The most straightforward answer to the question “What is Weebly?” is that Weebly is a site builder and an e-commerce service. It’s a cloud-based web app that you can use on a desktop, but it also lets you build and run a site on the go through its Android and iOS mobile apps.
Weebly was founded in 2007, but it was acquired by Square in 2018 and is now part of Square’s commerce and mobile payment conglomerate.
Weebly has seen a lot of improvements over the years, with essential updates and newly-added functionalities now available out of the box. Today, it’s the go-to solution for many businesses. According to Weebly, over 50 million sites are built on the platform. With over 42 million total visits in December 2022, it’s seemingly more popular than some of the most popular site builders and e-commerce platforms, such as Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify.
Is Weebly the right solution for your business or organization? Is it suitable for creating a personal website to showcase your portfolio and professional skills? We’ll explore this software together so you can answer these questions for yourself.
Table of Contents
- Who Uses Weebly?
- Weebly and Square
- Design and Customization
- Weebly Customer Support
- Over and Out
Who Uses Weebly?
Weebly is user-friendly, meaning it isn’t difficult to navigate, and it doesn’t require coding to get results. It’s simple and easy to learn, which are undoubtedly some of the reasons it’s so popular. Its simplicity and ease of use make it appeal to all users – beginners and experienced alike.
Even if you lack experience in building websites or e-commerce stores and know nothing in particular about coding and web design, you have nothing to worry about. Weebly is just the software you need to start developing your online presence. It does all the heavy lifting for you.
Weebly also helps merchants with brick-and-mortar stores to move their businesses online. Since Weebly is now part of Square, you can connect your Weebly website with the Square POS and start receiving orders online. Weebly will conveniently inform you as soon as someone places an online order. However, you should download the Weebly mobile app to enjoy the benefits of this option.
Based on an analysis of the over 350,000 companies using Weebly, the majority (64%) are considered small businesses with less than 50 employees. Only 12% of the companies using Weebly are large businesses with 1,000 employees or more.
Weebly and Square
Before we go further and explore these questions, we need to say a few words about this platform’s relationship with Square.
Square is primarily a mobile payment system. It began its journey as an in-person payment solution that allowed businesses to:
- Accept card payments.
- Enjoy the perks of a chargeback protection program.
- Reap the benefits of analytics and reporting tools.
- Take advantage of next-day settlements.
- Manage their inventory.
The famous Square POS (Point of Sale) system is widely considered one of the best POS systems for small and medium-sized businesses.
Why the Weebly Acquisition?
The whole point of acquiring Weebly was to allow Square to expand into e-commerce. As a result of the acquisition, it became possible for Square to have equal success in both offline and online commerce. Successful they certainly have been – after the acquisition, the company saw a dramatic growth in profits.
Thanks to the merger between Square and Weebly, merchants, entrepreneurs, and business owners can now access all the software and hardware they need to sell on the internet and in their physical stores simultaneously. That implies that they can:
- Carry out any type of financial transaction, whether in-person, in-app, or in-store.
- Build a more substantial online presence.
- Spread the word about their businesses to a larger audience.
- Take care of every aspect of their daily business operations from a single account on one platform.
Square calls this Square–Weebly union the one cohesive solution for merchants and their ventures.
How Exactly Do Square and Weebly Relate to Each Other?
This question is not easy to answer. The famous payment system and the popular site/storefront builder have come a long way since the acquisition in 2018. Nonetheless, when using Weebly, you feel that they’re not fully and smoothly integrated.
Despite being a part of Square, Weebly has kept its own identity to a certain extent. At the same time, many aspects of the platform are affected by Square’s features and way of functioning, which is to be expected. However, there seem to be many aspects of the Weebly–Square relationship that still cause confusion and inconvenience among users.
Currently, many features are cross-functional. Sometimes, the same elements have different names depending on the platform. For instance, you have coupons on Weebly but discounts on Square. This isn’t the real problem, though. Instead, the problem lies with the coexistence of Weebly and Square Online. So, let’s explain Square Online.
Square Online is a unified solution resulting from the joint forces of Square and Weebly. Essentially, it’s a site builder launched by Square but powered by Weebly’s software. It’s as if they’ve cherry-picked certain aspects from Weebly for a new site builder, but perhaps not with the best results.
