Wix vs. Weebly – Who Wins?

Having a presence on the web is important for everyone in modern society to have. Although having a web presence is important for everyone, knowing how to code a website isn’t. Fortunately, there are a few services you can use that make it so anyone can create a website regardless of the level of programming knowledge they have. Two of the most popular options for creating a website without programming knowledge are Wix and Weebly. Deciding between the two can vary depending on what is important to you. Let’s first focus on what makes a good website builder.

Website_Builder_Guru

Ease of Use
Ease of use is important when selecting a website builder. Considering that most people who use website builders are not computer programers, making sure the interface and user experience is easy to use for all skill levels is important.

Resources
Resources in this situation actually refers to how much storage and bandwidth you are able to get with the provider. Storage refers to how many pages, images and how much overall content you can add to your website. Bandwidth refers to how many visitors you can have to your website without experiencing technical issues. The importance of this criteria is going to vary depending on what type of website you are building.

Templates
Templates are one of the most important things to consider when selecting a website builder. Different website builders will offer different options when it comes to templates, including both free and paid options in most cases. The template is the look and feel of the website that you will be building. Selecting a template that best fits the look you are trying to accomplish can make a huge difference in whether or not you get repeat visitors to your website.

Editor
Being able to edit your website on a regular basis is important for any website owner. As things change in your business or your personal situation, being able to easily go in and make changes to your website without starting from scratch will be extremely important.

Price
Price is important in all scenarios, regardless of how big or small your website operation will be. Selecting a website builder that fits within your budget and offers what you are looking for with the most amount of value is key.

Support
For those building websites for the first time or those building websites without programming knowledge, a helpful support system could make a huge difference in your website. Having a strong support center can significantly reduce the amount of stress and time spent building and working on your website.

Mobile
The trend in consumer demand continues to point towards mobile access. Many millennials and younger people only use their smartphone or tablet to access the internet and do their daily web browsing. Making sure that your website will operate properly on mobile devices will be extremely important.

Domains
A domain is your online “real estate”. Anytime you see a “.com” name, that is considered a domain. A website builder that allows you to add your own “.com” to the website will distinguish your website and make you appear more professional.

Newsletter
E-mail newsletters can be a great way to retain traffic, engaged your users and even sell your products if applicable. A website builder that makes it easy to create an online newsletter signup and allows you to send emails to your loyal followers can help generate money and returned users for your business.

Comparison

Features

Wix

Weebly

Winner

Ease of Use

10/10

9/10

Wix

Resources

Bandwidth Restrictions Vary by Plan

No Bandwidth Restrictions

Weebly

Templates

9/10

7/10

Wix

Editor

8/10

8/10

Tie (See Below)

Price

$4.08-$29.90/month depending on plan

$3.29-$29/month depending on plan

Depends on level of plan

Free Option?

Yes

Yes

Tie

Support

Online Support Center and Phone Based Support

FAQs

Wix

Mobile Apps

No

Yes

Weebly

Free Custom Domain

Yes

No

Wix

Newsletter Creation

Yes

Yes

Tie

 

The details for each of the features will depend on personal preference, but generally speaking the ratings above can give you a good idea of which may work better for your situation. For those who are focused on the ease of use of the interface, both options offer a great drag and drop interface that make building pages in your website easy. Having said that, I find Wix to be more user friendly in this department.

In regards to templates, Wix has more responsive themes, which means that the theme can adopt to the screen size of the device viewing the website. This is particularly important for creators who expect their website visitors to be using mobile devices and tablets of varying screen sizes.

When it comes to editing, Weebly offers a mobile app editor that Wix does not. For those of you who may be more advanced, Wix doesn’t allow you to edit the CSS code, which Weebly does.

In terms of support I feel that Wix wins this category without a doubt. Although both offerings have support, Wix has forums, phone based support and a lot more. Weebly’s support page focuses around a FAQ to try and limit real human interaction and support as much as possible.

Advantages of Wix

• Create a website easily in a short time, including e-commerce sites

• Use your own domain name

• Search engine pptimization friendly

• Hundreds of HTML 5 templates

 

Advantages of Weebly

• Change themes easily for new looks without rebuilding website

• Use your own domain name

• Manage site with iPhone and Android apps

• Built in site analytics and the ability to use Google Adsense to monetize

 

The Verdict

The final verdict is that both website builders are very good. Which one is the best is going to depend what is important to you. Wix without a doubt offers more templates and more advanced looking website designs. Weebly offers more flexibility and better mobile usage for those who are very “mobile” and want their website visitors to be as well. For e-commerce websites where you may end up selling products or services, Wix will probably service you better. If you are looking to have a blog website where you will monetize based on advertisements, Weebly will be your better choice.

To make a final judgement, Wix offers more features overall. Simplistic and minimalist users will be more likely to enjoy Weebly. Personally, I prefer Wix.

