Weebly.com is a site that allows users to create and publish their own websites and blogs for free. The site features an easy-to-use Ajax-based WYSIWYG site editor with plenty of pre-designed website templates to choose from. Users can easily add pages and choose from a large number of widgets that are available, such as ones for embedding Google Adsense ads or YouTube videos on a page. The editor features a drag and drop interface, with page elements being shown at the top of the page. The user simply drags the element they want to place on the page and drops it in the desired location.
Complete, multi-page websites can be easily created at Weebly, and multiple blogs can be added as well. Users can create and preview their site before publishing it to the web. When publishing, Weebly will even host the user’s own domain if desired, otherwise the site will be published to a subdomain of Weebly. The blog feature works well, and there are a number of specialized widgets that can be added to a user’s blog. All of the normal blog features are provided, such as author bio, categories, archiving and RSS feeds.
Weebly.com was launched by David Rusenko, Chris Fanini, and Dan Veltri in August 2007. David Rusenko is currently CEO and Chris Fanini is CTO. The San Francisco-based site has experience steady growth since launch, and currently has hundreds of thousands of unique monthly visitors. The site has an Alexa page rank well below 5,000. Investors in Weebly include Baseline Ventures and Y Combinator venture capital firms.
Competitors to Weebly include Jimdo and Blinkweb. Both of these sites offer similar features to Weebly, with a basic account being free and an upgraded membership with more features available for a reasonable cost. Both sites give the user the ability to choose from a number of different templates, add pages or blogs, and utilize a variety of widgets. The main difference between Weebly and these two sites is that Weebly is much easier to use – the site editor used by Weebly is among the easiest on the web yet user’s can build a professional-looking website with it.
The Weebly site has a very clean, uncluttered look. The entire site is built in Ajax, so the site is very responsive. Page loads happen quickly, and moving about in the site editor is almost seamless. The site editor is not quite as responsive as a dedicated offline application, however. File uploads such as image or video files are handled quickly by the site as well. The user interface is very intuitive, and the drag and drop capability makes the editor very user-friendly.
The registration process is simple, asking only for username, password and email address. Upgrading to Weebly Pro requires a credit card or PayPal. The site accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover cards. Users are asked for name, card number, expiration date, security code and zip code.
Basic registration at Weebly is free. A basic membership gives the user the ability to build two sites, and there is a file size upload limit of 5MB. The pricing for the Weebly Pro membership is $4.58/mo for a 6-month membership, $3.99/mo. for one year, and $2.99/mo. for two years. Upgrading to a Pro Membership at Weebly gives the user the following features:
• Password protected pages
• Users can remove or customize the Weebly footer which is shown on all their pages
• Users can have up to 10 sites
• File upload limit is raised to 100MB
• Users can embed an audio player in their sites
• Users get premium support options
Weebly is recommended to anyone who needs to build a website or maintain a blog on a budget. In addition, it is recommended to users without web design experience, since none is required to use the site editor at Weebly. A professional-looking website can easily be built and maintained using the tools provided by Weebly. And the ability to host the user’s own domain name adds to the site’s professionalism. Overall, Weebly is a very well-done, easy to use site.