An Easy Choice?
In 2020, building a website has never been easier. Unfortunately this does not mean there is a blanket answer we can give when asked which website builder is best. Each is powerful in different circumstances, and this article will make it clear whether Wix or Weebly is best for your needs.
The top website builders on the market, including Wix and Weebly, make creating your personal or business website a project that can take hours rather than days or weeks. Wix and Weebly both offer the essential features to create a website you’ll be proud of but each have key strengths you should know about before you take the plunge and choose one.
This guide will walk you through key areas of consideration like design, pricing, and SEO abilities to ensure you understand the most essential features of the Wix and Weebly website builders and where each shines or shows areas of improvements. While both builders may seem similarly powerful on the surface, key differences will be highlighted in the takeaways sections below and the Final Verdict portion at the end of the guide.
Customization: Drag-And-Drop vs. Grid System Design
One of the most essential parts of a good website builder is customizability. For new website owners, being able to make their vision a reality with a builder with ease, all while the site maintains best website practices is key.
Both Wix and Weebly make website creation and customization a breeze with their simple builders which don’t require technical knowledge. Wix has users customize their site with a drag-and-drop system which is reminiscent of Powerpoint. A user can simply drag elements around pages, dropping them wherever they’d like to make their vision a reality.
One thing to remember when creating your site in this way with Wix is that your website customization on desktop may look different on mobile. To ensure that your brand and vision are on point on mobile, use Wix’s mobile editor to fix elements where they should be for mobile viewers.
In contrast to Wix’s drag-and-drop system, Weebly allows users to customize with a grid-like system where users drag elements to specific parts of pages, snapping them into place. When designing on Weebly, your vision will be formatted for both desktop and mobile, constraining your options.
Key Takeaway: Wix has more unique customization abilities than Weebly which free-spirit website owners will value. If you want simple, uniform customization, Weebly is for you.
Design Themes: 40 vs 600+ Themes
One of the benefits of a good website builder is the selection of themes that match your website’s intent and provide solid design to get started with. Wix and Weebly offer general themes for your website whether you want to host a personal portfolio or advertise your business.
Wix offers close to 700 themes to choose from for your website in broad categories like Business, Blog, and Education. Regardless of your website’s purpose, Wix will likely have a spot-on match for your particular needs. A search for ‘furniture’ yields 12 results on the first page with three more pages of results to go!
Weebly offers more tailored themes with just 40 options to choose from in categories like Online Store, Personal, and Blog. Weebly’s themes are beautiful and modern, and sure to impress your visitors or customers. All of Weebly’s themes are responsive and will adjust to desktop or mobile devices with ease.
Wix and Weebly’s themes offer the essential pages that your site will need based on its purpose and provided examples will help you cater your website content for your target audience. One issue with Wix’s themes is that you won’t be easily able to migrate your website’s content to another theme if you change your mind so be sure to be confident in your theme choice.
Key Takeaway: Wix offers more themes and more creative control over these themes than Weebly and takes the cake in this category.
Website Apps: 250 vs 350 apps
If you’re looking to upgrade your site with impressive features like a chat bot or analytics, plugins or apps available through your website builder are a must-have. Weebly and Wix prioritize available apps for your new site with each offering hundreds of apps to help you power up your site and better engage visitors.
Wix offers over 250 apps, including over 50 free apps, which will help your business or personal site with abilities like adding a community forum, FAQs, social feeds, booking abilities, and more. A major feature of Wix’s App Market is its custom apps built specifically by Wix rather than third party apps from other companies and creators. These Wix-specific apps are native and are especially powerful for businesses that wish to better market their websites and gain customers. For example, Wix offers a Restaurant Orders app that allows your website to accept orders online for free and a Hotels app which equips non-chain hotels with the ability to book rooms.
Weebly offers over 350 apps so you also won’t be short on new abilities to add to your website. Weebly offers the typical marketing apps but also unique apps that will help you upgrade the design and elements of your site with apps like Icon which allows you to add creative icons to your site and Popup which provides the ability to engage visitors with specific call-to-actions. The vast majority of Weebly’s apps are made by third party creators.
Key Takeaway: If you’re looking for a specific function through an app for your business or native apps that will work seamlessly with your site, Wix is a better pick.
Wix vs Weebly Pricing: $6 to $500 a month
Both Wix and Weebly offer a range of pricing options for your personal or business website. These website builders each offer a free plan that could work for a portfolio site if you can’t yet afford a domain of your own or for a school project if you just need to get a site live.
