So, you’ve decided you want to build your own website – but you’ve already found yourself faced with a dilemma. It’s the age old battle: Weebly vs WordPress.
The trouble is, when it comes to these platforms, confusing claims and rumors lurk at every turn. This article will clear up your questions and dispel these misguided myths, helping you to make the right choice.
WordPress and Weebly are both heavyweights in the website building world, each with their impressive claims to fame. WordPress has the biggest boast – it powers around 40% of the internet!
Weebly is no small fry, though, with over 50 million sites built using its website builder worldwide. After it was acquired by Square, Weebly has stepped up in the ecommerce industry.
But the question remains – which platform will see your site soar to success?
The first thing to know before making your decision is that Weebly and WordPress are very different platforms. Weebly is a website builder, while WordPress is an open-source platform. If that’s news to you, don’t worry – we’ll go over the differences before launching into our comparison.
Weebly is a drag-and-drop website builder that doesn’t require any tech skills to create a website, whether you’re building a portfolio or an online store. Everything comes built in, from security features to hosting.
WordPress is an open-source platform, meaning you’re in control of every aspect of your site. You have ultimate freedom and flexibility, but you also need to look after the technical side of things. This includes finding your own hosting, running updates on your site, and making sure your site is secure against online threats.
Which One Is Best?
WordPress and Weebly are such different platforms, it’s hard to say that one is definitively better than the other – it really depends on what you need it for! But don’t worry – we’re not going to sit on the fence and say “they’re both great.”
Instead, this article will take you through each platform’s ease of use, design, pricing, and more, to find out for certain whether you should build your site with Weebly or WordPress.
One of the most common concerns for first-time website builders is how difficult it might be to create and publish your very own site. Will you need coding skills, or three desktops set up in your basement, in order to build a successful website?
Fortunately, the answer for both Weebly and WordPress is no. However, they do vary in how easy they are to use – let’s take a closer look at why.
Weebly is extremely straightforward to set up – you simply sign up (for free if you choose its most basic plan), choose your theme, and edit it until you’re ready to publish. You don’t even have to enter any payment details, meaning you can get started in a matter of minutes.
WordPress is a little more complicated. While WordPress itself is free, to publish your website, you’ll need to find hosting first – which means it’s already less straightforward to set up than Weebly. You also need to install a theme and any plugins your site needs, as features don’t tend to come built-in.
Once you’ve set up your account, you need to be able to build your website – preferably without tearing your hair out in the process!
Weebly isn’t as easy to use as some other website builders, like Wix, but it is much easier to use than WordPress. This is because of its more basic and simplified editor – Weebly’s certainly not as powerful as WordPress, but that also makes it much more manageable for beginners.
Weebly has a simple, clean editing interface that lets you customize your chosen template within certain limits. It even gives you helpful tips and pointers within the theme – for example, the sample text actually explains how to edit and move text, making it super easy to get started.
So what about WordPress? Should beginners just give up on their dream of building a WordPress site? The answer, of course, is no – but you should be prepared for a steeper learning curve, and a longer building process.
Despite this, WordPress has made its editor as user-friendly as possible, without giving up any of the power people know and love. It has a clean, uncluttered interface, but it’s less helpful than Weebly’s – WordPress doesn’t hold your hand while you build.
Below, you can see how different WordPress’ editor is compared to Weebly’s.
You can see why WordPress is the more challenging platform for building a site – you’re building from scratch, rather than using a pre-filled template as guidance.
Weebly is the more beginner-friendly and easy to use platform. It takes only minutes to get started, uses a simple drag-and-drop editor, and even guides you through the building process. WordPress demands more from its users – from hosting to building, it needs a lot more work.
- Weebly is easy to use, but there’s easier out there. Read our Wix Review to see how easy website building can be.
- Are you a beginner? Read our review of the Easiest to Use Website Builders for a helping hand.
- WordPress.org can be pretty tricky – read our WordPress.com Review to find out if you’d prefer the simpler version.
Everybody wants to be unique, whether they’re online or in the real world. You don’t want to build a website that’s identical to someone else’s – especially if you’re marketing a brand or business. So which platform is better for creating a stunning standout site? Weebly or WordPress?
Weebly has a fairly modest collection of simple themes, split into six categories:
- Online store
There are between six and 15 themes in each category. None of Weebly’s themes are likely to blow your mind, but on the whole, they’re clean and stylish. You can easily switch your theme at any time, which is a great bonus and makes any redesigns pretty effortless.
