For most businesses and individuals, using a web builder to create a website is a no-brainer. You can create a great website quickly, with no coding knowledge – what’s not to love?

First, though, you need to choose a specific web builder… and that’s where things get tricky. There are several good choices and a whole load of bad ones, but it’s often hard to tell the difference. Especially as you don’t have time to test them all. 

That’s where we come in. In this review, we’ve taken a detailed look at three popular options: Wix, Weebly, and Pedestal. All three receive good reviews, have customers that rave about them, and a solid reputation. But, which one is best for you?

Most users take a quick look at their respective websites and then choose the one they think looks better than the rest – that’s their first mistake. And it’s an easy one to make because most web builders (with a few notable exceptions – see Pedestal) market themselves as a solution for all-comers. 

But, if you’ve ever purchased anything with the label “one size fits all,” you’ll know that it’s rarely true. While none of these web builders is bad, they do have specific strengths and weaknesses that make them more or less suitable for different uses. By taking the time to carefully consider which one is best for you, you’ll end up with a better website and a superior return on your investment.

Let’s take a quick look at our contenders:

WIX – a highly popular web builder, Wix excels at helping beginners get started quickly. Its features are supplemented by its app store but still fall short of business use in some areas. 

Weebly – another well-established web builder, Weebly has the strongest eCommerce options of the three builders we’re reviewing today. 

Pedestal – a relative newcomer to the market, Pedestal focuses on providing high-converting websites with built-in marketing features for local businesses such as bathroom renovators, lawn companies and electricians etc.  

Wix vs. Weebly vs. Pedestal: Which Should You Choose?

Choosing your web builder can be tricky when you’re not certain how all the different options will support your business. To make it easy to explain, we use five avatars who represent different business models; by putting ourselves in the shoes of these business owners we can assess which web builder is best for each situation. 

The business models represented by each avatar are relatively obvious from the names, but we’ve got a detailed description of each in the next section.

Avatar

Wix

Weebly

Pedestal

Emelie the eCommerce Entrepreneur

2/5

4/5

1/5

Paula the Pizza Shop Owner

4/5

3/5

1/5

Fred the Freelance Photographer

3/5

4/5

1/5

Bob the Bathroom Renovator

2.5/5

3/5

4.5/5

Henry the Hobbyist

4.5/5

4/5

1/5

As you can see, Wix wins for hobbyists like Henry and restaurant-owners like Paula. The Wix ADI makes it that bit easier for beginners to get started with, and its app store has more options for restaurant owners than the Weebly store.

Weebly wins or eCommerce stores and freelancers, represented by our avatars Emelie and Fred. Its eCommerce features are significantly better than what Wix offers (Pedestal doesn’t offer any) and, in our opinion, it looks better – which makes it better for freelancers and other creatives.

Finally, Pedestal wins out for local service business owners, like Bob. The other solutions, made to offer something for everyone, can’t compete with Pedestals focused options for local businesses. If you’re not sure which avatar best represents your business, the next section is for you. Know who you are? You might want to skip that bit and go straight to our detailed reviews further down.

Which Avatar Are You?

Emelie the eCommerce Entrepreneur

Emelie is an entrepreneur, creating and selling handmade jewellery. She currently sells her products on sites like eBay and Etsy but would like to take her business to the next level by creating her own website and eCommerce store online.

Emelie is no slouch with a computer – but she isn’t a coding whizz either. She needs a web builder that can help her build a great-looking website that promotes and sells her products efficiently and easily.

eCommerce entrepreneurs like Emelie need a website builder that offers secure payment processing options and the ability to manage sales, special offers, and customers. SEO and other marketing tools are also essential to help attract new customers.

Paula the Pizza Shop Owner

Paula serves her local community delicious pizza, which they consume both in her restaurant and as a takeaway. She’s getting great reviews, but her footfall is still lower than she’d like. Part of the reason for that is her main competitors have better websites.

Paula needs a web builder that will help her build a high-quality website that will help visitors find and access her restaurant. Search engine optimization and social media integration are also important, to help her reach more customers. Ideally, her website will also offer online reservations and the ability to order takeaway online.

