If you’re planning on building your own website, but you don’t have the coding experience you need or the money to pay someone who does, you’re probably considering using a website builder like Wix that doesn’t require any coding knowledge, and are aware of some of the advantages of using a website builder. You might have heard of Wix, or one or two others – but just because you’ve heard of it, it doesn’t mean it’s the best website builder for you.
In this article, we’re aiming to help you make the decision about which service offers the best website builder. We’re going to compare Wix vs. WordPress vs. Weebly vs. Shopify. Hint: there really is no “best” site builder – but there is a best one for you. We’ll help you decide by giving you a rundown on the best sites that are like Wix, what they’re good for, and what you need to think about. We’ll cover:
- Wix: the best for sites with specific needs
- Weebly: the best for sites that need a lot of integrations
- WordPress: the best for advanced sites
- Shopify: the best for ecommerce sites
- 5 features to consider when choosing the best site builder for you
Read on to help choose the best site builder for you!
Wix: the best for websites with specific needs
Wix.com is one of the most popular website-building tools available, and there is good reason why. Wix was one of the first websites to become popular by offering a “drag-and-drop” function. This essentially has all of the elements you would need to add to your website (text boxes, images, video, buttons, links, shapes, backgrounds, menu items, and so on) pre-created, so you merely need to choose one, drop it in place on a draft of your website, and then customize it. It also contains within it, a Learning Management System (LMS), which helps the user (even one with no prior experience), learn how to use it while building their site.
Wix is great because it allows you to customize placement of your items down to the last detail. It doesn’t not automatically place elements, so you need to choose the exact point, and can even type in an exact number based on pixel-sized spacing if you want to be particular with where the features of your website are going. Wix also has built-in SEO tools, a built-in blog feature to make adding content to your site easier, a mobile-version editor, and a large app store with tools you can add to your site (sometime paid, sometimes for free) that add value to your site, such as a search bar or a form for users to fill out.
If you want to learn more about how to use Wix, check out our free course here with step-by-step tutorials and pictures.
Weebly: the best for websites that need a lot of integrations
Weebly.com offers a website very similar to Wix, and overall, has the most features that are similar. Weebly has a drag and drop service like Wix, allowing you to move pre-built elements onto your website, in exactly the way you want. One of the ways Weebly differs is that instead of giving you the most detailed level of control over the placement of your website elements, it helps you plug things into the places it most makes sense. Weebly will line up the things you drag with the other elements on the page, allowing you to place them in like puzzle pieces.
In addition to assisting you with building each page of your website, Weebly also has the best app store of the available web builders, with hundreds of quality apps for you to choose from. Weebly created a neat system where they offer an app-builder through their website, so individuals can build apps for other Weebly users to make use of. This leads to a competitive app market where you have multiple options for the add-ons you put on your website, rather than with the other web builders where you have to choose from the limited options approved by the company (based on who is paying them to have their apps featured in the app marketplace), or have to sift through thousands of options because absolutely anyone can add an app or create a plugin for a site like WordPress.
WordPress: the best for advanced websites
WordPress.com is also a great alternative to Wix, and it claims to power almost 30% of all websites on the Internet. It offers plenty of options for its users, from the most basic plug-and-play blog to a comprehensive content management system for websites with thousands of pages and unique URLs. WordPress is available in over 70 languages, allows you to add multiple users, and helps you schedule and manage your posts with an easy-to-use interface.
Some of the best features WordPress offers are that it has plenty of integrations, and offers tiers of paid services to match anything you as an individual or your business may need. It includes, secure data storage, access to the WordPress community and forum, an easy-to-use theme system, and Yoast SEO services. WordPress is designed to be simple and intuitive – the idea being you will jump right into it and start building your site – with no issues.
Shopify: the best for ecommerce websites
Shopify.com is another great Wix, Weebly, or WordPress competitor, and offers options for those who want to set up an online store. Other website builders, including the ones listed here, offer the option to do that as well, but Shopify is specifically made to help streamline this process – if this is what your website is going to focus on. They began as their own ecommerce store, and then focussed on helping individuals who have quality products to offer build their own ecommerce store to sell direct to customers, rather than having to pay percentages of their sales to huge ecommerce websites like Amazon.
