Weebly and WordPress are popular web design systems, which differ from each other in terms of design customization approach, programming expertise required, integrated functionality and pricing policy. Each system has much to offer to its target audience and each of them requires thorough exploration to be used to the advantage.
Weebly – is a very simple and affordable drag-and-drop website builder. The platform is quite easy to use as the building process requires zero coding or technical skills. The system also provides access to its HTML/CSS although it is not an open-source platform, which means less customization freedom if compared to WordPress.
WordPress – is the most popular open-source CMS in the world with millions of users and live websites across the globe. The key advantage of the system is that users have total control over the design customization, management and promotion processes. Absence of the drag-and-drop feature is compensated by the availability of plugins that contribute to your project functionality.
The platforms differ in many ways. They come with different editing and customization tools. They offer various flexibility levels. However, they still have one thing in common. Weebly and WordPress help users create and go live with professional websites of different types. So, which one is better to choose and why?
Weebly vs WordPress: General Overview
Weebly has won extensive user recognition as a contemporary DIY website builder, which offers a handy drag-and-drop editor to launch various types of commercial and non-commercial projects. The use of the platform does not require any programming proficiency due to its intuitive web design approach. This makes Weebly a worthy solution for non-techies. At the same time, the website builder unveils HTML/CSS editing options, being a worthy pick for web design pros.
The foundation of the service dates back to 2006 and it has become extremely popular since that time. Currently, the software powers over 1, 717, 826 websites, which is quite an impressive number. The platform has gained the attention of millions of users after its merge with Square – a global eCommerce giant. This has made the platform applicable for the development of large-scale digital stores worldwide.
WordPress stands out from the crowd as the best and the most functional Content Management System in the world. It is used for personal and business projects that range in size, complexity, toolset and built-in functionality. Its integration options are powerful and versatile due to the availability of plugins users may choose for their projects. The same is about the system’s customizability, which frequently prevails over its multiple competitors.
The software was developed in 2003, being initially used for blogging purposes. As time went by, however, it evolved into a powerful CMS, which currently occupies the top position in the rating of the best systems worldwide. According to recent stats, WordPress has already been used to launch 28, 183, 568 websites and many more projects are currently under development. You don’t have to possess programming knowledge to use the CMS, yet a certain web design background is still required to work with it.
Weebly and WordPress are two popular web design systems. Each of them targets a certain audience, offering versatile tools and features for quality website development. WordPress, however, has more to offer in terms of integrations and design customizability. Its statistics also notably prevails over Weebly, which speaks in favor of using the service.
Weebly vs WordPress: Which One Is Easier to Use?
Weebly enjoys global popularity due to its ease of use and intuitive web design approach. The system works well for beginners, offering a simple integrated drag-and-drop editor and an abundance of features to set up various types of web projects. The system has recently merged with Square, having gained a powerful eCommerce focus. It also comes with Weebly Promote tool, built-in mobile editor, template import/export feature etc.
The website builder also comes with an intuitive website editor and logically-structured dashboard with built-in tools. These include image galleries, custom HTML embedding options, maps integration, slideshows, audio/video players, product ads etc. What’s more, the system is known for its convenient “box model” structure, offering a set of content blocks to make up website structure. This is a handy option for newbies.
Weebly customer support service seems to be a bit more customer-oriented, as many of other website-builders of the same type. Apart from a pretty typical but handy Help Center with articles how-to guides, and tutorials, the platform offers several ways to contact the support team. They include Live Chat feature, phone assistance and email ticketing system. The platform claims its support team is available 24/7. That sounds like true considering plenty of positive reviews on different forums. Moreover, you may have a look at the official Weebly support page with issues resolved in real-time.
WordPress creates the impression of a more complicated and feature-rich platform. And it really is. As an open-source software, it requires download and installation, which obviously implies time/effort investment as well as web design proficiency. The same is about plugin integration and customizability, which allows getting the most out of your project performance.
However, what some users consider the system’s drawback will be a huge advantage for others. You take control over each and every step of the development process, you may plan your budget ahead as well as bring unique design and feature ideas to life thanks to an unlimited HTML/CSS access.
