How to Create a Website on Weebly
Although modern technologies have turned the process of website building into a game, some users still find it challenging to pick the right platform. The lack of skills and a clear understanding of what they really look for results in a waste of time and money. Are you ready to dive deep into the coding process or need a simpler tool to create a website in minutes? If you are from the second category, Weebly is certainly to consider.
Weebly – is one of the most reputable website builders out there with over a decade of history and expertise in the website building niche. What we do know is that it is a drag-and-drop veteran with over a decade of building expertise and millions of sites live.
What is really good about the platform is the fact that it lets create different project types from simple online business cards and small business sites to fully-manageable digital shops. No matter what kind of site you need, zero coding is needed. In addition, users may access a selection of award-winning features to customize and promote their websites.
Is the software that good? I’ve decided to check what the fuss is all about and conducted a detailed review of how to create a website on Weebly.
What Is Weebly?
Weebly is a drag-and-drop website builder for non-technicians and newbies. The software made its debut back in 2006. It has evolved over the years to let modern users create not only content-based sites and blogs but also eCommerce and small business projects. The system comes as an all-in-one solution with hosting and domain already included in the package price.
The platform has become extremely popular. It currently boasts over 30 million live websites over the globe. What features make it so special and popular? What lies behind that intuitive website building software?
A Brief Introduction to Weebly Features
- Ease-of-Use – the core benefit that attracts millions of users with zero technical skills. The system has implemented typical drag-and-drop technology letting users create any page structure from scratch in minutes. You will see how simple it is to build a website on Weebly in my review further.
- Customization – Weebly has a range of its custom templates and applications to make your website more engaging. You may access add-ons and widgets to promote your project, generate visitors, feedback, sell products, go social, interact with the target audience in many ways, etc.
- Ready-to-Go Solution – the system offers hosting facilities and domain registration services in addition to its custom website builder. No need to look for side hosting providers. You get all the necessary facilities to store your project assets within a chosen plan.
- eCommerce – we have a good example of how a simple platform may combine different functions. Weebly offers a solid eCommerce functionality powered by Square (a globally recognizable POS solution developer). Users can manage their items, create a catalog, manage and sell products online.
- Built-In Functionality – you may not even need to do the website editing. Simply select a template with already integrated functions, connect a domain, and go live in minutes.
It looks good on paper. Now, we are going to see how the above-mentioned features work under real-life conditions. Let’s create a simple website on Weebly and check how much time and effort it will take.
Steps to Build a Site on Weebly
It generally takes from 15 minutes to several hours to go live with your new website. The time needed will mainly depend on the project complexity and features you want to add. Once again, no special skills or technical knowledge are necessary.
Step #1 – Signing In
It all starts with a traditional registration form. To access the website builder, you need to provide your email and choose a password. There is a chance to log in with the help of Facebook or Google account, which certainly saves time. The software will ask you to indicate the country.
No credit card numbers or other billing info are necessary from the start. The website builder is initially free to use. However, the free package comes with only baseline functionality. The good news is that it is enough to proceed with our review and test all available features with no limitations. As for the plans and prices, we will return to them a bit further in the review.
Step #2 – Building a Website
At this stage, you actually start building your site from the ground. As it was mentioned earlier, the system uses WYSIWYG functionality. It means that a user may create literally any page structure using blocks and elements located in the left sidebar. The collection of blocks contains images, headers, menus, galleries, contact forms, text blocks, dividers, spacers, social buttons, video and audio options, etc.
Let’s try to add a button. Simply select the necessary widget on your left and hover it to the editing area. You may not only add elements but also edit them. In our example, we may change the color of the button. Users may also change the style and positioning, insert a link, edit spacing, etc.
As a drag-and-drop editor, Weebly makes it super easy to customize some of the elements making the website look more authentic. For instance, I have added an “About Myself” block and want to make it a bit more recognizable. The best way is to add a photo in the space provided. All I need is to drag-and-drop it to the widget area and then edit or replace it whenever needed with a click.
Step #3 – Manage Your Pages
The dashboard makes it simple to manage all website pages as well as add new ones. To do so, we need to go to the Pages section and have the list of them displayed on the left. Simply click on the page you want to manage and access advanced settings. Here we may:
- Edit header;
- Setup page visibility;
- Modify SEO data.
