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.
If good content is the key factor for getting your site found by search engines—a process known as Search Engine Optimization, or SEO—how you present that content is a close second. Here are four best practices for an exceptional experience for your site visitors, that will also boost your odds of ranking higher in search results.
1. Identify Your Headings
Search engines prioritize sites whose content is easy to find and identify. Headings can help here. What's a heading? Put simply, it's an HTML "marker" that tells a browser what's on the page. Each heading is represented as a tag in code — from H1 (the contents of a whole page) all the way to H6 (a subsection of a section on a page). Your headings should have a clear hierarchy.
Your H1 heading tells not only Google, but your site's visitors, what the most important title on your page is. While you may use H2-H6 tags multiple times on one page (or perhaps not at all), you should only use the H1 tag once. This should be the most important heading on that page and it's more than likely that page's title.
Say you have a cooking website where you're sharing your best recipes for different flavors of ethnic food. Adding the H1 title "Spicy Thai recipes" to the page where you've listed instructions for cooking for your favorite Thai food tells Google where to send searchers looking for Thai recipes.
How to get this feature: Navigate to the SEO tab under Settings in the Site Editor and click on "Description and Keywords" and fill out the "Page Title" to create your H1 tag. Add a description and meta keywords to give search engines further context and improve your odds of getting found.
2. Navigation and Site Structure
If smart tagging makes finding the content on your site easier, good navigation and site structure make it easier for visitors to go further once they arrive. This includes having an easy-to-find and access menu on every site page.
Navigation should also be consistent throughout the site. Be absolutely sure that you aren't providing dead-ends within your site that leave visitors unclear on where to go next or how to get back to where they were.
Returning to the example of your cooking site, you could have a hierarchy that organizes your recipe first by region and then style. So, under "Asian dishes" you could have "Spicy Indian recipes," "Japanese sushi," and "Spicy Thai recipes." Your navigation would reflect the related options, inviting visitors to find more ideas.
How to get this feature: Navigate to the "Pages" tab in the Site Editor. Click and drag your created pages underneath each other or add new pages as you see fit; Weebly's navigation menus adjust automatically to reflect the order you create.
3. Healthy Site Speed That Encourages Engagement
There's no end to the studies that show websites that load faster perform better. An analysis from Skilled found that a 1-second improvement in site load time could increase daily revenue by up to 7 percent.
So, for example, if your cooking site generates $100,000 in daily revenue, investing to improve speed could net $7,000 more each day. And that makes sense, right? No matter how good or well-reviewed your e-book of "Top Secret Curry Recipes From India's Best Chefs" is, you won't get the orders you want if buyers have to wait too long to order.
On the other hand, a highly responsive site is more likely to encourage visitors to explore and spend more time looking at your content — exactly the sort of authority Google and Bing look for when ranking sites in search results.
How to get this feature: Smart design is the key boosting engagement and site speed. Mostly, you'll want to simplify: compress images, enable caching for returning visitors, and limit the code that needs loading before your page appears. Example: an embedded YouTube video that auto-plays on arrival. Executing that code can take time from loading the remainder of the page.
4. Mobile Focus
A recent study from Adobe Analytics found a 68 percent increase in smartphone web traffic in the U.S. from 2015 to 2018. Desktop and tablet both saw declines over the same period. The message? Rendering your site as fast and intuitively on smartphones as on a desktop or a tablet is key to maximizing your audience.
How to get this feature: Fortunately, every Weebly site is designed responsively to provide the best possible experience for smartphone visitors. Still, you needn't be complacent. Test your site's mobile speed with this tool from Google to be sure your site is performing at its best.
Good SEO is part art and part science, and that's never going to change. Don't let that deter you. A common sense design that includes well-crafted headings, intuitive navigation and fast response on both mobile and desktop will dramatically increase your odds of getting found.
Want even more tips for a healthy website? Give yourself a check-up with our starter SEO checklist.
When you create a web store with Weebly, each and every product you add to that store can be easily placed in its storefront. And this storefront is usually given its own link in the main navigation bar called something like "shop" so that customers can easily find it and start buying what you're selling.
That said — unless you have a small number of products — simply creating a storefront and calling it a day is not likely to get the response you want. There are too many variables. Like these:
- Which products should you display first?
- How should categories be used and organized?
- Should some products and categories appear in the navigation?
- What about presenting products to customers outside of the storefront?
The good news is that Weebly provides a number of simple to use options that empower you to build something beyond what the editor does on its own. Let's answer each of the questions asked above.
1. Which Products Should You Display First?
The ones you most want to sell that month or that week or that day.
Here's a look at part of the web store for Naked Goat Soap Co. (don't worry, there's not a single naked goat to be found there), which is linked under Our Shop.
Notice how they've taken control of their web store by placing the product they most want to sell right up front with two key messages: It's "New!" And there's "Only a few left!"
It's important to consciously think through the order in which you'd like to display your products. And to consider moving them around on a regular basis, which is easy to do. Unless shoppers are on the lookout for something specific, they're going to be drawn in by the first things they see. Don't let the page get stagnant.
2. How should categories be used and organized?
One way to keep your web store from getting stale is to organize your various kinds of products into categories. Ideally you're not overwhelming your customers by putting every single product you sell on one page.
Let's look again at our non-literally named friends from Naked Goat Soap. The storefront example above was just one of their six categories. Here are the others:
This captures every kind of product they sell, while additionally showing off a small number of products that they'd again most like you to buy.
Break your own products down into three to nine categories. Choose the best image from those products to represent each category.
3. Should Some Products Appear in the Navigation?
It can be very tempting to stuff your site's navigation with links to every part of your site and shop. Many major stores prey to this temptation. Look at a product on Amazon and they'll present you thirty different links to other places along the top and side of the page.
That may be fine for Amazon, but you are not Amazon (and neither is anyone else). It's better to present your customers with a small, clearly labeled set of navigation links that lead them to larger sections of the site than to overwhelm them with too many choices.
Instead of putting every category or product in your navigation, stick with a single link to the web store (as Naked Goat did), use the other links to tell your story, and take a different cue from Amazon and add a search bar instead. We've all been trained to use search as a key part of our internet lives — make it very easy for customers to find what they want.
