Weebly vs WordPress: Which Platform Should You Use to Build Your Website in 2021?

Weebly vs WordPress: Which Platform Should You Use to Build Your Website in 2021?

There are many popular platform options when it comes to making a website, such as Weebly, a hosted website builder, and WordPress, a self-hosted content management system (CMS).

Weebly and WordPress offer different user experiences, so before making your choice, it’s essential to compare them and choose the one that can fit your budget, skill level, and expectations the best.

This article is an in-depth comparison of Weebly and WordPress. To help you make an informed decision, we’ll compare the differences between the two platforms.

We’ll take a look at their ease of use, customization, site management, performance, security, and SEO features, as well as eCommerce and blogging support.

Weebly

Weebly's homepage

Weebly is a website builder, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that provides ready-to-use website building tools.

Weebly is currently the fourth most widely used website builder. In 2018, the company was acquired by the digital payments company Square. This acquisition significantly improved Weebly’s eCommerce functionality, making it an increasingly worthwhile choice for businesses looking to improve their online presence.

Like many website builders, Weebly is designed to simplify the process of building websites.

When you choose a subscription tier, you’ll get hosting, customer support, and an intuitive drag-and-drop builder – which allows you to place elements wherever you see fit and create stylish pages in record time.

If you want to add even more features to your site, you can install free and paid add-ons from the Weebly App Center.

Weebly offers three pricing plans:

  • Personal – starts at $6/month.
  • Professional – starts at $12/month.
  • Performance – starts at $26/month.

WordPress

WordPress homepage

WordPress – not to be confused with its SaaS counterpart, WordPress.com – is a free and open-source software for creating websites.

Even though it initially started as a blogging platform, WordPress can run all kinds of websites, from personal portfolio sites to large online stores. Over 40.9% of all websites are built on WordPress, making it the most popular website building platform.

Even though the software itself is free, WordPress is a self-hosted platform, which means you have to purchase a hosting plan and a domain name before using it. Some hosting providers, including Hostinger, also offer domain registration services.

Other costs may add up depending on the plugins and themes you install on your site. You have a choice to decide how little or much you want to spend.

WordPress is an attractive choice for many due to its flexibility and scalability. Even though it has a steeper learning curve than most website builders at first, you can enjoy more freedom.

For example, if you’re a complete beginner, you can recreate a website builder-like experience by installing a page builder plugin. Those well-versed in web development, on the other hand, can edit their site’s code and make the exact changes they want.

Weebly vs WordPress – An In-Depth Look

In this section, we’ll compare Weebly and WordPress head-to-head through the lens of eight different categories. Then, we’ll offer our verdict for each category.

1. Ease of Use

Creating a website can be a lot of work, especially if it’s your first time. That’s why choosing a website platform that provides a user-friendly experience is vital.

A website builder like Weebly is likely to win over WordPress when it comes to ease of use. That being said, using WordPress is not overly complicated either. Once the installation process is complete, making changes to your site will be pretty simple once you get the hang of it.

For a more thorough understanding, let’s go over the ease of use of each platform.

Weebly

To start building a Weebly site, you have to visit their website and sign up for a Square account. You don’t need to prepare or purchase anything else in advance.

Once you’ve signed up, Weebly will ask what kind of website you would like to create. You can choose whether you want to build a business website or a personal website.

Weebly's options: create a personal or a business website.

Choose Try Weebly Websites if you want to create a blog or a portfolio. However, if you’re planning to sell products or services on your site, choose Try Square Online. In this example, we will show you the general process of building a personal website on Weebly.

Next, you’ll be asked to Select a Theme for your website. Selecting a theme allows you to see a preview of the theme, and you can immediately start editing the look of your website.

Weebly's theme preview.

Before you can start editing your site, you’ll be asked to Select your domain name. Either purchase a new one from Weebly or connect to a domain you already secured from another domain registration service.

Choose a domain name on Weebly.

On the Weebly site builder, you can adjust the theme’s existing elements by clicking and changing them. Feel free to drag and drop an element to change its location or add new elements by choosing the wanted type from the left sidebar.

Weebly's customization options.

All your website settings are neatly included in the Weebly site editor, where they’re easy to find and adjust. The menu on top allows you to add and edit Pages, switch to another Theme, add Apps, change various Settings, contact Support, and preview the website on desktop or mobile.

WordPress

Before building a WordPress site, you have to purchase a web hosting plan and a domain name. Once you’ve secured both, you can install WordPress from your hosting account’s control panel.

Most hosting companies offer auto-installers which makes installing WordPress fast and straightforward. For example, if you use Hostinger, all you have to do is open hPanel and go to Website -> Auto Installer -> WordPress.

WordPress auto installer on hPanel.

You’ll be asked to fill in the required fields and click Install.

