Many beginners want a personal blog or a website to start their own business, but do not know how to build a website. Naturally the first thought would be finding a website builder as the code or HTML language seems to be too hard to learn. There are many popular site builders, like Dreamweaver, FrontPage, Expression Web, Yahoo SiteBuilder. And we have also some site builders also web hosting services like Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, and many others. Weebly is the one favorited by many individual and small business. As of August 2012, Weebly hosts over 20 million sites. In this article we will make a brief introduction on Weebly, its features, pricing, advantages, disadvantages.
Weebly features the drag-and-drop site builder which makes it easy to build yourself a blog or eCommerce site as a beginner. They offer you a wide selection of website themes which you can choose to create unique sites easily. Currently Weebly offer 4 website hosting packages: Free, Starter, Pro and Business.
Weebly Web Hosting Features
You have the free website builder to create good sites and you do not have to pay for web hosting. It is totally free. However there are many disadvantages with this free web hosting solution. For example, you are not allowed to connect your own domain with your website or blog. Anyone access your site through a sub-domain name like username.weebly.com, you just can have a site in the name of www.mywebsite.com. You can not customize your site footer, you can not have your own favicon. Weebly will put advertisement links on every page of your site which can’t be removed. Overall, this hosting plan is good for individuals who like to set up a private blog.
Start from the Starter hosting plan, Weebly seems to be useful. At least you will be able to have your own domain name. Note that you have to pay for domain registration separately. Normally a .com domain name costs about $15/year. But it is a shame not able to get very basic features, such as site search, slideshow on header, shopping cart, unlimited products with a $4/month hosting package. If you choose other hosting service, like the Starter hosting plan for beginnes from Bluehost, you can build fully functional websites with less money, $3.49/month. What’s more, you even can get your free domain name, see web hosting service with free domain names.
This plan becomes more user friendly if you just want a non-ecommerce site. Pro Hosting is priced at $8/month. If you want to set up an online store, it may still not able to meet your expectations. For instance, your site visitors can’t sign up memberships, you can only sell up to 25 products, digital goods are not supported.
The Business hosting package is more like a regular hosting solution which allows you to create fully functional websites with ecommerce support such as SSL certificate, membership registration, product management, shopping cart support. However it costs you $25/month. You can actually fully functional website, blog or even shopping sites, but with much lower cost. You have a lot of other better ecommerce hosting options. See this e-commerce hosting with the best value which costs only about $5/month. If you like to protect your online shopping sites and transactions, check out this web hosting with free SSL certificate.
Speaking personally, I have a free blog with Weebly for couple of years and I am still using it until today, not often though. I think you may consider Weebly when you want to build yourself a personal & casual blog and you are fine to go with a subdomain to your blog and do not mind the advertisement links at the footer of your site or blog. If you want something better, I recommend you to check out this best blog builder for beginners. If you a loyal Weebly users and would like stick to it, but at the same time, you are not satisfied with Weebly pricing and hosting features, you can actually build sites using Weebly site builder while host on Bluehost servers.