Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace vs Jimdo – Let the Battle Begin!!
Trying to figure out which website builder works for you is tough. Sometimes they all look the same, sometimes they are a world apart.
So how should you choose?
Taking the time to try all the website builders can be draining. So here is a summary table which presents the pros and cons of each of the website builders for you.
It will really help save you time and brain energy to review this summary first, so you can narrow down the ones that do not meet your needs.
The following summary of pros and cons is outlined in the following order (in no specific order):
TOP PROS AND CONS (Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace vs Jimdo)
PROS OF SQUARESPACE
- Squarespace provides you with beautiful, rich imagery, designer templates that undeniably commands attention. The templates are clean, minimalistic and gives off a sophisticated vibe. Their finishing quality is high, as if a designer has invested months in polishing them. We like and appreciate their clean lines compared to other website builders’ templates which could be a bit noisy.
- Squarespace offers responsive templates, meaning that you can resize your browser and the content (including the images, slideshows) will also automatically adjust to help give you an optimized viewing experience. This is especially helpful if your visitors tend to use mobile devices.
- Squarespace gives you extensive styling options that the majority of other website builders do not provide. You can certainly do custom styling with other website builders, but you need to know how to edit codes. Squarespace has a style editor that helps you do all the custom styling without touching codes, from changing of background images all the way down to customizing thumbnail details.
PROS OF WIX
- Large Selection of Professional templates – Wix offers over 280 professional looking templates for you to choose from, or you could create your own custom design. The best part about Wix’s templates is that they are already structured, formatted and pre-populated with content so you simply have to pick your favorite one, replace the pre-set content with your own. All the templates are already user ready.
- Intuitive Drag & Drop interface – Wix’s website builder is simple enough to use. Just drag and drop any elements (building blocks) you needs, such as images, slideshows, text, etc and place them wherever you want without any restrictions. There really is no limitations where you insert the elements.
- Support and help available everywhere – Wix has one of the strongest support infrastructure available amongst all website builders. They have help / support buttons everywhere. You can either click on the main help button at the top of the page, or each element that you use also has its own unique help button. It’s nice that the help buttons are right there for you to click on without looking any further. If you subscribe to Wix’s VIP plan, you also get one-on-one VIP support and also phone support.
PROS OF WEEBLY
- One of the easiest and user friendly drag & drop website builder in the market – Weebly doesn’t overwhelm you excessive number of tools. They keep things simple, yet effective. Tools are straightforward to use, and you can literally build a good website in less than an hour.
- Best free builder - Weebly’s free platform provides you enough tools to build a functional website (even when you’re not paying a dime, which is awesome). There is no pressure to upgrade to the paid platform and there is no time limit to the free account. The best part is, they only place a very small advertisement in the footer of the free website – this is by far the best amongst the other free website builders.
- Broad range of templates allows you to build a decent looking website (not the best, but good enough). You get access to all the templates from Weebly (even with a free account) and they are adding more templates lately. Weebly also allows you free access to their HTML / CSS editor so you can modify the website design as you wish (or hire someone to help you do this). Very flexible indeed.
PROS OF JIMDO
- Strong e-commerce tools for online stores – Jimdo’s e-commerce tools provide you with back-end support such as tracking of inventory, open / close orders and automatic pre-set email responses to your customers. You can also set up discount codes for promotion purposes. You can also tag products which allows you to cross-sell other products. This makes managing of your online store easy, and also makes Jimdo stand out from other website builders. (Click here to see a good overview video here)
- Free platform – Jimdo’s free platform (JimdoFree) provides you enough tools to build a very functional website. There is absolutely no pressure to upgrade to the paid platform (JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness) and there are no time limitations as to how long you can remain a free user.
- Large community forum – Jimdo has a large community forums in multiple languages which allow you to post questions and find answers from other fellow Jimdo users as well as from Jimdo’s forum moderators – in multiple languages.
CONS OF SQUARESPACE
- Adding, dragging and dropping Blocks in Squarespace were slightly buggy in our tests (Blocks are Squarespace’s basic website building components such as text, image, slideshows). We had to try numerous times to add or re-arrange Blocks, which was slightly annoying. For example, we wanted to move an Image Block from the top of the screen down to the bottom, we expected to be able to click on the Block, drag it to the bottom of our screen and the page will automatically scroll down to the bottom so we can drop off the Block. This didn’t happen, so at the time of our test, we had troubles re-arranging content.
- Although Squarespace’s Style Editor gives you the ability to customize or style almost everything in the website without going into codes, this could be a bit overwhelming to the average joe. This could be a case of paralysis from too many styling options. It’s awesome if you have the patience, a designer-eye or high, specific design standards for your website. However we feel that for the average person, this could potentially be a bit too much. That does not mean you can’t create a beautiful website with Squarespace, because you definitely still can.
