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
Terry Alve - Value Websites Limited