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

Weebly vs WordPress

Building a website has never been ‘easy’, but these days the process is a lot more straightforward than it used to be. There are many platforms and tools that enable you to create stylish websites with advanced functionality, even if you don’t know how to code. Two popular options are Weebly and WordPress, and in this article, we’ll help you figure out which one is right for you.

First, we’ll introduce you to both platforms. Then we’ll compare WordPress vs Weebly in several categories, including:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Site management
  3. Performance
  4. Security
  5. Customizability

By the time we’re done, you’ll know exactly which of these two platforms is perfect for your needs, so let’s talk WordPress vs Weebly!

An Introduction to WordPress vs Weebly

Weebly is what’s called a ‘website builder’ in the trenches. That’s tech lingo for a platform that provides you with the tools you need to create websites, without needing to know how to code.

There’s a lot of prejudice surrounding website builders. However, it’s important to note that these types of platforms have improved by leaps and bounds in the past few years. Nowadays, it’s completely viable to build a professional website using a website builder.

As one of the more popular options on the market, Weebly has a lot going on for it. It’s designed to help you build traditional websites and online stores. To that end, it includes an intuitive drag-and-drop builder you can use to create stylish pages in record time:

The Weebly homepage.

Weebly also integrates directly with multiple Google services, and it enables you to handle email marketing right within the platform. All of these features make it a strong contender among website builders, which means it’s a platform worth paying attention to.

Next up, let’s look at WordPress. This is a Content Management System (CMS), which means it’s a fully-featured solution for creating online content (such as websites):

The WordPress website.

In a lot of ways, a CMS is similar to a website builder. However, it tends to offer a lot more options, and be a little complex to get started with. Most importantly, when you use a website builder your site will be hosted on the same platform, while a CMS like WordPress lets you choose any hosting provider you like.

Throughout the next few sections, we’re going to compare WordPress vs Weebly in several categories. By the time we’re done, you’ll have a clear picture of what both platforms are capable of, and which one is the best option for you. Let’s get to it!

Weebly vs WordPress: Ease of Use

Creating a website is always a lot of work, particularly if it’s your first time around. In the past, you needed to have a background in web development if you wanted to create anything more complex than a simple static HTML site. However, these days, CMSs and website builders have made it so that creating a professional website is something almost anyone can do.

That’s not to say the process of setting up a website doesn’t involve any hard work. You’ll still need to learn some best practices and test out your chosen platform’s features until you get everything just right. However, both Weebly and WordPress are fairly beginner-friendly options, which will streamline the process.

Let’s start with Weebly. When you sign up to the platform and start working on a new site, Weebly will ask if you want to add eCommerce functionality to it:

Adding eCommerce functionality to your Weebly website.

For our example, we’re going to stay away from eCommerce, since it can be a bit more advanced to work with.

Next up, you’ll see a collection of themes you can choose from, which will alter the appearance of your website. There are dozens of free themes available, and all of them look pretty modern, so finding the right fit shouldn’t be hard:

Some of the themes Weebly offers.

Once you pick a theme, you’ll be able to jump right into the Weebly editor, which will enable you to make changes to its default settings. You can also drag and drop any of the elements on your page to reorder them:

Using the Weebly editor.

You can even delete elements and add new ones, using the sidebar to the left:

Adding new elements to your Weebly pages.

Likewise, clicking on any element will show you the options you have at hand to customize it:

Editing your page's elements.

Overall, Weebly features one of the easiest-to-use editors we’ve had the pleasure of testing. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it only takes a few minutes to get the hang of it, although you’ll need more time to get acquainted with all the available elements.

Now, let’s get back to WordPress. Once you install the platform on your web host, you’ll get access to the famous WordPress dashboard, which looks like this:

The WordPress editor.

To the left, you’ll see all the options you have for customizing your site and adding content. For example, if you want to set up a new page or post, you can simply visit the respective tab. Then you’ll need to use the WordPress editor, which is pretty straightforward:

Using the WordPress editor.

Unlike Weebly, WordPress doesn’t feature a drag-and-drop editor out of the box. This means that building pages and designing your website with WordPress involves a bit more work. However, you can still get excellent results without too much trouble.

