Weebly has a powerful drag and drop site builder. This makes it simple for the webmasters to build their own sites in minutes. Yet, the fact is different that you need many other features to run a large scale site. Here are the 12 drawbacks of Weebly site you should know before starting your online presence with Weebly. This article was written on 2013. Weebly increased the price to multifold from that time without addressing any of the drawbacks. It is a clear indication that you will never get the features mentioned here like site backup even with the highest premium performance plan of paying $38 per month.
12 Drawbacks of Weebly
In addition to all the issues list down, it is unclear Square (the owner company of Weebly) will promote their own Square Online or Weebly builder. Besides these drawbacks, we have addressed many Weebly site editor issues in another article which may also annoy your experience.
1. Installation of Softwares
Weebly does not allow installation of any softwares on their site and this is applicable for both free and Pro users. This is one of the biggest disadvantage of opting for Weebly hosting. The installations includes famous content management services and forums including Drupal, Zoomla and phpBB.
2. Site Backup and Modification
Site backup is one of the important and regular activity required for every webmasters especially when the size of the site is considerably big. Weebly do offer site backup option by downloading the whole site into a zip file. But the problem is that the backed up site can’t be uploaded back into Weebly site or any other service provider for that mater. This basically means you need to build your content from scratch in case if you loose your Weebly content or your site is deleted by Weebly for any reason.
Nowadays, you can discuss with Weebly support team to restore the deleted content. But that will only work for standard pages since Weebly does not backup blog posts and product pages. Image a situation that you have wrongly deleted a blog index page having 100 posts. You can’t get the posts through any means even you are a premium customer. You should completely rely on Weebly for blog and store content without having a local backup copy.
3. Theme Modifications
You can add up to 10 sites on your Weebly account. But be careful when using custom modified themes for your site. Below is an indication how Weebly theme works. The base themes Weebly offer, can be used by different users without any problem. When you modify the base theme and start using on two sites the modified theme will not get copied. Instead it will be used as a source theme for both sites. Any modifications you do on one site will impact the other site as the theme is common.
So, if you modified any Weebly theme to use on your site, you should be very careful that you are not using the same modified theme in another site. This means your modified themes in Weebly has one single source code and if you want to use it in another site basically you need to copy it into a new name say theme2 and then use. This will be confusing for beginner level users choosing Weebly for it’s simplicity.
4. Weebly Blog Limitations
If you are a blogger then Weebly is definitely not an option for you for the following reasons.
- You cannot copy a Weebly blog hence it is very difficult to migrate your blog content
- Weebly blog posts do not display the author name
- Very simple comment control and management system
- Latest 10 blog posts will be displayed automatically in one page
- Fixed blog layout with no option to choose blog layouts
- Only Twitter and Facebook are available for content sharing
5. Weebly Forum Limitations (No Forum)
Weebly does not offer any built-in forum as such and the third party forum element Tal.ki has the following restrictions even for Pro users.
- Number of Sub-forums is limited to 5
- Only the recent 15 topics will be displayed in your Forum
- Older topics will be viewable only through search or using direct link
- Each topic is limited to maximum 200 replies
- Login using Weebly or any other means like Twitter is mandatory for Forum Posting and Replies
- Migrating content from Tal.Ki forum to some other forum may not be possible
Note: Weebly removed the Tal.ki forum element, any other forum app from App Center might also have similar limitations.
6. Shared Web Hosting and Blocked Sites
Weebly as a social tool for creating websites is blocked in some of the countries and unless Weebly offers a new server there is no way to access Weebly site legally in those countries. The other major problem is even though Weebly website can be opened, most of the internet service providers block the sites hosted on particular Weebly server. This is the reason you might have noticed that your sites can be opened in home network and not opening in office network or the other way round. Since Weebly uses shared servers for hosting your sites along with many other sites, one single site having illegal content in that particular geographical area leads blocking of entire server by local internet service provider (ISP) and your site will also be blocked due to that.
Other than shared hosting issue, Weebly editor sometimes has the connection error with Weebly server and force you to exit.
In this case the changes you have done on the editor will be lost.