All Weebly’s themes are mobile responsive to give your visitors a great experience no matter what device they’re using. This is essential now that over half of global web traffic comes from mobile!
In stark comparison, WordPress has thousands of themes in its Theme Directory. You can search by the layout you want, which features should be pre-installed, or by subject (such as blog, holiday, or portfolio).
Whereas Weebly’s themes are all free, you’ll find a mix of free and premium WordPress themes. These vary massively in style and layout, because they’re made by so many different people!
Once you’ve chosen your theme, you need to make it your own – this is the really fun part!
While Weebly makes it easy to add new elements, change text, and replace images, you’re limited by your theme. There are certain things you just can’t do, even compared to other website builders like Wix, which let you drag and drop things anywhere you like.
WordPress, on the other hand, gives you ultimate customization over your website.
Although you choose a theme for your site, you build each page and post in the structure you want, giving you much more creative freedom than Weebly could even dream of. This takes more time and effort, and it will help if you know how to do some basic coding. But if it’s total creative control you’re after, then you really can’t beat WordPress.
The features and elements you can add to your WordPress site will depend on the theme you choose – i.e. whether it comes with any features included – as well as which plugins you decide to install.
Although it’s more challenging to customize your site, WordPress is worth the extra effort – you can create a truly unique website, with hand-picked features and your own ideal structure. Weebly does give you a good level of creative control, but you’re much more limited in what you can do.
- Do you want better designs than Weebly’s, but less hassle than WordPress? Read our Squarespace Review to find the best of both worlds.
While having a well-designed website is undeniably important, looks aren’t everything. Your website also needs some power under the hood to win over your visitors and make your life easier.
Weebly comes with a great range of blogging tools to help get your blog started in a matter of minutes. Advanced sharing and scheduling features, social media sharing, and comment management are just a few of the features that set your Weebly blog up for success.
Weebly is a solid choice for a blogging site. But if it’s a really impressive and powerful site you’re after, you can’t beat WordPress for its blogging features.
WordPress began as the ultimate blogging platform, and it’s held onto that title even as it’s grown to cater for all sorts of different sites. Its range of plugins, SEO capabilities, and level of customization all combine to create a unique platform for blogging.
Social Media Integration
Weebly lets you add links and social icons to your website, linking to your various social media accounts. There are 13 social networks to choose from, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
As you’d expect, there are plenty of social media plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory – it’s simply a matter of choosing the one that’s best for you!
Weebly makes marketing easy – you can create and send emails with just a few clicks. Its in-house email marketing service, Weebly Promote, integrates with your site so that you can choose a template, manage your contacts, and track your results, all from the same place.
WordPress doesn’t come with marketing tools built-in, but you can easily use a marketing plugin instead. The good news is, there are some high quality ones you can install for free, such as Jetpack.
Weebly has the upper hand because its features all come built-in, and it even has an app market in case you need extra tools. But WordPress has an enormous range of super powerful tools that can’t be dismissed – so for this round, it’s a draw.
- Read our review of the 9 Best Blogging Platforms to find out how well Weebly and WordPress compare.
If you want to build an online store, then the platform you choose will need to have ecommerce capability. Luckily, you can still choose between Weebly and WordPress, since they both have ecommerce options. Let’s find out which one is better for you!
Weebly for Ecommerce
You can build your store and sell online using Weebly’s free plan thanks to its integration with Square Online. Its free plan lets you sell an unlimited number of products and comes with useful tools such as automatic tax calculator and in-store pickup options. Pretty neat, right?
However, to remove adverts from your store and use your own domain name, you’ll need at least Weebly’s $12 per month Professional plan.
Weebly is a decent choice for building an online store, with basic ecommerce features such as shipping tools and inventory management all built-in automatically, ready for you to make use of.
It’s not quite in the big boy leagues just yet, though – you won’t find the same level of power that you’d get with a platform like Shopify, for instance. Still, Weebly’s been stepping up its ecommerce game since being acquired by Square, and should be an interesting space to watch…
WordPress for Ecommerce
While Weebly’s ecommerce features are all built-in, with WordPress, you need to install an ecommerce plugin. We recommend using WooCommerce – it’s the most popular ecommerce platform on the web, with over 70 million downloads so far!
Once you’ve installed your plugin, you can begin adding products and building your store. The ecommerce features you get will depend on the plugin you choose. With WooCommerce, for example, you can show product ratings and reviews, set the currency, set shipping options, and more.
The main advantage of WooCommerce is its flexibility – you have much more control over your store than you do with Weebly.
