Wix Vs Weebly – Battling To Be The Best Builder
Wix Vs Weebly – Battling To Be The Best Builder
Wix and Weebly have a lot on common. Friendly names beginning with the letter W. Offices all over the world. Big marketing budgets. Good reputations. Drag and drop interfaces for building a website without a line of code. Free plans with adverts. Monthly plans without adverts…
You see what we’re getting at here. With a quick overview, it would be difficult to decide which service is the best one for you. But if you dig under the surface, you’ll find some minor differences that could help you pick a clear winner. So without further ado, let’s start our digging, shall we?
Ease Of Use
Let’s be very clear here: both services probably became as popular as they are today because they are extremely easy to use. Their advertising doesn’t lie. It only takes minutes to get started.
All you need to get do is to create an account with your name and email address, choose one of the many available templates, and start moving things around with your mouse. Both use drag and drop for what is called WYSIWYG -a dumb initialism that nobody can remember and much less pronounce- that stands for “What You See Is What You Get”.
Weebly’s drag and drop editor
Where it gets interesting is that the services have kind of different philosophies on what you can and can’t do when building your website. This will all be revealed next week in our following review… Just kidding, it’s right there below.
Design And Flexibility
Ok, so let’s see what we mean about Wix and Weebly’s different philosophies.
With Wix, you have complete control over the design. You can add external fonts. You can add pictures and video animations in the background. You choose a template based on your industry (music, photography, portfolio, restaurant etc…). You can even rearrange the elements to your heart’s desire. They call this technique Pixel Perfect, because you can really position things wherever you like, even if it makes your website harder to navigate. So a word of warning, you will need a good eye for design if you’re feeling adventurous with your creation.
They also offer their Wix’s ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), which can automatically connect your social media, generate a contact form or pick the best design for your audience (you can of course tweak the results if the smart assistant is too dumb for you).
With Weebly, you can get similar results, albeit with less room for exploration. Your templates come locked on a kind of grid, so you can rearrange elements, but it’s a lot more structured. And it may sound a bit more boring, but it has its advantages, especially when it comes to:
Responsiveness & Navigation Levels
With Wix, you can choose how your site will look on a smartphone, but you have to rearrange the elements yourself. And they only offer one sub-level for navigation, which is not really enough if you want a complex online home.
So as previously mentioned, the reason Weebly is more structured is that all their templates are designed to work perfectly on mobile devices. Once you’re happy with your design, no need to change a single thing. It will look good on all kinds of screens, from smartphones to tablets. And as a big bonus, you also have unlimited amount of sub levels for your website, which is great if you want to create an online maze for your users.
We wrote a complete review of the Wix online store here, and the conclusion is that it was…. ok. Not fantastic, but not terrible either. In short, it has some limitations. For example, you won’t be able to sell digital goods without an extra integration, so software or eBooks can’t be sold unless you pay extra. There is no SEO options for your products. Automatically importing or exporting your products’ information it is simply not possible
However if all you’re going to do is sell simple items and don’t need it to be your main business, it’s good enough. You can easily add products and accept payment via PayPal, credit card (Stripe, Wirecard, Authorize.net), or offline payment.
Weebly offers a much better out-of-the-box solution. In fact, we’d go as far as saying that it it almost in the same league as ecommerce giants like Shopify. The reason? They let you easily create a new store front or import your product list automatically. You can sell MP3s, videos or any kind of digital product along with physical items. They offer SEO fields for all items and SSL encryption comes de facto if you have a Business or Performance plan.
Weebly digital goods
The only point where Weebly shops fall short is on payment options. They have the same options as Wix minus the ability to let customers pay offline. This could be a big turnoff for if most of your business is done through cash on delivery, bank transfers or other “offline” means of payment.
When it comes to achieving the best ranking for your pages, both Wix and Weebly give you good enough options. It’s worth noting that this didn’t use to be the case a few years ago, but they’ve really stepped up their game since.
Both now let you change pages meta descriptions and titles, URL names, and 301 redirects. For some obscure reason, Weebly has a restricted use of Headline tags, while Wix lets you go from H1 to H6. And for an equally obscure reason, Wix changes all image file names into something rather cryptic, which is less than ideal if image SEO is important for you.
Wix’s editor SEO options
It’s something only the super SEO geeks should worry about, but still… If we had to pick, we’d say Weebly comes out on top by a very, very small margin.
Like with SEO, both Wix and Weebly have improved their blogging options a lot over the last few years. So that’s something to say for the power of competition!
And while both offer everything you need for basic blogging (tags, categories, text, images and video, post schedule, RSS, etc..) we’d have to say that Weebly delivers a bit more in this department too.
Weebly’s blog editor
However, this is only because Wix’s editor is a bit less intuitive (it appears in an external window) and doesn’t let you insert additional third party elements such as slideshows, surveys, forms and products from your store. Weebly does all that and with a more flexible editor.
Stuck for help? Both Wix and Weebly offer phone support, good tutorials and active online forums. Oh, and you can also pester them via Facebook or Twitter if you want to pressure / shame them into giving you an answer.
Weebly still gets an extra point (or maybe half a point) because they have clear Contact Us details including email address and phone. Wix really wants you to find an answer in their FAQ first, which can be a little frustrating sometimes.
The good news here is that both services have very complete external app stores, so you can add a decent amount of extra features to your website. Some of them are free and some are expensive. Some of them are great and some of them not so much. So it’s quite hard to decide objectively which market is the best one based on price and quality alone.
Wix’s App Market
The only difference is that Wix’s App Market is a bit older than Weebly’s. It also has more apps developed by Wix themselves, so you won’t have to worry about your third-party app being unsupported all of a sudden (which is pretty unlikely anyway).
We know this is probably the first thing you wanted to check, but the answer is not as clear cut as you’d imagine.
What we mean by that is that if you want a free website builder, you’ll get ads on Wix and Weebly (which doesn’t look super professional if you ask us). Wix also has a cheap option called Connect Domain where you can add your own domain name for about $5/month. It still has ads unfortunately.
The important things to note are:
- Wix lets you cancel your paid plan within the first 14 days and give you a full refund. No questions asked!
- With Weebly it’s even better: you get 30 days to decide.
- Both Wix and Weebly make you pay for your domain name after the first year (Weebly charges slightly more than Wix).
- Both make you pay for an email account with your website domain (about $45 yearly through Google’s G Suite).
And so here you are, hopefully a little less confused now that at the beginning of this article. But if you still can’t decide, here are the final thoughts for you
- Wix is probably better for people who want a website tailored to their industry. By that we mean creatives (photographers, artists or musicians), tourism industry (restaurants, hotels) or liberal professions (doctors, accountant, architect etc…) They have beautiful and fitting website templates and easily integrate online bookings. Find out more about Wix in our Wix in our review.
- Weebly beats Wix in other categories. Their structured website building approach can be very beneficial to people who are less confident with design. It’s also quite objectively better for ecommerce solutions and for blogging. Check our our Weebly review for more information.
However, if ecommerce is your thing, don’t forget about the many other solutions available. They could be an even better match for you!