4. What About Presenting Products Outside of the Web Store?
Customers who know exactly what they want when visiting your website may also notice they want other things if you take the time to put the right products in front of them. Just because you keep your products organized in a single set of categories and available via search, doesn't mean you shouldn't recommend products in other sections of your site.
On your About page, highlight your (and your employees' and your grandparents') favorite products and link directly to where a customer can buy them. Discuss products on your blog. Link to other related products from individual products — on Weebly every product includes a "long description" section where you can add other products. Take advantage of that.
The way your products are laid out and made available to your customers can have just as much influence over their decision to make a purchase as the quality of the products presented. A little extra thought and planning in how your web store is organized, can go a long way towards the success of your online business.
Still struggling with design inspiration for your website or online shop?
Today, we have advice from an industry insider. Wendy Ho is a lead designer here at Weebly and is sharing her five top tips that will make your website design shine bright.
1. Keep Things Consistent
A consistent brand is more than just a logo or color a shopper remembers; it helps build trust and legitimacy.
“Keep your style, font, color and logo as consistent as possible," Ho says. “Not only on your online store but on all other platforms (social media included) where you're showcasing yourself and product to the world."
Get started: E-commerce themes help you get a website up and running quickly and include a consistent look and feel that you can customize as you add new elements.
2. Develop a Brand Voice
“Brand goes far beyond just a name and logo," Ho says. “It's how you show up in the world – what do you want to say, how are you saying it (or showing it) and who are you speaking to?
“Your brand is an exciting opportunity to connect with customers, tell people why your product is unique and gain customer loyalty."
When it comes to shopping online, you can develop that voice with key design elements (which are available in your Weebly account).
Get started: Use a custom font and color palette to connect your brand across different platforms. You can choose from an unlimited number of colors and plenty of typography options right from your Weebly Dashboard.
3. Use Beautiful Photography
Beautiful images can draw users into your website design quicker than almost any other single element. In fact, 90% of shoppers believe that the quality of product photos is “extremely important” or “very important” to their purchase decision.
“Presentation is sometimes as important as the product itself," Ho says. “Be meticulous about the way you photograph your product."
Just as important as how you take photos is how you use them to create an overall design.
“Couple product shots and lifestyle shots together if you can," Ho suggests. “Lifestyle shots bring your product narrative to life."
Get started: Make the most of images using the Weebly image editor. You can crop, add filters (there are dozens to choose from), adjust color brightness and contrast and even add text to images right in the website editor or from your phone.
4. Share Your Work
It might seem obvious, but many website owners forget to share their website and promotions with people they know.
“Don't be scared! Share with friends early and often," Ho said.
Get started: Grow your audience with email marketing tools that are already connected with your website. You can also add social media integrations to make sharing easier and even allow users to connect back to your website. Once customers make the purchase Weebly tools allow users to market, sell and ship products from one platform.
5. Be Deliberate
Finally, every element in the design should exist for a reason. Don't use a color or font or picture just because it is trendy; use it because it means something for your website and brand.
“Every design decision you make should be a deliberate choice," Ho said. “Think about the goals you have for each page of your online store, and design something to hit those goals."
Get started: One great Weebly tool for creating deliberate design elements is Color Block; add the app to make specific messaging, such as a call to action stand out with color.
Bonus: 2 Useful Weebly Editor Tips
Ho also shared two pretty amazing tips for using the Weebly Editor that will make your design life – and workflows – easier.
- You can move, copy or delete a lot of things at once: Click the column that divides elements, then click the arrow on the left to copy or the “x" on the right to delete the entire group.
- Move elements with more precision: Hold shift to disable the snap to grid feature and put elements anywhere you like.
So much of marketing advice is dedicated to acquiring new customers. Here's the problem with focusing exclusively on new customers: acquiring a new customer can be anywhere from 5 to 25 times as expensive as selling to a returning customer. If that stat isn't jarring enough, returning customers spend 67% more money (on average) than newly acquired ones.
This isn't to say you shouldn't be focusing on acquiring new customers — a customer can't make their second or third purchase until they've made their first one — but foremost on your mind should be making your current customers very happy. Not only will they spend more money, they'll also tell other people about your business, providing free and extremely trustworthy word-of-mouth advertising.
Everything You Do is Marketing
As mildly dystopian as that sounds, it's also true. Every time you interact with your customer, you are essentially marketing your business to them. Now, that doesn't mean you need to include big flashing text in every email that says "Sale! Sale! Sale!" That kind of thing is just a small part of marketing. What it means is that you need to be thoughtful about every post-sale touch point, ensuring it presents the best possible view of your business.
Of course, to do that, you need to make sure you even have post-sale touch points to begin with. So, how should you communicate with your customers following a sale?
Communicate Before They Receive Their Purchase
Unless we're buying from an established brand — like that big one that's named after a river in South America — none of us have any idea what sort of service we'll receive from an online store. Put your own customers' minds at ease by messaging them about every step of the shipping process.
Immediately after their purchase, your customer will receive an email with their receipt, letting them know the order went through. Weebly automates this email so that you don't have to worry about it. But you should still worry about it.
You can customize this automated email so it includes your own messaging. Do so. Thank your customers for making their purchase. Give them a realistic time frame detailing when you'll ship the product out. Encourage them to reach out with questions in the interim.
You should also send them an email immediately after the product is shipped. If you mark a product as shipped within Weebly, this email will also be automatically sent. Customize it as above and also take advantage of Weebly's optional fields that allow you to note which carrier is delivering the package, alongside the tracking number. People love tracking their packages — refreshing the carrier's tracking page every ten minutes gives them something to do while they're at work.
If this seems like a lot of effort while you also have to do all the work of shipping the product itself out, note that this can easily be done via Weebly's mobile apps, allowing you to mark a product as shipped from wherever you happen to be.
Communicate Once the Shipment is Received
All your customer really cares about is that their product is the one they ordered and that it's in perfect condition when it arrives. That doesn't mean you can't make the experience even better. All any of us really care about when we go to a restaurant is that the food is good, but we'd all still prefer to sit at a nice table with a few candles as opposed to a storage crate that someone turned upside down.
Make the box look nice. It can be expensive to have your own branded boxes made, but it's fairly inexpensive to order custom packing tape.
