebly have Google AMP optimization for mobile sites.
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. Also, you can use a mobile browser in a pinch.
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 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.
Weebly also has a mobile app, from which you can use to edit your site or manage inventory or orders. The mobile app is a convenient way for you to continue doing business or blogging when you’re away from your computer.
The apps for both iOS and Android used to get high ratings from users, but recent reviews have been low because of bugs and lack of support.
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 found the email builder just as intuitive as Weebly’s site builder. Just drag and drop the elements you want and edit directly on the template. Once you have your email just right, add the sender name and contact info, and then choose the contacts for your send list.
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.
I also like the pop-up notifications that you can add to your website. You can create them to collect emails, offer coupons, or even verify ages for adult-only content. Even adding Facebook Messenger for a live chat on your website doesn’t require you to add an app — just set it up under the Communications tab.
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.
From the Overview of my Weebly account, I was able to look at a few charts with data about my site. For the free plan, I found stats on sales, page views, and unique visits. Weebly offers more insights that you can view under the Reports section.
Depending on your level of plan, you can see these reports:
- Summary: Traffic, sales, and marketing statistics for your site
- Site traffic: Your top pages, keywords, and backlinks
- Site activity: Most popular or active pages on your site
- Sources: Where your visitors originate, such as search engine, keywords, and backlinks
- Online sales: Sales data, including daily or weekly reports of sales, orders, average order amount, and units sold
- Site items: Which products are selling and which variants of products are most popular
- Abandoned cart: The items that are most often left behind
- Coupons: Sales you make from coupons customers use
All of these insights are helpful for making business decisions, especially for e-commerce businesses.
Small businesses that only use their websites to have an online presence and share information with customers and prospects may not need all these reports. You can get more in-depth traffic reports by simply using Google Analytics, which Weebly helps you do.
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.
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.
I won’t list all the available apps in the Weebly App Center — there are more than 375 (and more than 50 are free to use). That’s a lot of added functionality at no added cost. Those that do come with a fee vary from $5 to $80 per month.
I found some great apps that I would add to my site (if I continued with my fake site), including Pinpoll, Gobot, and maybe Printful, for drop-shipping. There are literally hundreds more that I didn’t explore, all made specifically for the Weebly platform.
The bad news is that this is all you’re going to get. Weebly has stopped reviewing app submissions from developers and instead directs development teams to create apps for Square.
All the blog features you could need or want are built into the blog page. It was easy for me to create a new page from the Pages section at the top and make it a blog. You can add or modify the blog sidebar with an author bio, list archived posts, and categories, and set up an RSS feed.
Keyboard shortcuts you use in word processor programs work here too, so you can quickly make text bold or apply italics, for example. Once you post your blog, you’ll see that the URL is standard, as in it uses your blog title for the URL.
It was somewhat difficult to find Post Options. Look in the bottom left corner of your screen when you have a blog post chosen — you can turn comments on or off, add categories, or add some SEO boosters to each post. Under Advanced, you can change the URL of a blog post, add a meta title, and add a meta description.
All Weebly sites get the benefit of a SSL certificate — yes, even free sites. It is compliant with both General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). But logging into your account is a bit wonky.
From free to the top-tier paid plan, all Weebly sites are secured with an SSL certificate, which means you can safely send and receive data on your site and know it’s encrypted. Weebly does a good job of giving you basic security, but it doesn’t go the extra mile. For example, there’s no requirement for two-factor authentication (2FA); just use your username and password to log in.
Also, I was incredibly frustrated with the login system. I logged out to look for information that I couldn’t easily get to while logged in. When I tried to log back in, my email didn’t work. Finally, I logged in via Square even though I’d never signed up for a Square account. It worked. Keep this in mind if you choose to start a Weebly website and log out for any reason.
It’s worth mentioning that Weebly allows you to password-protect your whole site or even just pages. That’s a specific form of security, but it doesn’t lend security to payments or active data — just access.
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.
Response time wasn’t as fast as I’m used to with other website builder support teams, but this is Square’s customer support team. Square seems to continuously grow, so hopefully, it’s growing its support team, too.
So, how helpful is Square’s support for Weebly products? I can’t complain about that either. The support agent I spoke with was friendly and answered my question (sort of).
I specifically asked about support and development of the Weebly platform and my research and suspicions were confirmed — Weebly won’t get anything new from here on out. But the platform isn’t going to suddenly disappear either, at least for now.
Most of the articles and guides in the help center actually helped me figure out how to do something within the Weebly platform. Yet many of the articles were outdated.
I think Weebly should make it easier for subscribers to access phone support.
- Curbside pickup: The COVID-19 pandemic spurred the need for Weebly site owners to offer curbside pickup. Weebly responded by making it an option for paid plan site owners.
- Announcement banners: Site owners on Square Online can add popups and banners to announce important news or sales to customers.
- Professional product shots: Weebly online store users can sign up for the Square Photo Studio service to get professional product shots and interactive photos of their product pages for $9.95 and $29.95 each, respectively.
