With the slogan “The easiest way to create a website” Weebly has set themselves a high target for their updated website. But do they deliver on their promise? We decided to take a closer look.
Weebly has certainly made it easy to get started. Websites doesn’t get more Web2.0 than this. Their new front page is basically one big “get started” button. Sometimes such simple buttons hide a jungle of forms on the following pages, but not at weebly.com. If you can’t get your account registered with Weebly in less than 45 seconds you probably shouldn’t set up a website in the first place. In fact you probably shouldn’t even be using a computer. You might hurt yourself.
After setting up the account, we find an extremely well-organized interface, making it very, very easy to get your first page up and running. The whole interface is based on advanced ajax drag and drop functions, so even granny can select a suitable template and drag some images and text elements on to the page.
We are in fact hugely impressed by the page creator interface. Someone has obviously bothered to spend quite a bit of time and resources on this. It is a far cry from both WordPress and Blogger – and they are supposed to be user friendly.
Of course the downside of making things this easy, is that you will lose some advanced functionality. And sometimes you are unsure what exactly the system will do for you. You click to change a header image, but it doesn’t let you know if it will crop, resize or leave as-is if you upload an image of slightly different dimensions. And if you select “paragraph with image” you struggle to find out how to make the image right align instead of the default left align.
So it quickly seems clear which market Weebly is aiming for. Clearly some weebly.com executive said “advanced users will get their own hosting, and of the rest those who know anything at all about the Internet will use WordPress. So let’s aim for those who know absolutely nothing about anything”. Which is fine. Which is why they can charge $40/yr if you want your blog on your own .com domain. There are a lot of idiots out there. Anti aging creams sell shitloads, for example, and people still think MLM is a sure way of making money.
So is Weebly entirely reserved for people with brain damage? I would have liked to answer “yes”, but somehow the extremely well planned interface and the quick and simple registration appealed to me. I am ashamed to admit, as a seasoned web programmer, that I liked weebly.com. Despite its serious shortcomings, I did actually like the way you can get a complete and good looking website up and running in minutes – while at the same time eat dinner, watch television and be on the phone. It is good because it requires no brain activity what so ever. Apparently the brain requires more energy than any other part of our body, but with Weebly a complete website will probably only set you back 2 or 3 calories.
I would never use weebly.com for anything advanced, but I can see myself using it the next time I just need a quick landing page up and running. And that is more than I can say about most of its competitors.
Free for a subdomain (yourblog.weebly.com) site with a small weebly footer (about $4 per month without the footer). $40/yr for your own domain.
If you are suffering from serious brain damage, or is just feeling lazy, this is the site for you. We wanted to hate it, but couldn’t. Mostly because it is so damn elegant and well though out. We don’t give out star ratings, but since Weebly mainly targets idiots we will do so here. 4 stars with little golden sprinkle on. Here is how that looks like in black and white: ****