Weebly is a popular website builder launched in 2006. It powers over 1.5 million websites, but I wanted to find out if it’s worth a go for ecommerce. There are many ecommerce platforms, and it’s hard to understand the nuances between them that could affect how much you spend for the results you get.
I decided to put together a Weebly ecommerce review to help you make the right decision for your ecommerce store. To be objective, I analyzed 100 active stores running on Weebly to test the value, features, performance, integration, how easy it is to use it, and the designs & themes.
Weebly Ecommerce Overview
Weebly is a great option for someone looking for a simple store with marketing automation built-in. That will cost you $38 per month vs. using Shopify and Active Campaign ($29 + $17). However, if you plan to do any type of marketing – you’ll quickly outgrow Weebly. Also, it sucks for SEO.
- Excellent value – lowest price for ecommerce marketing automation
- Stunning designs
- Powerful email tools
- Simple and easy to use dashboard
- Charges an additional transaction fee
- Sucks with SEO
- Amazon doesn’t seem to be on their radar
How Weebly Compares To Other Ecommerce Platforms
You can see that in my overall rating, Weebly only passes Squarespace and not even by much. It’s far away from being close to BigCommerce or Shopify and doesn’t get to our average score of 3.58.
It does do well in some areas. I based the rating on:
- Excellent value for money
- No tech skill required to set up
- Great phone and chat support
- A good mobile UX and design
- An array of modern and mobile friendly templates
It does fall short in many places such as load time. The average load time for ecommerce sites is 3.2. The average Weebly website loads in 3.8 seconds.
If SEO is important to you, you might have to look elsewhere. From our study, the average organic traffic score and SEO rating sucked for sites on Weebly. You’d get better on WooCommerce, it has the best average organic score.
If you’re a total beginner and don’t want to hire a developer, Weebly works well for a simple store. It’s easy and intuitive; more beginner friendly than BigCommerce but less welcoming for developers.
However, if you want to run a large ecommerce website, then Weebly wouldn’t do the work. It’s better for small/simple stores like a local cake shop that wants to allow local customers place orders online. No SEO or marketing.
That’s probably because there hasn’t been a strong focus on ecommerce so you wouldn’t find premium tools. You’d be better off with BigCommerce, Shopify, or WooCommerce, especially if you sell products on multiple channels.
As usual with ecommerce, you lose some, you gain some. Although they are losing lots of customers to Shopify, they are also gaining a bit from other platforms.
Brands using Weebly include:
- Buff Canada
- Abbadabba’s Cool Shoes
- Shipwreck Press
Weebly Pricing and Plans
I did mention at the beginning of this Weebly store review that it has excellent value.
Weebly is turnkey and inexpensive, especially for the features provided. It offers several plans for online stores. The starter plan is free. The others range from $5 to $38 month to month.
You can’t use the free plan for anything. Even outside ecommerce, you shouldn’t use it mostly because you’re going to build on Weebly’s domain. Never build on someone else’s domain.
I’m focusing on the $12 (Pro) – $38 (performance) plans as no ecommerce site can use the $5 either because of the lack of ecommerce features.
Only the most simple stores can use the Pro plan. If you have a brick and mortar store and are only looking to take payments for less than 25 physical products, then you can use it. However, if you can’t deal with your shopping cart being on Weebly’s checkout page, then this plan isn’t for you either.
The Business plan is billed at $21 and 25/month on the 2-year and 1-year plan and $35 on the month to month subscription. It allows you to sell digital goods and physical products, take reviews, manage inventory, real-time shipping/tracking, site search, SSL security, free domain membership accounts, inventory management, and coupons.
Weebly is a clear winner for marketing automation. Where Shopify requires a paid app for email campaigns, you get that on the top plan. The top (Performance plan) is billed at $38 and $35 on 1-year and 2-year payment respectively. If you prefer a month-to-month subscription, you’ll pay an extra 17% or 23% by paying $46/month. This plan includes everything in the business plan plus: abandoned cart auto recovery, automated email marketing, gift cards, and advanced marketing stats.
Their pricing doesn’t end up with features, they charge transaction fees.
As long as you stick to the Business or Performance plans, that doesn’t concern you. Otherwise, you pay 3% on every transaction you get on your site.
Weebly Features and Plans
Weebly offers enough features for small ecommerce businesses. You can sell either 25 or unlimited products on your store. It allows personalized products as well. Other features include a shipping and tax calculator and marketing automation
You can import your product details from Etsy, Shopify, or a CSV file, making it easy to transfer details from Shopify or edit your product details. While that’s great in allowing you not have to manually recreate a lot of info, once you’re in, there’s no bulk editing.
It’s best for selling your own products; if you want to drop ship, you’d have to pay to sync your inventory with your supplier’s, shipping tracking, and auto-send orders. The CEO doesn’t like drop shipping anyway. He’s mentioned once that he’s willing to cut that out altogether if he has to.
It didn’t do badly in our SEO tool rating, scoring a 4/5. You can edit the metadata easily. 301 redirects are allowed as well. There’s a blog functionality, and they automatically generate the Sitemap XML. The major issue I see here is that the URLs are not fully customizable – post and pages are, but the shop/product pages are not.
