The number of template website platforms seems to be growing by the day but Weebly and Shopify lead the pack for ecommerce. Choosing between them can be tricky, especially if you’re not sure which features are the most important for your business, but there are certainly areas where each excels over the other, and even though they seem similar, they each have their own unique qualities.
Weebly is a drag and drop website builder that is geared toward Ecommerce for small businesses. With its easy to use, straightforward interface, what you see is what you get. There’s no switching from the front to the back end as you build. You will be dragging and dropping different elements such as text boxes, images, links, and forms- the workflow is similar to powerpoint. There are 40 themes which automatically adapt to mobile, and you can further customize them by adding code.
Weebly’s Ecommerce features are where it really shines, with features like automatic tax and shipping calculation, user ratings, unlimited product listings, digital downloads, coupon codes, and customizable confirmation emails. Weebly offers unlimited levels of navigation in its menus so it’s great for large site structures. Other notable features are custom fonts, video backgrounds, advanced blogging features, and great SEO tools such as custom header and footer code, meta descriptions, and title tags. Weebly has prices that range from free to $6, $12, or $26 a month. The free option has a Weebly ad in the footer and doesn’t come with a proper domain name. A 3% transaction fee is charged on all the plans except the $26 a month plan, in which there are no more transaction fees, which is unique for an ecommerce platform.
Weebly is a fantastic Ecommerce option for beginners with its simplicity of use and bevvy of selling features. However, it’s not the best for visual customization, or image heavy websites. If the appearance of your site is your top priority, SquareSpace or Wix would be a better choice.
Shopify is another great ecommerce option and is also beginner friendly with advanced features. Shopify offers 12 free themes and many paid themes. Shopify also has a 24 hour support team with whom you can actually speak on the phone. Shopify stands out with it’s product listings; you can list your products with up to 500 variants, i.e., a t-shirt in many different colors and sizes. You can also list the products with video or zoom functions.
Other notable Shopify product functions are abandoned cart recovery, dropshipping, and coupon codes. Numerous currencies and over 100 different payment processors are accepted including bitcoin, however there is an extra fee charged unless you use Shopify payments. It’s also possible to sell digital files, and you can limit the number of downloads. As far as the nuts and bolts of shipping, Shopify offers label printing and shipping rates that are connected to different mail carriers. The prices of Shopify range from $26 a month all the way to $299 a month for large accounts that grant you 15 users. The higher the price that you pay per month, the less the transaction fee is for each sale. Transaction fees range from approximately 3%- 5% per transaction depending on what plan you’re using.
Shopify may be a better option for larger Ecommerce stores as its features are designed for high-volume sales. Weebly is probably a better option for complete beginners designing their first online store or site since it’s easier to get the hang of. With either you will be able to build your online store fairly easily.