Before You Begin
There’s more to creating an ecommerce store than simply creating a website. Check out our How to Start an Ecommerce Store guide for nine steps to help you establish a successful ecommerce business.
Now let’s get started.
Weebly vs. Square
Weebly has two different website builders: the original Weebly builder and the Square website builder. Overall, Weebly gives you more ways to customize your website, but Square functions better for straight ecommerce.
Here’s a chart that compares the two builders:
|Moderate level of customization||Limited level of customization|
|Can’t sync inventory with in-person inventory (though they are working on this feature)||Must sync all inventory (will sync with an in-person store if you have one)|
|Platform not preferred by Square/Weebly for ecommerce||Preferred platform of Square/Weebly for ecommerce|
The biggest factor between Weebly and Square for ecommerce depends on whether you want to sync inventory.
Step 1: Sign up for Weebly
Signing up for a Weebly account is the first step in creating your Weebly ecommerce store.
NOTE: If you already have a Square account and you want to use the Weebly builder, you must use a different email address than the one you use with Square.
To start your website, visit Weebly.com.
When you sign up, make sure to click on the “Try Weebly Websites” button below “I want a personal website.”
We know it says that you have “No plans to sell online” and that you do, but you will be able to sell items online using Weebly. So choose “Try Weebly Websites.”
NOTE: Sometimes you’ll see this screen instead:
With this screen select “I just need a website” even though we know you need a website with an online store. The other option leads you to the Square online builder.
Choose a Theme
Next, you’ll see a list of Weebly themes. None of these themes are specific to a store, so just pick what most closely matches your business. You can choose to switch the theme later.
Need to switch your theme? Check out our article on How to Use Weebly for instructions.
Choose a Subdomain
Weebly will then ask about your domain. We recommend building the first draft of your site on a subdomain (e.g., yoursite.weebly.com) so you can publish your site and test it before it goes live on your real domain.
You can connect to your permanent domain when you’re ready to officially launch your site.
Use our Domain Name Generator to pick the perfect domain name.
Upgrade Your Site
It’s a good idea to upgrade your site now so you’ll have access to all the features Weebly offers. Ecommerce stores need either the Professional plan, which costs $12 per month when you pay on an annual basis, or the Performance plan at $26 per month annually.
Check out Weebly’s Pricing and Plans to compare all Weebly’s pricing plans.
|Professional Plan||Performance Plan|
|Square or Stripe payments||Square, Stripe, or Paypal payments|
|No item reviews||Item reviews|
|No printable shipping labels||Printable shipping labels through Square Online|
|Discounted shipping rates|
|Abandoned cart emails|
|Regular insights||Advanced ecommerce insights|
|Chat, email, and phone support||Priority support|
|$12/mo billed annually||$26/mo billed annually|
Step 2: Design Your Website
Now comes the fun part! It’s time to replace the text and images that came with your theme with words and photos suited to your new business.
Here are some essential tasks:
- Update the homepage header with an image that speaks to your audience and conveys your store’s focus.
- Update the name of your website and/or upload your logo. (If you don’t have a logo, use our free logo maker to create one.)
- Update the “About” page.
- Add a “Shop” page if your theme didn’t come with one
For help navigating this process, check out our detailed guide on How To Use Weebly.
Step 3: Add Products to Your Store
Now that you have your website set up, it’s time to start adding products. It’s best to set up “Categories” first and then add items to the categories as you go.
You access your store from the main Weebly dashboard and not within the builder, so if you’re still in the builder, click on the “X” in the upper left corner to get back to the main dashboard (shown below).
Categories organize your products and enable you to have pages that show all the products in an individual category. This is helpful because when you add a new product and assign it to a category, it will automatically be added to that category’s page.
To add a category:
- From the left menu bar on the Dashboard, click on “Items” then “Categories.”
- Click on the “Add Category” button.
- Enter the name of the category in the “Category title” field. Then click “Add image” and upload an image that represents this category.
- Click on the “Save” button.
- Repeat these steps for all the categories in your store.
Add Individual Items
Now that you’ve set up your categories, it’s time to start adding items. You can add items individually or import them. Below are directions for adding individual items.
