What is the best website builder? After studying 20 of the top options (which was a chore, let me tell you), we whittled them down to Weebly vs Wix vs WordPress. We review and evaluate them below based on price, ease-of-use, functionality, and customer service, recommending what we feel is the best website builder for small business owners.
Best Website Builder For Small Business Owners: Weebly
We recommend Weebly because it is inexpensive, has one of the most intuitive drag-and-drop builder interfaces, and has a great selection of features. Also, Weebly’s customer service is helpful and responsive.
Weebly vs Wix vs WordPress Summary Table
Free - $33.17/month
Free - $29.90/month
$49 (one-time) + $4-$15/month for hosting
Hosting and Custom Domain
Free hosting and also free domain for one year
Free hosting and also free domain for one year
Have to host and get your custom domain through third-party provider
Number and Quality of Themes
100 good quality themes
Over 500 pretty good quality themes
40 fully customizable and professional quality themes
Friendliness for Mobile Devices and Search Engines (SEO)
Good (some problems with SEO)
Quality of Online Store
Paypal, Authorize.net, Google Apps, Etsy, Mailchimp, Quickbooks, Social Media, and more
Paypal, Social Media, Google Apps, Etsy, Mailchimp, Tumblr, Open Table, Soundcloud, and more
Paypal, Social Media, WordPress, WordPress plugins
Live chat, email, and self-help forum
Phone support 6a-5p PST, email, and interactive forum
Twitter support, ticket support, and in-depth self-help forum
Not finding what you are looking for? See our reviews of SquareSpace, Wix, GoDaddy, and 5 other website builders here.
WordPress and Themify
To clarify, WordPress is a platform, not technically a website builder. But, there are many builders that can be used to build a site on WordPress. Our favorite and recommended builder, is Themify, which gives you the ability to create a website on WordPress with drag-and-drop templates. So, throughout the rest of this article, that is what we are referencing when we say WordPress.
Why We Chose Weebly for Small Business Owners
Weebly is one of the easiest-to-use website builders I tested. You can drag-and-drop text boxes, images, and any other elements to anywhere on the page, edit size and style of any section, and more after only a few minutes of getting used to the system.
The other nice thing about Weebly, is its scalability. Weebly has a free version, if you are just looking for an inexpensive and basic website. If you are looking for a more robust site, it only costs $10 a month for Weebly’s Pro Plan, which gives you unlimited pages, advanced site analysis, site-search capability, and the option to sell up to 25 products. When you pair all of this with good customer service, 100+ themes that can be customized to fit almost any business, and an SEO friendly platform, Weebly is hard to beat.
The only con is that Weebly is not quite as customizable as website platforms such as Wordpress. However, Weebly is much easier to use, which is why we recommend it to most small business owners.
When to Use Wix
Wix is all about getting a website up-and-running super quickly with minimal effort and investment. It has one of the easiest website builders out there, allowing you to truly drag-and-drop any element anywhere on the screen. Because of its ease-of-use and flexibility, it is great if it is your first time building a website. So, if you need a site for your community baseball team or for your 1st grade English classroom, Wix would be great.
However, what makes Wix great for the casual user is also what makes it problematic for the business owner. It uses AJAX generated coding, which basically means your URL’s have added and unnecessary text in them, potentially making it more difficult to rank well in search engines and get links. Also, because you can drag-and-drop anything anywhere, Wix site’s generally have pretty jumbled coding, which means slower loading times for your site and less chance Google and Bing will rank you well.
When to Use Wordpress (Themify)
If you are a tech-savvy business owner that wants full control over your site’s look and feel, then Themify is a great option. It gives you more customizability than most website builders and uses the WordPress platform, which has endless functionality potential due to its vast variety of plugins. You also have full access to HTML/CSS internet code. Themify charges a one-time $49 fee for one premium theme, and then you can use it on as many sites as you want. If you are a website designer, you can pay $139 and have access to all 40 themes.
The important thing to keep in mind, is that there is quite a learning curve for Themify and Wordpress in general. You’ll also need to setup 3rd party hosting which will cost you around $5 a month. This is why we do not recommend you use Themify unless you are technologically savvy.
If you’re cost conscious, then Weebly and Wix are your best choices. They offer a free plan, as well as paid plans. Themify is also reasonable, especially for the features and customizability it offers, costing anywhere from $4-$15/month (Includes 3rd party hosting and depends on how many visitors you want to accommodate and how much storage space you need).
Here’s a breakdown of the costs:
$49 one-time fee
Plus 3rd party hosting
(see additional cost
Unlimited pages, no
Weebly ads,1 year
free domain, in-depth
membership, sell up
to 25 ecommerce
Unlimited pages, no
Wix ads, 1 year free
domain, in-depth site
1 year of support and
Cost for Basic Plan
Features of Basic Plan
Weebly ads, no
custom domain, up to
transaction fee), blog
Unlimited pages, Wix
ads, no custom
3 different free
Cost for Premium
$139 one-time fee
(Master Club Plan)
Pro Plan features
products, SSL site
coupon codes, tax
VIP support line,
Online store, and
Access to all Themify
premium themes (40)
Photoshop files for all
One year of support,
updates, and plugin
$19.95/year to renew
custom domain name
Lots of additional
add-ons that can
Check out a full comparison of Weebly’s pricing here.
