WordPress vs Weebly
If searching for a good site builder, customers tend to choose “the best one,” that is, the one used by huge audiences. The method isn’t ideal, but it does work. So, you may soon narrow your search list to WordPress and Weebly.
Which should you choose? That’s the question. Both platforms offer great instruments for site development, but they are essentially different. And that’s the problem since you should clearly understand the difference to make the correct choice.
I won’t keep you in suspense. I’m sure Weebly is the best solution for most sites created today. You can start with the site builder at once – without a long learning process, coding skills, and so on. This is true no matter what project is on your mind.
Only a truly complex website might require WordPress capacities. Yet, you’ll, by all means, need special knowledge to make them work for your site’s good.
So, in this comparison of the WordPress CMS and Weebly, I’m going to explain their differences in detail. Read my article till the end, and you’ll know which site builder is better for your project.
WordPress CMS is a free software designed for creating and maintaining websites. Unlike WordPress.com, this is a self-hosted platform. That is, you’ll need to find a host, open your hosting account with it and connect a domain to it. Only after this will you be able to install WordPress. So, you should factor in the cost of hosting/domain services.
With WordPress, you are free to customize your future website just the way you wish. Expect complete freedom in defining the design and functional structure of your site. The only problem here is that the final success of your creation depends highly on your coding and web design skills. The more sophisticated site you build, the more maintenance it will need in the future to stay workable.
So, choose the WordPress CMS in the following cases:
- Your goal is a complex website with out-of-a-kind design and special features.
- You are an experienced coder or ready to hire one.
- The necessity to constantly update plugins and take care of other components of your website does not scare you.
Weebly belongs to hosted site builders. That is, you don’t necessarily have to pay for hosting or domain. Weebly can supply you with the options within one of its packages. Be aware that the free plan is also possible here.
But the key benefit of Weebly is its ease of use. The platform is built so that a user with any level of knowledge can successfully create their website. Yes, it won’t be as customizable as in the case of WordPress, but the good thing about it is that you won’t be able to spoil the job.
Now, Weebly is part of the Square family, many products of which are addressed for eCommerce. So, this is good news for everyone searching for an affordable and powerful platform to launch an online store.
Choose Weebly in these cases:
- You need a fast and workable solution. Your priority is the ease of use – not the customization level.
- You are a non-coder. You have little experience in web design.
- You need a site on which most things will function on their own.
Now, let’s compare the options of WordPress and Weebly in various aspects of website building.
As I have mentioned, the WordPress software is free – you won’t find prepaid packages common for other site builders here. But the label ‘free’ may be confusing for newbies. In fact, even to start with this software, you need hosting and a domain.
Your choice of hosting service requires an understanding of your future website’s needs. Still, I can recommend a reliable and cost-effective host, HostGator. It offers a whole spectrum of hosting services, including WordPress-oriented ones. So, you can find an adequate hosting solution for your WordPress website at a reasonable price. HostGator special widgets will let you install WordPress in one click as well as keep all its plugins up to date.
If you wish to purchase a custom domain, HostGator can also help with it. But you still might need to spend extra money on your project. While WordPress has many options for free, chances are high that you’ll have to pay for a range of plugins and features to power up your site.
Weebly can serve you as a universal solution with all problems solved at once. There’s a free plan available on the platform. Although its feature set is limited, it is actually free, and a simple site can do with it without requiring extra investments.
Thus, all Weebly plans, including the free one, include hosting, a free SSL certificate, 24/7 support, SEO tools, and more. As to eCommerce features, even the free package goes with unlimited products, the Shopping cart option, Gift cards, Coupons, and more.
Weebly’s pricing system is transparent enough to let you choose the right plan for your project. There are four packages available on the platform, including the free one. The prices range from $13 to $29. All plans are well-equipped with features. They include hosting, a free domain, and piles of eCommerce features.
That said, Weebly offers better value for money than WordPress in most cases. Surely, Weebly integrates with fewer plugins, but it has most things your website might need. On the other hand, many WordPress options are excessive and even insecure.
Creating a Website
WordPress is an ideal CMS for experts. A beginner may deadlock at the initial stages. Thus, you need to sign in to your hosting account to be able to install WordPress through your domain.
While the launch of a new site won’t present a big problem, further editing requires a more extended experience in web design. Coding is a necessity here, and the learning curve might be too steep for a newbie.
Weebly is the direct opposite of WordPress. It’s a beginner-friendly site builder. You can sign up on the official site and go straight to the creation process. No tricky setups or code manipulations are needed. Access to HTML/JS/CSS code is an option at Weebly, not a requirement.
The editing process is based on a drag-and-drop mechanism. So, you’ll be able to build a website by selecting a suitable template and editing it a bit to make your website look unique. Then, you can connect apps through the Weebly App Center, and that’s it – your website is ready to go online.
Everything is well thought out in the WordPress interface. Again, only a skilled user might sense it as ‘intuitive.’ You need to log in to your WordPress site to access the dashboard with all the necessary tools for maintaining your site.
Weebly also offers a smooth interface with one big advantage: even a total beginner can easily cope with it. When creating a website, you watch the results of every step you take at once. It’s also simple to edit your pages, modify settings, customize the design, and so on.
One of the strongest points of WordPress is the abundance of themes available on the platform. There are thousands of them, but in most cases, you get a raw theme without built-in features. When you need a ready-to-use template, you’ll have to purchase a premium theme.
But the main problem with WordPress themes is that not all of them are of high quality. Some themes can even damage your website. Will you be able to protect it against malicious software? If not, no one will. The security of your WordPress website is fully your responsibility.
