As dedicated Weebly designers, we often get quizzed on how to make a brilliant website in Weebly. The platform itself is has a ton of features that make it incredibly easy to build a site for yourself, but as with anything, the difference between a good site and a great site is all in the detail. Below are a few of our tips on taking your Weebly website to the next level.
Keep it simple
The most common mistake we see newbies to website design fall into, is trying to make their site flashy and fancy. There are a ton of things you can do with a website, and Weebly has a whole lot of features to help you elevate the site, but if you are new to designing – less can be more. Web design is a constant balancing act between creating something that looks good versus something that also provides information to your customers and search engines. Err on the side of saying what you need to, without swamping the page with thousands of images and lots of text.
White is nice
Continuing on the theme of simplicity, if you aren’t confident in your design skills or taste, don’t be afraid to use white space. White is safe and it’s very hard to offend people’s sensibilities with white. So before you go and make the background of your website a whole colour block or a busy image, stop and think ‘will this look better with a white background’.
Learn the platform through and through
This may seem obvious, but there are a ton of features in Weebly for you to uncover. Open up the website builder and test every element and every button. Understand how placing an element works, and what different elements do at different sizes etc. The better you understand the platform, the more comfortable you’ll be in designing something really appealing in it.
Grab a custom Weebly theme
If you’re wanting to step slightly away from the usual themes that Weebly offers, have a quick search around for some of the custom themes there are out there. These can be slightly trickier to upload to a site, but they can give you the entirely unique look for your site you might be after. Our 543 Weebly Themes are an example of these, but there are some other great companies out there that provide some really nice themes.
Stumped? Search in the Weebly App Center
Sometimes you might be battling away trying to do something in Weebly and you just can’t get it to work. In these scenarios, if you don’t find an obvious element in the website builder, try searching the App Store. As an example, there are a number of apps that let you ‘hide an element’ on different size screens – which may come in handy if you want your mobile site looking slightly different to your PC site.
Get a Website Designer’s Help
Sometimes at the end of the day paying a specialist to make you a beautiful, functional site might be the best option. Any designer that spends their working life designing in Weebly will have tricks and coding knowledge that will elevate your site that extra bit higher than what you can achieve yourself. Your time may be better spent doing business development, or it may be that you’ve tried to make a site look good, but just can’t quite get there. Either way, there is absolutely no harm in chatting to a pro and seeing what they can do for you. We love bringing people’s dream sites to life – so consider it an absolutely privilege to be involved in any website build.
Those are our quick tips on how you can improve your Weebly site from a design perspective. Check back, as in the future we’ll give you a few more tips, including how to make the most of your Weebly site in search engine results.
If you've been dabbling in building your own Weebly website recently you may have got to the point of wanting a truly custom look for your site - a step up from the standard themes that Weebly offer. If that's the case, you've got a couple of options - hire a brilliant Weebly designer like 543 Designs (!), or purchase a custom Weebly theme that you can upload to your site yourself. There are a few companies out there who build those custom templates, but if you're looking for somewhere to start, try our Weebly themes site. Once you have your theme chosen and downloaded though, you're going to need to know how to upload it.
Step 1: Download The Theme
When you purchase a custom 3rd party theme for Weebly, you'll be asked to download a .zip folder or something similar. Depending on who you buy the theme from, this will either be the actual file/folder you will need to upload to your site, or it may need to be extracted to get to the .zip folder to upload. To figure out what type of file you have, click into the zip folder and see what the contents are. If the contents looks something like the picture below and have a whole lot of html files, then that folder is the one you'll be wanting to upload to your site. If the folder contains another zip folder, then you'll need to extract it and upload that final .zip folder. If in doubt though, just try uploading the folder to Weebly - if it works and you are offered a new theme to choose from, you've got it right, if it doesn't, then you may need to extract your .zip folder to get to the contents/.zip folder within it! Lot's of zipping around...!
Step 2: Upload The Theme
Step 3: Get To Know Your Theme
Once you've uploaded your custom theme you'll realise that it will likely operate a bit differently to the standard Weebly themes you've come across. The first thing you'll want to do is make sure you have chosen the correct page setup you are wanting. Custom themes tend to come with alot more page variations than standard Weebly themes, so if you've seen a demo site that you want to imitate, you'll want to make sure you have figured out what 'page type' that demo site uses and choose it in the Pages menu.
From here, you'll find each Weebly custom theme has it's own peculiarities. Some one page themes need you to change your Page type to setup the navigation menu, some will have a set structure where you'll need to upload images or content in certain boxes, and alot these days have 'Theme Options' (see the screenshot below), which let you change individual elements of your theme (button colour etc). The first thing we would recommend doing is just familiarising yourself with all these options and page types. A little bit of effort in learning the theme at the start will stand you in great stead in further down the line.
You've got your theme
Hopefully once you've done all those things you'll have a good handle on your new theme and will be able to implement it on your site. Most theme providers also have pretty good support facilities, so if something really doesn't seem to be working, drop them a line and they should fix it up for you. Like everything new, your first Weebly theme may seem a bit daunting at first, but the more you use them and understand how they work, the more you'll love having a custom and flashy theme on your site.
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