As the internet continues to grow, it has become increasingly necessary for businesses of all types to have an online platform in order to reach a wider range of consumers. There are many ways to start your own website, but two of the most common platforms that people use are Weebly and WordPress.
Both Weebly and WordPress are publishing platforms that allow users to create their own customizable websites or online stores. Weebly in particular is designed specifically for those who don’t have any background in coding, but WordPress is also very non-tech friendly making it relatively easy for a novice to create website from scratch on their own.
Article Quick Links:
- Features Comparison
- Who offers the best templates?
- eCommerce Capabilities
- Blog Compatibility
- SEO Capabilities
- Which is easier to use?
- Who has the best support?
- Price comparison
What Makes Weebly and WordPress Different?
While Weebly and WordPress are both website builders, they are some inherent differences between the two. Many consider Weebly to be one of the easiest website builders available, as it has the most user-friendly interface. It is great for beginners due to its straight-forward drag and drop editor that is simpler than the functionalities of many other website builders.
WordPress, on the other hand, requires a bit more work and a modicum of technical understanding. Although it does have a slightly tougher learning curve, WordPress offers tons of flexibility, and due to this, WordPress is more suitable for larger and more complex sites.
It’s important to note that when we are talking about the features of WordPress, we are referencing WordPress.org rather than WordPress.com. The main difference between these two versions is that WordPress.org is self-hosted. This means that you are the one who is hosting your own blog or website, which requires you to download and install the software onto your web server. Though most hosts will do this for you or offer a 1-click install option.
This differs from WordPress.com (and Weebly) which hosts your website for you. By using WordPress.org, you are not limited to the restrictions that WordPress.com puts for those who only want a free plan. Finally, with WordPress.org, you get to use a custom domain name for your website (like yourname.com) rather than a sub-domain like yourname.wordpress.com.
We have also covered the pros and cons of Wix vs WordPress too.
Feature Comparison: Weebly vs WordPress
So, what is it exactly that Weebly and WordPress have to offer? As previously mentioned, both platforms are website builders. Let’s compare the key features that are likely to be important to you…
One of the most important aspects of making a website is creating something that is aesthetically appealing to consumers. Both offer website templates with their free version. Weebly’s templates are separated into categories depending on what you want from your website building experience, whether that is an online store, a blog, or a portfolio.
Weebly’s free version offers over 55 different templates that are all compatible–even if you decide to change your template, it won’t affect the information already inputted. The self-hosted version of WordPress offers a library of literally 1000’s of free templates which you can search and install from the backend of your site. For WordPress, you can also choose from a massive number of premium (paid) templates sold on sites like themeforest.net. While Weebly has fewer templates to choose from they do make it easy to adjust these to your liking with their drag and drop interface. With WordPress you are probably going to need to learn a little HTML and CSS if you can’t find the perfect template off the shelf.
Ultimately, WordPress offers more template options and flexibility, while Weebly offers a more standardized experience that is simpler for novices.
If you’re looking to run a digital shop out of your website, both platforms offer eCommerce capabilities. ECommerce refers to any commercial transactions that occur online. Weebly is a great option for smaller online shops that sell both physical and digital goods. It does, however, have some restrictions, which include the fact that there’s no way for customers to login for checkout, and that all payments must be made through the site. In other words, there’s no option for the customer to pay in cash upon delivery or through money wire.
Alternatively, WordPress has much more flexibility when it comes to eCommerce. It can accommodate a much larger store that allows you to sell as many items as you might want. Furthermore, you can sell these products or services in any way you want, as well as being able to accept payments in any form. The drawback is that this requires you install and configure a plugin such as WooCommerce. For this reason, it requires more technical skills than using Weebly’s built-in eCommerce platform, and you may find that not all the eCommerce features you want are free.
If it’s a blog that you want, Weebly and WordPress are both great options depending on your needs. Weebly has a very intuitive drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy for users to add text, images, or videos. With Weebly, your blog can be easily edited to create new categories or change the layout.
WordPress is a little more complex because it all depends on the template that you use. This requires more foresight because you have to start with a template that is compatible with blogs and all the modification that comes with it. The upside of using WordPress is that it allows for many different kinds of plug-ins to extend the features and functions of your blog (e.g. analytics and newsletter optins). Again, this takes a little more technical knowledge, but it can lead to really beautiful-looking blogs that can’t be achieved with Weebly’s standardized formula.
Search engine optimization is extremely important if you want your website to be competitive and bring in a lot of new customers. Search engine optimization involves optimizing both your content and website structure to appeal more to any search engine. There are many important aspects within a website that a search engine pays attention to. This includes the page title, headers, meta descriptions, URLs, etc.
