Webflow vs. WordPress: The Modern WordPress alternative

Webflow vs. WordPress: The Modern WordPress alternative

January 5, 2022
Uros Mikic
Webflow
13 min
Amongst many competitors across industries, the Webflow vs WordPress debate is probably the most-heated one nowadays. 

WordPress is an established CMS and website builder that currently powers plenty of sites on the web — approximately 455 million and counting. It has been around since 2003 and has managed to attract one of the most tightly-knit communities, including thousands of WordPress experts.

Webflow, on the other hand, is a much newer website-building tool. It was launched more than a decade after WordPress and is used by 3,500,000+ web designers and developers around the globe. Thanks to its amazing toolset, Webflow University, and intuitive design, it gives much more freedom for building websites in a low-code environment, as opposed to WordPress’ template-based approach.

Both website tools are quickly evolving, meaning new features are continually added, as some of the old ones are excluded or upgraded. We decided to take a close look at both options in 2022 and make a Webflow vs WordPress head-to-head comparison. 

First, we’ll compare the tools quickly before making a detailed overview of both options.

A Quick Webflow vs WordPress Comparison

We identified the four main aspects for comparing the Webflow to WP: design, coding, editing, and pricing. However, to learn more, make sure to read an in-depth overview of both platforms in the section below.

Design

WordPress is based on templates. Even though most of them are quite flexible, they still have some boundaries design-wise, and the only way to get the design you really want on WordPress is to start writing the site from scratch or buy a theme/builder, which is often costly and still impose limits.

Webflow is a designers’ heaven, as it offers complete freedom for website design, development, and interaction implementation. Whatever comes to your mind is possible with Webflow. But even if you don’t feel like designing from scratch, you can still pick one of the many available themes.

Coding

The main reason for Webflow’s huge increase in popularity is the great and elegant underlying that makes the website building process convenient and enjoyable. WordPress code can get a bit messy once you start adding all the plugins necessary for building and maintaining your website. Namely, these plugins are often made by the community, resulting in discrepancies that can slow down your website, thus impacting the user experience and various search engine rating metrics.  

Editing

Webflow uses an intuitive on-page editor. It makes the editing process quick and easy, but you still have to devote some time to understanding the software in order to master it. 

Basic WordPress is actually pretty simple, and every functionality is added via plugins. For example, if you need a tool for e-commerce, you’ll have to install WooCommerce or any other similar solution as part of your WordPress bundle.

Security  

WordPress has good basic security, but it can be compromised if you're not careful and rely on 3rd party tools when building your website.

Webflow, on the other hand, offers an internal toolset, meaning the overall security levels are much higher compared to its main competitor.

Pricing

WordPress is an open-source software and is free of charge. Just pay for hosting costs, SSL certificate, and fees. However, if you want to use a highly-customizable template or a useful tool for building and editing your site, you will have to buy them. Some of the themes on WordPress evolved into site builders of their own, even though they are part of the WordPress family, and those usually come at a cost.

Webflow is the more expensive option, especially if you have a big website and you want to pick one of the advanced pricing site plans. Still, it’s safe to say that it’s worth the cost, as you get top-notch web hosting services, security, regular updates, and more.

Overview of Webflow in 2022

Let’s make a detailed overview of what Webflow is, how it works, and whether it’s a good option for you. In the section below, we’ll cover WordPress as well and show you how it compares to Webflow in more detail.

What Is Webflow?

If you look at the very definition of Webflow, you’ll learn it’s a website builder. However, it’s much more than that — it’s an all-in-one site hosting & building solution with an array of useful features for editing and further upgrading your website. We’ll mention some of them here.

One of the main selling points for Webflow is that you can build websites without coding. While technically possible, having at least some HTML, CSS, and Javascript knowledge is always welcome. On the other hand, if your goal is to make a simple one-pager (as your portfolio, for example), you could be able to do it using just the editor and a dedicated theme.

The reason why Webflow became such a big deal among website builders and owners is because of its customization. That’s what should be the main selling point for Webflow. Once you have enough experience, you can make magnificent state-of-the-art sites. Simply put, there’s a good reason why Webflow is often regarded as superior compared to builders such as Squarespace and Wix.

Webflow has to target customers: freelancers or agencies and business owners.

