Do you want to skip the read and get right to my winner? Weebly the Winner within this Weebly and WordPress comparison platform test.
Introduction: Which Way To Go? Check Out Our Weebly vs WordPress Comparison Review
When you look at the website building world you will quickly understand that both Weebly and WordPress are in the heavyweight division. We are here to help you decide which platform is for you. Whether this is Weebly or WordPress.
In terms of popularity, one is huge, the other more than holds its own. It is claimed that WordPress powers over 30% of the internet. Estimates put the number of users at between 55-75 million. Impressive huh? Yes, it certainly is, but Weebly are not to be shied away from. Their website building platform has been responsible for constructing over 50 million sites.
Two major players in this league will be compared in more detail below. In our Weebly or WordPress comparison we will give you the lowdown on both. This should help you to fill your e-commerce trolley platform requirements and make your checkout decision on which provider to use that little bit easier.
We have dug deeply into the Weebly vs WordPress Commerce platforms in order to help you clearly see what both have to offer. Our guide is a side-by-side view on what we feel are most important when looking at these two web building platforms. To help you clearly understand the differences we have also placed a Weebly and WordPress winners verdict at the end of each section.
It is important to understand that there are two versions of WordPress, but in this comparison review we will be looking at the most popular which is the Self-Hosted version
Pros and Cons for Weebly and WordPress:
To assess major Weebly and WordPress highlights in terms of Pros and Cons for these two powerful website builders please click on the following links;
Here’s a brief overview of each platform before we launch into those Weebly vs WordPress side-by-side comparisons.
No technical skills are required to create your website. This is regardless of whether you are creating a comprehensive portfolio or working towards the creation of an online store.
Why is this the case? Because Weebly is a classic drag-and-drop website builder.
The other advantage is that as this is a hosted service, everything you require comes built-in. These 2 major factors are what have made Weebly so popular for so many.
Another Weebly plus, one which will surely elevate them even further; they have recently been acquired by Square. This acquisition means that Weebly are now very well positioned to push on in their ecommerce offerings. Important note: Do not confuse Square with Squarespace. They are very different companies).
There are 2 variations of WordPress which offer different services. The difference between WordPress self-hosted and WordPress hosted services:
The hosted version is similar to Weebly in that you pay a monthly fee for the running of your site and have access to a range of built-in features that will make site building easy.
Those using the hosted service will have to rely on 3rdparty tools added to their site for additional functionality. E-commerce features being a point in case.
Having said this, there are advantages to the hosted version due to the vast number of apps and optional templates you may choose from. This service is available from wordpress.com.
The Self-hosted WordPress platform service is your open-source platform. This means you will be in control of all site aspects.
What does this give? It gives you absolute freedom and complete flexibility over how your site is presented and run.
While this offers many advantages, it does mean that you will be responsible for looking after the technical side of things, finding hosting and ensuring site updates are regularly implemented (or finding a company that specialises in hosting WordPress sites).
The software is available from wordpress.org. Once you have downloaded the software to a web server you are then free to modify your web presence as you wish.
The massive popularity of the self-hosted version is seen in the number of users worldwide. This must be down to its huge potential for personal customisation as well as flexibility of use.
Those thinking of going this route can be assured that with patience, understanding and learning, their input will meet the requirements of any website project out there.
Just to reiterate, while the software is free to install, you will need to budget for additional costs as mentioned above.
Ease of Use:
When considering whether to use Weebly or WordPress as your online selling platform, ease of use is a key factor. We will consider this factor and start with our side by side comparisons:
For the millions of non-technical users looking to build a web presence, ‘drag and drop’ services have to be the way to go.
While Weebly offers drag and drop functionality you will still find restrictions.
This is because the Weebly templates are quite structured.
This should not necessarily be seen as a downside. We say this because anyone looking for comprehensive guidelines to follow will benefit from a very good web building experience.
You will not have to worry about having any coding experience to achieve your aims, although those with coding experience will benefit even further. This is thanks to the fact that the Weebly platform gives code access which will allow you to develop your site even further.
