Ready to build a beautiful and professional website that impresses every pair of eyes that see it?
Better get your checkbook out, because this is going to get expensive. Just kidding. And stop trying to sell your moms fine china on Ebay to pay a professional designer to build your website.
Today, we’re going to review and walk through Weebly. Weebly is a drag and drop website builder that requires zero tech skills whatsoever. It removes all complexity and hassle of hosting, html, and any kind of code. It is organized and simplified to the point where it’s almost obvious what your next step is.
Rather than dedicating precious time or money on an intricate web site, let’s tackle it head on and build it ourselves in this Weebly review and tutorial.
Founded in 2007 and based in San Francisco, they started out as nothing special. But over the years they have added features and simplified the process for more than 15 million websites.
In a single sentence, Weebly is an incredibly easy to use website builder that lets you ‘drag and drop’ until you have everything where you want it.
No need to get hosting or buy an outside theme for your website – it’s all included in your membership. Even for the free plan. Get your free Weebly account to build your beautiful website (risk free) as I walk you through the entire process.
1) Weebly SEO (search engine optimization) is fully customizable. You can use Title, meta and description tags. (If you aren’t 100% sure what this means, read our SEO Guide)
2) You can add a forum to your website by direct integration through tal.ki. All you have to do is drag the Forum widget inside your Weebly website dashboard and it automatically sets up.
3) You are able to add HTML code for external widgets and code.
4) Easily get feedback or get in contact with your customers through customizable surveys and forms.
5) There are no limits on bandwidth or storage so you can add as much content as you like!
6) If you run into trouble at any time, you can get ahold of support through live chat and email or find the information you need through their knowledge base.
The templates below are 2 great examples of the quality of the websites you can build with Weebly. After you create your free account, you have a ton of other templates to choose from. No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll quickly find a theme that fits your business perfectly.
Another cool thing to keep in mind is that (on most templates) you will have multiple color options for your website. For instance, in the first theme template below, the bottom left hand side you’ll see the different color options you’ll have.
Visit the Weebly home page, and sign up for your free account. All you have to do is add your name, email, and create a password – then press the “Get Started” button.
After you press the ‘Get Started’ button, you’ll be taken to a page (below) where you can choose a pricing plan for your website. You can do two things here:
1) Compare the plans to see which one will work best for you.
2) Select the Free plan and test everything out without paying a dime.
For the purposes of this guide, I’ll assume you chose the Free plan. This way you can test everything out before you pay a dime.
But talk a little about the plans in detail:
Free = $0 per month: Everything you need to get started. Although you will have to put up with a Weebly ad if you choose this option, you’ll still have a beautiful website.
Starter = $4 per month: This plan will remove all Weebly branding, give you premium support, unlimited pages, and the ability to customize your websites footer.
Pro = $8 per month: With this plan you’ll get even more features like header slide shows, video player, and password protected pages.
Business = $25 per month: For the premium plan of Weebly, you’ll be able to create unlimited memberships, have a fully loaded ecommerce store, and be able to track your inventory. If you’re planning on selling anything online, this is most likely the plan you’ll need.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay an extra $39.95 for your own domain name if you buy it through Weebly. Otherwise, you can get one at Godaddy.com for about $12 and redirect your domain. (Not as hard as it sounds! We’ll talk about that below.)
What will you be using your website for? A professional website to show off your credentials and generate leads? Or even a fully loaded store to sell goods.
Whatever your needs, you’ll be asked to choose the option that suits you most. This way, you’ll get the most relevant theme options to come up first when you’re ready to start building.
After that, you’ll see a screen that will list only one option. “My Site”. Go ahead and click the “Edit” button to dig in and choose a theme.
Scroll up and down the page to find a theme that really catches your eye. But don’t worry, you can always change themes later if you change your mind.
Once you’ve chosen the theme that ‘speaks’ to you most, you are asked to choose what kind of URL or website domain you would like to use.
Just like your home address is where you live, this address is where your website will be. Here are your options:
This option will give you a subdomain of Weebly. Although it’s free, it can be seen as unprofessional. Your website domain will end up looking like this:
This option will let you register your very own domain. If you don’t want a subdomain but haven’t bought your URL thorough a domain service like GoDaddy.com, this is a good option. ($39.95)
This option will let you connect a domain you already own. So if you have bought a URL through a domain service like GoDaddy.com, just put your URL in the box and click ‘Continue’.
Once you’ve done that, a short intro by Weebly will pop up. Feel free to watch it!
The best thing about Weebly is that there is no learning curve and everything is 100% straightforward.
In the sidebar to the left, you can see all the different features you are able to add to your website. Just click on the feature you want added, drag it to the spot on your website you’d like to add it to, then drop.
From there you can customize that feature or ‘widget’ to the way you like it.
Let’s say I want to add my business’ name to the top left hand corner where it says “My Site”.
All I’d have to do is click on the text “My Site” and type in the name of my business.
And….presto! Your website header is fully customized.
If you’d like to take it a step further and your business’ a logo, you will just upload it in the same place.
Now let’s assume you sell garden supplies and the current image isn’t relevant to what your business does. We need to change that.
Just hover over the page and click the bottom button at the right that says ‘Edit Image’. You will then be shown a number of images that you can change it to.
Once you find a more gardening relevant image, just click on it and press ‘Select’.
And presto again. Beautiful. Now, just like the text at the top left hand corner where we added our business’ name, you can add a gardening focused headline to go along with your new image.
For this step we’re going to learn how to add pages. Go ahead and click the “About’ tab at the top right hand corner of your website page. You will then be brought to a page like this:
1) From here, we’re going to find the ‘Text’ widget in the left sidebar and drag it to the blank space on the page where it says, “Drag Elements Here”.
2) Go ahead and change the image to the one you chose before. In my case, I’ll add the gardening image.
3) After that, tell future visitors who you and your business are, what you do, and why you’re the best business to serve them.
4) Then, customize the headline to your desired text. Since this is your about page, something like “About Us” or “Our Mission” will work better than “We Like BBQ”.
After you follow those four steps, you’ll have a nice looking about page like this:
After you’re happy with the About page, go ahead and click on the “Contact” page at the top right of your website page and do the same thing. But on this page, all you’ll have to do is add a Contact Form widget from the sidebar on the left.
Drag, drop, complete! Customers will now be able to contact you.
After you play around with Weebly, add more content or widgets to your website, and are ready to make everything official, it’s time to go live.
Just click the “Publish” button on the top right hand side of your dashboard.
The option to choose your domain will come back up now. Depending on the domain options you thought about earlier, make your decision based on that.
This option will give you a subdomain of Weebly.
This option will let you register your very own domain.
This option will let you connect a domain you already own.
Once you choose the option best for you, Weebly will ask you to verify that you’re human by entering a captcha. After that, you’re done!
Go to your website URL and check everything out. If you see something that you’d like to change, just log back into your Weebly dashboard and make the change inside of it.
If you love it and are ready to show it off, start spreading the word about your new website!
You’re officially a lean – mean – website building machine with a beautiful website for your business. Congratulations!
Now that you’ve learned how to build a website on a solution that doesn’t require much time, money, or technical skills, you can focus on what really matters.
Building your business.