Weebly and Google Sites are two popular DIY website builders, which are used to launch different types of projects, starting from simple one-page websites and up to feature-rich digital sores. Each platform comes with a set of built-in tools and options, which makes them a nice pick for the completion of certain tasks. The systems differ in their integrated functionality, targeting diverse user audiences.
Weebly – is a popular cloud website builder, which has recently gained strong eCommerce focus and can now be used for online store development. It was initially created for blogging purposes, yet it has extended its functionality and toolset in the long run.
Google Sites – is a simple DIY website builder, which offers intuitive web design approach and a range of tools required to run standard web projects. The system is provided as a part of a typical Google account, which makes it accessible for every user free of charge.
Both website builders cover a broad range of web design tasks and can be equally used by non-techies and experienced web developers. Which of them, however, prevails over the competitor and which platform has more to offer? It is high time to figure that out to help users make the right choice of a system to comply with their actual needs and requirements.
Weebly vs Google Sites: General Overview
Weebly positions itself as a contemporary cloud website builder, which grants access to its intuitive drag-and-drop editor and a rich set of tools needed to set up professional commercial and non-commercial websites. Programming proficiency is not a must-have here as the service ensures hassle-free, smooth and understandable web design approach. It has much to offer to beginners and web design pros due to its rich built-in toolset.
The foundation of the platform dates back to 2006, when it was first introduced to the market. Since that time, Weebly has evolved into one of the most powerful and feature-laden representatives of the modern web design niche. Having been acquired by Square in 2018, the website builder has gained a strong eCommerce focus. Along with online stores, the platform is used to set up and manage landing pages, blogs, portfolios and small business projects. Recent stats tells about 1,701,291 websites powered by Weebly and many more are currently under development.
Google Sites proves to be a good pick for the creation of simple websites for personal use. The website builder is free, being provided as a part of a standard Google account. It is so intuitive and understandable that even a first-timer can master and use it in almost no time. Google Sites works best for school sites, simple educational projects, intranets, event websites, portfolios etc.
The platform was initially released in 2008. Currently, it has been used to set up 345,840 websites, while many projects are being created with it every day. Many users worldwide give preference to Google Sites due to the platform’s simplicity. However, if you need a feature-rich project, it is reasonable to look for a more functional alternative.
Thus, Weebly and Google Sites are website builders applicable for the development of versatile projects. Weebly, however, offers more tools and features to start and customize functional websites, while Google Sites may be a niche pick for simple projects that do not require deep flexibility and powerful performance.
Weebly vs Google Sites: Which One Is Easier to Use?
Weebly offers quite an understandable approach to the web design process along with a rich toolset provided by default. Regardless of a user’s web design background and coding skills, it allows creating professional projects. Due to the updated and logically-structured editor, even a beginner can customize a project layout, although, the system also allows for code editing that lets you launch complex projects. The editor grants access to baseline tools and web design elements, including text boxes, slideshows, media players, contact forms, standard HTML embedding tools and more.
A remarkable feature of the website builder is its box model structure. Whatever content you intend to add, you will have to upload it to the specified container. This allows creating a well-structured and logically-organized website layout, which will be easy to manage and customize. Other actions and steps are simple and intuitive as well – the startup guide will help you figure out the details as you proceed to the web development process.
Weebly customer support is versatile and informative. Newbies can get access to the Help Center, where they can find answers to the system-related questions. The website builder also provides detailed tips and guidelines to facilitate the process of mastering the system. To solve more complex problems, it makes sense to contact the live chat or email/phone support when required.
Google Sites comes with an impressively simple website editor and intuitive interface understandable to everyone. You need around a couple of minutes to get used to the dashboard and to start working on your project. To get access to the website editor, you have to create a Google account. If you have the one already, you can proceed to the process of design customization. Pick a suitable theme and reach the WYSIWYG editor to give it a unique look in compliance with your project details.
When working on your project, you will have access to the major settings and tools available in the one-page interface. Extra options are available in the pop-up windows that simplify the task. It’s up to you to pick, add and edit the required elements, but mind that the prevailing amount of content available on a page will remain uneditable. This does not let you get the most out of your project flexibility and customizability.
Google Sites customer support is not that versatile and informative. To find out the details, you may reach the Help Center with useful tutorials, text materials and how-to guides. Likewise, you can send the feedback with screenshots to the support team to facilitate the process of communication.
As to the ease of use, Weebly is a simpler and more understandable solution. Although, the website builder abounds in powerful features and tools, it still ensures a more intuitive web design approach understandable to everyone. As opposed to it, Google Sites lacks flexibility and simplicity, which does not let users reach professional result.
Weebly vs Google Sites: Design and Flexibility
Weebly and Google Sites both make it possible to start websites yet they offer different approaches to the customization process. They also deliver diverse toolsets and features that let users reach their web design goals. To define the system, which has more to offer to its subscribers, it makes sense to compare their major parameters and features below.
