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I. Development of Weebly

Weebly was developed in 2006 by David Rusenko, Dan Veltri, and Chris Fanini. The company is based out of San Francisco, California. In 2007, Weebly teamed up with Y Combinator, a program that helps fund the start-up of new software and web services. At that point, the Weebly team had started working full time on their creation. Later that year, Weebly was named one of TIME's 50 Best Websites of 2007.#2

                                                                                                 Below: The Weebly Crew


 #16

 

Weebly has received very strong financial backing from some prominent figures. These include Ron Conway (the original investor in Google), Paul Buchheit (the creator of Gmail), the late Rajeev Motwani (supporter of Google and PayPal), Mike Maples (investor in many up-and-coming web technologies), and Aydin Senkut (well-known supporter of new web technologies and the man that played a huge role in Google going global).#2

On November 3, 2008, Weebly announced that it had reached 1 million users. It was also announced that Weebly was finally profitable. #3

Weebly passed the 2 million user mark in early-to-mid 2009.#4

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II. What Does Weebly Do?


#5

Weebly is a website creation tool that allows users of any level to create, edit, and maintain their own site for free. Users may exercise a domain name they already own, use a Weebly domain (http:// \____\_ .weebly.com/ (http:// _____ .weebly.com/)) for free, or purchase a domain through Weebly.

Weebly features a very simple, yet powerful drag-and-drop interface. This makes it very clear and simple for those with little website creation knowledge to do more with their page. At the same time, the drag-and-drop editor has many features that would be appreciated and utilized by experienced website designers.

One of the main page features is the blog feature. This enables users to create a page on their site that is strictly dedicated to a blog. Users have full moderation privileges for the comments posted to their blog. This includes blocking all comments, allowing comments from only certain viewers, or allowing all comments. There is no limit to the number of blogs a user can post on one site.

Weebly's drag-and-drop editor makes it easy for users to add many common things to their site; such as photos, videos, audio, and documents. It also enables users to add maps, games, slideshows, forums, and any other HTML-embed code. There are more in-depth features that Weebly has as well. This includes the ability for users to sell products through their Weebly site. Weebly has all the tools required to create and maintain a site for commercial use.

Users can choose from over 70 professionally created designs to use for their page. This number continues to increase as Weebly adds more and more designs. It is also possible to customize the templates or create your own design. All of this is done through the Weebly editor. #6

Weebly does not post adds on a user's site by default. If a user creates a site and does not want ads enabled, he/she will never one on their site. For users interested in making a profit, Weebly teams with Google AdSense; allowing users to enable advertising on their site. This can only be enabled by the site creator and requires an account with Google AdSense. #7

A new branch of Weebly is Weebly for Education. This site is slightly different than a regular Weebly site, with different features that would be useful in educational settings. It is specifically geared towards teachers, students, and the creation of class websites. Weebly's ease of use also makes Weebly for Education very reliable for students and teachers with little website experience. #8

Weebly Pro is a more advanced version of Weebly. It comes with a fee, but offers several additional features. These include password protected pages, a customizable footer, up to ten sites for one account, embedded documents, a larger file upload size, and more. Weebly Pro is also offered for Weebly for Education pages and had the same features. #29

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III. How to Use Weebly

Weebly is known for its easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. This allows editors of all skill levels to create and edit sites without consuming much time. The Weebly editor has tabs that bring up different menus. The "Elements" tab is the main tab for adding content to a page. In this menu, users will find items they want to add to their page, click it, and drag it to the place on the page they want to put it on. The elements on a page can be rearranged by dragging-and-dropping as well. #9

 
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Weebly has a text editor that has all of the common features you would find in other text editors. This includes font formatting, alignment, undo and redo, and linking. #10

Page management is very straight forward. In the weebly editor, users select the "Pages" tab. Here they can add new pages or blogs, delete them, rename them, and rearrange them. #11

 
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Choosing and changing page designs is done in a similar fashion. From the "Design" tab, users can view all of the pre-designed templates as thumbnails. They can also preview what their page would look like with a certain design by hovering the mouse over that design. Changing to a new design is as simple as clicking its thumbnail. #12

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The "Settings" tab is where users can customize their site preferences. They can change the address, title, search keywords, and site description. This is also where users can un-publish their site. #13

After changes have been made, clicking the "Publish" button saves the changes and the site will now reflect all of the editing that was done.

