Weebly is one of the popular free website tools which you can use without any coding knowledge. Generally, you can go to Weebly.com and create a new account for setting up your websites. However, if you are already using HostGator hosting plan for WordPress or any other platform, you can easily create Weebly site in HostGator hosting account. In this article, we will explain how you can properly setup and start using Weebly with HostGator.
HostGator Hosting Plans
HostGator offers cheap shared hosting plans which you can use to setup WordPress and other popular content management systems. The cheapest plan is available for $2.75 per month for 3 years contract. All the plans include a 1 year free domain and free Weebly Cloud website builder.
This means you can easily setup Weebly with the free domain and scale up your online store or site from there on. Here are some of the advantages of using Weebly with HostGator:
- You can manage multiple websites using different setup like one domain is using WordPress and other uses Weebly.
- It is easy to manage everything like domains, hosting and emails in single place.
- Business plan users will get Cloudflare CDN which can speed up your Weebly site.
- It is also possible to use Weebly on subdomain. In this way, you can use the primary domain with WordPress and subdomain with Weebly.
- The free Weebly plan will allow you to connect your custom domain. If you use Weebly.com, you need to purchase a “Personal” plan for $6 per month on annual basis for connecting a custom domain.
Installing Weebly in HostGator Domain
In this article, we will explain with the free domain we got from HostGator. However, you can use any other domains hosted with other registrars like GoDaddy. In such a case, you need to add the domain in hosting portal and point the domain to HostGator nameservers.
Login to your HostGator hosting account and go to “Hosting” section from the sidebar. Here, you will see the details of your current hosting plan and click on the “Manage” link showing below your primary domain.
This will take you to the “Overview” section showing various options. Simply, scroll down on the page and find “Weebly” option. Click on the “Learn more” link to get started.
On the next page, you will see the complete details about Weebly site builder. Go down on the page and check the pricing plans section. As mentioned, the free Basic Weebly plan with HostGator allows you to connect your custom domain which is not possible if you go through Weebly.com. The Pro and Business plans also available for cheaper ($5.99 and $14.24 per month for 36 months) compared to Weebly.com price. Let’s start with the free Weebly plan and click on the “Begin Setup” button under “Basic” plan.
On the next screen, you will be prompted to select the domain for using Weebly site builder. Make sure to choose the correct domain from the dropdown and click on “Complete Setup” button.
You will see a success message saying “Your Weebly Cloud Basic service was successfully created, thank you!”. Click on the “Start using” button to proceed further.
You will see a dashboard showing the details of your Weebly site builder plan under the domain name you have selected. Click on the “Start Building” button to start setting up your Weebly site. Any point of time you can click on the “Change Plan” button from here to upgrade or downgrade your Weebly plan.
Setting Up Weebly Site
Now that you have successfully created Weebly Cloud account with HostGator, the next step is to start using drag and Weebly site builder. Clicking on “Start Building” button will take you to the onboarding section on Weebly site. The first step is to select a theme for your site. Check the available themes and select the one you like. You can change the theme any time later after finishing the setup.
After selecting a theme, click on “Start Editing” button showing on top right corner. This will take few minutes to setup your site with the selected theme and you will finally land on Weebly’s drag and drop editor.
HostGator Weebly Editor
The Weebly editor will exactly look like the one you see with the default Weebly.com setup.
- You can navigate through “Settings” section and start setting up your site’s title, favicon, etc.
- You can delete/create pages under “Pages” tab and then create content under “Build” tab.
- The “Store” tab allows you to setup ecommerce store in Weebly.
- “Themes” section allows you to change theme’s settings and access Weebly code editor.
We have a detailed article on how to create a free Weebly site and blog which you can refer for creating your site. Though the HostGator Weebly site builder interface looks same with standard Weebly.com, you will not get access to Weebly App Store in HostGator setup.
Important Note: Till this point, your site will be in unpublished status. This means accessing your domain name in the address bar will show you 403 access forbidden error like below.
You should click on the “Publish” button showing on the top right corner of Weebly site editor to make your site publicly visible online. You will see a message like below showing “Website Published!” and click on the site link to access your site.
After finished your editing work, click on “X” mark showing on top left corner to quit Weebly editor. This will show Weebly dashboard and you can logout from the account from here. Remember, you need to use HostGator account when you want to login back to Weebly site. After setup the “Learn More” link will be changed as “Manage” which you can click to view details and login to Weebly site.
Setup SSL for Weebly Site in HostGator
Sometimes your site may show a “Not Secure” warning when you are viewing it in the browser window. The reason is that free SSL is not installed for your domain and hence the Weebly site uses not secured HTTP protocol instead of secured HTTPS connection.
In Weebly.com, you can enable SSL with single click under “Settings” section of the editor. However, this is not the case with HostGator and you need to setup SSL from the cPanel for your domain. You can access cPanel by clicking on “Launch cPanel” button under “Dashboard”. Alternatively, you can access cPanel from “Hosting > Overview” section.
When you are in the cPanel, click “SSL/TLS Status” app under “Security” section.
Here you can view the status of the SSL installation for all the domains available in your hosting account. You may see DNS errors, especially if you are setting up Weebly on the domains purchased from other registrars. In this case, make sure you have setup correct nameservers in the DNS zone editor and wait up to 72 hours for the changes to be effective. If your domain is with HostGator and the status is in red, then select the domain and click “Run AutoSSL” button. This will manually check the status and install the SSL immediately on your domain.
Now, open you domain in the browser and check it is loading through HTTPS.
Note: We recommend you installing SSL on the domain before setting up Weebly so that the site can be accessible through HTTPS after publishing.
Uninstalling and Deleting Weebly in HostGator
Anytime you can unpubish your Weebly site by going to “Settings > Unpublish” option in Weebly editor. However, if you do not like to Weebly use with HostGator, you have to manually delete Weebly files from the domain. Remember, there is no simple uninstall button to clean up the Weebly installation from your domain. When you are in “Hosting” section of your hosting account, click on “File Manager” option. Alternatively, you can open File Manager app from cPanel under “Files” section.
When you are in File Manager, go to your domain on which you have installed Weebly. It will contain all the Weebly installation files as shown the below picture. Use shift key to select all files and folders to click “Select All” link to select all content inside your domain. Now, click “Delete” option showing on the top toolbar to remove all installation files.
After deleting all Weebly files, you can use the domain for installing WordPress or any other setup.