Weebly makes a page title and meta description available for all pages and offers the ability to customize your URLs, but its use of headlines is limited. WordPress unsurprisingly offers all of these options and a lot more besides, including generating XML sitemaps and controlling exactly which pages Google can and can’t index. This does however require you install and configure a plug-in, like the ever popular Yoast SEO, to add these SEO features. Again, WordPress offers considerably more features and flexibility but at the expense of simplicity.
Ease of Use: WordPress vs Weebly
Judging a website-making platform’s ease of use is difficult because everyone’s skill levels and preferences differ. However, it’s fair to say, based on the features of these two platforms, that Weebly is simpler and user-friendly for beginners. Weebly requires very little prior technical knowledge because everything is already built-in to the platform. Everything is drag-and-drop and, for the most part, provided for you with whatever template you choose. The templates are responsive and it’s easy to publish new content or edit existing content.
WordPress is a little more complex, but simple enough to work out for anyone with a reasonable grasp of technology and the web. The reason that you need this technical background is that since WordPress is self-hosted, you may need to modify elements of it with CSS or HTML to get the result that you want, though this isn’t required. Moreover, with WordPress, you have to secure a source of web hosting – something that is already built-in with Weebly as a hosted service. As stated previously, if you are an absolute beginner to website creation, Weebly is most likely a better option for you, though there is a good chance you will want to migrate to WordPress later on for all it’s extra flexibility once you have learnt the ropes a bit.
As with any process, creating a website won’t happen seamlessly. You’re bound to run into obstacles along the way that requires a bit of help. This is especially true if you don’t know much about dealing with computers and coding. When it comes to customer support, Weebly has a great system with phone and email support, as well as live chats. Moreover, Weebly is constantly releasing their own content that might help its users out of a sticky situation with articles, guides, and tutorials for beginners. It offers 24/7 support, so it doesn’t matter what time of the day or day of the week you might be stuck and in need of assistance.
On the other hand, WordPress requires more independence. Self-hosted WordPress is a free open source software tool and as such does not provide an official support phone number. That said, there are plenty of online chatrooms and communities and the official support forum which is manned by the huge community around WordPress. These forum users aren’t employed by WordPress in any way, but they are all part of the community that uses and loves the WordPress platform. The WordPress platform is so widely used (30% of all websites run on WordPress) that there is unlikely to be a problem that hasn’t already been covered on the forum. And if you do genuinely have a new problem, the community will be only too happy to help solve it.
This is often times the make-or-break aspect for those looking to create a website. So, if you’re not quite sure which platform to use yet, here’s the breakdown for which is the better deal.
There are several different pricing options. You can buy a plan monthly, yearly, or bi-yearly. If you’re not sure about whether Weebly is right for you, but you want a premium version, the monthly plan is probably right so you can cancel at any time. However, if you want to dive right in, the bi-yearly is the best deal for ongoing use. There are also different levels for which you can purchase Weebly:
- Starter Pack: $8/mth
- Pro: $12/mth
- Business: $22/mth
- Business Plus: $38/mth
It’s important to note that there is a free version! However, with the free version, there are many limitations. For example, you can’t use your own domain name, and Weebly will advertise their services on your website page which no one really wants.
Calculating the price of WordPress is slightly more complicated. WordPress is technically free! You can download and install WordPress at no cost at all.
However, you have to have your own source for web hosting, which will cost something. Hosting usually starts at around $5-10/mth for a blog or small business site and goes up from there if you have a site with a very large amount of traffic.
With WordPress, There may be other costs if you opt for a premium theme or paid plugins, but these are not necessary to start with. If you are erring toward WordPress, then the next step is to check out our comparison of WordPress hosting companies.
If you’re really looking for something free, Weebly or the hosted version of WordPress.com is the right option for you. The self-hosted version of WordPress.org really isn’t free despite being free to download because at the very least you will need to pay for hosting. If having Weebly in your domain name and ads run at the bottom of your page isn’t a deal-breaker then you can get a free, personalizable website.
Weebly vs. WordPress: The Deciding Factor
In the end, the ultimate deciding factor for whether you should choose Weebly or WordPress is you! Everyone has different preferences and you might find that one or the other works better for what you want.
To recap, WordPress has more flexibility and capability for personalization. With thousands of free and paid themes and plugins available, you can really make a website that is totally unique to you with every conceivable feature. It is also able to store a lot more data, and it is compatible with a larger online store if that’s what you are looking for.
Weebly is also great, but it is slightly more limited in the features that it offers. WordPress provides you with flexibility but leaves you to do everything else on your own. If that’s not something you’re comfortable with, it might not be the best option for you; beginners will likely find a much easier time using Weebly.
Finally, when it comes to pricing, they both have their benefits and their drawbacks. Weebly lays out its price points very clearly for you. It’s a consistent pay schedule for more premium options without ads and an altered domain name. WordPress, on the other hand, is more variable, as you can’t be sure what the exact accumulated cost will be after factoring in the web hosting service and plug-in prices.