Shopify vs Weebly | Which One Is Better For You?

Last updated on May 29, 2018

Shopify vs WeeblyShopify vs Weebly is a match-up many fresh ecommerce entrepreneurs have thought about before selling online.

If it was a soccer game, you’d find it difficult to pick a winner. We know from firsthand experience…

That’s good news for you! They’re both great platforms, so whichever you choose, you’ll be onto a good thing.

Let’s start with the basics – Shopify and Weebly are quality platforms that enable non-technical users to create an online store and start selling products online.

And how do they differ? Shopify is a dedicated ecommerce platform. It’s a masterful, one-stop-shop for all your online selling needs. Weebly is neat drag-and-drop store builder. It’s definitely one of the best Shopify alternatives. It might not be as powerful, but it is a cheaper alternative to Shopify.

When comparing Shopify vs Weebly, the truth is it comes down to what you need from your store.

In this guide we take a closer look at Shopify vs Weebly and ask, which one is better for you?

We compare the platforms on tools, pricing, apps, customer support and ease-of-use. The things that matter to you and your online business!

By the end of our Shopify vs Weebly comparison you’ll be able to pick a winner for your store! Shopify offers a free trial and Weebly a 30-day money-back guarantee. So you can take them for a test drive before spending any of your hard-earned dollars. If you’re in a hurry, get started using the links below:

Shopify: Pros and Cons

Before we dig into Shopify vs Weebly in more detail, let’s look at the top pros and cons of each platform.

Shopify Pros
#1 Powerful ecommerce tools
Shopify provides everything you need to build an advanced store. Over 1200 apps give you great flexibility.
#2 Premium support
You get 24/7 support as standard across LiveChat, email and phone.
#3 Over 60 mobile-ready themes
Shopify’s free and paid themes cover a wide range of industries and work perfectly on mobile and desktop.

Try Shopify for Free

Shopify Cons
#1 Transaction fees
Unlike Weebly, Shopify charges a fee on transactions (unless you use Shopify Payment).
#2 Costs can mount
App costs, fees and monthly payments can make Shopify seem pricey. But if your store is growing and making sales, it won’t seem like a problem!

Weebly: Pros and Cons

Weebly Pros
#1 Very user-friendly
Weebly provides what you need to create an attractive and functioning store. Even the least technical user can get up and running on Weebly.
#2 Up-to-date templates
Weebly’s themes are well-designed and easy to change.
#3 Competitive pricing
You can sell products online on Weebly from just $8 a month.

Try Weebly Today

Weebly Cons
#1 Limited range of ecommerce tools
If you want to build a powerful ecommerce store, you may find Weebly’s range of tools restrictive. Tends to introduce new tools slower than rivals like Shopify.
#2 Limited customization
Making complex changes to your store can be difficult in Weebly’s editor.
Themes & Design

Shopify is an ecommerce market-leader for a reason: everything aims to help you sell.

That includes templates. We rate Shopify’s theme design 5 stars out 5 because of how professional and unique they are. From fashion to food, no matter what industry you’re in, Shopify has over 60 mobile-responsive themes that will have you covered.

You can browse themes by industry. Some come with your Shopify plan, but some cost extra, starting from $140. There’s no obligation to use a paid theme, but once you’re making sales it might be a good investment.

Shopify vets the themes in its store, so you know you’re getting a quality product whichever one you use.

Personalizing your theme is a little trickier with Shopify than Weebly. But considering how powerful a platform it is, it is still very accessible. Even if you’re not technically-savvy, you can add a stylish theme and customize it.

The thing to bear in mind is that Shopify’s themes don’t just look great, they help you sell more. Shopify has helped businesses all over the world generate over $55bn in sales. They really are experts at what look and feel works for your bottom line.

In the Shopify vs Weebly head-to-head, Shopify shades it on themes and design.

Weebly likes to keep things simple, and its templates reflect that. They may be more basic than Shopify’s, but they’re crisp and well-designed.w

In our comparison chart, Weebly scores a strong 4 stars for template design. While they aren’t as good as Shopify, Weebly’s themes are very solid and can easily help you create a polished online store that is mobile-responsive too.