7. Image Management – Not User Friendly
Even though Weebly offers superior image processing platform called “imageperfect” its numbering system reduces the reusability of images. All images are stored in Weebly using numbers instead of the actual file name, caption or ALT text. For example:
When you backup your site, you can find all your images under the above structured folder but will not be able to locate any images by file name.
Note: Over the period of time your site may have lot of unattached images which can’t be deleted since you do not have access to the root directory.
8. Poor Page Management
Weebly does not offer any tool for managing the site’s pages. Especially when your site is having more than hundreds of pages it is very difficult to arrange the navigation of pages since they are currently arranged one below one.
9. Migrating to Weebly
The following things make it more difficult to move your sites hosted in other hosting services like GoDaddy to Weebly.
- As explained in the first point since there is no way to install softwares in Weebly hosted sites you can’t use Drupal, Zoomla or any forums like phpBB.
- It is not possible to migrate your existing site’s pages as it is since Weebly uses different file structure for content and images.
- Weebly’s HTML file system does not support your .php pages
- Drag and drop site builder does not support copying and pasting content from other pages. All your alignments, bullets and tags will be removed when you copy and paste the content.
- From SEO perspective Weebly supports 301 redirects only if your existing site and new Weebly site are having same page name. Here again existing .php pages can’t be used for redirects and you will loose all your existing traffic as well search engine page ranks.
Popular hosting like Bluehost, HostGator and SiteGround offer Weebly Cloud as part of their hosting plans. But that may not be suitable for all Weebly users.
10. Migrating Weebly Site to Another Company
- Weebly blog can’t be copied and hence you may not be able to migrate your blog content easily to other service providers.
- Backed up site can’t be uploaded directly into other hosting providers.
- Blog has a default feed URL like “webnots.com/1/feed”. This makes very difficult to set a redirect for your blog feed.
11. Weebly’s Terms of Services
It is very important that you read Weebly’s terms of services here. It clearly restricts the type of site you can create with Weebly and if your content is not matching with Weebly’s terms then better you can look for alternate hosting providers before you start building a site with Weebly.
12. File Deletion
Weebly does not offer any option to delete the uploaded files from your site. When your site grow in size you may started uploading different version of same file and the problem is that every file in your site will be crawled by the search engines. The only option to remove obsolete files from your site is that you need to raise a support ticket to Weebly team.
Weebly has a powerful site builder to help you create a decent website in short time. This is more suitable for those who want to build a small business site and use it for driving more customers to the actual business. Or build a simple personal blog to share with friends and relatives.
For those who wanted to build a site for life time and make fortune with the site, Weebly is definitely not an option. When you have hundreds of pages, it is impossible to arrange them in order, all your blog posts and product pages can’t be backed up. Also Weebly doing testing on live environment (like the Carbon upgrade) making the platform unreliable. You can’t run a huge business on such platforms keeping your site and business at risk.
I inherited a Weebly Bluehost sure and after using Dreamweaver to build websites for 10 years this seemed like a piece of cake. I was happy to learn apps were out there to enhance the site. Then I learned those apps were only available to weebly.com users.
I am ready to return to Dreamweaver.
Hi, I’m in the process of searching for another website program. I currently use Web Plus X8, which most people don’t know, is absolutely fabulous. There are features that others simply haven’t realized. It’s the perfect blend of both worlds. But they recently announced they’re discontinuing the software, so I’m looking for another program. Considering Webflow, UKit, Light CMS, Coffee Cup RSD or Webydo. However, I thought to try one of these other builders like Weebly. I tried Wix and it was simply silly to me. I really look beyond the normal reviews, at the small details, because building a site for a client inevitably expands beyond the original mockup and usually becomes full of integrations. For example, Wix gets high reviews but I tested it out and you can’t change the “page width”!! Ridiculous to me, how in the world can that ever work, responsive or not, you need to know your page dimensions. Not a big deal breaker but a serious issue for me. Therefore, going a little deeper, what other choices do you guys know are more in line with real-world development? If not Weebly, then who else makes sense? I’m just trying to get feelers out there.
