AJAX website editor Weebly has just landed $650K in investment and launched a new blogging platform today. The investment comes from Ron Conway’s Baseline Ventures, Steve Anderson, Aydin Senkut, Paul Buchheit, and Mike Maples. Weebly plans to put the money towards new personal and product design.
Weebly’s core product is an AJAX website editor that creates personal pages using template skins and drag-n-drop website content widgets, similar to the way you control layout on any of the various personal start pages. Previously users could only create static pages composed of content widgets for things like text, images, video, and some widgets like Google maps or adsense. The new blogging platform and WYSIWYG editor lets users add dynamic content to their pages.
Blogs can be added like any other Weebly page to the navigation bar of your Weebly site, except with some specialized widgets. The blog supports the basic blog features, such as posting, commenting, categories, and archiving. Webjam, which raised $2 million in March, has a similar AJAX blog editor for their user’s personal pages. However, unlike Webjam, Weebly allows editing the page and posting on the actual page in a truly WYSIWYG interface. Also, each post can contain any of the Weebly widgets, just like the regular pages. Like other platforms, posts can be drafted, published, and tagged.
The upgrade also features some new widgets, like the Twitter badge, although you can embed any widget by placing the code into a standard HTML Weebly widget. Weebly’s creators plan on rolling out more wrappers for popular web widgets and eventually opening the platform to the community. Unfortunately since it is built on their own platform Weebly cannot take advantage of pre-existing plugins from other popular blogging engines such as WordPress.
True WYSIWYG editors are a welcome addition to blogging, which has been reducing friction to publishing on the web from Geocities all the way through Blogger.