Make Your Own Custom Website With Weebly
Name: Weebly (Visit Weebly)
Type: Website Creation Service
Best Website For: Making Websites
Reason it's on The Best Sites:
Weebly lets you drag and drop elements into an interactive canvas so you can easily create websites without much experience. It features robust features that let you compete with other websites.
Online shoppers have high expectations when it comes to eCommerce websites. Every business from large to small must have a few key features to attract shoppers and help them sell items online.
Here are five elements that visitors expect of all eCommerce websites in 2018. If you are missing any of these features, now is the time to fix that and grow your website visits (and hopefully sales) through the end of the year.
A blog is an easy way to create content that connects your small business to a wide audience. Use a blog to provide information about your product or service, share related tips or even feature customer stories.
Create a mix of short and long content with different focus areas. While the blog is an indirect selling tool, don't use it to pitch to potential customers. By providing valuable information, you can draw in users (as well as new customers) and help them better understand why they should do business with you. Blogs are a powerful tool for building trust and credibility.
Weebly customers can add a blog in just a few minutes with easy to use drag and drop tools. Plus every blog comes with plenty of templates to jumpstart the design, powerful built-in SEO tools as well as RSS and social sharing features.
2. Email Signup
Email communication is essential for any online businesses. Sending emails can alert shoppers to new items, blog content or generate interest in a new product or service.
But you have to start collecting emails first. Include email signup forms in various locations throughout your website design so that it's easy for users to engage with you.
Add an email signup in the footer (so it is always available), include a signup email call to action in a main content area and use popups to ask for email addresses. Just remember that customers value their email addresses and privacy. Be up front about how you will use the information and offer a discount in exchange for an email address to encourage more signups.
Weebly Promote integrates email marketing tools – from signup to an email builder and reports – right in your account.
3. Social Proof
Who is using your product or service? What do they think about it?
Create buzz with case studies, testimonials and social proof that all feeds right into your website design.
- Create a case study: Highlight real customers on your blog with photos of them using the product and explaining how it works.
- Add customer ratings or reviews: Use the Reviews app in the app center to collect reviews and sends emails to customers asking for product reviews. Plus, you can look over and approve reviews before they post.
- Testimonials: Let people who have interacted with your business tell their story. From simple text or quote-style testimonials to videos, the Testimonial Builder app will help you generate this content with ease.
- Integrate social media: Encourage users to share photos of themselves with your product on social media and integrate these posts into your website design. Add the InstaLink app to display Instagram posts by account or hashtag.
There's nothing like video to create engagement and generate interest in your products. Video is one of the fastest growing digital tools (thanks to better internet connectivity and connection speeds).
Video is a tangible, trusted and real way to show customers what you are selling online. It feels authentic and can give users a better idea of what a product is or does.
It's also highly engaging. A video can actually encourage visitors to stay on your website longer as they watch the movement on the screen before taking another action. And we all know that the longer a website visitor engages with your website, the better the chances are that they make a purchase.
Weebly users have choices when it comes to adding video to their websites. You can embed video content from services such as YouTube or Vimeo or host it yourself.
5. Mobile Functionality
Don't ignore mobile shoppers.
The mobile shopping experience should be as easy to use as the desktop version. Make sure your website is built on a responsive framework so that every element of the design works seamlessly from device to device.
All Weebly themes are made with responsiveness in mind. You can even preview the mobile version right from the dashboard as you build, customize and make other changes to your website. (Plus, Weebly's tools include drag and drop mobile web design so it's easy to create.)
When creating a small business website, it is important to include features that users demand — from blogs to video to testimonials. All of these elements are easy to implement with Weebly. Get started today.
You've done your homework and worked hard to prepare your eCommerce business for it's debut.
But before you hit the publish button, go over this checklist -- or a version tailored to your business -- to make sure you're ready to fly.
You don't necessarily have to cover every base before getting up and selling; you can always update and tweak your eCommerce site once it's live.
On the other hand, the more professional your business looks and operates from the get-go, and the fewer snags you run into, the better. Some advance preparation should help.
1. Consider your name and domain.
The right business name should attract attention and help you sell your products or services. If you haven't done so already, put some thought into a name that reflects your business's personality and will appeal to your target customers.
Perhaps a whimsical or edgy image fits your venture, or a straightforward moniker that makes your business's purpose clear.
A group of PR and marketing pros on Forbes.com give several tips on picking a name, including figuring out your brand identity, which takes awareness of your desired market, culture and values. They also suggest making the name short, distinct and simple, possibly even concocting an entirely new word.
A moniker like Blue Mountain Vineyards describes the nature of the business and creates an image of its country setting, while Harper's Chic Closet offers a sense of the "savvy and chic" children's clothing boutique.
Among other considerations, the Forbes PR pros recommend choosing a name that reflects your company's story.
The Naked Goat Soap Co. brand aims to convey something about both the merchandise and the company's focus on simple, pure, "farm fresh products."
Naked Goat's owner addresses the name on the company's website: "The name of our company is simple too. Defined, 'naked' means to be without decorations or clothing. Our soaps and other skin care products are just that. No dyes, no additives, no hardening chemicals - simply naked."
SCORE also offers several tips on picking a name, including ways to distinguish your business as a consumer-facing tech firm (simple one-word names are popular), a B2B service (they tend to choose straightforward brands), an old-fashioned shop (think "vintage") or a business with a regional tie (popular foods or beverages, for example).
Experts also suggest doing research to avoid potential trademark infringement, starting with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website.
Beyond that, a Google search can help show if any competitors are using the same or a similar name. As for your web address, it's easy to conduct a domain search to see whether your chosen name is available, and to find close alternatives if it's already taken.
Be sure to register your business with relevant government licensing and taxing authorities.
2. Create a sleek online shop.
You don't have to hire a web designer to have a professional, sophisticated eCommerce site, thanks to user-friendly DIY web builders that make it easy even for a tech novice to create a sharp online shop.
Weebly's drag-and-drop website platform features a wide selection of appealing pre-fab themes, or digital templates, geared toward online stores. Themes give even solopreneurs the chance to showcase products and events like the savvier major online retailers, offering in a few clicks an elegant structure that might otherwise take hours or days to build.
