Weebly vs Shopify – Choosing The Best eCommerce Platform
2019 August 1st at 2:37
Today, it is almost essential to go beyond selling products in physical stores to achieve success. Luckily, there are many flexible and useful eCommerce platforms fit for any kind of business to go online.
We will be comparing two giants of the eCommerce industry - Weebly vs Shopify. Our goal is to find out which one better suits your particular business needs.
So let's go ahead and start with our comparison!
What is Weebly?
Weebly was launched back in 2006 as a DIY website builder. Its purpose was - and is - to help smaller and newer businesses to quickly, cheaply, and easily establish online presence.
Now, Weebly has updated its intuitive, easy-to-use platform to better incorporate eCommerce features. Indeed, it focuses more and more on eCommerce capabilities adding new services often.
Naturally, it's becoming a very popular choice for new online stores.
Weebly allows you to create and customize your website with one of its stylish and modern themes. They can then be customized using a simple drag-and-drop editor tool. Some of these elements include images, text, videos, buttons, contact forms, maps, and pretty much all the essentials of a website.
Today, Weebly has helped create over 30 million eCommerce websites.
What is Shopify?
Shopify was first launched back in 2004 as an eCommerce platform. Currently, it reports over 800,000 active stores with a total of $100 billion worth of sales. So it goes without saying - this platform is huge in the eCommerce world.
In fact, Shopify is the No. 1 paid eCommerce platform and there's a good reason for this:
Shopify gained popularity by making it easy for non-techies to launch and maintain an online store. Instead of having to worry about the technical stuff, Shopify allows entrepreneurs and business owners to focus on doing what they do best: running their business.
Weebly vs Shopify: Prices and Features Comparison
First of all, let's get one thing straight: comparing Weebly vs Shopify is a bit like comparing apples to oranges.
Shopify is a specialist eCommerce platform whereas Weebly is a simple and attractive website builder with eCommerce capability.
That said, Weebly did update its platform to better incorporate eCommerce, so it is interesting to see how it compares to Shopify, the biggest and most popular eCommerce platform.
Weebly vs Shopify: Pricing
Shopify offers 3 pricing plans that range from $29/mo all the way up to $299/mo. With Weebly, you can choose from a total of 7 plans, including a free option. Only 3 Weebly plans are designed for online stores and they cost from $12/mo to $38/mo.
Shopify prices depend on additional features you may need, but every plan includes the basics necessary to launch your eShop, like the ability to sell unlimited products, 24/7 support, and so on.
Credit card rates for Shopify are 2.9% plus $0.30 online and 2.7% in person. If you already have your own website, you can opt-in for Shopify Lite for $9/mo. This way, you can add a Shopify Buy Button to your website and start selling.
Weebly pricing depends primarily on how many products you intend to sell. Weebly charges a 3% transaction fee for the Pro plan. Other plans do not include the fee.
If you're still not sure what is right for you, you can try out both platforms for free: Shopify offers a 14-day trial period and Weebly provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You may also have noticed Weebly's free plan on the homepage, but note that it is only for a basic website. Once you start selling, you'll have to opt-in for a paid plan.
Weebly vs Shopify: eCommerce Features
Shopify is loaded with awesome capabilities that can help anyone get started on their eCommerce store with ease. It offers templates and fresh designs that are commerce-specific as well as user-friendly.
But the templates are just a start:
On this eCommerce-oriented platform, you will find literally every tool that you may need for bringing your business online.
Apart from flexible payment and discounted shipping options, Shopify stands out for its built-in analytics tools that help with site management as well as eCommerce and are suitable for high-traffic analysis:
Other Shopify great features include the Shopify App Store, Shopify POS (which is a retail connection), split tenders (the ability to accept multiple types of payments in a transaction), discount codes, barcode support, multiple staff accounts, customer profiles, and plenty more.
Some of Weebly products essential to eCommerce include a mobile store with checkout, filtered queries and product search, coupon codes, multiple payment gateway choices, multiple shipping options, digital and physical products, inventory management, and more.
However, compared to Shopify, Weebly offers a lot less in terms of eCommerce: less payment and shipping options and only very basic analytics.