Nowadays there are lot of site builders with different concepts. If you are ready to spend time then WordPress.org is the recommendation.
I have been using, and paying for, Weebly since 2013. I have two educational accounts there. For a while it worked like a charm, but their changes have made my experience glitchy, buggy and less than ideal. I have lost information with the changes; things I was able to do before, I am now unable to do. For instance, on their previous versions, I could have floating buttons by changing the HTML on the site; now, they changed the ability of editing, as well as how the images are stored. I lost access to the nice library which allowed me to see my images — that is long gone. Even if I copy the code from the one site which is working onto the new site, the buttons don’t work. It’s a mess. I have twenty sites in there and think about moving out every day but seriously, what a pain. Maybe next Summer.
I have been with weebly for a while, but this last year has been a nightmare. Layout doesn’t work properly and I keep having to publish to see what it really looks like, embed code doesn’t work with firefox browser, but sort of does (but not properly) with explorer. It freezes a lot, and it has become a nightmare every time I have to do something on one of my sites.
I have started moving over the squarespace and have been playing around with a site just to see how they work. It is a lot better, slicker, more stable and you don’t have to publish every two minutes to see if things stay where you actually put them. I am slowly pulling my sites from weebly as I have just about had enough. I am still waiting for support regarding the embed code… I don’t have a few days to wait every time something goes wrong with weebly, which is virtually every time I use it these days, for someone to get back to me. What a waste of valuable time.
Weebly should definitely handle the change management process more professionally without affecting the user experience.
I have been pretty happy with Weebly up until yesterday when I got the support person from hell! This guy spoke to me like you see thugs in movies talking over people. He wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise. I’m in the process of trying to get corporate’s address because I plan on complaining until someone apologizes. In the end my issue was solved, but the rudeness of the “support” person was really stressful. When people call and are upset because they can’t access the site, there should be an understanding person on the other end, not an obnoxious teen with a little power in his hands. And THEN, believe it or not, the feedback form for the session was sent by the same horrible person! I had been considering upgrading, because phone support is included. But this is not the type of phone support I need. I’m looking elsewhere for my business.
I’m going to tell you like this. I have been using weebly for 3 years and it was a nice platform to get started with ..in the beginning. Now as I’ve grown as a budding entrepreneur, weebly has it’s limitations, along with some undesirable back-end changes they make which can mess up your entire site.
I have experienced major problems whenever they randomly update or make changes to their system. They apply their changes globally across everyone’s site …even if you don’t want the changes.
Recently, as in today, I went to my site and lost 7 pages of images with links that I organized over several months. Weebly doesn’t think of individual users when making these decisions and you have no say in what they do to your site.
I made the mistake of starting another blog on there last year, thinking that the two changes I experienced on my first site were over..and then “BOOM” today it happened again.
If I was just starting out, I would go ahead and get a word press site that gives you complete freedom from the start. Sometimes easy isn’t always better. WP isn’t such a hard platform to learn and you never have to worry about web host deciding they want your site to load or format a certain way.
I’m now in the painstaking process of figuring out how I’m going to be able to move the content off of my sites to WP. If it’s anything like the videos and step-by-steps I’ve seen it’s going to be a minute before I’m Weebly-free.
Did you check with Weebly support and get any response on this?
Regarding migration – If you have built a 3 year site with Weebly then the migration is not going to be in minutes for sure. With similar experience we migrated from Weebly to WordPress, it took 3 months to align the content and make the site alive. (even the paid services may not help to achieve what exactly you want)
Thought on WP.org – it needs lot of time/cost to setup especially if you want to customize things as you like. Readymade use of free theme/plugins should be easy as you said then this will be similar to Weebly with paid hosting.
My website with Weebly is becoming slower. I intend to transfer it to some other server but I am afraid of having issues during website transfer from Weebly to another server.
I was looking for building a site with Weebly but after looking into these disadvantages what do you suggest?
If you are planning for upgrade then Weebly is very easy to build a site, for a free site try others who provide unlimited pages.
Weebly simply sucks due to lack of backup/restore feature! It negates every other thing that is a plus (for some).