WordPress versus Webflow: a comparison

Insights

WordPress and Webflow are two popular website CMS (Content Management System) that have gained traction in their own respective niches. This comparison will guide you through the differences between the two platforms, how easy each is to use, their pros and cons, and what features they offer. This guide will help you make an informed decision about what website builder is the best option for your website.

The Main Differences Between Webflow and WordPress

For starters, WordPress is the most popular website builder on the internet and offers flexible design, with the aid of plugins. Webflow is a drag-and-drop site builder that focuses primarily on design and customisation, making it the favoured choice of web designers and marketers who need control of functionality without coding.

Price is a major difference. Webflow’s subscriptions start at $12USD per month, while WordPress is free to use - users just need to purchase their domain name and website hosting.
WordPress began with bloggers in mind, while Webflow is design-first.
Webflow offers complete design freedom with no-code necessary, where WordPress limits users to themes or building code from scratch, which is generally a very expensive exercise.
Edits are made on-site in Webflow. WordPress’s edits are made in a dashboard.
WordPress uses plugins for additional features, making its functionalities infinitely customisable. Webflow is purpose-built and offers many integration options.

WordPress in 2021

With a staggering 40% of the world's websites powered by WordPress, it’s no surprise that the familiar platform is a go-to for websites of all needs. What began in 2003 as a blogging platform, has now evolved to offer open-source, low-cost solutions to suit many website needs today. WordPress’s easy-to-use interface and myriad of plugins help maintain this website builder as a popular option.

Pros of WordPress

Low Cost
WordPress is open-source, so free to use. Users simply need to purchase their own domain name and hosting. Users have the option of purchasing themes for their site or building custom code from scratch to achieve their desired look.

Easy to Update Content
WordPress sites are updated through a dashboard, and once the user knows their way around the dashboard, updates are simple and intuitive.  

Blogger First
Since WordPress’s origins are in blogging, the platform still leans heavily in that content direction. For content publishers, functionalities like post types, categories, and comments are built into its capabilities.

Plugins for Customisation
WordPress offers nearly infinite customisation through their plug-in options. With thousands to choose from, nearly every imaginable website capability has its own plugin, making it easy to customise a site.

Large Community and Support
WordPress has garnered plenty of fanfare since its inception in 2003. Offering robust forums and unwavering support from diehard fans, WordPress’s support community is large and knowledgeable.

Renowned e-commerce
WooCommerce, WordPress’s e-commerce plugin is free and easy to use. Offering professional and intuitive e-commerce solutions, WooCommerce makes integrating an online shop to a website easy. It’s also widely used in the e-commerce world, with plenty of forums and case studies on how well it works.

Cons of WordPress

Messy Code
With WordPress’s extensive list of plugins comes bloated, messy code. Each plugin needs to be coded into the website, and some codes are unnecessarily long or complicated. This can slow down site speed and cause other plugins to break. If something does break on the site, it often takes a process of elimination to diagnose the issue.

Constant Updates
WordPress is at the mercy of constant updates for the site itself, plugins, and themes - if applicable. Updates can cause some plugins or themes to break, causing hours of work finding a solution. Users are responsible for managing all updates, and any issues that arise from said updates, on their own.

Coding is Necessary for Customised Sites
While WordPress has a host of great themes, a complicated website may need a developer for help. Since the only two options for WordPress are to use a templated theme or build code from scratch, this can be a long and costly process.

Direct Support is Hard to Find.
While their robust online community is helpful for common problems, WordPress lacks direct support. For paid plans, they do offer 24/7 live chat support, but for free plans, users need to pay for support.


Webflow in 2021

Webflow is a website building platform with designers in mind. With no code needed, Webflow websites are created visually and provide complete customisation, using an interface not too dissimilar to an advanced responsive design programme such as Adobe XD, Figma or Sketch. Function is at the heart of Webflow’s mission and the system is built not only for design studios like us, but our clients when we handover their websites, too. We get unlimited creative freedom in designing and creating websites, and the client gets a simplified "Editor" view which allows them to easily edit copy, change images, publish CMS items (such as blog posts, team profiles, job opportunities etc) without the risk of breaking our design.

