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Weebly vs WordPress

The second half of 2016 came with a variety of improvements for Weebly. It was a period of expansion and evolution, a celebration of reaching 40 million registrations, and more. After updating my Weebly review, I find some people asking whether the builder is now as good as, or even better than WordPress. What are the benefits and downsides of each platform?

Before we delve into what makes the difference between these two content management systems, it’s important to note that we are comparing Weebly versus WordPress.org which is a downloadable software, not hosted web service WordPress.com.

WordPress Site Icon Customizer

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. You may wonder about the benefits of the downloadable version of WordPress over the hosted dotcom route. The difference between the two options boils down to flexibility and customization. WordPress.org allows for much more freedom, while WordPress.com is essentially a one-stop and easier to use – WordPress.com is a hosted platform, which means you don’t have to worry about downloading the software and finding a web host.

WordPress.org, on the contrary, is an open source CMS that requires such steps as downloads, installation, hosting account administration, and more. It isn’t an online-only content management system – you install the software on your computer and then it’s paired with a site that’s hosted elsewhere on the web.

WordPress.org powers about 23% of the web, including this website Twenty-three per cent! At this point you might think WordPress is the clear winner, but read on. The title of this article is Weebly vs WordPress, not WordPress Beats Weebly. Online comparisons between anything, especially when it comes to softwares, without specifying the user market is just muddying the waters.

There’s a big difference between evaluating web building platforms for hobbyists and enterprises. The needs of these groups can be very different. My award of five stars for a super-scalable, open source CMS does not mean that people who enjoy drag-and-drop would also enjoy it. So, let’s put Weebly and WordPress head-to-head to see which one is better for your case.

#1 Ease of Use

Weebly. Weebly (current version is called Weebly 4) is a hosted site builder with an in-browser editor that requires no coding skills at all. The only technical skill required is the ability to use a mouse. Clearly aimed at those of us who aren’t technical, Weebly offers everything you might need to build a website under the same roof: a drag-and-drop builder, a library of templates and included hosting. There’s nothing to download.

The control panel is conveniently divided into two areas: Dashboard and Builder. The Dashboard lets you manage your site’s main settings, and the Builder offers a visual editor that supports drag-and-drop and inline editing. It provides a total WYSIWYG experience.

Weebly Website Builder Editor

Weebly offers free mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Apple Watch. These let you build, manage and edit your website from anywhere.

WordPress. WordPress.org requires finding a webhost, installing the software and constant website maintenance. Though it’s fairly intuitive, there’s definitely a slight learning curve. Newbies will certainly need to familiarize themselves with the ecosystem of WordPress before they’re able to make any changes to the website design and/or functionality.

plugin-upload

Adding new plugins and switching themes can be a no-brainer, as many modern plugins work out-of-the-box and some themes support drag-and-drop, yet keeping all of your plugins working together can be difficult.

Weebly vs WordPress. It should come as no surprise that Weebly is easier, as it was originally developed to meet the needs of users who have no idea about how websites are being created. WordPress is pretty enough intuitive, yet it still requires more deep knowledge of complex site management systems.

#2 Feature Set and Flexibility

Weebly. Weebly is chock-full of widgets and extensions that can be enabled with just a few clicks right from the Weebly control panel. There’s a decent blogging engine, an eCommerce solution, user membership support, various booking, forum and social media widgets. These are scalable to a certain extent.

One of Weebly’s advantages is how quickly you can add this or that functionality. There are dozens of in-house extensions that you can integrate through the builder without having to leave your account and look for third-party plugins.

Weebly App Center

Weebly is a versatile platform. Take a look at different kinds of websites created with Weebly: stores, portfolios and blogs examples.

If you can’t find a ready widget for something, you can use Custom HTML element. It lets you add pretty much any embeddable content to your Weebly site.

WordPress. WordPress is super flexible. However, almost any new feature requires a plugin (a tiny software package). The good news is that there are thousands of free plugins out there. The bad one is that they’re all developed by different providers who can simply stop updating their softwares one day. Besides, you can experience a severe plugin conflict. Also, too many plugins can make your website load slower.