To add an individual item:
- From the left menu on the Dashboard, click on “Items” then “Item Library.”
- Click on the “Add Item” button.
- Select the type of item from the “Item Type” drop-down menu. Enter the “Item Title,” “Price,” “Sale Price” (if it is on sale), and “Description.” Then upload one or more pictures of this item.
- Scroll down to choose whether this item is available for shipping or pickup or both. Enter the shipping weight, especially if you’ll be determining shipping costs by weight.
- If you want to track stock on this item, click the checkbox next to “Track stock on this item” and enter how many you have in stock.
- Scroll down to the Options and Modifiers section.
- If your product has different options, like sizes or colors, click on the “Add options” button and follow the prompts to add the options.
- If the customer can modify an item, like add personalization, click on the “Manage modifiers” button and follow the prompt to add a new modifier.
- If you’re using categories (which we recommend), click on the “+ Choose Categories” button and select the category and click on the “Save” button.
- Scroll down to the SEO options.
- In the “Permalink” field, enter a word or phrase (use dashes “-” instead of spaces between words) that will work as the URL for this item.
- In the “SEO Title” field, enter the words that you want to appear in blue in search results.
- In the “SEO Description” field, enter the words that you want to appear in the text of the search results.
- Click on the “Save” button in the upper right corner of the screen to save your item.
For larger stores, we recommend that you import your products rather than adding them individually.
Import From a CSV File
A CSV (comma-separated values) file is a simple text file that displays as a table or spreadsheet. It is often faster and easier to update a lot of items at once in a CSV spreadsheet than individually in Weebly.
Weebly has a specific CSV format that you need to follow, so the best way to make sure your CSV file matches that format is to:
- Create an example of each type of item for your store.
- Export the CSV file.
- Update your existing CSV file to match the fields in the CSV file you exported.
- Import your updated CSV file.
To import items from a CSV file:
- Following the instructions above, add one of each type of item that you’ll be selling.
- From the “Item Library” page, click on the ellipsis (...) to the left of the “Create New Item” button then click on “Export items.”
- Click on the “Confirm” button. This process can take a while depending on how many items you have in your store. When the export is done, you’ll receive an email.
- In the email, click on the “Download CSV export” button and save the file.
- Open the file in a spreadsheet application, such as Google Sheets or Excel.
- You can either update the Weebly CSV file with your products or you can change the column names in your existing CSV file to match Weebly’s columns. This is important to make sure the items are imported correctly.
- Once you’ve finished updating the CSV file to match Weebly’s columns, it’s time to import the items. From the “Item Library” page, click on the ellipsis (...) to the left of the “Create New Item” button then click on “Import items.”
- Leave “Import CSV” selected and click on the “Select CSV File” button.
- Select the CSV file and click on the “Open” button.
- Once the file has been uploaded, the button will change to “Your CSV is ready to import.”
- Click on “Import” in the upper right corner.
Your products should appear in the product library.
Step 4: Add Products to the Website
Now that you have products added to your store, it’s time to add them to your website. The easiest way to do this is with category pages.
Start by adding a “Categories” block to your Shop page. To do this:
- Open the editor by clicking on “Overview” from the main dashboard, then clicking on the “Edit Website” button.
Inside the editor, navigate to the Shop page. (If you don’t have a Shop page yet, check out our How to Use Weebly article to learn how to add one.) Make sure you are on the “Build” tab.
- Drag then drop a “Categories” block onto the Shop page.
- Select the boxes next to the categories you want to include, then click on “Select.” The categories appear on the Shop page. (If images don’t display, go back to where you set up categories and add a Category Image.)
- To test that your products are appearing correctly, click on the “Publish” button to publish your site and then navigate to the Shop page and click on one of the categories. The items currently in that category should appear.
Step 5: Update the Settings
When you set up an ecommerce store, there are a lot of settings that you have to set up before you start selling. We’ll walk you through them step-by-step.
Item preferences determine how the items will display on your store pages, which social icons appear, available statuses of items, and the default way items get to the customer, either delivery or shipping.
