If you want something done right, do it yourself. Thanks to Weebly and Wix, this also applies to websites. Both website builders are incredibly easy-to-use and feature-rich publishing platforms that have become synonyms for DIY website creation.
Because the two builders are extremely popular and seem very similar in their offerings (at first glance), many potential users face the dilemma of choosing the right one. To help them make an informed decision, I have tested the two platforms, analyzed user feedback and looked through dozens of Wix- and Weebly-powered websites.
I was trying to make this comparison as practical and unbiased as possible. If your opinion differs from mine, please leave your valuable remarks in the comments.
#1 Ease of Use
Wix. Wix has always been one of the easiest website builders. It looks cool and gives you the power to completely rebuild your site without writing a single HTML tag. Nearly every button is accompanied with helpful tips and prompts. If you have a rudimentary knowledge of web applications, you’re more than capable of building a website with Wix.
After the release of a new dashboard in Fall 2015 and its Spring 2016 update, Wix has become even more convenient. The new dashboard lets you easily access and manage such important aspects of your site as SEO, newsletters, contacts and other apps.
Weebly. Weebly is also very intuitive. Its interface is less flashy, yet highly effective. The editor is well organized. Similar to Wix, Weebly has a very well structured dashboard. From changing your account password to sending invitations* to your friends, everything can be done with just a few clicks.
*For each friend who signs up and publishes a website on Weebly, they’ll give you both $10.
Wix vs Weebly. Both website builders are a joy to behold. Their control panels are divided into two logical areas: Dashboard and Editor. This makes it easy to effectively manage multiple websites from one account.
It’s important to note that Wix supports full drag-and-drop, meaning you can drop the chosen object anywhere on the canvas. Weebly also offers drag-and-drop, yet it is somewhat restricted – all elements fall to specific containers (that make up your Weebly template), and you can’t move draggable objects around the page with pixel accuracy, like in Wix.
Wix’s approach is called ‘absolute positioning’ and what seems to be a benefit at first glance, in the long run can cause many inconveniences. For instance, Wix users can’t switch templates. Weebly’s approach is known as a ‘box model’. It’s more restrictive, yet it allows users to change templates in the future.
On one hand, Wix seems to give more creative freedom, on the other hand – Weebly tries to keep everything (including the generated code) cleaner. By restricting the drag-and-drop areas they prevent user errors.
So which one is more convenient: Wix or Weebly? It depends on what you expect to get: the full visual control over the site’s layout or the ability to switch templates in the future.
Note: What can’t be done via Weebly’s visual interface, can be implemented through its advanced HTML/CSS editor.
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
Wix. Wix has a decent set of in-house features and a collection of third-party applications that you can integrate into your website to extend your site functionality. The built-in features include a blogging platform, an eCommerce system, several business-specific solutions like Wix Hotels, Wix Restaurants and various widgets such as gift card, event calendar, countdown clock, contact form and more.
For more widgets, browse the official Wix App Market. The Market offers both free and paid applications, developed either by Wix or third-party providers, like Ecwid, MailChimp, or 123FormBuilder.
But even if you can’t find the desired extension in the library of approved apps, nothing stops you from injecting your own code snippet, luckily this feature (custom HTML) is present in the Wix editor. Simply copy the required piece of code and paste it into the appropriate field.
Wix eCommerce features: multiple payment options, the ability to generate promotional coupons, customizable tax and shipping rules, mobile commerce and more. Check out real Wix-based stores: Wix commerce examples.
Wix Blog features: the ability to schedule posts and add authors, multiple commenting systems, password-protected blog posts, the blog archive and more. See what real Wix blogs look like: Wix blog examples.
Mobile optimization. Wix offers a built-in mobile editor that allows users to fine tune the mobile look of their sites using the same drag-and-drop tools. You can resize, relocate, hide and show any elements. You can re-show hidden elements anytime. Editing your mobile view does not affect your desktop site. Additionally, you can configure the Mobile Action Bar.
Weebly. Similar to Wix, Weebly also has an eCommerce platform and a blogging engine. Most Weebly features are native tools that don’t require creating new accounts with third-party web services. Weebly has its own solution for creating forums and surveys, while for bookings and polls they partner with third-party developers.
