With the rise of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, some could believe that hosting one’s own site is no longer necessary. The truth is that creating a standalone site is still a smart idea for a wide range of objectives . An independent domain is more effective than social media profiles when it comes to branding and SEO, for one. Furthermore, there’s the question of who really owns your data. Two of the most popular options for building a website quickly are WordPress and Weebly. If you’re trying to decide between these platforms, the following information should be helpful.
Features List Rundown
WordPress is quite user-friendly as well, though the setup process is a tad more involved. The difference is that WordPress is meant to be run from your own hosting account. With WordPress, you can launch a blog in minutes, tack on an e-commerce storefront and customize layouts as needed.
Weebly‘s primary claims to fame are its no-nonsense website builder, its unlimited free hosting and its user-friendliness. It gives non-developers an easy way to design sites using a browser-based, drag-and-drop interface. With Weebly, you can even launch an e-commerce store. Both platforms are 100% free to use.
Site Design Customization
In terms of layout flexibility, Weebly is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, it’s incredibly easy to make basic alterations to standard themes without manually altering HTML and CSS. While that capability is there, there’s not a massive library of available themes to choose from. Due to its popularity, WordPress is easy to customize with either free or premium themes created by independent developers. For anyone with even the most shallow knowledge of web design, it’s incredibly easy to give a stock WordPress theme a quick makeover via the back-end admin panel.
Ease of Use & Administration
Both Weebly and WordPress are incredibly easy to use and administer, for the most part. Weebly takes a bit of a lead in this department if you’ve never run a website before. Modifying page elements and adding new content is a cinch. WordPress is equally easy to use, though you’ll have to click a few more buttons to post blog entries or modify pages. The key difference is that WordPress gives you more control over how your site looks and acts. If you’ve ever setup a website before, WordPress shouldn’t give you any trouble.
Safety & Security
The web security portion of this comparison is basically a wash. A Weebly site is hosted by the service itself, which means that security on the server end is handled by the company. While you are relying on a third party to provide security, it’s likely that their IT guys know more than you when it comes to warding off hacking attempts. At the code level, WordPress is constantly being audited and improved to provide a maximum level of security for self-hosted sites. If you take basic safety precautions such as using an SSL certificate to protect your back-end admin panel, you should be fine.
Extensibility and Apps
In the add-on arena, Weebly is nowhere near as comprehensive as WordPress. It’s true that Weebly can provide you with fairly solid mobile functionality. However, the platform as a whole can’t be tweaked like WordPress can be in terms of additional apps and plugins. As you may have guessed, bolt-on flexibility is where WordPress truly shines. There are nearly 30,000 plugins available to WordPress users for everything from security to shipping functionality to social media integration. For the most part, adding new functionality to a WordPress installation via plugins is as simple as clicking a button.
Documentation & Support
Whether you’re diving deep and pushing a CMS to the limit or fixing mundane problems that crop up from time to time, you’ll need good documentation and community support. Weebly has great, responsive customer service insofar as handling routine questions and bugs are concerned. WordPress doesn’t have corporate backing in this department since you’re hosting your website on your own server. However, the famous WordPress Codex is a voluminous resource that can probably answer any question you might have. In addition, the WordPress forums are an even more versatile way to troubleshoot WordPress-related web development issues.
Making the Final Call
While there’s some degree of crossover, WordPress and Weebly are aimed at fairly distinct demographics. If you’re launching a simple site with fairly static content and don’t want to deal with back-end administration, Weebly is a good choice. For most other scenarios, WordPress is the way to fly. Make no mistake, Weebly is a fine platform with plenty going for it. However, there’s a reason why WordPress is the most popular Content Management System around. Thanks to its power and flexibility, WordPress can be adapted to serve the needs of nearly every web development project that you throw at it.