Weebly vs WordPress – Overview
Building a website is like buying a digital property. You need to make an informed decision depending on what you want to use it for. Do you want heavy customization and lots of plugins to choose from? Then consider WordPress. Or would you prefer preset templates and perhaps care less about bespoke designs and features? Weebly is for you.
If you are looking to build a website that impresses visitors in less than 50 milliseconds, choose a site builder that supports your business and meets your customers’ needs.
Weebly, a website builder, started in 2007, currently powers over 50 million websites worldwide. Many beginners with little or no prior coding knowledge use Weebly to build their websites. It is popular due to its beginner-friendly structure and stress-free setup process.
It provides basic features to set up your website. You’ll find an app store, SEO tips, e-commerce (which allows you to sell for free) and a blog. However it may not be as flexible as you’d like seeing as Weebly doesn’t provide complete website customization.
Weebly isn’t the best fit if you want to create a unique website. It offers basic templates so you’ll spend little and save lots of time.
WordPress, similar to Weebly but more advanced, was created in 2003 by Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg. It powers over 43% of the over 2 billion sites across the web.
Note that WordPress.com is different from WordPress.org, although they offer similar services. WordPress.com offers free basic blogs and website services and doesn’t require separate hosting. It has automatic backups, themes, customization, free support and security. Although it is limited when it comes to customizing your website. You cannot create different users or upload themes and plugins, rendering it unsuitable for users who want to build an advanced e-commerce website.
While WordPress.org is an open and freely customizable platform for building your blog and website, it is self-hosted. This means you’ll need a hosting provider in order to gain access to the same software that powers WordPress.com. You can download and install it for free on your server, shared or VPS hosting. It is highly flexible and allows you to upload themes and plugins, but requires some technical coding skills. We’ll focus on WordPress.org in this post.
Weebly lets you drag and drop, easily move, resize and edit various elements to build your website. However WordPress is more complex and gives you more control over your website. It requires some technical coding expertise to customize and increase your website’s functionality. So, WordPress has a steeper learning curve compared to Weebly. WordPress.org allows you to build creative websites using its adaptable features, making it ideal for building any type of website.
Weebly vs WordPress – An In-Depth Look
Ease of use
How easy is it to build websites on Weebly and WordPress?
With Weebly, you can drag and drop elements, images, text boxes, buttons and icons around the page. It doesn’t require writing or editing a single line of code or working between back-ends and front-ends to make changes.
“The software is very easy to use. I literally built Weebly websites when I was about 10 years old, before I knew a lick of HTML”
Marketing and Advertising, 1-10 employees
Used the software for 1-2 years
Weebly makes building websites super easy. There are dozens of themes to choose from. You can find the one that best fits your business, however your creative freedom is limited according to the structure of the theme you choose. For example, you can edit the colors of a theme, but you can’t change the structure or style of a theme. Weebly allows you to work within the boundaries of their themes.
That being said, you can build sites fast once you’ve learned your way around Weebly.
Friendly UI – simply add a header, main banner, footer, and others
WordPress has a friendly UI and supports building any kind of website. WordPress is a flexible open-source software, making it easy to build and customize your website.
To get started with WordPress, you’ll need a domain name, host provider and relevant plugins to help your site function properly. You can create and install plugins and themes, and directly change the website through code.
Its dashboard is simple with different menu options listed in the sidebar. Explore the menu to create posts and pages, customize your website design, add navigation menus and more with ease.
With WordPress, you can tailor your website to your particular taste.
To manage your site with Weebly, first choose the type of site you want to build, such as a blog, business or portfolio. This will narrow down your choice of themes/templates that fit your website’s purpose. You can also add your contact and business information on the pages provided.
Weebly’s editor is clear and easy to navigate and change settings. You can add text boxes, images, maps, spacers and media files to your site.
You can also swap themes without having to rebuild your website from scratch. Although you should be aware that you may not be able to undo the changes you’ve made on the website.
Weebly site management – edit colors, fonts, shape, add the domain name and more
WordPress is known for its treasure trove of extensions (plugins). Choose the ones that will help you meet your goals. Avoid installing too many as this can slow down your site. To achieve optimal performance, only install the plugins you need.
A plugin is software that has a set of functions and can be installed on your WordPress website. WordPress has over 60,000 plugins and counting (plus thousands of premium plugins). These plugins help add new features to your site and expand its functionality.
To properly manage your site, you should choose relevant plugins such as:
- Rank Math ‒ provides SEO tips based on best practices, integrates with Google Analytics, and measures and tracks keyword rankings.
- Elementor ‒ offers easy drag-and-drop features when designing a website and 100+ full website Kits based on the Hello Theme.
- WooCommerce ‒ a reliable eCommerce plugin for creating business websites.
- Contactform7 – offers default forms, an array of fields, CAPTCHA support, subscribers only mode and drop down menus.
