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.
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.