Weebly iPad App Review
Some Websites Made with Weebly
Free websites with multiple packages for more advanced options
As with Weebly for Desktop, you can create a free website, or you can buy one of several packages offering more flexibility and features, including being able to use your own domain, removing the Weebly link, more pages, Premium support, and so on. Packages range from just over $4 per month to $25 per month for the Business plan.
Wonderful concept and great fun to use, except where it breaks down
The power of drag and drop is also Weebly for iPad's downfall.
The app is very easy to use, and is also fully WYSIWYG, meaning that you edit in context and the published result looks more or less exactly like the screen you were editing your content on. On top of this the way you can drag and drop elements such as images, text, titles and videos onto the page is very impressive. As with the desktop version the app automatically creates new columns or rows as you drag the elements to the top, bottom or side of previously existing elements. However, the power of this feature, in my testing, was also its downfall. I'll explain just below.
Failure of the text editor and unpredictable drag and drop
One of the most impressive features of the app, the drag and drop, also creates the only bug I found. However, it's a major bug and frustrated me in my attempt to build a site. When trying to edit text in a text or title element, I couldn't activate the native iOS selection tools. And it was very difficult just to get the cursor to a particular point within a block of text. This makes text editing almost impossible. Having looked on Weebly's support site it should be possible, but I wasn't able to do what they suggest is possible. My test was conducted with the latest version of iOS installed. Drag and drop produced some other errors for me also. Occasionally a block would become unresponsive after being placed. Once, when I tried to delete a drag and drop an element, 3 elements were deleted at once.
Basically the whole drag and drop function is not working properly, or is interfering with other parts of the app. I wrote to Weebly about the text editor problem and they replied that they were aware of the issue and were working to fix it. I hope Weebly solve these issues, as once they do their app will be a wonderful creative tool. I think an undo button somewhere would help. Everything is automatically saved in many areas of the app and when an element is lost during drag and drop, which for me happened multiple times, I would easily have forgiven the error if I'd been able to hit undo.
Quick access to support and useful articles on website creation
Weebly's support site has useful articles on creating web content. The few pages that are devoted to the iPad app are basic but easy to follow. There's also email support which is accessible very quickly from within the app. It would be nice if Weebly had also made the support articles accessible from within the app.
Impressive features but lacking compatibility with the desktop version
Weebly for iPad has some impressive features, but some important features of the desktop version are absent. Missing features include; adding and editing contact forms, slideshows, polls, forums, surveys and bookings. And the store panel is not there, so the creation and editing of store pages and products isn't possible.
Also, a site made only a year ago with Weebly was incompatible with the app. I could import the site, but not edit it, which is of course completely useless.
Even with all these missing elements, the functionality of Weebly's iPad app is still fairly impressive. The problem is that it reduces the potential for working on multiple devices. If you are hoping to edit or add content to the site you created on desktop and you're out with only an iPad, you might find that something you want to do isn't available.
Vastly Improved Themes
The new themes are varied and beautiful. A great improvement.
Weebly was once weak in the design of its themes. The new themes, most of which appear to be available in the iPad app, are varied and beautiful. They'll be enough for most, but if you want an even more fantastic theme you can buy and install a premium theme from DivTag.
Multi language is only possible via the desktop version
It is not possible to create multi-language sites using Weebly for iPad. You can only do this using the desktop version.
Weebly's support site has many good articles and even live training webcasts on SEO and other aspects of website creation. It would be even better if this information was linked to from within the app.
Weebly is available for many devices but works differently on each
On the face of things, Weebly looks to be fully multi-platform. Weebly is available for Desktop, iPad, iPhone and Android devices. The problem is that each application has a different set of features from all the others, and only the browser based desktop version has all of the features. Weebly websites, at least with the newer themes, many of which are responsive, look good on all screen sizes.
For the first time with an app, Weebly have done a lot more than just make a marketing tool. This app is fantastic in many ways, but is also still a work in progress. The interface is easy and fun to use, and the content creation and layout capabilities are very powerful. If the fairly serious bugs in text editing and drag and drop could be fixed, and the features expanded to include more of Weebly for desktop's full capabilities, it would be hard to beat.
If the serious bugs in text editing and drag'n'drop could be fixed, and the features expanded to Weebly for desktop's full capabilities, it would be hard to beat.
Apart from the bug, the most concerning thing for me is the difference between what you can do on the desktop and what you can do in the app. The absence of features in the app really reduces the usefulness of switching between devices. For example, it you wanted to take some work with you when heading out of home or office, you would have to remember what was and what was not possible in the app each time.
The themes are very well designed and the results can be stunning. The main thing that prevented me from easily completing a site was the failure of the text editor.
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