 

WordPress vs. Website Builders

websites should be easy to createPeople often ask me about WordPress – can it be used to build their website? is it better than a website builder? well, it depends…

WordPress is a free platform that was developed originally to allow people to easily create blogs. Over the years, as it gained popularity (and become the number one platform to manage websites) WordPress morphed into a content management system for any type of website. Thousands of programmers write apps (plug-ins) that add muscle to WordPress – shopping carts, carousel photo galleries, SEO tools, calendar and scheduling, etc. Many designers create skins (called themes) to WordPress that allow you to change the look of the whole website in seconds, at least in theory. Editing pages is easy and can be done with styling buttons that work like Office products – add a photo or video, underline, bold, change font type and color, bullet points, etc.

So far so good. The downside is that WordPress requires some HTML knowledge if you want to make certain things on the page look good and accurate. From my experience, even when I created WordPress websites for clients and trained them on how to use it to modify pages, they end up frustrated with the alignment of photos or with tables on the page and ask me to help them with coding to make the page look more organized and coherent. The bottom line is that WordPress is not very friendly for people who have a very specific sense of style and do not have the programming skills to support it.

WordPress is also not ideal for e-commerce – since it was developed as a blog management system, all shopping cart plug-ins that were later added do not have all the advanced functions that systems like Shopify offer – track shipments, returns, automated email communication with customers, advanced coupon options, etc. You will also need to pay separately for the plug-ins, SSL certificate, and a PCI compliant hosting account to let users shop on your website. One last issue – most WordPress templates do not look good on mobile devices – except the new responsive themes which automatically adjust the size and amount of content on the page to match your screen size.

Website builders, in general, offer a simplified experience to website owners. You do not need any knowledge of programming to pick a template and adjust it to match your taste. Many themes were developed to specific industries – so if you own a restaurant, a photography studio, hair salon, or a pet shop you are likely to find a template that looks like a well-established website and does not require too many adjustments. In addition, some of the better website builders, specifically Wix, allow you to drag and drop items so you can control the placement of each photo, text box or video on the page and make sure that all elements are aligned exactly as you want them to be. Oh, and you do not need to pay for web hosting or anything when you start a website on most of these platforms.

In conclusion, for most people who start a new website, website builders are a better choice. If you want more sophisticated functions, or if you have some coding skills or budget to hire a coder, you should consider using WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and other content management systems to create your website.

 

I need a website now! What to do?

If you are starting a new business or need a website for an existing activity / organization / company / for any reason in the world, here is a quick guide. If you don’t have any knowledge of HTML or other internet programming languages, it is best to use a system that will let you design your website visually, pretty much like using Word or Powerpoint.

Take a look at the list of website builders we prepared and visit their websites to learn more and in most cases try the systems for free. Once you settle on a system, look at established websites that are related to your business/project and try to decide on your website’s different sections. Some popular pages are the home page, of course, as well as about us, products / services pages, photo galleries, and contact us (can contain address, phone number, email address, map, directions). The website builder will also host your website’s files on their server, so ou don’t need to pay for this service separately.

Navigation
When you have your future website’s structure in mind, start using the website builder you chose to create the different pages and the navigation that will allow visitors to easily find what they are looking for. Try to use top navigation (as on http://www.godaddy.com/) rather than a left-side navigation (as on http://www.cambrianhouse.com/) that often limits your ability to grow the website by adding more pages.

Home Page & Important Considerations
You should try to have somewhere around the top part of the page your phone number (if you are interested in using the site as a lead generation tool) or a contact us button. If you have nice/active profiles in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twiter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest etc – consider having a button that links to them in a visible part of the home page and possible all other pages. If this website is for a physical location, have the address either on top or in large font at the bottom. Have a link to Google Maps to allow people to easily find you.

The home page is like the front window of your business – anything you put there has the highest chance to be seen by visitors, therefore think carefully about the layout you choose and the content you see as most important. The top are of the page, before users need to scroll down, is called “above the fold”. 80% of the users will never scroll down so put your best marketing messages and materials on top. Remember that many visitors will come from tablets and mobile devices and find a template that will adjust for different screen sizes.

What’s Next?
When you work on other pages / sections of the site, try to use nice large photos (either use your own photos or buy cheap ones from iStockPhoto – don’t grab photos from the internet since you don’t have the rights for them and you may get in trouble) to decorate the pages. Many visitors will prefer photos and videos over text so make sure you have your content embedded in photos – you can add captions and text within photos – and in videos. YouTube lets you upload a video and add little notes that are displayed as the video is played. You can “embed” a box on the page that will play the video from YouTube and will look as if it is a part of your website.

Domain Name
In order to establish your website as a reliable, stable source of information or if it represents an actual business, you should think about buying a domain name so that your web address will look like “www.mybusiness.com” rather than “mybusiness.wix.com”. All top website builders allow you to buy a domain name and they will also set it up for you.

You should be ready now to start sharing your website with family, friends, clients, and the rest of the world.
How to get people who don’t know you to find your website? SEO, social media and PPC – more on that later.