Are You Thinking of Building Your First Blog?
Not so much.
I never whip out my bank card and sign on a dotted line without agonizing over all the pros and cons of a purchase.
Ultimately, I chose Weebly for four reasons.
Why I Chose Weebly
It was absolutely daunting to think about having to learn to build a website from the ground-up at the same time.
After doing research on several different platforms, I went with Weebly because:
- I was already familiar with it.
- I am not a web designer
- Even though I had tried out other platforms, Weebly had what I needed all in one place.
- It fit my limited budget at the time.
But why should you consider Weebly? Regardless of what you choose later, here are five good reasons a Weebly site is an awesome place to start your first blog or (website):
1. Weebly's Drag and Drop Editor Is Super Easy to Use
If you are some coding genius and love building websites from scratch, then you probably won't be thrilled with Weebly. But if you are like me and would rather spend more time creating content than code, then Weebly rocks.
You don't have to spend hours learning how to build a site. You pick a theme, and start building your pages.
All you have to do is drag the boxes you want from the editor to the pages you are creating. Things like images, text, titles, read more breaks, slideshows, and snippets of html code can be pieced together in minutes.
There are some who say that using a drag-and-drop editor makes a site look awful. However, if you have a little spare time, you can dress out a Weebly site with a few special touches.
Here is a post I wrote on how to set up a Weebly blog fast and easy. With all the tips I wish I had known when I started.
2. You Can Add Custom Coding If You Want
If you want something a little more special than what the generic themes offer, you can dig into the coding editor.
That means you can tweak your header images, change the width of your blog, customize your colors, and place ads or affiliate banners where YOU want them. Not just inside the template designer.
Take the time to dig a little around the internet (it's hard finding tutorials that aren't WordPress, which may be why so many people choose them!) and you can find some neat tricks for Weebly.
3. Ecommerce Is Built Into Your Weebly Plan
The three main pages on Weebly are the static page, blog page and store page.
With a paid plan, you can have a store on your website/blog without having to use any off-site eCommerce platforms.
There are limits to how much you can customize the appearance of your store. However, there are several places for keywords and descriptions to help with SEO.
You can sell physical products, digital products and services too.
Bonus? If you are already an Etsy seller, you can integrate your Etsy shop so that it shows up in your Weebly store.
4. Weebly is Budget-Friendly
Most website creators will let you do this, you just have to suffer through having the website domain attached to your site name until you upgrade.
Once you decide to spend a little on your site, Weebly offers three plans; Starter, Pro and Business. Priced respectively at $8, $12, and $25 per month.
You can also get your hosting through Weebly, as well as a domain name that is free for one year. (after that it is $19.95 per year).
I didn't dig too deeply into Wordpress for comparison, but I've read expense accounts from other bloggers, and sometimes establishing those amazing Wordpress sites can run anywhere from $100 a year to a couple of thousand.
For some businesses, those might seem like reasonable prices in exchange for the options they will receive.
If you are starting out on a tight budget and want your site to pay for itself within a few months, low overhead is very important.
Not to be a downer, but lots of bloggers and website owners work for months or years before the site can pay for itself--do you really want to risk spending that much time with no income, but hundreds of dollars of expenses?
Of course, there are always those free versions, but no matter which website builder you choose, you will be severely limited on what you can do on a free plan.
I chose to host with Weebly, and it was fast and easy to do the upgrade from the free account. The starter plan pretty much gives you access to all the paid features you need (included access to your statistics) as well as unlimited storage.
Therefore, it is a great deal if you are trying to blog frugally in the beginning.
5. You Can Be a Blogging Rebel!
When I have someone constantly pushing a brand or product on me, I tend to get a bit turned off. A highly promoted product MIGHT be so popular because it IS the best, but then again, it could just be trendy.
The real truth is that certain options work better for different people.
A Few More Things About Weebly
The Weebly blog is strictly practical, in that it has the main post area and the right side-bar. On the other hand, Weebly has far superior static pages.
You can get super-creative with columns, spacers, dividers, and modules. (They may not always line up well in mobile view, so make sure you check back and forth between your laptop and phone.)
At the moment, Weebly offers a limited choice of responsive themes. However, they do tend to listen to their users and add new features consistently.
The Weebly editor can be a bit sluggish if you have a slow internet signal.
Whether or not Weebly works for your needs depends on what you plan to do with your site.
If you are looking for something specifically for customizing and don't care about static pages or store pages, then Weebly may not be what you need.
But if you want pretty static pages, as well as functional (SEO rich) blog pages, and a place to sell your own products, (without emptying your budget) then you should definitely consider Weebly.
Its fast, its easy, and its fun!