The Weebly builder will be a better fit if you want more creative freedom and design options. On the other hand, the Square Online builder is better if you need to create a place to sell things without necessarily needing a website with stunning design.
A few of the most serious shortcomings of the Square Online builder, as opposed to the Weebly builder, are the following:
- The page/site editor is not of the drag-and-drop type. It lacks the intuitiveness associated with the Weebly drag-and-drop editor.
- You can’t access the Weebly App Center (although it gives you access to the Square App Marketplace, which means the integrations available through Square).
- It offers considerably fewer customization options.
- There’s no code editor (although you can add custom code through the embed code option).
- It doesn’t let you resize content elements, which is not something Weebly customers favor that much. Instead, it self-adjusts elements’ size depending on the amount of page content and how it’s ordered.
Despite making the process of creating and running an online store a breeze, there’s a consensus that the Square Online site builder is still no match for the Weebly builder.
So, how is Square Online making things more problematic for users?
Square Online vs. Weebly
Under different circumstances, the two builders – Weebly and Square Online – coexisting on the same platform could be an advantage. However, currently, this coexistence creates a lot of confusion and results in inconsistencies.
When signing up for a brand new Weebly account through Weebly’s official website, you probably expect a simple sign-up process and access to the famous and intuitive Weebly editor.
As it’s widely known, the Weebly editor allows you to build both standard and e-commerce websites in the same way. The only difference is that when you’re creating an e-commerce site, the editor offers templates suitable for online storefronts.
However, with Square Online in the picture, it’s not as simple anymore. Now, when you want to sign up for a Weebly account, this is what you see first:
As the image suggests, you can access the Weebly builder and editor only if you pick the second “Try Weebly Websites” option, which is essentially a personal website option.
If you select “Try Square Online” because you specifically want a business website, you’ll hit a roadblock. You will only get access to the Square Online site builder and cannot change to the Weebly builder – ever. For some reason, you’re unable to chop and change between the two builders, so it’s worth thinking about thoroughly in advance.
Let’s suppose you choose the “Weebly Websites” option. Even though you sign up for a Weebly account – intentionally not for a Square Online account – you may still lose access to the Weebly builder at some point. For reasons unknown, you will then permanently be unable to use the Weebly builder.
Our Experience With Weebly
We signed up for a new Weebly account through Weebly’s official website to test this out. After creating a Weebly account, we managed to build both a standard website and an online store using the Weebly builder. We could access and edit both of these websites within the Weebly editor. However, this was a short-lived experience.
Once we deleted the Weebly online store, we were then automatically funneled into the Square Online builder whenever we tried to create a new website. It didn’t matter if we wanted to build a standard or an e-commerce website.
The problem is that we’re not sure why this is happening. Our theory is that Square is trying to create a unified experience that eventually defaults to the Square Online builder for all of its customers.
It could be that whenever you sign up for a Weebly account, you automatically create a Square account that prevents you from using the Weebly editor for building online stores. We can’t say for sure, but we know that we’re not the only ones who’ve experienced this problem.
What’s more confusing is that what we described here applies to U.S.-based users. Users from Europe or other regions and countries may have a completely different experience. Nonetheless, if you want to stick to the Weebly builder, it’s best not to delete your Weebly-built websites.
Based on all of this, we can only say that the relationship between Weebly and Square is still pretty tangled and creates an inconsistent and frustrating experience.
What We Know for Sure
While there have been some bugs and problems since the Weebly Square merger, some things are consistent and reliable. What we know for sure is the following:
- If you already have a Weebly-built site, you can keep it and build another in the Square Online editor.
- Square Online syncs with Square automatically.
- While Weebly has native blogging functionality, Square Online doesn’t include a proper blogging solution. Instead, there’s a functionality called Stories that you can use to emulate a blog, but it’s a far cry from a full-fledged blogging app. For instance, it lacks even an essential feature like post categories.
- You can keep your Weebly website, use Square Online to create a new e-commerce site, and link them together from your dashboard.
Weebly Pricing Plans
Weebly allows you to build a site for free, which is fantastic, especially if you’re on a low budget. Many users and non-profits have already made good use of this option.