One major benefit that Weebly offers over other drag and drop builders (Hello, Wix!) is the fact that you can switch templates after your initial site goes live.
Don’t overlook this benefit. It is only natural that many of those creating an initial website see it as the ‘perfect’ template… then as things develop, they have second thoughts!
WordPress offers massive potential, but it does have to be said that initial set up can be a challenge.
The size of the challenge largely depends on:
- How computer-literate you are.
- Which hosting provider you use.
Those who persevere will certainly be rewarded (and countless millions already have!).
Once set-up, you will find the Customer Management System (CMS) very intuitive and easy to use.
The ‘On-page’ editing feature offers a different experience for those using the ‘out of the box’ version of WordPress.
You will need to make any changes in the ‘back-end’ of the system (the version you see, your visitors do not).
The changes and additions are then previewed before you publish them.
While this will be an initial process for most, it is important to understand that as experience is gained there are a host of “visual editing” tools you can take advantage of.
These plugins will allow you to achieve easier “On-page” editing.
Winner – Weebly! within this ‘Ease of Use' Weebly versus WordPress comparison.
Features and Flexibility:
In terms of features and flexibility when considering Weebly vs WordPress, it is fairly balanced. Here’s a few key pointers on both.
|Out-of-the-box:||Where do we start in this Weebly or WordPress section? Weebly offers a host of “in-house” designed features for you to take advantage of. The number of these features is sufficient for many. The challenge for some may come in terms of tools for customisation. Having said that features such as their full-width background images and custom headers are very nice additions. You can track any coupons issued to understand just how successful those promotions have been and there is also a wide range of statistical tools to help monitor what is working and what needs improvement. Something else to bear in mind: With the platform being acquired by Square you can expect additional, more powerful e-commerce features to be yours. A final plus to mention on this front is for anyone who is adding an online store to their physical ‘shop’ (often called a ‘bricks and mortar shop!’). As well as shipping options, you can give customers the option of picking up their goods in store. Very handy for those local customers (and potential ones!)||Once again, it must be reiterated that WordPress is a self-managed platform. But it is a platform that benefits from countless developers and designers who come up with new features and tools on a daily basis. What this means to you is that there is an absolutely massive choice of plugins to take advantage of. These are both paid for and free. Through this huge choice you will have the ability to create whatever type of web presence you desire. In truth, there is very little you cannot achieve in terms of site set-up and operation. All you need to know is exactly what it is you are trying to achieve and you will find the WordPress features and tools available to do it.|
|Themes & Templates:||Weebly’s choice of templates is miniscule compared to that of WordPress. They offer in excess of 50, which is certainly not a bad call. These are image as well as industry specific and mean that you should have no problems finding one to suit your purpose. In addition to this, if you do not find exactly what you are looking for in terms of a template you are at liberty to import any external premium template you wish. (As the term “premium” suggests, going down this route will incur additional cost). The final, flexible template option is for those with coding experience. The Weebly template code is accessible. This means true individual customisation is certainly yours.||Due to the countless number of worldwide WordPress users you have more templates to choose from than you can shake a stick at! These are both free and paid-for templates. Numbers to choose from easily run into the thousands and you can rest assured there are constant additions. This gives you a massive choice (some would say too much choice!) when deciding on which WordPress template is right for you. As with Weebly, you also have the option to change templates. Among this template flexibility there is just one word of caution we must point out: Do make sure you get your template from a respected source. We say this because some themes have been found to contain malicious code. Read reviews, listen to forum members and you will not go far wrong on this point.|
