Selecting the right platform to help you create your website can be a difficult decision. That’s why we have created this WordPress vs Weebly guide to help you understand the pros and cons of each solution. Our WordPress vs Weebly comparisons will cover:
- Ease of Use
- Features and Functionalities
- Customer Support
By the end of reading, you should have a clear understanding of whether WordPress or Weebly is the best fit for your new website.
At present, over 27.5% of all websites globally are using WordPress (which includes WPExplorer – of course). So, as you can see, it’s a pretty popular platform. And for good reason. (Note: In this article, when we mention WordPress, we are referring to self-hosted WordPress.org. For information on WordPress.com, please check out our guide on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org).
WordPress is an open source software, meaning it is free to install and use. It is completely customizable, enabling you to design any type and style of website that you may need. Thousands of themes and plugins have also been created by developers, so you can add extra functionality to your site without having to touch a line of code.
The website building experience offered by WordPress does differ greatly from Weebly. A WordPress website will take much longer to set up, and may require some prior reading by those with limited web design experience. However, the options available via WordPress far exceed those of Weebly, with WordPress ultimately giving you complete control over every aspect of your site.
WordPress will allow you to design any type of website and add any extra WordPress or third-party tools to your site. And all for as much or as little money you would like to spend. There are also countless WordPress developers and designers, who can design custom elements for your website, helping to give your business an edge over the competition. So, if you are looking to create a serious, professional, and unique website, WordPress is the platform for you.
Weebly is a drag and drop website builder service. It enables you to quickly and easily design websites without having to code. Weebly is also a completely hosted service. This means that your website will be hosted on Weebly’s servers.
To use Weebly you don’t need any prior web design or technical experience. The Weebly interface is extremely intuitive and step-by-step guidance on how to use the software is constantly provided. Therefore, if you want to create and launch a site in a matter of minutes you can do, and then update it easily whenever you need.
Weebly includes responsive themes, pre-designed layout options, an integrated eCommerce platform, and a drag and drop editor. These features will help you create a professional and stylish website. So whether you are looking to start a blog, niche website or eCommerce store, Weebly can help you achieve your goals.
Weebly also provides a wide range of eCommerce and marketing tools. These will help you run a smooth and successful online store, drive traffic to your site, help you grow your blog’s following, and much more. Weebly mobile apps also ensure that you can access your site from any device. This allows you to interact with your site’s visitors, track your site’s performance and manage store orders from anywhere in the world.
Pricing is important and will often be the deciding factor for many as to which platform (WordPress vs Weebly) they use to create their website. Both Weebly and WordPress are initially free to use. But, if you are serious about building a thriving and successful website, then both platforms will cost you in the long run.
WordPress.org software has always been and always will be free. Therefore to install the software and create a website in WordPress will cost you nothing.
However, you will have to purchase your site’s domain name and hosting service. Domain names are generally cheap (you can use this GoDaddy Domains deal to get one for under $1), and can be paid on a yearly basis. Hosting providers vary greatly in price, but again won’t break the bank and can be paid monthly.
Other costs of building a WordPress website involve purchases of premium add-ons such as a maintenance service, premium theme, or some of the premium WordPress tools including page builders, and lead generation solutions.
Weebly is free to use, but this deal comes with catches. Firstly, to create your own domain name, or to transfer a domain from another platform, you will need to upgrade to Weebly’s premium ‘Connect’ plan. If you want to stay using Weebly for free, you can create your own subdomain, resulting in your site’s URL ending in ‘sitename’.weebly.com. This is fine for a personal website, but if you are wanting to portray a serious and professional business, then using a Weebly subdomain just isn’t going to cut it.
Secondly, if you build a website using the free Weebly plan, then you will find Weebly ads displayed on your website. Again, not the look of a reputable business. Free websites are also only entitled to a limited amount of storage, and can’t take advantage of many of Weebly’s advanced features, including analytics, extra security measures, and much more.
However, on the plus side, if you are happy to pay for the service, Weebly provides a range of plans to cater for different website needs. These include Starter, Pro and Business plans, that have increased storage, no ads, HD video and audio integration, and eCommerce support, to name a few premium features. These plans are charged on a monthly or annual basis, and will need to be paid for as long as the website is up and running.
WordPress is free to use, but the domain and hosting services will mean you have small monthly outgoings to keep your site online. All premium tools and services based around WordPress are optional, so you can choose what you spend.
Weebly will allow you to create a completely free website. However, if you want to create a website of significance, be prepared to sign in for indefinite monthly payments.
Hosting is a big issue for many website owners. And for good reason. The bottom line is, if you don’t self-host your website then you don’t actually own it. And this can cause a lot of stress if you ever want to switch platforms, or if you don’t follow the terms of service.
WordPress – Self Hosted
WordPress.org sites all have to be self-hosted. This can seem a bit daunting for those who have never created a website before, as you will need to go out and research hosting providers to see which service best suits your site’s needs. We have written extensively about how to choose a hosting provider, so if you aren’t sure, check out our recommended WordPress hosting.
