In WordPress, Wix, and Weebly, you've got three Ws waging war to would-be website builders, but who wins? All alliteration aside (sorry), each website building platform has its advantages and disadvantages. WordPress boasts that 37% of the web has been built by its platform so it naturally acts as the starting point for many aspiring website creators, but is it wrong to overlook Wix and Weebly?
Website building platforms are expected to deliver value for money, offer plenty of services, and provide an easy-to-use interface. Whether you're setting up a small personal blog or you're seeking a way to take your business' website to the next level, you will likely have considered one of these three as your website building platform.
Let's look at how WordPress, Wix, and Weebly measure up in the key areas.
Value for Money
There are four paid packages: Personal ($4 monthly), Premium ($8 monthly), Business ($25 monthly), and E-commerce ($45 monthly). The latter two packages reveal how WordPress has sought to move away from being perceived as purely a platform for blogging. A Premium package gives users access to unlimited themes, live chat support, and Google Analytics integration, while Business unlocks simple payments and SEO tools.
Wix separates its packages into personal and business categories, with all personal subscriptions giving users a free domain for a year and removing Wix ads from their site. Combo ($13 monthly) is the cheapest paid option, while Unlimited ($17 monthly) gives you unlimited bandwidth, ad vouchers, and analytics. Business Unlimited ($27 monthly) is a comprehensive package that allows the site to accept online payments, while Enterprise ($500 monthly) delivers the serious power required to run the website for a larger business.
Weebly has four tiers in its payment model: Free, Personal ($6 monthly), Professional ($12 monthly), and Performance ($26 monthly). Free domains kick in from the Professional tier, as does unlimited storage. The Free and Personal packages both offer impressive e-commerce features, although you'll need to fork out for Performance if you want PayPal payments and item reviews.
WordPress offers some cheap subscriptions for bloggers, but Wix and Weebly boast plenty of features in the pricier packages for business and e-commerce respectively.
Range of Services
WordPress has a dizzying selection of themes and plugins, made possible by the platform's open-source nature. Among the thousands of themes and plugins, you'll surely find what you're looking for. WordPress gives sites an improved chance of appearing high up in search engine results, while you can also utilize WordPress plugins to optimize SEO and analytics. In terms of providing functions for business and e-commerce, WordPress is lacking. Again, you'll be reliant on plugins rather than in-built features.
Wix's templates are in the hundreds rather than the thousands, so coming up with a unique aesthetic is a bit more challenging. However, each of the 500+ themes boasts a professional quality that is befitting of a business website. That's ideal, because Wix offers plenty of services to help on that front. This includes their Ascend service, which helps site owners to boost traffic and close deals (albeit for an increased subscription fee). The marketing page on Wix also makes it a breeze to manage your brand's emails and social media from one convenient location.
Weebly cannot boast as many themes as WordPress or Wix, but it can go toe to toe with the other two website builders in key areas. The ability to archive posts on Weebly means that it can compete with WordPress as an effective blogger. Weebly also offers plenty of e-commerce options that match up with Wix's impressive range of services, including secure checkouts and inventory management. Weebly also provides unique features, like the ability to automate emails in response to abandoned carts.
If you want a balance between having plenty of design options and ample business features, then Wix is the standout.
Ease of Use
If you have very limited or very heady ambitions, then WordPress is the site for you. It is quick and easy to set up a basic blogging site on WordPress, while a confident coder will find it straightforward to customize a site to their heart's content. WordPress is more of a content management system (CMS) than a website builder, so there's more of an emphasis on technical nous if you want a greater creative license.
If you're not an expert coder, making seemingly basic changes to your site's layout can be a frustrating experience. There's plenty of customization available with themes and plugins, but you might have to compromise on your ideal vision for the site.
Wix has a few issues that make life slightly harder than necessary. You can't switch themes once your website has gone live, while the lack of an archiving system means some of your golden old posts can disappear forever. However, Wix more than makes up for this with its core service, as its drag-and-drop system is a delightfully easy way to build a website.
Even with zero technical knowledge, you'll be able to build an attractive-looking website on Wix in just a few hours. On WordPress, you may have to dive deep into codes to change an aspect of your site. On Wix, you just drag something to where you want it to go, then drop it - simple.
Like Wix, Weebly has a drag-and-drop system that a complete tech novice can master in a few minutes of use. Weebly is perhaps not quite as intuitive as Wix within that drag-and-drop functionality, but it still trumps WordPress for accessibility.
You can realistically create a working site in under an hour on Weebly, once you've worked out where all the key tools are located. While an experienced coder may grow weary of the restrictive simplicity of dragging and dropping, most website builders will find that Weebly caters for their needs.
Unless you're keen to start coding on WordPress, Wix and Weebly are the platforms where you can easily build a top-quality website in a short space of time.
The Final Conclusion
It's difficult to definitively declare one website building platform as the 'best', given they all have clear advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages: thousands of themes and plugins, great flexibility for coding experts, built for bloggers
Disadvantages: no drag-and-drop system, limited options for business and e-commerce
Advantages: easy to use, in-built marketing tools, competitive pricing structure
Disadvantages: better for business than bloggers, can't switch themes on live site
Advantages: drag-and-drop builder, ample business and e-commerce tools
Disadvantages: limited themes, interface could be more intuitive
The website building platform you pick will depend on your purpose. Want lots of customization through coding? Use WordPress. Want a dependable blogger or an effective platform for a small business? Use Weebly. Want a powerful set of business and e-commerce options on a platform that is incredibly easy to operate? Use Wix.