3. Set Up Your eCommerce Features.
Weebly themes and other visual features integrate seamlessly with our eCommerce platform, enabling you to incorporate helpful marketing tools such as email sign up, customized email templates, coupons, promo codes, gift cards and Facebook Ads that you can create directly from your site.
Guided onboarding support makes it easy for people with no coding or design experience to set up shop, helping proprietors apply payment and shipping options, print shipping labels, track orders, automatically calculate sales taxes and analyze site traffic.
Make sure you're aware of and ready to use the relevant marketing and analytics tools available for your online store — and to download the mobile app if you want to manage your store on the go.
4. Tell your story.
Companies that tell a good story — whether it's about their origins, their products, their social mission, or all three — often find it easier to engage visitors and turn them into customers.
Do you have a good "about us" or "our story" section?
Is it easy for visitors to quickly discern exactly what your business does?
The story should draw readers in but not overwhelm them. In fact, you may be able to tell it with a simple slogan, or in two or three lines.
Consider lining up a few evergreen blog posts that touch on topics related to your products or company values, or that your target audience members would find interesting. Perhaps you can tie your posts to holidays or seasons.
Before going live, check spelling, grammar and content across your site, not only for typos but for anything that may be unintentionally off-putting.
If you don't have time or interest in producing copy yourself, consider contracting with an experienced writer for your website's content and blog posts.
5. Highlight contact and other relevant details.
Customers want to know they can reach you if need be, so make sure your email address and phone number are easy to find, if that's how you choose to be contacted, or easily add a contact form.
If you don't have it already, consider creating a business email address that incorporates your domain name.
While it's important to dot i's and cross t's, don't wait for perfection before launching your website. As Voltaire is believed to have said, "The best is the enemy of the good." Or as one Weebly-based entrepreneur recommended, "Just start wherever you are."
You can't sell online without getting online, so do your best to prepare, then take that big step and turn on your digital "open for business" sign.
We’ve been busy behind the scenes making product improvements for our customers. In July, we released an integration with Facebook Messenger, upgraded our analytics tools and made in-store pickup available to our ecommerce users. Check out our updates below and reach out to us if you have any questions!
Instantly engage with your online store customers with Facebook Messenger
Our new Facebook Messenger integration is here. From answering product and order questions to growing your business, get things done faster than email alone. Best of all, you don’t need to be chained to your desk to offer great customer service. Have a Facebook Business page? Simply add Messenger to your Weebly website and chat right away with customers from your desktop and mobile.
According to Facebook, 53% of people are more likely to purchase from a business they can message directly, and 56% would rather message than call customer support.
Facebook Messenger is currently available for free to users on our latest ecommerce product version which was released in January 2018, and will be rolled out to all users in the future. To activate Messenger log in to Weebly, click on Website on the left-hand menu and find Messenger on the left-hand menu under Overview.
Grow your business faster with analytics
We’re making our analytics much more powerful than before! We’re replacing our “Stats card” with Insights, our latest analytics tool, to provide you with rich information such as Traffic, Sales and Marketing data, and better ways to segment and compare data - everything in one place so you can quickly see what’s working.
- Key website stats: Check unique visits, page views, search terms and more
- Easy-to-understand charts: See and compare specific time periods and metrics
- Get key eCommerce stats: Analyze store performance and email engagement
- Explore your sales: Top products, cart conversion rate, average order value and more
- Check your analytics from anywhere: Stay on top of trends on-the-go with our mobile app
Upgrade to a Starter plan or above to get useful insights into your audience.
You spoke, we heard
When you sign up with Weebly, you become part of a vibrant community of artists, creatives and entrepreneurs that support each other and that lets their voice be heard. This month, we tackled a couple of suggestions from our community:
Marketing Email Campaign Counter
Email can be a very powerful tool to increase sales. Our integrated marketing tools make it easy for you to create and send emails to your customers with features like automations, contact and product sync and preset styles. All our website plans come with two free email campaigns and Performance plans include up to 5 per month. If you want to send additional campaigns you can upgrade to a Marketing Grow or Accelerate plan which include 20 campaigns per month and unlimited campaigns, respectively. To help you keep track of how many campaigns you’ve sent, we’ve added a counter to the Marketing Overview page.
Clearly identify groups synced to Contacts
Some of our power users have created several groups in their marketing contacts. They mentioned that sometimes they would delete a group and it would “magically reappear”. We fixed this by making it clear when a group is created by syncing contacts from the website or online store, for example, when customers purchase a product or fill out a form.
Get involved! Vote on features and improvements you want to see in Weebly.
Thanks for reading and as always, let us know about your experience!
Did you know that some browsers can flag your website as unsafe? There are also design elements that stick out like giant warnings to users that something isn't quite right with your website.
Avoid common mistakes and create a safe, secure website. Ensure that users trust your blog or online shop. It's actually a lot easier than you might think.
1. Use SSL/HTTPS
The biggest buzzwords in website design might be SSL and HTTPS. (Mostly because certain website browsers have said they will begin to flag sites without security features as potentially unsafe.)
SSL, or secure sockets layer, is a protocol that enables secure communication over the internet. Websites with SSL have proven their credentials via security certificate with a third-party agency. (It sounds more complicated than it is and is just a way to prove you are who you say you are.)
HTTPS is the secure variant of the same HTTP that you are used to putting at the beginning of a domain name when you type it in.
Combined, SSL and HTTPS show website visitors that your content is trustworthy and that the owner of the website is a credible and authentic entity.
Do it today: Enable SSL for your Weebly website. (You can do it right in the Editor.) Click general and then enable SSL if it is not enabled. Just don't forget to publish your site after turning on SSL.
2. Create High-Quality, Error-Free Design
Your website design needs to look like a million bucks. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but a high-quality professional design is much more trustworthy than a website that's incomplete, under construction or contains spelling or other errors.
A trustworthy design uses clean typography, an appropriate color scheme for the content and high-resolution images and video. (These might seem like no-brainers to you, but there are plenty of websites out there that ignore these fundamentals.)
Do it today: Start with a Weebly template to ensure that you have a high-quality design that works on all devices and enlist the help of a tester or proof-reader to ensure that all of the content makes sense.
3. Include a Security Seal
Not every website user will look for the green security lock in the URL. Even if they do recognize this security designation, they might want even more assurance that your website is safe. A security seal is a quick and easy way to provide this information.
