In my Wix vs. Squarespace review, I wanted to explore the differences between the two popular web builder platforms. Although these platforms were similar, there were some differences.
For this post, I decided to compare the winner (Wix) of the previous review to another popular platform. This other platform is called Weebly.
So, without any further ado, here is my Wix vs. Weebly review.
- It’s an online platform, meaning you don’t have to do the maintenance.
- Wix App Market gives you plenty of apps to extend your site.
- Wix ADI.
- The user interface is clean and simple to use.
- You can export your site to other systems (like WordPress), at least partially.
- They offer chat support.
- You can’t create content components for later use.
- Wix sites can’t be exported to other platforms, like WordPress.
- Once you pick your theme, you can’t change it afterwards.
- Customer support (via email) was slower than compared to Wix.
- User can’t create reusable content components.
- Same templates across difference categories.
To be honest, I didn’t have any expectations regarding Weebly at first. I had never used it before. On the other hand, I had earlier experience with Wix, so I knew what that online site builder was capable of.However, once I got to know Weebly a bit better, I was surprised: this platform seemed quite interesting, and it could be a real challenger to Wix.
Who Aren’t These Platforms For?
To answer the question: For people who want more control over their sites.
The fact is that even if these site builders make it easier to build a site, there are still people who would never use these platforms.
This could be the case if you:
- You want more control over your site, like where it’s hosted. With self-hosted WordPress platform though, you can do whatever you want.
- You can’t export your site from Wix to WordPress. With Weebly, this is possible, at least partially or with third-party tools.
- Templates can be an issue. Although you can create a fancy looking site, you can’t change the template in the middle of the design process. This applies to Wix.
- While the support options are the same between these two platforms, Wix doesn’t offer chat support.
Enter Wix and Weebly
Wix and Weebly are more than just online website builders. In fact, they are both “complete products,” which means that they offer you everything you need to create a website: web building tools, customer support, and maintenance, all in one package.
Take Wix, for example. You can, of course, create “just” a regular website or a blog with its tools. But at the same time, you can also use it to create a booking system or an online store based on its ready-made theme packages (for example a restaurant).While Weebly is also more than just an online site builder, a similar type of theming (like Wix Restaurant, for instance) doesn’t exist out of the box. On the other hand, no one is stopping you from creating a site like that, with its themes.
Building Your First Site
Both Wix and Weebly are designed to be as simple as possible. However, the user interface and usability are different, depending on the platform.
With Wix, you start creating your site by answering a couple of questions, like, “which industry does your site belong to?” There is also a unique way to create a site, and this is something that I haven’t seen elsewhere: Wix ADI.
The ADI part stands for Artificial Design Intelligence. You get started with it by answering to a couple of questions, like in the traditional approach of creating a website. Then the ADI, based on your preferences, will create the site for you.
So, what’s the catch with this ADI thing, then? Well, according to Wix, your site will be unique to you, and there is a tiny (if any) chance that you’ll run into a similar-looking site in the future.
Weebly trusts the traditional approach to site building, and the site setup process is simple. It first asks whether you want to sell something on your site or not. Next, you are asked to pick a theme for your website:
All you have to do next is to click Start Editing button and make the necessary changes you want.
Finally, you can hook up the domain for your site, or create a sub-domain if you wish:
Weebly offers fewer templates than with Wix. Also, many themes were found in multiple categories, which was a bit confusing. You would think that if you pick a particular category, all the themes would be unique to that category.
Finally, there is something to be said about themes, and this is not an issue Wix or Weebly. The themes that you see in any given marketplace don’t reflect the reality, on how your site will eventually look like.
For instance, a theme accompanied with professional photos or fancy icons make it look good in a theme’s marketplace. But when you eventually create your own site, you may be disappointed; your site didn’t turn out to be so “hot” as on the theme selection page.
The ADI option is a unique way of creating a site. While you still have to edit the site to look like yours manually, it’s still an exciting starting point for your site creation. Also, Wix has more themes to choose from than Weebly.
