Sitebuilder Comparison: Wix vs. Weebly

Picking a website builder can be a tough task, especially when so many of the website builders look like they're offering the same features for the same price. Wix and Weebly, two of the most popular and free easy-to-use drag 'n' drop website building platforms, might look alike, but subtle differences in the two could make or break your website design.

In the numbers game, Wix nearly doubles Weebly's 12 million users with more than 35 million registered users and an estimated 1.3 million joining every month. On the other hand, we don't know how many of those registered users have active websites, so take popularity-by-numbers with a grain of salt. Rather, take a look at some of these pros and cons in the Wix versus Weebly debate and decide for yourself which website builder might be better suited to your needs.

1. Intuitive drag 'n' drop tools make Wix's website builder easy to use, whether you're arranging images, text, or slideshows. With Wix's WYSIWIG (What You See is What You Get) editor, you know exactly what your website is going to look like before it goes live. Wix also provides more advanced tools that other website builders do not.
2. Endless professional template options give you the opportunity to look like a pro without much trouble. With pre-structured and pre-formatted templates, you simply have to fill in the sites with your own content, move items around, and you're set with an almost custom design. You can, however, craft your own design from scratch.
3. Customer service is everywhere - you can't escape it, and why would you? With help and support buttons on every page, you're sent to a specific help document instead of a generic support page that leaves you searching for whatever it was you couldn't figure out. With tutorials, help videos, and 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat, Wix has one of the strongest support systems of all of the website builders out there.

1. One of the biggest complaints about Wix is that once you choose a template, you can't change it. If you do opt to switch your template, you have to start from scratch! This means that you have to find the perfect template and commit to it. Likewise, you can't export your website for use elsewhere because most of the design is compatible only within Wix's framework.
2. With Wix's free version, you're going to see in-your-face Wix ads at the top and bottom of your website, which isn't wholly the kind of experience your users want.
3. Despite having ecommerce tools, Wix simply isn't built for the advanced needs of an online store like other services.

1. With a free account, you don't have to worry about unwanted ads floating around your site. In fact, Weebly places a small ad in the footer, making it one of the most subtle ad placements among all of the free website builders. Also, they don't pressure you to upgrade, and there is no limit on how long you can have a free account.
2. Like most of free DIY website builders, Weebly's easy drag 'n' drop builder is streamlined and doesn't overwhelm with a ton of tools allowing you to build a website in a short amount of time. You also have free access to the HTML and CSS if you are a bit savvier and want to dig into the backend of your website.
3. Weebly sites are automatically mobile friendly without having to build an extra website or do much fiddling, making your website accessible to the 31% of current smartphone internet users that say that they mostly go online using their phones.
4. If you want to export your website (for peace of mind or use elsewhere), Weebly allows you to take your website with you.

1. Like Wix, Weebly isn't setup for complex ecommerce needs. Although you can integrate third-party shopping carts, native Weebly doesn't allow for inventory tracking or payment options other than PayPal, unfortunately.
2. Despite having social sharing through Twitter and Facebook, Weebly is lacking other popular tools like Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.
3. If you're hosting a blog on your Weebly site, the limits come out in spades. Weebly doesn't allow for the kind of organization and management needed for a large number of blog posts with varied categories, let alone the option for users to find related blog posts.

Overall, both offer stellar customer service and offer a high level of customization. However, Wix seems to be focused on more advanced options while Weebly gives you a flexible, minimalist approach with the option to dig in the background with CSS and HTML.

Luckily, both offer money-back guarantees, so feel free to play around with both to see which builder is going to meet your needs in the long run.