One of my most read post is my review on Weebly as a free website builder and host. Since that article was written over 2 years ago and the fact that I am still getting queries on Weebly these days, I have decided to do an updated review on this popular web host.
What has changed and what has not
Well, Weebly is still the awesome web host they were 2 years ago, which allows you to create websites and blogs with their easy-to-use interface.
They are doing pretty well since my last review of them. They now host more than 12 million websites compared to over 3 million in 2010. Definitely a testimony of great and reliable services. They have included additional features over the years, which we will take a look shortly.
Is Weebly still free?
Now for the question that’s on everyone’s mind. Is Weebly still available freely to you and me or have they change their business model? The answer is yes, they are still free. And no, there’s no catch!
Check out Weebly official website now, and start a website for free!
Of course, there’s the “Weebly Pro” version for those who wants more features but I like the fact that they did not remove the free version or reduce its features. Or worse, tried to push you to upgrade to the premium version.
The greatest thing about Weebly is that all its features are well-organized and intuitive. No jargons and no complicated scripts. Only direct and easy to understand drag and drop options. Very short learning curve. Superb for those looking for a simple and free to use website builder and host. In short, Weebly is very easy to use!
Now, I have touched a lot on features in my previous review and those had either remained the same or enhanced. Here, I would like to highlight a few more features which I think you will find interesting too.
Even though Weebly is simple and extremely easy to use, the technology behind it is not. These guys have solid IT hardware and software to ensure that uptime is reliable and at par with some major premium hosting providers. With redundant datacenters and cloud based hosting, Weebly is able to ensure your hosting is still up and running despite any sudden surge in traffic!
Domain Name Options
You have 3 choices ie use your existing domain name, register a new domain name if you don’t already have one, or get a free sub-domain name with Weebly.com. If you wish to register a new domain name, Weebly can help you do so for a fee. The domain name is yours to keep and control. If you would like to use your own domain name, Weebly will help you point it to the right place for free.
Weebly is not only for blogs and websites but also for those wishing to build an online business. Uploading new products, keying in prices and adding a description are easily done with their drag and drop tool. You can easily integrate PayPal and Google Checkout which allow your E-commerce website to receive payments online.
With more and more mobile users in recent years, Weebly has added a great feature that transforms your website into a mobile friendly website automatically and free of charge. You don’t even have to invest in a separate responsive theme, unless if you wish to of course.
Weebly comes with a list of great themes, you can check out some of them on this page.
Detailed Traffic Stats
It’s not just about building websites and hosting, Weebly also lets you track your website’s traffic eg total visitors, popular pages, search terms and referring websites.
Weebly or WordPress
Many have enquired whether Weebly or WordPress is better. Well, both have its pros and cons and its users and supporters. Weebly’s WYSIWYG editor interface is simple to use and only requires basic IT knowledge to create a working website in a short time.
On the other hand, WordPress has more features. Some are rather straight forward while others are designed for the tech savvies. WordPress is comparatively more dependable and has lots of forums and information dedicated to its users.
At the end of the day, it’s really up to your skills and what your website requirements are. If yours is a simple website that runs comfortably well and don’t mind the little challenges now and then, Weebly is perfect for you. But if top-notch dependability and flexibility is your main criteria, then WordPress may be the answer.
Now as mentioned above, there is a Weebly Pro version and this version provides you more features which you will need to pay. The fees vary depending on the period you are signing up for but it’s less than $5 per month. How will you know whether you need Weebly Pro or is the free Weebly version adequate? Well, take a look at the extra features that Weebly Pro offers before you decide.
Video and Audio Player
You have the options to add video and audio files onto your website and Weebly will automatically convert them for web playback.
Individual File Size Increase
The free version has unlimited bandwidth and disk space but allows only a maximum of 5 MB for each uploaded file, which is quite enough for most of us. But for those who have bigger individual files, Weebly Pro increases this to 100 MB!
Delete / Customize Footer Message
Free Weebly has this tiny “Create a free website with Weebly” on your footer link. Weebky Pro gives you the option to delete or customize this text / link.
This is very useful if you plan to upload documents onto your website or blog. If you upload the original document as it is, then you readers would need to download before they can open it. But if you embed the document, your readers can directly access it on your site and scroll through it.
Number Of Sites
You get up to 10 websites compared to 2 with your free version.
File Upload Option
Weebly has an easy-to-use form builder. In the pro version, you get to add a “file upload” field to your forms if you so wish.
With the premium version, you get premium support as well with faster response.
If you still can’t make up your mind, no worries. Just sign up for the free Weebly account first and then upgrade anytime when you think you need the extra features. If you do not want to upgrade, you can continue to use Weebly for FREE for however long you want.
So for those planning to build a simple website or two, then the free Weebly is just right for you. Even for beginners, it’s extremely easy to understand and use, yet is powerful enough to build a great website or blog. Those with limited technical skills or IT knowledge will find Weebly has all the information and tools they need to create the online presence they wanted!