Features and User Interface
There is a small learning curve when it comes to editing content with Wix. However, the everyday usage becomes easier, after you play around with its user interface a bit.
To edit your site, you move your mouse over the element you want to edit:
To get more design elements, click the menu to the right:
Some design options become visible when you double-click the content:
New elements can be added to your site by clicking the Plus icon the left sidebar. This same sidebar has other functionality that you can add, like apps or other elements (such as buttons, images, galleries, etc.).
You can also find more settings at the top of the page. This includes, for instance, a mobile view switcher, which helps you to check your site on mobile devices.
Weebly has a different user interface, and I was pleasantly surprised with it. With all the site builder tested so far, I like its user interface the best. It’s super simple, clean and easy to use.
When you start editing your site for the first time, you are instructed to drag elements to your web page from the toolbar on the left. This information titbit is useful since you get an instant idea how you should work with elements in Weebly.
There is another advantage with Weebly when compared to Wix: you can change your theme afterwards. This is not the case with Wix: once you have selected your theme, you have to stick with it.
You activate an element in Weebly by clicking it. This brings the context-based menu, which gives you more options to modify your chosen element:
You can then drag elements around, or add new ones, by clicking the grey dots on the page:
New elements can be easily added to a page. This is done by dropping the selected item into a non-disabled area (which is colored white):
On top of easy editing, Weebly also provides a simple image editor out of the box:
Of course, this feature doesn’t replace software like Sketch or PhotoShop. Still, you can do simple image editing without having to leave Weebly.
One final thing to mention in Weebly is its code editing possibilities. In other words, if you are HTML and CSS savvy, you can edit the code of a current theme directly if you wish.
Don’t get me wrong: both editors are easy to use once you work on them a little bit. However, Weebly has the most straightforward user interface I have seen so far. It is less cluttered than Wix. Yet, everything you need is easily accessible.
Integrations and extendibility
Both platforms can be extended by using their own app marketplace.
For instance, Wix has an App Market:
With Weebly, apps are located at App Center:
Adding new apps is easy in both of places. The installation process is straightforward and happens with few clicks (the number of clicks depends on the app you are installing). However, keep in mind that the adding an app is just one part of the process. Once this part is done, you’ll have to finalize the settings, and only then the app is fully integrated into your site.
Like Wix, Weebly has both free and premium apps. Especially the premium apps can add up to your monthly costs (if they have recurring pricing) on either one on these platforms.
Wix’s App Market was more active than Weebly’s counterpart when looking at the downloads and reviews its apps had. This is, of course, more understandable, since Wix’s user base assumingly bigger than Weebly’s.Anyway, seeing more reviews and downloads on apps makes me feel more comfortable with the service. It shows that there are more (active) users, and new exciting apps will be developed in the future, too.
Wix has plenty of add-ons to extend your site. Even though Weebly offers similar functionality with its App Center, I liked the Wix App Store experience better.
Both Wix and Weebly have a comprehensive knowledge base, which you are encouraged to check first if you run into questions. However, if you can’t find an answer to your question, you can then use other channels to continue with your support request.
Wix offers both email support and phone support. However, a modern way of support in my opinion - the chat support - is non-existent. This is a shame since I’d like to handle majority my requests fast, without having to wait for an answer.
Weebly, on the other hand, offers not only the phone support but email and chat support, too. The chat support is essential since I was able to handle specific requests quicker than submitting a support ticket. Also, it gives me the sense of security if something goes wrong with my site, and I want it fixed fast.
Wix’s email support reacted quickly (within one day), proving that this channel worked fine. On the other hand, I sometimes didn’t get an answer to my question, and I had to ask the same question again from the support personnel.
The email support was slower with Weebly than with Wix. I thought that since I sent the request during the weekend, it affected the response rate. However, even after sending another ticket (on another topic) on a regular weekday, the response rate was still slow.Phone support wasn’t tested on either of these platforms.