To edit item preferences:
- From the main dashboard’s left menu, click on “Items” then “Item Preferences.”
- To the right of “Layout,” click on the “Edit” button and update the following fields:
- Category Display: Do you want the list of categories to show up as a sidebar menu, in the center in blocks, or a combination of both?
- Items per Page: How many items do you want to display on a category page?
- Columns of items on category pages: How many columns of items do you want on a category page? With a larger number, the item pictures will be smaller.
- Item image ratio: With what dimensions do you want the photos of your image to appear?
- Social icons: Customers (and you) can share products on social media. Which social media icons do you want to have for sharing?
Click the “Save” button.
- To the right of “Item Statuses,” click on the “Edit” button and update the following fields:
- Sale indicator: When you put an item on sale (done on the individual item page), indicate whether or not you want a red “On Sale” badge to appear on the item.
- Low inventory indicator: If you track inventory with Weebly, you can have a badge appear when the item count is 5 or less.
- Out of stock indicator: When an item is out of stock, indicate whether you want a badge to appear.
Click the “Save” button.
- To the right of “Stock settings,” click on the “Edit” button. Select whether or not you want to keep track of stock history, then click on the “Save” button.
- To the right of “Default item fulfillment,” click on the “Edit” button and designate whether you want the default when you add a new item to be for shipping, pickup, or both. Click on the “Save” button.
General Store Information
You must add your business address before you sell items from your website. This address appears on the emailed receipts.
- From the main dashboard’s left menu, click on “Settings” then “General.”
- To the right of “Store Information,” click on the “Edit” button. Enter your company’s information. This information appears on customer’s receipts.
- Click on the “Save” button.
Since Weebly is owned by Square, that’s the preferred platform. You can use Stripe instead. If you want to use PayPal, you need to have the Professional plan.
- From the main dashboard’s left menu, click on “Settings” then “Checkout.”
- Click on the “Connect” button next to either Square, Stripe, or PayPal and follow the prompts to connect your account.
Weebly includes an Automatic Sales Tax Calculator with the Business and Performance plans. This calculator determines the correct sales tax for your customers no matter where they are.
Since sales tax laws vary so much between states, you need to determine which of your products and/or services are taxable. You also need to know if you have to charge sales tax on shipping costs.
Sales tax can either be included in the item price or added to the sales price at the sale.
As you add items to your store, make sure you designate whether or not the item is taxable. If you have any questions about whether or not something is taxable, ask a tax professional in your area.
- From the main dashboard’s left menu, click on “Settings” then “Sales Taxes.”
- If you want sales tax included in the item price, check the box next to “Taxes are included in item prices.”
- If your state charges tax on shipping, check the box next to “Charge taxes on shipping rates.”
- We recommend using the Automatic Tax Calculator instead of adding individual sales tax rates, but should you want to add these yourself, refer to Weebly’s article on Creating Tax Rates.
Weebly offers Real Time Shipping to anyone on one of its paid plans. With Real Time Shipping, Weebly calculates the shipping price based on the carrier you choose and the packaging details you provide. Then that shipping price is automatically generated for your customers during checkout.
If you don’t want to use Real Time Shipping, you can also manually set up shipping for:
- Flat rate
- Order weight
- Order total
- Number of items ordered
- Free shipping
To set up shipping:
- From the main dashboard, click on “Fulfillment” then “Shipping.”
- Click on the “Set up shipping” button.
- First, you need to add the address that you’ll be shipping from. Check the “Use main store address for shipping address” box if that’s the shipping location, or otherwise enter the address, then click on the “Save” button.
- Under “Destination Regions & Rates,” click on the “Add shipping rate” button.
- Select the type of shipping you want to use and complete the necessary fields. For more details, check out Weebly’s article “All About Shipping.”
Step 6: Publish Your Site
After you finish designing your website, uploading your products, and setting up your store, it’s time to share it with the world.
To publish your site, click the “Publish” button in the upper-right corner.
To connect to your permanent domain, click on the “Settings” tab. Then click “Change” next to “Site Address” and follow the directions.
For detailed instructions, check out our step-by-step guide on How To Make a Weebly Website.