WordPress can give you a much more powerful online store when you build with WooCommerce, but Weebly actually comes primed and ready for you to build your own ecommerce website. Weebly is easier to start selling through, but WordPress gives you a more scalable store in the long-run.
Apps and plugins add extra functionality to your website, so you can expand beyond whatever features come with your theme.
You’ll find hundreds of apps in the Weebly App Center, where you can find everything from FAQ sections to live chat features. Apps are a great way to scale your site as it grows, and provide your visitors with helpful functions.
There’s a generous amount of free apps, alongside a number of premium ones too – most apps let you start off for free, and then upgrade if you so choose.
Any of these apps can be added to your Weebly site in just a few clicks – it’s super easy, and completes in seconds.
Can’t find the app you’re looking for? Weebly even lets you suggest ideas for new apps via the Weebly Community, or build your own in the Weebly Developer Center for any coders out there.
WordPress has over 58,000 plugins in its Plugin Directory, blowing Weebly’s few hundred clear out the water. Just like with WordPress’ themes, this collection is made up of plugins built by a range of people – so it’s to be expected that some are of better quality than others.
Just make sure to choose high standard, up to date plugins for your WordPress site, or you could find unwanted bugs and breaks sneaking in.
It’s not as simple to install a plugin to your WordPress site as it is to install an app in Weebly. You shouldn’t struggle to install plugins, but it’s not so easy as a couple of clicks – you’ll usually need to go to your WordPress admin dashboard to install and activate your chosen plugin. Not rocket science, but not a three second job either.
Although WordPress undoubtedly beats Weebly in terms of sheer numbers, it falls down slightly in how easy those plugins are to install on your site. The quality of its plugins is also a factor that calls for caution, whereas Weebly is a much more user-friendly app provider with plenty still to offer.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making your site as appealing as possible to search engines – most of all, the almighty Google. There’s a seemingly endless list of things that you need to optimize, which is understandably daunting for beginners!
Luckily, you’ve got some help. Weebly, for example, has an Ultimate SEO Guide designed to see you from your first nervous steps through to confident SEO glory. Not only that, your Weebly site is already optimized to a certain extent, meaning you just have to fill in the blanks to get your site ready to rank.
WordPress works a little differently. Often lauded as the best platform for SEO, WordPress leaves all the fun technical stuff up to you. If that thought alone is enough to make you run for the hills, hold up and head to the WordPress Plugin Directory.
Once you’re there, install Yoast SEO, and let it pretty much manage your SEO for you. That’s right – this plugin makes SEO easy even for total beginners, and is a must for any successful site. There are other SEO plugins out there, but Yoast SEO is the one we most recommend.
Despite Weebly’s SEO tools coming built-in, not to mention its very helpful SEO Guide and checklist, WordPress has to win. Its sheer power, plus the fact you can install plugins like Yoast SEO to maximize your site’s rankings, just can’t be ignored.
After you’ve built your website, you want it to stay at the top of its game. That means keeping it safe from bugs, hackers, and crashes, and making sure it’s running with all the latest updates.
If that sounds like a lot of work, then Weebly will be the better builder for you. Why? Because it does all of that for you!
Weebly provides you with hosting and security, and runs any updates automatically to keep your site safe and secure. You don’t need to worry about renewing anything other than your Weebly subscription – instead, you can just focus on your website, and let Weebly take care of the technical stuff.
WordPress, on the other hand, calls for much more care and attention. It’s super important not to fall behind on WordPress updates, as this can open up your site to security breaches and glitches.
The good news is that a quality WordPress hosting provider, such as Bluehost, will run these core updates for you automatically. You’ll also need to update your theme and plugins, but having those automatic updates does mean you can relax a little more.
On that note, another important factor to stay on top of is your hosting. The type of hosting you need can change over time as your site grows, so be ready to upgrade in order to avoid crashes. If you’re happy with your hosting plan, then all you need to do is renew it on time to keep your site live.
All in all, Weebly is like choosing an all-inclusive holiday, where everything is taken care of for you. You don’t need to run around sorting out hosting or security because Weebly’s got your back.
WordPress is more of a camping trip, where you need to check on your tent pegs and zips regularly to make sure the tent doesn’t fall down or get invaded by bears. Some people love that hands-on approach, and enjoy the responsibility that comes with a WordPress site.
Weebly needs a lot less ongoing maintenance than WordPress, because it’s all sorted in-house for you. WordPress is a constantly changing platform that requires more work to keep up with, which is why it loses out to Weebly in this round.
