Weebly: Create a Website Using the Web?

4 09 2007

Weebly Logo
Developers: David Rusenko, Dan Veltri, and Chris Fanini
Version: Beta
Price: Free
Operating Systems: Linux, Mac OS X, Windows (Firefox or Internet Explorer Required)
Check Out Weebly Here.

Unexpected Joy from a Web App

The coolest thing about writing these reviews is that I stumble across a program that really blows my mind from time to time. These programs are extremely well designed, highly useful, have huge amounts of customization, and are just a joy to use. Weebly is one of those programs. A web app that I didn’t expect to be so amazingly cool and fun to play around with. Not only that, but Weebly is as useful as it is enjoyable to use – the sign of a fantastic piece of software.

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Weebly’s fun filled web design experience begins with the creation of a unique username and password. After signing in, all that’s left to do is create a name for your site and begin the actual placement and site design work. And that’s where the fun begins.

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Like other “What You See Is What You Get” web design programs, Weebly is incredibly easy to use. There are a number of built in themes, most of which are very attractive, that can be selected at the press of the mouse button. A professional looking website is literally at your fingertips and can be crafted in just a couple of seconds on Weebly’s site.

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The difference between Weebly and so many of the WYSIWYG web design programs like Sandvox [review], Dreamweaver [review], Rapidweaver, and Nvu [review] is that Weebly is so much easier than any of the competition. I’d even go so far to say that I’ve never used a point and click web design program that was this simple to use. Oh, and it’s completely free too. Paragraphs, pictures, maps, even advertisments, Youtube videos, and personalized HTML can be added by dragging the respective element right into the page. Don’t like it’s location – move it elsewhere. Didn’t want that element after all – just click the “x” to get rid of it. It’s a piece of cake to build an attractive site.

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But once you’ve got a nice looking page all set up, what is there to do? Add a few meta tags, keywords, and all of the other header and footer scripting that a normal site would have and hit the publish button. The site will be whisked away to the internet on Weebly’s own servers.

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What if you want more than that? What if you have your own modifications that you couldn’t do within Weebly’s click and drag interface? What if you want to host the site on your own server at your own domain? Piece of cake. Weebly lets you download a zip file of all of the information from your site. The graphics, HTML, CSS, it’s all there. Tweak it, host it, do whatever to it. Simple as that. Otherwise just type in your domain name and hit the host button and your website will be sent right off to whatever server you use.

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Normally I like to end off with a few drawbacks of a program. The only problem I could come up with is that it’s restricted to Firefox and Internet Explorer and it tends to slow down from time to time on larger projects. If you’ve always wanted a website, but you had no idea how to go about making one – now is the time. Weebly is for you. Even if you have designed websites before, check Weebly out. It may be able to cut your design time in half on your next project. It really is that good, and totally worth a look.

Check out Weebly for Yourself.

– Eric Norton

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