Weebly and Shopify are two very different platforms – we’re here to help you decide which one is best for you.
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that’s designed solely to help entrepreneurs build online stores. Weebly, on the other hand, is a website builder – it does have ecommerce capability via Square Online, but its core focus is non-ecommerce sites.
Because of their different target markets, Weebly is best for small businesses and portfolios, while Shopify is better for bigger ecommerce businesses. This article will use our in-depth research to drill down into the differences between Weebly and Shopify, to help you find the best option for you.
Weebly Pros and Cons
|Best website builder for small businesses, with strong marketing and SEO tools, including blogging features||Drag-and-drop customization is limited – you hit a glass ceiling pretty quickly unless you can edit your theme using code|
|Simple, stylish, customizable templates that are free to use - and you can change your design at any time||No ADI option – Weebly doesn’t have Artificial Design Intelligence, so it can’t create a tailored site for you; you have to build it manually|
|Feature-rich, with plenty of built-in tools and a large app store for extra functionality||No core ecommerce functionality – you can build an online store, but you’ll actually be using Square Online, not Weebly (Square bought Weebly in 2018)|
Shopify Pros and Cons
|Best ecommerce features that we’ve tested – in our ecommerce research, participants also awarded it the highest customer satisfaction score||Only good for online stores – if you need a non-ecommerce website, Shopify isn’t for you; its whole purpose is to build online stores|
|Powerful inventory system means Shopify can handle extremely large and complex product catalogs and high order volumes||Large reliance on apps for features, – and these can quickly add up on top of your monthly subscription|
|Multichannel selling capabilities allow you to easily sell across various channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Amazon to maximize your sales||It charges transaction fees unless you use its own in-house payment gateway Shopify Payments|
You get a lot for your money with Shopify if you’re running an online store – it scored 3.5 stars out of 5 in our research for value for money. Weebly offers better value for money because of all the features it includes in its budget-friendly plans – it came out on top with 4.1 stars out of 5!
Weebly vs Shopify: Monthly Pricing Side-by-Side Comparison
| Free plan || ✔️ || ❌ |
| Cheapest plan || $9 || $29 |
| Mid-tier plan || $16 || $79 |
| Most expensive plan || $29 || $299 |
Weebly Pricing: Closer Look
Weebly has four plans in total:
- Free: $0 per month
- Personal: $9 per month
- Professional: $16 per month
- Performance: $29 per month
These prices are even cheaper if you choose to pay annually – the Personal plan drops to just $6 per month on an annual subscription, for example.
So, what do you get for your money on each of Weebly’s plans? Compare key features in the table below:
| Advert-free || ❌ || ❌ || ✔️ || ✔️ |
| Free domain || ❌ || ❌ || ✔️ || ✔️ |
| Unlimited storage || ❌ || ❌ || ✔️ || ✔️ |
| Ecommerce features (via Square Online) || ✔️ ||✔️|| ✔️ || ✔️ |
| SEO || ✔️ || ✔️ || ✔️ || ✔️ |
| Pop-up notifications || ❌ || ✔️ || ✔️ || ✔️ |
We recommend the Professional plan, because it’s the cheapest plan that removes adverts from your site and unlocks unlimited storage and a free domain. You also get advanced site analytics and phone support. In short, it offers better value for money than Weebly’s cheaper plans.
Shopify Pricing: Closer Look
Shopify has three plans and a 14-day free trial so you can try them out risk-free:
- Basic Shopify: $29 per month
- Shopify: $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify: $299 per month
You can save 10% if you choose an annual plan, and save 20% if you choose a two-year plan – you have to pay these subscriptions upfront, but you save long-term with these discounts.
Compare Shopify’s key features in the table below:
|Basic Shopify||Shopify||Advanced Shopify|
| Advert-free || ✔️ || ✔️ || ✔️ |
| Free custom domain || ❌ || ❌ || ❌ |
| Unlimited bandwidth || ✔️ || ✔️ || ✔️ |
| Abandoned cart recovery || ✔️ || ✔️ || ✔️ |
| Sell unlimited products || ✔️ ||✔️|| ✔️ |
| Multichannel selling || ✔️ || ✔️ || ✔️ |
| Third party calculated shipping rates || ❌ || ❌ || ✔️ |
We recommend starting out on the Basic Shopify plan, as it has everything a small online store could need, from abandoned cart recovery to gift cards.
Shopify’s plans are designed for supporting online stores, which is why its key features are all tailored to ecommerce. This is perfect if you’re building an online store, but you’ll struggle to get value for your money if you’re building anything else.
Shopify’s onboarding is more in-depth than Weebly’s. This is because building an online store is more difficult than building a simple website, so Shopify has had to step up to guide its users through creating their store.
That’s not to say Weebly’s onboarding is bad. On the contrary, it leads you through the process, from choosing your theme, to in-editor support that shows you how to carry out different tasks:
Building and Running Your Website
Weebly and Shopify were pretty evenly matched when it came to our ease of use testing. Our users found both platforms easy to get to grips with, and neither require any tech experience to get started with.
