We’re going to compare some of the key features between the two website builders, give our opinions on which website builder is better for each feature, and you can decide overall, whether Wix or Weebly is better for you.
In this post, I will compare Wix and Weebly in 8 different aspects to see which one is better:
- Template designs
- Pure drag and drop / structure
1) Is Wix or Weebly More Popular?
Most people will judge popularity by the website builders’ total user base – how many people are using Wix versus how many people are using Weebly.
Both Wix and Weebly are very large website builders. At the time of this post, Wix has 43 million registered accounts and Weebly has 20 million. A quick math tells us that Wix has more than 2 times the number of registered accounts than Weebly, but this comparison is not very clear cut.
A registered user is not the same as an active user. A person could sign up for free accounts and abandon the website builder. That abandoned account may also be counted as part of the total number of “registered user”.
So the 42 million registered users for Wix or the 20 million registered users for Weebly may not be completely accurate. The fact will remain that we might never know which website builder has a larger “active” user base, which is a much more accurate measurement of which one is more popular.
Based on the numbers published by each website builder, it appears that Wix has more registered users. But again, the numbers could be very misleading.
As such, you should not put too much emphasis on determining which website builder more superior based on the total number of users for each website builder. Rather, just keep this in mind as we discuss more pros and cons in the following sections.
2) Template Designs
When it comes to comparing the quality and appeal of template designs, on the surface, Wix wins – hands down.
However, it’s not as straight-forward as you would think, and that’s why I’ve decided to evaluate Wix and Weebly’s designs on several different factors.
Wix has beautiful and stunning templates
Wix’s template designs are stunningly beautiful, and as I mentioned in my Wix templates overview, the best thing about their templates is that they are completely built out already and are very professional looking.
All you have to do is just pick a design that works for you, and swap in your own pictures, text and information. The website layout and designs are all done already. You don’t have to spend time building or trying to be creative, as the templates have literally done all the creative work for you already.
Templates for Weebly have always been an improvement point that they’re working on. Weebly is releasing more and more templates, but not as fast as Wix, and their designs are definitely not as beautiful as templates from Wix.
But if we look beyond the design surface, and search a bit deeper, this is not as straightforward comparison as you think…. It’s definitely not a “slam dunk” victory for Wix….
Wix – The Land of No Return…
Once you pick a template to use for Wix, you can’t change templates afterwards. This could be problematic for you as you might want to change your website design later to give your website a new look and feel.
So if you are using Wix, and if you want to change designs, you will have to build your website all over again.
To be honest, that sucks.
So you better be 120% sure that you love the template from Wix and that you will continue using it for as long as possible.
As for Weebly, changing between template designs is a simple. Just click on the template you want to use, and all your website content will automatically be transferred into the new template. No information will be lost, which is very convenient.
I think the main reason why Wix can’t transfer website content whereas Weebly can, is that Wix is a “pure” drag and drop website builder where you can insert content literally anywhere in the website. As such, technically, this makes transferring of content into a different design rather difficult, if even possible.
Whereas for Weebly, you can only insert elements into pre-defined areas, so this makes transferring of data easier. I’ll discuss more about this in another section below.
HTML / CSS Editor
If you are handy with codes, Weebly allows you to modify the website design through codes. This is very important to some people as it allows them to almost build any design they want.
But if you don’t know codes, you can always hire someone who does to help you.
The important part is that being able to access the HTML and CSS editor allows you so much more flexibility in terms of design.
For Wix, they don’t provide this option to you. So you’re stuck with their designs. As beautiful as their templates are, without access to the HTML / CSS editor, it could be a bit limiting.
But of course, this depends on what you need. If you are satisfied with using stock templates and not making any modifications, Wix might be just fine for you.
Not being able to change templates for Wix is a real drawback for you. This is offset by them having a lot of gorgeous templates for you to choose from.
On the other hand, even though Weebly’s templates are plain, they do allow you to change templates without losing any website information.
They also give you the flexibility to make edits in their codes, which opens up a world of possibilities in terms of design. You can also purchase and import pre-made templates such as those from DivTag Templates.
Overall, I think Wix has much better design selection, but they are very restrictive. Weebly is more flexible, but you might have to work a little bit more to get what you want.
3) Drag and Drop Structure – Which One is More Pure?
As I mentioned above, Wix is a pure drag and drop website builder as you can literally insert any website building components (called elements) into anywhere within the website.