As a CMS, WordPress does not have official customer support. Instead, its users may rely only on the info they are able to find on their own. On the one hand, WP is one of the longest-running platforms. There are plenty of answers you can find to any system-related question as well as videos describing plugins’ installation and setting process. You may browse for articles with a detailed description of installation, editing or publishing a new site. Moreover, there are endless WP-oriented forums and online communities with pros always ready to help.
Weebly and WordPress are both used to start different types of projects yet they still differ in their web design approach, integrated functionality and simplicity. While Weebly is an all-in-one solution, WordPress is an open-source software that requires installation and hosting/domain choice. However, the CMS ensures freedom of design customization and grants full control over the project development process. This is what appeals to the majority of its subscribers.
Weebly vs WordPress: Design and Flexibility
Weebly and WordPress are quite feature-laden platforms used to set up projects of diverse complexity levels. Weebly provides all the features out-of-the-box, while WordPress allows choosing and integrating those plugins you consider crucial for your project specialization and performance. To define the system which has more to offer in terms of design customizability and flexibility, let’s compare their major parameters now.
Weebly has become a powerful eCommerce tool after its merge with Square in 2017. It now offers a rich set of tools for effective development of all types of digital stores, ranging from small projects and up to large-scale hypermarkets. The software has a separate custom eCommerce package with distinctive functionality to set up and launch online shops with ease. All users get free SSL while eCommerce templates already come with pre-installed shopping cart functionality. You do not even have to connect payment options. They are already installed. The rest of the tools will serve your product page customization needs. Here you may edit descriptions or images, add videos to represent your products, make the most of inventory management instruments as well as integrated shipping and tax calculation services.
The website builder also comes with an integrated shopping cart, flexible shipping options, inventory tracking tools, coupon codes, physical/digital goods, simple and convenient product upload and management settings etc. CSV file import/export allows creating rich catalogues of physical and digital products to offer them for sale.
WordPress proves to be a handy and quite feature-rich tool for web store development and customization. The process may take more time, requiring extra integration and activation of corresponding eCommerce plugins. WooCommerce is the best solution to go for, if you need a quality online store of any size. The open-source shopping cart extension is completely free for everyone yet it implies the possibility of extra integrations, which may be both free and paid.
WooCommerce plugin allows launching digital stores, creating product catalogues and configuring their major parameters, setting geolocation tags and product/inventory management options, implementing discount systems etc. Once again, like every other WP plugin, it requires manual setup and setting. Having completed those stages, however, you get an ultimate tool to sell online as well as promote and market your digital store.
As to the eCommerce aspect, both platforms offer powerful web store creation and customization options. Being an eCommerce-focused system, Weebly comes with powerful built-in functionality. However, WordPress still overcomes its competitor in terms of eCommerce integrations, offering a set of plugins to set up and manage a quality web store.
Weebly did a great job, when it comes to blogging as the website builder was initially created with blog development purpose in mind. It looks quite feature-rich considering some options that include post scheduling, comments, social media sharing, tag adjustment etc. Setting up a blog with the software is quite easy for everyone as the process excludes the need for code editing. To simplify the task, the platform offers a set of blog templates, which are absolutely free for everyone. Availability of the Stories Overview feature is one of the software advantages. It allows starting dynamic blog pages with posts and links to stories published on other website pages. The overall process of blog creation generally takes around half an hour, while the result is worth the effort.
WordPress was initially launched as a platform for bloggers. The content management system brings everything you need to edit and optimize the content making it as user-friendly as possible. The system has a powerful engine that is perfect for content-based websites. The software also offers a rich collection of niche-specific blog templates, which are free and completely customizable. To let you get the most out of your blogging project, the software lets you pick and integrate plugins that comply with your website specialization.
When it comes to blogging, Weebly and WordPress have much to offer as both systems were created with a blog development focus in mind. It takes more time to macter the CMS, but if you need a quality blog, WordPress should definitely be the solution to go for. However, it implies the need for plugin integration, which requires coding proficiency. Keep that in mind, when making the final choice.