WordPress Plugins

WordPress vs Weebly. Because most of the Weebly widgets are native applications, they work seamlessly and never conflict. WordPress works in a bit different way: it offers a better choice of extensions, yet you should be attentive to what you install. The major difference is that with Weebly you’re limited to only using building blocks it provides, while with WordPress you can scale your project as you wish.

The technical nature of Weebly prevents many potential user errors.

#3 Designs

Weebly. Weebly has a collection of ready themes that you can painleslly switch midway through the editing process. The latest Weebly themes are responsive from the start. They’re comparatively easy to edit: newbies can opt for the standard drag-and-drop editor, while advanced users may want to try the advanced HTML/CSS editor. There are also third-party designers who create and sell custom templates for Weebly.

Weebly Website Builder Templates

WordPress. There are thousands of free and premium themes for WordPress on the web. The biggest and the most official place to get a WP theme is the official library. In case you decide to try a free theme from any other place, be sure to check it for malware. Though many new WP themes do offer some WYSIWYG editing, you’ll still have to do a lot of manual HTML and CSS editing.

Weebly vs WordPress. On one hand, WordPress offers a greater choice. On the other hand, downloading, installing and editing a WP theme can be a tough task. Weebly, on the contrary, is extremely easy in terms of the design editing, but there are fewer templates.

#4 Customer Support

Weebly. Weebly has an extensive knowledge base, email support, free phone support and live chat. Also, there are many prompts in the control panel: a Site planner that helps you set your goals, and a To-do list that guides you through all the steps.

WordPress. You’ll find many YouTube channels, forums and websites dedicated exclusively to WordPress. Other than that, there’s no phone or email to call for help.

WordPress vs Weebly. Weebly has fewer users, which means they can serve them better. WordPress has no support staff, you can only rely on tutorials you find on the web.

#5 Pricing Policy

Weebly. Weebly is affordable. There’s a free version that never expires, and four paid plans ranging from $8/mo to $49/mo.

Weebly Pricing

WordPress. The software itself is technically free, but you still have to pay for your hosting, domain name, theme (if premium) and plugins. The final sum will vary depending on the amount of premium plugins and themes you need to install, and on your hosting provider, too.

Weebly vs WordPress. Building a quality website risk-free appears to be less expensive, if you go with Weebly.

Weebly vs WordPress: Conclusion

For an experienced webmaster who creates lots of websites, nothing compares to a self-hosted WordPress website. It’s flexible, comparatively intuitive. However, its awesomeness means nothing to a hobbyist who just wants to put up a simple website.

In my opinion, Weebly is more than enough for a portfolio, blog or small store website – I’ve seen dozens of successful websites created with Weebly. So, do you want to join Weebly community?

» » Weebly vs WordPress
  • Alex Shootz

    Thank you so much for the information!

  • David

    Hi thanks for the info, the only area I don’t see covered is the internet optimiser for google , bing etc,
    I don’t have any web design experience so weebly is probably best for me but I’ve read that it can take years to get on the search engines? Is this true? Also they can be a nightmare if you want to move your site in the future.

    Can’t secide what to do, for me it defeats the purpose having a web site if itdoesn’t come up on search engines.

    Any advice would be fantastic.

    • Hi David,
      Using WordPress doesn’t guarantee any SEO success. Most DIY site builders, including Weebly are SEO-friendly (they don’t use Flash, offer mobile features etc.), so it all depends on your on-page and off-page SEO work: keyword research, link building strategy, social media activity and more.

  • Alex

    FYI: Weebly’s prices have since doubled, it is now $8 a month = $96 a year for the Starter Plan!