Weebly’s theme store has 15 design options for online stores. We are impressed with how well-executed they look, but there is less variety than Shopify.

One area Weebly can go toe-to-toe with Shopify is how easy themes are to edit once you’ve added one to your store. Editing themes is very intuitive, meaning you can build a store with your personality. We particularly like how easy it is to create standalone product pages for each of your items. With Weebly’s themes, the whole user experience is very slick.

For sheer variety and because they’re geared towards selling, Shopify’s themes are slightly better than Weebly’s. But if you want to start an online store smoothly and quickly, Weebly is definitely worth looking at.

Ecommerce Tools

Shopify is a full-featured ecommerce machine bursting with tools to help you sell. The range of tools at your fingertips really is awesome. Whether you’re selling 10 products or 1000, Shopify has the functionality to cater to your needs. It’s why Shopify is the best platform for large businesses or stores that want to grow rapidly.

We won’t go into all of them now (this is a Shopify vs Weebly snap comparison, remember) but there are a few ecommerce tools we need to highlight.

On Shopify you can accept payment from over 70 payment methods, including PayPal and credit cards, in different currencies. This blows Weebly’s four payment options out of the water!

One area Shopify beats the lot is analytics. It can help you understand your customers better than any other platform we’ve tested. You’ll get a level of detail you simply can’t access on a more basic platform like Weebly. The better you know your shoppers, the more you can keep them happy. And a happy customer spends more – the sweet spot for any seller, right?

With Shopify you can sell on social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest. It’s also one of only two platforms that allows you to integrate with an Instagram Store!

Other tools allow you to add multiple staff accounts, send discount codes, create blogs, add products and sort them into an inventory, and send abandoned cart emails – all can help improve your bottom line…

The only remote downside of Shopify is that you may find the number of tools and what you can do with them overwhelming!
You can feast your eyes on a full features list on the Shopify website.

Weebly is a no-frills platform that aims to help small businesses or one-man-band merchants get online easily and quickly. So it’s no surprise its ecommerce tools are not as comprehensive as Shopify’s.

That said, Weebly does the basics very well. It means Weebly punches above its weight and offers some of the best ecommerce tools of any drag-and-drop platform.

Fully-integrated shopping carts (on certain Weebly plans) mean your customers will stay on your store all the way from placing the order to completing the purchase.

Other important Weebly tools include a tax calculator, inventory tracking, a coupon builder, and abandoned cart recovery – a really effective sales tool not currently available on Weebly’s drag-and-drop competitor Wix, for example.

One selling point of Weebly is how easy it is to migrate an online store you’ve already created onto the platform. All you need to do is upload a CSV file. You can then access the full range of personalization tools in the editor, just like any other user!

You might be thinking Weebly’s ecommerce tools sound pretty sweeping?

Well, they are. But the area Weebly loses out in the Shopify vs Weebly match-up is analytics. You can integrate your Weebly store with Google Analytics, but the in-house reporting is nowhere near as advanced as it is on Shopify’s dashboard.

This won’t be a problem if you’re selling a small number of products, but as your store grows it will become more of an issue.

Unlike with Shopify, we’d say there are limits on what you can do on Weebly. But if Shopify’s tools sound too wide-ranging for your needs, Weebly is worth a shot!

For a more detailed look at Weebly’s ecommerce tools, visit Weebly’s website.

App Store

A good app store is now a fundamental part of any quality ecommerce platform. While you may not need apps when you start selling, you will when you want to jazz up your store, or need to change something to fulfil a business goal.

It’s certainly something to consider when looking at Shopify vs Weebly.

Shopify’s App Store is one of the best in the business. You can choose from over 1200 apps, covering social media integration to taxes. The range of apps means a Shopify store is basically limitless.

These apps don’t just let you add fancy new features. They free up your time by doing mundane jobs for you. You can then get back to what’s important: improving your store and selling products.

For instance, you can add a professional contact form to improve customer service, or team up with a converter and give shoppers the chance to view different currencies.