The product title on the URL can be changed, for example, from example.com/store/p3/a-wool-cap-for-kids.html to example.com/store/p3/wool-cap-kids but the weird string in the front of that can’t be changed. You are stuck with that p3. You can’t remove the .html either.
Abandoned Cart Recovery
As is normal with selling, people will forget products in their carts. Or something like shipping costs might pull them away. An abandoned cart recovery tool will help you draw those ones back.
Weebly provides automated abandoned cart recovery emails, and you can add coupon codes to motivate potential customers to take the leap. But you’ll need the top Weebly ecommerce plan for that. Regardless, that’s still cheaper than paying $249 on BigCommerce for that same feature.
You don’t have to opt for the most expensive plan to get real time shipping rates.
This is an essential feature given that you might not want to give free shipping, especially if your customer is far from your fulfillment center. I like that you get real-time shipping information on both the Business and Performance plans. That’s cheap compared to Squarespace where you’ll pay at least $46/mo to get that feature. Even Shopify requires you take at least the Advanced plan of $299/month.
Site search is good, not great. There are options to filter your results to get more specific info.
That site had about four filter attributes. That’s good but if you were to type in the wrong spelling of a product, like “sprey” instead of “spray”, it would return no result or suggestions either. That’s not nice especially now that people have come to rely on search engines to complete/correct their spellings and figure out what they are trying to look for.
|Platform||Performance||Load Time||Mobile Speed||Desktop Speed||Avg SEO Traffic|
When it comes to performance, Weebly scored the lowest among our top ten online store builders. Where we see Squarespace getting a 2.6 seconds load time, Weebly is getting a 3.8. The mobile and desktop page speed is not any better; both falling below the median score of 51.5/100 and 61.9/100. On mobile, Weebly scores 49 and on desktop 59.
The median score is already quite low, falling below it is abysmal.
Weebly has some SEO tools. There’s a blog. You can update your metadata – description, title, and keywords. The blog is simple and you can drag and drop some elements, but if you need a different layout, you can take one of the free/premium apps in the app store.
If you’re changing your URL, you wouldn’t want to lose all your SEO and history. You can redirect the traffic and search engines crawling your old page to the new one with 301 redirects. Thankfully, Weebly offers this feature. You can also change your permalink, and sitemap XML is automatically generated. You can’t bulk-edit though.
In our study, we noticed that Weebly sites didn’t do well for SEO despite these “ok” tools. Their average organic traffic score is 186. You might say working SEO is in the hands of the site owner, I agree but if the average organic traffic score is 20,346 and most ecommerce platforms are in tens of thousands or at least thousands. So seeing Weebly at 186 means something is not right.
WooCommerce still remains the best if you’re going to work SEO with content. It scored the best organic traffic score. The SEO rating is a 5/5 compared to the 2.5/5 from Weebly.
Weebly Ecommerce Integrations and Apps
Weebly Integrations and Plans
Weebly has a decent marketing automation feature. You can create campaign emails by dragging and dropping content directly from your site into a template, set how they’re sent and where to send them.
You’ll also get suggestions on when to send some emails like in-product prompt (new product/coupon code). The sweetest part is the abandoned cart recovery which is gotten at a cheaper cost than most platforms.
You don’t need third-party apps to integrate USPS for shipping prices and tracking, and you can get a free app for printing labels from the app center.
Since Weebly was acquired by Square, it integrates the Square payment gateway. There’s also Paypal, Stripe, and Authorize.Net.
That’s just about the integrations that are easy. There are many hiccups when it comes to integrating other stuff like multichannel selling, Amazon, and Google reviews.
Lacks Amazon Integration For Order Fulfillment
Many people use Amazon to fulfill their orders; it makes sense to add this integration. Many platforms do…not Weebly though. This is a feature that Weebly users have requested and its essential.
Yet, no positive response.
This is a downer for me. It does look like an important feature wouldn’t be included if many people don’t know a vote is ongoing for it.
No Multi-Channel Selling
Weebly doesn’t integrate with Amazon, eBay, Facebook or Google Shopping for 2-way sync. That’s an invaluable feature for easy cross-channel selling because it helps you streamline your operations and save you time and money. Without them, you’ll have to manually update your channels which is cumbersome.
Customers have requested this feature for years. About two years ago, customer support stated that Google shopping was being considered.
Till now, no update.
On Your Own With Cross-Selling & Upselling Across All Plans
Up-sells & Cross-sells can drive up order value. You can Upsell and Cross-sell on Weebly, but that’s a function you have to pay extra for regardless of the plan you choose. Manually inserting links below products to work in that functionality is too tasky. There are some apps in the App center such as Boost Sales by Beeketing for $30 – $39/month after a 7-day free trial.
You Can’t Give Reward Points
If you want to run a customer loyalty program where customers have the option to earn points, you can’t. It’s not an option on any plan. Swell used to be there, but they abandoned Weebly in 2017 or thereabout. No other app or integration for that.
Although Weebly says they are considering it, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for now because that is the status of a lot of requests in the community.
