Zoran Zoran
23 minute read

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/store on the go through its Android and iOS mobile apps.

What Is Weebly? Weebly home page

Weebly was founded in 2007, but it was acquired by Square in 2018 and is now part of this commerce and mobile payment company.

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 58.1 million total visits in March 2022, it’s 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, regardless of whether you own a business? We’ll explore this software together so you can answer these questions for yourself.

Who Uses Weebly?

Weebly is user-friendly, meaning it doesn’t have a complex structure to find your way around, and it doesn’t require coding to do things. 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 convenient for all users, beginner and experienced alike. 

So, even if you lack experience in building websites and e-commerce stores and know nothing in particular about coding and web design, don’t worry. Weebly is just the software you need to start developing your online presence. It does all the heavy lifting for you, and it doesn’t assume that its customers are tech-savvy.

Weebly also helps merchants with brick-and-mortar stores move their businesses online. Since Weebly is now part of Square, you can connect your Weebly website/online store with the Square POS and start receiving orders online. Weebly informs its customers when someone places an online order. Still, they should download the Weebly app on their phone to enjoy the benefits of this option.

Based on an analysis of 184,921 companies that use Weebly, the significant majority are small businesses located in the U.S. and working in the following industries:

  • Hospital and health care

  • Construction

  • Religious institution management

  • Restaurants

  • Nonprofit organization management industries

Among other things, this data implies that Weebly is great for small business owners.

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

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, etc.

The famous Square POS (Point of Sale) system is widely considered one of the best POS systems for small and medium-sized businesses.

Square point of sale

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 work with equal success in both offline and online commerce. That means that now Square can become an omnichannel commerce platform par excellence.

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 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 gone 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. That’s natural, and it wouldn’t have been a problem if their relationship was straightforward and completely logical. However, there seem to be many aspects of the Weebly–Square relationship that 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 in Square, but that’s not a big issue. The real problem doesn’t spring from the different names. Instead, it’s caused to a considerable extent, in our opinion, by the coexistence of Weebly and Square Online. And what is Square Online? We’ll answer this question in the following subsection. 

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. Despite being based on it, however, it’s different from Weebly.

The Weebly builder better fits the bill if you want more creative freedom and design options. On the other hand, Square Online, aka the Square Online builder, is better if you need to create a place to sell things without necessarily needing a 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, now that you know about Square Online, how does it make things more problematic for users?

Square Online vs. Weebly

Under different circumstances, the two builders (Weebly and Square Online) coexisting in the same place could be an advantage. However, currently, this coexistence creates a lot of confusion and results in inconsistencies (at least seeming 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:

Business website and personal website

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. 

A business website, on the other hand, is equivalent to an online store. If you opt for an online store right off the bat, you’ll be working only with the Square Online builder/editor. If you choose the “Try Square Online” option, you close off the possibility of using the Weebly editor for good.

Having said that, let’s suppose you choose the “Weebly Websites” option. Now, you might be planning on creating a standard website and an online store. Well, in that case, here’s the tricky and highly confusing part. Even though you sign up for a Weebly account – intentionally not for a Square account – you may still lose access to the Weebly builder/editor.

We signed up for a new Weebly account through Weebly’s official website to test this out. After creating a Weebly account, we tried the Weebly builder and managed to build both a standard website and an online store. We could access and edit both of these websites within the Weebly editor. However, at least for us, working inside the Weebly editor was a short-lived experience. 

Once we deleted the Weebly online store, we were always 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. We were always “forced” into making a business website, i.e., an online store in the Square Online builder.  

The problem is that we’re not sure why this is happening. It could be that Square is trying to create a unified experience that eventually defaults to the Square Online builder for all of its customers. Or maybe it’s because 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. 

We’re not even sure if the deletion of our Weebly online store had anything to do with the changes we experienced afterward. Nonetheless, if you want to stick to the Weebly builder, it’s best not to delete your Weebly-built websites, just in case. 

Based on all of this, we can only say that the relationship between Weebly and Square is still pretty tangled and creates inconsistent experiences, even if it’s only an apparent inconsistency. 

What’s more, what we described here applies to U.S.-based users. Users from Europe or other regions and countries may have incompatible experiences even with those described here (as you’ll see in the section on pricing).