Check out Themify’s pricing page for more info.
Click here for in-depth pricing on Wix’s paid plans.
For ease-of-use, Weebly and Wix are neck-and-neck, with Wix having a bit of an edge. Themify allows infinitely more customization that the other two, but is also quite a bit more difficult to use.
Weebly’s builder is on the left side of the page, which is really intuitive for me. So, you drag-and-drop like you read a book, left to right. Everything is laid out really simply, with popular content/elements (text box, add image, etc) in pre-arranged and easy-to-access sections. Of all the builders I have used, Weebly’s in the top 2-3 as far as ease-of-use is concerned.
To see the website I created with Weebly after about 20 minutes of learning the system, check out our Weebly review page.
Because you can move anything anywhere on the page, Wix has a pretty small learning curve and is very simple to use. To move something, you just click it, drag it, and drop it anywhere on the page. To edit text you simply click on the text box, hit “edit,” and then change the text. If you start getting into adding a bunch of unique apps, then it gets a little more complicated. But, in general, Wix is one the easiest builders out there to use.
See the site I created with Wix on our in-depth Wix review page.
Themify is not for the faint of heart. I consider myself pretty tech-savvy, and it took me several hours to feel like I was starting to be comfortable. However, for me, there was as much of a WordPress learning curve as there was a Themify learning curve. If you already know WordPress, Themify will be easy. You can edit your website both from the “Edit page” section of WordPress and from the front-end, while actually previewing the page you are working on.
It is important to mention that this complexity does not come without a reward. Themify is highly customizable, more customizable than Weebly and Wix. You can change the size of any element, position it anywhere on the page, and have endless options for changes/tweaks via WordPress plugins.
To see the website I created using Themify, check out our Themify review page. The website took me 1-2 hours to create.
Hosting and Custom Domain
All of Weebly’s plans provide hosting. Weebly’s free plan does not allow for any kind of custom domain options. With Weebly’s paid plans, you get a free custom domain for a year. After your first year is up, you can renew the domain for $19.95/year. If you already have a custom domain that you have purchased, you can connect that domain to your Weebly site free-of-charge as long as you are using one of Weebly’s paid plans.
Wix, like Weebly, provides both website building and hosting in all plans. You also get a free domain name for a year with any Combo or higher paid plan that you purchase from Wix. Wix does not advertise their yearly renewal rate, but from my research it should be fairly comparable to Weebly’s renewal rate.
Themify is not a website hosting service, it is a drag-and-drop WordPress theme. This means you will have to purchase your website hosting and custom domain name from a third-party provider. We recommend GoDaddy. You can get GoDaddy Wordpress hosting and a custom domain for as little as $3-4/month.
Number and Quality of Themes
Wix definitely has the most themes, followed by Weebly and then Themify. As far as quality is concerned, Themify is the clear winner. Wix and Weebly are similar in quality, although I would give the edge to Weebly.
Weebly has over 100 themes. Although not as visually stunning as a website builder such as SquareSpace or Themify, the quality should be more than enough for the average business owner to create a nice looking site.
Here’s an example of a Weebly Theme:
Wix has over 500 themes. The quality is pretty good, although not quite as good as Weebly’s and definitely not as good as Themify’s. But, most small business owners should still be happy with what Wix provides.
Here’s an example:
SEO Friendliness and Mobile Friendliness
When it comes to which builder is best for SEO and Mobile friendliness Weebly and Themify are neck-and-neck, as both allow full SEO customization and responsively adjust to screen size, from desktop to mobile. Wix has responsive templates and a nice mobile editor as well, but falls short when it comes to SEO friendliness
SEO Friendliness – Weebly allows you to edit each of your pages’ descriptions and meta tags, providing you with everything you need to make your site SEO friendly.
Mobile Friendliness – Weebly has a one-click optimization button, which takes your current webpage and optimizes for mobile devices. Weebly also has a mobile website builder, that allows you to build a website specifically for mobile devices using a separate mobile builder.
SEO Friendliness – Wix allows you to edit page meta tags, page names, and much of your basic SEO musts. However, because Wix uses a certain web script (AJAX), you do not have full control over your URL’s. Wix adds unnecessary characters and numbers onto your URL’s, making them less likely to be linked-to and potentially less likely to do well in search engine rankings. Also, because WIX is so unrestrictedly drag-and-drop, the coding of the site can be pretty jumbled, meaning it is harder for Google, Bing, etc. to crawl through the digital info on your site to improve your ranking.
