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Wix vs Squarespace vs Virb vs Weebly vs Jimdo vs WordPress Theme Builders

So you’re looking for a way to build a website, but you don’t want to pay a lot of money for it, nor do you want to spend days trapped in some source code doing it all by yourself, right?

Well, this is what probably got you interested in some of the website builder tools available online.

I’m talking about website builders such as Wix (« our winner, if you don’t have time to read the whole thing), Squarespace, Virb, Jimdo, and Weebly, just to name a few, but there are more alternatives out there.

So which is best and which will give you the most awesome results in relation to the money or time investment required? Let’s find out.

In this side-by-side review comparison, we’ll focus on things like: available site designs, features, price, overall pros and cons, preferred user group (target audience), and ease of use. In the end, it’s your “all you need to know” cheat sheet to find out who’s the winner of the Wix vs Squarespace vs Virb vs Weebly vs Jimdo vs WordPress theme builders fight.

 UPDATE (March 2016). The short version , if you’re in a hurry and just want to get a basic overview:

  Wix Squarespace Weebly Virb Jimdo
 
PRICE (MONTHLY)  free 
$4.08
$9.25
$12.42
$16.17
$24.90
$5.00
$8.00
$18.00
$26.00
$70.00
 free 
$8.00
$12.00
$25.00
$10.00  free 
$7.50
$20.00
DRAG-AND-DROP CONTENT BUILDER
HTML5 DESIGNS
MOBILE RESPONSIVE
EASE OF USE 10 / 10 10 / 10 9 / 10 6 / 10 10 / 10
OVERALL SCORE  10 / 10   10 / 10  9 / 10 7 / 10 8 / 10

THE FULL REVIEW COMPARISON:

Wix

PRICE

Based on the plan: free, $4.08, $9.25, $12.42, $16.17, $24.90 (per month). Wix presents the price tags in your local currency.

MAIN FEATURES
  • More than 500 site designs available in over 70 categories.
  • Mobile-friendly and responsive designs – with a separate mobile editor.
  • Drag-and-drop website builder.
  • Free site hosting.
  • Custom fonts integrated.
  • WYSIWYG site content editor.
  • Advanced image editor.
  • Easy-to-add blog module.
  • Social media integrated.
  • 24/7 support.
  • Possibility to use your own domain name.
  • Access to Wix’s App Market where you can extend your site’s functionality with things such as email subscribers integration, Shopify, live chat, testimonials, and many more.
PROS
  • One of the few solutions marketed openly to web designers working on client projects. The site building process is optimized to give you full design control over the output of the site.
  • Easy to make your site look awesome on mobile due to the custom mobile site editor.
  • The designs are responsive and built with HTML5.
  • The drag-and-drop site builder is easy to use and you can see the effect of your work immediately.
  • There are new designs constantly being added, and you can easily see what’s new through the filter feature in the designs directory (you can also filter by most popular).
CONS
  • This will sound strange, but perhaps there’s just too many designs to choose from. The sheer volume of what’s available can be a bit overwhelming when you fire up Wix for the first time. It would probably be more user-friendly to get rid of the old stuff every once in a while. (UPDATE. The current version of the Wix library seems to be a lot better organized, so the top and modern themes can be found near the top of the list.)
PREFERRED USER GROUP
Users and business owners who want to handle all of the work themselves and need a tool that would enable them to do so – from start to finish, and relying on the pre-made designs to choose from. In other words, if you just want a solution where you can jump in, choose the design you like, put in your information and be done with it in a matter of minutes, Wix is the alternative for you. Also, Wix is optimized for pro web designers working on client projects. This is great news if your business is based on creating a steady number of sites with similar features for a larger number of clients.
EASE OF USE
Right after you sign up, Wix will ask you about the site category you want to create. There’s not too many of them, just so you can make a selection easily enough and don’t get hung up on picking from similarly sounding things. This ease of use follows through on the rest of Wix’s interface. When you select a design you like, you can adjust it in their custom builder app, and you get video-tutorial guidance as you go along.

Overall, I was able to jump right in and use Wix without going to the docs. Everything is intuitive and easily accessible. Wix vs. everything else looks quite good at this point.

OVERALL SCORE – 10/10

Squarespace

PRICE

Based on the plan: $5.00, $8.00, $18.00, $26.00, $70.00 (per month).

