Value Websites have been working with the Weebly content management platform since 2006. We're still working with it because, despite all it's improvements and developments, it remains a very intuitive and easy to use website editor and development platform.
Having said, that I regularly work with Kiwis who have problems with their Weebly website. In this news post I isolate three common problems I have encountered.
Unfamiliarity with the wide range of design and content elements that are available to Weebly users. Back in 2006 the Weebly elements provided were few and basic. With the development of content management systems (like Weebly's) CMS developers had to keep up with the field and keep providing new options. I believe Weebly have done this well, while keeping the system as easy to use and intuitive as possible. However, for amateur users, the degree of sophistication available can feel intimidating and difficult to grasp. Today, to get the most out of Weebly, users are well-advised to seek help from experienced Weebly designers who know the system and who in a short time can edit or improve a website. My advice to many Weebly users has been to have a tutorial of two with us, develop your website content and come back and ask Value Websites to tweak it. While the outcome will be that you spend a little, the result will be an attractive and functional website.
Not using the search engine optimisation (SEO) feature built into the Weebly system. When incorporating an image into your web pages describe it in the image tag option. E.g. the image below has the image tag, "Value Websites offers you a FREE no obligation consultation". This was inserted in the advanced features section of the image options. The website as a whole and each page has options to describe the page content via Title, Description and Keyword tags. Help the Search Engine Bots do their work by making it easy for them and by accurately describing what you are trying to communicate. Completing this exercise can help you to stay focussed and say what you want and need to say to get visitors to your web pages.
Have as much control over your website as possible. Maintaining contact with your designer, or insisting that they keep contact with you is an important thing to do. Having ownership and control of your domain name is essential - some designers will look after your domain on their account. In effect they own it not you as you might expect! I have been aware of great difficulties and conflicts arising from this. With the passage of time we humans forget things, including logins and passwords, and paying bills which sometimes will go to no longer active email addresses. Within Weebly some sites have been built on the Designer Platform by web designers. These websites can become problematic if good relationship and contact does not exist between designer and client. Weebly bills the designer for these platforms. And the designer bills the client. What happens when the designer does not pay the bill, possibly continuing to bill the client? The site gets downgraded, if not lost. It can be a messy situation. Some so-called web designers have set up Weebly designer platforms as a money making endeavour and then moved on to other pursuits forgeting that they have clients very dependent on them. Weebly will rightly refer clients on such platforms to the designer with whom Weebly deals. Not surprising that there has been some bad press for Weebly about this. At its best this has been a valuable service; at its worst it is a service to be wary of.
As the image at the top of this page suggests, Weebly is, "The easiest way to create a website". I firmly believe this to be true. However, with all truth there are challenges that can work towards undermining that truth. Let's keep aware of the challenges and keep on top of the issues. That way our website experience will be pleasant and profitable.
Owner and Manager
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Crofton was built for William and Sarah Fox as their country residence in 1857. Fox was New Zealand's second Premier, appointed in 1856. Crofton is One of Wellington's Oldest and most Historic Residences.
Value Websites recently completed a promotional web page promoting 'Crofton', Ngaio, Wellington as a place to go for a guided tour.
Click on the images below to view some of Value Websites' Store items.
Value Websites' Store has been established with three objectives in mind.
As part of our recent website upgrade, Value Websites has a new logo - see above. It is described on our About page in these words,
The Value Websites Logo continues to use the crimson and gold colouring of an earlier logo. Black has been added to signify that we are a Wellington, NZ company; black and gold being the region's common colours. Black is also the dominant colour of many of our national sporting teams' attire. The three dimensional square box has these three colours - black, gold and crimson - as sides and symbolises the Company's core values: value, transparency and optimisation. The boxes' edges are equally proportioned and are a reminder that we seek balance in all aspects of web design and development.
These changes consolidate our decision to major on building and editing Weebly websites. With provision of their eCommerce and membership business plan, Weebly has produced a website development platform that meets most requirements of small and medium businesses. While we may choose to occasionally develop using other platforms, we are familiar with a few, we major on Weebly because they are the most user-friendly of the CMS platforms currently available. We regularly find that our clients are able substantially to edit their sites with us (or Weebly Help Desk) guiding in the background. Naturally this offers significant savings for clients.
Our other major web business commitment is to online form development. Weebly's form functionality is sufficient for many uses. If more is more is required, we offer Formstack which will meet most online form requirements. We continue to do forms work with SP Conference Management who organise 5-6 major conferences annually.
Increasingly we receive calls from around New Zealand about Weebly website issues. While we have no formal ties with Weebly, other than as users of their products, we are being recognised as leading NZ Weebly experts. I guess after building 50+ Weebly sites and contributing to parts of others, we know what makes Weebly sites tick!
Value Websites regularly use and recommend the following suppliers of web site products and services.
If you have a query about any of these suppliers please make a comment following this post and we will respond.
Sample Value Websites' Designed Webs Built with Weebly
The Weebly website development and management system is much more powerful than most Kiwi users appreciate. While Weebly is one of the simplest website builders to use, many business and other users often give up without realising they are sitting on a goldmine. With a little perseverence and advice your Weebly website can be a very effective marketing and selling tool for you and your business.
Terry Alve from Value Websites has been using and profiting from Weebly Websites for over 10 years. During that time, he notes, Weebly have developed their website platform in leaps and bounds. Despite that they have maintained core values of simplicity, ease of use, along with clear and concise help systems. The end result is a wonderfully functional and effective, user-friendly website builder.
So, why do some struggle with their Weebly?
A core issue, Terry notes, is that many small business Weebly owners and users are quite time poor. When they run into a website development issue they often give up when the solution is relatively simple. Issues we have been able to assist with include (with relevant links): getting header graphics sorted, tweaking the new and powerful Weebly eCommerce system, improving links to a payment processor and creatively adding documentation like product lists.
We can help troubleshoot and develop your Weebly website. Whether its advice, detailed instruction or asking us to do some hands on work; Value Websites are available to assist you. In working with us you will work with a Company that has designed and developed 50+ Weebly websites. We consider ourselves amongst the most experienced and knowledgeable Weebly developers in New Zealand.
Finally, a piece of valuable free advice.
One of the most under-rated components of a Weebly website is their Blog component. This very user-friendly facility is a great Weebly website back door to good search engine rankings. While we rank well in Google search engine first pages for a number of search terms (especially for Weebly related terms), a good news blog post - like this - will quickly rank on Google and other SEs. This will provide your website with a valuable entry point from which searchers will visit, explore and respond to some of your web pages. One of the reasons why we regularly write VW News posts.
And it costs you nothing (but a little time) to discuss your Weebly website issue with Terry.
Want to talk ...?
Terry Alve - Value Websites Limited