Today we are going to delve into Wix vs. Weebly and what I’ve dubbed “a fair comparison.”
We all want unbiased information, but virtually everyone has a bias of some sort. (Full disclosure – I’ve been a paying Weebly customer and used free Wix sites for several years). Today I’m going to give you the low down of 2 of the leading user friendly site builders so you can make an educated decision on which is right for you.
The good news is, both Weebly and Wix are big time players in this space and have a ton to offer. So you really can’t make a “bad decision.” Both are excellent – they are just different. At the core, they are both designed to make building and maintaining a professional looking website very simple to non-technical users.
If you’ve already chosen a platform to build your site on, good for you. If it happens to be Weebly, we actually have a Guide to Weebly SEO already available.
So let’s talk about some of those differences and why they matter:
Wix vs. Weebly – Getting Started
One thing I love about both of these tools is that they let you start for free, and continue for free INDEFINITELY. So unlike Squarespace and most of the others in this space, you don’t have just 14 days or some other fixed amount of time to try it out.
While Wix and Weebly both have free accounts, you’ll definitely need to upgrade to a paid plan when it comes time to go live. We’ll go through the details in our pricing comparison a little later, but I wanted to make the point that you can start either of these tools with no obligation and see how you like it before making a decision.
Creating a Wix Website
When you first start with Wix and create a site, the first thing you’ll do is pick a free template. This is the overall look and design of your site.
Wix has “100’s” of templates to choose from – most of which are responsive, meaning they’ll automatically look nice on a smartphone or smaller screen. Based on sheer quantity, Wix has much more variety to offer in the way of templates than Weebly.
Once you’ve selected a template (which you can change at any time), you simply click the “edit site” button and you are immediately taken to the Wix editor to begin customizing this template with your own text, logo, images, etc.
You can even make sweeping changes to the content and layout if you’d like, but for the average user it’s easier to stick pretty close to their existing design and just update the content. Once you get into moving tons of stuff around, you can get pretty far down that rabbit hole and end up getting nothing accomplished!
So the incredible freedom that Wix gives you with their site editor can be both a blessing and curse, as they say.
Here is a 90 second overview of how the Wix editor works:
Creating a Weebly Website
Weebly starts in a very similar fashion to Wix. When you add a site, you’ll put in some details like the site name and choose what the URL will be. To start, you can just use a “WHATEVER.weebly.com” style URL until you are ready to go. You can always buy a domain later and connect it to your site.
After that, you’ll be choosing your template/theme in Weebly that will be the look of your site. Like Wix, Weebly themes are mobile-friendly out of the box – which is super convenient. You don’t have to do anything extra to make your site look great on mobile devices. Here are a couple of Weebly themes:
As mentioned earlier, Weebly doesn’t have the same amount of selection as far as themes go. However, they’ve added a couple dozen very sleek and modern themes in the last couple of years so you should have no problem finding one you like.
Here is a brief overview of what editing a site is like in Weebly:
Since both Weebly and Wix will allow you to make changes and customizations to the look of your site, there are really some sharp looking examples out there. You can also hire a designer or professional to get a more custom look if needed, but that may defeat some of the purpose of using Wix or Weebly in the first place since one of the main benefits is getting a professional looking site done quickly and for an affordable price.
Here are a few real example sites using Weebly:
Here are some businesses using Wix:
Both make getting started very quick and easy. Wix has more templates to choose from, but both have a number of modern theme options that are almost certain to please. With the right customization, sites on both Weebly and Wix can look amazing.
Comparing the Wix and Weebly Editors
In the videos above, you saw a quick overview of what each editor looks like and the features it contains. Both Wix and Weebly have “drag and drop” editors, meaning that you click on elements like blocks of text, images, etc. and drop them where you want them on the page.
Really these are 2 of the most intuitive website editing tools out there. It should take you just a minute or two after logging in to “get it” and start building out your site.
Here are some of the key features and differences:
Wix Editor Overview
When you choose a pre-made template with Wix, you are really starting with a site that is pretty much built out. It’s kind of like you are taking over an existing website to edit rather than starting from scratch.
You can decide if that is a good thing, but I kind of like it.
If you are short on imagination, it will give you some ideas about where to place your content rather than having a complete blank slate.
One of my favorite things about Wix’s editor is in the “Design” options. The design icon looks like a paint brush on the left, and lets you change the background, colors, and font.
In the colors section, they have a catalog of color palettes to choose from:
In most other editors I’ve seen, including Weebly, you are editing one color at a time after you choose your template.
You can customize the palettes in Wix if you want, but having a set of complimentary colors to go with is really convenient. I know for myself, I don’t really trust my color coordination skills and would prefer just to choose a full set of colors as opposed to picking one color for every little bit of text, background, etc. on my site.
Adding and editing pages is actually pretty similar in Wix and Weebly. When you go to the pages section, you’ll see a list of all existing pages and can move them around and quickly choose whether to have them in your navigation, customize SEO settings (more on this later), etc.
Once you’ve created a page, you can then start adding elements to the page and drag them wherever you want, literally. Wix even lets you have 2 elements overlap if you want. Check out how I put some text on top of text… just because I can:
While you would never do this kind of thing – having total freedom can be helpful in some circumstances. You can overlay text and images, change spacing, and more without much trouble.
