Zoran Zoran
16 minute read

Yola and WordPress are quite different despite both being used to build websites and e-commerce stores. Is there a way to tell which one is better? Even if there was a way, it still wouldn’t mean that you should use the one that’s better in general terms. Is there a way to tell which one would fit your needs better? Now, that’s a good question. Let’s see if we can find the answer.

Yola home page

Yola is proprietary software and a web-based hosted solution. It’s not open-source, but as you’ll see later, you can use it for free both as a site builder and an online store builder. There’s a Yola team of developers who work on everything related to this software. There are ways to extend Yola’s capabilities, but its extensibility and customizability are pretty limited.

WordPress home page

WordPress is not proprietary software. It’s open-source and it’s completely free to download and use. However, it’s not a hosted solution, so you’ll need something more than just the software itself to launch a website or a store. Although there’s a group of main WordPress developers, the software belongs to the whole WordPress community and thousands of developers contribute to it daily. Its extensibility and customizability are potentially limitless.

In this Yola vs. WordPress comparison, we’ll expand on what we’ve said already and explore these two types of software more closely. The objective will be to help you figure out which one would be a more practical and viable solution, despite how appealing the software looks in theory. So, without further ado, let’s start exploring! 

Pricing

Yola

Yola offers four website plans and the same number of online store add-ons. The e-commerce add-on fees are paid on top of the website plan fees. Though even with the added costs for e-commerce functionalities, Yola is hardly a pricey web platform.

There are two types of subscriptions: monthly and yearly. Customers get discounts on the yearly subscriptions as well as other benefits like a free one-year custom domain name and private registration of your domain name for one year. A yearly subscription to a website plan is a prerequisite for a yearly online store add-on subscription.

Website Plans

In a nutshell, these are the Yola website plans:

Yola website pricing

It’s great that Yola offers a free plan, but (as always) with these types of plans, it comes with some limitations: the Yola subdomain and low storage space being two of them.

The biggest advantages of the Bronze plan are the free custom domain, private registration, and site analytics.

The Silver plan upsides are the removed Yola branding and the ability to add code that lets you customize and extend your site beyond what’s available in the Yola visual editor.

Clearly, the biggest perk of the Gold plan is unlimited storage, which can be extremely important for growing businesses.

If you try Yola, like what it offers, and opt for an annual subscription, this is how much you need to pay in advance (with the calculated discounts) for the three premium plans: $59.45/year (Bronze), $143.45/year (Silver), or $287.45/year (Gold).

Online Store Add-Ons

Yola offers four online store add-ons as well:

Yola online store pricing

Again, just like with the website plans, Yola gives you an opportunity to use some of its e-commerce functionalities for free, which is quite generous. However, keep in mind that with the free add-on you can list only three products and have them grouped in only one category. 

In case you like the basic e-commerce tools, but your business requires more and better options, you can go for the Basic add-on. It lets you sell up to 100 products and have 10,000 categories. You can sell digital products like music and images and choose from over 30 payment methods.

The Professional add-on allows you to sell 2,500 products, which is quite a large number. This option is good for users with larger catalogs and already established businesses. You can sell on multiple channels including Amazon, enjoy the benefits of automated email marketing and automatic tax calculations, configure different shipping methods for different products, and a lot more.

The Unlimited add-on is the most expensive package of tools that Yola offers. With the ability to sell 70,000 products, the included Point of Sale system for brick-and-mortar stores and in-store payments, and all the advanced e-commerce features from the Professional add-on, it can be a good choice even for larger businesses.

For Yola customers who’d rather pay in advance for an entire year, the costs for the online store add-ons with the calculated discounts are: $150/year (Basic), $350/year (Professional), and $990/year (Unlimited).

WordPress

Things work a little differently with WordPress. There’s no such a thing as a WordPress pricing system or WordPress pricing plan. The reason is that WordPress―meaning the software available for download on WordPress.org―is available to anyone without any financial compensation whatsoever. Nonetheless, there are a few caveats that you need to be aware of.

Hosting

With WordPress, the first thing you need to take care of is hosting. Your WordPress website has to be hosted somewhere in order to be publicly accessible on the internet. You can buy a hosting plan from any of the countless hosting service providers. However, WordPress.org recommends the following four options:

  1. WordPress.com
  2. Bluehost
  3. DreamHost
  4. SiteGround

They all have special offers for WordPress users, which is probably one of the reasons WordPress.org recommends them.

One short digression. Don’t get confused seeing that there are two types of WordPress: WordPress.org and WordPress.com. WordPress.org is simply the place where you can download the software we all know and love for free. In this article, when we say “WordPress”, this is what we refer to. 

Unlike WordPress.org, WordPress.com is virtually the same as other hosting companies. It offers different pricing plans and different features depending on the plan. It’s related to WordPress.org, but it’s not the same. For more information and further clarification on this topic, check out this article.

