Weebly or WordPress—you tell me!

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that the biggest assignment in my Writing for Marketing class for first-year students is a 10-week blog.

In writing a blog, students practice writing mechanics, business writing formatting, critical thinking, social media integration, and even some graphic design.

This year my students will learn blogging writing and technical skills on WordPress.

Last year, students were permitted to use any blog platform they wanted. This year, I’m limiting them to the industry standard—WordPress.

They have to use WordPress because it is the blogging platform that industry wants our graduates to be able to use. Another professor in the Integrated Marketing Communications program at St. Lawrence College and I are collaborating on teaching blogging for business. He’s taking care of the technical side and I’m teaching students how to write.

Next year, I’ll consider introducing students to Weebly.com, a web building tool with dozens of templates that enables users to easily create personalized websites.

For free, students can build a single website. If they want to pay for a subscription, they can build several websites as I am doing.

I built my business website—www.wordstrong.ca—using Apple’s iWeb, but it’s difficult to use and launching it required much help from my Web domain service provider GoDaddy. Weebly.com is as simple as familiarizing oneself with the tool and then clicking a few buttons. Unlike WordPress, one does not need to know any HTML or CSS (web design language) to customize the provided templates.

Anyhow, for the near future, I’m going to publish my blog on both WordPress (www.teachingteacher.wordpress.com) and Weebly (www.teachingteacher.ca). I’m monitoring the strength of search engine optimization on both sites and I’m also curious as to what readers think of the aesthetics.

Weebly rocks for basic Web page and blogging development

I’ll post one in the evening and one in the morning on the days that I publish.

So far, for me, Weebly is winning hands down for customizability. Also, on they day I published my first Weebly blog, I received 60 page views and 57 unique visitors. WordPress brought me about two-thirds that number over two days.

But I want to hear what you think. If you get a chance to visit both blogs, let me know what you like.

About teachingteacher

Business communications instructor, journalist, corporate communications writer and media trainer ... and Masters Candidate M.Ad.Ed.
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5 Responses to Weebly or WordPress—you tell me!

  1. While you *can* design your own website and blog, maybe you shouldn’t. I’m not saying I don’t like your sites. I’m just wondering if you were limited by the fact that you were using a free template. Perhaps a designer might have done things differently.
    For this course, you’re teaching the writing, and the tech guy will teach the design–because that’s what each of you does best. Why not do it the other way around? You’d find out that design isn’t easy, and he’d find out that writing isn’t always easy.
    Just as we want people to hire professional writers rather than do it themselves, so too do professional web designers want you to hire them. If cost is an issue, then you can work out a “trade for services.”

    I’m using the free WordPress site for now, but there are limitations, and if I want to really move my site numbers, I have to switch to the professional site. When I do, I’ll get help from the guy who designed my website. Many of my writing colleagues have designed their own websites, and it shows. They might be excellent writers, but they are poor designers.

    While Weebly, and other companies, offer good templates, the final products (the sites) are not as good as professionally designed sites, but then you get what you pay for.

    Sorry if this comes across as harsh or negative, and I understand that this is just for a student assignment, but I wonder, are you also teaching your students that they don’t have to work with professional writers, because “anyone can write?”

  2. Ha ha! Touche, Christine! Well put! Be as harsh as you like. After 20 years as a staff writer for newspapers, I’m used to the sting of criticism. You make very good points and I appreciate your contribution to this process. And I am NOT going to teach the technical side. Now THAT would be a total disaster ;).

  3. StuartGarrity says:

    Good points here about blogging being a learning tool.

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  5. Awesome issues here. I’m very happy to look your post.
    Thanks a lot and I’m looking forward to contact you.
    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

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