When it comes to building a website, no platform is more recognized than WordPress. But you're likely here because you've heard of its significant competitor, Webflow. In this article, we'll explore the key differences between these two platforms, helping you make the right decision for your business.
Before diving into which platform might be the better choice, let's take a moment to understand the unique features and benefits each of them offers.
What is WordPress
As mentioned earlier, WordPress reigns as the most popular platform for building websites. To put it into perspective, 43% of websites used WordPress in 2022, according to W3Techs.
In this discussion, we will focus on WordPress.org, not WordPress.com. You might wonder why. Well, WordPress.com is a hosted platform, whereas WordPress.org requires installation and configuration on your server.
You can download WordPress from WordPress.org for free and install it on your server. Being an open-source solution, there are more than 59,000 plugins and 31,000 themes created specifically for WordPress.
- Plugins extend the platform with new functionalities.
- Themes/Templates alter the appearance and design.
Starting in 2003 as a simple blogging platform, WordPress quickly evolved into a multifaceted system, offering a CMS and plugins that can power anything from online stores, marketing sites, and marketplaces, to online directories.
What is Webflow
Webflow, a prominent SaaS (Software as a Service) platform, offers a comprehensive suite of website-building tools, including a CMS, design interface, content management interface, SEO settings, and integrations with popular services like Google Analytics, Optimize, and Facebook Pixel. Since its inception in 2012, it has rapidly grown into a company valued at over 4 billion dollars, boasting a fervent community of freelancers and agencies, including us at PixelMakers.
The hallmark of Webflow is its all-in-one offering: from design and content management to seamless integrations. It's primarily geared towards designers, front-end engineers, and marketing specialists seeking a low-code/no-code solution for swift website creation, though it's user-friendly for all skill levels.
At this point, you might notice the foundational difference between WordPress and Webflow: WordPress is open-source, while Webflow operates as a SaaS. Let's dive further into the contrasts between the two platforms.
With WordPress, you have the option to host your website on your server, whereas Webflow hosts sites in the cloud on their servers.
Hosting a website on WordPress can be a complex task, requiring you to choose from hundreds or even thousands of hosting companies. Some, like Kinsta, simplify the process with one-click installs, but others might only provide the server, leaving you to handle all configurations. Additionally, you must ensure that your provider offers a scalable and secure solution, or you risk site downtime during peak traffic.
In contrast, Webflow presents a complete package. When creating a website, you can either export and host it on your server (minus some Webflow-specific functionalities) or host directly with Webflow (an option 99.9% of users prefer). Opting for the latter ensures your site benefits from Webflow's robust global infrastructure, relying on technologies like Amazon Cloud Services and Fastly, eliminating concerns about traffic and security.
Both WordPress and Webflow are equipped with everything needed to craft a website. The primary distinction lies in WordPress requiring separate plugins for certain functionalities, whereas Webflow tends to include these within the platform itself.
We'll dive into these more nuanced differences in the sections to follow.
Ease of Use
- Hosting and installation are required, possibly manual configuration using cPanel.
- Gutenberg is a default page builder, but it can be changed with more advanced ones such as Elementor. Some themes come with their own page builders.
- Simple account creation. You jump straight into creating the website.
- Templates are available from the Webflow marketplace.
- Distinct interfaces for design (designer) and text/CMS management (editor) offer precise control without the risk of breaking the site.
- Recognizable look; often requires advanced themes or developers for customization.
- Limited creative freedom without advanced HTML, CSS, JS, and PHP knowledge.
- Customizable without advanced technical skills; popular among designers.
Themes and Templates
WordPress: Over 31,000 themes, offering a broader variety.
Webflow: Around 1,000 templates, but higher build quality as they go through rigorous QA checks.
Plugins and Apps
WordPress: Thousands of plugins for various functionalities.
Webflow: Recently opened app marketplace; more potential for custom functionalities with tools like Memberstack, Finsweet Attributes, or Wized.
WordPress: Requires additional measures like SSL certificates and separate plugins for enhanced security.
Webflow: Extensive security measures in place, including SSL and SSO, and rigorous checks for apps and themes.
WordPress: Requires careful optimization; risk of slowing down the site with unoptimized plugins.
Webflow: Quicker, clean code with built-in optimization functionalities like image compression and CDN.
WordPress: Requires plugins like WooComerce and a separate payment processor.
Webflow: Offers Webflow E-commerce, but it’s limited. You can create a custom integration between Webflow and other solutions like Shopify, Bigcommerce, or Foxy.
WordPress: Free but potentially more costly with hosting, SSL, CDN, and plugins; costs range from $200 to $15,000 per month.
Webflow: Costs from $12 to $235 per month (non-enterprise), with added expenses for a custom domain and third-party integrations.
Pros and Cons
Why WordPress Might Be Better for You Than Webflow
- Popularity: It's the most used website-building platform, so finding help is easy.
- Variety of Tools: More themes and plugins mean more ways to personalize your site.
- Cost-Effective: It's free to start, with costs for hosting and special features.
- Total Control: You can change everything, even the admin dashboard.
- Easy Connections: Popular tools like HubSpot connect effortlessly.
- Search Engine Friendly: You can make your site easy to find online with little extra work.
Why Webflow Might Be Better for You Than WordPress
- Highly Customizable: Make it your own, easily.
- Friendly for Everyone: Whether you're a designer, developer, or marketer, you can use it.
- Safe and Secure: Protection comes standard.
- Less Technical Hassle: No need to worry about technical maintenance.
- Quality Designs: More beautiful templates that are easier to use.
- Versatile: Suitable for various projects, from simple sites to online stores.
- Easy Maintenance: Quick edits and updates, without headaches.
- Efficient: Fast-loading and well-organized, with built-in extras like animations.
- Great Support: Helpful team and automatic backups included.
Frequently Asked Questions about WordPress vs Webflow
Can I try Webflow for free?
Yes, you can test a limited version until you're ready to publish your site.
Is Webflow good at helping people find my site?
Yes! It's built to be search-engine friendly and easy to tweak to your needs.
Do Webflow sites look better?
It varies. You can build something stunning quickly with Webflow, but that doesn't mean WordPress can't achieve the same look.
Can I try WordPress without buying hosting?
Absolutely! You can set it up on your computer. Many plugins have a free version.
Can I use WordPress with any host?
Almost all hosting services, including big names like Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services, will host WordPress.
Both platforms have their merits. We might be biased as a Webflow agency, but we believe Webflow offers a superior, all-in-one solution that's user-friendly and agile.
Webflow vs WordPress: Who Should Use What?
- For Stores: WordPress with WooCommerce offers a better package than Webflow.
- For Fast-Moving Teams: Webflow lets you adapt quickly, perfect for rapid changes and updates.
- For Web Designers: WordPress requires more technical know-how. With Webflow, you can jump in with just a basic understanding of web design.
- For Developers: WordPress lets you change everything, while Webflow lets you extend your site's features in creative ways.
- For Marketers: Fear breaking your WordPress site? With Webflow, you can edit content easily without needing a developer's help.
Looking to migrate from WordPress to Webflow? Or building your first website on Webflow? Hire us for your project.