If I remember correctly, there was a time in the IT (Information Technology) universe when the word “app” didn’t exist. Or if it did, I sure didn’t recognize or understood what it meant.
Now the word “app” has become a household term, and it’s everywhere: there are apps in smartphones and even in smart TVs.
But since this blog focuses on online site builders, we’ll look at how “apps” have invaded these platforms as well.And just to make sure that we are on the same map with you, this post is not about Weebly’s mobile app. That’s a topic, which I’ll cover in the future.
Weebly App Center Introduced
So, what are these “apps,” anyway?
First, the word “app” is just a short version of the word application.
This term is nothing new since computers have had applications for decades (and I’m using the word “app” instead of application, since it sounds cooler ).
When we take the app concept to the online site builder level, the idea is just to extend the functionality of your site. Most of the time, this happens with just a few clicks, while in some cases, you have to take more steps to integrate the app into your site.
When it comes to Weebly, their answer to app mania is Weebly App Center. This is a central location for finding and installing apps to your sit
A Sample App Dissected
There are common characteristics between all the apps found on Weebly App Center. Let’s take a closer look at one app, to see what I mean.
In this case, I chose the link Made by Weebly on the Weebly App Center front page, and from there I picked my sample app, Price Chart.Once you are convinced that this is the app you need, you can simply click the button, to start the installation process. In fact, I’m showing how to do the step-by-step installation later in this post.
What you see on this page is some basic information about the app:
- Name of the app.
- Average star rating.
- The price of the app.
Obviously, this is just a starting point of your app journey, and it’s natural that you learn more information about the app. To get this information, click the app name to go to its details page:
What you see here are the following:
- The screenshot(s) of the app.
- Features related to this app.
- About the app (generic information telling you what it does).
- Customer reviews. This is where you can also write a review about the app.
Also, on the right you see the following buttons:
- Live Demo.
If you still want to test how the app looks in a real situation, you can click the Live Demo button:
Once you are convinced that this is the app you need, you can simply click the Add button, to start the installation process. In fact, I’m showing how to do the step-by-step installation later in this post.
Three Types of Apps
There are three types of apps that you can find in the app center. Here is what they are all about:
The free app is, well, free . No money to be spent here
This app is both a free and a premium-level app. What this means is that you get some of the features for free, while some of the features can only be unlocked when you pay some money:In this case, the selected app costs 8 dollars per month, and it has a 14-day free trial. But like with Free/Premium apps, the pricing depends on the app.
The pricing depends on the app.
Last of this bunch is a premium app. To get it, you have to pay for it:
How to Install an App on Your Weebly Site
To learn how to install an app on your site, check out the video I mentioned earlier, Weebly App Center: How to Install Your App Fast (Demo Included).
However, if you’d like to follow a written tutorial on this same topic, then follow the steps below.
In this example, we are going to install a simple free app called Tabs, and it helps you “tabify” your content. It can be used for organizing your content under different tabs. And once the user clicks a tab, particular content is shown.
The installation process goes into two parts:
First, you do the actual installation. And once your app is installed, you further configure it to your needs.
Installing the Tabs App:
1) Log in to your Weebly Dashboard, and choose the site you want to edit with Edit Site button
2) Choose Apps menu at the top navigation bar:
3) Once the Weebly App Center loads, enter Tabs to the search box:
4) Choose Tabs as your application:
5) You can look at the app through Live Demo button, to see what app is like in “real world”. On the other hand, if you think that the app meets your needs, start the installation by clicking the Add button:Your site has now a new app, installed and configured!
6) Permit Weebly to connect the app to your site, by clicking the Connect link:
7) Once the app has been successfully added to your site, click the Done link:
8) To verify that the app has been added to your site, see the Installed Apps section on the vertical navigation bar on the left. Your Tabs app should be listed there:
9) If you click the Manage link (see the previous image), you’ll see your installed apps on one page:
10) If you want to remove any of the installed apps, just click the three dots button on the Manage page and click Remove App link.
Great! You have now installed Tabs app on your site. The next thing to do is to configure it.
Configuring the Tabs App:
1) To configure your application, go to the editor, scroll down to Installed Apps section on the bottom left, choose your app, and drag it to the page:
2) The tutorial window opens up. Look at it if needed.
3) Otherwise, it’s time to customize your app that’s added to your page:
4) Just hover your mouse pointer over the app and do the necessary changes:
5) Once you have finished configuring your app, click Publish at the top-right:
Your site has now a new Tabs app, installed and configured!
As you can see, working with Weebly App Center is straightforward. Also, I think that it’s easy to extend the functionality of your site with the apps you find there.
Make sure to understand that the installation process - although it happens in a few clicks - is not enough. On top of installing the app, you also have to configure it so that the app fully integrates with your site.
Hopefully, this tutorial told you what the Weebly App Center is all about and how to extend your site with cool new features.
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