What’s better? WordPress vs Weebly Review & Comparison for 2017
Recently, a client of mine asked me to compile a list of reasons why I prefer WordPress to Weebly.
Well, I have gazillion reasons behind that…
But I really can’t stress that over 29% of the websites in the world are built with WordPress, including big brand names like Disney’s, Coca-Cola, Adidas…etc!
So if that doesn’t convince you to start using WordPress as your website platform, then I would like you to continue reading the rest of this article and learn my best five reasons I prefer WordPress over Weebly.
Before I start talking about the pros and cons of WordPress and Weebly, let’s get a basic understanding of both of these platforms.
Of course, I’ll start with WordPress, just cuz it’s my favorite.
What is WordPress?
There are actually two kinds of WordPress platforms:
According to their own website, WordPress.org is an open source software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app.
In another word, the type of website, blog or even app you can make is literally limitless!
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, you will be making your website like a rockstar with the 29% of the world that makes websites.
Furthermore, you get limitless features that make you a much better creator:
- Customizable design
- SEO friendly
- Responsive mobile design
- High performance
- Manage on the go
- High security
- Powerful media management
- Easy and accessible
And if you want to expand the function of your website, there are over 45,000 plugins that can add an online store, galleries, mailing lists and much more.
Now we understand what WordPress.org can do for you, let’s take a look at WordPress.com.
According to Wikipedia, WordPress.com is a free blogging platform owned and hosted by Automattic, a web development company that produces many popular WordPress plugins like Akismet, VaultPress, Woocommerce and more.
Unlike WordPress.org, users must register their accounts before start blogging. It’s essentially an account and a subdomain in WordPress.com. This is where you’d see your website address as ABC.wordpress.com, rather than ABC.com.
WordPress.com makes their users create websites and work on their subdomains. What are subdomains you asked? According to domain.me, a subdomain is a third level domain that is based on its root domain (aka second level domain).
So when you register an account from WordPress.com, you are just using their tertiary domain as your website address (ABC.wordpress.com).
You can upgrade your account and get a “real” domain from their website in the back end office. However, you’re essentially just getting the subdomain being redirected to your newly bought domain. The contents you have created still remain in the servers of WordPress.com as their subdomain file.
Yup, they own it.
There’s a reason I mentioned WordPress.com in this section, you will find out in the next section when I talk about Weebly.
What is Weebly?
If you recall that I talked about WordPress.com in the previous section, then you’ll know that it’s a website platform that makes users build websites in their subdomains.
According to Hostingadvice.com, Weebly is similar in that sense, except for a major functional difference – Weebly is a website builder that uses its unique WYSIWYG editor to allow users to drag and drop different elements into the page rather than the traditional manual coding to make a website.
You can easily edit your website with a few clicks of a button and you can create a website that will wow your viewers.
With its latest update, you can add different apps from App Center and give extra functions to your website. Much like WordPress.org’s plugins, the apps are going to extend your website from a general blog to an e-commerce store in a matter of minutes!
In short, it makes website making much easier than any other platforms because of its drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor.
So if it’s that good with Weebly, why am I still building websites with WordPress.org?
Let me explain it by showing you the pros and cons for both of these platforms.
Pros of WordPress:
- Open-source platform – much easier to develop and for Google to crawl into the website for indexing
- SEO Friendly – easily make on-page SEO with Yoast SEO plugin and change your meta title, meta description, and site URL
- Easy to update – as long as you can create a Word document, you can update your blog post
- Google loves WordPress websites – WordPress team updates the platform very frequently and because of that, Google even has gone ahead and recommended WordPress for business sites
- Low cost to maintain website – because it’s a content management system (CMS), you can easily delete old contents, add new contents or even speed up your website easily
Cons of WordPress:
- Higher learning curve – there will be some tweaking and customizing of your blog because out of box it can take some time to learn how to make it look nice
- Not free – nothing is free in real world, so you do need to pay your own domain ($14-15USD/yr) and server (shared hosting is about $3USD/mth)
Pros of Weebly:
- Easy to design – out of box it’s a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, so you can make a website relatively quickly
- Setup wizard – at the beginning of setting up your website, there will be little buttons flowing around and teach you how to work at each step
- Built-in App store – instead of plugins in WordPress, app store works similar to Shopify’s App Store, to help you expand your website
Cons of Weebly:
- Not a True CMS – if you start creating a website that has more than 10 pages, your menu will become really cluttered and hard to manage on the back end
- Not easy for SEO – with the latest update, you can add in basic on-page SEO (meta title, description, URL), however, to get your page up to the first page of search engine results page (SERP), you’d need advanced SEO like schema markup and that’s really difficult to do with Weebly
- Add-ons = $$$ – adding SSL certificate, lead generations, and domains will cost you a fair bit than what you had paid originally
- Locked-in platform – unlike WordPress.org websites, you don’t own Weebly websites because you’re working in Weebly’s sub-domain.
So what’s better – WordPress VS Weebly?
After comparing the pros and cons of both website platforms, I’d say WordPress is still my champion.
The reasons behind my choice are as follow:
- SEO: I’d like full control on how to optimize my clients’ (your) websites. So in many cases, when everyone in your industry is using the same on-page SEO tactic (aiming for the same keyword and place it on meta title, description, and URL), you’d want to step up the game and start implementing advanced SEO techniques such as Schema Markup
- You own it: That’s correct, I believe that you should be owning your own website. I’ve seen way too many clients of mine used to make websites in these “easy drag-and-drop” platforms but wanting to switch to another platform. Only to find out that you can’t transfer the contents easily because…yeah, you don’t own it.
- Light-weight codings: WordPress community always makes sure their codings for the website optimised to match Google’s standard. Also, there are many free themes like Generate Press, which is really one of the best themes I have used in the lifespan of WordPress website development.
- Full control: You’d not need to rely on your developer to help you change anything on your websites. WordPress is an extremely powerful Content Management System that you can have pretty much all the control you want to update your website by yourself. Just make sure you find a good developer that is willing to teach you how to update (me :)).
I’m not saying Weebly is bad, I believe that every product has their own specialty.
If you’re thinking of building a website really quickly, then for sure, go with Weebly and make yourself a nice looking blog.
However, if you’re running a serious business and hoping to make a sustainable website, definitely go with WordPress.
So I want to ask you all a question now.
Are you a serious entrepreneur running your business online, or are you an occasional blogger?
Choose the right platform for yourself!
If you’d like to learn how to setup a WordPress website, I’ve written up a blog post on “How to set up a WordPress website from scratch (FAST!)”. You can read it here => https://simonwyhuang.com/blog/set-up-wordpress/
Or if you’d like to try out Weebly, click on this link now => https://simonwyhuang.com/weebly/