Comparison of Weebly and WordPress
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What should you know about Weebly?
Weebly offers free hosting with the option to upgrade for additional features. A free site with Weebly will have a weebly.com subdomain (so your site will look like mrshendersonprek.weebly.com). You will need to upgrade to the Pro plan for $12/month to use a custom domain and remove Weebly’s branding.
Weebly handles the security and maintenance of your site to keep it running smoothly. It’s pretty much hands-off when it comes to maintenance and requires little technical knowledge.
Drag and Drop Layout
With Weebly, there’s a built-in page builder that allows you to simply drag and drop elements into place. You can create custom rows and columns using this feature. Examples of elements include text blocks, headings, images, and videos. As you add or remove elements on a page, the elements will automatically change in size to best fit the width of your page.
Export Content and Backups
Unfortunately, Weebly does not have an option to backup and/or export your blog posts. This can be problematic if you want to change platforms in the future. Weebly does not have a media library that contains all of your uploaded photos. You will need to keep backups of your images and word documents with copies of the text from pages and posts. We recommend that you setup an account with Dropbox or Box to store your backups.
What should you know about WordPress?
There are two versions of WordPress.
WordPress.com provides hosting for free and does not require that you setup and maintain WordPress on your own server. Although it uses the same software as a self-hosted site, it has restrictions. You cannot install third-party themes on Free, Personal or Premium sites hosted on WordPress.com. If you upgrade to a Business plan for $24.95/month, you have the option to install any theme and use plugins. Automattic, the company that manages WordPress.com, will handle security and updates for your site.
WordPress.org is the version of WordPress that is installed on a site that is self-hosted. You must pay for hosting and a domain in order to use this version. You can get started with a hosting package for as little as $3.99 per month.
Unlike Weebly, self-hosted WordPress sites will require more technical knowledge and maintenance. You will need to become familiar with how to backup your site and how to access files on your server. WordPress.org sites require that you run regular updates to keep your site secure and compatible with the most recent version of WordPress. You should also expect extra costs if you run into problems with a hacked site or if you install a plugin that crashes your site.
Our WordPress templates come with the option to have a sidebar on the left or right side. You can also have full-width pages that do not include a sidebar.
You can expand the layout options by installing either the Beaver Builder Lite or Elementor plugins. However, we do not provide support for third-party plugins. You can use one of these plugins to add rows and columns to your template posts and pages.
Export Content and Backups
WordPress has a built-in export feature so you can create backups of your blog posts, pages, and media. You can also install a plugin that runs automatic backups of your site. We recommend that you setup an account with Dropbox or Box to store your backups.
With WordPress.com Business plans and WordPress.org sites, you can install plugins. Plugins offer extra features and custom functions. You can view the WordPress Plugin Directory here.
Monetizing a Weebly or WordPress Blog
You can use the following methods to monetize a Weebly or self-hosted WordPress.org blog:
Independent Ad Networks
Ads for Products You’ve Created
There are limitations on how you can monetize your blog on WordPress.com.
WordPress.com uses WordAds. If you have a Premium or Business plan, you’re automatically eligible to use the WordAds program. If you’re using a Free or Personal plan, you must apply for the program and meet specific criteria for traffic and content. Some of the ad revenue will go to WordPress.com and you will not have the flexibility to place ads where you want within your content. If you’d like to use Google AdSense, you will need to upgrade to a Business plan.
You should also know that WordPress.com and Weebly might not support the ad code used by all ad networks.
Many affiliate partnerships will require that you provide detailed Google Analytics prior to approving you. Google Analytics is only available on the Business plan for WordPress.com. You can add Google Analytics to a site on each of the Weebly plans and a self-hosted WordPress.org site.
The best option for having full control of your blog income strategy is to get started with a self-hosted WordPress site for as little as $3.95 per month.
So, What Next?
If you’re brand new to Blogging, we recommend that you create a test site on Weebly and a test site on WordPress.com. This will help you learn what you feel most comfortable with and you can experiment with adding text and images. Both platforms have a free account option so you can get started for free. You can also read about starting a free site with Blogger.com here.