WordPress vs. Webflow: which CMS is better for your website?

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22 Jan
2024
4 Dec
2023
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When creating websites, most developers stick to WordPress or Webflow, and there’s a reason why. From user-friendliness, plugins, performance, and SEO optimization, these two provide maximum capabilities and features. However, they are both distinct from each other and offer unique benefits. This guide helps you make the right choice through an in-depth analysis and comparison.

Search, choose, use — website creation tools

If you’re looking to build your own website, you’ll have a lot of CMS options to choose from. As expected, most developers opt for Webflow and WordPress. Why? Because these solutions allow you to create simple to complex websites, they are easy to grasp, even if you’re a beginner. However, they are different in their approaches, and it’s fundamental that you’re well-versed in their features if you want to choose the best option for your project.

We’ve spent plenty of time using these apps regularly, and through this guide, we’ll provide you with an in-depth comparison between Webflow and WordPress. So, let’s get started!

Webflow and WordPress might function similarly, but they differ greatly in many aspects such as pricing, ease of use, SEO capabilities, and many more.

Quick overview: WordPress and Webflow

Before we compare the key differences between WordPress and Webflow, it’s important to have at least a general understanding of these two platforms.

We’ve spent plenty of time using these apps regularly, and through this guide, we’ll provide you with an in-depth comparison between Webflow and WordPress. So, let’s get started!

What is WordPress?

As of now, WordPress, specifically the self-hosted .org version, is the most widely used Content Management System (CMS), with over 43% of all websites globally. It’s free and open source, which has fueled its rapid growth thanks to a strong community of users, developers, and companies creating WordPress themes, plugins, and other tools. 

If you have coding skills or the financial resources to hire a web developer, WordPress provides a highly flexible platform. It’s an ideal choice if you intend to host a blog or regularly add new content to your site.

Unlike WordPress.com, which is more like Webflow and a hosted platform, WordPress.org requires you to handle hosting yourself. However, it’s more powerful, making it a strong rival to Webflow. Setting up WordPress demands more effort, though, as you have complete control over the process. To build your own site on WordPress, you’ll need a domain registrar, reliable hosting, and suitable themes and plugins. 

Webflow and WordPress remain two of the most popular choices among developers

What is Webflow?

Webflow is an all-in-one platform, commonly referred to as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), for creating and hosting websites. It’s a more user-friendly alternative to WordPress because it’s incredibly fast and simple to set up a website. Unlike WordPress, Webflow includes all the necessary features, so you don’t have to fret about finding a hosting service or adding extra plugins for things like SEO, security, or eCommerce. 

Webflow also offers a CMS option for blogging and content creation, similar to WordPress, although it’s not essential for basic websites. One of the significant advantages of Webflow is that you can visually design your site without needing to write any code. In contrast, with WordPress, you’ll need Divi page builder or a similar tool to get the same design features of Webflow.

If you or the person building your website lacks coding experience, and you want a quick and straightforward way to get your site up and running, Webflow is an excellent choice.

Who are they suitable for

Both WordPress and Webflow offer distinct functionalities and features for creating websites 

When comparing Webflow versus WordPress, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your business to make the most informed decision.

WordPress is the best choice for complete control over your website’s functionality and appearance, especially if you have some web development experience. You don’t need coding knowledge, but it can help shape your site. WordPress enables you to build content-rich websites with its intuitive Posts and Pages feature.

On the flip side, Webflow is ideal for those who want a hassle-free way to craft sleek websites without a developer or graphic designer. It provides everything you need for a modern, custom design. You can swiftly create attractive, responsive websites using pre-made templates and a user-friendly drag-and-drop visual design tool.

Which CMS is better?

Webflow and WordPress might function similarly, but they differ greatly in many aspects, such as pricing, ease of use, SEO capabilities, and many more. To help you make an informed choice, we have provided an in-depth comparison below. 

Now that you’ve seen the comparison, you have a clearer picture of how Webflow and WordPress stack up against each other in various aspects. But there’s more to each aspect than meets the eye. Read on as we uncover the details to help you make a well-informed decision tailored to your needs.

