Weebly vs WordPress Comparison Review

Comparing Weebly with WordPress.com is a tough task

Weebly and WordPress address the needs of two different sets of consumers. They aim at different market segments. Comparing Weebly and WordPress feature-to-feature is not the real comparison.

So, in this review, we concentrate on presenting you information about the situations where Weebly would be a right fit and where WordPress.com would make it a better choice.

Though WordPress.org (self-hosted version) is a whole different ball game, we will briefly touch upon the advantages of WordPress.org

Weebly vs WordPress: The Fun Factor

You will enjoy creating a site with Weebly. If you are new to web design, you are going to have some fun building your site with Weebly, playing with it and tweaking it as you go. We have tons of tutorials here in Weebly Forums that’s enough food for thought.

Whether you brag about your Weebly site or not, you are sure to feel the sense of achievement. Weebly is fun to use. And you keep getting more of it as you discover it’s potential.

With WordPress, you build a site to meet your needs. The fun factor, if any, with WordPress, will soon disappear. WordPress is more business and less fun.

Weebly vs WordPress : Ease of Use & Skill Level

Weebly has a very short learning curve.

You can literally start from knowing nothing and can still have a simple website up and running  in about couple of hours. If you spend a couple of days, you will be able to leverage majority of the Weebly Features and can make your site look professional.

WordPress, on the other hand, has a relatively steep learning curve.

Unless you have dealt with CMSs, Blogs etc in the past, you are very likely to find yourself being lost. If you are tech savvy and are familiar with Jargon and Terminology, you may spend a couple of days to get a feel for it and gain enough confidence to try it out for your Business website.

Weebly’s WYSIWYG Editor

Comparing Weebly and WordPress editor interfaces

Weebly offers a WYSIWYG editor and WordPress does not. For some one new, this plays a very significant role in their ability to create a site themselves. The Weebly WYSIWYG interface also makes it quick and easy for maintaining the site.

If your needs can be met with Weebly, and if you are OK with a little glitches now and then, then you should stick with Weebly. Modifying content in Weebly is much faster with its WYSIWYG editor. You can also teach your staff to update content on a Weebly site fairly easily.

To update a WordPress site you need some one who is aware of how things work. WordPress is not some thing that can be taught in an hour. Weebly can be taught in an hour.

Features: Weebly vs WordPress

If Weebly were to offer as many features as WordPress did, then Weebly would be as complex as WordPress is … which defeats the purpose of Weebly.

WordPress offers a vast number of features. Here are the major features offered by WordPress that are not available with Weebly:

User Management, Advanced Traffic Statistics, Akismet Spam Protection, Top notch Reliability, Excellent Documentation and Support, World Class Blogging Platform, Over 30 Drag-And-Drop Sidebar Widgets, Import from several different Platforms, Export entire content in XML, Beautiful themes that work without a glitch, Efficient SEO, Compatible across multiple platforms, On Demand A La Carte Premium Features, Private Blogs, Related Posts, Popular Posts, File management, Page management, Granular settings etc.

While the presence of so many features with WordPress is great for flexibility, it could take quite some time to figure out how to use these features.

Weebly, though with less number of features, is geared more towards people who would like to quickly put up a website without having to learn much.

Reliability, Consistency and Speed: Weebly vs WordPress

WordPress.com is a corporate class CMS and is highly dependable. But Weebly is a bit wobbly and at times seems like a work in progress.

If you are ok with a few hiccups here and there and if you are fine with your site not being available to your visitors at times, then Weebly should be fine for you.

If your site is mission critical and if it must be available all the times, then WordPress would be a better choice. It is worthwhile going through the initial learning curve with WordPress if reliability is high on your list.

Migration, Flexibility & Archival: Weebly vs WordPress

WordPress lets you export your content in XML format and is compatible with many other CMSs. Migration is smooth with WordPress. It also works perfectly for backing up and retrieval of your previous versions. You get complete flexibility with WordPress. If your site has hundreds of posts and pages, WordPress saves you a lot of time and money.

If your site has fewer pages, then you could go with Weebly which lets you backup your content but will have to migrate manually. But Weebly does not offer 301 redirection to external pages, so must be aware of the risk of using a Weebly sub-domain.

WordPress provides redirection service (for a fee) which is very critical if you are moving from a sub-domain to domain any where else. WordPress makes sure that you are not locked in and makes it convenient for migration when your business needs change.

The Help You Need: Weebly vs WordPress

You can find help for WordPress any where in the world. There are several tutorials available to assist you with any thing required. The forums are rich and are full of quality information. Many training institutions offer WordPress courses on a regular basis, should you need to go through a training. With WordPress, you are in safe hands.

With Weebly, you are dependent on Weebly and may be left un-answered lot more often than you imagined.