Custom Domain Name

Getting back to our main topic, another thing you need to solve is buying a custom domain name for your WordPress site. Usually, companies that offer hosting offer domain names as well, sometimes even for free but for a limited period (usually, one year).

Template

The next important thing is getting a template. There are a ton of free WordPress templates that you can download from WordPress.org. The upside of these templates is that they’re usually well-designed and they can save you a lot of money. The trade-off is that they generally don’t come with customer support or as many design and functionality options as the premium templates. So, if you get stuck with any issues, you’re on your own.

Plugins

The normal day-to-day functioning of a WordPress site heavily relies on plugins. It’s impossible to imagine a WordPress site without a bunch of plugins installed. And just like with the templates, you can use free plugins as well. However, depending on the size of your site and business as well as what you’re trying to achieve with your site, chances are you’ll need at least some paid plugins. 

The same advantages and disadvantages of the free WordPress templates apply to the free plugins as well.

So, What Can I Do?

Having given you a realistic outlook on all the features, it’s worth noting that WordPress is very flexible, in every possible sense. If you’re on a tight budget and you don’t really need advanced tools and special designs, you can still build a beautiful and well-functioning site without paying for expensive templates or plugins. You can either find cheaper options or go with a free template/plugin wherever possible. There are so many variations in between the all-free and all-expensive extremes. 

Since WordPress is so popular, you’ll find many helpful resources on how much running a WordPress site costs on average. The most important thing is to do sufficient research before making a decision.

Notable Features

Yola

Easy to Use and Simple

Without a doubt, between these two platforms, Yola is much simpler and easier to use. In fact, in this regard, it’s one of the best site builders that we’ve ever tried. Ease of use is definitely one of Yola’s biggest strengths.

For starters, the setup is a breeze and the dashboard is extremely simple and clean. You just sign up for an account and Yola gives you more or less everything you need to build your site in no time, create new pages, and add new functionalities. 

Yola dashboard

Since Yola tries to keep everything streamlined, customizing your site or page is very easy to do as well. Overall, the Yola Sitebuilder+ editor is intuitive and anything but complex. It doesn’t provide you with thousands of options, yet it gives you more than enough to build a beautiful and fully functional website in a short amount of time.

You can edit a page by clicking on the part you want to alter. The Sitebuilder+ visual editor lets you add and customize headlines, forms, HTML embeds, images, videos, columns, testimonials, text, custom blocks, and a lot more. You can do everything in literally a few clicks.

Yola editor

Customers can find their way around Yola even without prior knowledge and lengthy how-to videos. The simplicity and streamlined interface make Yola a good option for beginners, inexperienced, non-tech-savvy, and busy users, as well as for those who may even have the skills, knowledge, and time, but just prefer non-complex systems.

Online Store

Yola is a super-convenient site and store builder. Another great thing about it is that you can get access to a ton of e-commerce functionalities out of the box. You don’t need to search through a myriad of options to see which ones suit your business or go through lengthy installation and setup processes. Yola has already prepared different packages with e-commerce functionalities that cover different sizes and types of online stores.

Yola online store

This is only a small part of a long list of the e-commerce functionalities available at Yola:

  • Multichannel sales, meaning that you can sell your products on other popular apps and platforms like Facebook, Google Shopping, Amazon, and Instagram.
  • Automated email marketing, available with the Professional and Unlimited add-ons.
  • Creation of customer groups, allowing for better organization and more effective sales strategies.
  • Abandoned cart recovery, helps to convert more sales after potential buyers left products in their shopping cart without completing the purchase.
  • Discount coupons and gift cards.
  • Products filters, enabling a better user experience thanks to the ability to search for products based on price, category, availability, whether they’re on sale or not, and more.
  • Inventory tracking.
  • Multilingual stores.
  • Real-time shipment tracking.
  • Store management app both for Android and iOS devices.
  • Invoice printing.
  • Multiple payment options, as well as the ability to choose from more than thirty payment gateways.
  • And a lot more.

HTML Embed Code

This is in no way a feature that is unique to Yola. In fact, most of the site and store builders out there offer something similar. However, what makes it special in this case is that the feature is available for a pretty low monthly fee on Yola. The ability to add HTML embed code is included in the Bronze plan, which costs about $16/month or even less with the annual subscription.

Why is this feature so important? The answer is very straightforward: because it allows you to add content, customize your page, and extend your site in a way that would be impossible otherwise.

You can access this feature by clicking the plus icon ("Add block") in the page editor. You’ll find the HTML Embed option near the end of the list of available blocks. 

Yola HTML embed

You can use this block to write your own CSS code and change various aspects of your page styling. Or, you can use it to integrate Yola with third-party software that provides functionality otherwise missing from the Yola toolkit. Yola is not known for its selection of integrations, so the HTML embed feature can come in very handy for any user who needs more options.