Visibility settings let you open or restrict access to a particular page. For instance, you want to display the website content only to registered users. The platform lets you limit access and send personalized passwords to group members. Another way is to protect all the content with a single website password.
SEO tools are available for each page as well. A great tool for those who want to promote content using traditional SEO tactics. You do not need to be an optimization guru to type in page title, meta descriptions, and keywords. For more advanced users, there is also a footer and header code editing option.
Step #4 – Customize Your Website
Now, when we have added some content, it is high time we customized our website to make it look more attractive for the user. Weebly offers several options in terms of design and customization. The easiest way is to opt for a list of available custom templates. They are divided into several categories making is simple to select the one that applies to your niche. All themes are free to use. Here we have layouts for digital shops, business sites, events, blogs, portfolios, etc.
There is a great option for users who want to use their own templates. Weebly has a theme import feature letting you download files from the local folder.
Another way to make your website look more engaging is to add apps and widgets to your site. The platform has its custom App Market with a selection of plugins to get to your site. All apps are divided into several categories. This is where you need to be careful, as some widgets are free and others are paid. The selection is very huge. It includes analytic tools, payment options, mobile converters, text animations, etc.
We are going to try to add a simple free add-on to let users easily scroll back to the top of the page. Follow me to the App Market where we will choose a relevant add-on. It comes with a detailed description and images. Some widest also have a demo version. This one doesn’t.
The last stage is to press the “Add” button. The system will display another window informing a user about the upcoming add-on connection. If you agree with further actions, press the “Connect” button.
The software will automatically transfer you to the website builder. The widget will appear in the control panel on the left. Simply drag-and-drop it to the page area and have the app successfully installed. By the way, the system lets you edit the add-on just as any other page element.
Step #5 – Add a Blog
A blog is not just a way to share your knowledge and thoughts with the target audience. It might also be a good solution for website promotion. Weebly comes with a good blogging feature that lets you create, publish, and edit posts with a couple of clicks.
To add a blog, you need to go to the Page section. Click on the “Add new” icon to open the list of all page types. Select the blog page and the system will automatically transfer you to the new dashboard that actually looks the same as the initial one.
We can see the same control panel in the left sidebar. It helps to customize the blog separately from the original website. Moreover, here you may add new posts, edit text and SEO fields. Do you need to make the article look more engaging? Simply select an element from the left. Let it be a slideshow with multiple styling options.
Step #6 – Add the Product Page
As it was mentioned earlier, Weebly has a solid eCommerce functionality. What’s more, it is powered by Square – a well-established producer of point of sale software for live and online digital stores. For us, the core benefit is the ease of use. Adding new products looks like a piece of cake.
Once again, we need to go to the page section and choose the Product Page there. Now we need to fill it in with the product before it will appear on our website. The process includes several simple stages:
- Insert the item name and description, upload an image.
- Edit the fulfillment section and select the way your customers can receive the item. Indicate additional info if necessary.
- Add product options and fill in the item SEO fields.
Save the changes and have products displayed on your website.
Step #7 – Preview and Go Live
Weebly makes it possible to create responsive sites that run great on different types of devices. If you have doubts regarding the way your sit runs on smartphone screens, there is a mobile preview option. The main downside here is that the feature does not include tablet screen preview. That might be a slight downside. If you are satisfied with the result, press the “Publish” button and go live.
Step #8 – Select a Plan
Despite the fact the website builder itself is free to use, you will need to choose a plan. Otherwise, you will not be able to go live and host your project. The good news is that Weebly is an all-in-one solution offering hosting and domain registration facilities. It currently has three major plans:
- Personal costs $6 for all main features and a custom domain.
- Professional costs $12 for removed branding.
- Performance costs $26 for integrated payment gateways, lost sale recovery, and some eCommerce extras.
There is a fast and simple way to find answers to some questions that may arise during the building process. A handy guide can be accessed right from the dashboard. Here you may find step-by-step tutorials covering all major topics. If that is not enough, the knowledge base contains hundreds of articles with an extra chance to add your own suggestions for the platform optimization.
I must say that Weebly has proved to be a very easy and yet efficient platform to create sites. It took me not more than 20 minutes to figure out how everything works and create a fully functional website layout featuring widgets, a blog, and a product page. This fact proves that the platform will certainly work out for newbies, although some may consider plan prices a bit too high.