With every basic Shopify plan, you can list unlimited products in your store, unlimited bandwidth and storage, manual order creation, online sales channels, fraud analysis, finance reports, discount codes, and so much more. If your website needs to be primarily an online store, Shopify is the site for you. With a paid plan, you can get add-ons as well, including gift cards, an SSL certificate, calculated shipping, customer reporting, and more.
5 features to consider when choosing the best website builder for you
1. Know how much money you’re going to need to sink into it.
Before you begin choosing a service, you need to think about how much money you’re going to have to spend. Though it’s true that some of these services can be used for free, it’s often at the expense of displaying their branded advertising on your website – so it won’t look quite as professional. Instead, think about a realistic amount of money you may need to pay to get all the features that you want, without needing to pay for many that you don’t.
Best pricing plan options: Wix
Wix offers a good variation of pricing plans depending on what you need, and essentially, merely upgrades the amount of service you get with each tier – rather than putting useful features most people need throughout different plans, so you need to pay more to get everything.
2. Don’t fall victim to signing up for features you don’t need.
One of the worst ways you can go about comparing Wix vs. Weebly, WordPress, Shopify, or any other website builder is to open up all their pricing plans and start comparing which one offers what features. A much better approach is to start making a list of the things you know you need, and which features are most important to your new online presence.
Most useful/necessary features offered: Shopify
Shopify offers more with their standard plan than any other website builder, which makes them a great alternative to WordPress, or other big web builders – because they know the things you really need with a basic plan. Their upgrades are all specific to different types of ecommerce, so you will only need to upgrade if it makes sense for your business model.
3. There’s no “best site” – but there’s a best one for you.
All of the sites we’ve mentioned here offer something for different types of websites – and they all can likely do what you need them to. But they are different, and offer slightly different services, and one of them is likely better for what you need than the others. You need to think about getting the best value for the features you really need.
Best all-around, catch-all needs option: WordPress
WordPress offers products and service for so many different kinds of websites. From the simplest blogs to photoblogs, professional portfolios, informational sites, charitable initiatives, content-based websites, and so much more. No matter what type of website you are building, WordPress has options for you, from the smallest individual, to the largest company.
4. Consider how long it will take you to learn to use it.
Though a website builder may offer amazing features and a huge app store full of elements to add to your site that you think will be useful to you, they are essentially pointless unless you can figure out how to make use of them quickly.
Easiest to learn how to use: Weebly
Because of it’s drag-and-drop method, Weebly is incredibly easy and intuitive to learn how to use. Though Wix offers a similar format, Weebly plugs and places elements into proper place for you, and automatically lines up and centers what you place on each webpage, so it’s even easier to get things done quickly.
5. See how their free service works before you pay for anything.
Check out the free options offered by each website builder before you pay for anything. The great thing about site builders is that they always allow you to upgrade your plan at any time. This means that you can use the free service to begin building a mock-up of what your site will look like, and from there, choose which builders helps you build the version of your website that you envisioned.
Most free features offered: Weebly
Weebly offers the most features with the greatest number of plans – overall. This can help you pick the best plan, as you don’t need to sacrifice things you really need to get the added bonus of the things you want.
How they stack up against one another
|Name of Service||Wix||Weebly||WordPress||Shopify|
|Price of cheapest (paid) plan||$5/month||$8/month||$5/month||$29/month|
|Number of plans available||6||4||4||3|
|Number of features offered with free plan||5||9||6||None|
|Allows multiple users?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|SEO tools||Wix brand SEO||Weebly brand SEO||Yoast SEO||None|
|Help services||Vast online help center, premium support (chat, email, telephone)||Community forum, chat and email support, phone support (for two most expensive plans only)||Email, live chat support||24/7 support|
|Built-in blog features||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|eCommerce functionality||Built-in (depending on plan selected)||Built-in (depending on plan selected)||Built-in (depending on plan selected)||Built-in|
|LMS building available?||No||With a plug-in||With a plug-in||With an integration|
|Plugins available?||250+||300+||53, 000+||2200+|
Now you know the most important parts of each website builder, and hopefully, have a much better idea of which one to choose to help you build your website. If you’re using this site to help accomplish some of your professional goals, be sure to check out the rest of our website, including our helpful articles about promoting your business presence online.