Wix lets you drop in all kinds of text, media, galleries, contact forms, and a boatload of available apps (free and paid) that you can add to your site. There is no shortage of options.
How does that compare to Weebly?
The Weebly editor is setup similarly, with all of your elements on the left that give you the ability to add just about anything you can think of to your website.
Your design, pages, and settings can all be accessed at the top and give you full control over your site.
With the Weebly editor, you can add multiple columns inside of a page and as you are dragging elements to the page you can choose to put them above, below, or beside any other element on the page. As you are dragging, a little blue line will appear to show you where you are about to put your text, image, etc.; eliminating guesswork:
So putting a text block on top of another one isn’t possible, but the instances when one would actually use that capability are quite rare.
Overall, I’d put Weebly’s editor up against any of the others based on the ease of use and the amount of customization you can do.
I kind of like the fact that it puts stuff in an appropriate place for you automatically. To further illustrate the point, here’s what I get when I add an image via Wix:
It puts the full size image in the middle of my page. From there, I can then shrink it and drag it around wherever I want. I’m not a big fan of that workflow.
I prefer how Weebly does it where I pick a logical spot first, and then choose my image.
Wix’ editor gives you the most freedom I’ve seen from a drag and drop site builder. If you are a designer or very particular, this could be a good thing. Weebly uses drag and drop as well and isn’t quite as “wide open,” but I actually prefer that for myself.
Both editors are very capable and quite user friendly.
Wix vs. Weebly – SEO
No matter which website builder you choose, what good is the world’s best looking site if nobody sees it?
SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of setting your site up for success in the search engines – like Google.
Years ago, Wix was flash-based and had a pretty bad reputation for SEO. While it still isn’t a resounding favorite of the SEO community, they have a number of success stories and millions of customers for a reason. If it were impossible to rank a Wix website in Google, do you think they’d have those kind of results?
Weebly gives you a fair amount of control as well, and as mentioned earlier I’ve been a paying Weebly Pro customer for several years. In that time, I’ve had a site that’s averaged over 100,000 visitors per year with almost all of the traffic coming organically from the search engines.
I like to make SEO very practical and accessible for those without a lot of experience. It’s a topic that can easily be overwhelming, but here’s the approach that has worked for me:
I start the SEO discussion by focusing on the importance of keywords. If you aren’t familiar, keywords are basically just things people search for in Google. When you start a new site, the strategy I suggest is to find the right keywords to target in your niche or industry.
What are the right keywords?
The ideal keywords have a fair amount of people searching for them, and they have relatively low competition in the top 10 results of Google. These are what we call “low competition, long tail keywords.” The idea is that by creating a page or blog post on your site that targets this keyword and delivers great information, you’ll have a higher chance to rank on page 1 of the search engines than if you focus on keywords that are overly competitive.
Most people who start out with Weebly or Wix don’t think that way, so you’re already a step ahead of your competition – congratulations!
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Once you’ve nailed down your keyword strategy, you can then start implementing it in Wix or Weebly.
Perhaps more importantly, you can go into “advanced settings” on each individual page and blog post and set your SEO title and meta description. This allows you to use your focus keyword(s) of that page in the title and description, which are both important from an SEO standpoint.
Here is a look at the advanced settings in Weebly for an individual page:
In Weebly, the page name gets used in URL. In a Weebly blog post, you can actually set the end of the URL to be whatever you’d like – which is very helpful. In both cases, you end up with a rather simple, succinct URL to your pages and posts.
The URL structure in Wix isn’t quite so simple.
Having a URL that isn’t exactly what you want isn’t the end of the world, but URLS are important for ‘shareability’, SEO, and click through rates.
Here is how Wix explains their URL structure and confirms that you can’t change it.
To give you an example, here is what the default URL of my “Studios” page looked like on Wix:
If I had built a page called studios on Weebly, the URL would be something like this:
See the difference?
Wix does confirm that you can use 301 redirects to get better looking URLS in place, but it does take some extra effort.
Beyond the URL structure, Wix does give you the ability to update the page title and meta description of every page and blog post – which is critical when focusing on certain keywords with that page.
This can all be found under SEO Page Settings and should not be overlooked!
Based on the keyword strategy I follow, I prefer the SEO settings in Weebly because you do have more control overall – particularly with the URLs.
Wix vs. Weebly Pricing
The pricing of Wix and Weebly is similar enough that if you feel strongly about one over the other – pricing shouldn’t be a deciding factor. Here is a quick look at Wix’ pricing options:
The big variable is whether or not you sell products on your website. If not, the $12.42 plan should work well and comes with some free goodies like a domain for one year and some ad vouchers.
Here is the current pricing for Weebly:
If you are an e-commerce business, you’ll want the “Business” package with Weebly as it includes all the e-commerce features you’ll need. For businesses that don’t sell products online, a “Pro” plan will do just fine.
As stated at the outset, these are 2 of the leading DIY website builders for a reason.
Each one is outstanding.
Since both let you start for free, there is no reason to get too worried about the decision. Simply take an hour or two to try them out and see which one you like working with.
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