Syncing Drop Shipping With Suppliers Is Expensive
You have to pay to sync inventory, orders, and shipping with your supplier’s inventory. One app in the center for that is InventorySource by Inventory Source. It’s $50/mo if you want to auto upload product data, sync your inventory, and have access to their drop shipping network. If you want to auto-send orders and get/sync shipping information back to your site in addition to what is on the $50 plan, you’ll have to pay $199/mo. That’s expensive when you can get an app on the Shopify store doing the exact same thing for under 100/mo or free.
There are some apps to cover up for Weebly’s missing built-in features, they include:
Marketing Automation Comes Out Of The Box
Marketing automation comes out of the box on the Performance plan only. You can set emails from your dashboard for actions, for example, a thank you email after a product is purchased. These are some of the options they have:
- Thank you messages
- Personalized offers (on their birthdays, etc.)
- Pop-up lead capture
- Abandoned cart recovery
Weebly Themes and Design
This is one area that they top Shopify and BigCommerce. Weebly has a great selection of 15 free ecommerce themes. They have premium themes as well, or you could purchase a pre-made template from Mojo Marketplace.
The Weebly Theme store lets you see what you could work with and they have sections for online stores and businesses.
You’ll be able to find a stylish theme to work with. Most work great on mobile, both in being responsive across devices and in the user experience. That means less frustrated mobile users. With more and more purchases ending on a mobile device, that’s a factor that’s important when choosing a platform or theme. Look out how well Weebly themes and designs fared in the table below:
|Platform||Design & Themes||Visual Design||Mobile UX||Cost Of Premium Themes||# of Free Themes|
Weebly Ease Of Use
|Platform||Ease of Use||Phone Support||24/7 Support||Chat Support||Community Rating||# of Apps/ Plugins|
You don’t need to have technical knowledge to build and manage your store on Weebly. Unlike WooCommerce where you need a bit of that, any newbie can use Weebly with its drag and drop editor. It lets you insert and move modules like contact forms, images, and videos around your pages and posts.
It’s great for those who don’t know coding at all but not the best if you want to edit core code. It doesn’t encourage developers. The only thing you can do is change HTML and CSS here and there, no big work. That’s the part that using WooCommerce or WooCommerce is better. If you want to control your code, then use them instead.
That said, you can set up your store and add in apps as you go. You can’t integrate many things. It’s either its impossible or you need a custom built app. Some of those missing features are easily found on Shopify. Extending the features of your store is limited as well.
On the dashboard, there are guides to help you get started. Adding extra stuff like coupons, categories, descriptions, shipping and taxes, and all that is presented at the sidebar. If you have any questions, there’s a community base as well.
I noticed some complaints about the email support giving canned answers. You could try phone support instead, and chat support is available.
By now, you should know if the limitations of Weebly are a dealbreaker for you. If you’re considering not using Weebly, these are some alternatives that you can go for:
Like Weebly, Squarespace offers a drag and drop interface for building the online store. Although Weebly is cheaper than Squarespace, there are certain features you would have on the latter that Weebly wouldn’t give you.
For $30/mo, you can sell on social media, have customers create accounts, integrate with ShipStation and Xero for accounting. All of that is not available on Weebly. Using abandoned cart recovery, real-time shipping rates/tracking, discounts, and gifts carts is more expensive than Weebly’s though – at $46/mo. If you want to run a print on demand business, Squarespace is much better than Weebly. Same thing for selling subscriptions to products and SEO tools.
While Weebly does well with very simple stores only, BigCommerce excels in any size and type of business. It performs excellently for SEO as well.
If you can’t afford more than $38/mo, stick with Weebly. But you’ll be missing out on easy multi-channel selling, Amazon (FBA) integration, drop shipping, and complete control over SEO data. There are apps to enable you to give reward points and subscription service as well – features that you can’t get on Weebly.
Volusion is ideal if you want to do a subscription ecommerce business, run customer loyalty programs, or sync your Amazon and eBay markets. It offers more advanced features, better performance, more integrations, and is easier to use than Weebly. Weebly is only better than Volusion in its design and themes.
Volusion lowest plan is $29/mo, but Weebly offers most of the features on that plan for less. Also, collecting ratings and reviews, using Paypal and other 3rd party gateways and real-time shipping rates from 3PLs are available only on the top-tier plans. Those are around $79 – $299 per month.
Weebly Review Wrap Up
Overall, Weebly is great for the features offered at its prices. Designing an online store wouldn’t be hard for newbies because of the interface. They also have great designs that look nice on mobile.
If you want a simple store with marketing automation built-in, Weebly is great. I recommended Weebly to a friend who sells cookies in her local area. She has no plans to crush it with online marketing, so Weebly gives great value to her.
It isn’t enough for SEO. You’ll run into issues like their horrible product URLs structure. If you want to expand your store, you’ll quickly run into limitations because selling on other marketplaces (Amazon, eBay) and social media is impossible.
You can try out Weebly for some days before you commit with their 15-day trial. No credit card details required. If you have already decided that Weebly is the right fit for you, click here to get started.
Have any questions on using Weebly or are there issues you currently face on the platform that I left out in this Weebly review? Comment below.