Last week I looked at a popular new tool for non-graphic designers in need of graphic design, Canva. This week, I look at a popular new tool for non-web designers in need of a website, Weebly.
Like Canva, Weebly is designed to be easy to use. Did I say easy to use? I mean easy to use. Easier than the DVR or your smart phone. Weebly handles every step of the website design process, from physically hosting your website on their servers, to providing templates with drag-and-drop functionality and nifty options that have become de rigueur for websites, like a rotating slideshow on the home page, and video.
Unlike the popular and ubiquitous WordPress, Weebly is completely visual, with everything accessed from menu bars and boxes, and no opportunity to edit HTML or CSS directly (except in the Pro pricing plan—more on that shortly). However, this is not a weakness, it’s a feature, because remember, Weebly is designed for non-techies.
Weebly is designed for non-techies.
One nice feature about Weebly is its mobile optimization feature, which shows you what your page will look like on a mobile device. With the internet being accessed more from mobile devices than from desktop PCs or laptops, this is an important item. Weebly also offers e-commerce features in its highest pricing tier.
Speaking of pricing tiers, the basic Weebly interface is free, but it will include an ad at the bottom of the website. The Pro plan is $8 per month and includes access to template source code and features like video. The Business plan is $25 per month and includes the e-commerce functions.
It seems like needing to be a techie to create a website is fast becoming a thing of the past. In the early days of the automobile, radio and even the TV, it helped to have a little mechanical or tech knowledge to make things work smoothly. This was certainly true in the early days of the internet. But consider how far things have come in just 20 years:
• Initially, creating even a simple website required knowing HTML.
• Soon tools like Microsoft FrontPage and Adobe Dreamweaver came along. While adding some ease to the design process, they still were tools for geeks.
• Enter WordPress, initially a blogging platform but a tool that soon evolved into a content management system. Still, even WordPress requires a lot of tech knowledge. If you’re not comfortable backing up databases with mySQL and uploading files to the server using an FTP client, then you won’t be comfortable with WordPress.
• In the past 18 months tools like Weebly have arrived, which host your website on their servers (i.e., in the cloud). There’s really no technical knowledge required, which means business owners are free to (wait for it)…
That means you can focus on the content! And content is king. Try Weebly; it’s free.