Pricing

Webflow

Webflow provides a range of pricing options for you to pick from, and these are divided into two main categories: General and E-commerce. Let’s break down the general site plans for a quick overview:

General

  • Starter (Free): This free plan includes a webflow.io domain and allows up to 50 CMS items, mainly suitable for testing purposes.
  • Basic ($18 per month): This plan offers a custom domain but does not include CMS for blogging, making it ideal for building simple websites. When paying for a year, the price per month will be $14.
  • CMS ($29 per month): With this plan, you get access to the CMS with storage for up to 2,000 CMS items and up to 3 content editors, which is suitable for small blogs. If you opt for an annual payment, the monthly cost comes down to $23.
  • Business ($49 per month): The Business plan provides space for up to 10,000 CMS storage items, 10 content editors, and 25,000 monthly form subscribers. Yet, on an annual subscription basis, the monthly fee amounts to $39.
  • Enterprise: The Enterprise plan is designed for those requiring additional storage and bandwidth. Pricing details are available upon contacting them directly.

E-commerce

For those interested in creating an e-commerce site, Webflow offers three plans:

  • Standard ($42 per month): This plan includes all the features of the CMS plan
    and accommodates up to 500 e-commerce items, making it suitable for new businesses. Nonetheless, the monthly rate is $29 when the payment
    is made yearly.
  • Plus ($84 per month): The Plus plan incorporates all the Business plan features and supports up to 5,000 e-commerce items, ideal for businesses with higher sales volume. Alternatively, choosing a yearly payment plan reduces the monthly expense to $74.
  • Advanced ($235 per month): The Advanced plan allows up to 15,000 e-commerce items, catering to larger businesses. However, for a yearly commitment, the monthly charge is set at $212.

Webflow simplifies the process by bundling hosting with its pricing plans, saving you from the extra step and cost of securing hosting separately. This is a notable difference from WordPress, where hosting is typically an additional expense.

WordPress

While WordPress is a free and open-source platform that offers the flexibility to self-host and manage your website, it’s worth considering the associated costs that can add up quickly. These include the price of web hosting services (such as SiteGround or Cloudways), purchasing a domain name, and acquiring licenses or memberships for necessary themes and plugins. The total cost will depend on the specific requirements of your website.

Your hosting expenses can range from $5 to $9 per month (or even more for managed hosting), a domain is free, but for a custom one you’ll need to pay around 10$ per year, and a theme might be a one-time payment of $29.99. However, these prices can fluctuate. What’s certain is that you’ll need to allocate some funds to keep your website running. In total, it’s feasible to manage a basic WordPress website for an annual cost of roughly $50 to $75. If you require premium themes and plugins and potential hosting upgrades, the yearly expenditure could be in the range of $100 to $350.

Ease of use and setup

Another essential factor you need to consider is to ensure that whichever CMS you choose is easy for you to set up and use. This holds importance for newcomers taking their first steps in website creation.

Webflow

Webflow provides a simpler learning curve, especially during the setup process. Its user-friendly visual site builder is intuitive and offers more possibilities than WordPress’s basic block editor. You can design a website using a drag-and-drop visual builder without coding skills. Moreover, webflow also provides handy tutorials and a selection of free templates right from the start.

However, like any new software, first-time users might need help to locate customization options or specific features, especially when dealing with more advanced website elements. The dashboard may be challenging to navigate, but you will become more comfortable with it over time. For additional support and learning resources, Webflow University offers comprehensive tutorials and guides to assist users in mastering the platform.

In a nutshell, Webflow’s ease of use and design tools make it an excellent choice for website creation. It’s a solid option if you’re looking to build a professional website without needing extra plugins.

WordPress

In comparison to Webflow, WordPress presents a steeper learning curve during the setup phase, which involves:

  • Finding the best hosting;
  • Locating a domain registrar if your hosting service doesn’t provide one;
  • Installing WordPress (if your hosting service does not handle it);
  • Setting up a theme;
  • Installing plugins.

However, once all these pieces are in place, WordPress becomes a robust platform capable of creating various types of websites. The beauty of WordPress lies in its adaptability, as it can be as simple or as complex as you need. For instance, creating a blog post is easy. Just click on "Add New" under the post section in the main dashboard, and you’ll have access to the block editor, where you can start crafting your content. 