Some of Shopify’s apps are free, some cost a monthly fee. You have full control over the use of any app and can pull the plug at any time if it’s not working for you.

The App Store really is a goldmine for merchants like you.

Weebly’s App Center says it will “bring the world to your website”. We think it delivers on that promise!

The layout of the App Center is cleaner and more modern than Shopify. Finding the service you need is very easy.

Even though Weebly’s focus is on simplicity, the App Center means you can expand your site pretty easily. The apps listed in the store can be added at the click of a button, so there’s no messing around sorting out the integration. The apps are fully-integrated – you won’t need to touch any code to add them to your site.

Apps are divided into categories like ‘ecommerce’ and ‘communications’. Like Shopify, to get some apps you’ll need to spend some money, but free trials are available so you can try before you buy! Use the trial period to make sure the app is a good fit for your site.

Weebly’s apps cover anything from adding a forum to your site to offering multi-language pages. Considering the simplicity of Weebly’s offering, the App Center is a pretty impressive offering.

Pricing

OK, let’s talk about price.

After all, how much each platform is going to cost you is a big part of the Shopify vs Weebly debate.

Shopify’s monthly pricing plans are:

  • Basic Shopify – $29
  • Shopify – $79.99
  • Shopify Advanced – $299

Shopify is more expensive than Weebly, but it’s because it’s a fully-fledged ecommerce platform. You get the full range of tools and features to help you shift products off your virtual shelves.

You can knock 10 or 20% off your annual bill if you sign up to a one or two-year plan respectively.

What’s so impressive about Shopify is the features included on all plans as standard: you can sell unlimited products, send discount codes, get an SSL certificate (which means your website is marked as ‘secure’ to shoppers) valued at $70, and get 24/7 customer support.

The better your Shopify plan, the lower your transaction fees. They start at 2.2% on Basic but are waived if you use Shopify’s own payment gateway.

It’s worth keeping in mind that a Shopify vs Weebly price comparison can be misleading. Sure, you can sell products on Weebly for $8/month, much cheaper than Shopify. But you’re limited to 10 products and don’t have your own checkout domain. Shopify’s most basic plan gives you your own checkout and lets you sell unlimited products, so really Shopify Basic is most closely comparable to Weebly Business – and there’s only $4.99 in it!

Essentially, Shopify is a long-term platform that can grow with your store.

On the whole, we’re a big believer in the phrase you get what you pay for. Shopify isn’t the cheapest platform on the market, but you will get everything you need to build a powerful online store.

You just need to ask, does having extra perks like round-the-clock support justify paying more for the platform?

Use Shopify’s free trial to find the answer.

Read our Shopify Pricing Review for a comprehensive guide about Shopify’s pricing plans.

Weebly is a cheaper alternative to Shopify and offers awesome value for money.

Here’s what each of Weebly’s plans cost a month:

  • Free – $0
  • Starter – $8
  • Pro – $12
  • Business – $25

Keep in mind that to sell products, you must be on a paid Weebly plan. And to sell over 25 products, you must be on the Business plan (with Shopify you can sell unlimited products on any plan).

Weebly charges 3% transaction fees on its Starter and Pro plans – higher than fees on any Shopify plan. There are, however, no transaction fees on the Business plan.

Plans may be cheaper than Shopify’s, but they are far more stripped back. For example, to get the SSL certificate included as standard with Shopify you must upgrade to the Business plan on Weebly.

Weebly is cheaper alternative to Shopify. It’s an attractive option if you’re a small businesses or a merchant looking to sell a modest number of products.

On the flip side, though, you will have more chance of growing your online store into a source of serious revenue with all of Shopify’s tools and features at your disposal.

When comparing Shopify and Weebly on price, it boils down to what you hope to achieve from your store.

Overall, Weebly is very fairly priced, especially given it’s one of the most user-friendly platforms around!

Weebly has a 30-day money back guarantee, giving you a long trial period. Take advantage and see if Weebly is right for you.

Check out our Weebly Pricing Review for an in-depth look at Weebly’s plans.

