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Comparison of WordPress to Weebly and Webstarts Content Management Systems

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By Edited Dec 13, 2013 0 0

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There have been some heated discussions of late comparing the web content platforms WordPress, Weebly and Webstarts. Most of the points seem to be that WordPress is more complicated so the others are preferable. While at the heart, this assertion is somewhat true, there are important reasons for WordPress complexity. This, however does not warrant the abandonment in favor of a simple alternative.

Each of Weebly and Webstarts is somewhat simpler to use. This is mainly because the platforms lock users into a more rigid structure. For people new to the content hosting world, this is potentially good, but neither platform is inherently easy to use. Instead, just like WordPress, these platforms require that new users must learn a set of skills. While with practice, it can be easy to set up a page, or an entire site, new people will have to devote a fair amount of time to the process. Luckily, the help resources are quite good.

WordPress, on the other hand, is a complicated system. It is completely flexible and extendable. Other similar platforms are not as accommodating. Unfortunately, the power of the system can overwhelm many people, not just those new to the hosting world. Luckily, default installation configuration settings are quite forgiving. A new site can be established quickly. It will function as expected, even without any customization.

To set up a content hosting site, you must first establish a hosting account with a service provider. There are many choices available. The best hosting company is Arvixe. They offer great service at a very reasonable price. With their top package, Arvixe even provides a free custom domain registration. While Weebly and Webstarts act as the hosting company, they still require customers to register and pay for a new domains, (example.com), if they are to be personalized. These two only offer free hosting if your site is to be located in a sub-domain, (example.weebly.com).

When an Arvixe hosting account is established, the content system can be installed. Hosting packages include the standard "Cpanel" control tool. This allows site administrators to set up web pages, email accounts, and all other aspects of the hosting plan. An installation tool is provided which allows for a standard content site to be established in seconds. As mentioned, this will be a standard blog site. Customization is the responsibility of the user

After WordPress is installed, the site administrator can modify the standard settings or begin to apply customizations. The standard theme is called "Twenty-Thirteen", which harkens to the year of its release. One can assume that "Twenty-Fourteen", "Twenty-Fifteen", etc, will be default themes in the future.

An alternate, premium theme it Thesis. This powerful extension gives the site administrator very easy access to many advanced features. With it, the authorship, attribution, and social media settings can be automated. It also allows full style customizations for each page. This lets the site administrator establish a default style for the site and alternate styles for other pages. Thesis also allows pages to be established with minimal styling, a feature that is very appropriate for landing or squeeze pages.

When the fully customized site is established, the site administrator should add some very useful extensions. These include:

Better WP Security - an easily configured controller which secures sites from various forms of attacks.

Pretty Links - a plugin that allows links to be established as yourdomain.com/linkhere rather than the longer billykid.clickbanks.com/linkage-to-page?=youraffnumber

Formidable Pro - a forms design and display tool that provides optional links to autoresponders, user registration and PayPal for invoices

There are perhaps millions of other plugins which can be added to sites as the need arises. These do add complexity but they allow precise control as well. The Weebly and Webstarts platforms are more rigid, preferring to lock the site into a style with strictly defined extension capabilities.

While each of these content management alternatives have particular hosting uses, choosing a simple one because others are too complicated, is a poor decision. Each will require a substantial amount of preparation and training time. As one become proficient with a site, future modifications become easier. The more complicated platforms will take more time to learn at first but this can pay off with increased flexibility in the future. Despite this, there are some good reasons to use less complicated sites.

Weebly is quite easy to use. Their free version allows a web site administrator to set up a site quickly. There are templates that can be used to establish a style. Many people use the site for squeeze pages. Setting up a minimalist site, with few viewer distractions, allows the focus to be on an "opt-in" form. A video, contact form and graphic image can be added. For a squeeze page, not much else is necessary. The page leads visitors to another page. This style of site design can be used with great effect. Site designers can set up such simple sites quickly and concentrate on their main content sites. 

Similarly, Webstarts can be used for landing or squeeze pages. Some design features of this platform are a little more complicated than with Weebly. Both sites are similarly priced, about the same as with Arvixe, but you do have to pay for a custom domain for each. Those planning on simple web concepts can certainly use these platforms, and be confident that they will handle a great deal of web traffic.

Many people have come to believe that WordPress is far more complicated to set up than either Webstarts or Weebly. While the initial complexity can be overwhelming, each of these platforms do require an indoctrination period before anyone can become completely proficient in their use. Moreover, learning how to use one is not necessarily helpful when one tries to use one of the other sites. There is much to be said with picking one of the technologies and using that one exclusively. For many site administrators, taking the more powerful, and complex, solution, is the best way to go. The initial learning required may be more but the payoff is better control in the long run.[1][2][3]



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  1. "WordPress." WordPress. 10/12/2013 <Web >
  2. "Weebly." Weebly. 10/12/2013 <Web >
  3. "Webstarts." Webstarts. 10/12/2013 <Web >

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