Webflow is extremely powerful and the cloud-based content management system (CMS) allows for a unparalleled level of customisation - from animations to API integrations.


Pros of Webflow

Streamlined Design Process
Webflow allows users to make changes on-page and doesn’t require coding. There’s no disconnect between the code and design, which is handy when working with a designer and developer. Designs are also made straight on the page, allowing a preview of what the site will look like before hitting publish. Plus, the drag-and-drop feature creates visually appealing designs.

Clean Code
As mentioned above, WordPress plugins add a lot of code to sites - often leading to code bloat. Long bits of code can leave a site vulnerable to slow speed, breakdown, or incompatibility to another plugin’s code. Webflow doesn’t offer plugins, giving sites clean code in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and allowing sites to run smoother and faster.

Animations Functionality
Webflow has animation functionality on their sites, offering interactive ways to connect with website visitors and create one-of-a-kind webpages, with no coding necessary.

Responsive Page Design
Webflow understands the importance of a mobile-friendly site. Webflow optimises inline images for different devices and allows users to preview their pages before going live.

User-friendly Interface
Just like any programme, Webflow takes time to learn, but quickly becomes intuitive. It’s drag-and-drop feature is favoured by many designers, as it’s easy to move elements around a page and see what the site will look like in real time. WordPress needs an additional plug-in to achieve this capability.

Advanced SEO Control
Webflow is built with improving SEO in mind. The site optimises a website’s SEO settings with fine-tuned controls, high-performance hosting, and no need for additional plugins and their code. For content, meta titles and descriptions are created automatically and access to SEO settings are easy to find and alter. In addition, Webflow offers automatically generated sitemaps and customisable 301 redirects, key pieces of the SEO puzzle that often have to be created by the user from scratch in other platforms.

Support Systems
Webflow has a host of support systems to make sure users get the help they need. From Webflow University to a healthy mix of forums and blogs, Webflow is at your service. For questions that can’t be solved with a bit of digging, Webflow offers a customer support team available through email.

Integrations are a breeze
Webflow can easily connect to third-party tools using built-in integrations, flexible custom code, and through Zapier.

Backups and Security
Webflow takes security very seriously. Sites come with a free SSL certificate, showing visitors that a site can be trusted with personal information and offers more robust protection from hackers. Plus, Webflow provides automatic backups, saving a designer’s work along the way.

Cons of Webflow

Expense
Starting at $12 USD, Webflow’s cost can quickly add up. Websites in need of a blog or other content-driven capabilities will need the CMS plan, which begins at $16 USD per month.

Learning Curve
Although the drag and drop interface is user-friendly, the functionalities of Webflow can feel overwhelming to first-time users. With seemingly limitless options for customisation, and the option to write code if needed, the interface isn’t as simple as WordPress and can feel complex, especially without any web design background.

Less Robust e-commerce Option
Webflow offers e-commerce onsite, but the option is less robust than WooCommerce for WordPress.

Traffic limits
Webflow has traffic limits on monthly visitors. While the numbers are pretty reasonable, especially for new websites, this can be a limiting factor and potentially drive the monthly price up even more.

Which is better, WordPress or Webflow?

While both offer a wide range of capabilities, Glido prefers the capabilities and functionality of Webflow. Offering nearly limitless options, Webflow is a web designer’s dream - all the possibilities without lines of code. The functionality, customisation, and sleek designs afford designers to unleash their creativity and create easy-to-use, modern websites. What’s more, we find the user-interface perfect for client handovers and appreciate the freedom of customisation Webflow gives to clients.

While WordPress has a stronghold on the market and has offered an industry-leading website building platform, it’s evolution over time has caused slow and clunky performance. Since it was originally built as a blogging platform and relies on plugins for advanced capabilities, it’s not as powerful as Webflow, which was built from the ground up, with all capabilities included.

For a content management platform that creates streamlined, design-focussed websites with powerful functionality and an easy to use interface, Webflow corners the market.

Glido builds their websites in Webflow, so you can ensure you’re getting the highest level of customisation with the utmost functionality. Get in touch with us today to talk about your project.