What We Know for Sure

Despite the somewhat confusing Square–Weebly merger, certain things are consistent, and we can say that we know for sure. Some of them are the following:

  • If you already have a Weebly-built site, you can keep it and build another in the Square Online editor.

  • Your Weebly- and Square Online-built websites coexist without, so to speak, canceling each other. The Square Online editor doesn’t affect your Weebly websites and vice versa. You can switch sites and builders from within your (Square) admin dashboard without consequences.

Weebly square switch websites

  • 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.

Pricing

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 guessed easily, Weebly also offers paid plans in addition to the Free pricing plan. Even though this applies partially to the Free 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 determinants affect the Weebly pricing:

  • Geographical location

  • The Square pricing system

The user’s geographical location plays a much more prominent role, but the Square pricing system also makes things more complicated and baffling. 

In the following few subsections, we’ll go over some practical examples to show you what you can expect when looking for information on the Weebly pricing system.

The Number of Pricing Plans

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.:

Weebly pricing plans US

A free offering and three paid plans – this is what Weebly shows you if you’re a U.S.-based user.

It’s different when you’re a visitor from an EU country. In that case, Weebly will present you with the following options:

Weebly pricing plans Europe

The three paid plans shown here are standard website-based pricing plans. But there’s one more category of pricing plans here that cater to users who need an online store. This one is completely missing from the pricing system Weebly shows to U.S. users. When you click the “for Online Stores” option, this is what you see:

Weebly pricing plans online store

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. So, the only difference between the two categories seems to be the addition of the Business Plus plan. 

We hope it’s clear now why we said that, based on your location, you could see three (U.S.) or four (EU) pricing plans. While a user from the U.S. sees the Personal, Professional, and Performance plans, a visitor from Europe is shown the Connect, Pro, Business, and Business Plus plans.

The Paid Plans

Price is another variable that changes according to the visitor’s location. For instance, if you’re visiting the Weebly site from Hong Kong, you’ll see the same plans and fees a U.S. user sees.

On the other hand, these are the fees for the identical pricing plans when you’re a Canada-based (Toronto) user:

Weebly pricing plans Canada

The number of paid pricing plans is the same, as are each plan’s name and included features. However, as the image above shows, the yearly prices for Canada-based users are higher than for U.S. users ($6, $12, and $26, respectively) despite the plans being identical.

When it comes to European users (at least from the countries we checked), it’s a similar situation. As we could see earlier, the prices of the annual plans are different from the U.S. and Canada prices (to compare, check all the images from this section).

That is how things stand with the annual fees, but what about the monthly fees – do they also depend on a user’s location?

The answer is affirmative. For instance, this is what you may see if you're a U.S. user and want to upgrade your free to a paid account:

Weebly pricing plans monthly US

In contrast, this is what Weebly shows to a European user who wants to explore their upgrade options:

Weebly pricing plans monthly Europe

Based on these two examples, we can extrapolate that similar differences in the monthly fees can be expected for other locations, too. 

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 on the one hand, and European users on the other hand.

The Free Plan(s)

When it comes to the Free plan, if you're a European-based user, you’ll get access to the following features:

  • SSL security

  • SEO tools

  • The ability to capture leads

  • Contact forms

  • Chat and email support, etc. 

These features are great, but you won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of any e-commerce tools. In contrast, even with the Free plan, a U.S.-based user gets access to a batch of e-commerce features, such as:

  • Shopping cart

  • Unlimited sales items

  • Square gift cards

  • In-store pickup

  • Quick shop (fast checkout), and more.

Connect vs. Personal

The same applies to the paid plans. For instance, the main advantage of the Connect plan (Europe) is that it lets you add a custom domain name. It allows customers to choose among various domain names: .com, .org, .info, .net, etc. Some other benefits are the following two:

  • The ability to integrate third-party software via embed codes.

  • The added shipping cost calculator.

The rest is, more or less, the same as the Free plan.

Like the Connect plan, the Personal plan (U.S.) allows you to connect a custom domain. Unlike the Connect plan, however, it also includes excellent e-commerce features, some of which are:

  • The ability to sell digital goods

  • Shipping calculator

  • Shipping labels

Essentially, you get a lot more for a similar price if you're a U.S.-based user.

