Not too long ago, comparing Shopify vs Weebly was a straightforward affair. Shopify was the undisputed choice for serious ecommerce merchants, while Weebly served as a website builder for creating basic professional sites. 👨💻👨💻
That has since changed, as both platforms are now attracting a broad spectrum of ecommerce businesses. They especially resonate with ecommerce merchants who are seeking to expand their empires, small business owners looking to establish online stores, and entrepreneurs on the brink of launching web-based ventures.
Now, to help you choose between the two heavyweights, we’re hereby performing an in-depth evaluation of Shopify vs Weebly. We’ll especially focus on their pricing and ease of use, along with the accompanying website creation, store customization, digital marketing, and online selling capabilities. 🧩
📚 Table of contents:
Overview of Shopify
Established in 2004, Shopify serves as a business platform for building, managing, and powering omnichannel commerce. It streamlines digital transactions across various platforms – including online stores, mobile POS, brick-and-mortar locations, social media sites, and ecommerce marketplaces.
Shopify’s architecture is cloud-based, and it features a comprehensive suite of tools for managing online businesses. You get to build and host your ecommerce site on Shopify’s servers – with the underlying platform powering product sourcing, sales funnels, inventory tracking, payment processing, shipping, customer accounts, plus marketing.
And that’s not all. Shopify additionally provides a host of app integrations for elevating your functionalities. Whether you need advanced analytics, email marketing tools, or customer loyalty programs, there are Shopify apps for the job.
All these features, combined with an intuitive interface, have made Shopify a trusted choice for over a million businesses across 175 countries. It now ranks among the five biggest ecommerce platforms globally, alongside WooCommerce, Wix, and Squarespace.
Overview of Weebly
Founded in 2007, Weebly began its journey as a user-friendly website builder for non-coders. You’d get domain registration and web hosting services, along with tools for creating basic websites, customizing web designs, promoting your business, and processing transactions.
It was not until its 2018 acquisition by Square that Weebly transformed into an integrated website builder and ecommerce platform. You’ll now find a full stack of online selling solutions built into its ecosystem, with which businesses can create, manage, and grow their omnichannel stores.
This suite comes with tools for SEO, web design, email marketing, web hosting, domain registration, inventory editing, order management, digital marketing, shipping, delivery tracking, and payment processing, among other essential ecommerce processes.
Just like Shopify, Weebly further caps it all off with a wide range of app integrations, through which businesses get to expand their ecommerce functionalities.
Shopify vs Weebly: The core features ⚙️
To kick off the more hands-on section of our Weebly vs Shopify comparison, let’s take a look at some of the core features on both platforms.
At its core, Shopify boasts a suite of built-in tools that help businesses tailor their online presence to their needs. Every plan here covers all the business management essentials, including store creation, product sourcing, sales and inventory tracking, payment processing, shipping, customer engagement, marketing, and reporting.
The website builder itself comes in the form of a drag-and-drop editor, which allows you to design and tweak online stores without any coding experience.
So versatile are Shopify’s customization options that you could even configure an omnichannel business system. That means selling not just in your online store but also directly via social media sites and merchant marketplaces like Amazon.
All the resultant payments may be handled by the default Shopify Payments service or any of the numerous external payment processors supported by the platform. The choice is yours.
Order management should also be a breeze for all types of shipments. And through the entire process, Shopify’s analytics tools provide valuable insights into your customer activities, marketing, sales, and more.
Those store analytics are handy in identifying weaknesses in your business workflows. You could then try to remedy them with third-party solutions from the extensive Shopify App Store.
Weebly, while less advanced than Shopify, offers a range of free and premium features that would suit businesses with a limited budget.
Even without paying anything, you’re assured of fast and secure web hosting, an intuitive drag-and-drop website builder, plus a range of customizable, mobile-responsive templates.
Weebly’s built-in tools further allow you to set up an online store, add an unlimited number of items, publish blog posts, and optimize your site for search engines.
Your Weebly online store is always accompanied by essential ecommerce functionalities for managing inventory orders, payments, shipping, promotions, analytics, and customer engagement. You could, otherwise, bring in supplementary capabilities by integrating free and paid apps from the Weebly App Center.
🏆 Winner: Tie
The Shopify vs Weebly feature showdown ends in a tie because, while they share some similarities, the platforms are specialized for different target markets.
That means the choice between Shopify and Weebly ultimately depends on your specific needs and business goals.
If, for instance, you’re a small business or portfolio owner, Weebly’s simplicity and ease of setup might appeal to you. But if you’re setting up a larger ecommerce business, Shopify’s robust features and customization options might be more up your alley.