Weebly eCommerce features: mobile checkout, filtered product search, the ability to sell digital downloads and physical goods, inventory management, and coupon codes, among other features. Take a look at functioning Weebly stores: Weebly store examples.
Weebly Blog features: scheduled posts, multiple commenting systems, the ability to add custom header and footer code for individual posts. Here are some Weebly-powered blogs: Weebly blogs examples.
With Weebly you can add multiple contributors to your website (Account admin, Author, Dashboard only). The latter two types are available for Pro users only. Wix doesn’t support this feature. In other words, if you decide to provide access to your Wix site’s control panel, the only way to do that is to share your own credentials.
Weebly partners with IFTTT to help you automate many actions related to your website. You can choose a ready ‘recipe’ or create your own to automate a custom action. Example: uploading a new video to your YouTube account will automatically create and publish a blog post on your Weebly site.
Mobile optimization. Weebly also provides a mobile optimization solution. However, it only works with old, non-responsive templates that require manual mobile optimization. For my test website I chose a new, responsive template, and when I entered the Mobile Editor, I couldn’t change the mobile view. For responsive themes, Weebly provides ready mobile solutions.
Weebly vs. Wix. Both website builders offer impressive feature sets, and it’s really difficult to compare them, because it seems both offer more than enough to build a decent website. My advice is to focus on the native features of the builders.
For example, if my site’s core functionality can only be implemented with a third-party application in Wix, I will choose Weebly, if it offers this feature within its native platform. Why? Because third-party providers can stop updating their apps one day. If something goes wrong with the app, you’ll have to contact the app’s developer, not your site builder’s support.
Both Wix and Weebly offer user management systems and member areas.
Wix. Wix has a richer collection. Their templates are all modern and memorable. However, you can’t change them. Once you have selected a theme, it’s forever. You can fully rebuild it, but there’s no way back to the template library. Another drawback is the inability to import your own theme or tweak the site’s source code.
Weebly. Weebly templates appear to be more flexible in terms of design customization. First, users can switch them. Second, users can use third-party templates for Weebly (there are many designers who create themes for this particular site builder). Third, there’s an advanced HTML/CSS editor that lets you tweak the site’s code.
Wix vs. Weebly. Wix has a better choice of templates. However, they offer no value to those who want to get under the hood.
#4 Customer Support
Wix. Wix support center is comprised of training videos, how-to articles and Wix Forum. You may also submit a ticket. Their Knowledge Center is huge. I had so many questions about the platform and it was very easy to find the answers there.
Weebly. Weebly has a Support Center, Inspiration Center, free phone and live chat support. You can also contact one of their experts via email.
Weebly vs Wix. Both offer enough support resources. Weebly gets higher scores for its livechat and phone support.
#5 Pricing Policy
Wix. For $0 you get a website with a pretty noticeable ad and a long URL like username.wix.com/sitename. The lowest price version of Wix is $4.50/month. For that price you can connect a custom domain. The most expensive plan is VIP – $24.50 with yearly subscription.
Wix vs Weebly. Personally, I prefer web services that offer simple price tags. Weebly is the clear winner here. First, its advert is located in the footer and is very elegant (you don’t see it until you scroll down to the bottom of the page), while Wix places a huge screen-wide ad on your free website and what’s more, duplicates it in the right corner of the page. I don’t blame Wix for that – they’re free to place their ads anywhere. But compared to Weebly, that’s a bummer.
Second, free Wix websites have very long URLs (yourlogin.wix.com/sitename), saying nothing about the URLs’ look – open any Wix-powered website and check its inner links. You’ll see something like this: #!design/c1he7 or #!logo_52.jpg/zoom/c1he7/image1epw. I failed to change the look of my test site’s URLs.
Wix versus Weebly: Conclusion
As there are dog and cat people, there are Wix and Weebly fans. Those who want an eye-catching website, full creative freedom and aren’t concerned about the inability to switch templates in the future are likely to choose Wix. Those who expect a robust, reliable system will certainly benefit from the Weebly editor. You know what, take them both for a test drive.
As for me, Wix looks more confidently. It suits for wider range of tasks, from landing page or portfolio to large e-store or business site. But this doesn’t mean that Weebly is bad, simply I like Wix more.
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