Weebly is one of the leading free website builders on the web. It makes it possible for anyone to build a website of any kind, using the simple drag and drop website builder. Weebly also offers several premium plans. While Weebly has many impressive features and benefits, are you really better off using this service rather than simply buying a domain and signing up with a traditional web host such as Bluehost, GoDaddy, iPage or one of the others? In this article, we’ll be looking at the pros and cons of Weebly and how it stacks up against conventional hosting.
What is Weebly?
Weebly is a web host, but one that caters to users who want the process of building a site to be very simple and non-technical. Weebly advertises its most popular service as “free hosting”. Indeed, you can sign up right now and have a free website online in less than an hour (or even fifteen minutes, if you work fast and don’t add too many features right away).
With Weebly, you simply choose one of over 100 templates and begin dragging and dropping the elements you want to include. You can add text, images, slideshows, videos and just about anything you could add on any other type of website. There is no need to download any kind of software or plugins (which are used widely on WordPress sites). The entire process is easy to understand.
Many people start out with free websites on Weebly and then decide to upgrade. There are several more advanced plans, starting with Basic, which allows you to add your domain. The premium plans range from $4 to $25 per month and you can choose which premium features matter most to you. For example, if you want to build an online store and sell unlimited items, you could choose their eCommerce plan.
Of course, it’s possible to do all of the same things with a traditional web host as you can on Weebly. So does it really make sense to use this service? Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of Weebly compared to leading web hosts.
Weebly – Pros
Here are the leading benefits of using Weebly.
It would be difficult to create a more intuitive and simple user interface than you’ll find at Weebly. For this reason, it can be a good choice for newbies as well as anyone who shuns anything technical.
Lets You Build a High Quality Free Site
If you’re looking to build a website for free, you have other options. Most free web hosting, however, is severely limited compared with what you can do on Weebly. You won’t, for example, have to put up with forced third-party ads on your free site.
Good Selection of Templates
This allows you to create a professional looking website and one that is relevant to your niche, whether your site is based on your personal interests or your business.
You can create and edit your site on your phone or tablet using Weebly’s mobile apps.
Even with a free account at Weebly, you get a $100 coupon for Google AdWords.
Easy to Upgrade
Because Weebly offers several premium plans, you can start off at whatever level you’re comfortable with and upgrade later if you choose to.
Weebly – Cons
There are certain disadvantages to using Weebly as opposed to a traditional web host. Some of these cons apply only to the free plan, but others apply across the board.
Your Site is Hosted on Weebly’s Domain
If you have a free website (using their free plan), you will be using Weebly’s domain and not your own. If you want to optimize your site for the search engines and build your brand, this is not ideal. You could, of course, upgrade to the Starter premium plan at $4 per month. On the other hand, you can find many web hosts that charge that price or even less.
Blog Options are Limited
While Weebly does have a blog tool, it’s far less customizable than using a blogging application such as WordPress. If you want to make changes to the layout, you will have to do some coding.
Premium Accounts Are Not Cheap
While Weebly’s Starter plan, where you can connect your domain, is not a bad deal at $4 per month, once you start upgrading beyond this you will be paying more for hosting than you would with most conventional web hosts.
For example, the eCommerce plan, at $25 per month, gives you lots of useful features, but you could also set up a free shopping cart with shared hosting for $3- $5 per month with a host such as Bluehost. On the other hand, you are paying for the convenience of using Weebly’s extremely user-friendly platform.
Is Weebly your best choice?
As we have seen, there are pros and cons to using Weebly rather than buying a domain and signing up for hosting elsewhere. It really depends on what you value most. If you want a free website, you really can’t do better than Weebly. The premium plans, while costing as much or more than traditional hosting, make it easy for you to have access to a wide range of features.
Before deciding whether or not Weebly is right for you, it’s best to carefully consider your needs and see what Weebly has to offer. Check them out at Weebly.com.