Most photographers and videographers want to share their work publicly. They want their work displayed in full resolution, with no compression, and with options over how those images are presented. Portfolio builders like Format and SmugMug are great for that. But some creatives want to go that step further, they want a fully-fledged website that goes beyond just displaying and selling work. This is where Weebly and Squarespace come into their own, providing comprehensive website editing tools for almost all use cases. Our best website builders for photographers guide rounds up all our favorites into one buying guide.
Weebly's free version is a great option for photographers wanting to quickly get their work online. It does have a storage limit of 500MB though and there's no option for a custom domain. The premium version gives a much wider range of tools and enables creatives to create any type of website they want.
Weebly is well placed from a cost perspective, being one of the cheapest options available. Its professional package also offers unlimited storage which is perfect for creatives who don't want to be limited by storage caps.
Weebly: Who is it for?
Weebly is for everyone. It has a wide range of website editing, eCommerce, and marketing tools that make it a dream for any creative wanting a huge amount of flexibility and control over what their website looks like.
This 'catch-all' solution does mean that the platform and interface are not specifically targeted or tailored towards photographers and videographers. Don't get me wrong, it is certainly possible to present your work in a beautiful way and to sell that work if you wish, but Weebly goes well beyond that.
Some creatives might therefore find that they're getting a tonne of features that they're never going to need. Photographers who want a more traditional website gallery would be best off looking at Format or SmugMug.
Weebly offers four packages that cover everyone's needs. The free version limits storage and has no custom domain functionality but is a great option for getting up and running quickly. Most creatives will want the Professional package which comes in at $10 / £9 per month (paying annually). This gives unlimited storage, a custom domain option, and fantastic eCommerce tools. It's hard to beat Weebly when it comes to price.
Weebly: Key Features
Weebly is very similar to almost all other website builders in the fact that it offers a simple drag-and-drop content-building interface. This makes it very intuitive and user-friendly where pages can be created and edited without any technical website knowledge. This is ideal for teams or for those who are great at photography but not great at website design.
Photo galleries - Photos can be presented in six different layouts including a grid, slideshow, and mosaic. The background color of galleries can also be adjusted to really make photos pop. Creatives can rest assured that their work is going to look great in both desktop and mobile versions.
eCommerce - Photographers who want to go beyond presenting their work and selling it will find a whole host of advanced and extensive eCommerce tools. Storefront options look great for showcasing products and the back end makes managing orders an absolute breeze. For those who really want to push the boundaries of their marketplace, Weebly gives users the ability to identify abandoned baskets and handle vouchers.
Marketing - Another substantial feature of Weebly is its marketing tools. This largely centers around email marketing tools such as those found in MailChimp or Moosend. This is a great option for targeting those who have purchased prints from you in the past.
Weebly: Design & Ease of Use
Other than maybe Squarespace, it will be almost impossible to find a website builder that is easier to use than Weebly. Considering how comprehensive and far-reaching the tools are, the design team has done a fantastic job of collating tools and displaying them in the interface, giving users only what is required at that point in time. This made for a very enjoyable creation process.
All the icons and fonts are clear and easy to use with the white background giving absolute focus to your website design. I found SmugMug's dark interface particularly challenging and much prefer the clean design principles followed by Weebly.
Weebly offers a wide range of different themes which makes it less likely that your website is going to look the same as another's. Once a theme has been chosen it is then possible to very quickly update the site style so that fonts, colors, and styles all match in beautiful harmony. Weebly take out all the guesswork here and provide the options you need. Every element of the site including buttons, text formatting, and icons can be adjusted with the properties panel.
Outside of the website builder, things become a little bit more complicated because Weebly has to accommodate every single service that it offers. It does this pretty well with a range of dropdowns and sections but these are a little unwieldy, especially for the uninitiated.
Weebly was an absolute pleasure to work with. The interface is intuitive and easy to use with a wide range of tools to match. The comprehensive set of themes and site styles means there's no limit to what you can create with this platform. I really liked the website that I created and found the builder remarkably easy to use. And with all the packages at such affordable prices, it is hard to find a better option for creatives to display their work.
Weebly is an extensive website builder that is comparable with both Squarespace and Wix. Format and SmugMug offer similar image gallery capabilities but fall far short on general website building capabilities.