Verdict: A tie
While the Weebly email support was slower than with Wix, I was able to get help through their chat channel. On the other hand, Wix’s email support was faster, although they didn’t always answer what I asked.
For these reasons, the verdict is a tie.
The deeper I delve into these online website builders and their pricing, the more layers I start to see in them. So much more, than I find it a bit exciting (yes, you can call me a weirdo )
When you go to the Wix’s pricing page, you see that they offer five plans, ranging from 4.50€ to 24.50€ per month. On top of this, they also offer a free plan. This is perfect if you want to test your platform before fully committing to them.
1) The prices announced on the pricing page is based on the assumption that you are choosing an annual plan. In other words, the month-to-month billing cycle is more expensive than what’s shown on the pricing page.
2) Prices exclude VAT. This is something that Wix cannot do anything about, and the VAT depends on your country.
4) Adding premium apps to your account can have recurring billing. This, in turn, increases the monthly costs for running your site.
5) If you have more than one domain and you want to use them on your Wix sites, you have to buy separate plans for each of your domains. In other words, for each unique domain, you have to buy the respective number of plans (for instance, with five unique domains, you have to buy five separate plans). This is so, even if Wix says that you can have multiple sites on your plan. However, in this case, a sub-domain separates the sites.
In addition to this pricing, Wix also has 14-day money-back guarantee on all their plans.With Weebly, there are also multiple plans to choose from. Weebly's pricing ranges from 7€ to 23€:
Weebly also includes eCommerce plans, priced from 7€ to 33€. They also have a free plan. What’s nice is that Weebly displays the prices while saying that they are annual prices. And like with Wix, you save money by choosing an annual plan (or a two-year subscription).
Plans are divided into two categories: Websites and Online Stores.
Starter and Pro plans have the 3% Weebly processing fee. On top of that, you get added with Square and Stripe fees.
With Business plans, the 3% Weebly transaction fee is removed. You only have to deal with Stripe fees. On the other hand, you also get the option to choose Square, Authorize.net or PayPal as your payment processors.
The Business plan also allows for you to set up tax and shipping calculations for purchases made in your store, which Starter and Pro do not offer.
Also, keep in mind that the same limitation is in effect with Weebly than with Wix: one plan can only host one unique domain. So, if you have multiple domains, and you want to have more than one site, each with a separate domain, you need to have the corresponding number of plans as well.
Finally, if you buy apps, they can have either one-time or recurring billing. This adds up to the total cost you pay per month.
There is only a few dollars difference between the monthly pricing on these platforms (I think that the Combo plan is the first one you should consider on Wix).Many factors come into play when it comes to calculating the final monthly price for a plan, so keep this in mind if the pricing is the key decision maker for you.
Verdict: A tie
When you look at the price alone, Wix seems to be a bit less expensive compared to Weebly. Then again, Weebly announces the prices more transparently, saying that the monthly prices are in effect if the plan is paid annually.
Wix’s and Weebly’s pricing are at times confusing.
For instance, I’m wondering why finding all the e-commerce plan prices has been made too complicated in Wix. With Weebly, the same plan information on both categories (for Websites, for Online Stores), is confusing too.Both platforms have a bit of work to do to clarify the pricing, and that’s why I’m giving this part of the review - my verdict - as a tie.
Which Platform is Right for You?
Wix and Weebly are excellent platforms for creating a website for you, whether you are building a business or a personal site. Then again, this review showed me that announcing just one winner is not possible: the decision is based on the weight that you put on specific points.
For instance, if you’d like to export your data elsewhere (for instance to WordPress), or like the clean and easy-to-use user interface, and the chat support, then Weebly is the winner.
If, on the other hand, you like the “bigger machinery” behind your sites, choose Wix. It is the biggest online site builder there is (based on the user base), and it’s been developed continuously with new features. Also, the email support is faster than Weebly’s. In these cases, choose Wix.
Fortunately, both platforms give you the ability to have a free account, and you can play around with the services first. This should tell you which one (or possibly neither one!) is the best platform for your business or personal site.