Include a thank you note in the shipped product. Hand write a brief message if you can. Consider including some small, cool looking item that fits your brand. This could be a magnet or sticker or little plastic dinosaur.
Send a follow-up message a few days after the product arrives. You can easily create automated emails to go out a set time after a purchase using Weebly Promote. Thank them for their purchase again. Offer to answer any questions they have about the product or your services. Include a short survey asking what they thought of the process and offer them a small coupon for completing it.
Our postal mailboxes and email inboxes are flowing over with stuff that we mostly ignore. This may give you the impression that communicating with customers after a purchase is a waste of time. Are they really going to take advantage of that coupon? Will they really read your newsletter?
The answer, of course, is yes. Otherwise every company would have stopped sending us all that stuff a long time ago. The key is to stand out as much as you can. Establish a regular newsletter and keep with it; if you decide to send it once a month then always send it once a month. Build on this newsletter with email marketing campaigns that include coupons and other creative content that fits with your own brand style.
And also absolutely take the previous steps noted above. If customers have a great experience in their initial interactions with you, they'll be more likely to take action with future messaging from you.
Establishing processes that focus on retaining and bringing existing customers back to your store will show immediate dividends for your business. Which means added money you can spend on acquiring even more new customers to retain!
There are many elements that go into an awesome eCommerce website. You need great photos of your merchandise, a clean and intuitive design and a seamless checkout experience. At MochiSu, entrepreneurs Krystie Bastidas and Travis Mondesi have done all of this and more.
MochiSu specializes in selling handwoven bags crafted by Wayuu artisans, the largest indigenous ethnic group in Colombia and Venezuela. The goal of the company is to provide its customers with beautiful and unique items while giving the Wayuu people a path out of poverty.
With a combination of savvy social media marketing and a strong mission-based brand, MochiSu has earned fans all around the world. Here are some of the keys to their success.
What sets MochiSu apart from other retailers is the authenticity of its products. More than just unique designs, the company's bags reflect the rich cultural heritage of the Wayuu people and are each handcrafted by a Wayuu artisan. Naturally, it's important that this authenticity extends to the company's marketing channels.
As the founders explain, "we want to build trust and a relationship with our customers." In order to convince customers to become part of their "tribe," MochiSu focuses on sharing content that allows its personality to shine through. A quick look at the company's Instagram feed shows how carefully MochiSu curates its content, creating a brand perception that's both relatable and aspirational.
While it may take time for each bag to be painstakingly crafted, MochiSu makes sure that its order process is quick and easy. One of the Weebly features that MochiSu uses to great success is the chat feature, which allows its customers to contact the website in real time. MochiSu's owners say this feature is "extremely convenient because it goes straight to our phones and provides a seamless customer experience on our site."
As online shoppers have grown more accustomed to speed and convenience, it is important that smaller retailers match some of the features that larger companies offer. Responding to requests immediately through chat delivers a strong first impression to the customer and can help keep them from abandoning your website to go somewhere else.
Keep the Customer Engaged
Speaking of abandonment, the team at MochiSu knows how important it is to keep its customers engaged with their brand, even if they didn't make a purchase. That's why they send personalized emails with a coupon code to customers who have abandoned their shopping cart. The code gives customers a strong incentive to return to the website and complete their purchase. The company also uses Weebly's low stock inventory alert, which lets them contact customers with a message encouraging them to buy a product before it sells out.
But these aren't the only ways MochiSu keeps customers returning to its website. Another trick is good old-fashioned customer service, including sending personal emails to individual customers. While the duo admits that sending these messages "is a lot of work," they feel it's important that their customers know they "are truly grateful for each purchase."
With its commitment to sustainable, ethical fashion and its passion for both great customer service and uplifting the Wayuu people, it's no wonder that MochiSu has found success. Check out their website to learn more about this unique company's story and consider how you might borrow some of their tactics for your own business.
Hello Weebly community! We’re excited to share the updates we made to the Weebly product in March. We made it easier for you to create shipping labels and save up to 40% on shipping. Our Weebly Android App got an exciting update. We also released new holiday email templates in Promote to celebrate Easter and April Fool’s Day. Plus, our DevOps team upgraded servers to help your website run even faster. Read more about our new features below and reach out to us if you have any questions. We can’t wait to see how you’ll use Weebly to continue to grow your business.
It’s Here! Meet the New Mobile App for Android
Now Android users can enjoy an update to the Weebly App too! The latest version of the mobile app for Android has a brand new look and makes managing your website or online store on the go even easier.
New Insights: Use the Insights section of the app, available to Weebly Pro plan customers and above, to see sales insights such as total sales, orders and average order value. If you’re a Business or Performance plan customer, you can see top products and categories as well as traffic insights such as page views, unique visits, top pages, search terms and referring sites. Performance customers can also use the Insights tab to track abandoned carts.
New Updated Look: Enjoy an easier, cleaner way to update and maintain your website in the app.
New Home Tab: The home tab keeps you up to date on site stats and performance. New to Weebly? Home is there to help you get started with your site.
Website Tab: Use the website tab on the app to edit your site on the go and purchase domains.
Ship, Print, and Track Right from Weebly
Making sure your customers receive products on time and on budget is an important way to build a good reputation for your business. We’re focused on making your shipping experience as smooth and as cost efficient as possible.
That's why we created a new fully integrated shipping experience. Now you can sell, ship, print and track right from Weebly. You’ll also save up to 40% on shipping rates with our latest Shippo integration. All you have to do is focus on making your products great. We’ll help you take care of the shipping.
Note: You must be a Business or Performance customer to use this feature. If you’re interested in upgrading to take advantage of this feature, click here.
New in Promote
Holiday Email Templates
Looking for a fun way to connect with your customers? Each month we release new email templates in Promote. This March, we released new templates to help Promote customers drive sales and celebrate Easter or April Fool’s Day. We’ll also release more exciting email templates in April, so stay tuned! You can also check Promote regularly to see what’s new.
How To Access Holiday Emails:
From the Weebly Promote dashboard, click Suggested Emails to see a list of all pre-made holiday email templates. Click on the Easter template to start customizing your email.
Try it out. You get up to 2 free email campaigns on any plan.
