Blog is a simple and powerful tool to attract more visitors to your site. It enables you to publish your content dynamically and allows to distribute latest content to subscribers in order to drive more traffic. Weebly offers blogging features as part of its content management system, hence similar to content site creation you can use most of the Weebly elements in blog also. In this article we will discuss how to create a free blog with Weebly along with other blogging features.
Creating a New Site in Weebly
Many users get confused whether Weebly offers blogging option since it is not shown when you create a new site. When you click on “Add Site” from the dashboard, it will show you two options for just a website and website with an online store.
Do not worry!!! You can add a blog page to both website and online store after creating.
Adding a Blog Page in Weebly Site
Choose one of the options for creating a website or online store. If you want to add blog to your existing site, select the site from the dashboard and click on the “Edit Site” button.
- When you are in Weebly site editor, go to “Pages” tab.
- Click on “+” icon to open the dropdown button and you will see many options for adding a new webpage.
- Select “Blog Page” in order to add a blog to your site.
- You will see a “Blog” menu added to your header navigation (you may not see this on some themes if the navigation is not in visible state)
You can provide a name for your blog page, choose the desired page layout, visibility and SEO settings. That’s all now, you have added a blog page to your Weebly site.
Header Vs No Header Layout
By default, you can choose header type as “Header” or “No Header” and it will look something like below.
We recommend you to select “Header” layout for your blog page so that it will look nicely with a background image or you can add any elements in header to show on the top of your blog posts.
- To change the header image, click on it and select “Edit Background” option. You can replace the existing image with your own or select stock images provided by Weebly. When you select an image, Weebly will open it in the image editor where you can change the size and apply filters to fit the image on your layout.
- Instead of editing the background, you can completely replace it with another predefined layout offered by Weebly. Click on the header image and select “Replace Header Layout” option. To replace the layout, you first need to delete the current background image by clicking on “Delete” button. Finally, select a new layout for your blog header from the list of available layouts.
The replaced layout will look something like below and click on “Done” to save your blog page.
Visibility Settings for Blog Page
By default, the visibility settings should be “Public” so that anyone can read your blog posts. However, if you want to restrict the access you can set a password or assign to your group of members. Note that using membership is a premium option in Weebly and you need to upgrade to paid plan.
SEO Settings for Blog Page
Finally, you can add meta description and page title for your blog page under “SEO Settings” section. Remember, you need not to add Google Analytics and Search Console verification codes here in header/footer code sections. You can add those things under “Settings > SEO” section in the editor. Here, you can add any other header or footer code that you want to apply only on the blog page. Also, the meta description and title are applied only to the blog page and you need to add them for individual blog posts separately as we explained in the below section.
The blog page added will act as an index page for your blog featuring latest posts and you need to create individual blog posts using Weebly blog editor. You can add elements like Blog Archives, Blog Categories and Blog Feed to the sidebar from the blog page. These added elements will be shown on all single blog posts.
Making Blog Page as Home Page
The above way of adding a blog page will add blog to your content site. If you want to keep only a blog site then ensure to have the blog page as your home page. This can be done by moving the blog page to the first page under “Pages” menu and the home icon will be displayed next to the page name.
For effective navigation, create additional “External Page” pages and link them to your blog categories. This way you can have a complete Weebly blog site. Note that you can also create additional standard and product pages on your blog to show them in the navigation menu.
Useful Weebly Articles:
- Create a free Weebly content site
- Setup forum in Weebly site
- Add online store to Weebly site
- Optimize Weebly site for search engines
- 50+ free Weebly widgets to add additional features
- 100+ free Weebly tips and tricks to optimize your site
- 200+ free Weebly tutorials
Weebly Blog Editor
Once you added a blog page, you will see the editor showing additional buttons on the bottom and the sidebar shows additional blog elements. You will see three buttons at the bottom of your editor – Comments, Blog Settings and New Post. If you have any posts saved as drafts without publishing, you can see an additional “Drafts” button with the count showing number of draft posts in your blog.
Let us explain all additional blog options and elements to create your blog posts and customize the blog settings.
Creating a Blog Post in Weebly
Click on the “New Post” button to see new set of elements appear in the Weebly blog editor’s sidebar which you can drag and drop to your post’s content area. For example, there will be a “Read More Break” element which can be added to your blog post (this element will not be available for standard pages). The content before this element will be shown first in your blog page and if an interested user clicks on “Read More” button then the complete post content will be displayed. This is a very useful feature especially for lengthy posts having lot of content.
The following blog elements are grouped under “Blog Sidebar” which can only be added in the content area. This group will disappear when you are editing standard pages to prevent using them in other pages.