Some eCommerce capabilities are common to Shopify and Weebly:
If you already have your own online store, you can easily import it into Weebly or Shopify eCommerce platform. They both allow users to migrate online stores from platforms like Etsy by simply uploading a CSV file right into the platform. You can further modify the look and feel of the store using easy customization tools.
Also, if you need even more functionalities, both Weebly and Shopify offer an app store. The apps can be integrated into your online store and help with things like marketing, sales, shipping, widgets, and so on.
Here's a breakdown of the key eCommerce features of the two sites:
|Payment options||70+||3 payment providers + major credit cards|
|Allowed number of products||Unlimited||25 with Pro plan, otherwise unlimited|
|Analytics||Built-in||Basic; supports Google Analytics integration|
|Supports online store migration||Yes||Yes|
As you can see, Shopify has everything you might need to start an online store built-in as well as an App Store to get even more integrations. Weebly, on the other hand, is a more limited platform. However, it has everything to get you started easily as well.
Weebly vs Shopify: Website Building Features
For eCommerce, you'll need to build your online store, and the way to do that with both Shopify and Weebly is through their website builders. Let's look at these tools on both platforms.
It appears that Weebly should have an advantage in this department since it is a website builder with eCommerce capabilities. Shopify's purpose, on the other hand, is to maintain an online shop - but you can also build a website. So how do they compare?
Weebly's drag and drop builder is very straightforward and user-friendly.
You can choose from 40+ beautiful Weebly themes created by industry professionals. They are all responsive, making them look good on any device and drive your mobile eCommerce sales.
It is simple because all you need to do is drag (and drop) the desired elements to new locations to customize the site to your liking. Then, you can choose custom fonts, add images and videos, and even customize the HTML/CSS for full control. It's really super easy.
That said, it does not mean that Shopify is a lot more complicated to use. On the contrary - it is also very intuitive and has loads of possibilities.
However, Shopify uses a web-based editor which isn't as customizable as Weebly. Each Shopify theme has its own pre-assigned settings which you can change. That includes colors and fonts. However, if you want to change the arrangement of some elements, you'll have to go to CSS/HTML editor as it is not a drag-and-drop editor.
Talking about the themes, Shopify has over 60 themes, but only 10 are free. All of them are designed to fit different types of eCommerce stores and are mobile-optimized.
Take a look at the comparison of the website building features:
|Themes||60+, 10 are free||70+|
Weebly, because of its roots as a website builder, is still better at it than Shopify. Not only it is more customizable, intuitive, but has more themes as well.
Weebly vs Shopify: Apps and Extensions
When comparing Weebly vs Shopify, it could quite simply come down to which offers the most and best extensions and apps, so let's find out:
Shopify offers an abundance of features that can enhance your eCommerce website by improving overall functionality and design. Shopify's App Store offers free as well as paid apps to choose from, all of which are fairly straightforward and easy to implement.
In the Shopify App Store, you'll find Facebook, Instagram, or Google integrations as well as Buy Button and a bunch of other useful widgets. That includes SEO, marketing, Store design, and other apps. You'll also be able to install productivity and security widgets.
Weebly has an App Center which also offers some applications, such as a sales channel app, an SEO app, and a social media app.
Weebly apps may be simpler and fewer than those offered by Shopify. However, considering the attractive pricing and simplicity offered by Weebly, you might not be disappointed with the choice and usability of the apps.
Weebly vs Shopify - the Verdict
Weebly and Shopify are both great eCommerce tools. Weebly is a comprehensive and easy-to-use website-building solution that also has powerful added eCommerce capabilities, while Shopify is an industry-leading dedicated eCommerce platform that also allows maintaining a website.
Weebly is a better option for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It has an intuitive user interface and affordable plans, but the features and offerings aren't endless. The Pro plan allows up to 25 products and can be an excellent choice if you’re on a budget, not needing a vast set of features, or have an established business that doesn’t plan on growing by adding more products.
For bigger businesses looking for an all-around, top-notch eCommerce solution, Shopify is clearly the better option. It’s user-friendly, flexible, and loaded up with features to help your business thrive.
So there's no winner here - both Shopify and Weebly will find their users. And if you are still not sure, you can try and pick something from our best eCommerce platform list. Spoiler alert - Shopify is the #1.