Double Feature: What I love about Weebly – What I hate about Weebly

When I confronted my course Presenting Content this semester with the basics of HTML and CSS, they and I had a couple of frustrating sessions. I’m doing this for some semesters now and never had quite such an experience. I was thinking: Am I this bad a teacher to not get the stuff across (it’s not that hard, after all) or did I hint at Weebly.com too early and most of the classes just switched off as early as this?

It also made me think about Weebly.com itself, I mean, from the perspective of a web designer. So here are two lists: „What I love about Weebly“ and „What I hate about Weebly“.

What I love about Weebly

  • quick results that look nice
  • you can concentrate on the content more
  • no need to have a deep insight into HTML and CSS (which was the killer reason for most in my courses this semester to use it)
  • no need to deal with HTML and CSS at all if you don’t want to
  • it doesn’t need to be tweaked to get a ’normal‘ website, like you would tweak WordPress (you know, get rid of the calendar, the comments on each page and so on)
  • you have a couple of options that would require some work to include it in an HTML document of your own (Google maps, YouTube videos, etc.)
  • it’s free (and in most cases you don’t need the pro features)

What I hate about Weebly

  • invalid HTML (try validating a Weebly page… I mean, <font> in an XHTML 1.1 document? <style> within the <body>? Come on!)
  • invalid CSS
  • you can still do everything wrong concerning a clearly structured layout
  • no need to deal with HTML and CSS at all if you don’t want to
  • the fact that you can include so many different (multimedia) elements leads to the fact that they are often used in abundance, i.e. too often
  • using Weebly is not a guarantee to create a usable and well designed website

It might seem a bit harsh to only pick up Weebly and thrash it like this, however, I will do the same with other website generators with a focus on websites and not so much on blogs or wikis (like webs.com, which also has a free option, or squarespace.com, which doesn’t have a free option) in some of the next courses. If you have any suggestion which generators I should have a look at, please feel free to write a comment.

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