Weebly has an in-depth Support Center, where you can search for answers or browse through various help articles. You can also check out its blog, Inspiration Center, and Community pages for more information. If none of that works, you can email Weebly support 24/7 with more specific questions, or contact them during business hours via live chat or phone.
WordPress doesn’t have a live chat or email support – instead, it has an impressively large number of support articles, forums, and community pages. That’s the bonus of having such a large WordPress family out there, asking the same questions as you!
WordPress also has official articles on its site to help you. These are thorough and detailed, but can be pretty dense, so make sure you’re sitting comfortably if you need to get through them!
The real goldmine of WordPress support lies in its forums, where you can browse through past threads and even create your own topics for questions you can’t find answers to. It can be pretty overwhelming, but if you understand the method to its madness, you’ll be just fine.
The main point to make here is that Weebly has in-house experts on hand to help you out when you get stuck. That’s the big difference between WordPress and Weebly’s help and support options.
We know, we know – WordPress has endless guides and invaluable support forums, and that shouldn’t be sniffed at! But Weebly has direct, in-house expert support agents to answer your questions, which is especially helpful for beginners, and tips this section in Weebly’s favor.
It’s all very well dreaming of your ideal website, but at the end of the day, you need a platform you can realistically afford and maintain in the long-run. Let’s take a look at how Weebly and WordPress compare.
Weebly Pricing: All In One
Weebly has three pricing plans ranging from $6 to $26 per month (billed annually), plus a free plan. This means Weebly has options for sites of different types and sizes, whether you’re building an online store or a small portfolio.
Take a look at the basics of each plan below:
- Free plan: $0 – comes with free SSL security, a Weebly.com domain, and Weebly adverts onsite, and lets you sell online. Best for building and perfecting your site before promoting it.
- Personal: $6/month (billed annually), or $9 month-to-month – lets you connect your own domain, but still displays adverts. Best for very basic sites.
- Professional: $12/month (billed annually), or $16 month-to-month – removes adverts and unlocks better features. Best for small online stores and professional personal brands.
- Performance: $26/month (billed annually), or $29 month-to-month – unlocks professional ecommerce features, advanced analytics, and priority support. Best for business sites.
You get a free domain included on Weebly’s Professional plan and above, when you choose an annual plan. This free domain lasts for your first year, and is especially good for anyone just starting out, as it means you get a professional domain with zero financial risk.
Weebly’s paid plans don’t come with a free trial, but you do get a 30-day refund period in case you change your mind.
WordPress: Pricing Break Down
WordPress doesn’t have price plans – because it’s an open-source platform, WordPress is free!
Before you go racing to sign up, though, you should know there will be some cost involved. This is much harder to accurately pin down, because it varies massively depending on the services you choose.
Before you can publish your WordPress site, you’ll need to sort out a few things. Here are the main areas you’ll need to factor into your budget:
This can cost anywhere between $1 and $150 per month depending on what type of hosting you need, and which provider you choose!
Your domain name doesn’t come included in your WordPress site like it does with Weebly – instead, you need to register it elsewhere and connect it to your website. You can search and buy a domain from popular domain name websites such as Domain.com. Domains vary in price depending on what you’re looking for, but the standard price varies between $10 and $20 per year.
Some hosting providers, like Bluehost, include a free domain for your first year, so this is something worth looking at if you need a new domain.
While Weebly automatically includes free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) security in its plans, you need to install this yourself on WordPress.
The easiest way to get SSL security is to choose a good quality hosting provider that includes it for free in your hosting plan – providers like Bluehost, HostGator, SiteGround, and InMotion all throw SSL in as standard.
For extra security, you can buy a more advanced SSL certificate from your hosting provider – for example, HostGator offers SSL certificates ranging from $19.99 to $269.99 per year.
Plugins and Themes
As you already know, you may need to spend a bit of money on high quality, professional themes and plugins. Again, these are things you can get for free, but it’s worth setting some money aside in your budget just in case you do need to go premium later down the line.
This is a pretty hard round to call, but we think Weebly deserves the title – while WordPress is free, you can actually build and publish your site using Weebly’s free plan. You don’t need to worry about hosting renewal prices, or paying for a premium theme with Weebly. You know exactly how much you’ll be paying from day one, and its prices are budget-friendly to boot.
- Read our Weebly Pricing Review for a full look at its plans and prices.
- Discover the cheapest hosting providers – compare 50+ plans in our review of the Best Cheap Hosting Providers.
- Read our in-depth Bluehost Review for more information on this top provider.
- Need a quick crash course in domain names? Our article What Is a Domain Name? Beginner’s Guide can help you out.