As you can see in the charts below, Wix offers 8 plans, 4 for personal websites and 4 for business websites. These plans offer more features with each subsequent price and plan upgrade. Combo offers the ability to add a custom domain to your site, remove ads, and access more storage. If you just need a basic site, this plan is for you at $13 a month. With each additional upgrade, you’ll get more storage and features like analytics and free logos.
Business websites start at $23/month and similarly offer more storage and features with subsequent price upgrades.
Weebly keeps it simple with just three paid plans starting at $6/month. The main perks that come with upgrades are removal of ads, additional ecommerce features, and access to better support. Strangely, Weebly makes users become $12/month customers just to access password protection for their site.
Pricing below is based on annual payments so expect to pay more if you pay month-to-month or less if you go with 2 or 3-year payment plans.
|Features||Free Domain, Remove Wix Ads, More storage||Site Marketing App, Visitor Analytics App, $300 ad vouchers||Professional Logo, Events Calendar, 20GB Storage||VIP Support,Priority Response|
|–||Business Basic||Business Unlimited||Business VIP||Enterprise|
|Features||Accept Online Payments, Site Marketing, Visitor Analytics||Professional Logo, More Storage and Video Upload Capacity||Priority Response, VIP Support, Priority Response||Custom-Built and Maintained Site for Enterprise Businesses|
*All Wix tiered plans include prior features in the business and personal categories, respectively.
|Features||Custom domain connection, Advanced site stats, Marketing tools||Free domain, unlimited storage, Password protection||Priority Support, Advanced commerce features, Advanced ecommerce analytics|
*All Weebly tiered plans include prior features.
Ecommerce: Which Builder Will Help You Sell More?
If you’re an entrepreneur interested in creating an online store for your business, a website is an essential piece of getting your physical or digital products into customers’ hands or onto their devices. While selling on a large marketplace like Amazon can provide easy exposure to customers, their large cut of your revenues will set your business back.
Setting up an independent ecommerce store will set you on the path to success but you’ll need to use the right website builder to get the job done.
Both Wix and Weebly offer capabilities for entrepreneurs to build ecommerce stores to sell digital and physical products. Wix has a better store experience, allowing you to make your ecommerce store beautiful with unique animations when you hover over products and when customers check out. Wix offers tons of unique templates for the different ecommerce sites you want to build whether you’re selling items you plan to ship or downloadable content.
Weebly offers a comparable experience where you can add inventories of items, descriptions, prices, and images. Weebly’s main strength comes from its integration with Square which allows for incredibly easy checkout experiences for customers.
For Wix customers, ecommerce will set them back a minimum of $23 a month, billed annually, while for Weebly, entrepreneurs will pay $26/month, billed annually.
Key Takeaway: Wix and Weebly are tied in this category. Both offer impressive ecommerce store builders, Wix having the edge in the creation of store experiences while Weebly offers a better payment experience for customers.
Blog: Which Builder Will Help You Earn Views?
One of the top ways to earn traffic for your website and gain an audience is through blogging. Whether you operate a personal or business website, providing updates to your customers as well as writing on topics your customers or visitors care about is essential and can be accomplished with a blog.
Most website builders will offer a blogging platform of some kind and Wix and Weebly are no different. While WordPress is the best known platform for blogging, both Wix and Weebly provide the capabilities to get your blog off the ground.
Weebly provides a blogging platform that fits perfectly with the rest of the site, allowing you to add the same elements as the rest of the site. If you’ve mastered the rest of Weebly’s builder, you’ll feel right at home blogging, adding images and text in the same fashion as the rest of the site.
Wix, in contrast, has more of a disconnected blogging experience which seems more foreign if you’re accustomed to building pages on the main site. You’ll have to relearn the blogging platform for Wix and it has less capabilities than Weebly. Both Wix and Weebly allow multiple contributors and blog comments.
If you’re planning to blog daily or multiple times per week, WordPress would be better for your purposes but in this guide’s matchup, Weebly is the superior website builder for blogging.
Key Takeaway: Weebly is the better website builder for blogging because of its advanced capabilities and more seamless integration with the rest of the builder.
SEO: Earning Organic Traffic With Wix and Weebly
Optimizing your website to align it with Google’s search engine best practices is called search engine optimization, or SEO. Good SEO will make earning higher placements in Google search results and higher traffic in turn, easier.