Weebly offers extensive options, when it comes to website promotion. It comes with an integrated Weebly Promote tool – a standalone email marketing service delivered by the platform. This means that you will need to pay for it separately. The monthly cost will depend upon the plan chosen. You may pick the one depending on your business goals and the size of your campaign. The solution mainly refers to email marketing and lets users grow the mailing list, design engaging newsletters, generate reports etc.
WordPress realizes its website marketing potential via plugin integration. You may choose from a wide selection of extensions that will let you promote your content, set advanced SEO optimization parameters, collect contacts and acquire more customers. The only drawback is that you will need to manage those services on your own. That may require some marketing and coding experience. Some of the plugins you can choose for effective project promotion and marketing include Everest Forms, JetPack, Akismet and more. Many of these extensions are free, although, they mainly come with baseline features. Premium subscribers, however, will take the most of the services. The prices vary between $5 and $200 per month depending on the plugin.
Thus, WordPress is all about options. With so many free plugins, users may still choose a good promotion and marketing solution for a start without overpaying. Some baseline plugin features would be enough while growing companies and enterprises will still need something more than just an email marketing tool provided by Weebly.
Integrations and Special Features
Weebly has its own App Center – a huge marketplace with a variety of applications, site tools, features, and add-ons for different purposes. They are sorted out by categories as well as by users’ reviews and rates. Here you may choose from a range of dynamic galleries, integrate slideshows and contact forms to acquire users, connect social sharing buttons, implement tables and charts, etc. They may all be integrated with just a click.
The website builder makes it possible to create custom online forms and manage the info users submit when filling them out. This is realized by means of integrating the Weebly Form Builder app, which is quick and easy for everyone. The software also allows for effective video integration, which can be completed in one of two ways. Users may either integrate the videos they upload from YouTube or add them directly to its servers to further integrate them to their projects.
If you plan to work on your website development with other users, Weebly allows for team website management. You can add as many users as you need to further share project access rights with them. The users may be divided into several groups for the ease of website control and management.
WordPress may be considered an unbeatable software in terms of plugin selection and integration. The system boasts probably the widest choice of extensions. These include analytic tools for tracking website traffic, promotion plugins for project popularization and SEO optimization, User Acquisition apps (contact forms, capturing banners, charts, tables, infographic widgets, email marketing tools, integration with marketing platforms etc.), social sharing buttons, event calendars, booking services and more.
Some of those plugins are free while others deliver the full pack of their features only after activating the premium version. Nevertheless, WordPress users will always find a tool they need. The only problem is that all widgets require manual installation, setting, and activation, which obviously requires programming knowledge and web design expertise.
In terms of integrations, WordPress is definitely on the top of the list. As opposed to Weebly with its limited set of widgets available in the App Market, the CMS grants access to the extensive collection of free and paid plugins to come up to various niches.
Weebly has quite a limited collection of templates. The range of niches the themes belong to is rather extensive, though. You may find layouts for different purposes here – from simple blogs to digital stores and small business sites. Users may choose from dozens of templates that are mobile responsive and run well on different types of mobile devices.
Apart from picking a pre-designed template for DIY customization, Weebly offers two other options to get started with your website. The first one implies the choice of a ready-made theme. In this case, you will be able to pick and customize it with regard to your needs. An alternative solution is to order website design from third-party developers. There are multiple options out there. Each company may set its own price tags, but the average cost is somewhere between $40 and $100.
Weebly provides access to HTML/CSS editing options, which allow experienced coders to create a unique project design. The main downfall here is that no one will ever guarantee how some of the website features or implemented tools will run. Moreover, Weebly is not an open-source platform, which means less freedom in terms of website modification. Thus, the platform does not ensure sufficient design customization. On the other hand, Weebly delivers more freedom when compared to other drag-and-drop website builders of the same type, especially if considering the ability to upload third-party templates compatible with the platform.