With this editor, you can effortlessly modify pages, posts, and media. However, note that WordPress isn’t the most user-friendly platform for beginners. While it’s possible to set up a simple website easily, you’ll need some technical know-how to achieve the customizations you desire. Additionally, WordPress offers many options and settings, which is fantastic for those seeking flexibility and functionality.

Plugins and extensions

Plugins and extensions are invaluable tools for enhancing the functionality and features of your website. Whether you’re using Webflow or WordPress, these add-ons can help you tailor your site to your requirements.

Webflow

In 2023 Webflow opened up the opportunity for third-party developers to create and add plugins, and there are still relatively few available. However, this doesn’t mean you’re unable to expand your site’s functionality. You can enhance Webflow’s capabilities by incorporating code snippets from external services.

For example, adding a live chat feature to your website can be done by embedding a JavaScript snippet from your chosen live chat provider. Similarly, to create a membership site using Webflow, you can incorporate Memberstack.

WordPress

WordPress offers an extensive library of plugins to expand your website’s capabilities. The official WordPress.org directory boasts over 59,000 free plugins. Furthermore, there are a variety of premium ones available for purchase from other marketplaces or independent developers.

WordPress is designed with the expectation that you’ll utilize these plugins to enhance your site’s functionality, whether to boost SEO or ensure mobile-friendliness.

Pre-made themes and templates 

Pre-made themes and templates provide a foundation for building websites efficiently and beautifully. Whether you’re considering Webflow or WordPress, these ready-made designs can significantly impact the visual appeal and structure of your site.

Webflow

Webflow offers plenty of templates for you to tinker with. From the variety of options, you can choose from:

  • Free templates: Webflow provides around 50 free templates to use.
  • Premium templates: Regarding higher quality premium templates, Webflow offers approximately 1,400+ choices.

WordPress excels in terms of flexibility and variety when it comes to selecting off-the-shelf designs for your website.

WordPress

When it comes to having the most choices for ready-made designs, WordPress takes the lead due to its widespread popularity. Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:

  • Free themes: WordPress offers a substantial selection of over 5,300 free themes.
  • Premium themes: When it comes to premium themes, WordPress outshines with tens of thousands of options.

If ready-made themes and templates are essential for you, both these apps provide thousands of choices, but WordPress tops the list in terms of quantity. 

Integration with third-party services

To make the most of your website, it’s crucial to connect smoothly with the other tools you use, like your customer relationship manager (CRM) or email marketing platform.

Webflow

Webflow enables the connection of powerful tools through various apps available on its platform. While it may not boast a wide array of native integrations, the flexibility to integrate different services through code embeds and external interfaces enriches its functionality. For instance, if you wish to incorporate a HubSpot lead generation form, simply create it in HubSpot and then embed it seamlessly into your Webflow site using the provided code. This approach of integrating services, although slightly more involved than platforms like WordPress, opens up a realm of possibilities for customization and enhanced utility.

WordPress

WordPress stands out in terms of integrations because it offers an extensive array of plugins, covering nearly any integration you can think of. For example, suppose you want to integrate HubSpot with your WordPress site. In that case, there’s a dedicated HubSpot WordPress plugin that not only links your site to HubSpot but also grants access to the HubSpot CRM and essential functions right within your WordPress dashboard. For more advanced integrations, tools like WP Webhooks and Uncanny Automator are available, allowing you to create custom automation rules to connect with other services. Overall, WordPress’s strength lies in its flexibility to integrate with the tools you use.

Security

Regardless of your chosen platform, security will be and should be a major concern. The key is to pick up a platform that meets the right level of protection for your needs.

Webflow

Webflow primarily utilizes Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosting, a leading industry name known for secure web hosting. This CMS platform has implemented multiple security measures to safeguard data handling, customer information, payment processing, and more. It employs strong encryption throughout to prevent unauthorized data access, underscoring its proactive defense against cyber threats and attacks. An important aspect is that all pricing plans include an SSL certificate for your domain, adding an extra layer of security to the website. The advantage is that Webflow ensures safety is essentially built into the platform, freeing you from taking specific actions. However, the trade-off is that you have limited control over your website’s security, as you rely entirely on Webflow for this aspect.

