Wix vs. Weebly
If you’re trying to find the best builder for your next website, you probably already know that there are only a handful of reliable options out there. Most of the famous builders on the market were designed with a specific audience in mind, so choosing between them is easy if you already know what type of website you want to build. If you want to create an online store, for example, your best bet is Shopify, while Squarespace would be the perfect choice to display your work portfolio. Meanwhile, WordPress should generally be the number one pick for tech-savvy users.
If you’re looking for an all-purpose website builder, on the other hand, we recommend going with either Wix or Weebly. These two builders are very similar in many ways, so it can be somewhat difficult to pick between them. At first glance, Wix seems like the safer choice, but because we don’t take things at face value around here, we decided to do some testing in order to find out if that is indeed the case. In this article, we’re going to share our findings and help you decide between the two. Without further ado, let’s jump straight into our Wix vs. Weebly comparison.
Wix was founded in 2006 to create a platform that would allow anybody to build a professional-looking website regardless of their experience level. The idea quickly caught on, and it only took three years for the platform to be adopted by over 1 million users. That figure jumped to 50 million by 2014 and continued to grow steadily ever since. The company employed numerous marketing strategies over the years in an attempt to attract new users, including some very successful SuperBowl ads and an infamous commercial starring Karlie Kloss. As of 2020, Wix has over 160 million users and is estimated to power around 100 million websites.
Even though Wix’s marketing campaigns helped increase its popularity over the years, the main reason why people continue to flock to the website builder is because of its ease of use. Wix offers a very appealing all-in-one package that includes not just a site builder but also web hosting, a custom domain, access to various apps, and more. The site editor uses a very intuitive drag-and-drop system combined with a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) interface that allows users to see changes in real-time without the need to preview or update their site.
Wix can be used to build pretty much any type of website but is particularly suitable for small businesses, simple online stores, and personal projects like blogs or work portfolios. In our Wix review, we discovered that the platform also has a lot to offer to novice developers and coders thanks to its built-in “Dev Mode.” Meanwhile, users who want to build a new website without any hassles can take advantage of the Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), a very innovative system that can do most of the work for you.
Weebly launched one year after Wix and fought an uphill battle in order to catch up to its main rival. Despite being late to the party, however, many people found Weebly’s builder to be more appealing, and the platform managed to acquire a very respectable user base over the years. According to the company, Weebly now powers over 50 million websites around the world. Following Weebly’s acquisition by Square in 2018, the company started focusing on expanding its eCommerce potential, a move that helped the builder differentiate itself from long-time competitors like Wix.
Weebly’s mission statement reads very similar to that of Wix. Namely, the company’s goal is to empower users and provide them with all the tools needed to create and manage a website with ease. The builder is generally considered a bit more difficult to use than Wix, but it’s still more accessible than an open-source platform like WordPress. Weebly uses the same drag-and-drop functionality you can get from most builders nowadays, along with the WYSIWYG system mentioned earlier.
One of the criticisms you’ll often hear about Weebly is that the platform feels a bit outdated by today’s standards. Indeed, many of the UI elements look like they haven’t been updated in nearly a decade, and the editor can seem too rigid at times. Having said that, Weebly has certain built-in features that you can’t find at Wix, and its eCommerce tools are much stronger. In addition, Weebly has a very impressive marketplace with plenty of useful apps that can make up for some of the builder’s shortcomings.
Navigation and Ease of Use
Wix and Weebly are both renowned for their ease of use, and getting started with either platform takes less than two minutes. Wix has a more modern look and is generally considered to be a bit more user-friendly than its competitor. Weebly, on the other hand, has a more structured editor that may be more appealing for certain users even though the interface can be an eyesore at times.
The site editor is by far one of Wix’s main selling points. Unlike many other builders out there, Wix uses a free-form (often referred to as Pixel Perfect) builder that gives users complete freedom to customize everything as they see fit. When you combine this with the drag-and-drop functionality, it results in a system that allows you to move elements absolutely anywhere you want on a page. This system is beneficial for fine-tuning and playing around with small elements that would typically be difficult to work with when using a regular block-based editor like Weebly.
Another essential aspect that many users will surely appreciate is the editor’s non-obtrusive nature. You’ve got the options for adding various elements to the left of the UI, the settings and tools at the top, and customization options to the right. The menus occupy a tiny portion of the screen and don’t shift your attention away from the center of the page, where the editing itself takes place. The interface is incredibly responsive, so you can expect the process of adding, removing, or customizing various elements to occur pretty much instantly.