Inversely, Weebly offers much fewer templates, but all of them are professionally designed and absolutely secure. Any theme you choose is mobile-friendly and easy to customize. Surely, not everything will be customizable in your chosen template, but you’ll get it with all features installed. Moreover, you are free to change themes at any moment.
Your web design possibilities on WordPress will be literally endless. Thanks to source code freely available to everyone, you can create and customize your website just the way you wish. The platform is great for a professional.
However, non-coders won’t be able to benefit from such a rich functional set. The simplest way to build a website for them is to choose one of the recommended free WordPress themes. Yet, tuning it up can be a tough task for a beginner.
Weebly is initially addressed to beginners. Here, you do not need to write the code of your website to define its appearance. Instead, the building process is more similar to a builder with a predefined set of blocks. Weebly will let you do the following:
- drag the blocks over the page and position them at whatever place you wish;
- change the theme’s colors, fonts, styles, etc.;
- add elements like text, photos, videos, maps, and so on;
- create custom headers;
- integrate apps to your website, and more.
At your disposal will be about 40 Weebly themes. The platform allows buying premium themes from third-party apps as well. A couple of clicks will be enough to get quite a satisfactory result.
Like with many other parameters, you’ll have to take care of your WordPress website’s SEO yourself. Again, this is not good for a beginner who can ‘lose sight’ of this important aspect. However, WordPress offers a wider range of SEO apps.
For instance, you can easily connect Yoast to your website (for free) and thus solve the SEO problem once and for all.
Weebly offers a more moderate set of SEO tools. In fact, they are mainly built-in in the templates. It’s a good thing for newbies since they can leave the SEO settings of their pages as they are, and it won’t ruin the site’s visibility to search engines.
Without touching code, you’ll only be able to modify page titles/descriptions and image alt text, as well as create 301 redirects. As for me, I found the number of available apps for SEO insufficient on the platform. Still, many users might not need them at all. So, it’s up to you to decide whose SEO approach is better.
Publishing a Website
Both WordPress and Weebly offer a simple publishing process. However, in the case of WordPress, the job might take a bit more time.
First, you need to check if your website is actually prepared for publishing. Thus, all the plugins added to your website should work properly, all plugins you don’t need should be removed or deactivated, the SSL certificate should be activated, and so on.
Your next step is to make backups of your content. You can use specific add-ons to accomplish this mission or do the thing manually. Then, be sure to use the Preview option to see the draft variant of your website. If everything is OK, press Publish to continue.
WordPress allows you to make your website public, private, or password-protected. You can publish it right away or fix the date when it will go online. Finally, you can add tags to let your customers find your website more easily.
Since many parameters of your website are predetermined on Weebly, the publishing process is simpler here. When all edits are finished, and you are happy with the result, you simply click on Publish. You’ll need to enter your domain to continue, and then Weebly will complete the process itself.
Both WordPress and Weebly are powerful instruments for creating, launching and maintaining eCommerce websites. However, the key differences are worth mentioning.
On WordPress, your WordPress eStore will be fully dependable on eCommerce and marketing plugins available on the platform. Be sure that there are plenty of them here.
The first add-on to pick is WooCommerce. Via it, you can supply your online store with 500+ features, among which there will be essentials like these:
- Inventory Management;
- Product Filters;
- Shipping tools;
- Payment Gateways;
- Tax Calculators, and more.
Be ready to pay extra money for many of the WooCommerce extensions. The same is true for premium themes professionally designed for eCommerce.
One more drawback of WordPress is that you need to keep your plugins updated. The more plugins you have, the more dependent your website is. So, if you miss an update, its smooth work can be ruined.
Weebly is one of the best eCommerce website builders now. Powered by Square, it offers a terrific set of online store features available even in a free plan! Practically all the features I have mentioned while describing WooCommerce are included in the Weebly plans.
In my experience, Weebly is a cheaper and faster solution for an online store. Creating and managing a similar project on WordPress may take much more time, effort, and money.
WordPress is better for blogging than Weebly because the initial purpose of the platform was blogging. So, blog features here have passed through a huge number of updates. Now, WordPress is the strongest solution for a blogger.
The CMS will grant you full control over your blogs. It supports countless plugins for making your blog unique and functionally rich.
You can easily create and run a blog based on Weebly, too. The platform has all the basic instruments necessary to make it professional. Still, I’d give the palm to WordPress, but most users would prefer Weebly for its better ease of use.
There’s no common support team on WordPress. Here, you can count on the biggest community of users in the world and WordPress forums. All this can be helpful, but if a problem occurs, you and only you will have to solve it. This is one of the main disadvantages of the platform.
On the contrary, Weebly offers technical support available 24/7 within all plans. Besides the online chat and phone calling options, the platform supports tickets that you can compile and send via your Weebly account. Additionally, the platform has a comprehensive Knowledge Base.
Let’s sum up. WordPress is addressed to a smaller group of pro developers and web designers. But even they can prefer Weebly to WordPress if they have an urgent project! Let alone beginners who won’t be able to benefit from WordPress since coding is necessary to get the most out of the platform.
The weakest point of Weebly is that it does not allow much customization for non-coders, and it offers fewer themes and apps. However, its options might be enough for most modern websites. The strongest point is that a user with any level of skills can create a professional site ready to bring profit at once.
Weebly is a great tool for eCommerce. The platform has a variety of plans, including the free one. A Weebly-based site will be much easier to manage and keep up-to-date. Thus, I recommend Weebly as a universal solution that can suit practically any project.