As you could have easily guessed, Weebly also offers paid plans in addition to the Free pricing plan. The thing with the Weebly paid plans is that they’re a bit tricky to figure out.
The problem arises from the fact that the number of pricing plans, the plans’ fees, and feature sets change depending on external factors. More precisely, two things affect Weebly’s pricing:
- Geographical location
- The Square pricing system
The user’s geographical location plays a much more prominent role, but the Square pricing system also complicates things further.
How Geographical Location Affects Packages and Pricing
When you visit Weebly’s official website, depending on your location, you can see one free and either three or four paid pricing plans. This is how it looks when you’re visiting from the U.S.:
A free offering and three paid plans – this is what Weebly shows you if you’re a U.S.-based user.
If you’re visiting from an EU country, Weebly will present you with the following options:
You’ll notice that you now have an option called “for Online Stores,” and the pricing is in euros. When you click the “for Online Stores” option, this is what you see:
Price- and feature-wise, the Pro and Business plans are the same regardless of whether it is the “for Websites” or the “for Online Stores” category. The only difference is the addition of the Business Plus plan.
It’s not uncommon for businesses to display different products or package names for different regions. This is a very typical online marketing practice.
I tested the pricing offered from various geographical locations, and there are some small price differences. For example, these are the prices offered for a visitor from Canada:
The Plans’ Feature Sets
Location can also affect the Weebly pricing plans’ feature sets. As proof, we can cite the differences in the feature sets between the pricing plans as shown to U.S. users and European users.
The Free Plan(s)
When it comes to the Free plan, if you're a European-based user, you get relatively few features for free. In comparison, U.S.-based users have quite a range of decent features available with the free plan, including e-commerce-specific features.
|Some of the key features offered:|
|U.S. site version||EU site version|
The reason for the inclusion of e-commerce features for U.S. customers is probably because there’s no split between website plans and e-commerce plans. So, they get packages with some e-commerce features included as standard.
Personal vs. Connect
With the first paid plan level, it’s quickly clear how much more U.S.-based customers get for their money. The Personal plan provides a range of features like a custom domain, the ability to sell digital goods, and a shipping calculator. The only additional feature with the Connect plan (Europe) is that it lets you add a custom domain name.
|Additional features offered:
|U.S. site version (Personal plan)||EU site version (Connect plan)|
Professional vs. Pro
The price of the Pro plan (Europe) is approximately the same (depending on the euro rate) as the Professional plan (U.S.). In this instance, it appears like the Pro plan has more features to offer simply because the list of additional features is slightly longer.
However, if you consider that these plans also include all of the features of the lower tier plan as well, then the Professional plan still provides far greater value for money.
|Additional features offered:|
|U.S. site visitor (Professional plan)||EU site visitor (Pro plan)|
Performance vs. Business and Business Plus
The main perks of the Business and Business Plus plans (Europe) are they allow you to operate in the e-commerce space.
On top of these, the Business Plus plan offers some more advanced features like abandoned cart email and real-time shipping. However, what’s important here is that you can find many of the features from the list above in the lower-tier U.S.-based plans.
|Additional features offered:|
|U.S. site visitor||EU site visitor|
|Performance plan||Business plan||Business Plus plan (for Online Stores)|
All the features from the Business plan and the following:
Design and Customization
The Weebly Editor
As mentioned in the “Weebly and Square” section, choosing the personal website option when signing up for a Weebly account gives you access to the Weebly builder. That guarantees a much better design experience compared to the Square Online editor.
In fact, the Weebly drag-and-drop editor is one of the reasons most users want to use Weebly in the first place. It’s highly intuitive, easy to navigate, and exceptionally easy to use.
Weebly’s visual editor allows you to do various actions, some of which are:
- Add and duplicate pages.
- Add sections, forms, newsletters, media files, and other new elements.
- Change styles and layouts.
- Switch themes.
- Add integrations.
- Set up SEO.
- Create a membership community revolving around your website.
- Start a blog.
- Connect your website with AdSense.
- Embed code.
