Weebly – Free Websites
As you all may have known, I’ve been on a kick of exploring all the different free marketing tools that are available. Although these tools may not be as robust as the premium solutions on the market, they do provide a no-cost way to implement a channel.
Weebly Vs Self-Hosted WordPress
I am more fond of the WordPress platform, than I am Weebly. Therefore, I still say it’s better to simply do the hosting yourself. The link above does a great job explaining how to setup hosting and register a domain name.
It’s not that hard, requires $15 upfront for both the domain registration and the first month hosting. After that, it is less than $5 per month.
If you’d prefer to go the “no-cost” route, or find web administration too intimidating at this point, Weebly does work. In fact, there could even be some benefits to maintaining a Weebly after migrating to something self-hosted and more robust. I will discuss those later.
Weebly is incredibly easy
Weebly is an incredibly easy platform to implement and learn. It is very template-driven and module based. If someone has used any of the SaaS email platforms, or platforms such as HubPages or Squidoo, they’ll be fairly familiar with this modulization concept.
Weebly is primarily WYSIWYG. There is an option of adding HTML blocks, but no means of switching back and fourth between views for the actual modules.
Adding And Editing Pages
Adding new pages is as easy as clicking on the pages tab and hitting “new page”. To edit the content, go back to “elements” and navigate the newly created page. From here, it’s possible to add content just like you would to the homepage.
Being able to navigate while editing is what I’d call “truly WYSIWYG”. It was a little confusing at first, I kept looking for where you select the page to be edited. Once you get used to it, it’s actually incredibly nice, especially when it comes to running through a website and making small tweaks here and there.
Advanced Weebly Functionality
Weebly does allow for a couple advanced functions, which is nice to see in a free website builder. Weebly allows users to place items in the header and footer. This is useful for running a number of scripts, including Google Analytics and verification for Google Webmaster.
Weebly also allows for 301-redirects, which is cool. For the blackhats, this means Weebly could be used for linkbuilding, other than just placing backlinks onto the Weebly domain. If an SEO was to use Weebly for linkbuilding outreach, and then 301 all the built links, those links would be attributed to whatever websites and pages those 301′s are pointed to.
Weebly is pretty robust for a free platform. There is potential to leverage the platform a number of different ways. I plan on building up my Weebly presence, just to see how it performs search-wise and how the traffic interacts with it. I will be using it for linkbuilding, in a minor way. It seems that the SEO community is sketched-out by Weebly, and for reasons that make sense.
I’ll write more on this platform as I play around with it.