  • Freelancer/agency — If you’re a designer or a developer looking for a way to make amazing websites for your clients, Webflow is probably the tool for you, as it’s created to make the entire website-building process as easy and intuitive as it gets. It’s also adapted for entire agencies to use as a tool for building sites for their clients. 
  • Website owners — Anyone who wants to have a fast, functional, and intuitive website is also a potential Webflow customer. You’ll also avoid the complications caused by backend development by using Webflow’s services. The good news is that you can hire a professional Webflow developer or even an entire team and have them create wonders using the Webflow editor.

What are the Main Features that Make Webflow Stand Out from the Pack?

Being a comprehensive CMS platform, Webflow comes with dozens of features for website building and hosting. We selected some of the most important ones that make a difference compared to other similar platforms. Let’s check them out.

Drag-and-drop Page Builder 

The intuitive editor lets you quickly create the visual aspect of your website. In fact, you don’t have to be an experienced website designer to come up with a structure by simply putting the elements together on the canvas. If you pick Webflow for building a website, learn how to get started.

Intuitive and Easy-to-Use Interface 

Once your website is launched, you’ll need to update it from time to time. Making this type of change is easier than the traditional way, as you once had to alarm your entire development team to make even the smallest update. 

That would usually take some time (and time is money!). In other words, your developers would have to stop whatever they’re working on and focus on making the update, which they would further have to report to you (or even many other people who report to you).  

Webflow cuts all the unnecessary work. You can access all sections on the site and quickly add/remove/change elements, update content, and more.

E-Commerce-Ready Platform

If you look at the Webflow hosting eCommerce plans, you’ll notice that there are a couple of options for people who have e-commerce. You can quickly set up your online store and have Webflow designers come up with a great end-to-end customer experience. Thanks to a highly-customizable editor, you can conceptualize your entire website design based on your products and quickly launch them for sale.

Webflow has a wide range of options for making your e-commerce unique, such as:

  • Custom delivery options — You can make the checkout as easy as possible if the order doesn’t require shipping. Moreover, you can add email delivery or customize your delivery method.
  • Custom shipping options — You can customize your shipping process and make it easy for your customers to receive your physical goods around the world. This includes automating order tracking, creating shipping labels, and more.
  • Ship to 200+ countries — Webflow accepts payments via Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, and credit cards from all around the globe.
  • Order management dashboard — Access order history, customer accounts, order status, and more.
  • Auto TAX calculations — Webflow offers auto calculations for sales tax and VAT if your customers are from the US, EU, Australia, or Canada.
  • Various integrations — You can further upgrade your e-commerce business by integrating third-party tools and services with all kinds of useful apps via Zapier.

Responsive and Mobile-friendly

When building your website, you can quickly change to a mobile view and update the changes to make your website responsive and fully functional for visitors accessing it on the move.

Works With All CSS Styles

Once you decide to go beyond no-code design, you’ll find that you can harness the power of all kinds of CSS to make your website better, more interactive, and eye-catching. In addition to CSS, you can also use Javascript.

Integrates with Flexbox Data

If you’re not using a CSS grid, you can refer to its younger brother — flexbox. The two can be used shoulder-to-shoulder to work wonders when building a website, and Webflow editor works flawlessly with both.

Adjustable in All Fonts, Lines, and Heights

Many website building tools have limits when it comes to typography, meaning you need to use one of the available fonts that come with further limits. That’s not the case with Webflow, as you have all the freedom to set up typography the way you prefer.

Usable with Global Color Themes and Swatches

Managing colors in Webflow is easy, as you can create a global color system for your site and quickly apply them to your design. Moreover, you can set your swatches to global and update them wherever they appear on the website all at once. 

Publishable with a Click

Whenever you feel your site is ready, all it takes is to click publish and get the web presentation up and running.

SSL and ISO 27018-Compliant

Both SSL and ISO27018 ensure that the site is protected and all data on it secure. Therefore, building a website on Webflow means top-notch security.

Exportable Code for Download

Users with paid account plants can export the entire code from their Webflow projects, including HTML, CSS, assets, and Javascript. This is especially handy if the client you’re building a website for a client via Webflow and they ask you to get access to the website’s code. Moreover, it’s possible to use the code and host the website wherever you prefer, but you won't be able to enjoy the advantages of using the services of Webflow CMS.