Online shops that are trusted are more likely to do more business. Think about it: What kind of website are you most likely to spend money with? One with a security seal and green SSL/HTTPS lock or one without? The answer seems pretty obvious.
When it comes to adding seals to your website design, go beyond security and add seals for professional accreditations or affiliations as well. These elements show users and potential customers that other groups can also vouch for you as a reliable online business.
4. Showcase Reviews or Testimonials
Nothing builds trust in an organization or product like actual information from other users or customers. Integrate reviews or longer testimonials throughout your website design.
From social media images that show your product with real customers to written reviews or video snippets, any content that provides information about the value of your product or service is invaluable. People like to know about their purchases before buying and they love hearing from real customers.
Do it today: The Weebly App Center is packed with tools to help you show customer reviews and testimonials. Try favorites such as Testimonial Builder or Easy Testimonial to get started.
Users want to know who you are and what you are going to do with the information collected on your website.
Depending on your location and website reach, you might need to think about European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance as well. (Most website owners are working to be compliant even if their business is not physically located in the EU.)
Before a user starts to truly engage with your website, they have to trust the design and content therein. This is particularly true when it comes to online shops and eCommerce. No user is going to enter payment information into a website that they don't deem trustworthy.
The tips above can help you create a more authentic and trustworthy user experience. Not only are the techniques verified across the web in many instances, but they also create a sense of authority, credibility and reliability for your website.
Want your website to strike a chord with users? It has to include something that's just a little bit different to make that special connection.
Try one of these tips to help your website stand out.
1. Use Plenty of Space in the Design
White space is one of the best – and maybe least used – techniques in website design. Giving elements plenty of room can help draw users to see exactly what you want them to engage with.
White space also creates a more open and inviting design that will help your product or message stand out online.
To make the best use of white space, think about ways to streamline the overall design and add just a little more space between elements. Consider an extra half line of linespacing in text blocks or padding around photos and other elements to focus attention on what matters most.
Wine Down SF opts for plenty of space around the photo slider on the homepage, vertically and horizontally. The white space does a key thing for visitors – it helps create a focal point in the main image area. The space also makes text feel inviting and easy to read as users scroll down the page.
2. Maintain Consistent (or Cool) Branding
A recognizable website has a brand identity. You can make the most of your website design with a consistent use of branding throughout.
The logo can be used in multiple locations, as can the color scheme. Use branding elements on every page in the design and create a color or type palette so that you use those elements in the same way on every page as well. (this is easy to do in the Weebly Editor where you can set styles for body type, headlines and colors.)
Twee has this nifty little icon to represent the brand, with a funky lime green face with googly eyes. It's part of the logo and appears throughout the design. What's nice about using this brand identifier throughout the website is that it is a great little visual surprise for visitors – and it's a lot of fun!
3. Opt for Highly Visual Elements
Bright color and interesting shapes can be some of your greatest assets in your website design. Don't settle for the same light blue that everyone else uses or rectangle shapes for every design element.
A bold color palette is attention-grabbing and trendy. Users like colors that don't just fade into the background. (Just don't go too crazy. The best color palettes often stick to one, two or three colors.)
Interesting shapes for photos and user interface elements – think circles or rounded edges – can also be engaging. Think about it like this: If there is something you see on every other website, try to change your design slightly so that users will look at it twice.
Mama Peacock Baby Owl uses a great color combination that is mirrored throughout the design. Not only does the brand mark and logo use the color, but it is also used in product images. This subtle use of bold color is engaging and makes for a pleasant user experience.
4. Animate Something in the Design
Animated elements grab attention. From video to pop-ups that float onto the screen to sliding photos, a simple animation can make a user stop to spend more time on your page.
The trick to animation is not to go crazy with it. Find one element where movement works and stick to it. If everything on the screen is dancing around, users won't know where to look. If one element is in motion, it creates an obvious focal point.
My Lap Pet Bed proves that animated elements don't have to be fancy to be effective. The set of scrolling, moving images on the homepage are designed to make you look. (Who can turn away from cute animals?) The movement is just enough to grab the attention of users and encourage them to learn more about the product on the website.
5. Tell an Engaging Story with Photos
There's nothing like powerful images to tell a story. Use custom imagery to really make the design stand out.
Photos that include your product, location or fit your story are more authentic and genuine. They can show users that your content is unique and share a sense that it was created just for them.
MochiSu is more than a bag company; they are selling sun and fun with compelling images on the website. The main header photo is stunning, sharp and engaging. It shows a person with the product. Thanks to a social media photo feed, the website also shows actual users with the bags sharing their stories. It's an effective way to show that the company is more than a product — it's a lifestyle choice.
Freshening up your website design might be the only change you need to make it stand out a little more. You don't have to do all of these things either.
Pick one design element at a time – and one that matches your website style or personality – and make those changes first. Remember, the best way to engage with users is to provide a memorable experience with a personal connection. Images, branding and animation are all ways to accomplish that without a full-scale website redesign.
For Blair Lauren Brown, jewelry making is more than just a passion, it's part of her family's legacy. As a fourth-generation Alaskan artisan, Brown is proud to keep up the traditions of her family, including sourcing her gold from the same mines that her family has used for decades. But as a talented and creative artist in her own right, she's also bringing fresh perspectives to her design work and making sure that every piece she creates has its own unique story.
Brown isn't just telling stories through her jewelry. Using Weebly, she has built a beautiful and professional website that allows her to share her unique creations with the world. Here are some insights into how Blair Lauren Brown has leveraged Weebly to promote her one-of-a-kind business.
1) Focus on What You Do Best
For many entrepreneurs, web development and design aren't a part of their skill set. But since you can't run a modern business without a website, their options are to either pay a website designer or build one themselves. The former can be costly and the latter often takes too much time away from the things they actually enjoy to do. That's where services like Weebly can provide value.
One of the things that Brown wanted in a website was simplicity. As she explains, "I chose Weebly because I needed a simple drag and drop platform that would allow me as much space and time to do what I do best, which is make jewelry."
Another advantage of using Weebly is how the website can scale with your business. Brown initially used the site just to showcase her designs, but as Weebly's features become more advanced, it was easy for her to transition into eCommerce. "My business grew with it," she says, "which was really nice because I could adopt all those new additions into a style that I could manage."