- Learn about the importance of SSL security in our article Why Your Site Needs HTTPS.
This article has laid Weebly and WordPress bare, so you know exactly what you’re signing up for from the get go. We’ve covered each platform’s ease of use, designs, features, and more – your head might be spinning, so let’s have a quick bite-size recap of each of those sections.
Weebly vs WordPress Comparison Table
|Weebly vs WordPress||Weebly||WordPress|
|Ease of Use||Simple to set up and extremely easy to use, this drag-and-drop builder has a very low learning curve, making it ideal for beginners.||More challenging to use than Weebly, WordPress has a steep learning curve. It has a user-friendly interface, but coding is needed to really make the most of this platform.|
|Design and Customizability||A modest selection of simple, stylish designs, which you can switch between whenever you like. Themes come with features built-in, and are easy to customize, although there are certain limits to what you can control.||Massive range of themes to choose from – you must make sure you pick a quality theme. Features don’t come included unless you choose a commercial or premium theme. You get total creative freedom when customizing your theme.|
|Features and Tools||The features available depend on which pricing plan you choose. On the whole, you get a good range of features, including blogging and ecommerce, with a large app store to add any missing tools.||Minimal features built-in, but an endless choice of plugins to add extra functionality to your site. WordPress is still the ultimate blogging platform. Be careful of how many plugins you install, though, as too many can slow sites down.|
|Ecommerce||Weebly has a good range of ecommerce features that grow more advanced as you upgrade your plan. It’s not the best ecommerce builder out there, but it’s a solid option for small businesses.||WordPress doesn’t come with ecommerce tools included, but with a plugin like WooCommerce, it can be used to build a much more powerful store than Weebly.|
|Apps and Plugins||Weebly has a large app store, where you can suggest or even build your own apps. Installing apps only takes a couple of clicks, and apps are ready in your site in seconds.||WordPress has thousands of plugins to choose from, with new ones being built and added all the time. You should always make sure to check plugins are up to date and have good reviews before installing.|
|SEO||Weebly’s themes come optimized for SEO, and make it easy for total beginners to start optimizing their sites for search engines.||WordPress leaves SEO up to its users, but with plugins like Yoast SEO, even beginners can easily boost their site’s rankings.|
|Ongoing Maintenance||Weebly is easy to look after, because Weebly takes care of your site’s hosting, security, and any updates.||WordPress needs a lot of ongoing maintenance – otherwise your site could crash, glitch, or even get hacked. You need to renew your hosting, and keep up with any WordPress updates.|
|Help and Support||Weebly has a help center and community forum, as well as email, phone, and chat support.||WordPress has a massive community of users who fill forums with questions, answers, and tips for you to browse through.|
|Pricing||Weebly has a free plan, and three price plans ranging from $6 to $26 per month. You get a free custom domain for your first year on two of its paid plans, and a free Weebly domain on the free plan.||WordPress is a free platform, but you can’t publish for free because you need hosting at the very least. You also need a domain and security, but you should be able to get these included in your hosting plan. It’s also a good idea to budget for premium themes and plugins.|
Overall, you can get a good picture of these two platforms and who they’re best for. WordPress is the more powerful platform, but that also makes it more of a handful to build with, whereas Weebly is more basic but easier to use.
What you get out of these platforms really depends on how much you have to put in – if you have lots of time, enthusiasm for learning, and some money to invest, then you can create an impressive site with WordPress.
If you’re short on time or funds, then your enthusiasm for website building will find a welcome home in Weebly – you can create a professional looking site easily and quickly.
So, which should you choose?
While we’re the experts on website builders, you’re the expert on what type of site you’re building – and that’s why it’s ultimately up to you to choose whether Weebly or WordPress is the best builder for you.
To help you reach a decision, we do have some tips to guide you on your way…
You Should Choose Weebly If:
- You need a website published quickly
- You’re a beginner
- You don’t need a complex website
- You want to start a small online store
- You’re working to a tight budget
- You know a little code, but don’t want to rely on it too much
You Should Choose WordPress If:
- You need to build a complex website
- You have coding knowledge
- You want complete control over your site
- You’re happy to pay to build your site
- You want to create a powerful website
- You’re launching a large blog
If any of these considerations apply to you, then you have your answer. If you’re still in doubt, here’s our final recommendation: use Weebly. You have nothing to lose by trying out its free plan, and overall, it’s the easier, cheaper, and less high maintenance platform.
Don’t just take our word for it – take Weebly’s free plan for a test drive and see what you think!