Wix vs Weebly – An In Depth Comparison

Wix and Weebly are two of the most popular website builders around. Both have a lot in common. Both are super popular, both of them come with an intuitive drag and drop editor, both are affordable, in-fact they even started in the same year, 2006.

On the surface both appear identical, and both come highly recommend. However there are certain differences. For example Wix offers a free hand drag and drop editor, while Weebly offer a more structured (but less flexible) block based model.

In this post I will compare both website builder on following parameters

  • Visual Editor
  • SEO Features
  • Choice of Templates
  • Site Revisions / Backups
  • Pricing

1. Visual Editing and Ease of Use

Both Wix and Weebly come with a feature-rich Wyiswig editor. Even though both have an editor, there are certain differences. In this section, I will analyze the differences between them.

Weebly Editor

Let’s talk about Weebly Editor first. The Weebly editor is arranged in 3 logical sections. The left sidebar, the top bar, and the site canvas. The left sidebar lists all the elements which can be added to the site canvas. The top bar provides quick access to the site-wide settings. The sidebar has the most common elements used for website building. It is also possible to add more elements via the app marketplace. For example, the tab element is not included by default, but it can be easily added via the app marketplace. Weebly recently added a section feature which allows you to add prebuilt layouts like team, blog posts etc with a single click.

Weebly Editor Follows a Block Based approach

Weebly editor has a block-based approach. The elements contained within blocks. The blocks can be rearranged horizontally or vertically via drag and drop. However, Weebly does not support freehand drag and drop features. It is not possible to select a particular element and drag it anywhere on the page. I think this can be a blessing in disguise for non-technical, novice users. By placing restrictions on freehand drag and drop, it prevents user errors. While the block-based approach is more restrictive, it has one big advantage. It lets users switch themes in the future. Once you build a website, you can change the theme from the settings panel. It is also possible to import your own theme to the website. You can also add products to your pages directly from the editor.

One big drawback of Weebly editor is lack of a Media Manager. It is not possible to upload images to a media manager for later use. So if you want to insert a single image at multiple pages, then you must upload it every time. This can be a bottleneck if you plan on creating image-heavy websites. It is also not possible to add basic animation with the default Weebly editor. It is possible to add animations via the app

Wix Editor

Wix editor is also arranged in 3 logical sections. It has a left sidebar, a top bar and the site canvas. In my opinion Wix has made better use of the screen real estate. The left sidebar display icons which then expand on clicking. It means that you have more space of the site canvas. Wix supports free hand drag and drop model. It means that you can select an element and drag it anywhere on the page. This provides great freedom and control over site design. The user can precisely place the element anywhere on the page. This approach has one drawback though. it is not possible to switch a wix theme. So you are forced to use the theme which you selected during the time of creating the website.

Wix Editor Follow Free Form approach

The Wix editor is way more powerful than that of Weebly. I like the image manager which comes with WIX editor. It is possible to upload images, rename them crop them and store for later use. It is possible to arrange images in folder and search images by name. Apart from uploading your own images, you can also pull images from your social network accounts. Wix also offers a huge selection of free images. Wix also integrates with Shutterstock, so you can easily buy images directly from the dashboard.

Wix has a very wide range of elements. For example, you can quickly add image carousel, image galleries, video carousels, strips etc all from the editor. The Wix editor also supports animation effect by default. For example, you can easily add over effects for buttons, you can easily add page load transitions. It is safe to say that Wix allows you to create a more interactive and beautiful website.

One feature which I particularly like is site revisions. It is possible to rewind your site to a previous state. This can be very helpful if you are a web designer and your client messes up the site by mistake. You can easily revert the site to a previous, working state. This is something which weebly lacks. there has been lots of requests for this feature but it does not seem likely that Weebly is going to implement it any time soon.

Verdict:


Choose Wix for Flexibility . Choose Weebly for Simplicity

Wix editor, without doubt, is more powerful and more feature rich. The Wix Media Manager blows Weebly media manager out of the park. In fact, Weebly does not offer a media manager.
The site revisions feature is something which I consider essential. WIX supports site revisions while Weebly does not.
However there is one big issue with WIX editor. It is not possible to change a WIX theme. So you have to essentially stick with the theme which you chose at the start of site creation.

Weebly allows you to switch themes any time during the website creation cycle. Even though Weebly editor is lacking, it is sufficient for a beginner to create a functional website. If you are looking to create a more feature rich and interactive website, you must go with Wix.


2. SEO Capabilities

A website is of no use if it cannot be found on the internet. SEO features are essential for any website builder.