Weebly SEO

Contrary to the common assumption, Weebly has enough tools in places to cater to the SEO needs of small businesses. Our Weebly SEO Review covers the top 10 pros and cons of Weebly SEO.

WordPress.org, a whole different animal

While WordPress.com is maintained for you, WordPress.org is a software distribution you take and manage your self. WordPress.org is several times more powerful and even more times complex to deal with. You host the software on your own server, update the patches, take care of issues all by your self. But you are in total control.

The functionalities you can add to your wordpress.org install are limitless. It also comes with the burden of ensuring that all the pieces work in cohesion without conflict. WeeblyForums.com is built using WordPress.org.




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    • Needs to be done manually. http://www.httrack.com will let you capture your whole site. You can also use the archive option to download your site. If you want to retain the same look and feel (same template), you will require a custom design. Otherwise, create a new wordpress site and populate it with the information from your site. Then have your current site redirect to your new wordpress site.
      IMP: Do not leave two different sites with same content up. Otherwise, search engines will treat your second site as content farming and your new site won’t get indexed.

    • Depends on how you do it. If you have a custom domain name that you are moving from weebly to wordpress, then you do not lose much. You may only see a temporary slack. But it you are currently using a subdomain of weebly, making a direct leam from weebly to wordpress could hurt your rank (assuming that your current site ranks high). Check your site rank at http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo . If your site is not in the first 1 million, it is easy to rebuild the rank fairly quickly. But if your current site ranks around 200k, that could be quite a challenge to gain that position quickly. The following article may help:
      http://weeblyforums.com/2011/07/the-risk-with-weebly-sub-domain/

  1. I am new to this – is it better to submit the site – i.e., sitename.weebly.com to the search engine 1st, and then map the domain name you’re going to use; OR take care of the domain name map, etc., and then submit it to the search engines?

    Will either choice affect the search engine ranking negatively?

    Thanks,

    - Randy

    • Should not matter much. If I were you, I would map the domain name first and then submit it to search engines, so that I get to use the webmaster tools more wisely.

      There will not be any negative effect on ranking whichever way you choose.

  2. Hello. I’ve made a full fledged F1 site called Rach F1(rachf1.weebly.com). I found Weebly easier to use than WordPress, also WordPress is blog based while Weebly is site based.

    I later hired my friends and released the site on Jan 26. But now since news drive a lot of traffic , I’m finding the blog system of Weebly doesn’t not have many features I need.

    The site is just two months old, and I’ve managed to get over 2000 viewers and 6000 page views (http://rachf1.weebly.com/5/post/2012/03/2000-people-love-rach-f1-stats-and-more.html).

    So should I move to WordPress or wait for new features in Weebly? If I move to WordPress, then I’ll have to do all the SEO work and make over 100 pages again.

    Please help. Thank you.

    • If Blog is the primary focus for your website, then you may have to move to WordPress or some other blogging platform. Since you are using a weebly subdomain, unfortunately, you are going to loose all the search engine ranking you built so far if you move immediately. However, if you use your own custom domain for some time and then move, you could retain the ranking. Check the following article:
      http://weeblyforums.com/2011/07/the-risk-with-weebly-sub-domain/

      Weebly currently does not offer a 301 redirect option to an external link. So, even if you recreate all the content in wordpress, search engines may see it as content duplication and your new site might not even get ranked. It is a tricky situation for you.

  3. How safe is it to build a whole business around a weebly site? Can they shut me down out of the blue, or do I have ownership of the content? I’m scared if I build a business with weebly it could all be taken from me at a later date.

    • You can build a business around Weebly. To be absolutely sure you are safe, do the following:

      1. Use your own custom domain name. You can buy it from any registrar
        and assign it to your Weebly site.
      2. Archive (Download) your site once it is live.

      This way, even if Weebly shuts your site down, you can always point your domain to a different provider and simply upload your archived site there. You can host your site some where else within just one hour.

    • Thanks so much…..where do I archive(download) my site to?? I’m new at this, is it difficult? Also, should I avoid buying the domain name from Weebly, or use Host Gator etc?
      Thanks, Rex.

    • For Backup/Archive, please see:

      http://weeblyforums.com/2011/07/how-to-backup-a-weebly-site/

      For domains :

      Most of our domains are from GoDaddy. We know how to set our A-Records and MX-Records to point to Hosting and Mail Servers. It depends on your comfort level. If you are seeking professional help to build the site for you, they should be able to do this for you and save you money.

  4. Raju,

    Always enjoy all your helpful, insightful input. I notice this weeblyforums site is on a wordpress platform, rather than weebly. I am thinking of switching at least one of my weebly sites to wordpress. Will I get better SEO and faster launch speed with wordpress? We all are aware they have a ton of free and premium themes with a variety of looks.