Weebly vs Shopify: Website building, design, & customization 🚧
Upon comparing the website building experiences on Weebly vs Shopify, one thing we appreciated was Shopify’s superior onboarding process. The platform guides you through the entire process of building and customizing a Shopify online store.
You don’t have to start from scratch. Shopify has an impressive library of 142 free and paid themes, all of which are customizable.
Unfortunately, however, the free Shopify theme options are only 12, and they’re all very limited in terms of features. A premium theme, on the other hand, would cost you between $180 and $380.
Non-coders should be able to customize them on the Shopify Theme Editor visually, but it doesn’t offer as much freedom as Weebly’s drag-and-drop page builder. If you’re a developer, though, you might enjoy all the technical customization privileges offered by the alternative Code Editor.
Another shortcut you could take here is to migrate an existing store. And when it comes to that, Shopify uses its Store Importer app to import your products, customers, and order data from other ecommerce platforms.
Migrating an existing website to Weebly might not be possible, as the platform lacks the store migration capabilities we’ve seen on Shopify. The onboarding guide here is also not as thorough as Shopify’s, but it’s still intuitive and adequately insightful.
In terms of flexibility and customization, though, Weebly’s no-code editor outshines Shopify’s theme editor. Its user-centric design is structured around a drag-and-drop interface, on which you could visually rearrange titles, incorporate slider images, create galleries, and more.
Weebly complements that with an extensive library of over a hundred free themes to choose from. You’ll find a range of customizable options for not only online stores but also portfolios, blogs, and business sites.
🏆 Winner: Weebly
Weebly is the clear winner of the Shopify vs Weebly design face-off.
While Shopify does offer commendable no-code customization capabilities, it doesn’t quite measure up to its counterpart’s comprehensive DIY design toolkit. Weebly’s intuitive drag-and-drop functionality and extensive editing options provide a level of design freedom that Shopify simply can’t match.
The design process on Shopify may seem somewhat disjointed and cumbersome, due to its splitting of website-building tools between a backend and a front-end editor.
Shopify vs Weebly: Marketing 📣
Shopify has always been recognized for its omnichannel marketing assets, which allow you to use automated emails, abandoned cart pop-ups, SEO publications, Facebook Ads, and discount coupons.
Chief among these principal built-in provisions is Shopify’s email marketing. You get to build all sorts of targeted campaigns from pre-built templates, including messages for engaging customers, promoting products, and sharing updates.
Then when it comes to SEO, Shopify facilitates content marketing, image optimization, title and meta description editing, and 301 redirects.
Plus, its architecture is engineered to maintain optimal efficiency across the web vitals that influence user experience and search engine rankings. We’re talking about features like mobile-friendly layouts, responsive code, fast page loading speeds, server redundancy, global network footprint, and more.
However, on comparing the default marketing capabilities on Shopify vs Weebly, the ecommerce platform lags behind on multiple fronts. Weebly is ahead of Shopify in not only blogging and SEO, but also email marketing.
You won’t, for instance, be able to customize your Shopify store’s URL structure.
With the integration of Square, Weebly has made significant strides in its marketing capabilities – to the point of even outshining Shopify. It especially stands out with its comprehensive SEO guides, extensive blogging tools, and built-in email marketing suite dubbed “Weebly Promote.”
Whereas the SEO features here are comparable to Shopify’s, Weebly offers more control over various on-page attributes. You get more editing privileges on your meta descriptions, page titles, custom URLs, and title tags, among other elements.
Weebly’s blogging tools are also superior and better integrated. This should provide you with a more robust framework for running content marketing campaigns that complement your sales efforts.
🏆 Winner: Weebly
The Weebly vs Shopify marketing crown goes to Weebly.
Shopify has all the essential marketing features, but its limitations in blogging and URL customization make Weebly the more attractive option for businesses that rely heavily on content marketing and SEO optimization.
Weebly vs Shopify: Ecommerce 🛍️
Shopify, a dedicated ecommerce platform, is a powerhouse of features that assist businesses of all sizes in selling products. It’s a one-stop-shop for everything ecommerce, from inventory management tools to customer engagement functionalities, payment processors, and tracking/analytics.
One of Shopify’s standout features is its ability to build, sync, and run omnichannel digital commerce. You could grow your ecommerce sales quite substantially by, for instance, integrating Amazon and eBay storefronts with your main site. This is a privilege you won’t get on Weebly’s ecommerce platform.