|3rd Party Apps & Plugins:||Weebly offers you a host of apps to choose from. Indeed, there are in excess of 300 available in the Weebly apps centre. While the majority are paid for, you get a healthy 50 that are free. Think of things such as the always popular “Facebook Like” app (there are actually 17 social media plugins available for you to take advantage of). Then consider user reviews which can have a huge impact on your popularity and simple to complete ‘star’ rating features.||Yet again, the number of apps you can add to your WordPress site is quite astonishing. Just be careful you choose those that are relevant. Too many rarely used apps could slow you site speed down. This is the last thing you want. As we have already mentioned, whichever WordPress apps you do choose to use, make sure they come from a reputable source. One type of app choice you will really benefit from are the smartphone apps available. The available choice of different apps covers all types of operating systems and through the installation of these you will be able to make changes and monitor things on the go as well as giving mobile customers what they want.|
|Hosting & Back-up:||Weebly or WordPress in the Back Up & Restore space? Because Weebly is a managed fully hosted service you can be assured of automatic back-ups on a daily basis. This should not stop you making your own back-ups for safety sake (particularly after major upgrades to your site content). It should be borne in mind that anyone who deletes data in error (example; pages) will need to seek the help of the Weebly technical team for restoration. A couple of things regarding your Weebly website data: 1. Should you ever wish to transfer your Weebly website to a new host, this is possible, but you need to be aware that there could be limitations in terms of the ‘drag and drop’ functionality. 2. Once you have removed your website from Weebly the platform does not allow you to re-upload it if you return.||We keep mentioning it, but it is important to remember that you are fully responsible for your self-hosted site. This includes security, restore and back-up functionality. An important example here is that you simply must keep up with the latest WordPress versions which are released on a fairly regular basis. This also applies to any theme, apps and plugins you install. This is also a reason you should choose well received apps and plugins. Failure to do so can lead to malicious code being inserted in supposed ‘upgrades’. On this point, if you are not into completely self-hosting your site (and the technical responsibility that goes with this) then make sure you choose a reputable, well-reviewed hosting provider. One that specialises in hosting WordPress websites. It should be said that thanks to the number of back-up plugins available for WordPress you are sure to find one that will meet your needs. Of course, because WordPress is self-hosted, you can move your content to another host (or back in-house) any time you wish.|
Winner – Draw! within this ‘Feature and Flexibility' Weebly versus WordPress comparison.
Whether you choose Weebly versus WordPress or any other platform the availability of eCommerce tools is absolutely crucial to making the most of your online presence. Both platforms offer extensive choice.
Here are some that those looking to establish an online store will certainly benefit from:
Weebly Commerce tools offer a complete solution to start and continuously grow your online store. Here are 5 that show just how powerful the Weebly online store builder can be.
- Secure checkout & Smart shopping cart:
- Inventory tracking:
- Highly effective product search function:
- Display & Merchandising functions:
- Make your ‘local’ shop a global enterprise:
With the recent announcement that Square (No, not Squarespace!) have bought out Weebly for $365 Million Dollars affords positive benefits for businesses already using the Weebly E-Commerce platform. There is a reason why this platform has been partnered by over 22 hosting providers including Siteground, iPage.com, HostMonster.com, NetFirms.com, PowWeb.com, Dotster.com, aSmallOrange.com, Verio.com, WebHostingPad.com and Midphase.com.
Whether you choose WordPress org or com or any other platform the availability of eCommerce tools is absolutely crucial to making the most of your online presence. When it comes to wordpress org or com eCommerce solutions you can use both to create an online store.
3rd party eCommerce plugins like the WooCommerce Shop can be installed to either platform with ease. The WooCommerce plugin for example is free for personal as well as commercial use. This means that once installed they can be used immediately to establish an online store presence. Once established you will then be able to sell either digital and/or physical products online.
For those who are considering or have already created their site with WordPress the WooCommerce plugin is a powerful free progression when ready to open an online store.
Winner – Draw! within our ‘eCommerce Tools' Weebly versus WordPress comparison. Both offer easy solutions to get selling online.
SEO and Mobility:
Whether you choose Weebly or WordPress or any other platform the availability of eCommerce tools is absolutely crucial to making the most of your online presence. Both platforms offer extensive choice.
SEO is absolutely crucial when it comes to getting your site out there and up the Google rankings.
You will be pleased to know that Weebly scores well in this department.
Straightforward features such as meta titles and alt tags are built-in, you also get SEO “prompts” which work very effectively to assist you with site optimisation.