- WP Rocket ‒ improves website performance and Google Page Speed score.
- Wordfence ‒ security plugin to prevent cyber attacks.
As already mentioned, Weebly has limited customization options while WordPress gives you free reign to design a unique site that meets your needs.
Weebly allows you to add pages and sections to your site, without any tech skills. You can also edit your website in a flash, but it offers less creative freedom.
“There’s a lot of limitations in branding, and scalability with product integrations.”
Marketing and Advertising, 1-10 employees
Used the software for 2+ years
Weebly has more structured templates – It lets you tweak your website within the boundaries of the template you choose. However you may not be able to modify the features to your exact tastes as with WordPress.
Weebly’s different templates – Pick the style you love, and customize
With WordPress, you can achieve maximum flexibility in building your site once you have the technical expertise. You have the freedom to create bespoke websites and blogs.
Don’t take my word for it, here’s what Lukasz, a freelancer who has built many sites has to say:
“It is unbelievable how many extremely different products can be created based on this software. Blogs, company websites, shops, websites with paid content, e-learning platforms, or completely custom online solutions… if you also know HTML / CSS / JS / PHP / SQL, you can do whatever you want.”
Information Technology and Services, Self-employed
Used the software for: 2+ years
WordPress has free and premium version themes. You can download the free themes (over 10,000) from the WordPress theme directory, and third-party software like ThemeForest sell the premium versions.
To get the best out of WordPress and keep your website safe from cyber-attacks, make sure to properly integrate your themes and software.
Weebly provides you with information on the general performance of your site at a glance.
Detailed Website Statistics are provided in real-time and can help you track visitors, how many visits your website has, pages visited, search terms used to find your site and websites which referred traffic to your site.
Weebly also integrates with Google Analytics code for advanced website tracking.
WordPress Website Analytics is more advanced depending on the type of website. For example, if you are running an e-commerce website on WordPress, your website analytics report will include information on:
- the number of visitors to your website
- sources of traffic to your site like search engines, social media, ads and referral links
- most popular pages
- users activities on your site
- products purchased
- type of content your visitors like to interact with and more
A good analytics report of your website enables you to make informed decisions and helps you strategize. This in the long run, assists you in generating more traffic, customers, conversions and sales.
To check your website performance on WordPress using Google Analytics you will need to install Analytic plugins like MonsterInsights and ExactMeteics.
Your website’s security is a major factor to consider when choosing a hosting provider. You can easily lose your website to hackers or cyber-attacks, which is a great loss to your business.
Weebly uses a two-factor authentication system. This means that you provide both a username and a password to log in to your Weebly account.
Weebly also provides an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate. Visitors navigate your site over a secure 128-bit encrypted connection. This feature enables customers to checkout directly on your domain when using e-commerce. All sites are also protected by a DDoS mitigation service for advanced cyber attack protection.
WordPress’ security system helps protect both your data and customers’ data. To do this, install security plugins and always keep them updated. Furthermore, ensure you use two-factor authentication and provide a strong password to protect your site.
Why create a website that no one sees or visits? According to Intergrowth, “61% of B2B marketers stated that SEO and organic traffic generate more leads than any other marketing initiative”. This feature can make or break your marketing efforts.
Weebly sites have SEO features like: a sitemap, SEO-friendly HTML formatting, meta descriptions, and responsive designs. You can always edit your meta titles and descriptions, customize URLs and use other SEO features. However when it comes to advanced SEO features Weebly is lacking and this discourages experienced website builders from using it.
“Weebly offers the ability to optimize some parts of the website – and you should optimize as much as you can. However, coming from a developer who even halfway knows what they’re doing, a Weebly site is going to have a hard time competing with a well-optimized website on a certain other very popular web platform. Definitely not the least expensive hosting provider out there, either.”
Web Project Coordinator
Marketing and Advertising, 201-500 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Weebly SEO features – edit and set up your website to be easily seen by search engines
WordPress sites have higher chances of ranking on search engines, especially Google, because of its advanced SEO features, friendly URLs and plugins. With SEO plugins, you can boost your ranking with the SEO tips and suggestions provided.
To optimize your site to generate even more traffic, use a WordPress SEO plugin like Yoast SEO, SEOPress and RankMath. Ensure you only pick one to avoid plugin conflicts.
Weebly is a free e-commerce store, although it is not a complete e-commerce solution. It best suits businesses just starting out their online shops. Brands can sell physical and digital goods and have real-time shipping.
It has e-commerce tools for both the free and paid plans, including:
- Shopping Cart
- Quick Shop
- Inventory management
- In-store pickup
- Item reviews
- Payments through PayPal and more
On Weebly’s App Center you can access Marketing Apps – for example, you’re able to add an Instagram feed, create popups, or run Google Ads campaigns. It also promotes email marketing effectively.