Fred the Freelance Photographer

Fred needs more clients and he knows hosting his fantastic portfolio online will help him get them. Fred doesn’t need to sell anything online, or even to take bookings – he just needs something that will represent his brand well and get customers to pick up the phone.

In this case, style really does triumph over substance; a simple but professional website is all Fred needs.

Bob the Bathroom Renovator

Bob’s a bathroom specialist. He knows his trade, has been building his business for years, and now has several other employees. He wants a new website to help generate leads but has very little technical knowledge or experience.

For Bob, his website is all about creating the new business; although he gets a lot of referrals from satisfied customers he’s noticed the number of leads he gets from more traditional advertising methods is steadily decreasing.

Bob needs a solution that will help him advertise using SEO and Google Ads. It also needs to be easy-to-use – he’s already busy running his business.

Henry the Hobbyist

Henry doesn’t need a business website, he just wants to create a site for his latest hobby. It needs to look good – something he can be proud of – but marketing isn’t a consideration: he just wants to get something up to show friends and family.

Henry has no experience building websites and he wants to get something done fast – he wants something easy-to-use and cheap.

Spotted Your Avatar Yet?

Which avatar is closest to your business model? Are you a Bob or Paula? Or, perhaps a Fred? Think carefully about who you relate to best before reading out reviews of Wix, Weebly, and Pedestal.

Ready? Let’s take a more detailed look at our three contenders:

Review: Wix

Best for: Henry the Hobbyist and Paula the Pizza Shop Owner
OK for: Emelie the eCommerce Entrepreneur, Fred the Freelance Photographer, and Bob the Bathroom Renovator

If there’s one thing that stands out about Wix, it’s that it goes out of its way to make things easy for beginners like Henry the Hobbyist. Like other web builders, Wix has a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface that enables you to drag-and-drop elements to create your website design. It also has hundreds of templates sorted into different categories which help website builders hit the ground running.


Wix ADI: Perfect For Henry the Hobbyist


So far, so normal; nearly all website builders provide WYSIWYG and templates. However, Wix takes the beginner-friendly design process one step further with its Artificial Design Intelligence or ADI. It doesn’t matter if Henry the Hobbyist has never seen a WYSIWYG interface before - he can still create a decent design.

The Wix ADI is essentially a detailed questionnaire which users fill in about what features and design elements they want on their website. The ADI takes all the answers and uses them to create the bare bones of your website for you. You can then modify that creation yourself if it doesn’t quite hit the mark.


Wix App Market: Great Tools for Paula the Pizza Shop Owner But Misses the Mark In Other Areas


Wix is also easy to use because many of the slightly more complicated features, such as SEO and forums, are provided through apps (some free, some paid) on the Wix App Market. This means there’s extra functionality for those that want it, but others don’t have to worry about it. It’s not unusual for web builders to have this feature, but some of the apps and functionality aren’t available in other solutions. The tools for restaurants, in particular, won over Paula the Pizza Shop Owner.

The wide range of functionality offered by the app market is what makes Wix ok for our other three avatars too - you can do almost anything, but there is normally a better option out there.

What it costs:


Bandwidth

Storage

Notable Features

Price

Wix Free

500MB

500MB

Wix Ads & Wix Subdomain

Free

Connect Domain

1GB

500MB

Displays Wix Brand Ads

$5 per month

Combo

2GB

3GB

Free Domain

$11 per month

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

Unlimited Free Domain, Ad vouchers, and apps

$14 per month

eCommerce

Unlimited

20GB

As Unlimited plus eCommerce features

$17 per month

VIP

Unlimited

20GB

As eCommerce plus VIP Support, Priority Response & Site Review

$25 per month

Wix offers both free and premium plans. At first look, the free plans appear generous – with unlimited pages, free hosting, and 500 MB in storage – but the placement of advertising on these pages by Wix makes them unsuitable for business websites. For hobbyists, it’s down to individual taste.

Premium plans enable you to avoid the advertising and start at $5 per month. The most expensive plan, VIP, starts from $25 per month and includes eCommerce functionality, premium apps, ad vouchers, and the ability to create email campaigns.

One negative point is that the cheapest two paid plans have limited bandwidth – which could be a black flag if you’re hoping to drive a lot of traffic to your website (especially if you’re using paid ads).

