Weebly Free Vs Pro Plan Comparison
Working on Weebly’s drag and drop editor is a fun and fast way to build your online presence. This WYSIWYG editor is the one main reason people starting with Weebly once hesitate to move away to another companies. It is a wonderful experience to publish a site without the need of previewing it before. But the point of online presence is not limited to just having fun with site creation, it should add value to both you as a site owner and the visitors who expects something from your site. In order to provide better value mix and establish your own branding it is necessary to have your domain and use upgraded features. In this article we compare the features of free and pro plans to help you understand what exactly you will get as part of pro package and whether it is worth of paying the desired amount for that.
Weebly users have four different plans to choose from for building their sites.
|Upgrade Plan||Target Segment of Users|
|Free||All type of users wants to create a showcase site with few pages and a blog with no additional features.|
|Starter||Users want to build a basic site with minimal features.|
|Pro||Users want to build professional looking site with own branding like self hosted video player, search box and header slideshow.|
|Business Plan||Users with the need to have an ecommerce platform for selling goods online (both digital and physical products).|
|Performance Plan||Full fledged online store with discount coupons, gift cards and sending abandoned cart email to users.|
Restriction on Free Accounts
Though a free site may be sufficient for a personal blog it is not the case even with a normal site having lot of content. Generally content sites are meant to provide different type of information to users beyond time boundaries (unlike a news feeds valid only at that moment and the entire thing would have been changed by that time someone reading that article). In order to build a site for long run it is necessary to have the followings as minimum:
- Own domain name
- Unlimited pages
- No free ads
With free Weebly site you are more prone to promote Weebly through the subdomain URL and footer ad instead of promoting your own content. Moreover, limit of just 5 pages makes the free plan of no use and forcing users to looking for upgrades or alternative platforms. Though Weebly starter plan is one of good choice there is no harm in looking a packaged solution like Weebly pro plan.
Weebly Pro Features
Below is the list of features showing what you will get under pro pack compared to free plan.
Weebly Pro Pricing
Weebly pro costs $8.25 per month for a yearly plan and varies based on the timeframe you choose. Below is the pricing detail of pro pack for 6 months, 1 year and 2 years plan. You need to renew the upgrade continuously in order to retain pro features on your site.
Before concluding the worth of paying $8 per month for Weebly pro, it is important to understand the below points:
- After the pro pack was introduced couple of years back, there was no news heard from Weebly to add or improve any additional features exclusive for pro users whereas most of free features like ad display, unlimited pages and custom domain options were removed.
- Weebly pro was more powerful pack till the time Weebly came up with a separate business plan for ecommerce users. Now that pro pack is sidelined with business plan especially with the latest addition of membership option where pro users are restricted with 100 members without the option for registration. It is not a practical thinking from Weebly that one can have a pro site without registration option which essentially means you need to add the members manually to your site.
- Some of pro features like search box can be obtained freely from third parties with better capabilities. For example, Google custom search box offers the option to choose site search or web search along with monetization with AdSense.
- Though the cost is in line with other service providers, $8 per month is costly for the features Weebly pro pack offers. For example, you can go for paid hosting with Bluehost for the price as low as $3 with one year free domain and install self-hosted WordPress for free of cost. The learning curve for sure is larger but you will have all features with free plugins and themes which you will never be able to get with Weebly.
Unless you love that header slideshow which is useful only on landing pages and protect individual pages with password Weebly pro is not a cost effective option for a free user to upgrade. Instead you can upgrade two sites to a starter plan or try with other providers to build your site especially if you have not started a site with Weebly yet. With pro being sidelined by business plan Weebly needs to consider adding additional features to pro pack to make it more competitive.
On the other hand if you want all in place with the hope of Weebly will add additional features like member registration then you can choose Weebly pro for long run.