You Spoke, We Heard
Some of you told us that when you clicked to add products to a category or to coupons, you could only see 10 products. We fixed this issue so that now, when you attempt to add products to a category or coupons, you’ll be able to see more products by clicking on “Load More” at the bottom of the list. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Meet the DevOps Team
There’s a lot more to running a website than most people realize, and one of those things is the necessity of a DevOps team. What do they do? They’re the team running the show behind the scenes. They make sure your site is running smoothly at all times and protect it from security threats.
Recently, they upgraded multiple servers to help Weebly run faster. This means your experience will be even smoother the next time you want to update your website or start an email campaign. It also means your website is now more reliable than ever which creates a better experience for your customers.
Thanks for reading! As always, let us know about your experience with Weebly.
Let's start with the sorts of data that's personally identifying:
- Email addresses
- Location (city, town, state, street address)
- A Social Security number
Best Practices to Put in Place Today
Once you've studied the requirements and have an idea for what you have to say to meet legal requirements, take these steps to make sure your customers know they'll be well-protected when shopping at your eCommerce site:
Use reassuring language. Once readers arrive, greet them with language that's respectful and reassuring. Here's an overly simple example: "Thank you so much for shopping with us! We're glad you're here! Please let us know if you have any questions, and in the meantime we want you know that we collect some personally identifying information such as [list everything here] to better serve you. We take the responsibility of protecting your data very seriously, which is why we [list steps taken to protect data here]. But again, if there's anything you need to know more about or simply have questions [include specific instructions for getting in contact here]. Thanks again for visiting!"
Whether you sell art or auto parts, being an creative entrepreneur means dealing with shipping costs — and they can add up fast. According to research from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), the average small business currently spends $338 monthly or roughly $4,000 per year on shipping.
Fortunately, Weebly offers an an easy way to save up to 40% on shipping while ensuring your customers get what they want, when they want it, with our improved Shippo integration.
Save up to 40% on Shipping Labels
Our latest shipping label integration can save you bundles in shipping costs through special negotiated rates with carriers! It also enables you to offer incentives to your customers, like free shipping or 2-day shipping, which in turn can help drive more sales. In fact, providing free shipping can improve sales by a whopping 73%, according to Econsultancy and ComScore. Not to mention, speeding up your shipping process can decrease shopping cart abandonment rates by 60% or more.
Sell, Ship, Print, and Track—All in One Place
Our latest integration with Shippo allows for a seamless experience. Let Weebly populate a label with all the relevant details - including carrier, service and a deeply discounted rate. You’ll then be able to print your labels right from the Weebly platform and view the corresponding tracking number, saving you the hassle of switching between different apps and services. Previously, you’d need to download and install the Shippo app on your Weebly website.
What do you need to do to enjoy this simplified shipping experience? First, make sure you're on a Business or Performance plan. If you don’t already have a Shippo account, don’t worry - the first time you create a label on Weebly you can quickly create an account. There is no monthly fee for using this service. Shippo charges only $0.05 for every label you print.
5 Steps to Big Shipping Savings
To set yourself up for success, you just need to define how, where and what to charge when shipping to customers. Follow these steps to make sure your packages get to customers on time, every time.
1. Define shipping rates and incentivize customers to buy more
Start by setting up shipping rates for a region, state or country, so there's no mystery when shipping to common locations, including international destinations. Say most of your customers are in New York. You can set a flat rate that covers any package sent to the region, so your customers don't spend time waiting on shipping to be calculated
With shipping areas you have the option to set prices by location. You can also choose to set your own rates or customize rates using the "set manual rates" tool. For example, you could provide free shipping on certain deals or to encourage bulk purchases. You could also choose a flat rate for all orders shipped to a certain area, or set up tiered rates based on pricing, the number of items in an order or total weight. You have the flexibility to create shipping rules that work for your business, then forget about them.
You can also use the real-time shipping feature, available with our Performance plan, which automatically calculates the shipping cost for each package and displays it to your customers so you’re always charging them the correct amount.
Whichever you decide to use, our partnership with Shippo gives you access to huge discounts which are typically available to high volume sellers only - up to 40%! With our new integrated shipping system, you have the option to be both creative and efficient in how you get goods out the door.
2. Activate our shipping labels integration
Once you start selling, it’s time to process your orders and ship them to your customers. Our shipping labels integration makes it easy for you to do so. Delight your customers by shipping their items fast! Start by activating the integration with a one-time setup and account creation with Shippo. This step is very easy and can be done without leaving Weebly.
You'll need to include some basics, starting with your shipping address. Will you be shipping from headquarters? Your garage? A warehouse? Weebly populates every shipping label with your ship-from address — whether it's your business address or a distinct location. You can also edit the details at any time.
3. Create and print your shipping labels
Our integrated shipping solutions will automatically populate your shipping labels with all the information you need, including shipping address, items purchased and weight. We’ll also show you the shipping rate that was charged to your customer at checkout. Simply click ‘Print Label’ and you’re done.
4. Ship and track
Once the order is ready you can ship it to your customer. And if they have any questions about the status of their shipment, you can easily find the tracking number right in the Orders dashboard in Weebly.
5. Change as often as you need to
You can't control what carriers charge, but you can control what you charge to ship through them, and Weebly makes it simple to change rates, shipping areas and other rules. For example, to edit, rename or delete a shipping area, simply click the three dots to the right of the shipping area name. If you want to change a rate within a shipping area, just click on the Edit link for the rate.
Selling physical goods online can be lucrative, but only if you keep costs down and shipping hassles to a minimum. Integrated, low-cost shipping with Weebly provides this seamlessly. If you haven't already done so, make sure you upgrade to Business or Performance plan to get access now.
With over 90% of small businesses predicting they will have a website by the end of 2018, an internet presence is now a necessity for every business. Among the small businesses that already have a website, nearly 80 percent also say their website is mobile friendly. As the number of internet competitors increases, Weebly has your back with new mobile insights that enable you to gain a competitive edge in the fast-growing eCommerce arena.
Say hello to the Weebly Mobile App 5.0, now giving entrepreneurs, creators, artists, and visionaries like you, the tools to launch, run, and grow your business whenever, wherever. Whether you're tracking your orders from your kitchen table or out finding new inspirations, you can manage your website on the go. If you already have a Weebly online store, the new mobile experience will be applied automatically.