Weebly won points in our ease of use testing with its simple drag-and-drop editing and easy customization tools. In contrast, Shopify is more clunky to use, splitting its building tools between a backend and frontend editor.
However, Shopify’s more complex setup makes the actual running of your online store easier, because you can keep track of your inventory and orders in the backend while managing your storefront design separately.
If you need a simple website then you’ll find Weebly’s straightforward editor provides an easy way of creating and updating your site. If you need an online store, you’ll find Shopify’s builder is designed to make your life as easy as possible when tracking multiple orders.
Weebly has around 50 themes to choose from, covering various industries such as business, portfolio, and blogs. Its designs are all free to use, whether you’re on the free plan or using a paid subscription.
Weebly Theme Gallery
We like Weebly’s designs, but we weren’t blown away by them. They’re smart, neat, and stylish, but they’re not about to knock your socks off. We like the use of large image backgrounds and grid layouts, but would love a few new or exciting designs.
Shopify’s choice of templates is more impressive. It has 74 themes in its library – most themes come with multiple design options, so there’s plenty of styles to choose from. You can view information about each theme, including:
- Features included in the design
- User reviews and ratings
- Different style previews
- Examples of stores using the theme
Shopify Theme Gallery
All Shopify’s themes are designed for online stores – while some may feature a blog, primarily they’re meant for selling products.
Shopify has nine free themes at the time of writing, and 65 paid themes – premium designs range in price from $100 to $180 one-off payment.
Weebly uses drag-and-drop editing tools, which is a super easy way to customize your theme. Simply click on the elements (such as text boxes) you want to add or move, and drop them where you want them on your page. This is exactly how visitors will see your design once it’s live – there’s no back and forth between a backend and a frontend preview.
In contrast, Shopify’s editor has more of a divide. You enter product information in the backend, which populates your storefront. You can customize your storefront design, but it’s not as free as Weebly’s drag-and-drop editor, and certainly not as easy! Shopify’s editor is clunky and your design options are a lot more limited.
Weebly is the standout winner for marketing features – we were impressed by its thorough but beginner-friendly SEO guides, its comprehensive blogging tools, and its built-in email marketing suite Weebly Promote. Shopify was a close runner-up with its large range of marketing integrations and international selling options.
| Blogging tools || Great || Okay |
| SEO || Great || Great |
| Email marketing || Great || Good |
| Third party marketing apps || 56 || 1,307 |
Shopify has more third-party marketing apps if you want a really tailored marketing strategy, but Weebly has superior blogging tools – you’ll find features that Shopify doesn’t provide, including:
- Archive feature
- Social bookmarking
- Search feature
In addition to these features, Weebly offers unlimited storage at a much lower price, and provides a free domain to users on the Professional plan and above.
If you’re building an online store and want the best ecommerce features going, then Shopify is the best choice for you. It scored a whopping 4.7 stars out of 5 in our research, meaning it has the best sales features out of any builder we tested, not just the best in this comparison.
In this section, we’re actually talking about Square Online rather than Weebly. Square acquired Weebly back in 2018 and merged their products to create Square Online, which is the ecommerce focussed part of Weebly.
We know it sounds overly-complicated, but don’t worry too much about the exact difference. It’s a rather disjointed setup, and we wish the customer journey was more streamlined to avoid such confusion. Just know that if you go to Weebly’s website and choose to build an online store, you’ll be taken to the Square Online builder – they’re just different sides of the same product.
Square Online offers simple ecommerce features that are great for sellers wanting to get online quickly. Some neat features include curbside pickup and text alerts for customers. Unsurprisingly it also rocks a seamless integration with Square POS.
Despite all those cool features, Shopify still wins this round. It offers incredibly powerful features, including:
- Multichannel integrations
- Hundreds of payment options
- Customizable checkout page
- Abandoned cart recovery on its cheapest plan
- Customizable invoices
What stood out to us during testing was Shopify’s advanced inventory system, which was easy to navigate despite being designed to support a large number of products. This combination of power and usability is where Shopify really shone.
Square Online is best for small brick-and-mortar businesses who want a simple online store that syncs with their POS system. If you want a powerful online store with long-term growth goals and a large product catalog then Shopify is your best go-to.
Weebly usually wins the apps and integrations round in head-to-heads with other platforms – it has a well-stocked app store with nearly 400 apps in total. However, Shopify is no usual competitor – it blows Weebly’s app store out the water with over 5,000 apps in total!
With that many apps to choose from, you may wonder how you’d ever find what you’re looking for. Luckily, in Shopify’s app store you can filter by category, price, popularity, or use the search bar to find a specific app.
Weebly has nearly 60 free apps available, while just over 3,000 of Shopify’s apps have a free version, meaning over half of Shopify’s apps in total can be used for free.
App prices vary with both Weebly and Shopify. In general, Weebly’s apps tend to be on the cheaper side than Shopify’s, varying between $3 and $300+ per month. Shopify’s premium apps have a wider price range, from as little as $3 per month all the way up to $1,500 per month.