WordPress boasts an impressive selection of free themes. Thousands of templates are divided into categories depending on your website goals. Here you may find blogs, magazines, online shops, layouts for Amazon reviews etc. To simplify the choice, you may use search filters to sort the themes by various parameters, including niche, functionality, complexity, cost, color, layout etc. Mind that free themes are less secure as compared to premium ones. They feature increased malware risks and hacker attacks. Premium templates, in their turn, are more professional and reliable. Their cost ranges between $20 per a simple theme and up to $300 per a high-end superior WordPress template.
No matter whether you decide to get a free theme or buy the premium one, you will need to take care of its installation and setting. The process may take some time although it is faster if compared to Weebly. WP users may also upload a theme in a Zip file or apply it right from the dashboard. If you opt for WP-optimized Bluehost server solution, you will benefit from the automated setup process.
As an open-source software, WordPress provides full access to templates HTML, CSS or PHP. It means that you may change or modify literally every element you have. None of the drag-and-drop website builders may boast such flexibility. Professional coders and programmers may take the most of the software. They have a chance to create any new element, function or feature to have on their websites. Needless to say, beginners should not try to edit the code on their own. The option is available for experienced pros only. The rest may only use different plugins to make their sites more functional and engaging.
In terms of template editing, WordPress offers more extensive and versatile options. Users have a wider choice of responsive templates, even though, Weebly lets them upload third-party premium themes as well. The price for paid designs does not differ a lot, while the degree of template customizability is higher, when working with the CMS.
Weebly vs WordPress: General Pricing Comparison
Weebly seems to be a cheaper website builder at first glance because of the cost of its cheapest plan, which currently constitutes $6/mo. However, if you look closer at the features included, you will realize that the subscription does not come up to standard web design requirements as it only lets you connect a domain name. To get access to the full set of features the system has in stock, you will have to upgrade to one of the premium plans. These include:
- Personal ($6/mo) – connected custom domain pop-up notifications, shipping/tax calculator etc.;
- Professional ($12/mo) – branded professional portfolio/small business website, free domain connection, password protection, absence of the system ad banners, advanced website analytics;
- Performance Plan ($26/mo) – used for scalable business projects with enhanced eCommerce options, priority customer support, availability of payment gateway integration, product reviews, shopping cart abandonment tools etc.
The website builder also has a free plan, which extends for the unlimited period of time. It works well for testing its functionality only as well as for improving users’ web design skills.
WordPress is a free CMS, which allows downloading and installing the software at no cost. The website building process is free as well unless you decide to choose premium templates or integrate paid third-party plugins. This will give your project deeper functionality, but this will also require some budget investment. Mind that you will also need to find a place to host your future website as well as to register your domain separately.
If you opt for Bluehost (which is the most reasonable solution for WordPress websites), you will not have to deal with that separately. The system comes as a WP-optimized solution and offers domain registration, CMS integrating, and other features within its plans. The cheapest Bluehost subscription currently costs $2.95/mo only, which is more than affordable for an average subscriber.
Speaking about the cost aspect, WordPress proves to be a more flexible website building solution. A user may give preference to cheaper plugins and more functional hosting solutions. As opposed to the CMS, Weebly is an all-in-one website builder. This means that you are forced to stick to a chosen plan and use the features it offers.
Weebly vs WordPress: Which One Is the Best for SEO?
Weebly can be considered a SEO-friendly website builder as it offers baseline settings for effective website optimization. Thus, users can edit baseline meta tags, titles, and descriptions for each web page. Additionally, it is possible to edit URLs, set up 301 redirects as well as add image SEO Alt texts here. If needed, you can hide your website pages from indexing by the search engines until it is completely ready for optimization. Not much but still good for higher search engine ranks. A notable bonus is that the platform has a pool of its custom SEO specialists, who are ready to craft an individual strategy of getting your website to the top.