- Shareable pay link: With Square Online Checkout, Weebly users can accept payments online without creating a new website on Square Online. You can use the free payment platform by creating shareable pay links, buttons, or printable QR codes to accept payments.
- Last developer update from Weebly in June 2021: The last time Weebly posted a product development update on its blog was in June 2021 to announce the difference between the Weebly website editor and the Square Online site builder. In that same post, there were details about single-use coupons for both Weebly and Square Online builders.
- Weebly for Education no longer supported: Years ago, educators took advantage of Weebly for Education, a platform that allowed teachers to create free websites at education.weebly.com. This ended a couple years ago, and all student websites and accounts were disabled. Educator accounts were transferred to the Free plan by Weebly. What educators loved about Weebly for Education was that every teacher could manage up to 40 student websites for free. Now, Weebly is offering a 50% discount with Edublogs, which normally costs $39 per year with 50GB of storage.
Compare Weebly Alternatives
Weebly allows you to build a website or an online store with one of the easiest-to-use site editors.
As much as many people love the Weebly platform, it may not be the best option for building your website. Maybe you want to go for a do-it-yourself route; if so, check out the best web hosting providers we suggest.
But if you’d rather have an all-in-one solution, we’ve researched a lot of different website builders and created a comparison chart below. See how Weebly compares to some of the top-ranking website builders:
Pricing + Basic Plan Features
- Drag-and-drop editor
- Online store
- 25 products
- Unlimited storage
- 24/7 support
- Membership site
- Shipping tools
Consider Weebly if:
You’re a small business that wants a basic website and have no coding knowledge
Frequently Asked Questions About Weebly
Can you use Weebly without Square?
No. You need to create a Square account to build a Weebly online store.
How do I back up my Weebly site?
You can export your website data through Dashboard > General. Navigate to Archive and enter an email address to receive the zip file link. Click on “Email Archive” to start the process. Note that the backup does not include store or product data.
How do I get help from Weebly?
Weebly offers multiple self-help and live support channels for its subscribers. Business and Business Plan users get priority support.
Does Weebly give you an email address?
No, Weebly plans do not include email hosting, though it integrates with Google Workspace.
How do I restore a Weebly website?
You can request the Weebly support team to restore a deleted site through the email you used to manage your account. Provide information such as the site title and when it was deleted. There is no guarantee they will be successful.
Can you make multiple websites on Weebly?
Yes. Go to your account Dashboard, click on the current site, and hit “Add a Site.” You can have up to 10 sites associated with one account.
Can I use my own domain name with Weebly?
Yes, you can with paid plans. If you use a free plan, you need to use the Weebly subdomain provided to you.
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?
Yes, Weebly is a reliable and trustworthy website builder. It is safe and secure, too. Weebly is PCI-DSS compliant and provides SSL certificates for every website you build using it. It has a great support team, too.
Is Weebly good for small businesses?
Thanks to its easy-to-use user interface, a free-forever plan, and basic selling features, Weebly is well-suited to small businesses. If you’re on a budget but need an online store builder with a good support team, Weebly is a great choice for you.
What are the disadvantages of using Weebly?
The biggest disadvantage of using Weebly is that its developers have stopped adding new elements or tools to the platform, so it won’t be as competitive as other website builders. Additionally, Weebly is not set up to support growing businesses with large, complex websites.
Is a Weebly website really free?
Yes, a Weebly website really is free. You’ll have to use a subdomain of Weebly (yourbusiness.weebly.com), which doesn’t appear very professional. And you’ll be limited to basic features and only 500MB of storage for images and files.
How I Rated Weebly
At Digital.com, we know how important it is to test products thoroughly and compare how they measure against the industry leaders. I spent hours familiarizing myself with Weebly’s dashboard, setup process, website builder, and all of its features. While my definition of “easy to use” may differ from others, I approached this as though I was new to website builders and compared it to my experience with some of the top site builders we’ve also reviewed.
This comprehensive overview of Weebly can quickly answer whether it’s the right website builder for you. We also drilled down to specific features, so you can have a more detailed look at features or services. I gave more weight to some parameters, including features, security, support, pricing, ease of use, and how Weebly has improved since our last review.
I test website builders based on the following factors:
- Customization options: Can you change the look and feel of a template or add your own code?
- Ease of use: Is the navigation intuitive with built-in tools, such as an in-app photo editor?
- Value: Can you get a free plan or trial to give the builder a test drive? Are there extensive features on paid plans that justify the cost?
- Features: Does the platform offer tools that support your business, including marketing integrations, plug-ins, reporting, and management? How effective are the features?
- Security: What does the website builder do to keep your site and your customers’ data safe?
- Templates: Are the templates attractive, updated, and generally high quality? Can you find many to choose from?
- Support: Can you get help when needed, whether it’s from a human or support center articles?
- Recent improvements: Has the builder done anything lately to step up its offerings?
Learn more about our review methodology.