Weebly offers one of the best free plans of any website builder out there. Weebly is a no-brainer if you already use Square products for your business, as it integrates naturally with Square’s point-of-sale (POS) system. Even if you don’t, it’s an excellent choice for any beginner or small business owner looking to get started quickly without needing any experience in web hosting, design, or development.
Comparing Weebly to the Best Website Builders
Like most options on our list of top website builders, Weebly lets you create a website or online store for free. But their free plan goes above and beyond by offering an extensive range of features right out of the box. Weebly is also one of the most beginner-friendly platforms out there.
The ease of building an entire store from scratch without the need for complex configurations is unparalleled, especially for small ecommerce sites.
Keep in mind that you will eventually need to upgrade to a paid plan if you want a professional website. But, with Weebly, you can upgrade for a low cost compared to most website builders.
Want to see how Weebly compares to other top website builders in more detail? After building and managing hundreds of websites using just about every platform out there, we’ve narrowed the field down to the top seven. See all of our top picks here, including in-depth reviews and our methodology for choosing the right one for you.
Weebly: The Good and the Bad
A generous free plan: Just for signing up with Weebly, you’ll get a free one-click SSL certificate, 500 MB of storage, free hosting, SEO tools, lead capture forms, and 24/7 live chat and email support (more on all the free features later in this post). Most website builders offer 24/7 support, but Weebly is the only one we’ve found that offers it to free users. We love that support is available to round out the free trial experience, especially for people who have never built a website before.
Site speed and security: Weebly includes free hosting with exceptional site speed and reliability—much better than throw-in hosting from other site builders we’ve tried. You can generally rest assured your website will always be available and performing well, even on the free plan.
Mobile app: The Weebly by Square app doesn’t offer as much functionality as you get on desktop, but that’s pretty standard and not really the point. The point of Weebly’s mobile app is to make quick changes on the go, and it does that well with its user-friendly interface. We especially like that you can quickly interact with visitors and stay connected without being tied to your desk. You’ll also appreciate the instant access to site stats, if you like tracking performance on the go.
Marketing tools: These are relatively basic compared to standalone online marketing tools, but handy to have in your site building platform. Weebly offers email marketing (with customizable templates for different types of emails), SEO tools (automatically optimizing your site, plus easy integration with other SEO and tracking tools), social media integration, and AdWords credits.
Square integration: In 2018, Weebly was acquired by Square. This means that if you sell products through your website, the experience for your users is guaranteed to be seamless and secure. Square’s trusted POS system has become the de facto way to accept card payments, so this is one of the biggest perks of Weebly for ecommerce businesses. At the time of this writing, Weebly is running a special offer where if you set up Square, you get fee-free processing on your first $500 of online payments.
Design limitations: Probably our biggest gripe with Weebly is coming across locked design features in some of the pre-built templates and widgets. Weebly’s themes do make your website quick to set up, but some templates and widgets are very limited and confusing to customize. And there are just over 50 themes to choose from—relatively few compared to Wix’s over 700 templates, for example.
Customer service: Weebly was once well-known for its superior customer service, but as the platform has grown it’s become a bit more difficult to connect to a real person. On the one hand, 24/7 support is great, but it can take a while to get answers. Especially if you rely on the community, where you might have to wait days for a response that might not be satisfactory. Not great if you have an urgent issue.
Weebly branding: The free plan is branded with a Weebly ad at the bottom of your website, as well as a Weebly subdomain. The default domain is long and not very memorable for your users, which is why the free plan, extensive though it may be, is only really suitable for projects and websites in progress. Once you start getting traffic, we highly recommend upgrading to a paid Weebly plan.
Language support: Weebly is currently available in English and a dozen or so other languages, but it’s not easy to create a multilingual site without workarounds like third-party apps. Also, Weebly does not fully support non-English character sets like Chinese, Russian, or Arabic.
Visitor statistics: The only feature that doesn’t appear to be available on the free plan (although it used to be) is reporting. You’ll need to upgrade to see stats on traffic and visitor behavior unless you choose to integrate Google Analytics.
Weebly Pricing and Options
When you create a Weebly account, you choose from two options: create a business website with Square Online or a personal website without Square integration. You can then get started for free straight away with all the minimal required features to build a comprehensive site.
Free Plan ($0 per month):
While other website builders offer free trials, Weebly’s free forever plan does a lot to show what this site builder is capable of.
- Free SSL security
- 500 MB storage
- Add 3rd party embed code
- Lead capture forms
- Instagram feed
- Post in the community forum
- Chat & email support
- Ecommerce essentials, like shopping cart, item badges, product categories, inventory management, and more
- Unlimited products
For most businesses, we think the Free Plan is best just for test-driving Weebly before investing in more advanced features. For designers, it can work well for personal projects or creating mockups. There are plenty of use cases for the free plan and you could get away with keeping your site free forever, but you won’t get what’s required for legitimate businesses these days, like your own domain.
Weebly has four pricing levels to choose from when you want to upgrade from the free plan: Personal, Professional, Performance, and Premium.