When looking for advice and tips on SEO you can rely on the Weebly “Ultimate SEO Guide.
This comprehensive guide walks you through the SEO process and gives a handy checklist to ensure you are making the most of your SEO efforts.
Weebly websites major on mobile responsiveness and so they should do.
Please remember that whatever platform you plump for you simply must ensure it allows for your web presence to be fully mobile responsive.
You do not need us to tell you that more visitors than ever before are using mobile devices to view websites.
A poor viewing experience means they have plenty of options to look elsewhere!
With Weebly’s templates being fully responsive it means that the visitor viewing experience will be a positive one.
As for the mobile editor, this also allows for changes to your web presence to be made while you are on the go and from your chosen mobile terminal.
WordPress will not let you down in the SEO capability stakes.
All you need to ensure is that you install the most effective SEO plug-in for your needs.
A great example here is “Yoast” although there are several other worthy contenders.
Impressive WordPress plugin SEO features will then include such things as ‘rich snippets’ which should be viewed as important.
It should also be said that with good SEO on a good self-hosted platform you should have much more say when it comes to page speed.
For this to be achieved you need a very good hosting provider. Choose one that majors in hosting WordPress websites.
By doing so you will not only get faster page load speeds, but the hosting platform should be able to tweak things to ensure you are being Google SEO friendly.
When deciding on your choice of WordPress template, make sure you go for a fully mobile responsive AMP template and content feature.
What is AMP? It stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. Backed by Google, AMP will greatly speed up the loading of web pages visited by those using mobile devices.
Implementing a fully AMP responsive template should be seen as a must.
We say this because it will increase the chances of visitors remaining on your site as opposed to them abandoning their visit due to slow page loading.
Another benefit? Because Google likes AMP there is a good chance that implementation will see you rise in page rankings (all other things being equal of course – See the SEO section below!)
Winner – WordPress! within our ‘SEO and Mobility' Weebly versus WordPress comparison.
Support and Resources:
A Weebly and WordPress comparison when it comes to support and resources puts Weebly in a stronger position.
With Weebly you will get email support. They also offer social media support channels which are popular with many users. The same should be said for their highly useful live chat option.
For those who opt for higher price plans (Think: The Pro, Business or Performance plans) then telephone support is also yours – See the below links for comprehensive details on price plans.
When it comes to online tutorials, you have access to lots of good information.
Taking time to read, understand and learn will certainly benefit you and the set up as well as development of your site.
A final option that should not be overlooked is the Weebly community. Here you will get lots of help and advice from other Weebly users.
A nice ‘community’ touch is the fact that you can vote on the available and proposed introduction of features and leave suggestions.
If you are going it alone, or relying on basic support from a hosting platform provider then you will have to search around for any WordPress help and support.
If you are starting from scratch or would much rather concentrate on marketing and progressing your site then perhaps taking out a service contract with a WordPress expert is the way to go.
While this will add to your costs you can rest assured, these individuals and companies are not short on the ground.
On the other hand, the size of the WordPress worldwide community means that whatever issues you come up against, there will be an answer!
You just need to search the different communities, online resources and WordPress help sites to find such assistance.
Just bear in mind that going down the DIY route may mean that resolution times to any issues you encounter may not be as quick as you would like them to be, but never fear, there is an answer out there!
Winner – Weebly! within Weebly and WordPress comparison due to the ease and speed of resolving potential issues we place.
One of the first things many will look at when considering Weebly vs WordPress is the pricing structure.
The reason that Weebly versus WordPress price comparisons are so tricky is because they work quite differently.
We will explain the basics of the Weebly plans here;
The good news is that Weebly has a free, (without time limit) plan. As would be expected, there are limitations. A major one is that this comes ‘with ads’.
You should find a Weebly price plan to suit your initial needs and of course, you can upgrade at any time.
Their starter (Connect) plan (for websites) is ad-free. This and the Pro Plan are good for small websites but with limitations.