Pro vs. Professional

The annual fee for the Pro plan (Europe) is approximately the same (depending on the euro rate) as the Professional plan (U.S.) – $12/month. Despite the similar price, the Pro plan lacks – but the Professional plan includes – all of the following features:

  • Item badges

  • Item options

  • Coupons

  • Inventory management

  • Automatic tax calculator

The complete list is much longer, but we think these five e-commerce features are sufficient to show the differences between same-priced plans with similar names.

Business and Business Plus vs. Performance

The main perks of the Business and Business Plus plans (Europe) are they allow you to do e-commerce. They both include: 

  • Weebly ad removal

  • Shopping cart

  • Item options

  • Inventory management

  • Coupon codes

  • Square gift cards

  • Shipping discounts

  • Advanced e-commerce stats

  • Phone support, etc.

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.

Feature-wise, the Performance plan (U.S.) is closer to the Business Plus plan than the Business plan. However, it includes unique features absent from the Europe-based plans. An example of this is priority support.

The Square Pricing System

We have already looked at some of the ways Weebly and Square are connected. We saw that it’s not a straightforward and easy-to-understand relationship. 

The same applies to their pricing systems: they are interrelated, but their relationship can sometimes look pretty convoluted and confusing. So, how does the Square pricing system impact the Weebly pricing?

As we saw a moment ago, when you want to upgrade your account as a U.S.-based user, you're presented with four options. The annual pricing options available from your dashboard are the following:

  • The Personal plan: $6/month

  • The Professional plan: $12/month

  • The Performance plan: $26/month

  • The Premium plan: $72/month

Head over to the Square’s official website, and you’ll see the following pricing plans (regardless of whether you’re a U.S. user or not; they’re the same for everyone):

Square pricing plans

The three highlighted plans are identical to those you can upgrade to as a U.S.-based Weebly user (minus the $6 personal plan). This is a clear example of how the merger between Square and Weebly affects the Weebly pricing. It’s also an example of how the merger makes things hard for users to understand.  For example, there’s no trace of the Premium plan on Weebly’s official website – you will only see it as an upgrade option from your admin dashboard (if you’re in the U.S.).

When EU users visit Square’s site, they can see the Premium plan as shown above. However, this pricing is nowhere to be found when they want to upgrade from within their admin dashboard.

Conclusions

Our discussion is far from a complete review of the Weebly pricing system. However, we can say that the main takeaways are: 

  • The current Weebly pricing plans and fees can change with the geographical location.

  • The Square pricing system influences the Weebly pricing system.

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, i.e., editor. 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.

Weebly editor drag and drop

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 as you’re building it in the editor.

Templates

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:

Weebly templates

Customization

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.

 Weebly editor customization

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 so-called “Individual Elements” in the Weebly drag-and-drop editor.

In addition to this, Weebly allows you to change the existing HTML and CSS code and add your custom code, including JavaScript. You can access the advanced code editor by clicking “Theme” and “Edit HTML/CSS” in the lower-left corner of the Weebly interface.

Weebly advanced edit developers code

Another advanced option for developers is to use the Weebly developer platform to create custom apps and themes and, in that way, extend the capacities of Weebly even further. For more on this, have a look at the Weebly Developer Center.

Integrations

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.

Weebly app center

You could access the App Center through Weebly’s official website in the past. Nowadays, it’s only possible through the “Apps” option in the Weebly builder.

The apps in the Weebly App Center are divided into several classes: 

  • E-commerce

  • Communication

  • Marketing

  • Social 

  • Site tools and features 

Over fifty 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. For instance, blogging is one of the all-time best marketing tools. 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 like DropInBlog. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more up-to-the-minute blogging solution on the market. Thanks to the embed code method and Weebly being open for this type of integration, you can 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 the 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

In addition to direct support, you can find plenty of helpful resources on the Weebly Support and Weebly Community pages.

Over and Out

This article tried to answer the question “What is Weebly?” by looking at its relationship with Square, some of its most notable features, and how well it performs in a few specific areas. Although there’s much more to say about Weebly, we hope this was sufficient for you to get a clearer picture of this software.

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