“I get my inspiration to write in the strangest of places! I might be on a hike, at the beach, or sitting in a waiting room somewhere," says wellness entrepreneur and business mentor Hannah Horton. “The Weebly App means I can easily draft ideas or recipes for my next blog post."
The Mobile 5.0 updates also make it easier to stay up to date on your website and use our new Insights tool to help you make great business decisions or execute changes to your site or store. The new app aligns with Weebly online store features, and includes three new Home, Insights and Websites tabs.
The Weebly App's support for Apple devices offers new ways for entrepreneurs and small business owners to manage their sites, market products and help customers, according to Cyndi Grasman, owner of Bad Pickle Tees. “I use the iPad to process transactions, stay on top of email and manage social media," she says. “With the Weebly App I can keep up with my site in real time so there aren't customer service gaps while traveling."
In addition to its many new features, the Mobile App 5.0 includes an updated look and feel that creates an entirely new user experience, and makes it easier than ever before to update and maintain your site or store.
The Weebly App's new Home Tab keeps you up to date and on track with timely alerts and inspiration. You can easily track the latest onsite stats and performance for your site. And if you're new to Weebly, the Home Tab helps you get started with your site and find helpful tips from the Inspiration Center.
The new Insights Tab enables entrepreneurs to make smarter business decisions. It includes the ability to track orders, identify top traffic sources, and discover which products are top sellers. All Weebly customers using the Starter plan and above can use the Insights Tab to see sales insights, including total sales, number of orders and average order value. Business and Performance Plan users can identify top products and categories as see traffic insights, including data on page views, unique visits, top pages, search terms and referring sites. Performance plan users can additionally see insights on the “Abandon Cart" funnel to learn more about missed sales.
The app's new Websites Tab enables you to edit and view all your sites – and to make changes based on those new data points and insights with an easy drag & drop builder. Simply select the site you want to edit under the Account Tab to make updates and changes. You can also use the Websites Tab to purchase domains.
Upgrade your Weebly App today to improve your website management around the clock. “I use it all day, every day, at least a half-dozen times a day, no matter where I am," says Weebly user Caesar Chu, creator of the Original Whiskey Ball. “It is actually the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I do before I sleep."
With the Weebly App's new Home Tab, Insights Tab, and Website Tab to help you track, understand and act on the latest site data, your experience can be just as seamless. Get started with your free Weebly App for iOS or Android devices today!
Email marketing works. On average, every $1 spent on email marketing returns $38 dollars in revenue.
Sound crazy? Even if you go with a broader definition of "return on investment," email marketing's ROI of 122% is four times more effective than social media marketing.
Does that mean every email you send should include an offer? Not necessarily. A better strategy is to create an email newsletter that includes a wide variety of content. That way, readers have options when choosing whether to engage with your brand — which is important when every reader is different, and not every reader will be a customer.
But every reader can become a customer if you engage them properly and with a good mix of content designed and delivered intuitively. Weebly Promote can help.
Here are five ways to create an engaging newsletter using Weebly Promote:
1. Start with a template. Choose Weeebly Promote's newsletter template to get started and drag and drop elements to add features, just as you would build your Weebly site. Add text blocks, images, links, coupons and more.
2. Synchronize the look and feel of your email newsletter. Reading your newsletter should be like reading a blog post on your Weebly site. That's easier to do than you might think. Just drag the Navigation element to your email template and choose which pages you'll display and in which order.
3. Preview designs for best results. Remember: the first reader of your newsletter will always be you. Preview your design in desktop, mobile or text-only views and grade your work. Would you click? What's missing? There's no limit to what you can test with Promote; make sure you've got something click-worthy before hitting "send."
4. Try different styles and save what works. Weebly Promote includes statistics for tracking opens, clicks, and failed deliveries instantly. Use this to your benefit by creating multiple newsletter designs and then segmenting your subscriber list. Track which custom templates work best and then save them for future mailings.
5. Keep it short. When it comes to creating a good newsletter, a good rule is to write a good introduction and include links for readers you've hooked to read more at your Weebly site. In that sense, think of your newsletter as a gateway rather than as a destination.
Email marketing is the most compelling investment you can make for generating leads as a digital business owner. A newsletter chocked full of useful information can take your efforts even further, but only if you put in the right effort. Start with a template, synchronize the look and feel with your website, preview designs, save what works and keep your copy tight and to the point.
Read to get started? Try Weebly Promote today.
Weebly had an idea.
Build a new team in New York City, and have that team focus on special projects. These projects would obviously be related to Weebly (no rockets to Mars or other Elon Musk style super villainy), but not be a part of its core service.
Why build the team in New York instead of at HQ in San Francisco?
There was a notion that this team would work much faster in isolation from the larger San Francisco office. Not because there wasn't incredible value in being part of the main office, but because the SF team is so focused on the Weebly website editor that it would be challenging to spin off a senior team to work on new projects without them getting continually pulled away from their new work.
Thus, in 2015, Weebly's New York engineering team, and Weebly Promote, were both born.
Now, the story of how some Weebly engineers moved from San Francisco to NYC so they could build a new email service without being distracted due to other engineers being too loud may not sound like it'd have much value to you as an entrepreneur. You're probably hardly in a place where you can start sending employees off to other cities to work on “special" projects. You may hardly be in a place where you can even have employees at all.
The thing is, though, that this New York office was essentially a semi-autonomous startup within Weebly, tasked to prove its value by building new products completely on its own at a speed faster than the main office could do. This meant they had to face and conquer many of the same challenges any new business would encounter.
"We had some big ideas about how we wanted to do this," says Drew Richards, Weebly's second employee way back in 2009 and Director of Engineering in the New York office. "In some ways, starting things from scratch allowed us to build even faster than if we'd started with an already established code base. And since we were essentially a startup within a startup, we really felt like we could be scrappy in what we put out there, picking the exact feature set that could be most impactful up front, knowing we'd build out more features over time."
Richards wrote the very first lines of code right after he moved to New York in July of 2015. And Weebly Promote was a finished and launched product by January of 2016. Building a new, functional software application that had to appeal to customers of an already established product in six months borders on crazy. Creating just one new feature can sometimes take that long.
How'd they do it?
First, they had to put together the right team. Weebly asked for volunteers to join Richards in New York, and both Dustin Doiron, another early Weebly employee, and Devon Reed made their way to New York a couple of months after he arrived.
