Are you looking for an ideal platform for your next website and have you narrowed down your choices to Webflow and WordPress?
In this post, we’ll help you make an informed decision about using either of these two tools to create your website. This article will compare these two platforms based on a variety of criteria that become important not only when you build the website, but also to run and maintain it for the long term.
Webflow vs WordPress: quick introduction
I would like to start this post by telling you the main difference between WordPress and Webflow.
WordPress (the WordPress.org version) is an open source CMS or content management system that has been around since 2003. Many people contribute to the development of the project and make it available for everyone to use or modify.
Webflow was founded almost a decade later, in 2013. It is an online visual website builder that allows you to design your own websites without the need to write any code. Basically, Webflow is a SaaS or Software as a Service product.
Many differences between these two platforms are directly or indirectly due to the fact that WordPress is open source and Webflow is a SaaS company.
Installation and ease of use
Let’s say you decide to use WordPress to create your website. In this case, you will first need to find a web host, then install WordPress on the server. Some web hosts will even do this automatically for you, while most others come with installers to help you do it in a few simple steps.
With Webflow, all you need to do to get started with your website is to simply sign up for their service. They’ll ask you a few questions and give you some instructions, but that’s it.
This simplifies the installation process for Webflow compared to Webflow. And the ease of use?
When you use WordPress and Webflow to create web pages, you will notice that WordPress is easier to use for absolute beginners. Webflow gives you much more control over the different aspects of web page design. Since it’s all done within a visual editor, you have to work with a few options to change things like font size, color, fill, position, and what not.
Put simply, you will find it easier to design web pages in WordPress as an absolute beginner. Webflow, although more powerful, requires at least some familiarity with HTML and CSS.
Winner: WordPress is easier for a beginner to get started.
Both WordPress and Webflow will allow you to design a web page from scratch. You can use the built-in tools to do this or use plugins like Elementor in the case of WordPress. However, creating a complete project from scratch can take a long time and the results may not always be as good as you expected.
Fortunately, both WordPress and Webflow offer pre-built themes and templates for building your websites. You can modify these themes to create your own unique website design.
Many people contribute to WordPress because it is an open source project. This means that you are likely to find thousands of free and paid themes that you can use to create your website. WordPress has a large repository of free themes for you to use.
If you feel free themes aren’t good enough for your needs, you can always get premium themes from third-party markets. One such example might be ThemeForest, you can search for more online.
Webflow also has its own marketplace where you can get free or premium themes to use on your website. The main difference here is that the market is controlled by Webflow. This means that all templates you find on Webflow must meet the standards and guidelines set by the company. As a result, you get a limited number of high-quality website templates.
Many free templates were designed by Webflow itself, so you can expect good quality from free free templates too.
Both platforms are a draw for me when it comes to the quality and quantity of themes available. WordPress offers a larger selection of themes to choose from than Webflow. However, Webflow has better quality control on free themes. Premium themes are vetted for quality on WordPress markets as well.
Bind: Free Webflow Themes are more consistently high quality. WordPress has outstanding premium themes.
Plugins and extensions available
No website builder tool or service can provide all the functionality its users may need now or in the future. This would make the product bloated. However, some of the features people ask for may actually be needed to run their own business.
One way around this limitation is to allow the use of third party extensions that integrate with the main product. Both WordPress and Webflow use this strategy.
Just like themes, WordPress also has a large repository of free plugins that you can install and activate to use on your website. There are over 60,000 free plugins available for you to use and will provide all kinds of functionality. This includes contact forms, spam protection, eCommerce, optimization etc.
There are also many markets like CodeCanyon that sell premium WordPress plugins that provide more features, regular updates, and better support in case something goes wrong.
The number of integrations provided by Webflow is quite limited compared to WordPress. I’d like to add that Webflow provides built-in features to manage eCommerce operations on some of its plans, so you’ll get it as long as you’re willing to pay a monthly fee.
Winner: WordPress is a clear winner when it comes to extending the functionality of your website with third-party plugins.
Maintenance and optimization
Any website you create requires ongoing maintenance to function properly. It should be your priority to keep the website fast, optimized and safe for your visitors.
When you use WordPress, the burden of maintaining a website lies with you. You will be responsible for choosing a decent hosting provider that provides a scalable and secure infrastructure. Any WordPress themes and plugins you install will regularly release new updates and you will need to keep them up to date to prevent security vulnerabilities.
Webflow hosting is built on AWS and Fastly, so you don’t have to worry about speed or scalability. The platform will take care of these for you. Plus, you won’t have to deal with regular updates of third-party plugins and themes. This reduces the chances of something breaking after updates or of security falling out if there are no updates. Webflow also offers good SEO out of the box, while you need third-party plugins to do the same in WordPress.
Winner: Webflow is the obvious choice if you are looking for a hassle-free maintenance and optimization experience for your website.
Cost of use
The cost of using a platform is also an important factor when deciding which one to use to create your website. It’s easier to get a rough estimate of the overall costs with SaaS products like Webflow, but a little harder to do with open source projects like WordPress.
This is because you can see the cost of different plans in a pricing table on the Webflow website.
As you can see, building a CMS-compatible website with Webflow will cost you $ 23 per month or $ 276 per year billed annually. The price goes up to $ 468 for the business plan. There are also other limitations such as the number of guest editors or form submissions etc.
Let’s say you decide to create an eCommerce site with Webflow, you will have to pay $ 888 on a yearly basis if you want to avoid a 2% transaction fee. There are other finer details as well that you should check out on the official site.
WordPress, unlike Webflow, won’t cost you anything to install because it’s open-source. However, you will still have to pay a hosting fee but you are free to choose your web host. Let’s say you decide to use premium WordPress themes or plugins, those costs would also add to your overall budget.
Winner: In most cases, a WordPress website will be cheaper.
We conclude the post with a final verdict on the best platform to use to build your website. The table below summarizes everything we’ve discussed so far in the post to help you make your decision.
|Installation and ease of use||WordPress|
|Designs and layouts available||
|Plugins and extensions||
|Maintenance and optimization||
If cost is not an important factor for you and you are not planning on doing something truly unique with your website, I would suggest you choose Webflow to create your website. Just make sure you are already familiar with HTML and CSS or are ready to take some time to get to know them.
People who don’t want to be tied to a specific platform and want complete control over their website should consider using WordPress. Keep in mind that you will have to take care of the optimization, security and general maintenance of the website yourself.