Inside the editor, everything works as expected from a drag-and-drop interface. The only drawback is that it doesn’t include an undo button. But, in Weebly’s defense, you can permanently delete the part you added if you’re not satisfied.
One of the best facets of the Weebly editor is that it allows you to create virtually any type of website. Whether it’s a classical website, a site that revolves around a blog, an e-commerce storefront, a personal site, an online portfolio, or even a membership area – the Weebly editor has got you covered.
Another thing worth noting is that Weebly automatically creates a mobile counterpart of your desktop website.
There are over sixty free Weebly templates or “themes,” as the platform calls them. They all look professional and are customizable, responsive, and beautifully designed.
The Weebly themes are grouped into seven categories according to how they’re meant to be used. This is just a glimpse of what Weebly offers in this domain:
Even though Weebly offers pre-designed themes, there’s more than enough room to give your site a personal touch and build it to stand out from the crowd.
For starters, the Weebly editor comes equipped with numerous customization possibilities. To customize any part of your site’s pages, click on it to see all the available editing options.
A further click on the shown options leads you to a new batch of customization possibilities.
Now suppose you need advanced customization, but the Weebly editor feels somewhat limited. In that case, you can always add custom code. As we mentioned before, one way to do that is through the Embed code element. You’ll find it among the options Individual Elements in the Weebly drag-and-drop editor.
Another advanced option for developers is to use the Weebly developer platform to create custom apps and themes. In this way, you can extend the capacities of Weebly even further. For more on this, have a look at the Weebly Developer Center.
Expanding on the topic of customization, another relatively easy way to extend the out-of-the-box capacities of Weebly is through integrations. You can find all the official Weebly integrations in the Weebly App Center. It contains over 350 integrations, some of which are even made by Weebly.
In the past, you could access the App Center through Weebly’s official website. Nowadays, it’s only possible to access it through the Apps option in the Weebly builder.
The apps in the Weebly App Center are divided into several classes:
- Site tools and features
Over 50 integrations are free, which is good news for any merchant. Three of the highest-rated apps are Google Ads by Kliken, Paid Members, and Printful. Color Block, Text Animation, and Comments App are among the most popular.
Along with the extensions from the App Center, you can add third-party software through the embed code method.
As we mentioned earlier, Weebly includes a native blogging tool out of the box. It’s well-known how important blogging is as a marketing tool. However, since Weebly is not a blogging platform, its blogging capabilities are inevitably limited.
To offer a high-quality blogging experience to its customers and allow them to work on boosting their SEO rankings, Weebly integrates with a robust blogging platform, DropInBlog. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more feature-packed blogging solution on the market. Thanks to the embed code method and Weebly being open for this type of integration, you can easily create a fantastic blog on Weebly with DropInBlog.
Weebly Customer Support
When it comes to direct help, Weebly provides email, chat, phone, and priority support. Every customer can enjoy the first two. In contrast, phone and priority support is reserved only for higher-tier plan subscribers.
As far as availability is concerned, as Weebly roughly says, its Customer Success team is on duty seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.
Weebly is used for building various types of websites, whether it’s a profile site, personal blog, or an online store. It has a simplistic drag-and-drop style editor that is easy enough for anyone to use yet offers enough customization and design options to satisfy even the professionals.
- Super easy to use.
- Intuitive interface with a drag-and-drop editor.
- No coding skills required, but there is a code editor available.
- You can easily switch from a brick-and-mortar store to an online store and vice versa.
- It’s quite affordable and good value for money considering the features available.
You can create a wide range of website types with Weebly. Build a standard website to display your professional portfolio, a blog, or an event or club page. You can also create business-specific web pages with all the e-commerce functionalities you would need.
Over and Out
Hopefully, we have clearly explained “What is Weebly?” and looked at its relationship with Square. We also outlined some of its most notable features and highlighted how well it performs in a few specific areas.
It’s clearly popular with small businesses and individuals, and the merger with Square gives it a real boost in the e-commerce space. However, there are still some minor complaints and glitches surrounding the editor that are likely to catch some users unaware.
If you do your research and set up your Weebly site how you want it the first time, this hopefully won’t affect you.
Although there’s much more to say about Weebly, we hope this was sufficient for you to get a clearer picture of this software.