Joining them was a Product Manager, Katie Miller, who had been working in New York for a while as part of Weebly's BD team. As well as a new Product Designer, Derick Anies. A few more people would join their team ahead of launch, but this was the core group who got everything started.
"It was a very collaborative process," says Dustin Doiron. "Basically the whole team was able to bring good ideas to Katie Miller (to go along with her own good ideas) and she did the hard work of figuring out which of those ideas was best and most likely to make it to the final product."
Richards adds, "The way the team came together, we just really gelled and we had a productivity that I hadn't seen before."
As Miller lead the way on determining where the team should focus its energies in terms of which functionality to roll out and when, Richards began designing the user interfaces and the engineers wrote the code that would make those interfaces function and send the emails out.
So they had a small team plugging away in New York, getting some help from Weebly's SF office for operations issues when needed but otherwise getting things done at breakneck speed. Is this all just the story of how things were super easy and everyone had a great time? Not quite.
Most of the team had been living in the website world for a long time and writing code that generated websites. You might think this wouldn't be all that different from writing code for email, and in a more reasonable alternate dimension it might be, but here in our dimension many email clients are really primitive in terms of what they support, being more than a decade behind modern web browsers. Outlook, a rather popular email client, even uses Microsoft Word to render emails. While Word is very nice for writing documents, you would never use it to look at a website.
"One of our biggest hurdles was that we got super close to the finish line before we'd thought too hard about the actual HTML output we'd have to make for specific email clients." says Richards. "And it was a much harder problem than we'd expected."
But the team had two factors on their side that helped them tackle and overcome this problem to still hit a January release date: they found a service called Litmus that enabled them to test emails out in every possible email browser and their newest engineer at the time, Ji Sohn, poured a ton of her time into becoming an expert on each email client's limitations and what the team would need to do to overcome them, and so they did.
"One of the most fun things we did in the early days, was that we had a big dashboard that tracked key stats for Weebly Promote and on everyone's desk we had these plastic trumpets (Trumpet was an early code name for Weebly Promote), and when we saw a new customer come in everyone would blow their plastic trumpets in celebration."
"It made it feel real, like we'd achieved something with each new customer," says Dustin.
When it comes to launching your own new business, there's a lot to learn from the Weebly Promote experience:
Bring in other people (even if they're family and friends) and tools (even if they're free) to help you achieve your goals. You can't do it alone.
Just as Weebly Promote would not have been the same had the team dealt with the distractions of the much more crowded SF office, your own business needs space from distraction. Carve out set times away from your usual work to ensure you can focus on your new business.
On top of that, email is a super helpful part of building your business and keeping customers coming back. Try out Weebly Promote features like Lead Capture Forms (that can be added to any Weebly or non-Weebly website) and Automated Emails (messages that can be sent to any customer who takes certain actions on your site that you determine). And know that as you do so, a small team of smart, friendly people in New York may be blowing their plastic trumpets in celebration.
Do you want to get discovered on social media? There are two very simple methods that can get your product or website discovered right away: online contests and online polls. Whether you use an app embedded in a blog post or you create a social media poll or contest, you can get a lot of word-of-mouth attention with these simple marketing approaches.
The Magic of Online Polls
Online polls can attract attention to your website if you focus on a topic that people are passionate about. Have you ever seen those fandom polls that ask people to vote on their favorite TV show relationship? The polls are often done in stages, with stage one featuring seven or eight couples, stage two featuring four couples and stage three featuring a showdown between the top two couples. These "ship polls" can actually take a little-known-website and get it a lot of attention simply by tapping into people's competitive nature. Fans will share a poll far and wide just to help their favorite couple win.
You can take this knowledge and apply it to anything people are passionate and competitive about, whether it's a TV show, a hot-button political topic or even a poll about whether dogs or cats are better. Get the poll in front of a few key players and it will spread fast. To increase your chances of getting noticed, look for influencers who talk about the topic on social media and get a lot of responses. Message them privately and ask them to share your poll. Some may ask for a nominal fee in exchange for doing so.
If you're not interested in "going big" with a poll, you can also create one just for your clients or the followers you already have. These polls can be very effective and generate customer feedback on your products. For example, ask which product is your clients' favorite or which they'd like to see go on sale. If you have limited-time products, ask your customers which one they'd like to bring back.
How to Create a Poll on Weebly
Now that you know how great polls can be, you might be wondering how to create one of your own. Weebly has two great apps to choose between. First, you can use Weeby's Pinpoll app to create a poll and add it directly to your site. The polls have many fun features, like videos and GIFs, real-time results and more. The tool is free or $9 a month for special features.
It only takes a few seconds to get a poll up and running. Just go to the App Center here and choose Add. Then select Pinpoll from your dashboard and drag the poll to where you want it featured. Click on the poll and choose the Create option. Now you can choose the layout you want, including the question, your answers and an eye-catching background photo. After choosing all your design options, click on the Extras tab. This is where you can activate extra features, some of which may have a one-time fee. These include:
- Seeing the poll results now, or just showing the number of votes and revealing the results later.
- Using a captcha to stop bots. (passionate fans may use bots to try to game polls.)
- White labeling a poll so Pinpoll's logo doesn't show.
- Automizing the poll's start and end date.
- Letting users vote more than once or animating your answers.
- Plotting votes on an interactive map.
Finally, it's time to save and publish your poll and tell all your users about it! You can track the results easily, looking at demographics, geography and vote history.
If Pinpoll isn't your favorite option, you can also make polls by installing Quick Polls from Weebly's App Center. Just go here and click Add to install the app. You can test it with a free trial for seven days; thereafter, it's free for 30 responses a month or $3.99 a month for unlimited responses.
To use the app, go through the pop-up box step-by-step on the dashboard after clicking on Quick Polls under Installed Apps. First, go to the Poll Setup tab and choose if you want a standard text-only poll, a poll with buttons and images, a star-review poll or an emoji poll. Then add your headline and questions (labeled Options). Next, choose your design preferences and color style, then choose display rules (such as removing watermarks or asking for emails after finishing the poll). After you've published the poll, you can come back later to the Answers tab to download results or see a graph of the votes.
