Weebly versus WordPress

There are two ways I can make your website for you: using Weebly, or using WordPress.

I think of Weebly as being the simpler, cheaper option and WordPress as being the more flexible, future-proof option… in other words, you get what you pay for.

About Weebly…

Weebly is a cloud-based website builder that will also host your site. Weebly uses pre-made templates: these can be adapted to some extent (e.g. fonts, colours, etc.) but are not totally customisable. It’s a bit like buying a suit: an off-the-shelf suit is cheaper, but may not fit as perfectly as a tailor-made suit. The advantage of off-the-shelf is price, and also simplicity. Weebly websites are simple for you to update yourself; to add new pages; move content around; etc. So there are some real benefits in using Weebly.

Although you will own the copyright of the content of your site (i.e. the words, and any photographs you took yourself), the website software belongs to Weebly. It is what’s known as ‘proprietary software’, and you are permitted to use it in return for the monthly hosting fee. However, because the software belongs to Weebly, it means that you cannot ‘move’ the website elsewhere.

About WordPress…

If it’s important to you that you have the ability to ‘move’ your website, and that you have full control over it, then I’d recommend using using WordPress. WordPress is also ideal if you’re looking for a more flexible and future-proof solution. You can do just about anything with a WordPress site by adding ‘plugins’ to give it more functionality. There are plugins for just about anything you can think of!

The WordPress software itself is free, but you need to host it somewhere… and believe me, not all hosting is created equal. That’s why I work with TurboWebs, because there is nothing more frustrating than a website host that’s unreliable and provides terrible service.

As well as hosting your website, TurboWebs also backs up your website and manages the WordPress software updates. The cost of the Silver Hosting is US$37 a month – which is cheaper than paying for hosting, and paying someone separately to manage the updates. TurboWebs is owned by Jason Diehl, whom I’ve worked with on various projects since 2012. His service and technical knowledge are beyond excellent. I can work with other hosting companies, but at an additional cost, because it will take longer to figure out unfamiliar configuration setups.

My ‘First Page’ price for creating a WordPress website is a little higher than when working with Weebly, because it takes more time to upload the softare to your host and configure the files so they’re ready to use.

A comparison between Weebly and WordPress:

Software cost:Monthly fee from US$3.29+ which includes hosting. This is based on a 2-year contract; the shortest contract term Weebly offers is 6 months, which makes the fee US$4.83+ per month. These prices are for the Starter plan, which is fine for most brochure sites, but if you want more advanced features you may want a Pro plan (from US$6.63 a month).Free – you just pay for hosting.
Hosting cost:Included in the monthly fee, above.NZ$60 a month with Quokka Creative (recommended).
Words By Cornelia cost:
$695 for the first page;
$195 for subsequent pages.
-- These prices include words, pictures and website design.
$895 for the first page;
$195 for subsequent pages.
-- These prices include words, pictures and website design.
Can you update pages and menus by yourself?Yes – it’s easy to do. The backend is very simple.Yes – it’s easy to do. The backend is not as simple as Weebly, but it gives you more options and flexibility. (It is nonetheless very simple compared to other website systems I’ve seen.)
Website flexibility:Reasonable – there are some add-ons available, e.g. e-commerce, online bookings.Excellent – you can do just about anything with a WordPress website by adding extra modules, called ‘plug ins’. These plugins are either free, or a very low cost. This flexibility makes WordPress websites very future proof.
How search engine friendly is the site?Reasonable.Excellent… I will gladly explain more if you wish. 🙂
Can you 'move' the site if you want to?Yes, but you will no longer be able to edit it using Weebly software. (So you will struggle to make updates, or find anyone who can make updates for you.)Yes – remember that you’ll need to make backups of your site to do this.
What is the security/hacking risk?All websites are at risk of being hacked. With Weebly, they would be responsible for safeguarding your site and restoring it.All websites are at risk of being hacked. With WordPress, you are responsible for safeguarding your site and restoring it. Quokka Design's hosting service takes care of the most common hacking risks, and creates backups of your website if the worst does happen.
Who do you contact if you have any problems with the site?Contact me initially, but in most cases you would need to contact Weebly directly regarding service-related problems.Contact me initially, but in most cases any service-related problems would need to be submitted to the hosting company (Quokka Design).
Summary:Good if you want the cheapest possible way to get online, so long as you realise that there are some drawbacks.Flexible, future-proof websites at a reasonable cost – but the ‘techie’ side is a bit more complex. Note: WordPress is what I use for most of my own websites, other than this one.

Not sure which is right for you?

We’ll talk it through together at your briefing meeting, so you don’t need to decide right now. 🙂 This information is here to help you mull it over in the meantime.

Any questions?

Please do contact me if you have any questions.

Or are you ready to get started and organise your briefing meeting? Then great, please get in touch!


Cornelia Luethi  BSc (Hons) DipM
Copywriter, marketing consultant and maker of websites, Northland and Auckland, NZ


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Unless stated otherwise, prices are in New Zealand Dollars and exclude GST.