The great thing about WordPress.org hosting is that there is so much choice. Whether you are just starting out, or you have a large multinational corporation, you will be easily able to find a hosting service for your website. And if for some reason you aren’t happy with the hosting deal you are receiving, you can quickly move your site to a new provider.
Weebly – Hosted Service
Weebly hosts all websites on its own servers, which does immediately put people off using this platform. However, there are some pros to having your site hosted for you.
Weebly takes the hassle out of choosing a hosting service, and takes care of all the technical aspects of running a website. This includes the security of your website, and ensuring your site always looks good, runs fast and stays online. Weebly also provides an SSL certificate for your eCommerce store, enabling your customers to safely make payments on your site.
WordPress.org is self-hosted, so you are in charge of finding a hosting provider as well as ensuring your site is safe, secure, and running smoothly. However, the overriding benefit here is that you do own your site, and you retain full control over it.
Weebly takes care of all your hosting needs, as well as your site’s security and technical performance. However, as Weebly is a hosted platform, there is a big question over who actually owns your website. This is fine if you run a three-page website. But if you have spent years building up content, and you rely on your site for a monthly income, then ownership suddenly becomes way more important.
Ease of Use
Both Weebly and WordPress are easy to use, and are both great platforms that will enable you to build beautiful and successful websites. However, if you have absolutely no web experience then there is no doubt that Weebly will be a better option for you. Equally, if you are looking to build a large site, consisting of numerous features and functionalities, then WordPress will be a better fit.
WordPress provides a very different design experience, but one that will still enable you to design beautiful websites with ease. There is definitely has a steeper learning curve to WordPress compared to Weebly. And if you have no experience of web design or using WordPress, then you will have to do some reading on how to get started. However, with a thriving WordPress community, extensive information on using WordPress is available across the web.
Your WordPress design experience will differ depending on the theme and tools you decide to use. Many WordPress developers code their WordPress sites to implement any necessary changes. But the beauty of WordPress is that provides something for everyone, so if you don’t want to touch a line of code then you don’t need to. The majority of WordPress themes will enable you to customize your site through the theme options panel, via the Customizer on the live side of your site, or using a page builder.
Weebly is a drag and drop website builder, so everything you need to create a basic website is immediately available. Once you sign in with Weebly, you can select from the numerous Weebly themes. Your chosen template will then open within the Weebly editor, where you can drag and drop design elements onto the page to customize your site. Content elements include text, photos, maps, and video. You can also easily add pages, alter styling elements, add SEO data and much more.
The Weebly interface is very straightforward, which helps streamline the design process and makes designing your site fast and fun. Clear instructions on how to use the drag and drop editor are also displayed, making the different features effortlessly accessible. And all features and tools are present, so nothing needs to be installed or upgraded at any time.
Ease of Use Compared
Weebly definitely has the upper hand for ease of use and is great for beginners or those who have limited time. However, the pay off is that if you use Weebly you will lack choices, features and ultimately control over your site and its design.
WordPress has a steeper learning curve and your site will take longer to set up on this platform. But the numerous WordPress tools now available means that your site’s design can be a fluid and innovative experience. And, importantly, WordPress can provide all the features and functionalities that your growing website may need.
Both WordPress and Weebly provide themes from which you can create your website. Whether you are creating an eCommerce store, blog, or portfolio site, both platforms have a range of themes to cater for different types of sites.
If you build your website on WordPress then you will have thousands of themes at your fingertips. Free WordPress themes can be found on top developer’s blogs (like WPExplorer) as well as right from your WordPress dashboard in the WordPress Repository. Whatever your niche you will be able to find a suitable theme for your project.
Premium themes can be purchased from a number of theme marketplaces and theme developers. When selecting a premium WordPress theme, always make sure you buy from a reputable source, like ThemeForest. Just do a bit of research to be sure it’s a legit marketplace or individual with a solid track record.
Premium WordPress themes will come with advanced features and usually provide better support options than free themes. They also often include integrated premium plugins to add extra functionality relevant to your theme’s niche. For more information on whether to choose a free or premium theme, check out our guide on selecting a WordPress theme.
The Weebly themes are all pre-built, customizable, and incorporate a range of innovative features including parallax effects, video background options, custom fonts, and much more. Themes can be loaded into the drag and drop editor at a click of a button and come installed with images and all. All themes are free, responsive, and present modern and refreshing layouts and visuals.
The downside is that the number of themes provided by Weebly is limited. And if you opt to build your website on Weebly then you can only use the Weebly themes provided.
There really is no comparison when it comes to WordPress vs Weebly themes. Although Weebly provides a good number of high-quality themes, this can’t compare with the amount and variety of WordPress themes that are available.
Features and Functionalities
WordPress vs Weebly features and functionalities is a fairly impressive comparison. Both offer plenty of features users will love. These will help you not only design a stunning website, but importantly help your site achieve its goals.
