Website review by Stephanie Trautman, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2016

Weebly

Impressively easy-to-use website-creation tool

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 72 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
4–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, College & Career Prep, Communication & Collaboration

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Pros: Easy to use, and its education dashboard gives teachers access and privacy controls.

Cons: Learning value relies heavily on educator input; the site could benefit from some tutorials on design.

Bottom Line: Helpfully walks students through each step of website creation, and teachers can control access and monitor progress.

You can set up accounts for up to 40 students and continuously track their progress through the site (or Chrome app). Students can build new websites using the step-by-step instructions that are intuitive and well-organized. Have students practice uploading an image and then rotate, crop, or fade its opacity; they can also choose from numerous template designs and add headers and other written content. 

Because teachers create classroom accounts and control access, Weebly for Education offers a safe learning environment. There could be privacy concerns if you opt to make students' sites public, but you can choose to set privacy to classroom-only viewing when registering. You'll control the account through Weebly's teacher dashboard, and you can view recent student updates and disable sites if needed. Teachers can also accept homework assignments from students through their Weebly teacher site.

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Weebly for Education is a platform that lets teachers and students build websites for free. Adults and kids can create personal websites devoted to any subject, and lots of people use Weebly for e-commerce, promoting products and services. Content elements are the building blocks of the website, and Weebly’s drag-and-drop functionality lets users select themes, place photos, add text and other pages, and publish their site. Users can provide a URL or house their site on a weebly.com subdomain.

The educational version of the site lets teachers set up an account that gives access to up to 40 students. Students log in using a username and password that can be assigned by a teacher. A paid premium account allows teachers to add more than 40 students and integrate HD video and audio players.

With some guidance, Weebly is a reasonable platform to use for personal or school-based sites. If kids know HTML already, they can include some while designing their Weebly site. However, students won’t learn any new HTML skills here, and there’s little advice to help kids learn design principles, making it difficult to transfer the skills to future, non-Weebly web projects.

Still, Weebly’s clear, straightforward functionality provides a solid platform for producing and sharing websites and lets kids express themselves in a fun, creative way. If students get confused at any point, a support center answers many common questions, and free live training sessions are also offered to initiate new users.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Students will enjoy creating stellar websites with drag-and-drop ease. Users should have fun selecting themes, placing photos, adding text, publishing sites, and promoting them on social media.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Responsive to kid input, Weebly's sites depend on creative minds for content. Social networking is built into most sites, and blogs allow for communication, which teachers can control. 

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Users can access some information about SEO basics, HTML, and coding, but it’s a little tricky to find. The dashboard helps teachers manage students and control privacy.


Common Sense reviewer
Stephanie Trautman Classroom teacher

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Heather D. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Propel Charter School-Homestead
Homestead, United States
Weebly: A Great Digital Portfolio
I have seen reluctant readers and advanced students create and manage Weebly sites with ease. They are extremely interested in taking ownership of teaching others about their research and opinions. It has allowed them to work independently and has truly taught them the value of digital citizenship.
Read full review

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