CONS OF WIX
- Visibly large advertisements on the free version – Using Wix’s free website builder comes with noticeably large and prominent advertisement Wix logos on the side and at the bottom of the website after you publish. All free website builders have their own advertisement credits (understandable since they’re providing services for free) but Wix’s are really quite prominent. You will need to upgrade to remove the advertisements.
- Once you pick a template, you can’t change it – Although Wix has plenty of pre-made designer templates for you to choose from, once you’ve picked one to use, you can’t switch to another template. If you do, you will have to rebuild your website. It’s a bit annoying, so you have to make sure you love it!
- Not designed to manage complex e-commerce needs – If you want to build an online shop, Wix’s e-commerce tools are not advanced enough to help you fully manage your store. But to be fair, they do have better e-commerce tools than most standard website builders, but they don’t include basic management tools such as sending out automatic confirmation emails to your customers after they pay, configure taxes and shipping costs, and just general management of orders such as marking orders as shipped or paid. [UPDATE: Wix has since introduced more advanced e-commerce tools. These include allowing you to configure your own shipping & handling fees based on shipping destinations and the product price range. You can even set shipping & handling fees based on which state you are shipping to, allowing you to have more granular control over this. You can also set up tax rates based on your shipping destination (you can set up different tax rates for different countries and states). Once you have shipped your products, you can also mark each order as "complete", allowing you to track which orders are still open and needs to be fulfilled.]
CONS OF WEEBLY
- Not designed for complex e-commerce needs – If you want to build an online shop with a lot of products (such as 10 or more), Weebly’s e-commerce tools are not advanced enough yet to help you manage your online shop needs (such as multiple product displays, inventory tracking, item options, different payment option other than PayPal, customization of emails to confirm orders). However, you can integrate third party shopping carts into a Weebly website to supplement this. [If you need advanced shopping cart functions, check out some dedicated e-commerce store builders here] [UPDATE - Weebly launched a brand new eCommerce solution in November 2013 which makes their eCommerce features some of the best amongst website builders (click here to see our detailed review)]
- Limited number of designer-caliber templates – The quality of Weebly’s templates is average if compared to other website builders. But the good thing is that they are releasing new templates on an ongoing basis and the templates are getting better. There are also third party Weebly templates providers which really help.
- Very basic blog functions – Weebly’s blogging function gives you the bare basics. So if need to manage a large number of blog posts with a wide range of categories, this is where Weebly really falls behind as they don’t give you an efficient way to organize and manage articles. Further, they only have the Twitter share and Facebook share buttons without options to include other major social media platforms such as Google Plus, Instagram or Pinterest. Weebly could definitely improve with features such as “Most Popular Posts” or “Related Posts” as well. These would help readers quickly get to the most popular read articles, or allow visitors to see other related posts which might also interest them.
CONS OF JIMDO
- Needs more professionally designed templates – The caliber of Jimdo’s templates is average when benchmarked against its competitors. Using the free version of Jimdo gives you a certain number of templates to use, so to access even more templates, you will need to subscribe to their premium packages. However, there are also third party Jimdo templates providers. [UPDATE - Jimdo recently added more template choices to their collection. They also added advanced features such as (1) full background slideshows with tools to customize different visual effects into the background image, and (2) full background video, which allows you to insert a video as the background to your website - pretty impressive! As a this point, this is the first of its kind amongst website builders we review. These updates show that Jimdo really focusing on improving their templates. We're looking forward to more impressive features.]
- Jimdo advertisement on its free version is quite visible – If you are using Jimdo’s free website builder (so if you are not subscribing to their premium packages), it includes an advertisement logo on your website which is quite visible. All free website builders have their own advertisement credits (understandable since they’re providing services for free) but Jimdo’s is a bit more prominent (but not the worst amongst all the website builders). Upgrade to the paid platform to get more functions and also to remove the advertisement. [UPDATE - Jimdo has now significantly reduced the size of the advertisement, and moved it to the footer area - away from the main content area. This is actually a very generous gesture from Jimdo, considering you are using their services for free!]
- Not a true drag-and-drop user interface – Even though Jimdo’s website building tools are not drag and drop, don’t let this fool you into thinking that Jimdo isn’t easy to use. Its functions and user-friendliness still gets the job done, although it would feel more interactive with drag and drop.
As per the summary of pros and cons above, each website builder has its own strengths and weaknesses.
See Side-by-Side Comparison Chart on how website builders compare to each other
If you want to build an e-commerce website, see this online store comparison chart.
At the end of the day, we recommend that you sign up for a free account with at least 2 website builders and test them out yourself. It’s the only way you can get a good feel of which one works best for you.
Building a website is an investment of time and money – more so an investment of your time. So it’s important to conduct your due diligence and check to see which website builder you feel the most comfortable with.
Don’t skim on spending some time in trying them out, as you will pay heavily in time if you need to switch website builders later.
Read Our Expert Reviews
Want to see in-depth reviews of the website builders above? Click here:
See Side-by-Side Comparison Chart on how website builders compare to each other
Wonder how Squarespace, Weebly and Wix compare to WordPress? Click here
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