Weebly vs WordPress – Who Wins in 2019?

Weebly vs WordPress – Who Wins in 2019?

Which Way To Go? Check Out Our Weebly vs WordPress Comparison Review

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. We will give an overview of both platforms and then get into side-by-side comparisons for each platform.

It is important to understand that there are 2 versions of WordPress, but in this comparison review we will be looking at the most popular which is the Self-Hosted version.

Don’t worry! For clarity we will explain the difference between the two WordPress versions in our overview section.

Heavyweights by name, Heavyweights by nature!

When you look at the website building world you will quickly understand that both Weebly vs WordPress are in the heavyweight division.

Round 1 – Claim to fame:

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.

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).

 

Round 2 – What’s the main difference between the 2 platforms?

You will see the side-by-side comparisons as our Weebly vs WordPress review continues but just to make clear the major difference between the 2 platforms:

  • Weebly - A fully hosted website builder.
  • WordPress – An open-source platform where you ‘self-host’.

Round 3 – Understanding the differences between each platform:

Here’s a brief overview of each platform before we launch into those Weebly vs WordPress side-by-side comparisons.

Weebly:

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.

WordPress:

As mentioned, the WordPress ‘self-hosted’ 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 difference between WordPress self-hosted and WordPress hosted services:

The 2 variations of WordPress offer different 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 is as we have explained above. 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.

While we are concentrating on these 2 heavyweights, you may also wish to compare similar platforms.

Round 4 - Side-by-Side comparisons of Weebly versus WordPress:

Without further ado, let’s get into the side by side comparisons in crucial areas. By understanding these differences, it should help you decide whether the Weebly or WordPress platform is for you.

 

WeeblyWordPress
Ease Of Use: 
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!

 

Verdict: In the Weebly vs WordPress “Ease of Use” category we have to call Weebly the winner in this section.

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.

Templates & Flexibility: 
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.

 

Verdict: In our view, this is a close call. That may be a surprise to many, but we have taken quality against quality & quantity majorly into account. Due to these reasons we deem this Weebly versus WordPress section a Draw.

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.

 

Mobile Responsiveness: 
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.

 

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!)

 

Verdict: In the Weebly vs WordPress “mobile responsiveness” comparison, both are good, but due to sheer numbers of fully AMP responsive templates we give this one to WordPress.

Features & Tools: 
Where do we start in the Weebly or WordPress Features & Tools 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.

 

In the Webly versus Squarespace ‘Features & Tools’ category – We have to place WordPress as the winner.

 

This is simply due to the sheer number of plugins available.

 

Apps Availability: 
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.

 

Verdict: In the Weebly versus WordPress Apps availability category you will find sufficient Weebly apps for any online presence.

 

While WordPress certainly offers a bigger choice, Weebly is not short in this department. We deem this a draw.

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.

SEO Features: 
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.

 

Verdict: Because of the reliability of Weebly SEO compared to the correct choice of WordPress hosting provider (we are assuming you have chosen one of the best hosting providers!) we place this Weebly versus WordPress ‘SEO Features’ category as a draw.

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.

Back Up & Restore: 
Weebly or WordPress in the Back Up & Restore space?

 

Because Weebly is a managed 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.

 

Verdict: Another tough call in the Weebly vs WordPress comparison stakes. Both platforms have pluses and potential minuses.

 

However as Back Up & Restore is assured with Weebly we place them as winners in this section.

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.

Help & Support: 
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.

 

Verdict: Due to the ease and speed of resolving potential issues we place Weebly as the winner in this Weebly versus WordPress section.

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!


Round 6 - Pricing:

Weebly or WordPress in the pricing comparison?

The reality is that there are too many variables here and trying to compare like-for-like is not really fair.

Why do we say this?

Because when you are considering Weebly or WordPress you are looking at a hosted service as opposed to a self-hosted service.

In order for you to understand the exact pricing of Weebly with all of their price levels (including their free plan!) please click here.

You should find a Weebly price plan to suit your initial needs and of course, you can upgrade at any time

Then take a look here in order to understand the sort of price you will pay for setting up and running the self-hosted WordPress platform.

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.

Round 7 - Conclusion:

You will see from our verdicts in each section that this really is a close call.

It really is horses for courses. Those with technical nous and ability to learn will appreciate WordPress, 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.

As for WordPress, surely millions of website owners cannot be wrong! Those with 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.

Still not sure?

Try both for free – Weebly offers a free version, you can take it for a trial spin -

WordPress.org is where to go for the free software.

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