Like most things in life, it can be hard to make the right choice when there are so many options out there. When it comes to ecommerce platforms, it’s no different. There is a lot to consider.
As we’ve said, Shopify is the most comprehensive online store builder around today. It offers the best sales features, analytics, and access to third party apps. Overall, it’s suitable for any business looking to grow.
So who should bother with Weebly? It all comes down to size – if you’re a small business owner with little tech knowledge, it’s a good option to consider.
Weebly is one of the better drag-and-drop website builders on the market, so it’s very easy to use. It also offers some cheap price plans and lots of apps, ideal for any stores just starting up. It is, however, restrictive with its sales tools, which is something to bear in mind.
Things can only get better for Weebly, though, having recently been purchased by payment processor giant, Square. This shows growing its ecommerce functionality is firmly on the agenda.
A tricky decision, yes. That’s why we’ve done our research and made things easier for you. We’ve rigorously tested both builders, and asked people like you to try them too.
So, after reading this article, you’ll know which ecommerce platform is perfect for building your online store.
- Best value for money
- Easy to use
- Lots of apps
- Lacks important inventory features
- Limited checkout customization
- Can’t sell across multiple channels
- Top rated ecommerce builder
- 24/7 customer support
- Brilliant inventory system
- Transaction fees for external payment gateways
- Costs add up with apps
- Themes need reformatting if you switch
For any product to be successful, people need to enjoy using it. The same goes for online store builders. Can you work wonders with Weebly? And is Shopify simple to suss out?
The answers were revealed in our testing…
Simply put, Weebly is very easy to use. Its drag-and-drop features mean you can customize to your heart’s content, placing elements wherever you like.
You never feel overwhelmed when designing your store thanks to its clear interface, and there are plenty of visual cues to help you along the way. What’s more, the typography is consistent, and spells things out in simple language.
One of our participants found Weebly surprisingly easy to grasp:
Creating an online store was a lot quicker than I had previously imagined.
However, Weebly loses marks for lacking an ‘undo’ button and keyboard shortcuts. This means you can’t easily rectify mistakes, or make quick edits.
Does Shopify match up? Surely, as our top rated ecommerce platform, it should be easy to use, right? Well, no surprises here: it is.
In our testing, Shopify equalled Weebly for ease of use. It’s not a drag-and-drop builder, but it has clearly explained instructions throughout.
Better yet, people were more likely to recommend it. This is mainly down to the fact it has an ‘undo’ button, plus loads of editing shortcuts – two things Weebly lacks.
One of our users who tested Shopify had this to say:
The process of adding products was really straightforward.
Weebly vs Shopify – Ease of Use: The Verdict
Shopify just wins this one. While both platforms are generally very easy to use, scoring the same in our user testing, Weebly lacks a few important features. By contrast, Shopify provides an undo button, lots of keyboard shortcuts, and a more intuitive design experience.
We’ve established that both platforms are easy to use, but what about the tools themselves? Are they powerful enough to grow your business? Well, we investigated the ecommerce weaponry of each brand.
You already know Shopify is our top rated builder, so you shouldn’t be surprised to hear it offers brilliant sales features. What makes Shopify stand out, then?
Ultimately, it provides no real inventory limitations across all price plans. You can sell an unlimited number of products, get revenue reports, and sell across 10 channels, including Facebook, eBay, and Instagram.
Shopify supports a whole range of payment gateways, but the only way to avoid transaction fees is with its own Shopify Payments. In terms of shipping, Shopify has everything you need, including printable labels and access to loads of apps to streamline the process.
Conversely, Weebly is quite restrictive with its sales tools. You’ll need to be on the Business Plan to sell unlimited products, and on a Premium Plan to access Big Data reports. You also cannot update stock levels, making it tricky to manage your business’ inventory.
However, what you do get is a mobile-ready website, which allows customers to make purchases easily from their phone. You’ll also get filtered product search tools, as well as the ability to create dedicated product pages for each item.
|Payment Gateways||PayPal, Stripe, Square||PayPal, Stripe, Amazon, Apple Pay, Shopify Payments (10+ alternatives)|
|Product Limit||Unlimited (Only on Business and Performance Plans)||Unlimited|
|Multi-Channel Selling||No||Yes – 10 Channels|
Weebly vs Shopify – Sales Features: The Verdict
Shopify has much stronger sales features than Weebly. It has no restrictions in terms of what and how much you can sell, and you receive automatic revenue updates. Compare this to Weebly’s limited choice of payment gateways and lack of Big Data reports, and it’s a clear victory.