    • Not every site can benefit from switching to WordPress. For example, a 5 page web presence site (with no blog) can be optimized in Weebly or WordPress to achieve almost the same result. But for a site with 100 pages, optimizing in Weebly could be taxing and may demand more automated tools like the snippet preview tool available for WordPress.

      If Blogs are important, then WordPress certainly helps with SEO. There is no “Tags” in Weebly Blogs. The Permalinks structure of Weebly is not SEO friendly. There is no directory structure for URL in Weebly. Weebly does not allow different navigation label for pages. The Social sharing of Weebly Blog posts is tuned to the post. You can not define document structure H1/H2/H3/H4 in Weebly.

      Switching from Weebly to WordPress alone might not do the trick. But it certainly equips one with a lot of tools necessary to optimize a site.

  5. I don’t have a question. I just wanted to say that I think both Weebly and WordPress are awesome!

    I have sites at both locations and since I have recently made the jump to the Designer Platform, I believe that using both Weebly and WordPress will benefit my clients.

    Instead of moving my current sites that will benefit from a more extensive blog, I will probably just create a link from my Weebly site to WordPress so that I get the best of both, especially since Weebly makes it possible to have a custom background. The link can be seamless and I won’t lose my ranking. Very Nice!

  6. Hi there, This is a nice article. I just want to ask a question. Is weebly still a bit flaky? I have not had any problems to date, so when you said that at times it is ‘flaky and buggy’ is it still the case?

    Could you give some examples?

  7. Hey Raju,
    This is SO helpful.. I have made quite a large weebly website, and keep ‘drooling’ over the very beautiful WordPress ones I see other artists have. I would love to rebuild using wordpress, but the task feels soooo daunting. Do you have any advice on getting a professional to set up the wordpress site then continue on uploading myself. ie. outsourcing to overseas perhaps? … I don’t have $$$ to spend on a ‘wizz bang web designer’ . I would like to increase the usability and affiliate links of my blog.

  8. I think wordpress is phenomenal for complete big central sites, but just as importantly, weebly is a quick, simple set up for second tier supporting sites.
    Both important parts of the puzzle.

  9. Hi Raju, I saw just a few days ago, where you mentioned in your “2013″ post the drop and drag WP site building options. I am very excited about this info, since I had no idea D&D existed for WP. I found a few that companies offering this which look very promising – one has 80 WP themes + a D&D sitebuilder for only $89 per year. Thanks a lot – this may be really good for me! Jim

    • Pagelines is one of the Drag & Drop builders using the WordPress platform. With the new Weebly Pro pricing, it is absolutely worth learning a bit of wordpress. It goes a long way.

  10. Thank you, I am looking at PL + <a href=”http://www.elegantthemes.com”>ElegantThemes

    Someday I’ll learn HTML.

  11. I have been experimenting with Weebly to see how customizable it is – I have been looking for a CMO so my clients can do their own updating. The learning curve to make child themes in WordPress was daunting and I have liked what I’ve seen so far in Weebly. But I am concerned by a previous post in the Forum that Weebly is unreliable and that the site could be off line at times. Is that still true? If so, I can’t really use Weebly to design sites for clients. Thanks!

  12. That’s a good question Marian, but I’ve been using Weebly for 3 years since 2010 and do not recall that ever happening to me once. I love Weebly and although WP seems so much better, I don’t find it better at all.

    • There is a difference between using Weebly for your site and using Weebly as a platform for your clients.

      If you are using Weebly for your site, you are likely to update it once a month and also have an understanding of what you are getting for what you are paying.

      If you are using Weebly as a platform for your clients, you are likely to use Weebly on a daily basis and get to see the hickups. In addition, your clients are not going to be less considerate because they are paying a premium for professional service. Your clients expectations are several times higher.

      So, choosing Weebly for personal use is different from choosing Weebly for professional services. Not that you should not use Weebly for professional services, but one should be aware of it to be able to make an educated decision about which clients can be placed on which platforms. Certainly, aspects like the criticality & role the website plays for the client's business need to be considered.

      Hope that helps.

  13. I use and update my site on a daily basis and love it. I’ve tried a lot of different platforms for building a website and this was the easiest. ALL, I mean every one of them, including WP had their downfalls, downtime, and hiccups. Some were much more costly, as well. For the ease of use WEEBLY is the best for me and the downtime, is minimal to non existent., at least in my experience.

  14. Hi Raju im trying to open an advertising webpage in my city that publishes stuff to do in your city and im looking forward to expand to other cities soon do you think tha would be an obstacle if i have my webpage with weebly?

  15. I am considering on building a website with a blog on it for a ministry, I don’t have any servers or so and I am some what new to this. Would it be wise to start out with weebly rather then use blogger or wordpress for my site/blogger needs. Where would you start and if you then expand what steps would you take?