Weebly Vs WordPress: 5 Key Differences In The Platforms

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It’s time to build a new website, and you’re not yet sold on using Weebly vs WordPress to get the job done.

Both Weebly and WordPress are heavyweights in the world of website building. And each option has its own unique selling points. For example, right now, WordPress is powering over 40% of the entire internet. This accounts for about 455 million websites.

And there are many reasons why WordPress is so widely used.

However, Weebly isn’t exactly an unknown startup. After being acquired by Square in 2018, there are over 50 million Weebly-built sites running throughout the world.

The question is: Which of these two platforms will give your new project the best opportunity for success?

Before we go into further detail, it’s first important to know that WordPress and Weebly are very different from one another. WordPress is open-source software, while Weebly is a website builder.

If you’re not clear on the differences yet, you will be by the end of this guide.

In this guide

    What Is Weebly?

    Weebly is a simple drag-and-drop site builder that takes the technical guesswork out of building a website. 

    Whether you’re creating a simple online store or a portfolio site, everything you’ll need comes built into Weebly, from hosting to security features. In other words, they have determined what you will need.

    Weebly vs WordPress

    What Is WordPress?

    WordPress, on the other hand, allows you to be in control of every aspect of your website. You have the ultimate flexibility and freedom to build anything your imagination allows for.

    But it is a bit more technical than Weebly.

    Some of the technical aspects you’ll need to focus on are:

    • Finding the best host
    • Running required site updates
    • Website security

    While there is more technical know-how needed to build and run a WordPress site, rest assured that the learning curve isn’t all that steep.

    With the addition of Kadence Theme and Blocks and other tools, you will find that WordPress is not only more powerful but just as simple to use.

    Get the bonus content: Getting Started with WordPress

    Which One Is the Best?

    Weebly and WordPress are entirely different website-building platforms. Because of this, the answer of, “Which one is the best?” will depend on the specifics of your project.

    But we promise not to leave you on the fence by telling you that either solution will be fine for your project. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the key differences between Weebly vs WordPress. And at the end, you’ll know exactly which option to choose to start building your new site.

    Weebly vs WordPress: Which Is Easier To Use?

    Both Weebly and WordPress are user-friendly platforms that, put together, power over a half-billion websites throughout the world. However, they do vary a lot in how they’re used.

    Starting Out

    Weebly is very straightforward when you first get started. All you need to do is sign up (you can do so for free when you choose the basic plan), choose the theme you want to use, then tailor the theme to your needs until you’re ready to publish your site.

    In fact, you don’t need to enter any payment details at this stage, which means you can get started in mere minutes.

    Getting started with WordPress is a bit more complicated, though quite straightforward as well.

    While the open-source WordPress core software is completely free to download and use, if you want to publish your website, you’ll need to purchase a domain and web hosting. In addition, you’ll need to install a free or premium theme for your site to run on, as well as additional plugins to tailor your site to suit your needs.

    Building Your Site

    Once your account is set up, it’s time to start building your site. Weebly isn’t as simple to use as some other basic website builders, such as Wix. But the process is more basic and simplified than WordPress.

    Of course, Weebly also isn’t nearly as powerful as the WordPress platform, but it is a bit more manageable for novices.

    Weebly features a clean, simple editing interface. With it, you can customize the template you’ve chosen (within certain predetermined limits). The platform will give you pointers and tips within your chosen theme. In fact, the sample text in each theme will explain to you how to move and edit text, making it really simple to begin the site-building process.

    If you’re a beginner in the website building world, should you ignore WordPress and go the route of Weebly?

    Absolutely not.

    WordPress is easy to learn for almost anyone who is computer literate. However, you should be prepared for a steeper learning curve and a longer site-building process.

    But the rewards will be worth it.

    Even though it’s a bit more complex than Weebly, WordPress has still made its editor very user-friendly, without sacrificing the power that users have come to know. While it has an extremely clear and uncluttered interface, the software doesn’t walk you through the steps of building a site.

    With WordPress, you’re building the exact site you envision, not following guidance from a pre-filled template like you are with Weebly.

    With that said, overall ease-of-use between Weebly vs WordPress goes to Weebly. It only takes a few minutes to get started, and it utilizes a simplistic drag-and-drop editor. It even walks you through the process of building your site.