Weebly has acquired a distinctive eCommerce focus after its acquisition by Square in 2018. Thus, its feature set meant for web store development is far above the average. Users can get access to multiple shipping options, abundance of inventory/product/order management tools, shopping cart settings, filtered product search, physical/digital items, special offers and coupon codes etc.
The website builder also allows for CSV file import/export as well as extensive email marketing options to keep customers aware of your web store news and updates. Weebly makes it possible to adjust parameters for physical/digital/handmade products, special offers and other web store-related elements. It lets you manage your online store even on the go from mobile devices, using Android and iPhone applications.
Google Sites does not have an integrated eCommerce engine. It is impossible to run a web store with the website builder.
As to the eCommerce aspect, there is no sense in comparing the website builders. As opposed to Google Sites, which does not have an eCommerce platform, Weebly allows for powerful web store development and customization, offering a broad spectrum of niche tools and features.
Weebly has a built-in blogging engine. This is no wonder, taking into account the initial blogging specialization of the website builder. Regardless of the web design expertise level, everyone can start and manage a feature-rich blog with the system in almost no time. What you can do here is adding/editing posts, scheduling new publications, picking and integrating media files, setting up social media sharing options, activating user commenting features etc. The system grants access to the collection of free blog templates divided into niche categories.
Google Sites does not have a blogging platform. Consequently, starting a blog with the system is impossible. The only thing you can do here is running a news portal or an informational project. to do this, pick a blank theme and customize it from scratch to submit the required content. Google Sites also works well for launching intranet and internal websites, being a nice basis for team project management.
Speaking about blog creation, Weebly is a clear winner here. While Google Sites does not allow for blog development, Weebly has a powerful and feature-rich blogging engine suitable for professional blog creation.
Third-Party Apps and Special Features
Weebly extensions are all available in its App Center. There is easy access to multiple widgets, applications and add-ons that can be further integrated into your project. The widgets are free and paid, while their integration takes a few clicks only. With Weebly, you can create online forms. This becomes possible due to the Form Builder available in stock. Video integration is available here as well. You can either upload your videos to YouTube to further add them to your website or upload them to the software servers with the same purpose.
Weebly team management options are quite extensive as well. You can add new members, divide them into groups, grant specific access rights for shared website control and customization. The website builder also partners with IFTTT, providing an opportunity to connect the required products and applications.
Google Sites makes it possible to choose from multiple Google applications, namely Calendar, Gmail, Documents, Sheets, YouTube, Maps etc. They are available to each subscriber with a registered account. Every application adds to the system functionality, letting you add documents, charts, videos, maps, diagrams, presentations and other elements to your project. The elements are added as blocks with customizable parameters and dimensions. You can also make use of content formatting tools, which are quite baseline, though, and include colors, fonts, alignments, lists, links etc.
When it tackles the integrations aspect, Weebly remains on the top of the list. Its selection of integrable free/paid apps and widgets is more extensive and versatile as compared to Google Sites. This eventually results in the development of feature-laden web projects.
Weebly offers three website design options based on the skills and expertise of its subscribers. You can choose and customize one of the pre-designed themes, select a readymade template to submit your own content or use your own theme developed by third-party experts.
Template collection of the website builder encompasses dozens of themes to come up to any taste and business specialization. To give the selected theme the required look, you can access the Advanced Editor with full HTML/CSS control. This allows for deeper project customization. Weebly templates are responsive and free. Mobile editor is available here as well to let you start the mobile version of your project. What’s more, Weebly provides automated synchronization of mobile and desktop website versions, thus, creating a convenient web design environment for each and every user (see Weebly website examples).
Google Sites doesn’t have many templates to choose from. To be precise, there are only 8 themes that refer to three main categories – Personal, Work and Education. Design customization tools and options are limited here as well. You can’t get the most out of your website design, no matter what skills you have. The only thing that distinguishes websites created with Google Sites from each other is the combination/positioning of their elements. Content and formatting may differ as well (see Google Sites website examples).
As to design editing, all the options are available in the right sidebar of the control panel. Reach the available sections – Insert, Pages and Themes to make the required edits and choose the elements to fit your project structure – Text Box, Drive Sections, Images, add-ons. With Google Sites, you can edit basic HTML codes, but don’t expect deep flexibility here. To view the result and make further edits, you can use the Preview button. If needed, you can add several contributors to the project.
When reviewing the design customization aspect, Weebly obviously holds top positions. Offering dozens of free responsive themes, it lets everyone create professional web projects. As opposed to the competitor, Google Sites comes with baseline settings only, which are not enough for deep website customization.