2) Photography Matters...A Lot
Everyone knows the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words," but that's especially true for jewelry design. If you're selecting something as important and intimate as a ring, it's important to know exactly what you're getting. In the early days of her business, Brown struggled to find the right photos to sell her designs.
"Most of my business for the better part of the first five years was all about one-of-a-kind jewelry," explains Brown. "I still have an incredible amount of custom pieces and so it's really hard to get it photographed in a consistent way."
Eventually, Brown found the right approach to photography for her products and now uses the photo editing features to perfect each shot before she puts it on the site. "Having the ability to take photos myself and upload them to the website and edit them in a system that's familiar and easy that I've been working in for years is amazing," she says (Read the product photography guide to perfect your own product photos).
3) Managing Your Website from the Road is Essential
Like many small business owners, Brown is often on the go, so it's important that she has a way to manage her business quickly and easily from the road. That's why she's such a fan of Weebly's mobile app.
Without a solid mobile solution for managing your website, you risk missing sales, creating bad customer experiences and tarnishing your brand. Fortunately, the mobile app covers everything you need.
"The app that's built into the Weebly platform is immaculate," Brown says. The ability to update her blog, check sales, send shipments and much more from the convenience of her phone makes maintaining her business while she's traveling seamless.
While Blair Lauren Brown is part of a jewelry making legacy that goes back more than 112 years, it's her combination of artistry and modern business savvy that will keep the family name prosperous in the future.
If you are a newcomer to online selling, you may be overwhelmed by all the professional, mega retailers out there. How can you compete with those polished online stores that have huge budgets to spend on developers and eCommerce? The answer is that you can compete, as long as you don't let intimidation and self-doubt get in the way.
You may be surprised to learn that your online store doesn't need a huge budget to compete with mega retailers. In fact, with the right strategy, your small business's online store can hold its own against larger retail sites. It all has to do with your approach and the tools at your disposal. Luckily for you, Weebly offers sophisticated tools for small businesses that ensure they can compete.
Weebly's marketing features help you go toe-to-toe with mega retailers. Weebly Promote offers pre-designed email templates for everything from newsletters to events and product announcements. And these templates are every bit as sophisticated looking as a mega retailer's. And the even better news? With templates and a drag-and-drop email builder, you don't need a high-paid developer to create your campaigns. You can create them yourself.
But Weebly Promote offers even more than email campaign builders. You can manage your contacts like a pro by syncing your campaigns with membership groups and even order forms. You won't miss anyone who's interested in learning more about your business. After you send out your emails, you can view detailed analytics about the delivery rates and open rates, helping you fine tune your approach and get a better response with each iteration.
Other Marketing Features
But top-notch marketing doesn't stop with email campaigns; in fact, that's just the beginning. You can also use tools that help you create online coupons to drive sales. In fact, all Business and Performance plans come with a coupon builder that integrates seamlessly with your shopping cart and your email marketing program. Your competitors are offering coupons, so why shouldn't you?
You can also drive interest to your website with online contests and polls, just like the big retailers do. Weebly offers a variety of apps that make it easy to integrate contests and polls into your website. Polls can bring out the competitive spirit in your website visitors, which might encourage them to visit more frequently. And contests can drive engagement by letting people share with their friends in order to gain more entries.
If you make the prize a gift card that can be used in your online store, you'll drive up engagement even more.
Weebly offers payment options that make it easy for people to buy products from your online store. No one wants to feel frustrated when they're checking out. With Weebly's tools, checking out from your store can be just as smooth as paying a larger retailer.
One of these tools is Square+Weebly, which lets you accept payments online and in person.
Weebly's paid plans include an order management system that lets an online shop manage everything from just a few products to hundreds. This allows your shop to expand over time without experiencing major growing pains.
Your Weebly tools can also let you show customers just how many items you still have in stock, which can create a sense of urgency and boost sales. And you can manage your orders like any professional, updating an order's status from fulfillment to delivery and monitoring the process in real time.
Keep It Simple
A strategy of simplicity can also help you compete with bigger retailers. In fact, that's how Google started out, and their winning approach still works today. Sometimes less is more. Rather than inundating your visitors with millions of options, focus on the most important features and products that truly communicate the mission of your business. Simplicity can also mean faster load times and increased user satisfaction, which is an important part of competing in the big leagues. Remember: more choices aren't always better choices. Sometimes, quality through simplicity should be your goal.
Small business owners really can compete with mega retailers, even on a smaller budget. All you need is a little knowledge about the Weebly tools available to you and a dose of creativity.
We’ve been busy behind the scenes making product improvements for our customers. In June, we released the much requested ability to create customer accounts and made a huge overhaul of our marketing tools. We also launched the option to define product customizations, hide products that are not available for purchase and gave you the ability to manage products reviews from your Android device. Check out our updates below and reach out to us if you have any questions!
Get more loyal shoppers with customer accounts
Make it faster for your shoppers to check out the next time they purchase from you. Allow them to create an account on your website to save their shipping information and see their order history. Activate our easy shipping solution to also let them track their orders instantly.
Upgrade to a Business or Performance to start letting your customers create accounts.
Note: this feature is not yet available for users who are currently using our membership feature, but we’re working on making it available soon.
Grow your business with improved marketing tools
Being a small business owner means wearing a lot of hats - and even being a marketer sometimes. With our new and revamped Marketing tools it's easier than ever to launch marketing to help grow your business. You are now able to create automated emails based on goals, more easily upload CSV files and organize your contacts, create a customized email style, and attach a coupon to your lead capture form. And all that means less time worrying about building campaigns and more time spent creating great ideas. Learn more about our new Marketing tools here. Weebly Marketing tools come included with our Performance plan. You can also purchase an additional Marketing plan with any Weebly plan.
Mark your products unavailable
Hide your products from your published site, even from search engines and customers who have the product listing’s url. This helps prevent potential shoppers from finding a product that is unavailable at the moment. To do this, go to your product management screen, click on any product to edit it and check the “unavailable” button right under the description box. You’ll find three product status: visible, hidden and unavailable. Visible products are displayed on your store for everyone to see and purchase. Hidden products are only visible to customers that have the link (pro tip: use this for exclusive product offers). The unavailable status lets you hide products from everyone until you’re ready to sell.