The Simplicity of Online Contests
Another simple but effective way to get attention is through an online contest. These are great because you can offer a free product in exchange for spreading the word about your brand. The most successful contests allow participants to get extra entries depending on the actions they take. For example, they might get an entry for sharing your contest on Facebook, liking a post, tagging someone or referring your contest to others. You can even allow entries for writing blog posts about your contest. Be sure to set a deadline for entries, as this creates a sense of urgency. After the contest's over, create blog and social media posts sharing who won and the winner's excited response.
How to Create a Contest on Weebly
Weebly makes creating contests really simple with the Social Boost app. You can offer rewards for taking certain actions, such as following your social media profile. You can even give entries to the contest based on actions taken on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and more. This app offers pretty much any feature you could want.
To get started, visit Social Boost on the App Center and click 'Add'. You'll be taken to a page where you can set up the contest. This is the admin page, and you can go here any time you want to start a new campaign. First, click on New Campaign and choose your campaign name, your header image, a description, the campaign's start and end time and the terms and conditions.
Click 'Next' and choose how you want people to participate and get entries. You have a lot of options, including blog comments, filling out a form, liking or sharing a Facebook page, visiting an Instagram page, following a Pinterest page, taking a quiz, retweeting a tweet or a hashtag and more. Save your choices and then move on to the Referrals tab. Here you can choose to reward referrals who get friends to join the campaign. Next, review your layout. Then choose where you want to install the campaign (including a Facebook tab, embedding it on websites, adding it to your Weebly site, and more). Finally, add analytics features and choose your prizes.
Setting up a contest through Social Boost is surprisingly simple. Just follow the app step-by-step through the tabs and you'll be done in no time. When you've finished, you'll need to install the Social Boost Widget's code on your website before visitors can see it. Then you're done!
With Weebly, creating an online poll or contest is easy. Just use the apps to embed a poll on your website, or create a contest that can be accessed through multiple social media outlets. Online polls and contests are great ways to harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing. You don't have to pay an exorbitant fee to advertise online. Just let passion for your poll or excitement about a free product be the fuel that drives more visitors to your website.
We have exciting news for entrepreneurs looking to elevate their brand. We’re launching a new service called Weebly Photo Studio. It’s simple. Ship us your products, our expert photographers will shoot three product photos then send your products back to you for only $10 per product!
We’ll be giving early access to the first 300 entrepreneurs who want beautiful, professional product photos for their online store.
Sign up for this exclusive offer of 3 professional product photos for just $10 per product:
How it works
- Ship us your product - you can ship us up to five
- Weebly Photo Studio will shoot professional product photos for you
- You’ll get a link to download three product photos
- We’ll ship your product back to you
Professional product photography is a vital part of any online shopping experience and can help you sell more. In fact, research shows that 94% of potential customers are more likely to shop at a site with quality product photos and well-designed visuals.
Using Weebly Photo Studio you’ll receive clean, clear images that will give your eCommerce website a polished look and feel. We use a white background to draw attention to your products and to suite any Weebly theme you choose.
You can always get great product photos if you have a nice camera, invest in lighting equipment, take a product photography class, purchase photoshop, learn how to use photoshop with online tutorials… the list could go on. But as an entrepreneur, your main goal is to sell your products. We don’t think you should have to become a professional photographer to do so. Weebly Photo Studio is here to help.
Even the most experienced marketer can find creating Facebook Ads confusing, especially when trying to create ads with specific goals in mind, like retargeting previous visitors to a site or getting customers who abandoned their shopping carts to come back. You have to fiddle with various tracking pixels and the whole thing can be a bit too much.
Unless, of course, you manage your Facebook Ads using Weebly Promote. Weebly Promote is primarily an email marketing platform, but it also provides easy-to-use Facebook Ad Creation / Management that integrates directly with your Weebly site(s), so you don't have to spend hours trying to figure out which pixel goes where. A pixel is a tag placed on a landing page to collect information about the visitor and their behavior on the website.
Any Weebly customer can easily create their own Weebly Promote account. To get to your own, click the Marketing link at the top of your main Weebly home screen.
To find the Facebook Ads section, click the rather appropriately named Ads link in the left sidebar. You'll be see several options, but before you can move forward you'll need to connect your Facebook account so that Weebly Promote can manage your ads.
When you Connect, you'll be prompted to select which of your Facebook pages you'd like to use with Weebly Promote. If you only have one business page, then it'll be pre-selected, if you have more than one be sure to keep a close eye and choose the page you want.
You'll also need to enter payment information, even though you won't be charged anything until your Facebook ads start delivering. Facebook ads cost money (Mark Zuckerberg wouldn't be able to afford a closet full of that one fancy grey t-shirt he wears if he was giving ads away for free) so you'll, of course, have to pay for them. Weebly Promote doesn't charge anything extra on top of what you're paying Facebook, though. And you'll have the option when creating your ad to set budget as low as $5.
After Facebook is connected, you'll be presented with four recommended ads, as well as the option to Create New custom ads.
You likely won't need to go beyond the Suggested Ads — at least not at first — so let's focus on those.
The four suggested ads are:
Promote Best Sellers — This automatically selects the best selling products from your site and creates ads linking new customers directly to them!
Brand Awareness — This allows you to promote your website or Facebook business page to a new audience with the goal of driving engagement and gaining new followers.
Abandoned Cart — This runs an ad targeted to anyone who added something to their cart and left without buying it, reminding them of the purchase that is still waiting for them back at your site.
Retarget Site Visitors — This runs ads directly to people who've previously visited your site to encourage them to come back and buy more. This may sound unnecessary since they've already been to your site, but it often a great way to close the deal and turn potential customers into actual ones.
The set up process for each ad is fairly similar, but let's use two as examples: Brand Awareness and Retarget Site Visitors.
Brand Awareness — Setup
As noted above, the Brand Awareness option lets you promote your website or business page to a new audience.
Launching the Ad is a three-step process: Crafting your ad's message alongside some images, selecting the audience you'd like to target and choosing a budget / timeframe for the ad.
You'll need a short description (what your ad is about), a headline (to get attention) and a subtitle (to continue getting that attention), plus you'll need to upload an image or two, place a link to the site or page where you want visitors to go, and choose from a small selection of different call-to-action buttons they can click. Take a look at this post if you need some inspiration about what to write.