    With WordPress, you’ll need to secure hosting and build out your site without the hand-holding.

    Design and Customization

    When you build a website, you want it to be unique. You don’t want it to look exactly like your competition’s.

    This is especially true if your website is business or brand-based.

    Is WordPress or Weebly better for creating a site that will stand out from the crowd?

    Weebly vs WordPress: Theme Availability 

    Weebly has a modest collection of simplistic themes that are split up into six different categories:

    • Portfolio
    • Business
    • Online store
    • Personal
    • Events
    • Blog

    Each category contains between six and 15 themes. The truth is, none of the Weebly themes are going to knock your socks off. But they are stylish and clean.

    Weebly allows you to easily switch between themes whenever you want, which makes a site redesign quite effortless.

    Every Weebly theme is mobile responsive.

    In comparison, WordPress has more than 8,700 free themes available for download in the WordPress Theme Directory. There, you’ll be able to search for themes by:

    • Your desired layout
    • Your needed features
    • Subject (such as portfolio, blog, wedding, holiday, ecommerce, etc.)

    In addition, there are hundreds (if not thousands) more premium themes you can download from third-party sites such as ThemeIsle, Themeforest, and iThemes.

    One of the most revolutionary new themes that you can start using right now, for free, is Kadence Theme. This theme works on the WordPress block editor. It gives you total freedom in designing your site, and really makes website design on WordPress fun.

    Site Customization

    After your theme is chosen, it’s time to customize it. And that’s the fun part.

    Weebly makes it very simple to change text, add elements, and change images. But you’re also very limited by what each of their themes will allow you to do.

    WordPress gives you complete customization abilities on your site. Although you still need to choose a theme, you can build each post and page in the exact structure you envision, giving you a lot more freedom than Weebly users could dream of.

    If you’re looking for complete creative control over your project, and don’t know how to code, it’s hard to beat the capabilities of WordPress.

    Just remember that the elements and features you can add to your site will depend on the theme you’re using and the plugins you install. 

    More on that in a bit.

    When it comes to site customization abilities, WordPress is the undisputed change. Although it’s a bit more challenging to customize WordPress vs Weebly, it’s worth the added effort for a completely unique site.

    Features and Tools

    Of course, a well-designed site is incredibly important. But your site also needs a good amount of power underneath to hold its weight in the online world.

    Blogging

    With Weebly, you’ll get a solid range of tools for blogging that help you get a blog launched within a few minutes. A few of the blogging features you’ll get are:

    • Advanced scheduling and sharing features
    • Comment management
    • Social media sharing

    While Weebly is an acceptable solution for blogging, you really can’t beat WordPress when it comes to blogging features.

    WordPress began in 2003 as the complete platform for blogging. And it continues to hold that distinction, even as it has grown to cater to every different kind of site you can imagine.

    The WordPress range of SEO capabilities, plugins, and customization combine perfectly to form the ultimate blogging platform. If your site includes a blog, WordPress is always your best solution.

    Social Media Integration 

    Weebly allows users to include links and social icons on their sites, which will link to the website owner’s different social media accounts.

    You can choose from 13 different social media network links to include on your site. Of course, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are on the list.

    On WordPress, you’ll notice that there are countless social media plugins in the Plugin Directory. You’ll need to spend a little time finding the ones you want to use.

    Marketing

    With Weebly, marketing is simple. The platform allows you to create and send emails to your contact lists with only a few clicks.

    Weebly even has an in-house email marketing system called Weebly Promote. It integrates with your website, allowing you to:

    • Choose an email template
    • Manage contacts
    • Track campaign results

    And you can do it all in one location.

    WordPress won’t give you any marketing tools in its core software. But you can easily use any of the hundreds of marketing-related plugins for free.

    One of the best free marketing plugins on WordPress is Jetpack.

    When it comes to features and tools, you’ll find that Weebly’s are very basic compared to the millions of different site configuration options you can build when you start diving into the world of WordPress plugins.

    Ecommerce Capabilities

    If your goal is to build an ecommerce store, the platform you choose will need powerful ecommerce capabilities.

    Both Weebly vs WordPress have ecommerce options, but they work very differently.

    Ecommerce on Weebly

    Weebly’s integration with Square Online allows you to build your online store and sell using their free plan. In the free plan, you’ll be able to sell as many products as you like, and it comes with tools such as in-store pickup and an automatic tax calculator.