Personal Plan ($9 month-to-month or $72 billed annually):
- All Free plan features, plus:
- Connect a custom domain
- Pop-up notifications
- Sell digital products
- Shipping calculator and shipping labels
The Personal plan is best for building a resume, portfolio site, or blog. Now you can publish your site to a custom domain, so this is the minimum viable plan for a professional-looking site. But you might want to upgrade if you have more ambitious plans, or want to fully remove ads.
Professional Plan ($16 month-to-month or $144 billed annually):
- All Personal plan features, plus:
- Unlimited storage
- Advanced site stats
- Free domain
- Remove Square ads
- Password-protected pages
- Video backgrounds
- HD video & audio
- Membership registration with 100 members
- Phone support
The Professional plan is best for small businesses and membership sites. Now you can not only connect a custom domain but you can add more customization. You can also start allowing your visitors to sign up for access to special content. Plus, utilize options to automatically approve all members or manually review each one, manage them in groups, and control what pages they have access to.
Performance Plan ($29 month-to-month or $312 billed annually):
- All Professional plan features, plus:
- Advanced ecommerce marketing insights
- Unlimited members
- Priority support
- Accept payments through PayPal
- Item reviews
- Abandoned cart recovery
The Performance plan is best for dedicated ecommerce sites and is the way to go if you want the flexibility to accept payments through PayPal. Now you can add features that drive business growth, allowing customers to review your products, sending them abandoned cart emails, and leveraging more advanced sales and marketing reporting.
Premium Plan ($79 month-to-month or $864 billed annually):
- All Performance plan features, plus:
- Lower processing rate
- Real-time shipping
You’ll notice a steep jump in price from Performance to Premium, and that’s for two reasons. Premium is the only plan to offer a real-time shipping rate calculator and a lower processing rate. For users who process enough transactions to justify the monthly cost of this plan, it’s worth the upgrade. But this is only a small subset of Weebly users, which is why you won’t see this option until you sign up for an account and get the option to upgrade.
Let’s compare plans by some of these offerings in more depth.
Weebly Site Features
This breakdown of features is pretty typical of most reputable website builders.
Free SSL security is standard, so that’s nothing to write home about. However, some website builders limit your site to a certain number of pages on the free plan, which Weebly does not.
The main draw of Weebly’s paid plans are the custom domain and more advanced backend management, but the free plan provides everything you need to set up the front end.
You shouldn’t have trouble building the whole site from start to finish, even as a beginner. But Weebly does offer the option to hire a designer to build your site for you, starting at $199.
Here is where Weebly really shines. It’s common among website builders for ecommerce functionality to come at a premium, whereas you can access almost all of Weebly’s ecommerce features for free—including the ability to add unlimited products to your web store.
The free plan is a great way to set up your storefront exactly how you want it before the grand opening.
Features include a fully integrated shopping cart, secure checkout, inventory tracking, badges that show customers discounted prices or if a product is sold out, and filtered product search.
With the Performance plan, you get more flexibility: use PayPal, allow customer reviews, and send abandoned cart emails.
Along with the advanced marketing insights (more on that below), the Performance plan is the way to go for dedicated ecommerce sites that want to actively drive revenue-driving customer behaviors.
Premium features (not pictured here) also include the ability to calculate accurate shipping rates based on weight, destination, and carrier, and cheaper transaction fees, which will be a deal-breaker for some businesses. Weebly keeps 2.9% + 30 cents of every transaction on all paid plans except Premium, which offers a lower processing rate of 2.6% + 30 cents. It’s worth the upgrade if you process a lot of transactions.
However, that might be the point at which you consider other website builders because Weebly’s ecommerce capabilities aren’t as powerful or configurable as other tools like Shopify. That’s why we recommend Weebly for simpler online stores.
With the free plan, you get SEO, lead capture forms, and social media feed widgets.
One example of a social widget is the Instagram Feed, one of the top-rated apps available to connect to Weebly for free. This is a responsive plugin that lets you easily add Instagram photos to your site.
The Personal and Professional plans are the same here. You get all the free plan features, plus pop-up notifications, which is great if you want to drive email sign-ups or more business through promotions.
With the Performance and Premium plans, you get all the above plus advanced ecommerce analytics in a dashboard. That includes real-time stats on website traffic, top products and pages, email marketing and sales performance, and SEO reports, with the ability to install apps like Google Analytics for more in-depth reporting.
All plans offer chat and email support, but with Professional and Performance you also get phone support. And the Premium plan adds on priority support.
It’s interesting that besides lower processing fees, this is the only feature that differentiates the Premium plan. But it makes sense that higher volumes of transactions are more likely to require complex and urgent support requests.
How Weebly Ranks
Weebly is a top contender among the no-code, drag-and-drop website builders on the market today. It certainly takes the top spot among free website and online store builders for offering the most functionality on a zero-cost plan.
Here’s a short overview of our complete ranking:
- Wix – Best website builder for most users
- Squarespace – Best website builder for creatives
- Web.com – Fastest way to build a new website
- Shopify – Best ecommerce website builder
- WordPress – Best for bloggers and content creators
- Weebly – Best free website builder
Overall, if you’re building your first website, or if you’re looking to get a new website off the ground quickly without professional help, we happily recommend Weebly. This is one of your best bets for a simple website that works like a charm out of the box. You can sign up and start building in a matter of minutes, so there’s no harm in taking it for a spin.