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Weebly vs. WordPress – Which Is Better?

2013 March 5
by Jay

While communicating with an aspiring affiliate marketer last week, the question came up about what to use to build a website. Naturally, I recommended that he use the hosted version of WordPress, as I always do.

However, he was a bit reluctant and emailed me back asking about Weebly and whether or not that would be a good alternative.

Now, my preferred platform for building affiliate sites is WordPress so I’m a bit biased and recommend it all the time but for good reason.

I’ve tried Weebly before and think that it is a very good website builder that can work for anyone who wants to create a website using the simple drag and drop interface. However, although there are many features, it still is kinda limited in what you can do with it.

I’ll outline some of the more important features and compare the two, then you can decide which is better for you.

Using WordPress

WordPress is a very popular content management system (CMS) that is used primarily for blogging but can be used for anything from a simple blog to more complex websites. More and more websites are being built using WordPress software than with traditional static website builders because it is very easy to use, doesn’t require that the user know complex coding and for the fact that you can do a lot of things with it.

A basic install of WordPress can be used as-is, to build your website but if you’ve identified your needs you can easily extend the functionality and look of your site by using the wide range of available free plugins and themes.

To use the WordPress platform, you’ll need web hosting and your own domain name. This is possibly what throws many newcomers off when they decide to build a website but you do need to invest in your business and web hosting is cheap (as low as $4/month) and domains are less than $10/year.

Using Weebly

Weebly

Weebly is quite different from WordPress. It’s one of the leading drag-and-drop website builders available on the internet right now, providing an easy way for would be website owners to get their site up and running without the knowledge of coding and other design skills.

What the drag-and-drop website builder does is to provide away to build a static website. Although with Weebly, you can easily add a blog to your site.

I was really impressed when I saw all the stuff that Weebly could do.  In comparison, you can do some of the stuff with Weebly that you can do with WordPress but I’ll confidently say that WordPress can do everything Weebly does and more.

Weebly is completely free to use but you’ll have to put up with a Weebly subdomain ie yoursite.weebly.com, and there are lots of limitations as to what you can do. If you should choose Weebly, I’d encourage you to get a domain name and sign up for their pro package.

Some Important Comparisons between WordPress and Weebly

In terms of design:

WordPress has far more themes available for you to choose from. Installing the themes is as simple as choosing the theme from the gallery and activating it for your site. You can also premium themes (ones that you pay for) or a custom them (one that is designed specifically for your site).

Weebly has dozens of beautiful themes and allows you to create your own or upload one that you want if you have someone design a custom theme for you.

For the theme layout in WordPress, you can either browse for a theme with the layout you want:

  • no sidebar
  • left sidebar
  • sales page theme
  • video theme
  • photo gallery theme
  • etc

Or you can choose a theme that has theme options that let you customize the way you want your theme to look with color options, sidebar options and graphic options and more. Most premium themes will allow you to do this but the point here is that you can do anything you want to do with WordPress.

Weebly also allows you to choose themes with different layouts or allows you to edit your theme. However, since it’s a more static type layout, for example, you can’t have a video theme, but you’re able to add video on any page you create or simply clone the page that has the layout you want.

On the plus side, Weebly automatically allows your site to display a mobile version when accessed on a mobile phone. With WordPress, there are plugins that can help you achieve this but you’d have to install the plugin otherwise there is no mobile version of your site.

Bottomline: although not as flexible as WordPress, the team at Weebly has developed ways for you to do almost anything you want with the designing of your site.

Static vs. Blog

The main difference between WordPress and Weebly is that one was made for blogging and the other was made for static websites. One reason why blogs perform better than static sites is that Google and most search engines give benefits to sites that are regularly updated as this gives more current information to their users.

You can easily make WordPress into a static website or a hybrid of static and blog by choosing the appropriate setting. Removing the comments if you do not want this feature is easily done through the settings panel or by removing the comments file from the appearance panel.

Weebly allows you to add a blog to your site easily with the click of a button. I guess most people would rather go with Weebly because they want to create a website that doesn’t look like a blog but these are people who do not know that WordPress can be used that way too.

Monetization

WordPress wins hands down when it comes to monetizing your site.

One of the easiest way to monetize any site is to use Google Adsense. There are tonnes of plugins you can use to manage Google Adsense or other ads in WordPress or you can just add them to the sidebar using a widget. Google Adsense is easier to implement in Weebly but the big downside is that Weebly shares the earnings and you only get 50%. You can however work around this and add your Adsense code to an  HTML block and get 100%.

For further monetization, because WordPress has thousands of developers working on plugins, there are lots of available options for adding Amazon, eBay, Kontera and other adds and monetization channels to your site. You’d have to do this manually in Weebly.

Weebly also allows you to get a merchant account and sell products on your site (like a store). This is also achievable in WordPress with the dozens of store themes and plugins available. You don’t even need to have a merchant account as you can be an affiliate and set up WordPress to pull in product feeds from approved merchants.

Conclusion

Both WordPress and Weebly aren’t much different in the sense that they provide you with the basic needs anyone would want in a website. Stuff like SEO, multiple user support and analytics are all supported.

In closing, both Weebly and WordPress are good choices if you want to design your own website. WordPress is a little more technical but it will pay off to learn the ropes. Weebly is a bit more simple to understand and there are extensive help files and even live training available.

If you’re going to build a site for the long term and you’re going to be actively involved with it, I would highly recommend you use WordPress. It will save you headache in the long run if you do decide to make the switch and you want to transfer your site.

Have you tried Weebly or WordPress? Is there anything you wanted to know that I may have omitted? Let me know in the comments section below.

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