Weebly SEO Features

Weebly supports basic SEO features like setting up Site Titles and Meta descriptions. It also supports setting up page title, page permalinks and page specific meta descriptions. It is possible to setup 301 redirects , add site specific header and footer codes. Weebly also allows for adding page specific header and footer codes. Adding alt text to images is also supported. There are also a few SEO apps available for weebly which allows you to play with the H tags. Weebly automatically creates a sitemap which can be submitted to the Google search console, however, the sitemap is not editable by users.

Wix SEO Features

Wix also support all basic SEO features out of the BOX. Ability to edit site title, site meta descriptions, page specific title and descriptions are all accessible via the editor. You can also add alt text to images and setup 301 redirects. One difference is the way Wix presents the SEO options. Wix has an SEO Wizard which lets you fill in basic site information and it then creates a step by step wizard to help with website SEO. The wizard can be tremendously helpful for a beginner who is not well versed with the SEO terminology. Similar to weebly, wix also automatically create a website sitemap which is not editable by the user.

Verdict:

Wix and Weebly have similar SEO capabilities.

Both WIX and Weebly cover almost all aspects of basic of on-site optimization features. Both have decent in built SEO features and both have third party apps available to help with SEO.


3. Choice of Design Templates

Everybody likes a good looking website. So it is natural that one of the most important factors while selecting a website builder is the choice of available design templates. In this section I will compare the design option available with both platforms. Weebly allows for template editing. Choice of web designs in weebly. How many third party theme providers are there

Weebly Theme Collection

Weebly comes with a decent collection of themes. On the official website, themes are divided into 7 categories. Even though the themes are decent looking, it would be hard to categorize them are stunning. Yes, there are a few designs which are gorgeous, but overall the design choice comes across as average. One strange thing is that there is no way to search the collections of themes. The only way to select a theme is by browsing. Lack of theme search is somewhat surprising.

Weebly Theme Collection

Customizing and Editing the Weebly Themes.

As I mentioned before, the Weebly editor has a block-based approach. The elements are contained within the blocks. The blocks can be rearranged horizontally or vertically via drag and drop. While the block-based approach is more restrictive, it is easier for new users.

If you are an advanced user and find the editor limiting, then you can simply switch to theme editing view and edit the theme html and css. Weebly theme editor also lets you create own custom templates and add it to the theme. Once you customize the theme, you can also export it and save it for later use. For example, you might want to use a customized theme on a different website, then you can easily export the customized theme and then import it into a different website. This is a very handy feature for an advanced user. The theme editor also sports a live preview window, so you can easily view the changes in real time.

Weebly allows you to quickly switch the theme at anytime during website building cycle. So if you have published the website and then decide to switch the theme, you can do so in a single click.

Wix Theme Collection

Wix has a wider choice of template. On the first look, WIX designs look amazing. The designs appear modern, clean and gorgeous. The use of fonts and color schemes give the templates a trendy look. Weebly designs , in my opinion, are more functional and basic. The WIX templates are categorized into 16 parent categories and each parent category has multiple subcategories. Wix Templates cover a wider variety of use cases , for example, there are more than 25 landing page templates, over 50 event-related templates, over 40 portfolio related templates etc. There is a very good chance that there is an already available wix template for your use case. It is also possible to search for themes by name. There is also a neat categorization option which lets you filter the themes by popularity.

Wix Theme Collection

Customizing and Editing Wix Themes

Wix supports free hand drag and drop model. It means that you can select an element and drag it anywhere on the page. This provides great freedom and control over site design. There is a large collection of elements which can be used on the website. For example, as of the writing of this post, Wix editor has an option of 15 gallery types which can be inserted in a single click. Similarly, there is a wide choice for elements like buttons, grids, lists etc. Wide chocie of elements and a free hand drag and drop model means that you can customize the website any way you want.

However, there are certain drawbacks. It is not possible to switch a Wix theme. So once you select a Wix theme, you are stuck with it. In order to change the theme, you will need to start building your website from scratch. This is a very important difference from the way Weebly handles the themes. It is also not possible to export the changes made to a Wix website. So in case you want to reuse your customization work, then you will have to clone the complete website.

WIX does not allow you to make edits to your website html and css files. However, WIX has a code feature which lets you create simple database apps. For example, let’s say you want to display a list of all the courses available. Then you can turn of developers tools, create a Course collection and reuse that course collection at multiple places on your website. The code feature is currently in beta but it can be a very powerful tool if used correctly. It will allow users to add dynamic data to their websites without writing code. This can be very powerful. Lets see how this feature pans out for WIX.