How does this process work? Let’s have a look at a very specific and practical example.

Admittedly, Yola is pretty cool, but it’s not without some downsides. The lack of a blogging feature is definitely one of them. However, thanks to the ability to use HTML embed codes, you can integrate a full-featured and modern blogging app like DropInBlog. It’s a quick and easy process described in “How to Create a Blog With Yola”.

WordPress

Countless Plugins and Themes

The WordPress plugins are undoubtedly one of its most prominent aspects. As of now, there are over 58,000 WordPress plugins and most of their developers offer a free version of their app that anyone can use.

WordPress plugins

Naturally, when the number of plugins is so big, you know you’ll have your back covered with whatever you need: e-commerce plugins, drag-and-drop editors, finance-related apps, automation software, SEO plugins, and so much more.

Plugins are not without security risks, but you should know that there’s a dedicated WordPress Security Team that monitors the plugins directory non-stop. If there are any problems with any plugins, they either fix them or completely remove the app from the official WordPress repository.

It’s a similar situation with the WordPress themes. There’s a ton of them and the bulk are either free or the creators offer a free version of their otherwise commercial product. In addition to the themes available on WordPress.org, due to WordPress’ great popularity, you’ll find many other websites where you can download a WordPress theme or ask professionals to create one tailored to your business or online store.

WordPress themes

Customizability and Extensibility 

There’s a lot that you can do in the WordPress visual editor, but that’s not what people think of when they say that WordPress is extremely customizable and extendable. 

The Additional CSS option (accessible from the WordPress dashboard) is also really handy. It lets you add custom CSS code, but that’s not the reason why users regard WordPress as extremely powerful software in the context of extensibility and customizability either.

WordPress additional css

What makes WordPress so special and powerful is the fact that you can modify your website files and add your own code. As long as you’re sure that your custom code won’t break anything, you can do so many things to make your website distinct in any possible sense.

When you open your theme directory, you can see all of the files that make up your website. If you know your way around code, you can modify the PHP, JS, CSS, or HTML files. For instance, this is what you can access when you open the root directory:

WordPress code files

Every single one of these files is related to your website and is customizable. This is a level of control and creative freedom that you don't get with other WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) site builders with e-commerce functionalities like Yola, Wix, Squarespace, etc.

Thanks to its enormous customizability and extensibility, WordPress is the choice of many large and important companies, governmental and educational institutions, famous sports players and musicians, and many prominent brands. However, the fact that it’s extremely flexible makes it a good choice for any type of business regardless of its size.

The WordPress Community

It might not look like much at first, but the more you use WordPress, the more you see how important it is to be a part of such a large community of users. 

For starters, for any issue you encounter, there’s someone who can help you or someone who will have helped you by posting a solution somewhere on the internet. In addition to this, there’s a lot of free helpful material created by other WordPress users that you can take advantage of.

Gazillions of people contribute to WordPress in one way or another every day. Being a member of this global community and relying on it for anything WordPress-related is extremely important for any WordPress user.

WordPress community

Customer Support

Yola

Yola provides premium support to all customers who subscribe to any of the paid plans and add-ons. This means that it gives priority to this group of customers. Based on the Yola documentation, it looks like other users (for instance, those who sign up for the free site plan and e-commerce add-on) also get help from the Yola support team. However, they need to wait longer for the Yola staff to answer their questions and address their issues.

The only way to get direct help from Yola is through email. Whenever you encounter an issue or have any questions, you can submit a request on this page. In our experience as well as based on Yola customer reviews on websites like G2 and Capterra, the customer support staff is polite, helpful, responsive, and provides quick and high-quality support.

Besides getting help via email, you can contact Yola through Facebook Messenger, find answers at the help center, learn more about the platform through the Yola tutorials, or even check out its blog to keep yourself updated with the latest changes.

Yola help center

WordPress

Since WordPress is open-source and non-proprietary software, WordPress doesn’t come with direct customer support. There’s no such a thing as a WordPress customer support team. Luckily, the WordPress community is enormous, so there are many users who’d be glad to help on forums and users groups.

Before asking anyone for help, you can always search through the WordPress documentation for an answer. There’s so much you can learn about WordPress and its inner workings on the WordPress support page.

WordPress suppoert

There’s a ton of useful information on the WordPress blog, too. In addition to this, as we implied before, you can find help on some of the countless WordPress forums. Also, keep in mind that the internet is full of educational resources, videos, tutorials, and guides related to WordPress; the good news is that a lot of the available material is free.

Over and Out

In this Yola vs. WordPress review, we explored some key aspects of the two platforms and dove into some of their most notable features. Hopefully, this read succeeded in giving a clear picture of Yola and WordPress. Also, we hope that it helps you in your search for the best software solution for your online presence.

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