WordPress provides deeper flexibility in terms of SEO. The CMS is perfect for optimizing content-based projects and other website types. The key benefit is the fact that this is open-source software. You may not only use SEO plugins to create well-optimized content with high readability ranks but also optimize the code making the site work faster. To adjust SEO settings for your project, you will have to integrate a corresponding plugin. The most suitable solution is Yoast SEO – a WordPress plugin that allows setting up baseline SEO parameters, including titles, descriptions and keywords for all website pages. If needed, you can also edit the website code to make it more visible by the search engines. This, however, requires a certain degree of web design expertise.
As to SEO, WordPress makes it possible to deeply set up your project parameters via the use of niche plugins. They are specially developed for effective, safe and quality Search Engine Optimization. Weebly, in its turn, offer standard SEO settings, which cannot guarantee such a professional result.
Key Differences Between Weebly and WordPress
|Ease of Use:||Weebly is a simple cloud drag-and-drop website builder. It provides an intuitive web design approach, being a nice pick for non-coders and web design experts. The system comes with the “box model” structure, which lets you create the required website layout by modifying the positions of content blocks.||WordPress is a globally known Content Management System, which allows starting all types of web projects. The use of the software requires time and effort because of the complicated feature set. This may pose a problem to beginners. However, the result is worth the effort/time invested.|
|Functionality:||The system abounds in features, tools and options provided by default. It has a high end Weebly Promote tool, extensive email marketing options, built-in form builder, video and image editing tools, website management parameters etc.||The platform offers a rich toolset needed to start personalized web projects. There are dozens of free/paid third-party plugins to choose from with regard to your website niche specialization. The use of the plugins requires baseline programming proficiency.|
|Design:||Weebly allows choosing from three design editing options. Users may select and customize one of the responsive templates available in stock, choose a pre-designed theme or order the one from third-party developers.||The software has a set of built-in designs, but it is also possible to choose from hundreds of third-party themes available online. All of them are responsive. The templates are free and paid.|
|eCommerce:||The software has a strong eCommerce focus, letting the subscribers create small-to-large web stores.||The CMS makes it possible to launch digital stores via eCommerce plugin integration. The most popular solution is WooCommerce – a free open-source WordPress shopping cart plugin.|
|Blogging:||Weebly was initially introduced to the market as a blogging platform. Recently, however, it has gained eCommerce focus. Thus, its blogging functionality is quite extensive.||WordPress was created with blogging specialization in mind. This defines the toolset and functionality of the service. There are dozens of plugins to run functional blogs here.|
|Small Business:||The website builder can be used for small business website development. It grants access to lots of integrable widgets, marketing and business tools. These include Weebly Promote tool, form builder etc.||The CMS realizes its business website development potential by means of plugin integration. There are multiple niche extensions to choose from with regard to your project parameters and goals.|
|Pricing:||Weebly has a free plan and three premium subscriptions. Their cost starts at $6/mo.||The CMS is initially free for everyone, but it implies an opportunity of plugin/template integration. Many of them are provided on a paid basis. Hosting and domain name are required as well. The most reasonable solution to go for is Bluehost. The cost of its cheapest plan constitutes $2.95/mo only.|
|SEO:||The system is SEO-friendly, offering baseline parameters for effective project optimization. It allows configuring the main search engine optimization settings to ensure high project ranking.||the search engines. The CMS allows choosing from several popular SEO plugins, integration of which contributes to effective website optimization. Yoast SEO plugin is the best solution to pick.|
|Customer Support:||Weebly Help Center, Live Chat, multiple prompts and pop-ups, Phone and Email Support.||No official customer support, extensive worldwide user community, video and text guides, forums, multiple tutorials etc.|
Comparison Conclusion: Which One Is Better?
The choice between Weebly and WordPress may seem quite complicated at first glance. Newbies with zero technical skills will appreciate the speed and ease delivered by Weebly when building a new website from scratch. Experienced users will like the customization freedom provided by WordPress.
Having reviewed and compared both systems, we have agreed on the fact that WordPress works best for website development, customization, marketing and promotion. It unveils more freedom of website editing, while its plugin integration options are far beyond the average. The use of the software implies coding proficiency and time to master its features yet the result is definitely worth the effort invested.