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How to Enjoy the Freedom of Creating a Weebly Web Site

Updated on May 23, 2013

In the event the above video does not load into your browser, there is a second choice to view it by playing its YouTube twin at the bottom of the article. Please let me know of any issues.

Why Weebly? : a history of how I came to the Weebly conclusion

The first web site I developed was hosted by Mindspring, followed over the years by quite a variety of internet service providers and development tools. At the beginning there were no friendly interfaces for creating a web site. I wrote simple formatting code in HTML, using a text editor.

As the internet took shape, service providers began to offer homegrown tools for users without programming skills to fashion a web page. This was a period in which I considered programming as a career path. I loved to write but felt it would not be enough, to make a living with words.

I bought the software for a programming language and in a few days reached a crossroads. Was I a programmer or a writer? I dropped Turbo Pascal and follow the path of my heart, to write. That would affect decisions regarding my 'internet presence.'

Making choices of a provider and development tools can become quite complicated and the language becomes highly technical in my eyes. To give an idea of the range of choices, one web site compares the features of more than 1200 Content Management Systems (CMS.) I am not a full-blooded geek, and while playing web developer found myself often in hot water with technical issues.

Weebly provides their own well-organized and step-by-step tutorials. I consider this to be an introduction to Weebly by an independent source and from a unique individual perspective.

Learning by Experimentation : a key to success

The first time I sat at a computer was in the Summer of 1982. I had just started working in the office of a business brokerage firm in Atlanta. A corporate trainer came from Boston to train a colleague and me on the PC.

His method was to sit at the computer himself while we watched over his shoulders. His fingers danced quickly across the keyboard. He would said 'See what I have done?' Then his fingers danced quickly on the keyboard again and he would repeat his question. He called that training. I called it the 'Flying Fingers' method. Neither of his students learned much that day.

We followed written instructions, step-by-step. The employer's fears were conveyed to us by his saying frequently, 'If it is not done just right we could lose everything!'

It was not until the following year that, one Spring day in the office alone, I started experimenting and learning. I explored by opening new menus, seeing what selections would do, and playing with the possibilities. For the first time I integrated an understanding of the computer's capabilities and how to use it as a tool.

Self-Sufficient Model

Wanting to develop my own sites, over the years I had my seasons with Joomla and DotNetNuke (CMS products which seem designed to make a site developer dependent on programmers.) After several rounds of paying unreliable programmers to help me develop personal web sites, I realized it wasn't working to try to express my ideas to someone with a completely different mindset and wait for them to implement their version, only by that time to have a new idea.

I needed to be able to make changes on-the-fly, as the inspirations come, and chose to continue only if I could do all the work myself.

At that point I was more in command, but still the way was not smooth. I started using CPanel, popular among providers, to build my sites. I could do okay with it until it got into technical waters over my head. Most of my time and energy was eaten up by trying to understand the technical aspects. There was little left of either for creativity. When one provider (who claimed to make daily backups) could not restore my lost data, and others were unresponsive and overly-complicated, I was ready to turn my back on the whole scene.

In all of this seeming black cloud, insights were gained. I went from delaying an attempt because 'it might not work' to rolling up my sleeves and saying, 'let's see what happens.'

Stirred to change by my internet and other experiences, I started letting go of projects and productivity, goals and accomplishment. They were replaced by valuing the excellence of the way, and that gave a boost to my whole life quality.

As a result of letting go of fixed ideas of desired outcomes, I started enjoying when results were different that I originally intended, and being very patient when results were delayed, to allow the happening to ripen in its own time.

In the end it was not about site development as much as about personal development.

Weebly, I Wuv You

Then, in a serendipitous moment, I discovered Weebly. It was love at first sight. They made it so simple to test their system with a free web site. When I was ready to take the step from engagement to marriage, the process was smooth and painless. Staying in metaphor, the development tools make marital bliss. For the first time, developing a web site was a joy, as I could focus on creativity.

Weebly will not be for everyone, since there are different tastes and needs. I discovered that for what I presently like to do with a web site, the extra features of other CMS products are un-necessary. It may depend, though, on what you want your web site to be and how you want it to grow.

Weebly's drag-and-drop interface is super easy to use and has a very short learning curve. Like anything on the internet, there are times when it does not respond as one might like. I can say, though, having had much experience with terse replies from other hosts, that the Weebly support team has been a little slow but generally very responsive, friendly and engaged. Overall, Weebly for me is a web marriage made in heaven considering what is possible on earth at this time.

Weebly's Review Ratings

TopTenReviews gives Weebly the following ratings:

(i.e., 7.5 out of a possible of 10)

Product Features: 7.5/10

Search Engine Optimization: 7.5/10

Service Capacities: 8.8/10

Security: 3.8/10

Help & Support: 7.5/10

Weebly's rating for Security is lower because they do not offer backups. After the experience mentioned above, I secure my own content and am satisfied with it and more in command.

What I do won't be the solution for everyone. Everything that would be needed to re-construct my site goes into folders on my hard drive, and I do multiple backups.

Also on the subject of Weebly security, the whole site can be copied with the click of a button and the duplicate site is available on the account page. I am not aware of another provider that offers this. I have the copy as a back-up in case content is inadvertently changed or deleted.

Weebly Archives and Resources for Beginners

Weebly offers two great resources for those who need help getting started with its service, a beginner's guide - which you can find here:

Beginners Guide

They also host two free, online, live training sessions every week to walk new users through the ins-and-outs of building a website Weebly. You can register to attend one of those sessions here:

Live Training

They are completely overhauling our support site with an improved FAQ, customer support forums, video guides and much more.

Weebly does in fact offer an archive feature that allows you to backup MOST of your data for migration should you want to move your site to another service or to keep those uploaded files safe. Three important points about this:

• It doesn't backup blogs.

• Archives cannot be restored to Weebly.

• Weebly listens to its customers and is changing the way their archive system works.

Emanate Presence on Weebly

The Emanate Presence site on Weebly is intended primarily to present the artwork that was created through Kati and me. One page is dedicated to Hubpages. It links from a Table of Contents to all of my hubs, in alphabetical order. There has been good traffic in both directions between the Weebly site and my Hubpages profile.

To make the video tutorial, I re-constructed a 'set' from two internet visions which had outcomes different than envisioned. The tutorial walks through some basic steps to creating a Weebly-based web site in minutes. It also briefly visits the Emanate Presence web site and my Hubpages profile to show how the two are linked and benefit each other.

In the event you decide to subscribe to Weebly and would like Emanate Presence to receive the $10 referral fee, please use this link: Referral Fee to EP

May your creative web site endeavors prosper.


Created by Kati and Gary R. Smith
Presented by Emanate Presence

Music by Bill Webb
Attach to Nothing - Drums of Yoga

Video Screen Capture
CaptureWizPro by PixelMetrics

Video Post-Production
Windows Movie Maker 2012


Received from Weebly on May 23, 2013

The All New Weebly has Arrived!

Our mission is to help you create a unique, high-quality site that you're proud to share. About a year ago, we set out to reimagine what the future of site creation would look like not only today, but two years from now. Through the feedback you shared with us in our surveys and the insights we gained from talking with many of you by phone, you told us how to build a better service to meet your needs.

The All New Site Creator

We completely rebuilt our Site Creator from the ground up to give you a more modern, powerful and intuitive way to create and update your site. Many improvements were made both to the design and the user interface, but at the core, it's the same Weebly you know and love.

Emanate's Note:

This means also that what you see when you use the Site Creator will be different then what you see in the video tutorial above. But, as the announcement says, 'it's the same Weebly.'


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