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. You can try Weebly for free, though we recommend their $13/month Pro Plan for most small businesses.
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
Phone support with paid plans. Live chat, email, and self-help forum.
Phone support with paid plans. Email and interactive forum.
Twitter support, ticket support, and in-depth self-help forum.
Not finding what you are looking for? If you’re focused on eCommerce, you should also consider an eCommerce platform, though these are harder to use than website builders. See also our guide to Setting up an eCommerce Store via Weebly. For more website builder options, see our reviews of SquareSpace, GoDaddy, Adobe Muse and more website builders.
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:
Cost for Recommended Plan
$13.17/month (Pro Plan)
$15.95/month (Unlimited Plan)
$49 one-time fee (Standard Package) Plus 3rd party hosting (see additional cost section below)
Features of Recommended Plan
Unlimited pages, no Weebly ads, 1 year free domain, in-depth site reporting, site-search capability, unlimited storage, membership, sell up to 25 ecommerce products (3% transaction fee), blog
Unlimited pages, no Wix ads, 1 year free domain, in-depth site reporting, site-search capability, 10GB storage, blog
1 Themify drag-and-drop premium Wordpress theme
1 bonus drag-and-drop premium theme
1 year of support and updates
Cost for Basic Plan
Features of Basic Plan
Unlimited pages, Weebly ads, no custom domain, up to 5 ecommerce products (3% transaction fee), blog
Unlimited pages, Wix ads, no custom domain, blog
3 different free drag-and-drop WordPress themes (no support/updates)
Cost for Premium Plan
$33.17/month (Business Plan)
$139 one-time fee (Master Club Plan)
Features of Premium Plan
Pro Plan features
Unlimited ecommerce products, SSL site security, no transaction fees, coupon codes, tax calculator, inventory management tools
Unlimited Plan Features
VIP support line, Online store, and Professional site check
Access to all Themify premium themes (40)
Photoshop files for all themes
One year of support, updates, and plugin use
$19.95/year to renew custom domain name
Lots of additional add-ons that can increase costs
$5-15/month for WordPress hosting and domain
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
HTML/CSS Coding – Weebly allows full user access and control over site internet coding.
Primary Integrations – Paypal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Etsy, Mailchimp, Shopify, Social Media, Quickbooks, Google App Suite, and more.
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.
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.