Weebly, a DIY website-building platform provider, recently launched the third iteration of its platform, called Weebly Carbon.
According to the official Weebly Blog, Carbon is a “complete relaunch” of the Weebly platform that delivers a new line-up of services to help small business owners create, build and grow their ecommerce store or other business from any device, including smartphones and tablets.
“Weebly Carbon will give a business of any size, or entrepreneur of any age, a complete platform to build their business like never before and the flexibility to do it from anywhere,” said David Rusenko, founder and CEO of Weebly. “We believe the trifecta of beautiful design, ease of use and unprecedented mobile access is the future of small business.”
Weebly Carbon Features
With Carbon, Weebly’s new features and improvements include:
New mobile apps with full drag and drop editing. For the first time, said the company, users can step away from the desktop and fully edit an ecommerce store or other site on any mobile device with all new iPhone, iPad and Android apps. Full ecommerce functionality is now available on all devices, allowing users to process and fulfill orders, add products, check inventory, receive notifications when a new order is placed and instantly accept payments.
Weebly App Center. The Weebly App Center delivers third-party apps across categories such as ecommerce, social media, finance, search engine optimization, customer service, reporting and more, to help business owners extend the functionality of their sites with one-click integrations.
Apps include things like social media stream, online booking, email newsletters, events calendars and more. Some are free to use, but others require payment, either one-time or a monthly subscription. Users can access the App Center from the “Apps” tab in the admin dashboard.
Redesigned dashboard. The newly redesigned admin dashboard goes beyond just the website and gives business owners a full view of their business — sales, site statistics, blog comments, form entries and data from integrated apps in the App Center — all neatly laid out on summary cards. Users can click on a card to see details for each metric.
New themes and theme engine. Weebly redesigned its top 21 themes and added three new ones for the Carbon rollout. Also, a new theme engine enables a more flexible way to customize the look and feel of a site. Users can change or upgrade themes with a single click. All of the new themes are fully mobile-responsive as well.
Refreshed Editor. The third-generation Weebly Carbon Editor has a brand new look and new tools that make editing text and organizing page layouts easier than in previous iterations of the platform.
Drag and drop page elements populate a sidebar and across the top are site-wide options that include Build, Pages, Theme, Store and Settings. Users can choose page layouts for home, about, contact, blog and store. There is even built-in provision for linking to external pages. Elements are organized by category, for easier access.
These new features are now available for all existing and new Weebly site creators. Weebly has a free service and then offers a variety of paid plans with additional features and functionality.
Reports from Weebly Carbon Users
The features included with Carbon relaunch are being used by businesses worldwide, the company said. As examples, Weebly offered some testimonials.
For example, Paul O’Leary, from TheBikeSeat.com, updated his website with a new responsive theme and saw his bounce rate decrease 40 percent overnight, leading to a 150 percent increase in sales in one week.
Cyndi Grassman, from BadPickleTees.com, used the iPad app to update her online inventory on the road while en route to a craft festival.
Connecting the Shippo app to Paige Curtis’s online store, TheAlibiInteriors.com, relieved her of one of the most stressful parts of growing her business: shipping.
“Shipping has been one of the most time-consuming parts of running our business,” Curtis said. “After discovering the Weebly App Center, my life got so much easier. It’s saved me money and I have more time to focus on the fun stuff!”
Steps to Setup a Weebly Site
Setting up a Weebly site is relatively straightforward. Once you have created an account and logged in, which you can do using Facebook or Google Plus, you are presented with a page containing a button that says “Create New Site.” Click it, to get started.
Next, choose the focus of your site: site, blog, or ecommerce store. You’ll see the “site” option for the purpose of this demo.
Then, pick a theme for your site. There are several from which to choose and you can change the theme at any time. After that, select your domain. You can use either a Weebly subdomain, register a new domain or use one you already own.
At that point, you are taken to the Weebly Editor, to design your site.
In the left-hand side of the editor you will notice two options:
Elements. These are components that you can incorporate into the site using drag-and-drop functionality. Elements include things like images, slideshows, text boxes, contact forms and many others.
Apps. Clicking Apps takes users to the App Center, previously mentioned, which contains third-party applications that you can integrate with one click.
Before going into more detail about how Weebly Carbon works, why not sign up for the free version and give the platform a try? If you do, leave a comment to share your impressions.