Combine that with Shopify’s robust shipping tools and integrations, and you’ll have yourself a centralized platform for managing a high-volume ecommerce business. You should be able to coordinate inventories conveniently across multiple fulfillment providers, dropship vendors, and your own warehouse.
While you’re at it, Shopify is sure to track and report all your KPIs. The analytics tools here are more exhaustive than Weebly’s, thereby giving your business a deeper understanding of its customers, sales processes, and overall health.
The ecommerce platform is also driving innovation in the digital commerce space. In its arsenal of experience optimization resources, for instance, Shopify recently added an AR feature that allows for viewing products from different angles.
All these advanced ecommerce provisions can, however, be a bit overwhelming for new users.
On the other end of the Shopify vs Weebly ecommerce spectrum is a more straightforward platform, ideal for businesses that prefer simplicity over an extensive feature set. Weebly focuses on maintaining a user-friendly interface and a more streamlined ecommerce experience.
It facilitates inventory management, order management, payments, tax calculations, shipping rate calculations, coupons, and abandoned cart recovery, among many other ecommerce operations. However, while these features are well-developed, they are not as comprehensive as Shopify’s.
That’s not to say you’ll be restricted. Despite losing the Shopify vs Weebly ecommerce contest, the platform still manages to fulfill the needs of small businesses.
You could otherwise expand the functionalities by integrating third-party extensions from Weebly’s App Center. You’ll find a range of free and paid options for powering dropshipping, customer engagement, social commerce, customer service, lead conversions, web analytics, etc.
🏆 Winner: Shopify
While Weebly offers a simpler, more straightforward ecommerce experience, Shopify’s highly advanced and versatile features make it the superior choice for businesses looking to scale.
Pricing comparison: Weebly vs Shopify 💵
- Starter: For $5 a month, the Shopify Starter Plan provides tools for selling on social media and messaging apps.
- Basic: For $32 a month, Shopify’s Basic Plan supports small online stores with all the essential ecommerce features.
- Shopify: For $92 a month, Shopify provides more advanced tools to power growing ecommerce businesses.
- Advanced: For $399 a month, the Advanced Plan meets the demanding needs of large businesses.
- Shopify Plus: Starting at $2,000 per month, this is an all-inclusive package for high-volume enterprises. (Check out this detailed Comparison of Shopify vs Shopify Plus)
- Free: For $0 a month, Weebly’s Free Plan starts you off with a basic storefront on Weebly’s domain.
- Personal: For $13 a month, the Personal Plan allows you to create a fully fledged online store on your own custom domain.
- Professional: For $16 per month, you get unlimited storage and more customization privileges on your website deployment.
- Performance: For $29 a month, this takes your ecommerce store up a notch with advanced analytics, automated marketing, priority support, and PayPal payment processing.
🏆 Winner: Weebly
In the Shopify vs Weebly pricing battle, the latter emerges as the more economical choice. You’ll agree that although Shopify offers a lot for your money, Weebly provides better value with its budget-friendly plans.
You don’t even need a budget to get started on Weebly, as it has a free package that can support an online store. And if you otherwise went for the most expensive option on Weebly, you’d end up paying less than the cost of Shopify’s Basic Plan.
Weebly’s generosity extends even to its user accounts, as it doesn’t limit the volume of editors or contributors you can add to your account. That’s quite the contrast to Shopify, which limits the number of collaborations per plan, with 15 being the maximum on the Advanced package.
Lastly, Weebly gives you a free domain name on their two higher plans, while Shopify charges at least $11 per year.
Shopify vs Weebly verdict 👨⚖️
When it comes to choosing between Shopify vs Weebly, the decision ultimately boils down to your specific needs and the nature of your business. Both platforms offer a range of features that cater to different types of businesses, and each has its own unique advantages.
When to choose Shopify over Weebly
Shopify is particularly suited for dedicated ecommerce sellers who are looking to expand their business across multiple channels – such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook Shop, Instagram, and more.
It’s also a great fit for high-volume sellers who want to sell on multiple websites and through in-app purchases. Weebly, on the other hand, doesn’t support sales on online marketplaces, in-app purchases, or across multiple sites.
When to pick Weebly over Shopify
Weebly shines when it comes to building highly customized websites. With over 100 plug-and-play themes catering to all types of businesses and easy-to-use customization tools, Weebly allows you to build your website in your own style, something that Shopify doesn’t offer to the same extent.
This platform is especially recommended when you have less than ten products to sell, need a blog or a portfolio, are on a budget, or want a platform that offers drag-and-drop customization.
Do you still have any questions about choosing between Shopify vs Weebly? Let us know in the comments!
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