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IV. Weebly and Other Applications

Weebly incorporates many apps within their site builder. Here are some:

Google AdSense - this gives users access to Google's vast network of advertisers, so they can make a profit with their site. If they choose to enable AdSense, 50% of the site's visitors will see Weebly's ads, and the other 50% will see the users AdSense ads. This way, the profit will be split evenly between Weebly and the user. AdSense ads will be related to the content of the users site, making them more appealing to the viewer. Users can just drag and drop the ads where they want on the page. #21

Google Maps- Add-on that allows you to see where businesses are located and what is nearby them, get contact information, hours of operation, reviews, check live traffic and get directions.  #22

YouTube - Allows the embedding of videos for public or private use. Users can drag videos wherever they want on their web page. #23

Flickr - allows the embedding of individual pictures as well as picture storage and online creation of slideshows. #24

PollDaddy - create online polls for free and attatch them to your website. #25

BookFresh - an online scheduling program that allows you to store your schedule online and access it 24/7  #26

Nabble online - online embeddable application that allows for creation of mailing lists, forums, photo galleries, newspapers and blogs #27

HayZap Games - website that allows te user to embed flash games to their website, the site makes the claim that they help people keep visitors entertained for "hours" #28

All of the above applications can simply be dragged onto a users site wherever the user wants to place them. Weebly also includes PayPal and Google Checkout as part of its "E-Commerce" options. #30

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V. Unique Things About Weebly

Weebly's most unique feature, and the one it is most well known for, is its combination of a simple drag-and-drop interface with powerful features. This sets Weebly apart from most other website creation tools. This makes it so both inexperienced and advanced web editors can find the site useful. #6

Weebly hopes to launch a new program in which their designers would create or redesign a Weebly website for users. In October 2009, Weebly opened up a trial in which users could volunteer to have this done for free. This was specifically targeted at small business owners wanting to improve their site. A large number of users applied and only a "handful" were chosen. Eventually, Weebly hopes to open up this service to everyone for a small price. #14

Another unique aspect of Weebly is its involvement in education. A new branch of Weebly called Weebly for Education. This allows both teachers and students to use the simple site design tools and offers several other features. See Section VII for more information.

We're happy to announce that all websites made with Weebly are now mobile optimized. When someone visits your website from a mobile device, they are automatically shown the mobile version. Weebly is now accessible through your mobile phone, iPod or iPad.

Having Some Fun With Weebly!


 

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VI. Using Weebly in Educational Settings

i) Elementary Lesson Plans

Below are examples of educational lesson plans for that incorporate Weebly into the learning process. These lesson plans are intended for use at the elementary level.

Creative Writing Activity: "What Can We Do Without Electricity?" 
Download: Word   PDF

Steal The Ball (STEM-based)
Download: Word    PDF

Introduction to Track and Field
Download: Word    PDF

Making Jellyfish Word PDF

Spinning the Rainbow Word PDF

ii) Secondary Lesson Plans

Below are examples of educational lesson plans that incorporate Weebly into the learning process. These lesson plans are intended for use at the secondary level.

Getting Creative With Your Writing
Download: Word   PDF

Welcome to the Web (STEM-based)
Download: Word   PDF

The Origins of WWII:
Download: Word   PDF

Calculus Integration: Word  PDF

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VII. Examples of Weebly Used for Education

In 2009, Weebly launched a new version of their web-creation technology called Weebly for Education. This type of site-builder is specifically geared toward teachers and students. It allows teachers to create a site for up to four different classes, with up to forty students per class. Any additional student account costs one dollar. In addition to the teacher having a site, all of the students in the class can make one as well. The teacher can obtain usernames and passwords for his/her students, so the students themselves don't have to provide any personal information. The teacher acts as the moderator for the students' sites. There are several privacy options to further protect students and teachers alike. The teacher can set sites to only be viewable by users from that class. Along with all of the standard Weebly features come some more features geared toward education. This includes the "assignment" feature, which allows students to submit classwork online through the site.

Although there are several different features and possibilities with Weebly for Education, the drag-and-drop interface is still used, making it easy for those with little computer experience to jump right in.

Weebly has recently formed a partnership with National History Day. Each year, National History Day holds a contest in which students can submit several things, such as essays, exhibits, and even websites. Based on the partnership, all of the websites created must be done so through Weebly. #4

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VIII. Using Weebly for Business/Industry Training

Weebly can be a very useful tool when it comes to buying and selling products. The "E-Commerce" features allow users to create an online store. This is often times used by those looking to start a small business, and it can be a very helpful first step for those just learning how to buy and sell products online. It is a great training tool for those who are new to business.

In the "Revenue" category of the site editor, there are four options: Product Block, Product Small, Product Regular, and Product Large. As usual, users just drag and drop these parts on to their page, then customize them. Customization includes the ability to edit contents such as products, prices, descriptions, and photos. Users also have the option of hiding any of these details.

