Here at Nav, we run into a surprising number of business owners that do not yet have an online presence. For those who do, it is often a Yelp page or a social media page that they didn’t create. This usually will not cut it.
But there’s good news! There are now tons of online website builder tools available to business owners looking to increase their online presence. Over the past four weeks, we have reviewed 4 of those online website builders: Weebly, Squarespace, Wix, and Jimdo.
Each website builder has their strengths and weaknesses. Here is a deeper dive into those differences. Hopefully this will help you identify what features are important to you, and which website builder is best for your business website!
Below is a comparison of how pricing compares across these 4 website builders. Wix offers more pricing options that can be seen here.
|Wix*||Yes.|| $4.08 (with ads)
$9.25 (w/o ads)
|$12.42|| $16.17 or
$24.90 (w/premium support + unlimited bandwidth)
Below is a comparison of some of the key features that you, as a business owner, might want to consider before making a decision. An in-depth discussion of these elements follows.
|How do I add new elements?||Drag & drop||Hover & click||Sidebar||Click on page to add|
|Ease of editing tools||Easy||Hard||Easiest||Medium|
|Picture Editing Tools||Very basic (crop, rotate, opacity, filters)||Most Advanced (contrast, saturation, blemish reduction, focusing effects, etc.)||Most Advanced (contrast, saturation, blemish reduction, focusing effects, etc.)||None|
|E-commerce payment options||Stripe, Square, Authorize.Net, Paypal||Stripe|| Authorize.Net
Without a doubt, Squarespace has the most beautiful templates.
Wix templates are really nice too. Wix is the only website builder with a filter that allows you to sort through templates by detailed category before you choose one. For example, using Wix I can sort not only through business related templates, but “home & garden” business templates.
However, once you’ve chosen a template, there’s no going back. These templates may be beautiful, but make sure you really love your template before you start editing — if you don’t, you’ll have to start over.
Weebly and Jimdo templates look nice, but in comparison to those of Squarespace, they don’t measure up.
Ease of Use
Weebly is likely the most user friendly website builder tool.
Working with a website building tool that is easy to figure out is pertinent — especially if you plan to do any blogging, selling products, or anything that involves editing your website on a regular basis.
Weebly, Squarespace, Wix, and Jimdo all have different ways of adding elements to your page. Weebly has a very intuitive drag and drop function.
Wix has a nifty side bar. Just click the element you’d like to add and it will appear on your page. The unusual part about Wix’s elements is that you can put the element anywhere — aligned next to other elements, on top of other elements, even half way off the page.
Jimdo and Squarespace feature a “hover and click” method of adding new elements to your page. Jimdo’s tool is easy to use — an “Add Element” menu will appear, and the drop down menu will allow you to choose your element.
Squarespace is not as easy to edit. As you hover over an area of the page, a small grey icon will appear. Clicking on this icon will give you options about what kind of content you want to add, but personally I found it hard to specify exactly where I want the content — there are many icons and it’s not clear where exactly the content will go.
I also experienced frustration with the Squarespace editor because it often would time out, forcing me to reload my page and lose any unsaved content.
Two very important editing features are text editing and image editing:
Text editing: Both Wix and Jimdo have full text editing capabilities — you can change font, specify size, etc. Weebly and Squarespace have text font built into the template, so there is no way to change the font of the text.
- Image editing: Squarespace and Wix both offer advance photo editing capabilities, including those shown below and more.
Weebly offers some photo editing tools.
Jimdo offers almost no photo editing tools.
Squarespace and Weebly have the best mobile capabilities.
Each platform claims to be mobile friendly, but each mobile design is slightly different.
Weebly and Squarespace have a responsive design. This means that the site is completely flexible regardless of the device. As I make the screen smaller or larger, your Weebly or Squarespace website will automatically respond accordingly. Here’s the Weebly site as an example:
Jimdo tries to mimic the responsive design, but is not quite there yet (see below). Be aware of these glitches before you start with your Jimdo design.
Wix, on the other hand, does not have a responsive design. Instead, they have a mobile friendly design, meaning that your page will respond to certain browser sizes consistent with popular phones, but will not automatically respond to any browser size (i.e. if you minimize the site to fit ½ of your computer screen, the Wix website will not respond.
Wix, however, is the only website builder that has a mobile website editor. With this editor, you can customize your mobile design — menus, hidden pages, etc. This is very convenient, but not as helpful without the responsive design.
If you expect that most of your website visitors will be on their mobile devices — they find you from the Yelp app on their phone, click a link on Facebook or Twitter, etc. — then I would strongly suggest taking the mobile design of your website into consideration.
All in all, Jimdo has the best e-commerce system.
Businesses using Weebly’s business account can offer payment through Stripe (which is fully integrated), Square, Authorize.Net, or Paypal. Unless you are on Weebly’s business plan, you will have to pay an added 3% transaction fee.
Squarespace is completely integrated with Stripe, but does not yet offer any other integration with any other payment systems. Wix offers payments through Authorize.Net and Paypal, and Jimdo offers payments through PayPal.
All four website builders offer very nice looking store fronts. To add more than five products, you will need to have the a Business or E-Commerce plan through the website builder you choose to use. Each website builder offers the chance to track inventory, orders, and set shipping costs based on territory.
I was most impressed with with Jimdo’s e-commerce system. Jimdo was the only site that allowed me to customize individual products — I could set different sizes and prices for the same product.
Their inventory tracking system is also quite useful.
As you can see, each website builder has slight differences from the others, so it’s hard to say which one is the best for all businesses. Here’s what we think about each website builder based on their strengths.
Weebly: best for business owners that just want to get a site up and running. Weebly is the simplest to use. They offer all the basics, and you can have a flawless website up in a matter of an hour.
Squarespace: best for design businesses. In other words, if your customer acquisition might be influenced by how nice your website looks, Squarespace will be the website builder tool for you.
Wix: best for businesses on a budget. Wix offers a lot for businesses on their e-commerce plan, which is about $5-$10 less per month than the business plan through any other website builder tool.
Jimdo: best for businesses looking to sell, particularly those with high product variation. Their detailed inventory tracking system and beautiful layout of the online storefront are added bonuses.
If more than one of the above options applies to your business, then give more than one website builder a try! Each tool has either a free version or a 14-day trial, and by spending 30 minutes with each tool you can get an idea of which one is right for your business.
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