Once the WordPress installation is complete, you’ll be able to start setting up and customizing your new website from the WordPress dashboard or admin area. You can access it by entering www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin.

WordPress dashboard.
/

You’ll see various menu options for adding Posts, Media files, and Pages on the left sidebar. You’ll be able to pick a theme and edit the Appearance of your site and extend the functionality of your site with Plugins. You can also adjust other Settings regarding your site.

WordPress allows you to make changes to your website’s code – which you can access by connecting via FTP or accessing the File Manager on your hosting account. Some situations may require you to be comfortable with editing your site’s code. In general, however, getting technical is just an option.

Unlike Weebly, WordPress doesn’t have a native drag-and-drop editor. However, there is the option of installing third-party page builder plugins like Elementor, Beaver Builder, and WPBakery Page Builder that can offer a similar experience.

Verdict

WordPress is not overly complex, but it does have a learning curve. In comparison, Weebly is designed to be beginner-friendly. So when it comes to ease of use with Weebly vs. WordPress, the winner is Weebly.

2. Customization

To build a website that truly fits your vision – both aesthetically and functionally – ensure that the platform you choose provides the customization options needed.

Let’s compare the experience of customizing your site on Weebly vs. WordPress.

Weebly

With Weebly, you can customize your web design by choosing a theme and tweaking that theme further using the drag-and-drop editor. If you have some HTML and CSS skills, you can access the Weebly code editor to make changes.

Weebly has 40+ free themes to choose from in their library. This is quite limited compared to what’s offered by some other builders.

Weebly's theme library.

Fortunately, you have the option to opt for a third-party theme. You can purchase a premium Weebly theme from companies like Luminous Themes, Webfire Themes, and Baamboo Studio.

When it comes to extending your Weebly site’s functionality, you can do so by installing add-ons from the Weebly App Center.

Weebly's App Center.

There are 600+ apps available, both free and paid. The apps are designed for many purposes, including adding features like live chat, email marketing, and social buttons to your Weebly site.

WordPress

WordPress, being an open-source platform, has vast customization options. Its massive community of users and developers actively create themes and plugins, making your options seem endless.

There are 8,200+ free themes in WordPress’s library. You can install and activate them from your WordPress dashboard.

Theme library available on the WordPress dashboard.

Additionally, thousands of premium and free themes are available from third-party sources and marketplaces like ThemeForest, TemplateMonster, and MOJO Marketplace. Premium themes usually offer extra perks like better performance, customer support, and the inclusion of free premium plugins.

Plugins extend the functionality of a WordPress site. There are 58,000+ plugins available in the WordPress library – encompassing any website feature you could think of. You can also purchase third-party plugins from sources like CodeCanyon.

Verdict

When it comes to customization, WordPress easily comes out on top. Although Weebly has its share of apps that you can add to your page, there’s no competition compared to the sheer amount of customization options WordPress has.

3. Site Management

Site management refers to all the day-to-day tasks involved in running a website. For example, you may need to update your site’s platform, make changes to your pages, back up your website, and more. Let’s take a look at what Weebly vs. WordPress has to offer.

Weebly

A significant advantage of building a site on Weebly is that the platform handles nearly all maintenance tasks. You don’t need to update the software regularly or scan your website for security vulnerabilities – Weebly takes care of this for you.

However, you have the option of changing various Settings of your website from the site editor.

Weebly's general settings.

You can adjust many configurations from this menu, including ones regarding your site’s SSL, navigation menu, 301 redirects, apps, and blog.

WordPress

With WordPress, you can customize almost every aspect of the site management experience.

Your website’s main options are located in the Settings tab, which you can access from your dashboard. Here, you can adjust a wide array of site settings, including altering your pages and posts’ permalinks and enabling or disabling comments.

WordPress general settings

You can also use Tools to perform essential tasks on your site. You can check your Site Health as well as Import or Export posts and comments from another platform.

WordPress' site health status

However, unlike Weebly, many maintenance tasks on WordPress such as software updates, security scans, and backups aren’t automatic by default. In several cases, you’ll need to install plugins to perform them.

Verdict

Overall, site management is technically more straightforward with Weebly, but that’s due to a lack of options. WordPress, on the other hand, enables you to do almost anything you want. In the Weebly vs. WordPress site management battle, WordPress is the winner.

4. Performance

The platform you choose to build your website needs to be reliable from a performance standpoint. A website that performs well enables your website’s pages to load quickly, providing a smooth experience for your end-users.

In practice, there are a lot of factors that can slow down a website. Possible reasons include low-quality code, poor hosting performance, hotlinking, or too many apps or plugins. It’s essential to pick a platform that can prevent and combat these bottlenecks.

Weebly

With Weebly, you don’t need to worry too much about optimizing your website since it handles the issue for you. Weebly site speeds tend to be pretty quick across the board, but the lack of settings can be disappointing.

