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WordPress vs. Weebly: which is better?

WordPress and Weebly Logos
Erin Huebscher
Erin Huebscher
22 Sep 2020

If you’re reading this article, chances are you want to know which website-building solution is better for your website. 

Whether opting for a drag-and-drop builder, downloading a Content Management System (CMS) or hand-coding HTML files yourself, there’s certainly a lot to consider when building your website. 

That’s why for all intents and purposes of this article, we’ll be covering the differences between Weebly (an all-inclusive website builder) and WordPress.org

If you’re new to WordPress, which powers nearly 40% of all websites on the Internet, keep in mind there are two versions you can use:

1) WordPress.com, is a paid hosting service platform that runs on WordPress software. 

2) WordPress.org, is a free, open-source platform which makes a WordPress website available for download, either by self-hosting or with the website hosting provider of your choice. 

Before we get into specifics, let’s give a brief overview of Weebly and WordPress.org:

Weebly is an all-inclusive website builder and provides you with everything you need to get started with your website. 

WordPress.org is ideal for those who prefer to be more hands-on in terms of the customization and management of their website. 

Because Weebly is a drag-and-drop website builder, you can simply drag in your content and move things around, without the need for any coding. Any backend maintenance is taken care of by Weebly’s technical team.

The main difference is that WordPress.org is an open-source piece of software, while Weebly isn’t. You’re only allowed to do what Weebly lets you do. With WordPress, on the other hand, you have all the freedom in the world to customize your website. 

The bottom line? Weebly trades control for convenience whereas WordPress.org is better for customization and flexibility.

Are They Easy to Set Up/Install?

To be fair, both are relatively painless to install. 

With Weebly, you simply sign up (it even offers a free plan) and you’re taken to a page with one question and two options: 

What kind of website would you like to create?

Here you can choose from “I just need a website” or “I need a website with an online store.”

Then you’ll have the chance to select from a variety of pre-designed themes, under the categories of “Business,” “Portfolio,” “Personal,” or “Blog.” Once you’ve chosen your theme, you’ll have to choose and buy your domain name to link it to your website. Now you can start using the simple drag-and-drop builder tool. 

With Weebly, you won’t have to hassle with writing HTML or CSS code. You’ll simply drag and drop content elements. It’s worth mentioning, however, that Weebly does provide access to a custom CSS module, which lets you edit the template freely if you’re so inclined.

Although it’s an incredibly powerful and flexible platform, remember that WordPress is not a drag-and-drop website builder. This means you’ll inevitably have to modify code if you decide to go the self-service route. However, if you opt for a hosting service provider like Namecheap’s EasyWP, installing WordPress takes less than 90 seconds. This eliminates the technical stress of setting up your WordPress website, by taking literally only a few minutes, not hours, to get things up and running.

Example of WordPress Site Access

Once WordPress is installed, it’s now up to you which design template you choose from to place your content. If you prefer to alter the template format, such as re-arranging the layout of the page, you’ll have to modify the template codes, or hire a coding whiz to do it for you.

While the Gutenberg editor helps to simplify the content creation process, you’ll still need to spend some time reading WordPress instructions, tutorials, and forum posts. 

Drawing of a person putting blocks into matching cutouts.

Are They Both Theme and Plugin-Friendly? 

With over 30,000 to choose from, it’s no wonder why WordPress outshines Weebly in the theme and plugin department. 

To simplify things, let’s break down their differences when it comes to the two most popular types of websites: blogs and online shops/e-commerce.

Blogs

Weebly and WordPress are both awesome blogging platforms. While Weebly is better for beginners and pros, WordPress requires some theme tweaking to make yours look like how you want it. 

E-Commerce

WordPress, especially with the WooCommerce plugin, is hard to beat. With it, you’re looking at pretty much unlimited e-commerce power, letting you sell as many items as you want, wherever you want, and accept payments in any shape or form. 

Don’t discount Weebly, though. If you’re a small-to-medium online shop, it’s perfectly capable of doing the job, letting you sell both physical and digital goods. Did we mention their handy live shipping calculator?

Screenshot of Weebly Product Editor

Are Updates Included with Weebly and WordPress?

Since Weebly manages the entire platform for you, including performance and security updates, you don’t have to worry about tools not functioning properly or your website breaking. If you do have any questions or issues, however, their 24/7 support team is ready and willing to help. 

Similar to Weebly, WordPress is always updating and improving its platform to fix bugs and improve security. When any WordPress update takes place, you’ll get a notification message to update your WordPress version. This can easily be done by a simple click of the “update” button.

However, keep in mind that when WordPress updates, any templates and plugins you’re using will also need to be updated. If you’re going at it alone, and not with the help of a managed WordPress hosting provider, you’re the one who is ultimately responsible. 

Are Weebly and WordPress Easy on My Wallet?

Given that Weebly is an all-inclusive service, it’s a little more straightforward when it comes to their pricing:

Personal Plans start at $9.00/month

Professional Plans start at $16.00/month

Performance Plans start at $29.00/month

As mentioned earlier, Weebly does offer a free version but the catch is that you can’t use your own domain name and they advertise their services on the footer of your website pages. 

While WordPress is free to use, you’ll need to pay for things such as themes, plugins and hosting, all of which can quickly add up and cost a pretty penny. (Not to mention a web developer’s time if you can’t figure out the technical stuff.) If you opt for Managed WordPress Hosting, like EasyWP, you only start out by paying $1.00 for your first month 

Final Thoughts

If you’re a tech novice, or don’t have any interest in learning how to code, then Weebly is the better choice when building your website. Given that Weebly takes care of all the technical aspects of your website, this lets you focus on creating your content and/or selling your service. 

WordPress, as you’ve now come to realize, has a much steeper learning curve than Weebly, but you can do so much more in the long-term. If you feel comfortable with coding (or you hire a developer to do it for you), you’re looking at a far more customized website. And if you need support, WordPress has a fantastic community who can lend a helping hand. 

So, which one will you choose? Let us know in the comments below! 

Erin Huebscher
Erin Huebscher
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