Unfortunately, many business owners are initially attracted to Weebly because of its low starting price (either the Free plan or the $6-per-month Personal plan). But as you can see, those low-cost plans are pretty sparse in terms of features.
The Personal plan, for instance, is really only good for brick-and-mortar businesses that need a minimal online presence (we’re talking just a page or two).
If your business makes money off your blog, you’ll definitely want Weebly Professional (or higher). With the Professional plan, you can register your own domain via Weebly, take advantage of unlimited storage, and enjoy more visual elements like video backgrounds. Plus, you get more Google analytics to help you track your site’s performance.
But if you’re an ecommerce business, you simply won’t be able to get by with less than a Weebly Performance plan.
With the Performance plan, your customers can actually check out on your domain, which makes you look a lot more legit than pushing them to the Weebly checkout site once they’re ready to buy. You also get the ability to offer coupons, manage your inventory, and even fulfill orders for digital goods (like e-books).
The Performance plan also has basically everything you could need to run your online store, including integrated email marketing that lets you keep your loyal customers and members up to date with new content, products, and more.
In the end, business owners who want to set up a full-fledged online store will probably pay more with Weebly than they would with a comparable website builder like Squarespace or Wix. But if you don’t need every single bell and whistle, Weebly can be a real money-saver.
Want to send mass emails to your subscribers but don’t want to sign up for a higher-tier plan? Weebly also offers Weebly Promote
—a supplementary email marketing plan you can add onto your existing Weebly account. The more you know, right?
Weebly templates, apps, and other costs
In addition to the sheer cost of your service, there are a few other things that can drive up the cost of your Weebly plan.
For starters, you may have to pay a one-time fee for your templates. As far as we could tell, the most you’d ever pay for a Weebly template is $49. But we also only looked at the templates directly available through Weebly. You may have to pay more for a template if you go through a third-party developer.
You may also have to pay extra for your apps. The Weebly app store features hundreds of apps, so we weren’t able to scope out all of them. But from what we could tell, many of the apps were free, a few were ludicrously expensive (like $150 per month expensive), and most were mid-ranged—around $10–$20 per month or so.
Finally, you may have to pay for your domain as well. Like many domain registrars, Weebly does throw in the first year of your domain registration for free when you sign up for an annual plan. But after that, simply keeping your domain name can cost you upward of $18 per year.
You have been warned.
Getting a business license
Starting up an online store? Even if you’re only selling online, you’re going to need a business license and employer identification number (EIN). Unfortunately, business licenses aren’t free, so be sure to budget in that expense as well!
Sure, Weebly’s app store is comprehensive, the platform’s dashboard is easy to use, and Weebly websites are beautifully designed. But underneath all that, Weebly also packs a pretty hefty punch in terms of optimization tools and support.
Weebly is pretty darn good when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO).
Search engine optimization is basically how you make your website stand out to search engines. If search engines can tell your website is helpful for your prospective customers, those search engines then float your site to the top of search results for topics related to your business. That means more people see your site, which (hopefully) means you get more customers.
Some website builders make this process easy for you. Weebly, for instance, lets you customize your URLs (the addresses where people find your pages) and your meta descriptions (the short blurbs that people see under your page names in search results).
Weebly also offers fairly good site speeds, so customers don’t have to wait forever for your site to load. That also helps your site top the search engine results. And of course, if you have the Weebly Professional plan or higher, you can track your site’s performance via integrated Google analytics.
Weebly’s customer support is, admittedly, less robust than you’d get with other website builders.
Based on the reviews we read, it seems many Weebly customers believe that there’s no way to directly contact a real, live human if they ever experience a problem with their site. Fortunately, this is not true—you can get help via the service’s live chat feature.
We actually used the chat feature during some of our research, and we were pleasantly surprised by how much the chat representatives knew about the service. In fact, they were able to answer complicated questions in just a couple of minutes!
But here’s the catch: the live chat feature is only open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PST on weekdays and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends. Those are pretty long hours, but it’s definitely a far cry from the 24/7 support you get with other website builders.
Another galling quirk we found in Weebly’s customer support system is the fact that only users who subscribe to a Professional plan or higher can get over-the-phone support. Maybe we’re just revolutionary, but it doesn’t seem right that basic phone support is accessible only to the fancy-pants rich kids who pay more for their site.
Weebly also offers fewer overall channels for support. While other website builders allow you to ask questions via social media or access webinars and video tutorials, Weebly’s help section is limited to a community forum and a few help articles—not exactly confidence-inspiring.
So overall, Weebly’s customer support comes in at just okay.
Straight talk: Weebly has a pretty bad reputation online right now.
As of this writing, Weebly has a Trustpilot rating of just two stars out of five.1 But reading over the reviews, it seems that the biggest complaint across the board is that the platform recently blocked all traffic in Russia and Ukraine over security issues.
The vast majority of negative reviews for Weebly seem to come from Russian and Ukrainian users who are furious that they can no longer access their sites. We think that’s a fair criticism—we’d certainly be mad if one day we could no longer log into our site just because of our physical location. But we’ve also got to admire a platform that is clearly committed to the online security of its users.
Clearly, though, Weebly is doing something right, as it currently holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.2