Manage your product reviews from your Weebly Android app
With our latest Android App release, we are making it easier for you to approve and reply to reviews right from your device - giving you the freedom to manage your online store, wherever and whenever. Focus on earning positive customer feedback and watch your business grow.
This feature is available with Business and Performance plans and for both Android and iOS devices.
Campfire Couture's "about me" section succeeds where many fall short. The online retailer uses simple, elegant language to announce its product line: Artisan Made Goods In The Pacific Northwest.
"Campfire Couture is about heirloom quality pieces brought to you from independent designers and artists. We pride ourselves on quality workmanship using time tested materials to bring you the most unique pieces you won't find anywhere else," the company explains.
That concise, straightforward nugget provides visitors the who, what and where with engaging wording likely to prompt further exploration. Appealing graphics, a photo and note from one of the company's designers enhance the branding, offering a sense of the venture's natural spirit and emphasis on craftsmanship.
Your "about me" section is one of the most important pieces of real estate on your website — the place where visitors look to see who you are and what you do. It's important that your message be clear and attractive. Confused consumers will move along if they can't quickly discern what product or service you're offering.
Here are some ideas for putting together a great "about me" section, and a few winning examples.
Get to the point
A fun or inspiring story about your business or founders — how and why you got started, what drives you — is a great way to draw visitors. Don't get so wrapped up in the tale, however, that you forget to let people know exactly what your business does.
Nature's Kindle, which uses an "our story" tab for its short "about us" commentary, describes itself as "a premium hand crafted soy candle and home fragrance line founded by Southern California native Diosdado Velasquez."
It doesn't get much clearer than that, and yet the graceful language — "premium," "hand crafted," "native" — gives the description an artistic feel, conveying an idea about the nature of the business. A photo of a candle-maker at work augments the message.
Show your passion
Your passion and focus should be evident in your "about me" or "our story" section. That doesn't mean throwing exclamation points all over the page.
Consider the second sentence of Nature's Kindle's three-sentence story: "Highlighting scents inspired by nature with a focus on design and quality, our products are artfully hand crafted from our workshop ..."
No superlatives are necessary to express this small business owner's passion for making distinctive candles.
Emphasize what distinguishes you
Whether you can point to impressive results for clients, a one-of-a-kind product or your unsurpassed commitment to service, your "about me" page should give potential customers a reason to choose your business — or at least to keep reading or make contact.
In a world teeming with travel agencies and DIY booking sites, Romance Travel Group sets itself apart starting with its name. Visitors landing on the site immediately see a snappy introduction to a company focused on "the art of beach destination wedding and travel planning," with references to its industry awards and recognition.
The intro leaves no doubt that the agency's work. A separate "why us" section gets into the details with bullet points about the many wedding and honeymoon trips the company has planned and touts features like a price-matching policy, payment plans and traveler assistance services.
Spin a Good Yarn
If there's a compelling story behind your business, let the world know. Research from The Aberdeen Group shows that even one second of lag time will drive visitors from a website, "resulting in lost sales and a negative reputation."
Farmstead Apothecary's husband-and-wife founders use their "about me" page to explain their mission of providing wholesome, natural, cruelty-free skin care products, and the trouble they had finding these kinds of items before launching their business. They tell visitors a bit about themselves and how the business came into being.
While they spend several paragraphs on this background, there's plenty of white space, to break up the text and — this is key — it's an interesting story that emphasizes their dedication to creating pure products and using eco-friendly packaging. The page engages the reader while driving home the unambiguous message about the kind of company Farmstead Apothecary is.
"We craft simple and uncomplicated body products so you don't have to worry and can focus on the more important things in life," co-founder Lauren says at the end of the entry. On the bottom of the page sits the simple slogan: Beauty harvested from nature.
Make it look good
Great writing is important, and if you and your staff can't whip up the right words yourselves, hiring a talented freelance writer is a good investment. At the same time, your website, including your "about me" page, needs to look polished.
Using well-designed templates, appealing logos and professional-looking photographs are all important. A gauzy photo of lip balm containers heads Farmstead's "About Farmstead" section, while a cheery picture of the founding couple follows their business story.
You might include video in your "about us" section, as the Ohio Forever apparel company does on a page brimming with home-state loyalty.
Feature your connections
If you have prominent clients or partners, or have been featured in well-known publications, consider placing them on your "about me" page, another route that Ohio Forever took.
Every business needs an "about me" or "our story" page that suits its own story, product, character and vibe. To make your page appealing, engaging and effective, remember to keep the language and aesthetic clear, elegant, appealing and polished.
To make the most of your eCommerce investment, it's critical to not only set business goals, but to also track your results. With Weebly's advanced eCommerce analytics, you can measure your store's sales performance, track email engagement and view referral traffic from a single integrated dashboard.
Here's what you need to know about why metrics matter, how to set performance goals and which measurements are most helpful for successfully growing your online business.
Famed management consultant and author Peter Drucker once said, "What gets measured gets improved." Setting and tracking benchmarks for your eCommerce store can help you understand what's driving your sales successes and where you need to make changes to improve the customer journey.
Business owners who use data-driven metrics, like inventory, sales and visitor information, gain valuable insights that enables them to make the most of their time. Based on these insights, you can optimize key pages, or scale production of popular products, to better support your customer's needs.
“The most successful online stores winning in the eCommerce arena are doing so because they've become absolutely obsessed with metrics. They swim in data," writes internet marketer Ronald Dod. To avoid drowning in a sea of information, however, eCommerce businesses should first define measurable goals, otherwise known key performance indicators (KPIs).
Start by determining what sales goals you want to accomplish for your eCommerce store. Establishing SMART goals for your business is an easy way to get started. According to this management blog by Mind Tools, SMART goals are:
Specific: Be clear about what you want to accomplish, why the goal is important and what resources are required to achieve your goal.
Measurable: How much? How many? How do you know when the goal is accomplished? Assessing meaningful progress helps you stay motivated and meet your deadlines.
Achievable: Your goal should stretch your abilities but still be attainable when considering your resources and existing experiences.
Realistic: Make sure that your goal aligns with other relevant business goals and that you can take responsibility for accomplishing it.
Time-bound: Set a deadline so you stay focused. Consider short-term and long-term objectives. What you can do now and what you can do six months from now?