What the users say:

“Brilliant - absolutely brilliant. I'm not hugely web savvy but I really liked the easy to use interface from Wix. I've spent the evening creating my new website based on one of their templates, and have now subscribed.” Jonathan Whelan, Trustpilot review, Feb 2018.

Review: Weebly

Best for: Emelie the eCommerce Entrepreneur and Fred the Freelance Photographer
OK for: Henry the Hobbyist, Paula the Pizza Shop Owner, and Bob the Bathroom Renovator

Like Wix, Weebly is an easy-to-use web builder that offers a WYSIWYG interface, lots of free themes, and an app centre for adding extra features. The most immediate differences are that Weebly has fewer templates and it has nothing to match Wix’s ADI – you just have to pick a template and add the bits you want yourself.

Weebly might not quite get the beginner vote, but it does cater for more advanced users better. The dashboard is easier to use and less confusing, which is important if you’re going to be using the system a lot. Users have the opportunity to add their own HTML code into their pages and can even upload their own templates as a code.

Fred the Freelance Photographer Will Like Weebly’s High-Quality Templates 

Weebly might have fewer templates than Wix but, in our opinion, they’re higher quality. For someone like Fred, who relies on the strength of his portfolio, this is essential. Other freelancers, such as Fred’s freelance coding friends, will also enjoy the freedom offered by the opportunity to add in their own bits of code and create their own templates.

Emelie the eCommerce Entrepreneur Prefers Weebly

Weebly also offers superior eCommerce features, including checkout and shopping cart; inventory and shipping tools; and the option to create coupons and gift cards. These features make Weebly the platform of choice for more than 440,000 online stores and make it a strong contender for anyone whose business model relies on online sales. It is worth noting that although Weebly is better at eCommerce than Wix or Pedestal, dedicated eCommerce platforms like Shopify provide Emelie with even more options.

Weebly’s App Centre provides some good options to expand functionality, including stats & marketing apps, the ability to create paid membership sites and to include live chat functionality on your website. Unfortunately, Weebly suffers from a similar problem to Wix: the high-quality apps are diluted by a large volume of less useful apps. Both could be improved by having a few of the less popular and useful options removed.

As with Wix, Weebly provides a wide range of different options and functionalities, especially when expanded with apps. This means it isn’t terrible for any of our avatars - Henry, Paula and Bob will all find features that benefit them - but it won’t be their best option.

What it costs:


Bandwith

Storage

Notable Features

Price

Wix Free

500MB

500MB

Wix Ads & Wix Subdomain

Free

Connect Domain

1GB

500MB

Displays Wix Brand Ads

$5 per month

Combo

2GB

3GB

Free Domain

$11 per month

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

Free Domain, Ad vouchers, and apps

$14 per month

eCommerce

Unlimited

20GB

As Unlimited plus eCommerce features

$17 per month

VIP

Unlimited

20GB

As eCommerce plus VIP Support, Priority Response & Site Review

$25 per month

Somewhat confusingly, Weebly offers one free plan and five different paid plans (Connect, Starter, Pro, Business & Performance) ranging from $8 per month to $46 per month (with up to 50% discounts offered for 1-year and 2-year contracts). This large range of options can make it hard for businesses to select the right choice.

For most businesses, the free and Connect plans are unsuitable because, like Wix’s free option, they contain ads. Of the following four sections, the Starter reduces the functionality of the website most and may be unsuitable for businesses (it lacks features such as adding HD video and audio). 

The Pro and Business both offer improved functionality, with the main difference between them being that the Business plan has more features for eCommerce and membership sites. Finally, the Performance level has the best eCommerce functionality, including gift cards, abandoned cart emails, and real-time shipping rates.

eCommerce sites should avoid the Starter and Pro levels since these come with a 3% transaction fee, while the Business ($35 per month) and Performance ($46 per month) levels have 0%. For busy eCommerce sites, this transaction fee will quickly cost more than upgrading the membership level.

For non-eCommerce sites, the Pro level ($18 per month) is normally sufficient. 

What the users say:

“Weebly's drag & drop platform works well and is easy to learn. It has a good selection of features for the price, and you can create a nice-looking website for free with a Weebly domain. If I ever have a client that needs a simple, inexpensive website I always recommend Weebly.” Megan N., G2crowd.com review, November 2017.

