I’ve built several of them. Sounds kind of impressive, right? I’d love to take the credit for being a smarty pants but the truth is, there are so many website builders out there now that make building a website super easy to do. Sure, you could go the complicated route, but when Weebly.com offers you an easy drag and drop method, there’s no need to. They offer a free version that limits some of the tools, and you do have to have Weebly in your website name with the free option. At the end, there’s a link if you’d like to compare their upgrade plans.
And the beauty of the free option is that you can build your website and upgrade once it’s finished if you choose to. So let me give you just a quick tutorial on Weebly.com. As usual, I’m going to keep it very simple but I encourage you to ask me questions if I’ve missed something or if there’s more you’d like to know about a certain feature. I can’t guarantee I will know the answer but I will do my best to help you out.
I’m going to set up a new account and start from the very beginning. Go to Weebly.com and set up a new account. Next Weebly will ask you what the focus of your site will be. I suggest selecting “site”. If you want a blog, you can create that within your new website. And now the FUN BEGINS! Weebly offers a LOT of themes to choose from but they help you out by allowing you to select different styles like, “corporate”, “fun”, “minimalist” and more. They also let you narrow it down even more by selecting color options. I’m going to choose “corporate” and blue. Then just select one of the themes you like best. Try not to overthink it because you can add and delete as you build. Focus mainly on where you’d like your menu bar, up top or on the side. Once you select your theme, they’re going to ask you what your website domain is. In this step, they allow you to register a new domain, connect to a domain you already own or use a subdomain of Weebly, which is what I’m going to do. I’m just going to name mine AmyHennenTestSite.weebly.com.
Then hit continue. A quick 1-minute video pops up. It’s not real informative but maybe worth the time if you’re new to it. So depending on the theme you chose, this is what you will see.
Now we start to customize it to make it look like you want. Let’s do a logo first. If you hover your mouse over “My Site” you have the option of selecting “Off”, “Text” or “Logo." I’m going to click "Off" because I want a larger space for my logo. Your home page, by default, is set up as a landing page. If you hover over the image, you’ll see an orange box that says “Edit” and to the right of it a gray box with a gear. When you click on the gray box, you have options for “Tall Header”, “Short Header”, “No Header” and “Landing Page." I’m going to select Short Header. That removes the button and the additional text. I’m going to use this larger space to place my logo. Hover over your image again and select “Edit Image” and then the green button, “Add Image." Now you have the option to drag a photo from your computer or upload one. All images placed on your website need to be jpegs or pngs. After I placed my logo it was a little too small. Just grab the corners and resize if you need to and then click the orange “OK” button. Now you have another choice to make. Do you want this on every page, or just this one. See the orange “Save” button on the upper right? Click it and you will see what I’m talking about. I want my logo on every page so that’s the option I’m selecting. You want information about your company or event on your home page so let’s add some text. See all those tools on the left side? Drag the text box over and drop it under your logo. After you type in your text, you’ll see a toolbar with options. You can adjust your text size, color, alignment and lots more. Take a moment to play around with it and see what you can come up with. This is what my page looks like at this stage. Starting to shape up, right?
You have some social icons on your page. Hover over them and the option to fill in your information pops up. If you don’t want them, just click the x. To link to your social media accounts, fill in your information. It’s as easy as that!
At the bottom of the page it says, “Click to add footer." That’s only allowed if you upgrade. It’s a handy little feature. Any content that you put in there is automatically added to each page.
Now we are going to create a new page. Up top there is a “Pages” tab. Click that. Now on the upper left you will see a blue button that says “+ Add." Click it and you have the option of a standard page, blog page, store page or an external link. Let’s make a blog page. You can name it anything you want by clicking on "Page Name." You have the option of choosing a header type here too. I prefer the short header. It’s going to use the same image from my homepage. Hit the “Save & Edit” button on the lower right corner. You can either write something you want about your blog page where it says Author or you can delete it altogether. I’m going to delete mine. Just hover over it and click on the “x." Click on the “New Post” button on the bottom right. Name your blog post and drag over a text box. Now drag and drop in an image box. If you place your mouse directly before your text box, that’s where your image will be placed. If you hover over your text box, it’s going to attach it to your text box so it becomes one element. Go ahead and add your image and text like we did before. Here is what I have so far.
On the left side, drag and drop the “Read More Break” under the last part of your text. To keep your site a little cleaner and more condensed, you can drop this in so that only this part shows on your blog page. The reader can click “Read More” to view the rest of your story. Now type in the rest of your blog entry. Clicking “Post Option” on the bottom left, you can schedule your blog to post at a future date. You can also modify the comments so that approval is required, no posting at all, or open comments, meaning anyone can post without approval. Click on “Add categories." Type in a few key words (search words) so you can categorize your blog post. Click the orange “Post” button on the upper right. Your site hasn’t been published yet so you are going to see a notification that your blog won’t be live until you Publish your website.
So far, so good? Let’s Publish your new website!
Check it out: http://amyhennentestsite.weebly.com
We’ve only touched the surface of what you can do with Weebly.com. Next month I will talk about linking images and text, adding PDFs and a tiny little bit about html code.
If you create a website on Weebly.com, please share it with me. I’d LOVE to check it out. If you are building and designing your little heart out and encounter something you’re unsure of, give me a shout and I will do my best to help you out. It’s all about teamwork, right?
Here are a couple of other free website builders. I found them to work much like Weebly does:
Here's the link to compare the Weebly ugrades: Click Here
If you have questions or a topic you'd like me to cover, just shoot me an email or leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you.
See ya next time. :)
Amy Hennen, Art Director
Midwest Meetings magazine