Compared to Weebly, Wix’s editor seems more comfortable to manage. You don’t get bombarded by tons of options as soon as you open the editor, and there’s no need to scroll down in order to find additional menus or buttons because everything is clearly visible at a glance. The only thing that makes Wix more difficult to work with compared to other builders is the fact that you’ll need to edit the desktop and mobile versions of your site separately. The changes you make while working on one version won’t automatically translate to the other. This can be seen as a drawback by some users, but, on the other hand, it does allow you more freedom to optimize your site for different types of devices.
Weebly uses a more traditional section-based editor similar to the ones you’ll find at Squarespace or WordPress. This type of editor doesn’t give you quite as much freedom as the one used by Wix, but it does have its benefits. A lot of first-time users prefer this system because it gives you a clear structure and shows you exactly where each piece of the puzzle is supposed to fit. That said, experienced webmasters will likely find this system somewhat limiting as it makes it harder to create a unique looking website.
Weebly’s editor layout is similar to the one used by Wix, but there are a couple of interesting differences, the most important being that there are far fewer elements and customization options. You can still find all the available elements on the left-hand side of the screen, but many of them will be hidden at first. That wouldn’t be a massive problem since Wix also forces you to click specific icons in order to see more elements. However, Wix sorts its elements by category and keeps them hidden from view until you click one of the icons. Weebly doesn’t use a sorting system and decided to stack all items on top of each other instead, which is a far less elegant solution.
While seeing all available elements with just one click can be helpful, it’s often a bit of a hassle because you have to scroll down every time you want to add certain elements. You do get used to this system after a while, but it feels very inefficient compared to the one used by Wix, especially since there’s no separate menu for the apps either. Weebly can feel very sluggish at times compared to Wix, so having to scroll a bunch to find what you’re looking for only makes things even more frustrating. On the bright side, you don’t have to worry about customizing your site multiple times for various devices because all the changes you make on the desktop will be reflected on mobile.
Navigation and Ease of Use – Even though the section-based editor can be seen as an advantage in certain situations, Weebly tends to feel clunky and unresponsive a lot of the time. Wix is a lot faster and uses a sorting system that makes it easier to find various options and elements.
Templates and Design Flexibility
There is a pretty big difference between Wix and Weebly when it comes to the number of templates on offer. Wix offers over 500 templates to choose from while Weebly only has around 50. In terms of quality, you can’t really go wrong with either of them, and both builders allow you to play with the code of each template. This isn’t necessarily relevant for users who aren’t very tech-savvy, but developers will surely enjoy this useful feature.
Having more than 500 templates at your disposal can seem a bit overwhelming if you’re not sure what sort of website you want to build. If you already have a plan, however, things get much more straightforward because Wix sorts all its templates into categories and sub-categories. There are at least a handful of templates for every industry or niche you can think of. Some of the templates have been around for a while and look a bit outdated, but most of them are very modern and stylish. All 500+ templates offered by Wix are technically available for free. However, you won’t be able to use some of them unless you sign up for an eCommerce plan.
If you don’t like any of the designs or simply want to build a website from scratch, you can use a blank template instead. Blank templates come in multiple variants, most of which feature some sort of basic elements to help you get started, such as a gallery, portfolio, or header. Blank templates give seasoned designers the opportunity to create something unique, while the aforementioned “Dev Mode” can be used to add functionality that’s not available with the pre-configured templates. The drawback is that users need to switch between the “Dev Mode” and the regular mode in order to inject code. Weebly, on the other hand, lets you do this without switching.
Another drawback of Wix is that the builder doesn’t let you change templates once your site is live. This can cause quite a few problems for people who like to change the design of their website often, we’ve gone into details about these problems in our Bluehost vs. Wix article. Combine this with the fact that coding is not built directly into the editor and that changes made on the desktop version don’t translate to the mobile version, and it quickly becomes apparent that making significant changes to a Wix website can cause some headaches.
Weebly is more similar to Squarespace than Wix when it comes to its selection of templates. The company only uses templates created by professional designers, so the quality is there, but there’s not that much variety, especially when compared to Wix. Then again, less is more in some situations because many people tend to feel overwhelmed when presented with too much choice. Weebly also sorts its templates by category, but because the selection is so limited, there are only a handful of categories to choose from.
