Weebly vs WordPress: 2 Site Building Philosophies Compared
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Weebly vs WordPress: 2 Site Building Philosophies Compared

Picking your site’s platform is no small decision. It can impact almost every site decision you’ll make in the future. Weebly vs WordPress is a standard comparison, as they both have many site building features.

Even so, they each have a unique outlook on building a site. Your question is: Does one have everything you need to create and manage your site?

To answer this, we’ll compare Weebly vs WordPress in a few different areas. First, let’s give you some background information on each platform.

Introducing Weebly and WordPress

First, Weebly is a ‘website builder’. In other words, it’s a hosted platform that offers almost all the functionality you need to create a site.

The Weebly home page.
 

The goal is to give you no reason to look for third-party tools and services. This means Weebly becomes your site’s hub for almost everything.

In contrast, WordPress is a self-hosted, open-source platform for building your site.

The WordPress logo.

It began as a blogging platform, but it has now evolved into a full-fledged Content Management System (CMS).

The idea with WordPress is to give you a set of core features and functionality. From there, you choose what to add almost modularly.

We’ll learn how to extend both platforms later. First, let’s look at what Weebly and WordPress offer by default.

What Each Platform Offers Out of the Box

Weebly and WordPress both tackle creating a site differently. On a broad level, Weebly has more in the box than WordPress. For example, there are tools for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), creating contact forms, and more.

A contact form in Weebly.
 

Although it targets e-commerce users, Weebly offers meager features at lower tiers. We’ll discuss this further later.

In contrast, WordPress doesn’t have any of these things. If you fire up a fresh install, you can create posts and pages, manage users and comments, and little else.

The WordPress Dashboard.
 

If you look at all the inclusions for each Weebly plan, WordPress can’t do any of this by default. There’s a good reason for this; we’ll look at it next.

Extending the Platforms’ Core Functionality

WordPress’ pared-back nature is by design. The idea is to give you complete control as the site owner. As such, you can choose what tools you use to create your site through themes and plugins.

The WordPress Theme Directory.
 

It offers thousands of themes in an official directory. Each one gets vetted by a team of volunteers, so the security and stability of your site isn’t affected.

The same rules apply to plugins. You’ll find thousands in the WordPress Plugin Directory. You should be able to find a plugin to cover any site feature, such as security, contact forms, SEO, and more.

The WordPress Plugin Directory.
 

WordPress also has a rich premium ecosystem. These solutions give you more significant support and regular updates.

Because Weebly is an all-in-one tool, there’s a natural ceiling for what you can achieve. Yes, there are site templates to help get your site looking right, but you’re restricted in variety:

 
The Weebly Template Library.
 

Also, a dedicated ‘App Center‘ looks to give you ways to extend your site. Like WordPress, there are both free and premium solutions:

 

The Weebly App Center.
 

Even so, lots of the available apps cover elements that a WordPress theme will provide:

Apps within Weebly's App Center.
 

WordPress has much more potential for creating your ideal site. Conversely, Weebly has an excellent all-around package, but there’s nowhere else to go with the platform. Everything you can achieve is evident almost straight away.

Of course, none of this matters if you’re priced out of a solution. Let’s compare Weebly vs WordPress on this next.

Pricing: The Great Leveler

The cost of a platform is essential, but here it’s complex. This is again due to the goals of both platforms.

There are five tiers, starting with Weebly. The difference between the free tier and the Connect plan is the ability to use a custom domain. This costs around $70 per year yet still includes ads Weebly serves on your site.

The Pro account is over double the price of the Connect tier. To do this, you can remove ads and get shopping cart functionality.

It’s not until the Business and Business Plus plans that Weebly becomes competitive. These tiers will be tempting for e-commerce sites. In a bubble, $300–360 per year for an e-commerce site is a good deal.

In WordPress’s case, the core platform is free forever due to its open-source base. We’ve mentioned that themes and plugins could be free, but a premium theme (around $99 per year) is the way to go. Also, some plugins may warrant an annual subscription, too.

With WordPress, you will need hosting and a domain name, which cost money. The good news is that your budget won’t prohibit you. You could piece a site together for free without question. Though, here’s a real-world list of what you’ll need (sans WordPress):

  • Hosting: We’d recommend staying away from free hosts. Spending around $120 is a good starting point.
  • Domain name: Depending on your chosen top-level domain (TLD), this could be $10–20 per year.
  • Theme: A premium theme is around $50–100. This could be a one-off payment or a subscription.
  • Plugins: You’ll likely find free solutions that do everything you need. Still, premium plugins are often priced similarly to themes. Expect to pay around $30–100 per year for some subscriptions.

You may have other costs, too, such as email marketing. In short, WordPress will cost more in the short term. Even so, you’re paying for control, flexibility, and scalability. With this comes peace of mind, worth its weight in gold.

Wrapping Up

Paying attention to your choice of site platform is a sound strategy. It will influence all your future decisions and determine how your site can scale. Given this, researching your available options will pay dividends.

In this post, we’ve compared Weebly and WordPress. In our opinion, WordPress is the better platform on almost all counts. Weebly has more in its default package, though you’re almost at the ceiling of what it can achieve. WordPress has more potential and can power enterprise-level sites.

Are you considering Weebly vs WordPress, and if so, has this head-to-head helped? Let us know in the comments section below!

Author Bio:

Tom Rankin is a quality content writer for WordPress, tech, and small businesses. When not putting his fingers to the keyboard, he can take photographs, write music, play computer games, and talk in the third person.

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