MAIN FEATURES
  • Modern design templates, purpose built by their own design team.
  • Install multiple templates on a single site.
  • Style editor with easily customizable settings.
  • Adjust the styling of your sites with fonts, colors, and page configurations.
  • Built-in mobile compatibility with every design.
  • Customizable content layouts.
  • Possibility to add your own custom CSS.
  • CDN included for images.
  • Built-in image editor via Aviary.
  • Social media supported.
  • WYSIWYG editing.
  • Possibility to use your own domain name.
  • Blogging module.
  • E-commerce components.
PROS
  • An incredibly impressive set of features. Squarespace is probably the most feature-rich solution on this list.
  • The designs are very modern, and beautiful in their simplicity.
  • The only site builder to advertise during the Super Bowl.
CONS
  • The majority of the designs offered at Squarespace are based on good visuals and attractive imagery. This can be a huge advantage if you have just the right image at your disposal, but it can also backfire in the hands of a less design-conscious person. In other words, to build a good looking site with Squarespace, you need images of a very high quality.
PREFERRED USER GROUP
Squarespace is your tool for design-conscious users and businesses that desire a modern presence on the web. The range of features that Squarespace offers also makes it a great alternative for advanced users and site owners.
EASE OF USE
Squarespace is really easy to use even for the beginner user. Their site builder interface guides you by the hand through every step of the process. You start by selecting your site’s purpose (such as “business”), name, your location (for brick-and-mortar businesses), and then you get access to their intuitive site builder app. When styling and adjusting your site, you get to see the results right away.

Overall, you don’t need any previous site-building experience in order to be able to use Squarespace. Everything is as user-friendly as it should be. Squarespace compares well vs. WordPress, Wix, and other solutions on this list.

OVERALL SCORE – 10/10

Weebly

PRICE

Based on the plan: free, $5.00, $8.00, $18.00, $26.00, $70.00 (per month).

MAIN FEATURES
  • E-commerce integration.
  • Powerful site creator.
  • More than 100 professional website designs.
  • iPhone & Android apps, so you can work with your site on the go.
  • High-quality galleries, slideshows, filters, and other adjustment possibilities.
  • Integrated blogging module.
  • Social media integration.
  • Full site search.
  • Cloud hosting.
  • Possibility to use your own domain name.
  • Built-in site analytics.
PROS
  • Great drag-and-drop site building feature. It’s easy to use and highly intuitive.
  • Weebly lets you create sites directly as subdomains under weebly.com. This allows you to secure some good looking web addresses.
CONS
  • You can only create up to five pages on the free plan, and up to ten on the Starter Plan. This may not be a problem for a small business site, but you won’t be able to do much with your new site in terms of content.
PREFERRED USER GROUP
Weebly was made to help users build simple sites for various purposes, like sharing a resume online or a portfolio. This mission is still visible in Weebly’s current structure, features, and the way the site interacts with the user (who might not be very web-savvy – Weebly is a great alternative for those users).
EASE OF USE
Weebly makes the setup process easy on you by asking about the purpose of your site right away (is it a blog, a store, or simply a website). Then you get to choose the theme and its color version, and your new site’s web address right away. At that point, you get redirected to the builder tool. It’s based on a very intuitive drag-and-drop interface, and it literally takes no effort to find your way around it, plus there are tooltip messages to guide you.

Overall, getting your site created and launched to the public takes only a couple of steps and minutes. If you’d want to speed-run through it, I guess it can be done in less than 60 seconds. Weebly looks very good in that department vs. Squarespace and other solutions on the list.

OVERALL SCORE – 9/10

Virb

PRICE

$10 per month.

MAIN FEATURES
  • Big collection of site designs.
  • CSS and HTML access for advanced users.
  • Possibility to use your own domain name.
  • SEO-friendly.
  • Built-in mobile styling.
  • Unlimited disk space and bandwidth.
  • Social media integration.
  • Custom page types for galleries, store, about page, contact page, and more.
  • Integrated blogging module.
  • Cloud hosting and CDN support.
PROS
  • Clear pricing, just $10 a month and you get access to everything.
  • Virb lets you create sites directly as subdomains under virb.com.
  • The designs are diverse and they certainly don’t all look the same.
CONS
  • If I’m not missing anything, there’s no drag-and-drop builder support.
PREFERRED USER GROUP
Users with specialized needs like photographers, musicians, restaurants, and etc. A good alternative to the other tools if you enjoy clean designs that are easy to adjust to your brand image.
EASE OF USE
Your Virb experience starts with a main signup form where you get to input all of your site’s details right up front. This is a somewhat different solution than the other tools on this list, but it’s equally straightforward. After going through the signup, you can select your theme and you get some assistance from the guided tour. Next step is the content of your site, and finally, you get to tweak the settings and launch the site to the world.