Weebly themselves don’t offer any premium templates. However, you can still purchase them from third-party sources like Webfire Themes. Most of the premium templates cost around $40, but there are also a few that you can download for free. So why does Weebly support third-party templates while Wix doesn’t? Well, it all boils down to the fact that Weebly has a feature that allows users to upload custom templates to the builder, similar to how WordPress works. Wix doesn’t have such a feature; however, you can buy professional pre-built sites from places like Wix Pro Themes. Sites like that cost around $150, which isn’t exactly a small investment for the average user.
Unlike Wix, Weebly allows you to change the template of a live site and lets you inject code directly into a template without having to switch to a different editing mode. Another advantage is that you don’t have to worry about customizing your website for different devices. The changes you make to the desktop version will automatically translate to the mobile version. This makes things easier to manage, but there’s also a drawback to the system – you can’t directly customize the mobile version of the theme.
Templates and Design Flexibility – Wix is a very flexible builder that gives you a choice between starting from scratch and going with a pre-configured template. Weebly doesn’t give you the option of starting from the ground up, and its selection of templates is a lot more limited compared to that of Wix. We have to give this one to Wix because of its impressive variety of designs. However, it’s a really close call because not being able to switch templates on live sites can be a real hassle.
Plans and Pricing
It’s finally time to get to the good stuff. Ease of use and customization are clearly paramount, but at the end of the day, a large percentage of users look at the price before taking anything else into consideration. In essence, you can’t go wrong with either of these builders since Wix and Weebly are both very affordable. Having said that, one of our competitors does offer a slightly better bang for the buck than the other.
The Free Plans
Before we delve into the premium packages, it’s worth noting that you can use either of these builders for an unlimited time without spending a penny. Sounds too good to be true? Well, there is, of course, a catch to all of this. The two companies do indeed offer free plans, but they come with a number of restrictions that make them unsuitable for building serious websites, though they are a decent option for small blogs. The free plans (in both cases) force you to display branded ads and prevent you from connecting a custom domain. They also come with minimal amounts of storage and bandwidth, so don’t expect much scalability with a free plan.
The Paid Plans
Wix offers a total of seven premium plans, the cheapest of which will only set you back $4.50 per month. The basic plan is almost identical to the free one in terms of its limitations but does allow you to connect a custom domain if you happen to have one, that is. All plans starting with the second one (Combo) remove Wix-branded ads and come with a free domain for one year. Wix’s final three packages all feature eCommerce functionality and include a few other perks like Google Analytics integration, $75 worth of ad vouchers, and a couple of premium apps.
Weebly’s basic premium plan goes for $5 per month, so just a bit more expensive compared to its rival. The company offers three additional premium plans, with prices ranging between $12 and $38 per month. All three plans include a shopping cart, so it’s possible to create an online store with Weebly for as little as $12 per month. Meanwhile, Wix requires you to pay at least $17 per month in order to unlock eCommerce functionality. Another important difference to note is that Weebly offers unlimited storage with all premium plans aside from the cheapest one. Wix doesn’t offer unlimited storage with any of its packages.
Wix includes surprisingly few interesting features with its plans and offers little incentive for upgrading past the $12.50/mo Unlimited tier. The only reason to go beyond that is so you can unlock eCommerce functionality. Aside from that and a couple of other features, Unlimited is almost identical to the more expensive plans. We see a very similar situation in the case of Weebly as well, with the $12 per month plan being by far the most appealing for the average user. In this case, however, you do get access to a lot more eCommerce features by upgrading to one of the other plans. If you’re not really interested in building an online store, however, it’s probably best to just stick to the Pro plan.
Plans and Pricing – Another very close call, but this round goes to Weebly. The builder has fewer plans to choose from, but the fact that most of them come with unlimited storage and a shopping cart is a big advantage, in our opinion. Weebly also offers more eCommerce features, and its best value ($12/mo Pro) plan is just a little bit cheaper than Wix’s equivalent ($12.50/mo Unlimited) package.
Additional Features and Tools
You can get a free domain name for one year with any premium Wix package except for the basic one. If you already own a custom domain, you can easily connect it to any of the plans, including the cheapest one. Alternatively, you can purchase a domain separately from Wix for only $9.99 per year and connect that one to the basic plan. Domain privacy is not included by default, but you can add it during the checkout process for an additional $8.99 per year.