Once you set relevant and meaningful business goals, you can decide the best measurements for success. Here are some basic metrics for online stores to track:
Conversion Rate: One of the most important metrics is an eCommerce store's conversion rate, or the percentage of its website visitors who decide to make a purchase. Weebly's eCommerce analytics enable you to monitor sales, traffic and marketing activity in real time.
Referral Traffic: To better understand which marketing approaches are most successful, you can also use Weebly' eCommerce analytics to break down that conversion rate to see how many people visited your website, as well as which pages they visited and the search terms they used to find your site.
Average Order Size: This metric tracks your eCommerce store's total sales, divided by how many orders are placed over a defined period. Even if your website traffic increases, a decline in your average order size indicates that your store's overall revenue is also decreasing. Weebly's eCommerce analytics allow you to track what page views customers saw before placing their orders and the percentage of page views that led up to each purchase.
Email Engagement: With Weebly Promote, you can also measure email engagement to track the performance of the automated emails you send out to customers. This information enables you to try different marketing and email strategies to find out which approaches work best for your store.
Metrics matter to your eCommerce store's success. Make the most of your investment by setting business goals and tracking your results with Weebly's advanced eCommerce analytics. Start growing your online business today!
Pop-ups on websites are nothing new, and sometimes they are ignored immediately, but not many people know they are actually one of the most valuable lead generation tools for businesses of all shapes and sizes. According to Sumo, “the top 10% highest-performing pop-ups averaged a 9.28% conversion rate (someone who saw a pop-up and took action)." That means, if you get 200 visitors per day to your site you'd have about 556 new signups each month!
However, the difference between a strong pop-up and a weak one comes down to some key details with your customers and brand in mind, such as timing, imagery, copy, button placement, colors and context. If you have a website or online store and want to generate more leads, you might want to consider adding or reworking your popup alerts to convert more visitors into customers. Following these five tips can help improve your conversion rate and get more people closer to your product.
1. Prioritize the context and timing
The “where" and “when" of your pop-ups is essential. The “where" refers to which page or pages on your site that the pop-up will appear, and the “when" refers to the amount of time that passes before the pop-up appears in front of your visitors. The most important thing to consider for your pop-ups is context, because that is what ultimately teases value to people. For example, if you own a men's clothing store, you might want to add a popup offering a 20% discount on neckties or cufflinks when someone visits the “dress shirts" page on your site, rather than the homepage or a page that is not relevant to your offer.
For timing, the most successful pop-ups appear after a bit of time has passed. Fifteen seconds, for example, might be plenty of time for a visitor to read a section, learn more about your product and then become more receptive to a special offer or piece of content you promote via the pop-up. The reason to allow some time in between a visitor arriving on your website and presenting them with the pop-up is because most people will immediately "X out" the banner or window that appears on screen without even reading. They want to get to the meat of your website first, and the pop-ups that appear right away are just an interruption. It's best to test out lag times based on your website, the page's content and what you want your visitors to do or see.
Pro Tip: Just a few clicks to get started
This app allows you to add one directly to your website in just a few clicks! Once on the page, simply click the blue "Add" button. Next, you can customize the text, colors and settings of your pop-up. Finally, save your newly created ad, and it is magically added to your site!
If you'd like to set up custom triggers which allow you to show popups with time delay or a button click, when a user is about to exit your page and even control the frequency with which the pop-up should appear to the same visitor, upgrade to the Pro plan.
2. Offer something unique or valuable
If a pop-up solely says “sign up for our newsletter" without any other information, it is extremely unlikely that visitors will say “yes, of course!" and give you their email address. Instead, you should aim to offer them something of value, such as an exclusive piece of content or a discount on a product. Many high-converting pop-ups offer a piece of content that the business might create specifically for generating leads on the website, like an in-depth guide. In our men's clothing store example, that pop-up offer could be “Get our in-depth guide to Men's Clothing Essentials for the Summer," which is only accessible when a visitor clicks or submits their info on the pop-up. Without offering value, pop-ups are just annoying interruptions and time-wasting distractions for your customers.
3. Personalize pop-ups to your business
When someone comes to your website and sees your brand, they expect consistency across all pages, blog posts and products that they interact with. The same should hold true with your pop-ups. The colors and imagery, copy and brand voice and everything in-between should look and feel like it is a part of your business. If you were on the men's clothing website, and a pop-up appeared with images of food or words like “tasty" and “delicious" in the message, you would be confused. Your popups should be an extension of your brand that does not surprise your visitors and catch them off guard.
The incredible thing about POWr's Popup app is the variety of designs, including text, images and videos. You can really make your pop-ups stand out with highly customizable designs in any language too, and they automagically look amazing on any device.
4. Decide what you truly want from visitors
While many pop-ups ask for an email address, this is not mandatory by any means. Instead, a pop-up can have a myriad of objectives based on your business. You might have a blog post that people absolutely love, and your pop-up can encourage people to read that post with a big “READ" button. Or, your pop-up might promote a sale or a special product that is popular with your customers, and first time visitors to your site might not know about it unless you include a “VIEW THE SALE" button for them to click. Only include one CTA in your pop-ups so that visitors do not feel overwhelmed or confused. Each business uses pop-ups for different reasons, and it also depends on how analytical you are. For example, you might know how to retarget your website visitors on Facebook if they click on a specific product. This is a bit more advanced, but if you want to keep things simple and focus on generating leads by collecting email addresses, that's exactly what you should do.
5. Don't try to trick your visitors
The only thing worse than a poorly thought-out pop-up is one that is difficult to get rid of. Sometimes, websites will have a pop-up that hides the button to cancel it out and go back to the previous screen. This is frustrating, rarely works and can even tarnish your brand's reputation. This malpractice could even have negative impacts on your website's SEO if search engines like Google see you are doing this. Instead, make it very easy and clear for your website visitors to go back to the screen they were previously on. This usually means including a big “X" in the top corner of the pop-up, or allowing them to click something like “Not interested" or “Not right now" which makes the pop-up vanish for that session. Since you can never force someone to convert on your pop-up alerts, you can control the perception that others have of your brand and business.