Review: Pedestal

Best for: Bob the Bathroom Renovator
Bad for: Everyone Else

Whereas web builders like Wix and Weebly try to attract all-comers, Pedestal takes a different path – it specializes in creating sites for one specific market. The good news is that this means Pedestal is either going to be perfect for your situation or completely unsuitable – there’s little grey area.

Bob the Bathroom Renovator: This One’s For You

Pedestal has been from the ground-up to help local service businesses build websites that deliver a measurable improvement in their marketing. These businesses include plumbers, electricians, beauty salons, HVAC experts, accountants, and a whole host more. If you’re a local business providing a service to your community, it’s likely Pedestal has been built for you – especially if you picked Bob, the Bathroom Renovator as your avatar.

When you build a website using Pedestal, the focus is on generating leads. On its front page, Pedestal states that local businesses who use a Pedestal website generate an average of 26.7% more leads. To achieve this, Pedestal offers pre-optimized templates that have been created for specific industries – so, for example, the templates provided for plumbing businesses are different from those provided for accountants. The advantage of this is that you’re automatically building your website using conversion best practice, using templates that have been proven to work – no more stumbling around spending hours trying to settle on a design (and still not knowing if you’ve made the right choice).

The downside of this is that your options for customising your website are more limited with Pedestal than with other web builders. You have enough leeway to create a website that’s unique and stands out of course, but if you’re looking for a tool that will allow you to spend hours creating a website according to your own exact design Pedestal isn’t for you. If you’re a busy local business this won’t be a problem, Pedestal gives you the optimized design you need without asking you to design it yourself.

In addition to its templates, Pedestals other features include built-in marketing features, including the opportunity to add calls-to-action, competitions, offers, and guarantees and warranties. Continuing the marketing theme, Pedestal also includes tools that can help you optimize your marketing campaign and track your performance – so you can see exactly what effect your website is having on your bottom line.

What it costs:

Pedestal has a simple pricing plan: businesses pay either $49 per month or $500 per year (15% discount) to use their service. This single tier includes all the features Pedestal offers, including customized design by industry, customised marketing strategy by industry, built-in SEO functionality, and reporting tools.

Pedestal also offers a free 14-day trial which includes most of the features available in the full version – although if you want your site live and online, you’ll need to purchase a subscription.

What the users say:

“The first thing we noticed when we switched from our existing Squarespace website to Pedestal’s customer conversion platform was how easy it was to set up, it took just a few hours to build. The second thing we noticed was the results – within 30 days we’d seen a noticeable improvement in the number of leads we were converting.” Eastern Hills Outdoors

You’ve chosen your avatar, read the reviews, and now it’s time to make a choice – what’s right for you? If you’re a local service business, the choice is clear: unless you’ve got unusual requirements for your industry or an urge to go with your own design, Pedestal is for you. 

However, for other businesses, it’s not quite so clear-cut. Weebly and Wix are both occupying a similar space in the market, provide similar features, and have good reputations. We’ve ranked our three contenders out of five for each of our five avatars:

Wix vs. Weebly vs. Pedestal: Which Should You Choose?

You’ve chosen your avatar, read the reviews, and now it’s time to make a choice – what’s right for you? If you’re a local service business, the choice is clear: unless you’ve got unusual requirements for your industry or an urge to go with your own design, Pedestal is for you.

However, for other businesses, it’s not quite so clear-cut. Weebly and Wix are both occupying a similar space in the market, provide similar features, and have good reputations. We’ve ranked our three contenders out of five for each of our five avatars:

Weebly wins for eCommerce stores and portfolio sites. It’s eCommerce features are significantly better than what Wix offers (Pedestal doesn’t offer any) and, in our opinion, it looks better – which makes it better for freelancers and other creatives. Wix wins for hobbyists and restaurants. The Wix ADI makes it that bit easier for beginners to get started with, and its app store has more options for restaurant owners than the Weebly store.

Finally, of course, Pedestal wins out for local service businesses – the other solutions, made to offer something for everyone, can’t compete with Pedestals single-minded pursuit of excellence in this area.