Weebly is a website on which any individual can create a website. The company, which was founded in 2006 is based in San Francisco, California – backed by some of Silicone Valleys top investors and currently has over 12 million users. Their mission is to to help people put their information online quickly and easily and in 2007, they were named in Time Magazines top 50 websites. (Weebly, 20013) The site was founded by David Rusenko, Dan Veltri and Chris Faniniho’d who were all 22 at the time, when they capitalised on the fact that they were asked to create a web portfolio as a college project by building a site that made it really easy for students to build a personal site. (Levy, 2007) The following video gives a really good basic introduction to the website which I watched before beginning to build my own personal site:
Since 2008, Weebly began to generate revenue through the introduction of Pro Accounts as well as the Google AdSense widget (having ad’s on your website and gaining revenue on a per-click or per impression basis, splitting the profit 50/50 with Weebly). Additionally, weebly makes money through the sale of unique domain names, for example, if I was to create a personal site for myself I could pay to have the domain name aoifedick.com rather than aoifedick.weebly.com. (Adewumi, 2008) Weebly is still growing and developing with many recent developments including over 20 new design templates and over 100 new colour variations, the new drag and drop function that allows you to drag images from, for example, your desktop and drop them directly into the website as well as a drop down tool that allows you to choose a particular page layout with each page of your website, which is going to be a huge time saver. (Jeremy, 2012)
When I began to build my site (which can be found here: http://aoifedick.weebly.com/), I found the website really easy to use and to make it look professional – without any prior knowledge or experience in website design or creation. I created a simple website for a musician and it demonstrated me how must easier it is nowadays to be an independent artist or a start-up business in general with these technologies becoming increasingly accessible to everyone without the need for professional help. Most artists will now have websites on which to sell merchandise, outline the bands history and outline tour dates etc. and creating a site independently through is a very cost effective way of doing this. I really liked the ‘drag and drop’ element to the website, it make the process fun and something you don’t mind spending time on as you do not waste time trying to understand the available tools. There are over a hundred different themes to choose from which is important to maintain a level of individualism in the websites created on Weebly.
The pros of Weebly are that it is free to use, easy to use and offers a really great selection of templates to choose from while the cons of the website are that the site does not function well as a complex selling platform as the websites e-commerce tools are not particularly advanced but you can integrate a third party ‘shopping cart’ into your website to help with this, also the website does not have an option to integrate a wide scoping range of alternative social media site, with options limited to Facebook and Twitter although you can hyperlink your website to other pages. (Jeremy, 2013)
Overall, I found the website very fun and easy to use and I think that it is a great thing that website creation is accessible to everyone, especially in recessionary times as it is essential nowadays for a business/musician to profile themselves online. I will definitely use this website again and feel like getting to know how to use this site has definitely added to my skill set, particularly as I am about to graduate from an arts degree, an area which is known to work in under tight budgets.
Weebly. (2013). About Us. Available: http://www.weebly.com/aboutus.php. Last accessed 23rd March 2013.
Levy, Stephen. (2007). Meet the Next Billionaires. Available: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2007/05/20/meet-the-next-billionaires.html. Last accessed 23rd March 2013.
Adewumi, D. (2008). Weebly scores 1 million users, reaches profitability. Available: http://venturebeat.com/2008/11/03/weebly-scores-1-million-users-reaches-profitability/. Last accessed 23 March 2013.
Jeremy, Connie. (2012). Weebly Review – What will 2013 Bring?.Available: http://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/weebly-website-builder-review-what-will-2013-bring/. Last accessed 24th March 2013.
Jeremy, Connie. (2013). Weebly Review 2013 – Easiest Way to Create a Website. Available: http://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/weebly-review/. Last accessed 30th March 2013.