Weebly is not as pure, as you can only insert elements into designated areas, either in the content body area, or in the footer. At the time of this post, you can’t insert any elements into the header area yet.
So on the surface, it looks like Wix has more flexibility for you.
However, as I mentioned in the Template Designs section above, the fact that Wix has a pure drag and drop interface may have prevented it from allowing you to inter-change template designs.
Since Weebly only allows you to insert elements in certain designated areas of the template, this allows them to ensure more structural consistency across templates. So when you change designs, elements can transfer across the templates.
If you want to be able to place elements anywhere in the template, Wix will be a better choice for you.
But just bear in mind that the disadvantage is that once you pick a template, you can’t change it to another template without completely rebuilding your website.
4) Website Building Tools / Elements
About 80% to 90% of each website is built with some very basic elements, including title, paragraph / text, pictures and perhaps a few slideshows.
While both Wix and Weebly have those elements, the level of flexibility and control each website builder gives you are very different.
Wix gives you a lot of advanced controls over their elements, meaning you can have a lot of different styling options. Just bear in mind that functionality-wise, you can’t change them, but rather, you have more advanced control over how each element is styled.
As for Weebly elements, they are plainer and even though they give you limited options to alter the design for each element, there are very few choices.
On the surface, once again, Wix seems to better.
Yet again, if we dig a bit deeper, too much flexibility from Wix could also be problematic. Let me explain.
Allowing too much design flexibility for each Wix element, while it’s nice, some users may “abuse” this privilege and negatively impact their website performance.
If you “trick out” your website by modifying each Wix element to a point where you go overboard, you can potentially be putting a lot of stress on your website, decreasing its loading time, and therefore, negatively impact your visitors’ user experiences.
A slow website loading time can have severe consequences to you and your website:
- People can get tired of waiting and abandon your website – this is a very serious issue
- Google considers website and webpage loading time as an important factor in their search algorithm. So the faster your website loads, the higher chance you will rank higher in search results (we introduce a simple tool that can actually help you load your website faster – sign up here).
Wix gives you more design and features flexibility when it comes to their elements. But this is a double-edge sword as if you do too much of it, as it may slow down your website loading speed, increase the number of people abandoning your website, and potentially rank lower in Google search results.
On the other hand, I believe that Weebly pride itself in keeping things simple and minimalistic. Fewer bells and whistles can be a good thing.
After all, they allow you to custom style elements in their CSS editor. If you don’t know codes, you can always hire someone to help if you want to.
My thoughts? Wix is probably better because they have more advanced tools to give you more flexibility, but as they say, do everything in moderation. Don’t overkill your elements’ designs, or it can actually end up hurting you.
5) User Support
As I mentioned in my review of Wix, the help feature and community support for Wix is one of my favorite parts of this website builder.
For each Wix element that you use to build your website, they have a separate “question mark” there so when you click on it, it will show you specific help instructions that’s directly related to the element you are using.
It’s nice how you don’t have to spend time and dig into their support center to find related help (but it’s there if you need it).
Weebly on the other hand, does not have this feature. You will have to go to their support center, type in what you need help on, and search there.
Once again, on the surface, it looks like Wix’s help functions are much more helpful.
While this appears to be true, I think the reason why Wix’s help functions are so much more comprehensive is that their product is more complex. As mentioned above, Wix gives you the option to make all sorts of personalization to its elements. So with more bells and whistles, naturally they need more support.
If you subscribe to Wix’s VIP plan, they actually offer you priority phone support, and also VIP support where you have access to one-on-one personal support from their team (more on pricing of the VIP plan below).
As for Weebly, since their elements and user interface are much more minimalistic, it’s really simple and intuitive to use. It’s almost as if you can have it all figured out in just a few minutes. Less modification options can be better as well.
I’m a bit torn between Wix and Weebly on this one.
Wix needs more support as their website builder has a lot more features and options, and as such, a bit more complicated to use. But we do like the availability of phone support for their VIP plan.
Weebly requires less support since their tools are easier to use – they keeps things simple. So you can’t really fault them for investing fewer resources into their support center because in my experience, when I first started using Weebly on different projects, I almost never needed to consult their support center.
6) Exporting Your Website
Being able or not able to export your website from either Wix or Weebly can potentially be an important consideration for you.
Weebly actually allows you to export your website and import it into a different host if you want. This is really a nice feature as if you decide to leave Weebly for whatever reason, or if Weebly one day shuts down, you can always move your website away from Weebly and have it hosted somewhere else. There’s a tutorial from DivTag Templates on how to export a Weebly website and import it into another host.
