Here are the 5 items you should consider when evaluating Weebly vs WordPress:
Although you can edit the HTML & CSS codes to your Weebly website, which allows you some freedom to customize the design of your website to a certain extent, Weebly is not an open source website builder so you can’t control how some of their tools work.
What this also means is that if you want to integrate non-Weebly tools into your website, or you want certain features to function differently, you might not be able to do this as their core functions are locked off from public access.
Having said that, if you know a little bit of code, you still have good creative control over the design of your website.
Further, since Weebly manages the entire platform for you, you don’t have to worry about any tools not functioning, or your website breaking.
All the website building tools are controlled by Weebly and closely monitored within its own operating environment. What this means is that Weebly takes care of all the technical aspects of your website, so you can focus on building out your content.
When you have any questions or issues, you can reach out to Weebly’s support team on a 24/7 basis so they can troubleshoot them for you (more on this below).
WordPress is an open source website builder so you have a lot of freedom to modify your website and how your tools work, as you have full access to the platform codes (assuming you are knowledgeable about codes, or if you are working with a coder).
A lot of people prefer using WordPress as its community offers a lot of free plugins so you can add more tools to your website. However,not all WordPress plugins are well built, so using some of these “bad” plugins may potentially expose your website to security issues, or may potentially cause conflicts with other tools that you are using.
The developers of the free plugins are sometimes helpful if you have troubleshooting questions, but some of them are not as helpful (since the plugin is free). At times, some developers may even blame other plugins for causing any conflicts, resulting in a finger pointing war and your issue doesn’t get resolved (more about support below).
Investing in premium plugins will entitle you to support, but even still this does not necessarily guarantee that they will fix all the issues for you as the conflicts may be caused by other plugins (which is beyond the premium plugin developers’ control).
On the other hand, there are some really good WordPress plugins out there that can really add a ton of flexibility to your website. But you should most definitely test them thoroughly with your website before deploying the plugin. Using the right plugin can improve your website’s functionality, but a poorly built plugin can have negative impact on your website’s performance.
|2) Ease of Use|
Weebly is probably the easiest website builder available in the market today, and it is a much easier platform to use than WordPress.
It’s a drag & drop website builder,
If you don’t have any technical skills, or if you don’t have any interest or time to learn codes, then Weebly is a really good choice for you to consider using to build your website.
Weebly has a pretty good help center, but in our experience we didn’t need to use it too much as their tools are very intuitive, and easy to use. But if you need to find out more information about how to use some of its features, the help guides are there for you.
Compared to Weebly, WordPress is a lot more challenging to learn how to use (much higher learning curve).
WordPress is not a drag and drop website builder, and so how you are able to place your content (such as slideshows, videos, etc) is largely dependent on how the design template you choose is set up.
If you want to alter the template format, such as re-arranging the layout of the page, you’ll have to modify the codes to the template in order to do so, or hire a capable coder to help you accomplish that.
Basically, even though WordPress is a very powerful & flexible platform, if you want to use it effectively, it’s inevitable that you will need to modify codes. If you are able to do that, this website builder could deliver you a much more advanced website than Weebly.
|3) User Support|
As discussed above, Weebly has a good library of help guides
But one of the beauties of Weebly is that their builder is so easy to use, you really don’t need a whole lot of guidance to build your first website.
Beyond the help guides, if you feel like you need more hands on support, Weebly provides you with 24/7 email support, and live chat or phone support during business hours.
As discussed above, since all the tools are built and managed by Weebly directly, they will be able to take ownership of any issues and troubleshoot them (instead of bouncing this responsibility to other tool developers).
Lastly, one of the benefits of Weebly having its own support team, is that all your questions will be answered, even if thousands of other people have already asked the same question before (unlike the WordPress forum).
WordPress has a massive community forumwhere you can post questions hoping other WordPress users or developers will answer them.
While a lot of the questions are responded to (but not necessarily resolved), a lot of posts are not answered at all. Further, getting some sort of answer might take many days as most moderators are volunteers, so there is no huge sense of urgency.
One of the main challenges is that there are thousands of questions being posted, and a lot of them have already been discussed before in other post threads.
At the end of the day, no one is really obligated to answer your question unless you pay for it (such as hiring a WordPress coder to help you out). And given WordPress.org and a lot of its plugins are free, getting someone to sort out your technical issues can be challenging.
|4) Ongoing Maintenance|
As mentioned, Weebly is a closed system in which they manage all the technical issues for you. This includes all the performance and security updates, so you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects of building websites.
All of this is monitored and managed by Weebly in the background, so you don’t have to stress about ensuring that your site is up to date, or worry about some tools causing conflicts and negatively impacting your website.
Having all this managed for you frees up your time, so you can focus on other things that might be more important to you.
Similar to Weebly, WordPress is continually updating & improving its platform to fix bugs and improve its security. When an update is deployed, you’ll get a notification message to update your version of WordPress. This can be done by a simple click of the “update” button.
Unfortunately, that is the easier part. The harder part is that when WordPress updates, your template and the plugins that you are using will also need to be updated as well to ensure that they continue to work properly with the latest version of WordPress. This is up to the template / plugin creator to do so.
While a lot of template and plugin developers will also update to remain compatible, some won’t (especially for free template & plugins). This can expose your website to potential user, performance or security issues.
So if you decide to use WordPress, keep in mind that there will be ongoing maintenance work, as it is not uncommon for certain functions to “break” when WordPress have updates.
|5) Pricing & Ongoing Financial Commitments|
Weebly offers you 4 premium plans, ranging from $5 to $45 per month (pricing based on 2 year plans. If you choose their 6 months or 1 year plan, the price per month goes up a little bit).
The higher then plan, the more tools and features you will be able to access. Note that you can still use Weebly for free, but it will display a Weebly advertisement on your webpages. This can only be removed when you upgrade to one of their paid plans
Their premium plans grant you access to more tools and website building features, such as header slideshows, site search, more ecommerce and marketing capabilities, membership login, etc. All plans (including the free plan) give you access to Weebly’s easy to use drag & drop builder, over 100 design templates, hosting services and dedicated support team.
If you sign up to a premium plan, Weebly also gives you a free custom domain name for your first year.
Using Weebly to build your website is much like an all-inclusive package where all your website building needs are provided and serviced by Weebly. You won’t have to piece together bits and pieces like you would have to with WordPress.
The ongoing cost of using Weebly can range from
I think that just the 24/7 email support, and live chat & phone support, as well as having all the technology managed for you to free up your time, is well worth the paid plans.
To build your website with WordPress.org, you will have to pay for your own hosting service which costs around $7 per month (note: the price range varies depending on the quality of the hosting service provider. Bluehost is a popular WordPress hosting service ).
A premium design template can cost you from $30 – $80, depending on the reputation of the template provider.
While most plugins are free, some of them are paid / premium as well (ranging from $15 – $50 per plugin), depending on what you need and if you want support (as mentioned above).
You will also have to purchase your own custom domain name ($10 – $15 per year).
Your initial investment building your site with WordPress can range from $139 to over $200, depending how many premium plugins you end up using.
If you hire a coder to help you build your website, make modifications or for fixing some website issues, your cost will increase quite a bit on an ongoing basis, and can be a challenge to budget for.
Also, remember that the learning curve of using WordPress effectively is also a lot higher than using drag & drop website builders. So you should factor in the cost of your own time as well.
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Considering other website builders?
If you are unsure whether Weebly is right for you then take a look at our Top Website Builder Recommendations and guide on how to pick the best one.