More importantly, plenty of WordPress themes and plugins also enable you to add visual builders to your website. That means you can get an experience that’s close to or even better than Weebly’s if you shop around.

However, the fact remains that Weebly is easier to use out of the box than WordPress. Therefore, round one of WordPress vs Weebly goes to the latter platform.

Weebly vs WordPress: 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.

With Weebly, you can edit some of your site’s options by jumping to the Settings tab at the top of the screen. However, there aren’t a lot of settings to play around with, at least if you’re using the platform’s free plan:

Weebly's Settings tab.

You can change your site’s title, enable Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), upload a new favicon, and modify options related to search engines:

Your Weebly SEO settings.

In addition, you can also add new ‘apps’ or extensions to your website. These enable you to add new functionality to your pages, although the selection is also limited for Weebly’s free users:

Adding new apps to your Weebly website.

Overall, Weebly’s pitch is that if you use its platform, you won’t have to worry about mundane site management tasks. However, the lack of control over some of your site’s settings can be a point against it.

With WordPress, on the other hand, you have no shortage of settings and site management options to play with. Your website’s main options are located in the Settings tab, which you can access from your dashboard.

From there, you can do everything from setting a static homepage to configuring whether you want search engines to index your website. You can even alter the URL structure for your website’s content if you go into the Settings > Permalinks tab:

WordPress settings permalinks

WordPress also enables you to configure the maximum resolution for each new image you upload to your website:

Configuring your WordPress images' max resolution.

All of those settings are only the tip of the iceberg, however. The truth is that with WordPress, you can customize almost every aspect of the site management experience if you want to. For example, if your host doesn’t offer automatic backups, you can add that feature to your website using plugins.

Overall, site management is technically easier with Weebly, but that’s due to a lack of options (at least with its free plan). WordPress, on the other hand, enables you to do pretty much whatever you want. That means round two of WordPress vs Weebly goes to the CMS.

Weebly vs WordPress: Performance

Whichever platform you choose to power your website needs to be solid from a performance standpoint. That means it should enable your website’s pages to load fast, and your dashboard should feel light on its feet.

In practice, there are a lot of things that can affect your website’s performance. For example, WordPress and Weebly are both pretty quick out of the box. However, if you set up a page with 20 MB of images, it’s going to take a few seconds to load, and it will feel slow to your visitors.

Putting that aside, both Weebly and WordPress have their own advantages when it comes to performance. With Weebly, you don’t need to worry too much about optimizing your website, since it will be taken care of for you. Weebly site speeds tend to be pretty quick across the board, but once again, the lack of settings to play with can be a disappointment if you like to get your hands dirty.

WordPress, on the other hand, is a self-hosted platform. This means you’ll need to choose a web host that has a solid reputation when it comes to performance. You can also do a lot of manual tweaks to the platform, to improve your site’s performance even further. For example, you can automate image optimization, leverage browser caching, integrate a Content Delivery Network (CDN) with your site, and more.

Overall, you can squeeze a lot more performance out of WordPress, although it does take a bit more work than it does with Weebly. Even so, we like having the option to optimize our websites’ performance as much as possible, so this round of WordPress vs Weebly goes to WordPress.

Weebly vs WordPress: Security

A lot of websites are vulnerable to online attacks, even if their owners are not aware of it. You may be using login information that’s easy to crack, running outdated software, or have a vulnerability in one of your website’s extensions. Whatever the case might be, ensuring that your website is as secure as possible is important, since a successful breach might put your visitors at risk.

With Weebly, the same issue arises with security as it did with performance. You’re using a hosted platform, so you can’t make that many changes to your website’s security settings. You can do a few things, such as disable SSL for your site (which we don’t recommend):

Disabling SSL for your Weebly website.

Aside from that, you’re pretty much limited to picking secure credentials and letting Weebly take the wheel. It’s important to note that Weebly has had some major security breaches in the past. However, that’s also the case with WordPress, as it is for most popular platforms.

In particular, WordPress’ popularity makes it one of the most common targets for attackers, who are continuously looking for vulnerabilities in the platform. The good news is that WordPress core is pretty secure out of the box. Most attacks on WordPress sites stem from vulnerabilities introduced by plugins and themes. However, you can minimize that risk by choosing plugins that receive regular updates and have solid overall ratings.