Pop-ups like the POWr Popup are easy to add to Weebly websites, and there are some terrific options in the App Center that make it easy to start running them on your site. No coding is required to create them, and in just a few clicks you'll be able to start posting announcements, highlighting content, and adding more customers to your database or mailing list. They can even be customized to look and feel like your own brand.
When entrepreneur and fashion designer Sole Arias opened Gaucho Sur, she didn't want it to be like any other online boutique. Arias had a specific vision for her brand that was rooted in the strong and stoic persona of the "Gaucho" or South American cowboy. This inspiration is clear in Arias' designs, which include stunning yet simple dresses, ponchos, pants and tops, but it also is reflected in the unique style and simplicity of her website.
But building a successful eCommerce site didn't happen overnight. Arias worked her way up to launching her first online store after experimenting with several other Weebly websites.
Start Small to Learn
Arias started using Weebly initially to showcase her fashion design work before quickly building several other websites focused on everything from helping her parents' business to showcasing her textile design and graphic design skills. With each experience, she gained more confidence with the tools and eventually decided to launch her store.
"I tried changing to other sites, but they weren't as good and easy to follow," says Arias.
Right away, Arias' familiarity with Weebly made her feel at home navigating the eCommerce elements of the website.
"The store was easy to manage," explains Arias. Some of the specific features that drive Gaucho Sur's success include Weebly's inventory management tools and the ability to instantly accept credit card payments online through one of four payment gateway technologies. Arias also expressed how easy it was to manage product descriptions and updating her site.
Simple Design Makes a Difference
In addition to leveraging the simplicity and flexibility of the Weebly platform, Arias leaned on her own design skills as well as a group of helpful friends for support.
"I have a lot of really awesome friends that are super talented," Arias says. "I did the graphic design, my friend did photography, someone else did makeup — it was always very collaborative and friendly."
While having talented friends was a huge help, Arias also cited Weebly's large collection of pre-made templates as a major benefit. With Weebly's many modern eCommerce themes, you can choose from a nearly limitless selection of styles and color combinations to find the perfect fit for your brand. Plus, with simple drag and drop functionality, it's easy to change site elements to test something new, which can lead to increased sales.
"When you're building the website, you have so many different options." says Arias. "My aesthetic is very clean, so I found a template that's perfect."
Deliver On Time, Every Time
Building a website and running a store are two different things entirely. Fortunately, since the website went live, Arias has been able to keep it running smoothly no matter where she is thanks to how easy it is to process orders.
"I get a notification that I got an order," Arias explains, "then I just pack it and ship it."
Ultimately, Gaucho Sur's success comes from Arias' commitment to producing high-quality and highly fashionable products.
As she explains , "My brand is quality. All my products are very simple. There are no intricate shapes. Everything is very comfortable. And on top of everything, it feels good."
With Arias' strong, clear focus, and a powerful website to help her market her products to the world, it's no wonder that Gaucho Sur continues to grow and reach new audiences every day.
Surplus inventory can drain money from your retail business. On the contrary, an insufficient stockpile can mean frustrated customers and lost sales, among other costs.
Look no further than some of the biggest U.S. retailers for examples of inventory foul-ups damaging bottom lines, reputations or both.
In May, Gap Inc. shares dipped when the retailer disclosed inventory problems that led to a $28 million charge, promotions and pressed margins in the first quarter. Gap reportedly said it had been "heavy on inventory" and had issues with "timing of inventory flow."
Small eCommerce businesses are not immune to the need for good inventory control. Whether you're packaging merchandise for your shop in your living room or having it shipped from a factory or warehouse, it's important that you carefully track and manage inventory to avoid delays, ordering gaffes or other costly problems.
The Right (Amount Of) Stuff
Having the right products available to meet customer demand — but not too many — is fundamental to smooth operations, customer satisfaction and your bottom line.
To avoid excess inventory, the staff at Entrepreneur recommends ordering only what you know you can sell. Oversupply of seasonal inventory is especially problematic, the publication notes, but surpluses of any sort can mean significant costs in storage, debt and reduced cash flow.
To avoid shortages, Entrepreneur suggests, be aware of how long it takes you to sell a particular product and give yourself adequate lead time on reorders, taking into consideration potential snags that could leave you short.
Various software tools promise to automate and ease inventory management via sophisticated analytics and forecasting and a real-time picture of your stock on hand, among other features.
Weebly Inventory Tools
Weebly's paid plans include a number of elements to help you manage inventory. Our order management system allows an online shop to manage hundreds of products or only a few, helping even novice, solo retail entrepreneurs track inventory efficiently.
Susan McGregor, who sells her Charlie + Gus infant and children's fashions through retailers and her Weebly-based shop, keeps all inventory in her studio, where a team of seamstresses cut, sew, package and ship all merchandise.
"We typically work on a made-to-order basis given the amount of sizes that we do ... and to ensure that we don't have excess inventory left over after the season. With our popular items we will oftentimes do a size run based on previous knowledge of what sizes have sold in the past," she said, explaining that 4T is the most popular so they make multiple items in that size.
"We love Weebly and their very easy-to-use inventory management system. We simply add the various sizes/styles and populate the system with the number of pieces we've made — easy peasy," she said. "When a particular size is running low we can decide there and then if we want to make more sizes or let the system default to 'sold out' once the final piece sells. For our made-to-order pieces we use good old-fashion pen and paper to keep track of how much fabric we have in stock."
Weebly tools let you show customers the number of items remaining in inventory — an effective means of nudging sales for low-stock items and avoiding misunderstandings if that organic shirt or handcrafted soap is out of stock. After all, you don't need miffed customers demanding to know why you took orders and charged their credit cards for items that won't be available for weeks.
A good inventory management system also allows you to track merchandise across more than one one physical or virtual store.
If you have both a Main Street shop and a store on Weebly, you can link to the Square mobile payment platform to track , sync and automatically update your online and bricks-and-mortar inventory, and take credit cards in both channels. Connecting to Square also allows you to sync inventory between two online stores. Any inventory changes noted in Square will appear on Weebly.
The product import and export features on Weebly's eCommerce platform, meanwhile, allow you to track inventory over several outside internet marketplaces, including Etsy and Amazon, via spreadsheet format, and to update inventory information in bulk. The import and export elements make the most sense for shops with more than 20 products and with inventory data stored on another system.