Customer Support

With Shopify, you can get support through LiveChat, Twitter, email or over the phone. 24/7 help is available on every plan from Basic upwards.

Having such support on tap is invaluable if you’re just starting out selling online. It’s like having a business advisor, computer expert and designer all rolled into one!

If you want to develop your store, Shopify experts are on hand to show you the ropes.

In our experience using Shopify, the support is top-quality. They are quick to respond to your issue and always offer helpful solutions.

Weebly’s level of customer support is far lower than on Shopify. With Weebly, you have to upgrade to a Pro or Business plan to receive phone support.

Keep in mind that because Weebly is so easy to use (more on this in just a moment), you may not need as much support as with a more complex platform.

Our experience using Weebly’s support has always been positive – and that’s backed up by users’ feedback.

In a Shopify vs Weebly face-off on customer support, Shopify is the winner for us. While Weebly’s support is decent, and it does offer in-depth guides and a useful forum, Shopify really can’t do enough for you. And unlike Weebly, Shopify’s support is available 24/7. Weebly’s Customer Success team are only available 6am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 5pm on weekends.

Ease-of-use

As Shopify is an ecommerce heavyweight, there’s a slight learning curve to get to grips with using it. You will have to invest a bit of time mastering the editor and getting the most out of the functionality.

While Shopify is more difficult to use than Weebly, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Shopify offers far more ecommerce tools.

It doesn’t take long to get to grips with Shopify though. In fact we managed to build a store in just a few hours! You’ll pick it up quickly and soon be adding products, managing your inventory and crafting a stylish homepage.

Even if you’re non-technical, it’s very possible to master Shopify. And remember, quality support is just a phone call away. In your store editor, too, help widgets guide you through building your store step by step.

However, if ease of use is your number one priority, you’ll want to at least give Weebly a test run.

 

Ease of use is Weebly’s unique selling point. Basically, making it effortless for you to get your store up and running is why Weebly is such a successful company. It puts accessibility front and center of its business and, in our experience, not even Wix is as straightforward to pick up.

The drag-and-drop tools mean you literally point the mouse at the feature you want to add, click and move it where you want.

It’s that simple!

Weebly is a ‘what you see is what you get’ builder. This means you can see your store take shape as you construct it. If you don’t like something, it’s easy to chop and change colors, text, images – the whole lot!

The store you see on your screen is the one your shoppers will see when they land on your site. This saves you having to go back and forth between the editor and the preview mode to check how your site looks.

Weebly is one of the top ecommerce platform when it comes to combining ease-of-use with proper features and functionality to help you sell online.

See our Detailed Review Shopify Review Weebly Review
shopify vs weebly Shopify example ecommerce store

Wondering how good your store could be if you built it using Shopify? Here’s some inspiration for you from design company Factory 43…

Shopify vs Weebly – Conclusion

Picking a platform to build your online store is a big decision and not an easy one. We know from experience. It’s why we’ve created side-by-side reviews like this one to help you come to an informed decision.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer and it’s difficult to give a final verdict on Shopify vs Weebly.

If you’re looking to get online quickly and cheaply and sell a small number of products, Weebly is definitely a platform we’d recommend considering. But if you want to grow an online business into a full-time income and sell larger volume, you will need the powerful ecommerce tools available on Shopify.

Weebly’s tools might not be as comprehensive as Shopify’s, but they are more than enough for small businesses or one-man band traders who want to top up their income or make a bit of money online.

Both Shopify and Weebly offer trial periods. The best thing to do is test them out. Assess the key aspects we’ve covered in this Shopify vs Weebly comparison and see which one ticks your boxes!

Fred Isaac

About Fred Isaac

I’m not a developer or a designer, so I know how daunting computers and the internet can be. Having worked at start-up businesses and websites for many years (and seeing what works and what doesn't), I'm now sharing this experience with you to help you get online safely and successfully.

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Fred Isaac

About Fred Isaac

I’m not a developer or a designer, so I know how daunting computers and the internet can be. Having worked at start-up businesses and websites for many years (and seeing what works and what doesn't), I'm now sharing this experience with you to help you get online safely and successfully.

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