This is all fairly straightforward and not particularly noteworthy. The most important parts are found in the next step.
Review and Submit
The title doesn't imply that you'll be doing much here other than reviewing and submitting, but that is not accurate. There are two very key parts to creating your ad in this section. The first is choosing your targeted audience. This is where Facebook is truly powerful (and vaguely creepy). They know everything we've all told them over the years: our neighborhoods, our favorite movies, events we've enjoyed. Utilizing Facebook's in-depth database of mostly trivial information can ensure your ad ends up in front of people who'll find it interesting.
Let's say you run a comic book shop in Spokane, Washington. You can limit ads so that they run for people in the Spokane area, between the ages of 16 and 45, who are interested in Black Panther, Spider-Man and Star Wars. This will get you a far more engaged audience than an ad that goes to everyone in Spokane, some of whom you may be surprised to learn don't even know who Stan Lee is.
Once you've chosen your audience, you then select the duration you'd like for the ad to run and the amount of money you want to spend per day. Obviously, the higher your spend, the more results you'll see from the ad. But it's a good idea to test things out with a lower budget first, just to make sure the ad works. Then you can increase your spend on the next go-round (or make some changes and try again if it didn't do as well as you'd hoped).
When you're done, submit the ad for Facebook's approval. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Facebook will notify you when the ad is approved and Weebly Promote has no say in the process.
Once the ad begins running, you'll see the number of people you've reached and the cost of each engagement. The lower the cost per engagement, of course, the better your ad is doing.
Retarget Site Visitors — Setup
When you create this ad, you'll see that Weebly Promote has already done all the work in setting it up. Easy! Now you can relax and watch the money (hopefully) roll in. Under normal circumstances, this kind of ad would be fairly complicated to run. With Weebly Promote and Weebly, it's a breeze. How?
Thanks to the direct connection between Weebly Promote and your Weebly site, this ad campaign can automatically show visitors previous products and pages that they've viewed while on your site, which are the exact things that might convince them to come back and spend money. There is nothing else you need to do aside from set a budget and duration for the ad run.
And considering retargeted ads bring in anywhere from a 2x to 10x return on investment (and sometimes more) it'd be a waste to not at least test this kind of ad out.
The average person spends around 35 minutes a day on Facebook, with most of that time devoted to avoiding work. Give them an even better reason to avoid work by advertising products they'll enjoy.
Search Engine Optimization can feel like a confusing maze of a morass of a swamp, with tons of websites all claiming they contain the very best secrets to game Google's system and rank highly for any search terms you consider important to your business. And while many of these articles have useful information, it can all be a touch overwhelming, especially if you are just starting out. It can even be plenty overwhelming if you're an old hand at this and have had a site for years.
As with most anything in life — like building a business or creating a website or walking — Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is best tackled one step at a time. The first step? Putting all of Weebly's many simple and powerful SEO features to use. If you're not doing that, then all the other tips in the world won't provide you nearly as much value as they could.
Where to begin?
Page Titles & Descriptions
These provide you with the power to specifically highlight the search phrases you'd like to be ranked in. Plus, your page titles and descriptions appear directly in search results when someone finds your site on a search engine, giving you a great opportunity to influence searchers to visit your site.
You can see this in effect even on Weebly's own site. The SEO page title for the home page is Weebly Website Builder: Create a Free Website, Store or Blog and the description is the two sentences that follow it.
You might write a page title and description like this other example below. That is, assuming you own a business in Oakland called Rockridge Bakery that has been around since 1972. Otherwise you might just use it as a guide and write something else.
About Rockridge Bakery: Serving Oakland since 1972
Rockridge Bakery has been part of the North Oakland community since my mother founded the business in 1972. We hope to still be here in 2072.
The option to add Titles and Descriptions can be found in the same place as the permalinks discussed above. You'll need to Publish for any changes to take effect and you'll also need to give Google a week or two to index the changes you've made.
Every page on your site has a name that you provide (separate from the title noted above), and this name is used by default to both generate your navigation and to create links for each individual page. You'll generally want to keep these names short and to the point for navigation purposes: Contact, About, Store, etc. And when you do this it also means that you end up with very short links: mysite.com/about, mysite.com/contact, etc.
The thing about using these short names for your links is that you're missing a valuable opportunity to use those links to highlight how you'd want them to be found via a search, since Google (and the other search engines) take those names into consideration when ranking your site.
So for your About page, you'd be a touch more descriptive for your permalink (about-the-rockridge-bakery-team). Same for your Contact page (reach-out-to-us). And so on from there.
Wait, wouldn't you already be doing this same thing with the titles and descriptions we just discussed? Kinda, but these permalinks are even more useful in that they literally become the address where the page lives. This a great opportunity to really reinforce what you've written in your title field for a page or to highlight a different key phrase you'd like to see your page rank in.
To change your permalinks go to Pages and click the page you'd like to change. Then choose the SEO Settings options for that page and enter a Page Permalink in the provided box. You'll need to Publish your site for the change to take effect.
And don't go overboard. Still try to keep your permalinks to five or six words.
The Header & Footer Code
The header and footer code are big blank boxes that may entice you to enter a bunch of text in them. And why not? They are found in the exact same menu as the other features we've previously discussed. But you shouldn't put just anything in these boxes.
That said, there is a very important SEO step you can take that does involve the Header Code specifically, and that's submitting and verifying your site with Google Search Console (also knows as Webmaster Tools). See Weebly's detailed guide on how to do just that.
If you're moving a site from another host to Weebly, ideally you don't want to lose all the search engine history and optimization you gained from your time with that site. And, thankfully, there's a way to redirect both traffic and search engines from your old pages to your new ones within Weebly using the 301 Redirects feature.
This option is found under Settings > SEO in the editor, at the very bottom of that page. All you need do here is enter the page permalink from the old site and select which new page that should point to in the new one. Then Save.
That's it. Once you Publish your site, all those old pages will redirect to the new ones so that you continue to get value from them. But note that this is only works if you're using the same domain with Weebly as you were using at your previous host. Weebly's article and video explain this in detail.
Once you get these basic Search Engine Optimizations in place, you'll be well on your way to seeing your site ranking much higher in search results. Next up, read a more advanced SEO guide like Are the Right People Searching for You? or How to Create a Perfectly Optimized Page.