Wix does not have an export function. Even though I can understand that there are a lot of Wix features that only functions within their hosting environment, I’ve always been in favor of solid backup plans, as you can never tell what the future brings.
If I was to spend time to build out and improve a website, I want to have the option to take the website with me. With Wix, I can’t help but feel that I’m a hostage to their platform.
This one is a very personal one. Personally, I always like to have back up plans, so I definitely prefer Weebly over Wix on this feature.
But one thing you should consider is that if you were ever to export your website out of Weebly, and into another host, you might not have the technical knowledge of maintaining the website outside of Weebly anyway. But then, you can always hire someone to help.
At the end of the day, having the export function is a much better option than losing your entire website, or having to spend time to rebuild everything. Having to rebuild everything is a major interruption to your business and personal life!
So for me, Weebly wins as they have the export function.
If you are using the free version of Weebly or if you are using the lowest premium package or the free version of Wix, both website builders will include some advertisement of their services in your website.
Where they insert the advertisement and how prominent they are, is where Wix and Weebly differ.
For Weebly, their advertisement is nicely placed in the footer of your website. It’s a lot more subtle relative to Wix. With Wix, they place two separate advertisements in your Wix website. One towards the top right hand corner that’s “sticky” meaning that even if you scroll down the page, the advertisement will still be visible at all times.
The second Wix advertisement is a footer bar across the bottom of your Wix website, which is also “sticky” so it will be visible at all times, no matter where you are in your website.
Further, even if you upgrade to Wix’s lowest package in their premium program (at $4.95 per month, or $4.08 per month if you subscribe for 1 year), the advertisements will still be there which is a pretty terrible deal, considering you are paying up to $59.40 per year.
So it’s pretty obvious that they are encouraging you to subscribe for the higher plan. I have more thoughts on Wix’s pricing plan in the Wix review page.
In terms of advertisements, considering which of Wix or Weebly is less prominent and “annoying”, Weebly wins here.
Weebly’s advertisement is very subtle in comparison to Wix, which is very “in-your-face”.
Granted, I understand that if I am using a free service, it is reasonable to expect some sort of advertisement. But Wix’s advertisement is a bit too much for me. Further, the part that really bugs me is that even if I upgraded to the lowest Wix premium package, their advertisements will still be there.
At the time of this post, the pricing difference between Wix and Weebly is pretty wide.
Wix’s premium plans start from $6.90 per month and goes up to $29.90 per month (or $24.90 per month if you subscribe for 1 year).
Wix presents to you with 5 different plans, so the higher the plan, the more features they release to you.
If pricing is your only consideration, then Weebly Pro and Starter plans are much cheaper than Wix. However, this does not necessarily mean Weebly is better for you as Wix does offer a lot more advanced features that Weebly does not.
For eCommerce plans for Wix and Weebly, Weebly does require a slightly higher monthly investment. However, they do provide more updated tools than Wix.
At the end of the day, a few dollars difference per month isn’t a concern for the most part. The most important consideration is finding the best website builder that suits your specific needs. You can reflect upon this by considering other points we’ve discussed throughout this article.
The differences between Wix and Weebly are very noticeable.
Wix seems to have adopted the “advanced features” approach, giving you all sorts of tools to play with within their website builder.
Weebly seems to have gone the opposite way of adopting the minimalistic approach, keeping things as streamlined and as simple as possible. This makes Weebly much easier to use.
Also, even though Wix gives you a lot more advanced features, Weebly gives you more flexibility (such as changing templates, important external templates, being able to edit its CSS / HTML codes, and also exporting your website).
At the end of the day, you should consider what features are better suited for you.
Wix has a lot more advanced features for you, if you want to take advantage of them. But as I mentioned above, overloading your website with advanced features is not necessarily a good thing.
I particularly dislike the fact that you are stuck with a design template in Wix, and they don’t allow you to change templates without rebuilding your website. Although I have to admit, their templates are beautiful.
I’d encourage you to sign up for free accounts with both Wix and Weebly and spend a bit of time playing around with each one of them. Only through these free trials that you can form your own conclusion as to which website builder is better for your own unique needs.
Just another quick note – both Wix and Weebly offer money back guarantees (14 days for Wix and 30 days for Weebly), so if you want to upgrade and test their advanced features, you can do so without taking on risks.