Weebly vs Google Sites: General Pricing Comparison
Weebly pricing comes up to any needs as the website builder has diverse plans to choose from. There is a free subscription used to test the system and improve your skills here. The plan offers 500MB of disk storage space, standard built-in SEO tools, opportunity of subdomain connection, integrated shopping cart, discouns, availability of inventory management tools. To go live with your project, you will have to subscribe to premium plans. These include:
- Personal ($6/mo) – connected custom domain pop-up notifications, shipping/tax calculator etc.;
- Professional ($12/mo) – branded professional portfolio/small business website, free domain connection, password protection, absence of the system ad banners, advanced website analytics;
- Performance Plan ($26/mo) – used for scalable business projects with enhanced eCommerce options, shopping cart abandonment tools, product reviews, priority customer support, availability of payment gateway integration etc.
Google Sites doesn’t charge fees for using its services. The free website builder is accessible for everyone, who has a free Google account. As soon as your project is ready, you will be able to connect the selected domain or get the new one from Google. Likewise, it is possible to use the entire range of tools/features the website builder has in stock. Mind, however, that the choice is quite limited and may not be sufficient for professional website creation.
To sum it up, Google Sites seems to be a cheaper website builder at first sight. Actually, it is completely free for everyone. When you dive deep into details, though, you will realize that the system is not enough for professional website creation because of the limited feature set. Weebly offers more privileges, charging reasonable fees for the services/terms included.
Weebly vs Google Sites: Which One Is the Best for SEO?
Weebly can be considered a SEO-friendly website builder with a standard set of settings/tools for quality search engine optimization. This allows adjusting project parameters to make your website rank high in the search engine results. You can personalize website URLs here, set up 301 redirects, track project statistics, fill out titles, keywords and descriptions. Newbies can get extra tips on effective project optimization. If needed, you will be able to hide your website from indexing by the search engines before going live with it.
Google Sites doesn’t have much to offer in terms of SEO. The only thing you can do here is filling out web page URLs and titles. That’s it. Additionally, it is possible to set up Google Analytics and to connect it to your Google account to control website stats, when required.
Weebly certainly prevails over Google Sites in terms of SEO. The website builder lets you fill out baseline settings for effective website optimization. Google Sites, in its turn, offers limited SEO tools, which won’t contribute to quality project promotion.
Key Differences Between Weebly and Google Sites
|Ease of Use:||Weebly is a cloud website builder with a drag-and-drop editor. It ensures simple and understandable web design approach, being a nice pick for first-timers and web design experts. The platform offers the “box model” structure, which lets users design the required layout by arranging content block positions.||Google Sites is a simple DIY website builder included into a standard G Suite pack. The system works well for creating intranet projects, but it can also be used to run simple business websites, portfolios, event projects etc.|
|Functionality:||The platform is feature-laden, offering a range of tools provided by default. It has a high end Promote tool, video and image editing tools, built-in form builder, email marketing options, extensive integrations and website management features etc.||The software makes it possible to launch simple websites for personal use, integrate unique logos and widgets available in the G Suite pack (YouTube, Google Maps, docs, contact and online forms, slides, charts, calendar etc.).|
|Design:||The website builder offers three design creation options. Users may select and customize one of the responsive pre-designed system templates, use a ready-made theme or order the one from third-party developers.||Google Sites does not offer many templates. The range of design customization options is limited as well. All the websites started with the system look similar to each other.|
|eCommerce:||Weebly has a powerful eCommerce engine with an abundance of web store management tools.||Google Sites doesn’t have an built-in eCommerce platform and, thus, it does not let you start a web store.|
|Blogging:||The initial implication of the website builder is blog development. You can start and customize feature-laden blogs with the system when required.||The platform doesn’t have a blogging platform, which makes blog creation impossible.|
|Small Business:||The system is a nice pick for small business projects. It grants access to multiple integrable widgets, business and marketing tools. These are Weebly Promote tool, Form Builder etc.||With Google Sites, you can build a simple business website. The system has several niche templates to choose from and it also lets you integrate widgets to enhance project performance.|
|Pricing:||Weebly offers a completely free plan and three premium subscriptions. Their cost starts at $6/mo.||Google Sites is an absolutely free system, which lets you connect a domain at no cost.|
|SEO:||The website builder is SEO-friendly, letting its subscribers set up and modify the major parameters to ensure high positions in the search engine results. It is also possible to hide your project from the search engines until it is ready for publishing.||The platform offers poor SEO options. It lets you fill out website titles and URLs only.|
|Customer Support:||Weebly Help Center, Live Chat, Phone and Email Support, multiple prompts and pop-ups.||Built-in Help Section with a detailed website editing guide, feedback forms with automated screenshot inclusion, informative Help Center.|
Comparison Conclusion: Which One Is Better?
Which platform – Weebly or Google Sites – works best for professional website development? Both website builders can be used to run different types of websites and both of them are suitable for beginners and niche pros. However, they notably differ in their integrated functionality, pricing policy and design customizability.
While Google Sites comes with standard and quite limited features, which are sufficient for simple website creation only, Weebly unveils powerful website editing opportunities and ensures freedom of design customization. Its strong eCommerce focus, availability of built-in widgets and blogging engine let you get the most out of website development. If you need a professional web project, Weebly is definitely a better solution to go for.