Mobile Friendliness – Wix’s themes are responsive, meaning that they will adjust to fit the screen size of any device. Wix also has a specific mobile editor where you can tweak what your site will look like on a mobile device.
Mobile Friendliness – Around 36 of Themify’s 40 themes are fully responsive, making them very mobile friendly. When you are checking out Themify’s site, just be sure to click the responsive tab on the right hand side to see responsive themes.
Online Store (Ecommerce)
When it comes to selling online, all three website builders have solid online store options. I would give Weebly the edge, because it has the ability to sell digital goods which Wix does not without a third-party app (additional cost). Themify, being only a builder, does not have a built-in ecommerce solution, but directly integrates with WooCommerce, one of the best online store apps in the industry that was built directly for WordPress.
Weebly has a solid ecommerce option. It integrates with Paypal, allows coupon codes and discounts, has a tax calculator, provides flexible shipping options, and does not have any transaction fees at the business plan level ($33.17/month). Weebly also provides a site security license (SSL), with its business plan, which keeps your customer’s credit card info safe when they check out.
Wix’s online store is also well designed. You can integrate with a lot of different payment providers like Paypal, do coupon codes and discounts, calculate taxes, save shipping profiles, and all with no transaction fees. Wix’s checkout is protected with an SSL like Weebly’s. The one bummer, is that if you want to sell digital goods, you have to pay and download a third-party app.
Themify does not have a built-in ecommerce solution. However, you can download WooCommerce for free, via WordPress. This allows you to have a full-fledged ecommerce solution on your WordPress site, complete with flexible shipping options, tax calculator, and coupon codes. It’s best to purchase an SSL for your WordPress site if it is not already included in your hosting. You can generally get an SSL through your current hosting provider for around $50-$70/year.
When it comes to blogging, Themify is the hands-down winner. It is a Wordpress theme, and Wordpress is a dedicated blogging platform. Weebly comes in at a close second. Wix is also good, but inexplicably does not have a built-in comment feature, meaning your readers have to be logged into Facebook or some other platform to comment.
Weebly has a good blogging platform. Weebly allows you to schedule automatic posts and create limited access accounts so other bloggers can contribute, both important features that many website builders do not include. Of course, it is also connected with social media.
Wix allows you to write posts, schedule automatic posts, and connect with social media. But, Wix’s big limitation, is that it does not have an internal comments feature. Readers have to log onto Facebook to comment, which is a big hassle. You can also get third-party comment providers, but they are not ideal and many require additional payment.
Themify has a great blogging features. You can schedule automatic posts, secure certain posts so that only authorized users can view, and even have an email address that will automatically publish content that is sent to it. You can also have multiple contributors and connect directly with social media.
Primary Integrations and HTML Coding Access
For integrations and HTML coding access, Themify is probably the best with Weebly as a close second. Wix has a lot of integrations but does not allow HTML coding access, making it a platform that is avoided by professional designers.
Primary Integrations – Paypal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Etsy, Mailchimp, Shopify, Social Media, Quickbooks, Google App Suite, and more.
HTML/CSS Coding – Wix allows you to insert a coding box into your site, with some custom HTML/CSS for specific applications. But, you cannot access or edit your site’s HTML or CSS as a whole, meaning website professionals who know custom coding will not be able to work on your site or access it to make changes.
Primary Integrations – Wix has a lot of integrations, like Paypal, Stripe, Mailchimp, Open Table, and many more, with over 200 options.
Primary Integrations – Themify has all the major integrations, like Paypal and Social Media built-in. Also, via Wordpress, Themify can integrate with almost any service/software/platform you can think of. However, some integrations require an additional fee.
Weebly’s customer support is rated very highly by our reviewers. Themify is similar, garnering lots of positive reviews for their customer support from users. Wix can be pretty hit or miss, from the reviews and experience I have had.
US Based? Yes
Method of Delivery?
Weebly offers live chat, email, and self-help forum support. They do not offer phone support, which is a downside, but none of the website builders we reviewed do. Despite their lack of phone support, Weebly is still rated very well by users for their customer support.
US Based? Inconclusive
What’s the Method of Delivery?
From the reviews I have read, Wix’s support can be hit or miss. Wix has phone support 6a – 5p PST, but unless you are a VIP plan subscriber, you have to deal with an automated system that often requires you to schedule an appointment to actually speak with a live representative. You can also email them or post in an interactive online forum.
US Based? No (Canada)
What’s the Method of Delivery?
Much of Themify’s support is given through self-help forums. However, you can also submit help requests via a contact form on Themify’s page or by submitting a help request to the twitter handle @themify.
Both users and reviewers of Themify gave them high marks for customer support. Their self-help forums are actually pretty in-depth and have a wealth of useful tutorials. Several reviewers I read even claimed that Themify provides the best customer support out of any of the WordPress theme providers.
When all is said and done, each of these website builders excel at different things. However, for the average small business owner, Weebly will provide you with an easy website builder and the features and customer support you need at a low monthly price.