Weebly e-commerce tool – add items, price, item description and others
WordPress is widely known for its powerful and advanced e-commerce features, making it suitable for large businesses. Here you can sell your items, anywhere and anytime. It has a wide range of payment options for your customers to choose from.
First, choose a reliable e-commerce plugin. You will need some technical skills to manage your WordPress e-commerce website.
With WordPress e-commerce you can achieve the following:
- Start taking payments of all kinds in seconds from sales, donations, contributions and so on.
- Create an online store
- Install more plugins to help you customize products, attract customers, and increase your sales.
- Deliver automatically to your followers’ inboxes as a paid newsletter.
- Set up subscriptions with automated payments and others.
Most users have limited Weebly to just a blogging site because of its simplicity and how well it accommodates beginners.
Add text, images and video with its drag-and-drop feature. Modify the layout to fit your content. It allows you to work with several authors, enable a comments function, schedule posts and other blogging features.
Weebly blogging features include:
- Blog-specific themes
- Built-in RSS and social sharing features
- Scheduled sharing across Facebook and Twitter
- Media integrations in blogs dashboard and app store
- Category, tag and sidebar customizations
- Advanced comment management
- SEO options like custom header and footer codes, custom URLs, title tags and meta descriptions
Weebly blogging features – scroll to customize your blog page
WordPress has all you need to effectively run a wide variety of blogs. You’ll need coding skills to fully explore the creative possibilities of building a website with WordPress.
WordPress’ drag-and-drop editor enables you to create any type of content on your blog site. It gives you options to embed videos, social media feeds, Google Adsense, graphs, charts and more.
Also add e-commerce features like course sales, online stores and paid memberships etc. Access thousands of plugins to help easily manage your WordPress blog.
Weebly has five plans:
- The free plan is suitable for creating basic sites
- Connect plan: $5/month (when paid annually), lets you connect a custom domain
- The Pro plan: $12/month (when paid annually), includes professional site features
- The Business plan: $25/month (when paid annually), fully integrated e-commerce
- The Business Plus plan: $35/month (when paid annually), advanced e-commerce features and email marketing
WordPress software is completely free, but you’ll need to pay a third-party app to have a domain name and hosting to make your website available online. You need both to create any type of website on WordPress.
Your domain name is your website’s address, which people use to find you on the internet. For example WordPress.org. Think of web hosting as your website’s house, where you store all your website’s files.
WordPress has thousands of plugins to help increase your website functionality and you can also pay for premium plugins to enjoy more advanced features.
Weebly Pros and Cons
- Weebly has a friendly UI that encourages beginners with no prior knowledge to build professional websites.
- It helps small businesses stay within their budget and grow significantly.
- Weebly is one of the platforms providing free e-commerce features and this can be a real advantage for small businesses.
- Weebly has plenty of articles and videos to help you begin creating your website. Weebly also provides 24/7 online chat and email support.
- It offers limited customisation. It lacks the variety of plugins users may need to reach their goals.
WordPress Pros and Cons
- WordPress is very accessible and can be easily modified once you have the necessary technical skills (coding). You can use free plugins and themes along with the hosting and domain name registration fees.
- WordPress’ flexibility allows you to customize your website according to your needs. You have access to a wealth of extensions and plugins. The sky’s the limit!
- You can build any type of website with WordPress. It has good content organization for blogs, and promotes SEO.
- WordPress has thousands of satisfied customers, and they help beginners with difficulties they come across while using the software. There are many videos, articles, tutorials and forums to get you started with WordPress.
- For those lacking coding skills, it can be difficult to get going and it may be cumbersome to choose from, and use so many plugins.
- Some users complain that WordPress supports some vulnerable plugins which hackers may take advantage of.
A website is a means to an end, so choose carefully with your goals in mind. As your activities evolve, your preferences will inevitably change. Choosing a great website builder is only the beginning of your journey. You can learn more about blogging tools and content marketing to help you grow.
What is the difference between WordPress and Weebly?
Weebly is a simple platform for beginners, to make your website building process easier and create basic websites. It saves a lot of time as it doesn’t require even a single line of code. While WordPress on the other hand is highly flexible, but complex and requires technical skills to build your advanced website. If you are looking for a way to fully customize your website then WordPress is the way to go.
Is Weebly better or WordPress?
It all boils down to what you want to achieve. If you are looking to build a small and/or medium platform, then Weebly is perfect. However if you are looking to build an advanced and fully customized website then WordPress is the right choice.
Can I host WordPress on Weebly?
Absolutely, yes! Weebly hosts WordPress.
You can install WordPress on your Weebly site through the Weebly App Center. Once you’ve installed WordPress, you can use its features to create a beautiful website. Note that Weebly doesn’t support some plugins. It offers hosting services so you don’t need to worry about finding a separate host for your WordPress site.