Weebly vs WordPress…which is better?
On one hand, WordPress.org is the platform where folks host their sites. The numbers speak for themselves – WordPress powers over 32% of all the websites on the Internet.
On the other hand, Weebly’s been around for 12 years and they’ve gotten a lot of updates over the years. Beyond that, a recent $365 million acquisition by the payment processor, Square, gives Weebly the resources to keep improving, especially when it comes to eCommerce.
In this article, we’ll compare Weebly vs WordPress, and talk about how they stack up in different areas such as ease of use, pricing, and customer support.
Note – when we say “WordPress”, we mean the self-hosted, open-source WordPress software that you can find at WordPress.org. This is different from WordPress.com. Self-hosted WordPress.org is what powers over 32% of all websites.
1. Ease of use – Weebly is a bit simpler
When it comes to ease of use, Weebly will be a bit simpler for most users because getting started is as simple as creating a Weebly account.
Weebly is a drag-and-drop website builder, so you don’t need any HTML skills to get started. You pretty much just choose a theme and start building:
You can simply drag and drop photos, text boxes, and other elements onto your site. Editing, resizing, or repositioning your elements is simple as well. And you can create an account and start working in less than 60 seconds (I tested it!).
With WordPress.org, though, you’ll need to go through some setup before you can start building.
First, you’ll need to purchase website hosting and a domain name and install WordPress. Yeah, that sounds a little daunting, but most WordPress hosts make it super easy because WordPress is so popular. In fact, most quality hosts will let you install WordPress with just a few clicks
From there, you’ll need to choose a theme and learn about plugins to create a great website. Basically, plugins let you add functionality to your site. You can find plugins for everything from a simple contact form to creating an eCommerce store.
The core WordPress editor is not a visual, drag-and-drop editor like Weebly. But you can find plenty of quality page builder plugins that let you design your content using simple drag-and-drop.
2. Pricing – WordPress might be cheaper
Next, let’s pit Weebly vs WordPress in terms of pricing.
Weebly’s pricing plans range from $8 to $25 per month (paid annually). These include…
- Starter plan ($8/month)
- Pro plan ($12/month)
- Business plan ($25/month)
With all three plans, you get a free domain.
The additional features that come with the pro plan include:
- Site search
- Password protection
- Video backgrounds
- HD video & audio
- Up to 100 members, and
- Phone support
And the additional features that come with the business plan include:
- Unlimited members
- Membership registration
- eCommerce features such as digital goods, product reviews, inventory management, shipping discount, tax calculator, and coupons
To extend the functionality of your site, you can head to the Weebly App Center, where you’ll find third-party integrations that you can purchase. These apps are often a monthly fee.
If you’re really tight on budget, Weebly does have a free plan for “basic use”.
With this plan, you won’t be able to connect your own domain to your website, and your website will show Weebly ads. For that reason, it’s not a great option for serious websites.
When you’re self-hosting with WordPress.org, you’ll have to fork out a monthly fee for your hosting service.
The exact cost depends on the provider you use, but you can find quality cheap WordPress hosting for as little as ~$4 per month. And you can even find fairly reliable free WordPress hosting if you’re on a shoestring budget.
On top of that, you’ll have to purchase your own domain name. Again, the exact cost ranges, but setting aside ~$10-15 per year should do it.
Next, let’s talk about the look and feel of your website.
You might want to install some WordPress plugins as well. Some are free, others might cost anywhere from $1 one time to hundreds per month, depending on your needs.
Bottom line? How much you spend on your WordPress really depends on the functions that you need and how fussy you are about your theme.
You can create a website on WordPress for <$50, but there are folks who spend $200 and up on building their WordPress sites as well.
With Weebly, on the other hand, your costs are more fixed at $96 to $300 per year. But if you want functionality from the Weebly App Store, you might need to tack on some extra fees.
Winner: WordPress can be cheaper. But it won’t be cheaper in 100% of situations.
3. Customer support – Weebly has 24/7 support
Next, let’s look at Weebly vs WordPress in terms of customer support.
If you have any questions, you’ll probably get them answered fairly quickly.
While WordPress does have a community forum where people can post questions, these posts are moderated by volunteers, not support staff.
These volunteers do what they can to help new users out, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get an answer or solution.
Community forum aside, there’s no way you can reach out to a support rep to ask a question.
One way to get around this is to hire a WordPress coder to help you out, but this will obviously eat into your budget.
4. Customization options – WordPress is more flexible
Now, let’s talk about customization.
The main difference between Weebly vs WordPress is that WordPress is an open-source piece of software, while Weebly isn’t.
Here’s what this means:
While you are able to customize the design of your Weebly website, you might not be able to modify certain features or functions. You can only do what Weebly lets you do.
With WordPress, on the other hand, you have all the freedom in the world to customize your site and how your tools work.
If you’re a coder, the sky’s the limit.
If you’re not a coder, simply search for a plugin that will do the trick. WordPress has a whopping 56,087 free plugins and counting (plus thousands of premium plugins) – chances are that someone’s already created a plugin that serves your needs perfectly.
5. SEO – Both can help you rank
Last but not least, let’s look at Weebly vs WordPress in terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Here’s the thing: 150,000 websites are created each day.
How do you stand out from the crowd and drive more traffic to your site?
Simple… by working on your SEO!
When it comes to on-page SEO, there’s really no difference whether you’re using WordPress or Weebly.
On Weebly, you can also configure each of these elements and optimize them for search. You just won’t be told exactly what changes to make.
Some people will tell you that WordPress has cleaner code bases and that it’s easier for Google to crawl websites hosted on WordPress, but this isn’t necessarily true.
Google employees have openly said that other website builders also “work fine in search”, and that using an alternate website builder wouldn’t impact your search rankings.
Weebly vs WordPress: Which one should you choose?
Here’s our take…
If you’re not a techie, and you want to get your website up and running with minimal fuss, Weebly is the way to go. Just remember that you’ll be more limited in comparison to WordPress.
If you don’t mind setting aside a few days to learn and you want to have full control over how your website functions, then choose WordPress instead.
So think about what you want to achieve with your website, and use that to make your decision.