Your choice of website builder will make SEO easier or harder depending on the builder you choose and how much SEO assistance and tools it provides. Fortunately Wix and Weebly both provide SEO assistance to help you kickstart your website optimization.
Weebly provides a number of SEO guides as well as an SEO Starter checklist to help you follow keyword research and tracking best practices for your new site. In addition, Weebly allows you to add titles, meta descriptions, personalized URLs, and other attributes to pages, and also automatically generates a sitemap for your site.
One failing of Weebly’s SEO is that it limits the number of header tags you can add to your site to H1s and H2s. Having an H3 or H4 option would be a welcome addition for this builder. Another issue is that while Weebly provides room to make optimizations, you must do them yourself and there isn’t as much handholding for website owners new to SEO as Wix.
Wix has gone above and beyond in recent years to make their website builder SEO-friendly, especially for beginners. Wix allows you to make basic optimizations like edit your pages’ metadata, as well as set up redirects, add structured data, and more. In addition to the guides they offer to get your website’s SEO off the ground manually, they offer thorough instructional pages that will walk you through optimizing your site and checking off essential boxes like connecting your site to Google Search Console.
Key Takeaway: In this category, Wix is certainly more SEO-friendly with extensive capabilities and guidelines for new website owners.
Website Backups: Wix vs Weebly
One issue which will be a top concern as you create your website is reverting changes to your site and having a backup in case something happens to your site. A solid backup system will ensure your website is protected from crashes and loss of information if something goes wrong.
Both Weebly and Wix have backup and restore options if your site does go down for some reason. Weebly does complicate the restoration process by requiring users to download zip files as external backups which for some reason cannot be uploaded back to Weebly. If you contact Weebly, they can manually restore your site.
Wix allows you to create copies of your site as backups but you must remember to create these copies. You can also revert changes made to your site as you edit.
Key Takeaway: Wix has a better system for creating and restoring backups for your website yourself.
As you build your customer base or community with your new website, one of the best ways you can keep them engaged is with an email newsletter. Plenty of third party email marketing platforms can cater to this need but when your email marketing platform is made by your website builder, you’ll have a more integrated experience and easier time. Wix and Weebly both offer email marketing, Wix with Shoutout and Weebly with Promote.
Wix Shoutout allows you to quickly create great emails with modern, customizable templates and an easy contact management system. You can also track essential email metrics like open rate and click-through rate.
Weebly Promote offers a simple email drag-and-drop builder, mobile-responsive templates, and reports with all of your must-track metrics. You can also get website viewers subscribed with ease from your website.
Both Wix and Weebly allow you to sign up and sync Gsuite with your domain for easy email management and professional email addresses to correspond with your customers and community.
Key Takeaway: Weebly and Wix are tied in this department. Both offer impressive email marketing capabilities and beautiful templates to engage your audience.
Final Verdict: Great Website Builders With Different Strengths
Wix and Weebly are great options for you to build your first website so your final decision should be based on which features you value the most. Review this final table of categories and builder strengths and base your choice on which features would make your site most successful.
|Design||If you value more design freedom when building and customizing your website then Wix is for you with its drag-and-drop customization and nearly 700 unique themes. If you want straightforward themes that fit your needs and a conservative but highly-functional customization system then Weebly is for you.|
|Apps||When it comes to apps to help you upgrade your site’s features, Wix is a better choice if you need powerful, integrated apps especially those for specific businesses like hotels.|
|Pricing||Both Wix and Weebly have fairly comparable pricing and features for these prices so either would be a good fit in this category.|
|Blog||For medium-sized blogs, Weebly is the better fit because of its design continuity with the rest of the builder and its blog-focused elements and apps.|
|SEO||Wix is the stronger builder when it comes to SEO because of its beginner and advanced interactive checklists which help ensure you’ve fully optimized your website.|
|Backups||Wix offers a more effective backup system with the ability to save copies of your site which you can revert to yourself.|
|Wix and Weebly are tied here with equally effective email marketing systems with similar sets of features and power.|
If you’re ready to take the plunge, you can get started with Wix here or Weebly here.
If you’re not yet ready to choose or if you just want thorough walkthroughs of how to build your new Wix or Weebly sites, check out Santrel Media’s thorough Wix tutorial and Weebly tutorials.