WordPress

WordPress is a widely used open-source software available to everyone, which means it does have inherent security vulnerabilities that need attention. Since each site created on this CMS relies on third-party themes, plugins, and hosting providers, you must take extra security precautions to ensure everything remains safe. 

However, you should know that, despite the challenges, you can achieve high security with a WordPress site. How? Well, the platform benefits from a large community of developers working tirelessly to enhance its security. You can bolster your site’s security using plugins and other services to suit your needs. Moreover, you must keep in mind that due to the popularity of WordPress, it has become a massive target for hackers, so vigilance is essential.

Customization

When choosing your first website platform, it’s challenging to predict all the features you might need in the future. This is why the ability to customize and adapt is a crucial consideration in platform selection. 

Webflow

Webflow provides a range of free and premium templates to help you start your website creation. But, unlike WordPress, where you can easily switch themes, changing Webflow templates requires more work. To use a different template, you’ll need to start a new project and choose another theme. This also means you must manually transfer data or copy elements to a new site in another workspace.

The good news is that once you’ve selected a template, customizing it with new designs and content is a straightforward process. Webflow provides over 20 design elements (or blocks) for customization through their visual builder, including text headings, Lottie animation elements and Spline 3D design tool. You can also create “components” that function similarly to global block styling in WordPress, allowing you to update all instances of a content block simultaneously.

WordPress

The WordPress ecosystem provides the tools, resources, and support you need to craft any design or functionality you desire. In terms of design customization and expandability, WordPress is a step ahead of other website builders, including Webflow. This CMS platform theme repository is home to many free themes. In addition, premium themes and page builders available in the ecosystem can elevate your design customizations to new heights. These tools provide everything you need to create a website that perfectly matches your vision and requirements.

Moreover, WordPress boasts a library of over 50,000 free plugins to enhance your site’s functionality in numerous ways, whether it’s adding forms, integrating social media, enabling e-commerce, email marketing, and much more. For those with coding skills, you can take customization further by tweaking existing themes with CSS adjustments or more advanced PHP coding. 

Content management system capabilities 

When comparing Webflow and WordPress, one critical aspect to evaluate is their content management capabilities. These two popular website platforms offer different approaches to managing and organizing digital content.

Webflow

Webflow provides a visual, code-free CMS that allows you to design and manage content-rich websites with ease. The CMS functionality is smoothly incorporated, enabling easy content creation, modification, and organizing. And you can make dynamic, database-driven content without relying on complex coding. Webflow’s CMS is known for its intuitive interface, making it a great choice for those who prefer a more visual approach to content management.

WordPress

WordPress is renowned for its versatile and highly extensible CMS. Thanks to this, it’s highly favored by bloggers, businesses, and publishers for its robust content management features. With WordPress, users can effortlessly create, edit, and organize content using a classic block editor or various page builders. Its extensive range of plugins and themes provides opportunities for customization and growth. 

SEO opportunities

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital aspect of increasing your website’s online visibility. The quality of content is key to SEO success, but the CMS you choose also impacts your site’s ranking. When considering WordPress vs Webflow SEO, it’s essential to understand how each platform can assist you in optimizing your website to reach your target audience.

Webflow

Webflow is an all-in-one solution, and it’s equipped with various tools to enhance your SEO swiftly. It’s designed with a focus on creating mobile-friendly pages, a vital factor in achieving high search rankings and offering a better user experience. Webflow offers automatic minification of HTML, JS, and CSS, streamlining your site’s code and enhancing performance. It also provides a convenient one-click feature to convert all images into an efficient WebP format.

Webflow also handles several behind-the-scenes aspects, such as generating and submitting sitemaps automatically, using clean and lightweight code that appeals to site crawlers, and ensuring fast loading speeds. This means you might not have to stress over the technical aspects of SEO. However, it’s worth remembering that you’re relinquishing some control in this regard and relying on Webflow’s built-in optimizations.

