Pricing (weighted 12%)
Free - Weebly has a free option. It has limited hosting options, and will give you a silly URL that has Weebly’s name in it. It is not really a worthy platform for your website. The lack of a custom URL alone should be a dealbreaker if you want your website taken seriously.
$8/month - This is the basic account. You get one year of a free domain name with this plan.
$12/month - This beefs up your eCommerce options and gives you the ability to have HD video and audio.
$25/month - This plan removes the fee that Weebly charges on eCommerce transactions.
Weebly is much more expensive than WordPress, even when you include the price of hosting.
Free- WordPress is free and open source. Anyone can download the software and use or modify it to their heart’s content.
To get a site up an running you will have to pay for hosting. WordPress.org has a few suggestions for hosts that play nicely with the WordPress platform. Hosting shouldn't run you any more then $5/month. If it does, do yourself a favor and switch hosts immediately.
WordPress will end up being significantly cheaper than Weebly, even with hosting costs. There are also more things you can do with the WordPress platform. More on that later.
Design (weighted 12%)
Weebly's editor is very nice. It is drag and drop, and it lets you put in a good amount of design elements. Editing is pretty simple, and there are minimal hiccups, which is always a good sign in a web based app.
The templates are very nice, and they are complete websites right out of the box. If you're in a hurry, you can just change some text and pictures and get your site online in minutes. Those who delve into designing their website will not be disappointed either.
It is much easier to find a fully featured template in Weebly just because of the sheer number of themes in WordPress. The themes in Weebly are much better put together than many of the free themes available in WordPress.
WordPress does not have a drag and drop editor, but that doesn’t mean you are out of design options. There are thousands upon thousands of WordPress themes, both free and paid, all over the web.
Because there are so many themes there is a certain amount of wading through trash to find them. Many of the free default themes are little more than blogs. They don't really have any deep functionality. It is not too hard to find a good WordPress theme, but it will take a bit of research.
WordPress' lack of a drag and drop editor really hurts it here. It is much much easier to design a website using Weebly.
Frontend Features (weighted 12%)
All of the standard wbsite features are available in Weebly. You can embed video, add maps, and add flash players, among other things.
The websites look great and they are easy to navigate. Weebly is very careful to provide mobile optimized websites, so your sites can look good on a phone. That is really important since so many people use their phones to browse the web.
There are perhaps not as many options as WordPress, but these sites don't require as much hunting around for good themes.
The basic WordPress frontend is just a run of the mill blog, but it will completely change depending on what theme you are running. Unless you really know your stuff with WordPress, you may have to spend some money on a web designer to get all the features you want in a site.
WordPress has more options than Weebly, but Weebly has more easily available quality themes. You'll have to hunt for quality with WordPress.
Still, WordPress will give you much more flexibility on the frontend just because of the sheer amount of themes.
Backend Featuers (weighted 12%)
Weebly does a good job designing their interface. They make everything friendly and open, which is a nice change from the clinical interface of sites like Squarespace. That said, WordPress is pretty easy on the eyes as well.
The have a dashboard page from which you can view statistics, edit account settings, or go right into the editor and start making changes.
The app store is directly integrated into the editor, and it feels like part of the editor rather than a hastily tacked-on feature.
The WordPress backend will morph to fit your needs. At its most basic it provides a very stable blogging platform that will be more than enough for personal websites.
It is really easy to use. WordPress is simple and intuitive. They give you the basic features right there on the dashbaord.
One of the nice things about WordPress is that when you want to create a new page you just do it directly from the dashbaord. In Weebly you would either have to add a blogging extension, or go into the editor and design a new page. That is much more time consuming.
There are tons of add-ons that make WordPress less of a blog and more of a website. They have thousands of integrations, so there are a lot of options.
Hosting & Security (weighted 12%)
Weebly provides hosting with all of their plans, including the free one. The paid plans include a free domain name for one year. After that, they make you pay for the domain name. That seems like a bit of a mean trick.
Weebly offers SSL encryption across their entire site, if you are so inclined. That is really nice since you'll have to purchase a license and install SSL yourself in WordPress.
You’ll have to purchase your own hosting. WordPress only supplies you the software to make your website. They don’t put it on the web for you as well.
WordPress suggests a few third party sites from which you can purchase hosting. They are all quite serviceable and inexpensive.
If you want SSL on your website, you'll have to buy a license and install it yourself. There are some free plugins that help you install SSL encryption, but the cost of the SSL license will be the biggest barrier.
Reports & Statistics (weighted 12%)
The free version of Weebly has a small statistics section that only tracks page views and unique visits. The paid versions add a few extra features. They let you see which of your pages are the most popular, how your site is found, and which websites are giving you traffic.
Weebly has more statistics available than vanilla WordPress, but WordPress has a wealth of free plugins that will give you an ample reports section.
WordPress does not natively report statistics. They rely on third party apps to do that. Honestly, third party apps would probably handle statistics better than WordPress can on its own. They are run by volunteer programmers who are pretty busy building and maintaining WordPress.
The third party plug-ins will give you a good reports section, and there are quite a lot of them. Again, some research will be required to find the one that works best for you, but that's the case with most things in WordPress.
Extensibility (weighted 12%)
Weebly has an app center with 77 different integrations. This is solidly in the middle of the field when it comes to integrations. They are integrated directly into the editor, so it's easy to find and include them.
Weebly doesn't have anywhere near the number of integrations that WordPress boasts. They have a respectable number, but WordPress has been around longer, has many more users, and has a lot more developers than Weebly.
There are tens of thousands of third party apps and plug-ins for WordPress. That is a lot of third party apps.
The paltry 77 integrations that Weebly musters are no match for the hordes of integrations available in WordPress. Here WordPress is king.
Support (weighted 12%)
They have a knowladebase and FAQ section as well as live chat and support tickets. Their live chat is available Mon-Fri 5am-5pm PST and Sat-Sun 7am-4pm PST.
They also offer phone support for higher paying customers.
Weebly's support is a bit better than WordPress because they have humans you can talk to about specific problems. That said, WordPress' support is still pretty robust.
WordPress' website has a little bit of support. They have a forum where you can submit questions. That is about it for their website, but there are so many websites out there that are dedicated to teaching WordPress that some searching should yield answers to any problems you encounter.
WordPress' non-traditional support is pretty impressive. It isn't really a substitute for talking to an actual human, but it does come pretty close.