For those in search of ecommerce solutions the following two plans are most appropriate:
- Weebly Business – Good for smaller ecommerce operations.
- Larger online stores will want the full suite of services offered by the Weebly Business Plus plan.
In summary, first year total costs will be from $60.
Ah! We hear you say; WordPress is free! Sadly, this is not the reality. While the software is free, don’t be fooled into thinking everything else is. Having said this, WordPress is still an extremely cost effective and popular way to go.
The only setup costs you need consider are;
- reliable hosting like Bluehost and Siteground, from $25 per annum
- and a domain name, $15 per annum
- Total $40 per annum
The costs here can start off quite low and are less than Weebly Connect plan BUT In order to get your site working correctly you may need to pay for a variety of things. To give you a flavour of potential costs involved and maintain a realistic approach to actual costs you will need to factor in prices for such things as:
- Themes (design of your site)
- Plugins (apps to add functionality)
- E-commerce integration with WooCommerce
- Potential site WordPress development costs using a professional developer/agency
Any major cost will come from professional WordPress development, support and maintenance. Depending on your skillset would be whether you need to engage here. Do take note that most reliable hosting like Bluehost and Siteground, will provide you with basic WordPress support inclusive with their hosting plans.
When we consider all the extra costs you should engage for WordPress then we would have to favour Weebly for this section winner as a more affordable option.
Winner – Weebly! within our ‘Pricing‘ Weebly vs WordPress comparison. It is simply cheaper!
|Builder||Battle Score||Visit Official Website|
|Weebly||5 / 6||www.weebly.com/uk|
|Wordpress||3 / 6||www.wordpress.org|
Whilst both platforms are excellent choices for your online presence, we have used and studied both platforms thoroughly and find Weebly the Winner within this Weebly and WordPress comparison platform test.
Remember; everyone's needs are different so what we have found the better of the two, may not be the best option for you. So please do your own research based on your businesses needs.
Conclusion and Recommendation:
So, Weebly or WordPress? You will see from our verdicts in each section that this really is a close call.
It really is horses for courses as these two platforms Wix, WordPress are really each the best in their Website Builder, CMS categories.
What is Weebly best used for?
Those who want less to do with the technical and upgrading side of things will plump for Weebly.
The truth of the matter is that for those who want someone to manage their hosting and everything that goes around a hosted service then Weebly are a good choice. This stands against other major hosted web building platforms out there.
Weebly look after start-up businesses, SMEs and entrepreneurs very well. You also have the flexibility to switch templates and export your content to a different platform even though you are using a managed service.
What is WordPress best used for?
As for WordPress, surely millions of website owners cannot be wrong! Those with some technical knowledge will love it, those willing to learn as their site develops will also enjoy the experience (and the learning curve!).
There really is not a lot in the Weebly or WordPress solutions, but for anyone wanting to concentrate on promoting and building their business we have to plump for Weebly.
The platforms recent acquisition by Square also adds to the excitement of what eCommerce features you will be able to take advantage of.
We do hope our Weebly vs WordPress comparison has helped clarify what both platforms have to offer and made your decision that little bit easier.
Remember; everyone's needs are different so what we have found the better between Weebly or WordPress, may not be the best option for you. So please do your own research based on your businesses needs.
For those who are still undecided, a final important note when considering Weebly versus WordPress. Both platforms offer a 14-day free trial period, WordPress from a respect of the hosted version of WordPress.com. It would do no harm whatsoever to take advantage of such an offer and test-drive each to see which fits your business model most appropriately. Two weeks should be ample time for you to test-drive each platform in order to decide as to which suits your needs best.
That’s all for now:
If you've read our Weebly vs WordPress comparison up to here, we are grateful. Remember to always keep abreast of the latest developments on website builders, eCommerce, and other Weebly and WordPress alternative comparison articles, such as the ones below;
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Being a veteran in the website building and eCommerce game definitely has its benefits. Richard has long been in the industry with more than 10 years of experience with building websites and constructing eCommerce platforms for clients. He’s also a bit of a whiskey connoisseur.