The best of both worlds — your own domain and a free Weebly website

I specialize in helping small businesses and nonprofits design websites on Squarespace and Weebly. I chose those two website builders because they are easy to use and clients can save money by maintaining and updating their websites after I help them over the hurdle of designing them.

The Weebly Connect plan balances professionalism with cost savings

What I liked about adding Weebly to the mix of choices I give clients is that it has a totally free option, which can be an easier path for new businesses if they are really cash-strapped and want to see how their business develops before investing more into a website.

Up until recently, I thought the only way to have a free Weebly website was to settle for a free subdomain name based on the weebly.com domain, such as mysuperbusiness.weebly.com. But subdomain names don't do as well in search results and don't look as professional as a domain name devoted to your business, such as mysuperbusiness.com. What I learned from Weebly Support is that there is another way that costs a little more, but gives you the professional benefits of a custom domain name with the ease of a free Weebly website. Weebly calls this the Connect plan and you won't find it on their pricing list

Start by creating a free website on Weebly, then upgrade to the Connect plan

To take advantage of this setup, you always start by creating a free website on Weebly. Then you opt to upgrade to the Connect plan. When you upgrade, you can either purchase a new domain from Weebly for $19.95 a year or connect and keep a domain that you've purchased from another company like GoDaddy, Google, or Bluehost. Your website will then run on Weebly using your unique domain name. The features you get with a free website are the same as those listed on the Free plan, which has the "Weebly-powered" logo as the footer for every page.

KerryAThompson.com Blog - The Weebly Connect plan gives you a free website with a custom domain

Downgrading to the Weebly Connect Plan is also possible

You can also downgrade from a paid Weebly site to a free site, while keeping the domain name you've been using. You'll need to be in touch with Support to carry out this transaction, but I did it recently for a personal website, sustainablegreenlife.com. That website was costing $96 a year to run on the Weebly Starter plan. I didn't need any fancy features and I was fine with having the "Weebly-powered" logo on each page, so I asked Weebly to keep my domain and change the website to a Connect plan instead, which will save me almost $100 a year!

The Connect Plan is a good compromise for personal websites and business websites

I'm pretty excited that I've stumbled on a good compromise that will work for several types of clients, including those who want free wedding, hobby, or community group websites, those who just want to test the waters of a do-it-yourself website, or those who will never need the full features of a paid Weebly plan. 

Maybe it will work for you too?


Kerry A. Thompson Website Design

I offer stress-free design and writing help to get your website launched or updated on Squarespace and Weebly. If you’re struggling to get your website going for your new business or passion project, see the Services page for the types of help I offer and then take me up on a free 30-minute no-obligation consultation. I’d love to hear from you. - Kerry