Since you get to choose your own web host, you can also opt for a provider that offers additional security measures, such as a firewall, regular backups, and more. Finally, you also get access to a lot of interesting security plugins you can use to batten down the hatches on your website. Some tools, such as Sucuri Security, offer all-in-one solutions for securing your website:

The Sucuri Security plugin.

Others are more specific, though. For example, you can use WP Security Audit Log to track all the security-related events that occur on your website:

The WP Security Audit Log plugin.

Those are just two examples which show that with WordPress, your website can be as secure as you want it to be. That’s why WordPress wins this round of WordPress vs Weebly as well.

Weebly vs WordPress: Customizability

There are a lot of platforms you can use to build specific types of websites. However, these days there are also plenty of options that enable you to build almost any type of website you can imagine.

Weebly, for example, is great when it comes to online stores and traditional websites. The platform’s drag-and-drop editor and a broad range of themes enable you to put together almost any style you want:

A selection of some of Weebly's themes.

Of course, there’s more to a professional website than just looks. In most cases, you’ll also want access to advanced functionality. If you’re not a developer, you’ll need to use apps or plugins to add those options to your website.

With Weebly, you get access to a few dozen free apps you can install on your website. These include options to add social media interactions, tweak search engine-related settings, and more:

Some of Weebly's free apps.

Overall, Weebly’s selection isn’t bad. The problem is that, when you compare it with WordPress’ massive range of plugins and themes, it pales in comparison. Just to give you an idea, at the moment of this writing, you can find almost 60,000 free plugins on WordPress.org:

The WordPress plugin repository.

That doesn’t even include all the premium plugins available on other platforms. With themes, you don’t have as many choices, but you still get thousands of options to choose from.

In practice, this means you can add nearly any feature or style you want to your WordPress website. Some plugins even enable you to completely overhaul the platform’s functionality, such as WooCommerce:

The WooCommerce plugin.

You need to be very picky about the plugins and themes you use, of course. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that WordPress wins hands down when it comes to customizability. That means WordPress is an easy winner in the final round of WordPress vs Weebly.

Weebly Advantages

Website builders sometimes get a bad rap, but Weebly is a powerful platform on its own. When it comes to WordPress vs Weebly, there are several reasons someone might choose to use the latter to build their site, such as:

  • You’re looking for a solution that supports eCommerce.
  • You want access to an intuitive drag-and-drop site builder.
  • You don’t want to worry about tasks like securing your website and optimizing its performance.

In our experience, the main downside of Weebly is that its theme and app selections just aren’t broad enough. The platform boasts over 300 options, which is fine but makes it challenging to build a truly unique site.

That being said, we recommend that you try out Weebly to see if it offers all the functionality you want to add to your website. If you like a hands-off experience where you don’t need to worry about security or performance, this platform might be a great fit for you.

WordPress Advantages

If we had to sum up the main draw of using WordPress, it would be the platform’s off-the-charts customizability. This CMS might have started off as a blogging platform, but nowadays there are plenty of reasons to use it for other types of projects:

  • The WordPress editor is easy to use, even if it’s not a full-fledged site builder.
  • You get access to thousands of free and premium plugins and themes.
  • The WordPress community is incredibly active, and you can always find help if you run into an issue.
  • You can use WordPress to build almost any type of website you want.

When compared to Weebly, WordPress’ main weakness is that it isn’t quite as easy to get started with. If you want to unlock WordPress’ full potential, you’ll have to deal with a bit of a learning curve. However, that’s to be expected for CMS as flexible as this one is.

When it comes to WordPress vs Weebly, our vote lies with the former platform. For most websites, WordPress is a far more useful and powerful option.

Conclusion

Weebly is fairly popular these days since it provides a simple solution for creating websites and online stores in an intuitive fashion. However, WordPress also enables you to tackle both types of projects, and it offers a lot more customizability than Weebly does. That’s why as far as we’re concerned, WordPress wins in the battle of WordPress vs Weebly.

Where do you stand on the WordPress vs Weebly discussion? Share your opinions with us in the comments section below!

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