Weebly features both PayPal and Google Checkout, making the transactions smooth and reliable. Like many other online stores, shoppers can add items to their "shopping cart" prior to checking out. #30

Here is a video the includes many of the previously mentioned features.


#31

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IX. International Use of Weebly

Weebly has managed to become a very strong website creation tool in America, but it has not yet gained worldwide popularity. There are several possible reasons for this. One of these reasons is the design options Weebly presents. While Weebly offers a lot of customizations options through HTML or CSS, most common users do not know how to edit sites in that manner, so they must choose from overall layouts. In similar Korean sites that have gained popularity, designs can be customized more without using advanced editing.

Another potential learning curve is present due to the drag-and-drop interface. Popular Korean site builders don't operate in that manner, and users are not accustomed to having to place items themselves. Also, the various features differ between the two countries, causing international users to feel somewhat uncomfortable with Weebly.

Many internationl users do like the idea of having the option to create both personal web pages and personal blogs within the same site. Most users feel that with a bit of work, Weebly could be successful internationally.

In March 2009, Weebly began the task of translating their site into several different languages, including:

- Spanish
- French
- Chinese
- German
- Japanese
- Italian
- Arabic
- Portuguese
- Korean

Weebly asked for translating help from its users. #15

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X. Help and Support


 

XI. References

Showcase Materials:
Weebly Brochure: Word    PDF
Weebly Poster: PowerPoint   PDF

[1] http://static-cdn.weebly.com/images/logo_home.gif (picture). Retrieved Nov. 12, 2009.

[2] http://www.weebly.com/aboutus.html. Retrieved Nov. 4, 2009.

[3] http://digital.venturebeat.com/2008/11/03/weebly-scores-1-million-users-reaches-profitability/. Retrieved Nov. 4, 2009.

[4] http://digital.venturebeat.com/2009/09/30/weebly-brings-its-simple-website-builder-to-schools/ (picture included). Retrieved Oct. 30, 2009.

[5] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOW7ALVVVUc (video). Retrieved Nov. 12, 2009.

[6] http://www.weebly.com/features.html. Retrieved Nov. 12, 2009.

[7] http://support.weebly.com/support/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=27. Retrieved Nov. 12, 2009.

[8] http://education.weebly.com/ed-features.html. Retrieved Nov. 12, 2009.

[9] http://support.weebly.com/support/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=7. Retrieved Nov. 12, 2009.

[10] http://support.weebly.com/support/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=24. Retrieved Nov. 12, 2009.

[11] http://support.weebly.com/support/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=8. Retrieved Nov. 12, 2009.

[12] http://support.weebly.com/support/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=9. Retrieved Nov. 12, 2009.

[13] http://support.weebly.com/support/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=12. Retrieved Nov. 12, 2009.

[14] http://blog.weebly.com/2/post/2009/10/well-build-you-a-website-for-free-volunteers-needed.html. Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[15] http://blog.weebly.com/2/post/2009/03/want-to-help-translate-weebly.html. Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[16] http://seedfunding.weebly.com/my-experience.html. Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[17]  http://support.weebly.com/support/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=7 (picture). Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[18] http://support.weebly.com/support/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=8 (picture). Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[19] http://support.weebly.com/support/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=9 (picture). Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[20] http://education.weebly.com/images/webpages4.png. Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[21] http://support.weebly.com/support/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=27.Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[22] http://maps.google.com/maps/mpl?ie=UTF8&moduleurl=http://maps.google.com/help/maps/local_search/mapplet.html&mapclient=google&f=q&hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=37.76108,-122.435589&spn=0.111961,0.175095&z=12&utm_campaign=en&utm_medium=ha&utm_source=en-ha-na-us-gns-ls&utm_term=google%20maps. Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[23] http://www.youtube.com/t/fact_sheet. Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[24] http://www.flickr.com/about/. Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[25] http://polldaddy.com/. Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[26] http://www.bookfresh.com/. Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[27] http://www.nabble.com/. Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[28] http://www.heyzap.com/. Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009.

[29] http://support.weebly.com/support/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=28. Retrieved Nov. 20, 2009.

[30] http://support.weebly.com/support/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=76. Retrieved Nov. 30, 2009.

[31] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcJmLF4dLVY. retrieved Nov. 30, 2009.

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Click here for the international partner page: International Partner Communication

Click here for the research page: Weebly Research Page

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2 Comments

  1. Unknown User (jbentz)

    Hey guys. Here is where you can post your comments or questions. For now, just post some information you find about Weebly, or some ways you can use it, either for personal or classroom use. Hopefully this will be a good start for the research portion of the project.

  2. Unknown User (jbentz)

    Just kidding...turns out we need a seperate research page. There is a link at the top of this page. Post your 3+ comments there.