    The catch is that if you want to use your own unique domain name and remove advertising from your store, you’ll have to upgrade to, at minimum, their Professional Plan at $12 per month.

    Weebly is a solid choice for creating your online store. It has all the basic ecommerce functions, like inventory management and shipping tools, built right in and ready to use.

    Keep in mind that, while Weebly has been stepping up its ecommerce game substantially since being acquired by Square, they’re not yet to the level of ecommerce options such as Shopify and WordPress.

    Ecommerce on WordPress 

    While the Weebly ecommerce features are built right into the platform, on WordPress, you’ll have to install a plugin for ecommerce.

    And for this, the answer is WooCommerce, which is the most-used ecommerce platform online, with more than 70 million current downloads.

    Once the plugin is installed and activated, you’ll be able to begin adding all of your products and building your online store. 

    With WooCommerce, you’ll be able to easily:

    • Choose the desired currency
    • Show reviews and product ratings
    • Set shipping options

    The biggest advantage of the WooCommerce platform on WordPress is the amount of flexibility it boasts. You’ll have a lot more control over your online store than you’ll get with Weebly.

    Plugins and Apps

    Plugins and apps will give your site additional functionality, allowing you to expand it beyond what came with your theme.

    In the Weebly App Center, you’ll find hundreds of different apps. They range from things like live chat features to FAQ sections. Employing apps is the perfect way to scale up your website as it gets bigger while providing visitors with helpful and needed functions.

    Weebly provides a good number of free apps, along with many premium (paid) ones as well. Most premium apps will allow you to try them out for free before deciding on a purchase.

    If you’re not able to find the specific app you need, you can suggest new app ideas in the Weebly Community. Or, if you’re a coder, you can even build your own app in the Weebly Developer Center.

    With WordPress, you’ll have immediate access to over 58,000 plugins within the WordPress Plugin Directory. This blows away the few hundred that Weebly offers.

    And just like with themes, the collection of WordPress plugins is built by a wide range of developers. In other words, expect some plugins to work better than others.

    Always make sure you choose plugins that are up-to-date for your site, or you may end up with a breach in your site that hackers could take advantage of.

    Installing a plugin on WordPress is a bit more involved than installing an app on Weebly. But once you do it the first time, you’ll see how simple it really is.

    When it comes to plugins and apps, WordPress is the clear-cut victor in the comparison of Weebly vs WordPress.

    Sure, the sheer numbers alone are a good reason to give WordPress the nod. However, it goes beyond the numbers. The WordPress plugins are really what has made the platform the powerhouse it is today. And there really isn’t a close competitor.

    When you first launch your WordPress site, the first two plugins you’ll need are a WordPress security plugin and a WordPress backup plugin.

    For security, your best choice is iThemes Security Pro. This powerful plugin was built by some of the top WordPress security experts in the world and has been in use since 2014. It’s the best possible way to lock down your WordPress site from malicious hacks and attacks.

    The best backup plugin to look at is BackupBuddy. This plugin has been protecting over 1 million WordPress sites since 2010 and will have you covered if your site even goes down for any reason.

    Basically, within a few clicks, you’ll be able to restore a working version of your site immediately, even if it’s been severely corrupted. 

    Weebly vs WordPress: Which One Should You Use?

    To wrap things up, you should use WordPress for building your new website if:

    • You’re looking to build a complex site
    • You want total control over the site
    • You want the most powerful site you can get without any coding knowledge
    • You plan on blogging
    • You’re looking for the best ecommerce capabilities

    However, it’s best to choose Weebly if:

    • You need to get a simple site up and published very quickly
    • You’re a beginner that doesn’t want to spend much time learning website building
    • You plan on launching a small online store

    The bottom line is that there is nothing Weebly can do that WordPress can’t do better. Yes, WordPress may take a little more time, effort, and learning. But the end result of a well-built WordPress site can far exceed the capabilities of Weebly.

    Build Your WordPress Site

    Get your free eBook: Getting Started with WordPress.

    This beginner’s guide offers an introduction to WordPress, step-by-step instructions for getting familiar with the WordPress Dashboard, how to create your first post or page, and optimize your site for search engines—all with helpful links to video tutorials.

    Get the bonus content: Getting Started with WordPress
    Weebly vs Wordpress

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