  • Vanessa

    Thank you so much Howard! Your detailed article comparing WordPress and Weebly helped me to clarify my requirements, which have changed over time. Back in 2011, I created a website using Weebly to share my travel and product reviews with others in wheelchairs. I was adamant that my fellow wheelies should not have to pay to read my reviews, but I upgraded to Weebly Pro in order to attract advertisers to the site and hopefully cover the site’s costs. As that didn’t happen, and my health subsequently deteriorated, I let the site and domain name lapse. Now I want to resurrect the site so the reviews I wrote are freely available again and to give me a virtual space to continue my blog without costing me anything. I have re-published the site for free with Weebly, which I found so easy to use in the first place and now that I am not trying attract advertisers, it simply doesn’t matter that I am using their free domain name. I will consider switching to a personal domain name in the future (which I have already bought) but I really dislike that WordPress and Weebly want me to pay to use it when I am not earning any revenue from the site. If I ever have the time and energy to do more about it, I will definitely be reading more of your valuable reviews to determine the best way forward. Thank you again. Oh, and here’s my Weebly site if you are interested. Please note that I accidentally deleted my home page and couldn’t figure out how to restore it! http://wheelieplanet.weebly.com/travel-reviews.html

  • preet sandhu

    i personally found weebly tool nice web builder platform to make website. i like all the features. completely worth it..i read reviews about many websites like http://beforebuyreviews.com/weebly-review/ then after that i made my conclusion to buy the web builder now thanks

  • HelpSutra

    hey guyz i am currently using the wordpress on my website http://helpsutra.com/7-ways-deal-dry-scalp-dandruff/ please check and advice me do i need weebly tool
    thanks

  • preet sandhu

    Hey friends plz tell me i am currently using wordpress for my blog,,shall i shift for weebly because i feel my website loads slow my friends are recommending me weebly plz open my website and article and suggest me the speed or everything is ok http://www.beforebuyreviews.com/optinmonster-review/ thanks a lottt everybody here

  • arjun sharma

    Hey friends plz tell me i am currently using wordpress for my blog,,shall i shift for weebly because i feel my website loads slow my friends are recommending me weebly plz open my website and article and suggest me the speed or everything is ok http://entrepreneurblogtips.com/ thanks a lottt everybody here

  • pnrstatusenquiry irctcregistra

    i think weebly is perfect alternate for wordpress..i am also planning to buy weebly website builder for my website http://www.pnrstatusenquiryirctcregistration.in/2016/03/pnr-status-enquiry.html thanks

  • Jo Po

    Great Info and Comparison. I have been using WordPress for a few years. and problem I an running into is the BruteForce Attacks and the Vunrabilities by hackers. Is weebly fairly secure with Less Attacks? thanks

    • Hi Jo,

      Thanks for your question. I would say Weebly is pretty secure. When you are using a self-hosted version of WordPress, security is solely your responsibility, but with Weebly you don’t need to think about it. The only problem is that Weebly, as a populat site, can be a target of hackers. They used to be DDos-attacked in the past, but even at that time they were able to keep majority (95%) of sites up.

      • severn sea

        If 5% of their websites took a hit that sounds like an awful lot of websites to me.

        It seems expensive too, UK £17 (approaching $25) a month for a Business ecommerce site equates to £204/$300 a year. I pay less than a third of that for my hosting and domain name, using Paypal as my payment solution.

        Weebly is also more than double the $7.95 monthly fee charged by XPRS for their equivalent business package, although it’s important to note that XPRS also uses Shoprocket as their ecommerce solution at 2% AND a further 1.9 to 2.9% + 20p per transaction fee, as well as the payment processors fees (e.g. Paypal), while Weekly don’t charge anything so in the long term may be the cheaper option depending on how much you sell.

        I would like to see more comparisons on fees, especially for ecommerce as these can make a huge difference. Many of us have small businesses which do not earn fortunes but can be expensive to run if you’re not careful. The cheapest way I have found is simply to add Paypal buy buttons to your product pages, which then cuts out any additional website ecommerce fees.

  • mohamed abdel-hady

    I just wish weebly would support retina displays such as Macbook Pros

  • Ajit

    I’m currently running wordpress on my blog. I believe it is the better choice for the slightly more advanced user. You can probably pay less by using wordpress, but it is harder to use than weebly. There is also more optimization available on wordpress because of the bigger community of users and programmers.

    My blog currently running on wordpress is http://www.mrbrownguy.com/ – check it out!

    • Hi, Ajit,
      Thanks for your comment.
      You’re right – Weebly is much more easier for newcomers and non-techies than WordPress.
      All the best,
      Howard.