WordPress Features and Functionalities
Traditionally, WordPress functionality was added via plugins. However, nowadays it is not unusual to find a wide assortment of built-for-purpose features and functionalities integrated directly into WordPress themes. When researching themes, look carefully to see which features they ship with. If the specific features you want are not listed, then you will need to install them using WordPress plugins.
The upside of having to install functionality via plugins is the unlimited options that WordPress plugins provide. Whatever the needs of your site, you will be able to find the right WordPress plugins to cater for them.
Free plugins can be found in the WordPress Repository, and can usually be installed and up and running on your site within minutes. Premium plugins can also be purchased from online marketplaces like CodeCanyon, as well as from numerous WordPress theme and plugin developers.
Weebly Built-In Features
Weebly comes with a range of effective built-in features and functionalities. As they are integrated tools, they are immediately on hand if and when you need them. Here are some of the advanced features that the Weebly platform gives you access to…
- Online slideshow maker and gallery – easily create your own beautiful photo galleries and slideshows, use Weebly’s photo library, edit images, add captions, and more.
- Social Sharing – schedule blog posts to be published on Facebook and Twitter to help your content reach a wider audience.
- Embed or Host Videos Directly on Your Site – embed from YouTube or upload video files to Weebly.
- Custom Forms – create custom forms and manage submissions, keeping you in touch with your site’s visitors.
Weebly also provides a selection of SEO, eCommerce, analytics and email marketing tools.
The Weebly App Center offers a large number of free and premium apps. Categories include…
- Site Tools and Features
In total Weebly offers over 300 apps. However, as with themes, you can only use the Weebly apps provided, third-party apps and plugins are not allowed.
Features and Functionalities Compared
There are pros and cons to the different features and functionalities offered in WordPress vs Weebly. WordPress themes often come with a range of features and functionalities. And anything you need but isn’t included with your theme can be installed using WordPress plugins. Finding the right plugins for your project may initially take some researching. However, the unlimited number of plugins available ensure you will be quickly able to build a custom website based on your business needs.
Weebly features are all built-in, and are immediately ready and easy to use. However, you are limited as to what is offered, and although you have a selection of Weebly apps to choose from, you cannot install third-party plugins. So if Weebly doesn’t have what you want, or you aren’t impressed with the choice, then there is nothing you can do about it.
SEO should be a priority for all website owners. Being SEO proactive will help your site rank well in the search engines and increase the amount of traffic arriving at your site.
The majority of modern themes are fully responsive and optimized for the search engines. However, there are also a number of WordPress plugins that will help your content rank well.
Yoast SEO is the most popular and downloaded plugin, and for good reason. Yoast SEO provides advanced XML sitemap functionality, will give you full control over site breadcrumbs, and enable you to easily add titles and metadata descriptions to pages and posts. This plugin is free to install and use and is a must-have for all WordPress websites.
If you use Weebly to create your site, much of your SEO is built-in of. All Weebly sites feature meta descriptions, a site map, SEO-friendly HTML formatting, and responsive designs. Extra SEO options are also available, including page-specific descriptions, alt tags on images, and more. The caveat here is that any time SEO is built-in it becomes more difficult to switch to a different website platform.
Weebly also provides easy to follow instructions on how to improve your site’s SEO data, This is great for those who are still learning how to optimize their site for the search engines.
When looking at WordPress vs Weebly they have both have got SEO pretty well covered. Weebly’s SEO is all built-in, and comes with clear instructions on how to best optimize your site. With WordPress, you will need to choose and install an SEO plugin. However, if you stick with Yoast you can rest assured your SEO needs will be taken care of.
High-quality customer support can be a key factor in creating a fully functioning website. And it can also go a long way to keeping you sane through the design process.
The WordPress community spans the globe and the internet is full of WordPress blogs, help sites, and forums. That said, there is no central support service offering email or phone help, unless you purchase a premium service or theme.
If you feel like you will need one to one support, it may well be worth buying a premium theme, as many of them come with extensive documentation, video tutorials, and that all important live chat or direct phone line.
Weebly has an impressive support system, making web design on its platform an extremely positive experience. Apart from the drag and drop editor instructions, you also get access to the community forum, and chat and email support. For those who opt for the premium Weebly Pro and Business Plans, you will also receive phone support if you need it.
Customer Support Compared
Both Weebly and WordPress offer high levels of support. WordPress has had much more written about it than Weebly. However, it may take time searching the internet to find the right support guides or forums for your project. Weebly, on the other hand, has all the documentation on site, making it easy to access. And both have one-to-one support options, but it will cost you extra.
WordPress vs Weebly – Which Platform is Right for You?
As you can see, WordPress vs Weebly offer different pros and cons. The platform you choose will very much depend on your needs, and those of your project (though we would always choose WordPress). Weebly is perfect for beginners or those who are short on time, or who don’t want to have to learn how to use WordPress. However, if you are looking to grow your site into a successful and profitable business then WordPress is the better option. It’s surprisingly quick and easy to get the hang of, there are thousands of themes and plugins to style your site and there is a community (in the millions) of folks who love to help eachother.
Which website builder appeals to you? Please share your thoughts on WordPress vs Weebly in the thoughts below…