- Flickr Badge
- Blog Feed
- Blog Archives
- LinkedIn Button
- Blog Author
- Blog Categories
Click on the “New Post” button and drag and drop elements to start building your blog content. When the post is ready, click on “Post” button showing on top right corner to make the content live. Alternatively, you can save the post as draft and edit later any time or discard the draft to delete the posts content. As mentioned above, when you have saved posts there will be an additional “Drafts” button visible when you open blog page. You can click on it to view all draft posts and edit them to publish.
Weebly Blog Post Options
Click on the “Post Options” button showing at the bottom left corner to customize your blog post.
- Publish post immediately or on any defined scheduled time as per the time zone you selected under “Settings > General” section. Each blog post will be published as individual web page and will be listed in search engines.
- Set the comments to open, closed or require approval as you desire.
- Create a Category for your topic by clicking “Add categories” below the “Categories” section. You can add a single post into multiple categories.
- You can use the “Secret Draft Link” to preview your draft post in a new browser window. Make sure you have logged into your account for viewing the content.
- Add SEO post title and meta description for your blog post.
Weebly Blog – General and Comments Settings
Click on the “Settings” button showing on the bottom of the blog page in the editor to open the global blog settings for your site. You can also access the blog settings by going to “Settings > Blog” section. You can find two sections here – one for general settings and other for comments settings. Under “General” section, you can setup various features like posts per page, share buttons for Facebook and Twitter, enable or disable sidebar and add header and footer code. Remember, the code you add here will be added to each single post on your blog.
The “Comments” settings section offers various options to control the overall comment management setup.
- Choose whether you want to use the default Weebly’s commenting system, Disqus or Facebook comments.
- Select the comment status to open, closed or require approval. Note that you can change this for individual blog post as explained above.
- You can choose to stop receiving comments after 30, 60 or 90 days. Or leave it as “Never” to always keep the comments open for your blog posts.
- Spam protection allows you to add Smart Captcha to your blog comment form. Make sure to select this option to stop spam bots posting comments on your blog posts.
- You can choose not to moderate spam comments or add smart spam moderation. Again, select Smart Moderation to automatically filter spam comments from bots.
- The last options is to enter an email address to get a notification whenever a new comment is posted on your blog posts. Choose “No” to stop receiving new comment notification emails.
Weebly Comments Management
Now that you have setup your blog completely and it’s time to manage comments posted by your users. When you open the blog page in editor, clicking on “Comments” button will provide you many options for effective comment control for your blog. You can approve, delete or mark the comment as spam. Learn more about how to manage comments in your Weebly blog.
Important Points When Using Weebly Blog
Here are some of the important points you should remember when using free blog with Weebly.
- You can add multiple blog pages to a single site and add blog posts under those pages without mixing.
- Do not delete the blog page for any reason, this will completely delete all blog posts in your site. If you want to delete a single post after publishing, open your blog page and click the post you want to delete. This will open blog editor where you can click on the small arrow showing next to “Update” button and select “Delete Post” option.
- When you hundreds of blog posts, finding old items for editing from the blog page in your editor will be quite annoying.
- Archiving Weebly site will only include the blog page showing your latest blog posts (maximum 25). This essentially means you can’t backup old blog posts and get a local archive copy.
You can learn more on limitations when using Weebly blog setup.
Frequently Asked Questions on Free Weebly Blog
Here are some of the frequently asked questions when using free blog with Weebly.
Weebly does not charge separately for blog setup. This comes as part of the free or premium plan your use. All the above explained options are available for free Weebly plan.
There are no limitations of number of posts you can create.
You can use Weebly Editors to manage multiple authors for your blog. However, under free plan all editors will have admin access and you need to upgrade to premium plan using author role.
By default there are no options to remove the Weebly sidebar from your blog. However, you can adjust the code and manually remove the sidebar to have full page layout.
Yes, you can add header and footer code, meta description and page title to each blog posts.
You can use Disqus or Facebook comments instead of Weebly’s native commenting system.
You can enable smart moderation and smart CAPTCHA to reduce comments spam. In addition, set “Require Approval” for comments to manually approve comments before they appear on your blog.
Weebly offers Facebook and Twitter networks to share your content. However, you need to manually share the posts after publishing and they will not be automatically shared.
No. Default Weebly archive includes only the blog page and not all blog posts.
We hope this guide helped you to understand how to create free blog with Weebly site and online store. Adding blog is helpful to drive traffic to your business site or store and attract more visitors. You can add post title, meta description and use social sharing options to get success with your Weebly blog.