WordPress

WordPress, on the other hand, is a self-hosted platform. This means you’ll need to choose a web host with a solid reputation when it comes to performance and pick a hosting plan that suits your needs.

This is especially important if you plan to store large files or do resource-intensive tasks on your site. For example, an eCommerce site needs a hosting plan with more resources, while a simple portfolio site can make do with an entry-level plan.

With WordPress, you have more freedom to administer many manual tweaks to improve your site’s performance even further. For example, you can automate image optimization, leverage browser caching, and integrate a content delivery network (CDN).

Verdict

Overall, you can squeeze a lot more performance out of WordPress, although it takes more work than Weebly. Even so, having the option to optimize website performance as much as possible is a significant plus. This round of WordPress vs. Weebly goes to WordPress.

5. Security

Many websites are vulnerable to online attacks, even if their owners are not aware of them. Many factors can render your site vulnerable to these attacks, including using login information that’s easy to crack, running outdated software, or having a vulnerability in one of your website’s extensions.

Whatever the case might be, ensuring that your website is as secure as possible is essential since a successful breach can put you and your visitors at risk.

Weebly

Weebly is a hosted platform, which means your site’s security is taken care of by the company. There are not many changes you can do yourself when it comes to security settings.

One of the few security-related settings you can change from the Settings menu is enabling or disabling your SSL. However, it’s recommended that SSL would be enabled at all times.

Weebly's SSL options.

It’s important to note that Weebly has had some major security breaches in the past. However, that’s also the case with WordPress and other widely popular platforms.

WordPress

WordPress’s popularity makes it one of the most common targets for attackers that continuously look for vulnerabilities in the platform. The good news is that the WordPress core software is very secure, and its security updates are installed automatically by default.

The culprits of most attacks on WordPress sites are out-of-date themes and plugins. To prevent this, choose themes and plugins that receive regular updates and have solid overall ratings. You can also enable auto-updates for your themes and plugins from the WordPress dashboard.

WordPress plugins auto-updates.

Additionally, making sure the hosting you use is secure is very important. Since the choice of web host is yours, pick a hosting provider that offers additional security measures such as a firewall and automatic regular backups.

Finally, there are many security plugins to choose from to secure your site further. Some plugins, such as iThemes Security, Wordfence Security, and Jetpack offer all-in-one security solutions for your site.

Verdict

With Weebly, the company takes care of security maintenance for you. On the other hand, WordPress requires its users to be more hands-on while offering more options, which some people might prefer. For this round of Weebly vs. WordPress, we declare a tie.

6. SEO

The next step after building your site is to make sure that your target audience can find you. There are many ways to market your site – SEO is one of the most effective ways to market your site organically.

Having a well-optimized site can increase your ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) – and, in extension – bring more traffic to your site. That’s why choosing a platform with robust SEO-related tools is essential.

Weebly

Weebly has basic built-in SEO tools, but they’re pretty limited. You can configure page titles and descriptions, page permalinks, alt text for images, Google Analytics compatibility, and 301 redirects.

Weebly's SEO settings

You can get additional SEO tools by installing apps from the Weebly App Center. Unfortunately, many of them are premium apps, and only a few have decent ratings.

WordPress

WordPress offers vast options of built-in and third-party SEO tools. Besides having all the basic configurations like custom URLs, alt text, and meta descriptions, you’re free to access the site code and apply any changes you need to optimize your site.

The wide range of available SEO plugins makes WordPress an excellent platform for applying the best SEO practices. For example, Yoast SEO is the most popular freemium SEO plugin. It’s packed with such features as canonical URLs, meta tags, advanced sitemaps, and Schema integration.

Yoast SEO plugin.

Yoast also has an on-page SEO analysis feature to help you optimize your content as you’re writing it. It gives suggestions on which key phrases to focus on, its overall readability, and scores your content accordingly. This feature can help beginners learn and practice the basics of SEO writing.

WordPress's SEO analysis.

Verdict

WordPress comes out on top in this Weebly vs. WordPress category based on the sheer amount of SEO tools available.

7. eCommerce

If you’re planning to sell products or services on your website, you’re going to need a good lineup of eCommerce features on your platform of choice. These features usually include a shopping cart, payment gateways, shipping options, an automatic tax calculator, and inventory management.

The last thing you want is website issues getting in the way of you and your customers. That’s why choosing the right eCommerce platform should be your priority.

Weebly

Following the acquisition by the digital payments company Square in 2018, Weebly has significantly shifted its focus to eCommerce.

Weebly is easily one of the most generous website builders when it comes to eCommerce. An extensive lineup of eCommerce features is readily available even on Weebly’s most affordable plan, Personal, which starts at $6/month. There is no limit when it comes to how many products you can offer to your customers.

If you live in the United States, you can even use the basic eCommerce features for free as long as you use Square as your payment gateway.

