Over half of the people that contact me to create a website are looking to create an e-commerce website to sell products. With so many shop builders like WooCommerce, Volusion, and Shopify and payment processors like Square, Paypal, and Authorize.net, the decisions can be overwhelming.
Shopify has been my single recommendation for getting your e-commerce store online and selling your products quickly and easily. But one of my favorite website builders, Weebly, has recently expanded it’s ecommerce platform so that it now is a competitive comparison to a dedicated shopping platform like Shopify.
Here are some of the distinguishing basic characteristics of Shopify and Weebly to help you start to understand the difference.
|Price||Free – $25/month||$14 – $179/month|
|Transaction FeeWhen selling online, there are credit card fees that are usually around 3% and some platforms charge an additional transaction fee. The transaction fee is separate from the credit card fees.||0 – 3%||0%|
|Payment Processor||Stripe, Paypal||Shopify Payments|
|# Products||5 to Unlimited||Unlimited|
|SSL Certificate (HTTPS)An SSL Certificate is what makes sure the transactions completed on your website are secure and encrypted.||Yes, checkout.weebly.com||Yes, checkout.shopify.com|
|Custom SSLHaving a custom SSL certificate will allow you to keep people on your domain throughout the checkout process rather than sending them to checkout.weebly.com for example||included with $25/mo Business plan||included with Shopify Plus ($995/mo)|
Advantages of Weebly eCommerce
- Top notch website builder – Weebly is a great website builder first and foremost. So creating a website around your store will be a breeze. You can also create your product pages using their website builder interface, and it’s all seamlessly integrated. You can watch my Weebly website builder video to see how the website builder works.
- Lower price point – Obviously, one of the major advantages of Weebly is the lower price point. You can actually sell a few products on their free plan, but you’ll be limited to 5 products and you’ll pay the 3% transaction fee.
- Simplicity – Weebly eCommerce doesn’t offer all the advanced features of Shopify, but when you strip that all away, it becomes very simple. Almost anyone can login to Weebly eCommerce and setup a store. Weebly presents convenient checklists within your account showing the steps that need to be completed to get your store up and running.
Advantages of Shopify
- Shopify Apps – Shopify offers expandability through the Shopify App Store. Third party developers create functionality for Shopify in the form of plug-in apps that you can integrate into your store.
- Calculated carrier shipping – With the Shopify Unlimited plan, you can link up your shipping accounts from FedEx, UPS, and USPS so that shipping can be calculated to the penny. This ensures you’re always charging your customers exactly what you will pay for shipping.
- More advanced features – Since Shopify is specifically designed as an e-commerce platform, they have built in more advanced features than Weebly. Examples are a card reader, fraud analysis tools, advanced reports, and gift cards. You will have to upgrade to the Shopify Unlimited plan for these features, but at least they are available.
- Retail connection – If you have a brick and mortar retail store AND an online shop, Shopify can integrate the two seamlessly. They provide the cash registers and software for your store and the inventory in your retail store and online store will sync automatically.
- Room for expansion – If your online sales explode and you’re on a Weebly eCommerce store, you may need to upgrade to a new platform. Not with Shopify. They have enterprise level ecommerce with Shopify Plus. It offers priority support, high end professional hosting, and more API flexibility to keep on pace with the needs of your thriving business.
- Advanced Design Themes – One thing I love about Shopify is the design themes. They are specifically designed for selling products, whereas the Weebly designs are more standard website designs with an online store added in after the fact. Take a look at the Shopify Theme Store to see their designs.
Shopify Unlimited Free Trial
If you sign up for a free trial at Shopify.com using the button above, you can get a 14-day free trial.
Since I have a Shopify Partner account, I can set you up with a free trial that will NOT expire. You can take as much time setting up your site and only pay when you’re ready to go live.
I also build Shopify sites for a one time fee. So contact me if either of these options interest you.
Bottom Line – Which One is For You?
The bottom line is Weebly eCommerce is more of a starter level eCommerce platform. If you’re looking for simplicity, low-cost, and only need to sell a few products on your site, Weebly eCommerce is probably your best bet.
If you want to sell a LOT of products, are interested in a more advanced shop design, and are hoping to grow your shop to massive sales levels in the future, you may want to go with Shopify so you have room to grow.
If you’re still not sure which to pick, comment below and I’ll be happy to help you out as much as I can.