The only problem here is that the resulting site looks not much like the design you’ve chosen. I did two tests here with different designs and I couldn’t make it look like the thumbnail advertised easily enough (compared to the other tools on this list … vs. Wix or Squarespace, for exmaple).

OVERALL SCORE – 7/10.

Jimdo

PRICE

Based on the plan: free, $7.50, $20.00 (per month).

MAIN FEATURES
  • Modern design templates, covering a lot of niches.
  • Possibility to use your own domain name.
  • E-commerce components.
  • Customizable themes.
  • SEO-friendly.
  • Mobile responsive.
  • Mobile apps available.
  • HTML5 compatible.
  • Drag-and-drop content editing.
  • Blog module.
  • Google Maps integration.
  • Contact forms.
  • Possibility to add custom code.
  • External widgets and apps.
PROS
  • Easy setup. Helps you out by asking about the purpose of your website.
  • Pre-defined settings for standard websites, e-commerce stores, and blogs.
  • Really user-friendly interface.
  • Allows you to launch a new site in minutes (tested).
CONS
  • Any usable SEO features and settings available only for the paid versions.
  • Only up to 5 products in your store on the free version.
PREFERRED USER GROUP
Jimdo looks like a really good solution for people who want to launch a website fast, and would prefer for their website platform to suggest the best possible settings for them (so they don’t have to be confused figuring things out on their own).
EASE OF USE
Jimdo is really geared at making the website building process ultra fast. All it takes is to sign up, go through a basic configuration, and your site is online and well. Everything works with drag-and-drop, and you can see what the website will look like in its final form in real time (no need to deal with complicated admin panels).

Overall, Jimdo is really effective at giving you a functional, entry-level website fast. That being said, the free plan has its limitations (mostly in terms of SEO and e-commerce).

OVERALL SCORE – 8/10.

WordPress theme builders

Let’s end this comparison by looking at the obvious solution (at least for us, here at Codeinwp).

Why not simply use WordPress and some of the drag-and-drop builders available for the platform, right?

Well, it may be a great solution, but only if you’re fairly familiar with how site building is done with WordPress and know your way around basic admin and management tasks.

In that case, feel free to check our other post that speaks about drag-and-drop theme builders for WordPress specifically. You’re more than likely to find a solution there.

In other cases, either Wix vs. Squarespace vs. Virb vs. Weebly vs. Jimdo is probably a better alternative for you.

The winner?

My original idea was to list a couple of scenarios here, as for when would you go for a specific tool over the other ones. But in the end, I think I’ll just give it to you straight and name the one tool that has impressed me the most – in terms of ease of use, functionality, price, business applications, and etc.

Right now this tool is  Wix

Initially, I was struggling to pick between Wix vs. Squarespace because both of them deliver a great range of features and are extremely easy to use. However, at the end of the day, Wix is the tool that also offers free accounts, and this is what you won’t get with Squarespace.

  Wix Squarespace Weebly Virb Jimdo
 
PRICE (MONTHLY)  free 
$4.08
$9.25
$12.42
$16.17
$24.90
$5.00
$8.00
$18.00
$26.00
$70.00
 free 
$8.00
$12.00
$25.00
$10.00  free 
$7.50
$20.00
DRAG-AND-DROP CONTENT BUILDER
HTML5 DESIGNS
MOBILE RESPONSIVE
EASE OF USE 10 / 10 10 / 10 9 / 10 6 / 10 10 / 10
OVERALL SCORE  10 / 10   10 / 10  9 / 10 7 / 10 8 / 10
But hey, that’s just me. So I’m curious to find out what’s your tool of choice (and why). What do you think?
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Karol K: Creates content, manages CodeinWP's team of writers and makes sure that every piece of content you see on this blog looks great! / Author of "WordPress Complete" / Professional yerba mate drinker / @carlosinho
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