How to build a new website with Weebly
Need a website built ASAP? Weebly is a great solution
So you need to build a website for your business but you don't want to spend countless hours learning how to code.
Weebly. A simple drag and drop website builder that requires no coding knowledge. In this post we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of building a fresh website with Weebly.
Weebly pros and cons
Before we dive into the web creation process, let's discuss some of the pros and cons of Weebly to help you decide whether or not the platform is indeed the best option for your business.
Pros of using weebly
The most obvious pro is the simplicity, a child can easily create a website with Weeblt, so it's very appealing to busy business owners that need a website published ASAP. All of the themes are mobile responsive so your designs will look as pretty on mobile as they do on desktop, this is also an important SEO metric, so Google will love you for it!
With other drag and drop builders, if you don't like a page layout, your only option is to select another theme. Weebly, however, allows users to modify page layout individually, while maintaining their preferred theme.
The Weebly subscription includes hosting as well as an SSL certificate, so as soon as you sign up you're up and running and ready to go live. An SSL certificate alone can cost between $90 - $110 so it's nice to have this included in your subscription. Weebly's servers are also pretty fast so Weebly websites load quite quickly.
Cons of using weebly
The main con of drag and drop website builders like Weebly is their very limited customization capabilities. You're confined to Weebly's rigid design framework, so if you wanted to implement specific web functions that are unique to your personal branding, or you'd like complete freedom to place design elements anywhere you want on a web page, you'll be disappointed. These limitations extend to upgradeability, Weebly websites have a very low upgrade ceiling, so they'll quickly fall behind the evolving complex requirements of growing businesses.
If you want complete customization freedom and limitless options of upgrading your website, you're better off hiring a web developer to build a website from scratch for you.
Weebly's blogging capabilities are also quite rudimentary, This is a well known issue for drag and drop builders, a majority of their R&D resources is devoted to improving the designing aspects of the platform and not so much on the blogging capabilities. Because content writing is such a weighty component of SEO, the organic ranking capability of drag and drop builders like Weebly is a commonly debated topic. Web platforms that have been specifically developed for blogging, such as Wordpress, are one of the better alternatives for building a website if you want to implement a strong SEO strategy.
Getting started with Weebly
The first thing you'll need to do is create an account. Head over to Weebly.com and sign up. Once signed up you will be presented with different subscription options. The cheapest option costs absolutely nothing! That's right, you can create a functioning website on Weebly without paying a dime. There are, of course, limitations to the free subscription, but it's a fantastic option if you want to play around with the platform to decide whether it meets your requirements.
Below we've broken down Weebly's different pricing options and their respective features
Weebly plans and pricing
Free plan: $0/month
Weebly would be in a very dire financial situation if they just gave away free subscriptions without any caveats. The company sustains its free subscription by speckling them with advertisements. You also don't have the option of customizing your domain name.
Personal plan: $9/month, or $6/month billed annually
The main benefit of this plan is the ability to customize your domain name. However, even though you are paying for the platform, your website will still display advertisements. This is a good option for simplistic personal websites that are not concerned with converting leads.
Professional plan: $16/month, or $12/month billed annually
This is the minimum subscription for removing adverts. It also comes with a customizable domain name and unlimited storage. Businesses should not consider anything less than this Weebly plan to ensure their website looks professional and is capable of accomodating unlimited pictures, videos and files. You can also accept ecommerce payments on the professional plan through Weebly's Square payment gateway, but you cannot accept Paypal payments, which can be a deterrent, since many feel safer using paypal rather than submitting credit card information.
Performance plan: $29/month, or $26/month billed annually
The performance plan comes with advanced ecommerce capabilities. It comes with integrating shipping solutions as well as the ability to recover lost sales through abandoned cart emails. This subscription gives you the greatest control over your lead conversion strategies. You also have the option of accepting Paypal payments.
How to create a Weebly website
Now let's jump into the action and create a website from scratch. We're using the free Weebly subscription in our tutorial.
After signing up and selecting a subscription plan you'll be prompted to select the primary purpose of your website. Do you intend to only display information or sell stuff?
Your choice will make the tools necessary to build your style of website available further along in the workflow.
We'll select just a simple website (the left option).
Select a theme
Next, you'll need to select a theme. What's nice is that Weebly has different themes specifically designed for different motives. So, for example, if you're a graphic designer and you want to showcase your work, all of the themes under the portfolio category are specifically designed for visual dominance.
If you click on a theme, you can experience a fully functional preview before making your decision. Once you've settled with a theme click "Start Editing" in the top right hand corner.
Select a domain name
Once your workspace loads you'll need to select a domain name. If you've purchased a domain name separately you can connect it to your Weebly website. This process is pretty simple thanks to Weebly's step by step instructions.
Otherwise you can choose and register a new domain name in this step. Keep in mind that you can only use a custom domain if you're signed up to at least the personal plan, otherwise you'll need to settle for a free subdomain.
After you've submitted a domain name search query, you can find the free subdomain options at the bottom of the list. If your intended subdomain isn't available, try modifying your search.