Weebly tools also help you manage orders professionally, allowing you to update order status through the fulfillment stage, filter orders by status and search by customer name, zip code, city, phone number or order number.
Keep your store organized by arranging products by category, making shopping easier for customers while keeping inventory tracking orderly for you. Using your eCommerce dashboard, you can search products by category, description, SKU, type or name.
Whatever tools you use, monitoring your inventory in real time and making sure you have adequate supplies of materials and merchandise are key to keeping your small business running smoothly and profitably.
Being a small business owner means wearing a lot of hats - and even being your own marketer sometimes. Under the Marketing tab, you’ll find a fresh look that’s easier than ever to manage all of your growing business' needs. You are now able to create automated emails based on goals, more easily upload CSV files and organize your contacts, create a customized email style, and attach a coupon to your lead capture form. And all that means less time worrying about building campaigns and more time spent creating great ideas.
Weebly Marketing tools come included with our Performance plan. You can also purchase an additional Marketing plan with any Weebly plan. Learn more about our new Marketing tools below.
Fully integrated website and online store. It’s simpler than ever to set up your marketing plan using our redesigned Overview page. And because Weebly Marketing is now tightly integrated with your website and store, retargeting site visitors with Facebook Ads and sending email campaigns promoting best-selling products has never been easier.
A new dashboard for a guided and unified experience. You can see a snapshot of your site right away, with a more user-friendly interface using our Marketing tools.
An upgraded look and feel of the contacts page. Workflows are now more intuitive, including improving and simplifying the CSV uploading process. Now, the columns in your CSV files automatically map to columns within Weebly Marketing.
Automated emails—redesigned. We’ve refreshed how you create an email that automatically goes out to your customers. Now, you’ll be able to design them based on your goals, such as “Connect with Contacts,” or “Bring Customers Back.” This will help you choose which email version is the best for your needs. You can also create an email with new or best-selling products and send it to a specified group to increase your sales.
Create a style that’s all you. Now you can choose an email look that includes your logo, as well as a custom font, button color, and social icon shape for use in all of your emails. This makes it easier for you to set up and create blasts, sales and announcements, as well as ensure brand consistency throughout all of your communications with your brand followers.
Easier than ever. It's super easy to create an email with our Drag and Drop Editor now—no HTML knowledge needed.
Motivate your audience to connect with you. You can now attach a coupon to your lead capture form as a valuable incentive for visitors to share their email addresses with you. You can also set up an email automation that will send new contacts a welcome email with the coupon code for future use.
Now that you’re your own marketer, it’s easier than ever to get and understand data with tools that are guaranteed to help your business sell more. And that means less time worrying about maintaining your site and more time spent creating more great ideas.
Sometimes your website just needs a refresh. Incorporating a design trend or two can make the design look cleaner, more modern and drive engagement.
Luckily, staying on trend is pretty easy with Weebly. From sharp templates for a professional look, to tweaking the visuals in the Editor, everything you need for a modern website design can be found in one place.
But where do you start? Here are five ideas that will keep your website looking fresh.
1. Bright Color and Gradients
Bold, bright colors are one of the most popular – and happiest – web design trends of 2018.
You don't have to be afraid to use yellows, greens, pinks and blues with a lot of color saturation. Consider bright color backgrounds as an accent or for user interface elements to draw in customers and establish an emotional connection.
In addition to single colors that are bright, gradients are another way to use bright color for maximum impact. A color gradient overlay on an image can provide just the right canvas to add text or another call to action.
Top tip: You can do with with any Weebly website right from the Editor. Use the color picker to choose a bright background color or use one of the many different image filter options to add a pop to your photos. These tools are available from your Dashboard; just open the editor and edit the image or background.
Try this theme: Venue
2. Fixed or Mobile Navigation Elements
Make sure users always have access to navigation elements with fixed placements that stay at the top or on the side of the screen as users scroll. Having navigation always available makes it easy for website visitors to move around the design and find elements if they get lost.
One of the most popular uses of fixed navigation is to use a “mobile" style for all device types. This is often a simple, thin navigation element across the top of the screen that contains a logo or branding and a simple icon that expands to full navigation.
This style of element can give you a larger canvas area for the main messaging and has a clean, streamlined look. And while navigation isn't always open, most website visitors or online shoppers are used to this navigation pattern because it is the standard for most mobile websites.
Top tip: Look for fixed navigation elements when choosing a Weebly theme to make this process a breeze.
Try this theme: Paper
3. Motion and Animation
Video and animated effects are some of the most engaging elements you can add to a website design. Users are attracted to moving objects and will often stop and watch to see what happens when there is motion on the screen.
One of the best places to start is to add a video to your website. Whether it is a full-screen hero image or a video on a specific page that shows a product or information, adding a video is simple. You can upload a video directly or embed elements from popular platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo.
Top tip: Did you know you can animate small elements as well? Text animations can add emphasis to a certain word or even your company name. Try the free Text Animation App in the App Center to add motion to your website design with a few clicks.
Try this theme: Birdseye 2
4. Plenty of White Space
You may feel the need to get everything on the screen, but opening up your website design with plenty of white (or light colored) space can actually be more user-friendly.
A clean, organized design will almost always be easier for users to understand. Incorporate space into the overall plan by using a template with an open style. (This can help you even if you feel the need to start stuffing the design with elements.)
Top tip: Balance space and elements such as photos and text so that there's a distinct visual pattern that helps users move from one thing to the next. Don't be afraid to put elements below the scroll – it'll be necessary in a design with more white space.
Try this theme: Clean Lines
5. Modular Layouts
A modular layout creates a system of smaller blocks that you can move, mix and match. (Think of it like building blocks or bricks.)
Modular layouts often require more of a redesign, but can provide great flexibility with a variety of content types. And with a Weebly theme, featuring a modular style, it isn't that hard to get started.
Top tip: A modular layout is often best for designs that have a lot of content – think eCommerce or a portfolio – so that users can see a variety of things at once. Pair modular elements with plenty of white space for a clean design that pairs two trends in one!
The great thing about many of these design trends is that they don't involve a complete redesign of your website. You can change color or add a video without a complete overhaul.
Sometimes a simple change can be just the thing to refresh your online presence. (And thankfully, Weebly templates provide a perfect starting point, while the Editor provides an easy way to make changes.)