Weebly uses an identical system where the cheapest premium plan can be connected to an already owned or newly registered domain, while the other packages include one for free. Renewing a domain or purchasing a new one will set you back $19.95 per year. All domains offered by Weebly automatically come with domain privacy, so you won’t have to purchase that separately in this case. Weebly charges more than Wix for domain registrations but not by much – $19.95 vs. $18.98 (with privacy).
Backup and Restore
Both Wix and Weebly offer backup systems that are far inferior compared to the ones you get with traditional hosting providers like Bluehost or SiteGround. Wix includes a Site History feature that lets you restore your website to a previous version whenever you want. While this is a great feature to have, it only creates a limited amount of restore points, so if you save often, you won’t be able to switch back an old version of your site because it will eventually be overwritten by a newer one.
Wix also lets you create duplicates of your site, which seems to be a more useful feature as there’s seemingly no limit to how many versions you can save. That said, the fact that you can’t use any of these features to back up your site externally is a major drawback.
Unlike Wix, Weebly does allow users to store backups of their sites externally. Backups are sent to your mailbox as .zip files that you can download locally and then upload to a different platform. The problem here is that the builder doesn’t have a restore feature to go with it. You can still manually upload your content back to your Weebly site, but there’s no practical way of directly restoring things like layouts.
In addition to this system, Weebly also has a neat feature that you can use to undo changes made to your site quickly. However, this only works as long as you don’t publish your site. Once the site is live, or if you exit the editor, you won’t be able to undo the changes anymore.
As previously mentioned, Weebly started focusing more and more on eCommerce ever since Square acquired it back in 2018. The builder isn’t nearly as powerful as a specialized platform like Shopify, but it does offer a lot more features and tools than direct competitors like Wix. The platform allows you to sell both digital and physical goods, as well as a wide variety of services.
You also have access to features like inventory management, abandoned cart recovery, shipping calculator, automatic tax calculator, gift cards, coupons, shipping labels, and more. Weebly charges a 3% fee on every transaction, but this only affects Pro plan users. Those who upgrade to the Business or Business Pro packages benefit from 0% commission on all sales, along with many other benefits.
While Wix can also be used to build online stores, the eCommerce features on offer aren’t quite as impressive as some of its alternatives. But you do have the basics like a secure checkout, inventory tracking, order management, coupons, discount codes, and the ability to sell both digital and physical goods. Wix doesn’t take a cut of your transactions either and allows multiple payment options, including PayPal. Aside from that, though, there’s nothing to write home about here. Wix is fully capable of providing great eCommerce support, but it relies on apps to do it much more than Weebly.
Wix Shoutout is a free tool that allows users to take their email marketing strategies to the next level. The tool offers a hassle-free way of creating marketing campaigns and includes quality-of-life features like scheduling, click rate tracking, customizable templates, and more. Weebly has a very similar tool known as Promote, which is also specifically designed for email marketing. The tool can be integrated directly into a Weebly website and, among other things, allows you to quickly build a list of emails by importing contacts from services like Yahoo, Gmail or MailChimp.
Whether you’re looking to increase your social media presence, improve the SEO of your content, or add unique functionality to your site, apps are generally the way to go. Both Wix and Weebly offer plenty of quality apps, but Weebly features quite a bit more diversity. Namely, Weebly’s marketplace has around 350 apps, while Wix only offers around 200 of them. You’ll be able to choose between free and premium apps regardless of which builder you pick.
Even though Weebly offers more apps, Wix has a much better sorting system. You can use the system to look for apps in specific categories like Analytics, Business Tools, or Social or find them directly by using the search function. Weebly’s marketplace comes with a search bar as well, but the sorting system is far less helpful. This can make browsing the app center a bit time-consuming on occasion, but it’s by no means a deal-breaker. Overall, both Wix and Weebly have excellent app markets, so you can’t really go wrong with either of them.
Weebly has a couple of strange limitations (especially when it comes to headings) that make it less than ideal for SEO. However, the builder does come with a few useful built-in SEO tools and Weebly’s comprehensive Ultimate SEO Guide certainly has its uses. If you’re willing to install a couple of apps that can fix some of its innate issues, Weebly can be a decent option for those worried about SEO. Alternatively, you could simply go for Wix instead because the builder comes with more SEO tools and an SEO Wiz that acts as a step-by-step guide for optimizing your site. The best part is that the Wiz is built directly into the editor, so there’s no need to go looking for guides someplace else. If you do need some additional help, however, you can find plenty of useful articles related to SEO in the knowledge base.