When you select your domain name, your website will be automatically published and the following screen will present you with your URL. You can click on the URL and keep it open in a new tab so that you can keep refreshing it and monitoring your site build process.
Weebly website builder run though
Lets quickly run through all of the functions within Weebly to get you acquainted with the environment.
On the left you will see all of the available building blocks. If you want to use any of them, simply drag and drop them into your intended location. A blue line will indicate where you can drop a building block. Click and drag a building block around your intended location and let go of the mouse once you see a blue line as follows:
If you hover your mouse over any of the elements on the main canvas to the right, you'll see a light blue box appear. This indicates an editable element.
Clicking on the box will reveal all of the edit options available for that element. As you can see, after clicking on the title, you are presented with various formatting options. If you want to change the font, you'll need to select "themes" in the upper menu and then "fonts".
While we're here, let's change the title of the home page:
If you click over to the tab with your website URL loaded you won't see this change. That's because you need to click on "Publish" for all changes to take effect. Make it a habit to click on the publish button as soon as you've made a change to ensure your progress is saved.
In the very top menu within the Weebly workspace, you'll see a few different options:
Navigate here whenever you want to add a new page to your website or delete any existing pages.
This will display all of the options for editing your selected theme. You've only got a few to choose from such as font, theme colors, search bar visibility and logo placement. You can also select a completely different theme from here.
Via the apps menu you can implement different solutions to your website. Some apps give your website more functionality and others integrate different services such as print on demand order processing. App's are your only option for upgrading your Weebly website.
Here you can change all of the main settings of your site. Under the general tab you can change your website title, that's the title that's displayed in Google search results. The default is "My Site" so make sure you change it ASAP.
Under the SEO tab you can configure all of your Meta tags, these are all of the high level web descriptions search engines read. If you want to implement any tracking codes you can paste them in the provided header and footer fields.
You can also give specific editors access to your website. You would do this if you were working with content writers that were publishing content on your website for you.
How to create a new web page with Weebly
To create a new page, click on the "Pages" option in the upper menu and then the plus icon. You'll be presented with different page options. Let's create a new standard page titled "resources"
Once selected your new page will automatically load. You'll need to edit the page title as well as the header title.
From the pages menu you can see all of your current pages on the left hand side. If you click on any of them you have the option of deleting them or changing their visibility settings.
Through the visibility settings, you have the option of either hiding a web page, password protecting it, or only making it only available to logged in members. To change the visibility settings of web pages you'll need to upgrade to a paid subscription.
You can also edit the specific SEO settings of individual web pages, such as meta keywords as well as header and footer codes. If these technical SEO aspects make you a little light headed, hire a freelance SEO specialist and let them take care of it for you.
How to edit a page on Weebly
Now that we've created a new web page, let's add some elements to it.
First we'll add some text. To do this we'll select the text element and drag it over to the canvas. Now we can start typing into that field.
Now let's add a button. We'll select the button element in the left hand menu and drag it below the text field:
Let's do a few things here. First of all the button seems a little too close to the text for our liking, let's move it down a tad. To do this, we'll select the spacer element and drag it between the button and the text field:
Once we've done this we'll be able to manually adjust the space between the button and the text field by dragging this blue line up and down:
Now, let's edit the button text, resize it and center it.
We'll start by clicking on the button and then selecting "Button Text". Let's change the text to "Click Here"
Selecting the back button in the top left hand corner will return us to the button menu. To resize the button we'll now select "Button Style" and choose the largest option:
Now under "Position" we'll select centered to center the button on the page:
Now let's add a link to the button. By clicking on the link option you can either link to another page of your website or a file. If you choose to add a file, you'll then be promoted to upload a file. Once that's done, visitors will be able to download the file whenever they click on this button.
That's basically all there is to it. The beauty of working with a theme is that there isn't much work for you to do, the entire site is already built for you, so you're primarily just modifying the fields with your own text and pictures. Weebly has made an effort to ensure users are never at a loss, so all of the edit options you'll need will always become visible whenever you select an element on the canvas or drag and drop an element into place.
Once your new website is designed, make sure you implement a stellar website launch strategy so that you have a stream of visitors flooding in from day 1.
Making your Weebly website amazing
Now you know how to create a basic website with Weebly. To set yourself apart from all the other generic web designs and make your Weebly website look amazing, you should hire professionals to help you.
A graphic designer can create custom graphics to align your Weebly website with your unique business branding.
Even though Weebly's customization options are limited, a web developer can implement custom scripts and ensure all of your intended website functions are working correctly.
An email marketing expert can help you cultivate your lead list and send out email campaigns specifically optimized for conversions so that you're constantly growing your email list and profiting from it.
A search engine marketing expert can help drive paid traffic to your Weebly website, either to a product page, a services page or a custom landing page.
And if you struggle with writing copy, a freelancer writer can craft compelling copy for all of your web pages and also write a continual stream of blogs to help your website rank organically in Google.
If you're not interested in too many bells and whistles and you just want a simple website published ASAP, a Weebly website is a great option. Follow this guide to announce your business to the world wide web today!