You can’t really fault Weebly or Shopify for their security efforts. Both automatically include free SSL certificates on all their plans, so any data passing between your site and your visitors – such as login credentials or payment details – is encrypted. Even Weebly’s free plan includes SSL security!
In addition to this, Shopify and Weebly also let you create password protected pages, so only authorized visitors can view your site.
Website builders are usually pretty cagey about their exact security measures, to make it harder for the bad guys to break through their protections. But we know that both Weebly and Shopify have defences in place, including protection against DDoS attacks.
You can view Weebly’s performance to check its uptime and current status – at the time of writing Weebly’s published sites had an uptime of 99.61% uptime over the past 90 days. Shopify doesn’t provide this data, but claims that it has maintained 99.99% uptime for the past 90 days.
Weebly doesn’t have a particularly effective way of migrating or switching your existing website to Weebly. Instead, you’ll have to begin again from scratch and copy and paste content over where you can.
In contrast, Shopify has a Store Importer app, which you can use to import your products, customers, and order data to a Shopify store.
Shopify has guides on migrating from:
- Big Cartel
In all cases you’ll need to export your store data before you can import it to Shopify.
Weebly scored 3.5 stars out of 5 for its help and support in our research, while Shopify scored 4.1 stars. The downside to Weebly is that it only offers phone support on its Professional plan and above, which means customers on the free and Personal plans only get access to email and Help Center support.
Below you can compare the types of support available with Weebly and Shopify:
| 24/7 email || ✔️ || ✔️ |
| Help Center || ✔️ || ✔️ |
| Phone || 6am-6pm PST || 24/7 |
| Live chat || Monday to Friday, 6am-6pm PST |
Saturday to Sunday 8am-5pm PST
| 24/7 |
| Social media || ✔️ || ✔️ |
| Community forum || ✔️ || ✔️ |
| Specialist support || ❌ || For Shopify Plus users |
One feature worth mentioning is that Weebly doesn’t have a personal restore option, meaning you have to wait for Weebly’s support team to restore your site for you. With Shopify, we recommend installing the Rewind app, which starts from $3 per month and lets you easily recover your site if anything goes wrong.
We’ve explored the ins and outs of Weebly and Shopify, and although they’ve both won their fair share of rounds, the overall winner is Shopify. It scored 4.7 stars in our research, whereas Weebly scored 4.3 – it was close behind, but in the end Shopify triumphed.
However, does this mean Shopify is right for you? Let’s have a quick recap before taking a look at which builder is best for your needs:
| Pricing and Value for Money |
|Weebly is more affordable than Shopify, with a free plan and a starting price of just $6 per month (billed annually). Its $12 per month Professional plan offers best value.||Shopify is much more expensive than Weebly, starting at $29 per month. This is because it’s designed to support online stores.|
| Ease of Use |
|Weebly is a simple website builder, but its onboarding isn’t as good as Shopify’s, and you hit a glass ceiling if you can’t code.||Shopify knows that building an online store is hard, and has created its onboarding accordingly – it also makes it as easy as possible to run your site.|
| Website Design |
|Weebly’s designs are simple and classy – and, even better, they’re all free! You can easily switch themes at any time too.||Shopify has more designs than Weebly, but most of them are paid themes costing upward of $100.|
| Website and Marketing Features |
|Weebly’s blogging and SEO tools are a great resource for anyone looking to grow their site, and its storage and free domain are hard to ignore too!||Shopify’s blogging tools aren’t as well developed as Weebly’s, and its email marketing tool isn’t quite as easy to use.|
| Ecommerce Features |
|Weebly uses Square Online for building online stores. It has some neat features, but is best for small online stores.||Shopify has tons of powerful sales tools to support stores of all sizes as they grow – we were especially impressed by its large inventory system.|
| Apps and Integrations |
|Weebly has a pretty impressive app store, with nearly 400 apps in total – but it’s still not a match for Shopify!||Shopify has over 5,000 apps in its app store, which is a lot! It’s pretty easy to install Shopify apps – just keep an eye on the price over time.|
| Performance and Security |
It’s a tie!
|Weebly provides free SSL on all its plans (even the free plan), as well as security measures such as DDoS protection.||Shopify includes free SSL security on all its plans, and has thorough security measures in place to protect your store.|
| Switching Process |
|If you have an existing site, you’ll have to rebuild it using Weebly, which is a time consuming way to move platforms.||The best way to migrate your site to Shopify is using the Store Importer app, which copies over products, customers, and order data.|
| Help and Support |
|Weebly does have a good range of support options, including phone, email, and live chat support. But its phone support isn’t available on the two cheapest plans.||Shopify has a great choice of support options, including 24/7 phone, email, and live chat support.|
You Should Use Weebly If…
- You have less than 10 products to sell
- You need a blog
- You need a portfolio
- You’re on a budget
- You want drag-and-drop customization
You Should Use Shopify If…
- You’re building an online store
- You’re migrating your store from another platform
- You want great support options
- You have a large product portfolio with lots of variants
- You want customization via apps