The fact that both builders offer free plans makes it less likely that users will ask for a refund because they already know what to expect when upgrading to a paid plan. Despite this, the two companies still offer money-back guarantees regardless. Wix allows you to ask for a refund within 14 days of making a purchase, while Weebly is a bit more generous and gives you 30 days to do the same.
Additional Features and Tools – To summarize a little bit, Weebly has a slightly better backup & restore system, superior eCommerce functionality, a more extensive selection of apps, and more generous refund policy. Meanwhile, Wix offers cheaper domain registrations, slightly better marketing tools, and absolutely takes the cake when it comes to SEO tools. All in all, Weebly wins this round but just by a hair. The builder has a lot more to offer for eCommerce aficionados, but aside from that, Weebly and Wix are very evenly matched in most of the other departments.
Performance and Reliability
The page loading speeds you get with either Wix or Weebly can vary a lot depending on the type of plan you’re using. For example, sites hosted on free and basic plans will generally be slower because these plans come with limited resources. As far as sites hosted on the other plans are concerned, they tend to be relatively fast. On average, Weebly sites tend to load in about 560 ms, while Wix sites have an average speed of a little over 600 ms. Weebly is usually faster, but the difference is tiny in the grand scheme of things.
The average uptimes tell a similar story. Weebly sites have an average uptime of 99.97%, while Wix’s average sits at around 99.95%. In practical terms, this means that Wix users have to deal with more downtime than Weebly users, but once again, the difference is very small. Regardless of which of these two builders you choose, you won’t have to worry too much about the overall performance of your site.
Performance and Reliability – Weebly sites have marginally better speeds and uptimes than those built on Wix. However, the differences are so small that we wouldn’t advise picking one over the other based on these stats alone.
Inadequate customer support can be a deal-breaker for many users, but there’s no need to worry about that here because Wix and Weebly excel in this department. That said, the two companies don’t offer the exact same support options. Wix works via email and phone but doesn’t have a live chat option. Weebly also has email and phone along with live chat. However, you’ll need to subscribe at least to the Pro plan in order to benefit from phone support at Weebly, which isn’t the case with Wix. Both companies also offer priority support to users who sign up for one of their more expensive plans like Business Plus (Weebly) or Business VIP (Wix).
If you’re looking for self-help options, you can’t go wrong with either of these two because Wix and Weebly have some of the best help centers out there. The help centers are neatly organized and easy to navigate, which makes finding the answer to any question you may have a breeze. Having said that, Wix has an ace up its sleeve in the form of an on-page support system that assists you while you’re editing. This system is handy and makes it so that you’ll pretty much never have to click away from the editor to look for answers.
Customer Support – Even though Weebly features a live chat option, we have to give this one to Wix because its on-page support system is very innovative and incredibly helpful. One could argue that Wix created this system because its platform is more complex, but that doesn’t take away from its ingenuity.
Wix vs. Weebly: Our Pick
Wix and Weebly have been racing neck and neck at every corner, but in the end, there can be only one winner and our personal recommendation goes to Wix. The builder has a well-earned reputation for being extremely user-friendly and very accessible to everybody. We were impressed by the fact that even though Wix is more complex than Weebly, the builder feels very welcoming to newcomers and does a very good job of holding your hand throughout the process of creating and editing your first website.
We definitely don’t want to take away any credit from Weebly here because the platform does have a lot to offer. Thanks to its wide range of eCommerce features, Weebly is a better choice for building online stores, while its app marketplace is one of the best we’ve ever seen. It’s also easy to see how some users may prefer Weebly’s structured editor, especially those transitioning from WordPress, Squarespace, or other platforms that use a similar system. Ultimately, though, the platform feels outdated in certain areas and needs to be modernized if it wants to catch up with Wix.
Overall – You can’t go wrong with either of these two builders, but if you’re looking for the most modern, flexible and easiest to use, we wholeheartedly recommend checking out Wix. The platform has hundreds of templates to choose from and comes with many innovative features that make it ideal for newcomers and veterans alike. Some of the highlights include the Wix ADI, Wix SEO Wiz, “Dev Mode,” on-page support system, and Pixel Perfect editor, to name just a few examples.