WordPress

By default, WordPress offers a more basic set of SEO tools, as its core code prioritizes smooth performance. However, one of the main attractions of WordPress is its flexibility and the ability to modify its code. On the other hand, be aware that changes to the code can sometimes impact the site’s performance. WordPress provides the advantage of expanding your control over search rankings through add-on tools like Yoast SEO and All in One SEO. These plugins help improve your SEO by allowing you to optimize content with keywords, include metadata for search engines, and more. Additionally, WordPress makes it relatively straightforward to migrate your site, which is important since a poorly executed move can harm your SEO. High-quality managed WordPress hosting providers can typically handle this task for you.

Performance optimization

When it comes to performance optimization, Webflow and WordPress take different routes. Webflow provides integrated hosting with speed-enhancing technologies, while WordPress offers flexibility but necessitates diligent management for optimal performance. Let’s examine how these approaches impact website speed and scalability.

Webflow

Webflow provides built-in hosting with all its plans, utilizing Amazon Web Services and Fastly CDN for exceptional performance and rapid loading times. This means you don’t have to worry about searching for the ideal hosting provider, ensuring you enjoy fast loading speeds and high performance right from the beginning.

WordPress

With WordPress, you’re responsible for choosing a hosting provider, and the speed and overall performance of your website will depend on the host you select. Luckily, numerous hosting providers are accessible, accommodating various budgets and performance needs. Nonetheless, even with a high-quality host, using multiple plugins in WordPress can make the code more complex, leading to slower loading speeds for your site.

E-commerce functionality

If you’re going to sell products on your website, E-commerce functionality is a feature you just can’t ignore. And this is where the Webflow vs WordPress comparison takes an exciting turn. 

Webflow

E-commerce is integrated into the Webflow platform. Activating an extension and connecting your shipping services are the primary steps, and then it’s all about designing your site. However, this is where Webflow and WordPress notably differ. If you opt for Webflow, you’ll encounter fewer choices for payment processors, each of which comes with a standard Webflow fee, in addition to any fees from gateways and shipping companies. Webflow provides website hosting, with pricing plan options beginning at $29 per month. While there are more affordable plans, if you want an e-commerce plan that allows users to make purchases on your site, you’ll need to go for the premium options.

WordPress

WordPress’s open-source nature offers flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Downloading the software won’t cost you anything, but keep in mind that other website-related costs will arise. These can include items such as WordPress hosting — either managed or unmanaged — as well as purchasing a domain name. For those interested in e-commerce, WooCommerce is a popular choice among WordPress users. While WooCommerce itself doesn’t have a price tag, be aware that there are fees associated with payment gateways, credit cards, and shipping. It might require a bit more initial setup compared to Webflow, but it can ultimately be more cost-effective in the long term.

Community support 

No matter where you stand in the Webflow vs. WordPress debate, both options come with their vibrant communities and support resources that enrich the experience and ensure continuous updates and improvements.

Webflow

Webflow provides users with a dedicated forum for easy communication and assistance from fellow users. You can also access Webflow University for specific content. The “Show & Tell” section lets you showcase your work and draw inspiration from a diverse creative community. For professional support, Webflow offers customer service with weekday email support. The Webflow community hosts various events and groups where you can learn and connect with other creators.

WordPress

WordPress, being open-source, lacks official support, but it compensates with a wide array of resources suitable for users of all skill levels. Its open-source nature means that all code is publicly available, offering design flexibility and fostering a robust community. You can explore the comprehensive WordPress documentation and dedicated forums, including specific forums for individual plugins and themes. That’s not all. WordPress also hosts various events, now predominantly in the virtual realm, providing ample opportunities for community involvement.

Webflow is easier to use, whereas WordPress targets more experienced users

Which one should you choose?

When faced with the decision of choosing a content management system, many wonder whether Webflow is better than WordPress. Both platforms offer a range of features, but your specific requirements will ultimately determine the most suitable option for your project.

If you or the person building your website lacks coding experience and you want a quick and straightforward way to get your site up and running, Webflow is an excellent choice. It empowers you to make custom design changes without relying on a developer. Whether you intend to collaborate with an external design professional or agency or are new to website development and anticipate requiring customer support, Webflow is a highly suitable platform for your needs.

On the other hand, with coding skills or financial resources to hire a web developer, WordPress provides a highly flexible platform. It’s an ideal choice to host a blog or regularly add new content to your site. If you have a team contributing regularly or need to incorporate other tools, you might want to choose WordPress for your website.

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