Plans offered by Weebly.

Keep in mind that if you want to enable purchases through PayPal and abandoned cart emails, you need to opt for the most expensive plan, Performance, which starts at $26/month.

WordPress

To add eCommerce features on a WordPress site, you’ll have to install an eCommerce plugin first. There are several eCommerce plugins to choose from, but WooCommerce is the most popular choice.

WooCommerce homepage

Like core WordPress, WooCommerce is also open-source, customizable, and developer-friendly. You can install the plugin itself for free, and those with coding skills are free to tweak the code and modify WooCommerce as they see fit.

Features like unlimited products, inventory management, shipping options, product sorting and filtering, payment processing, and tax are available upon installation.

If you want more features on your online store, there are 520+ WooCommerce extensions that you can install. There are also thousands of premium WooCommerce themes from various sources to help you achieve the look you want for your online store.

A WooCommerce website’s costs will add up if you choose to install premium themes and various extensions. Depending on the scale of your store, you have the option to decide how much you’d like to spend.

Verdict

When it comes to eCommerce, Weebly and WordPress are both strong options. Weebly offers many features at a low price, while WordPress with WooCommerce provides more flexibility and scalability. This one is a tie.

8. Blogging

No matter what kind of website you want to build, it will usually benefit from a dependable blogging feature. Posting regular and relevant content can help drive traffic to your website. If you own a business, content marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase conversions.

Weebly's blogging options

Weebly

Weebly has a built-in blogging feature that’s easy to use and covers all the basic features. Here are some blog-related features you’ll find on Weebly:

  • Drag-and-drop interface. This feature makes adding and customizing blog post content more intuitive.
  • Categories, tags, and sidebar customization. You can customize the categories and tags under which your posts will be filed. You can also change the content of the sidebar.
  • Comments management. You can moderate your comments section and integrate it with Disqus or Facebook.
  • Blog SEO. Adjust the custom URLs, title tags, and meta descriptions for each post.
  • Posts scheduling and sharing. Control when posts will be published and where they’ll be shared on your social media channels.

WordPress

WordPress was initially designed for blogging, so its blogging features have been improved and polished over time. In addition to basic features that will satisfy casual bloggers, advanced features and extensions are WordPress’s main strengths.

All of the blogging features you find on Weebly are available on WordPress as well. However, with WordPress, you get to exercise more control over your blog. The extensive comments settings found on the WordPress dashboard -> Settings -> Discussion is a good example.

WordPress discussion settings

There are also tons of WordPress plugins that address blog-related needs if you can’t find the exact setting built-in to WordPress.

Verdict

WordPress wins this category because its blogging feature is easy to use and packs more features than Weebly.

Weebly Advantages

Weebly is an easy-to-use website builder with a big focus on eCommerce. When it comes to Weebly vs. WordPress, there are several reasons someone might choose to use the former to build their site, such as:

  • Weebly is a website builder that offers an extensive lineup of eCommerce features.
  • Access to a built-in intuitive drag-and-drop site builder.
  • You don’t have to worry about maintenance tasks like securing your website and optimizing its performance.
  • Weebly has a support team that’s available 24/7. You can contact them via live chat, ticket, or phone support. There’s also a comprehensive knowledge base for self-troubleshooting.

The main downside of Weebly is that its theme and app selections aren’t broad enough. As a result, it can be challenging to build a truly unique site.

If customization isn’t your priority, and you like a hands-off experience where you don’t need to worry about security or performance, Weebly can be an excellent fit.

Fortunately, Weebly has a Free plan, so we recommend trying it before committing.

WordPress Advantages

The main advantage of WordPress is its outstanding customizability, which can be used to build websites of any type or scale:

  • The WordPress editor is simple and customizable.
  • You get access to thousands of free and premium plugins and themes.
  • The WordPress community forum is incredibly active, and you can always find help if you run into a problem. You can also find WordPress tutorials all over the internet.
  • It’s coder-friendly, so you can use it to build a truly unique custom website.

Compared to Weebly, WordPress’s main weakness is that it isn’t as easy to get started with. To unlock its full potential, you will need to invest some time into learning WordPress.

Conclusion

Choosing the right website platform and knowing what to expect with your choice is essential. When it comes to Weebly vs. WordPress, both platforms have their strengths. Weebly is easier to use, but WordPress offers outstanding flexibility.

Because of the sheer options WordPress offers compared to Weebly, WordPress comes out on top in our comparison. However, the bottom line here is that you should choose the platform that fits your specific needs best.

We hope that this article has helped you make an informed decision. If you have any more questions regarding Weebly or WordPress, feel free to leave us a comment below.

Author
The author

Will Morris

Will Morris is a staff writer at WordCandy. When he's not writing about WordPress, he likes to gig his stand-up comedy routine on the local circuit.