Verdict

Wix has a better selection of template. Wix is a winner here

Wix offer over 500 design templates while Weebly offers around 50 only. The Wix template are more beautiful and modern looking. If weisite design and visual are an important aspect, then go with WIX. If you need more control over website design then you can go with WIX.

However if you are interested in a functional website which is quick and easy to make then go with Weebly. Less design choices can be good for non tech savvy users.


4. Site Revisions. Backup / Restore

Everybody makes mistakes. There will be times when you will need to restore a previous version of the website. For example, a client deletes an important section by mistake. In such cases having an optin to restore the website is god send.

WIX has a very powerful Site History feature. It lets you create an unlimited number of site revisions. By default a revision is created automatically when you save the site. It is possible to rename and filter the site revisions. This can be a very handy feature depending upon your use case. For example, you might want to create a temporary change to your website for the holiday season. In this case you will create a site revision point for your original website and once the holiday season is over you can revert to the original design with a single click. It is also possible to review a site revision before restoring it. The site revision history also gives you information about the user who made the changes.

Weebly, on the other hand, does not offer a native site revision feature. So if you accidentally delete a web page or a section then you cannot restore it by yourself. In such cases, you will have to email the weebly support and ask them to restore your website. So technically it is possible to restore your website, the process is nowhere as smooth as compared to WIX.

Verdict:

Wix is the clear winner here.

The site history is a very powerful feature which is only offered by WIX. With Weebly, you have to ask the support team to do the restore for you.


Pricing

Pricing is a major factor when choosing a platform for building websites.

Weebly Pricing

Weebly offers a free plan which lets you get a feel of their website builder. The free website displays weebly ads and is hosted on Weebly subdomain. If you want to connect you domain name to the website then you will need to upgrade to a paid plan. Weebly offer 3 paid plans

Plan NamePricing
Pro 144 USD / year
Business300 USD / year
Performance456 USD / year
Weebly Pricing

All paid plans offer 100 USD in Google ad-words credit and a free domain. All paid plans come with eCommerce features. If you want a good looking website with basic eCommerce features then pro plan can be suitable for you. However , Weebly charges a 3 percent transaction fees for account under pro plan. In order to remove the transaction fee you will need to upgrade to Business or higher plan. Even though ecommerce features are available under every plan, there is a limit to number of products you can add. For example the Pro plan lets you add 25 products while the Performance plan lets you add unlimited number of products.

Here is an in-depth analysis of Weebly Pricing Plans

Wix Pricing

Wix also offers a free plan which is a great way to test out of their service is for you. The free plans displays wix ads and lets you host the website on wix sudomain. If you want to connect your own domain to the website then you will need to upgrade. Wix offers 7 paid plans.

Plan NamePricing
Combo11 USD / Month
Unlimited14 USD / Month
Pro19 USD / Month
VIP 29 USD / Month
Business Basic 20 USD / Month
Business Unlimited 25 USD / Month
Business VIP 35 USD / Month
Wix Pricing

Every plan comes with 300 USD worth of google adwords credit and free domain. The ecommerce features are only available on the business category plans. Wix does charge transaction fees on any of the paid plans. Also unlike Weebly, Wix does not limit number of products on any of the paid plans. So Wix gives you more value for money as compared to weebly.

One thing which I dont like about Wix pricing plans is that they are confusing. There are 7 plans in total as compared to 3 offered by Weebly. While choice is great but it can be confusing for the users.

Here is an in-depth analysis of Wix Pricing Plans

Verdict

Its a close fight, but I believe Wix offers more value for money.

Both WIX and Weebly are quite affordable. These platforms have put website and eCommerce capabilities within the reach of the masses.

Even though both are affordable, WIX provides more value for money as compared to Weebly. The most expensive Wix plan is cheaper than the most Expensive Weebly plan. At the same time, WIX offers more features as compared to Weebly. On the other hand Weebly pricing plans are simpler and easier to understand


Summary and Conclusion

Website Builders like Wix and Weebly have bought beautiful online presence within reach of every small business. Both have essential features like :

  • Easy to use Editor
  • Basic SEO Tools
  • Basic Blogging Tools
  • Decent ECommerce features
  • Both have similar price points

Both are very similar but I believe Wix has a slight edge. Its more feature rich than Weebly and it updates its platform more frequently as compared to Weebly.

If you want more control over design then go with WIX. It free form editor lets you customize every aspect of your website.

On the other hand if you prefer ease of use, the go with Weebly. Its editor is block based, which is easier to use for non tech savvy users.

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