Customers need to enjoy visiting your store if they’re going to make a purchase. Your website needs to be clean and tidy to encourage purchases, so it’s worth taking the time over. After all, the slicker the templates, the speedier the checkout.
Shopify lets you personalize your powerful store with 10 free themes or 50+ paid options, costing $140 to $180. They’re all well-designed, too, and you can integrate apps into your template.
Weebly is one of the better drag-and-drop website builders on the market, which means customizing your store’s layout is a breeze. It also lets you add ecommerce functionalities to any of its themes (there are 15 online store-specific options, too).
Overall, the templates are quite basic, but you could view this as a way of providing more creative freedom.
However, Weebly’s themes scored poorly in our user testing. Most people found it hard to locate key areas like shipping information and the shopping cart, which makes the customer experience more tiresome than it needs to be. Also, the themes lack some built-in features like embedded contact forms, which you’ll need to add yourself from the app store.
Weebly vs Shopify – Design: The Verdict
Despite the fact Shopify is an ecommerce-specific builder, it still has better design options than Weebly. Shopify’s themes are modern, with clearly laid out action buttons and industry-specific features. With Weebly, it’s hard to locate important areas like the shopping cart, and its themes are generally more basic.
Having good customer support ensures your online store-building journey is a smooth one. It’s like a high quality sat-nav, guiding you on your road trip – you’ll never get lost. As part of our research, we investigated how easily Weebly and Shopify can get you from A to B.
Shopify knows how important customer care can be. And given the amount of tools it offers, it’s likely you’ll have some questions when building your store.
That’s why Shopify provides 24/7 phone and live chat support, email and social media help, and provides an excellent knowledge center forum. You even get a dedicated support agent to give you personalized help on its higher price plans.
Weebly vs Shopify – Customer Support: The Verdict
Shopify offers much more comprehensive customer support than Weebly. It has 24/7 live chat and phone help, email and social media support, and provides a dedicated customer care agent on its higher price plans. In stark contrast, Weebly only offers live chat for limited hours per day.
Weebly has four ecommerce price plans, which are as follows:
- Starter: $8 per month
- Pro: $12 per month
- Business: $25 per month
- Performance: $38 per month
It’s worth noting you can only sell unlimited products and digital goods – as well as create coupons – on the two higher plans.
You can see how cheap it is to run a Weebly store. Better yet, you can pay just $5 per month if you pay upfront for the first two years, and you can build a store for free using the subdomain ‘.weebly’ on its free plan.
With Shopify, you’re offered a 14-day Free Trial where you can try all of its available features. You will then have to upgrade to a paid plan to keep using the platform. The price plans are:
- Basic Shopify: $29 per month
- Shopify: $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify: $299 per month
Each plan offers a comprehensive range of features, but on the two higher plans, you can add gift cards and receive professional reports. On Advanced Shopify, you also get third-party calculated shipping rates, so you get the most accurate results.
While Shopify is the more expensive option, it has more sales features to scale your business. Weebly is much cheaper but provides fewer tools, which makes it more suitable for smaller online stores.
Weebly vs Shopify – Pricing Plans: The Verdict
Despite Shopify offering more features, it cannot compete with the cheap price plans of Weebly. With Weebly, you can run your online store for just $5 per month (if you pay upfront for two years), which is great value considering the generous range of features.
Combining brilliant built-in tools with third party apps, Shopify is for any business looking to scale. Not only that, it makes it really easy to build your store and begin selling online, scoring highly in our ‘ease of use’ user testing.
Weebly is best for small businesses, offering limited sales tools but excellent value price plans. It’s also really easy to use, thanks to its drag-and-drop functionality. What’s more, having recently been bought by payment processors Square, it’s clear Weebly is looking to grow its ecommerce potential.
However, in its current state, Shopify is a far superior ecommerce platform. It simply has too much in terms of features, analytics, and third party apps for Weebly to compete with. While Shopify costs more on average, it’s definitely worth the extra bucks to help your business bloom.
Is Weebly free to sell online?
Weebly does provide a free plan, which lets you build an online store easily using its brilliant drag-and-drop feature, but in order to actually sell products you need to upgrade to at least the ‘Starter’ price plan which costs just $8 per month.
How easy is Shopify to use?
Shopify is one of the most powerful ecommerce platforms on the market, offering the most comprehensive set of sales tools and features, but it’s still very easy to use. The editing dashboard has visual cues, and it provides numerous keyboard shortcuts to make the whole process even quicker.