Usable with Marketing, Form, and Backup Tools

Webflow makes sure that your site will reach the right people. Apart from the tools that are part of the Webflow toolbox, the popular builder also allows integration with leading marketing and analytics services, including Mailchimp, Google Analytics, and more.

Rich and Complex Interactions and Animations

Webflow offers a toolset for interactions and animations that are as powerful as written with CSS and Javascript. This is where Webflow’s low code/no code selling point matters the most, as designers can use creativity and imagination as they want without even glancing at code.

Optional Code Boxes for Custom Edits

You can add additional code to your website via Webflow’s code boxes and further customize it, enabling custom functionality.

Zapier-Friendly for Advanced Automations

Zapier is an automation tool that lets you connect various apps and have them working in unison. Webflow is part of Zapiers app portfolio, which can help you automate various processes for your website.

What Are the Main Benefits of Using Webflow?

Hopefully, you’re now aware of how powerful Webflow actually is for building websites. As I already stated, that’s just some of the features I consider useful, but it has much more than that.

At this point, you might be wondering — what exactly do I get by using Webflow that’s not part of WordPress or other website builders?

Essentially, it comes down to the following four benefits:

  • You’ll have total freedom when building websites, even if you have very little to no coding experience. You can build your ideal site just by using the tools offered by Webflow.
  • Any page can be enriched with state-of-the-art animations, all through an easy drag-and-drop approach.
  • Search engines love sites made with Webflow, and Webflow features some advanced SEO options compared to other CMSs and Webflow’s hosting makes sites super-fast.
  • Webflow will allow several editors to work on a single project, making the entire website building and maintaining process much more convenient.
  • Webflow features a superb hosting solution with low downtimes and is enriched with SSL certificates.
  • Webflow doesn’t require external plugins. Everything you need for your website is already offered in Webflow’s toolkit.
  • Webflow provides email-based support to customers from Monday - Friday from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm PST. There's also a Webflow support forum where you can ask questions and get help from the Webflow community. 

How Much Does It Cost to Use Webflow?

It’s no secret that Webflow is one of the more expensive options, even though the basic package is free. However, if you want to do anything purposeful on the platform as a designer or someone looking to host their site on Webflow, you’ll have to pay between $16 and $35 a month.

If you’re a company using Webflow for offering website building services (such as Flow Ninja), you’ll have to pay a monthly per-user price for all your employees using Webflow. Pricing on Webflow can be somewhat confusing to newcomers, so make sure to check out our detailed guide to Webflow pricing plans.

Comparison to WordPress in 2022

Hopefully, you now have a better overview of Webflow and what makes it so special. Now, let’s examine WordPress in detail, and see what it actually is, what its main features are, and what benefits you can have by using WP.

What Is WordPress?

WordPress is a website-building tool and a content management system. It’s an open-source tool, meaning it’s completely free of charge. All you have to do is find and pay for hosting to install WP and begin building your website.

By itself, WordPress isn’t that powerful, but, as I already mentioned, it has an enormous community with thousands of people actively developing various themes, tutorial videos, and plugins that improve it and make building websites fun and easy. You can use WP themes to build virtually anything, including blogs, e-commerce, portfolio sites, and more. After all, there’s a good reason why WP powers almost ⅓ of all websites on the Internet. 

What Are the Main Features that Make WordPress Stand Out from the Pack?

Let’s make an overview of the features that made WordPress what it is today — the most popular website builder in the world.

Customizable Templates

Templates are the alphabet of WordPress, as the majority of developers use them as a basis for building sites. Most of them are easy to use and free of charge. The free ones are often sufficient if you want to create a portfolio website or any other site that doesn’t require an in-depth design tool. However, if you want to customize the site further, you probably have to buy a paid theme, such as Divi, Ultra, and Astra.

By the way, there are website templates in Webflow as well, and they can often help you kickstart your site-building journey. Check out my blog post on Webflow themes on the official Webflow blog. Also, I suggest exploring our templates page to glance at some top-notch samples.

SEO Capabilities

WordPress websites have dozens of plugins that help websites rank better on search engines, and there’s even an entire school of SEO built around them. Many SEO gurus recommend using WP if your business’s main goal is ranking high in Google and other search engines.

Responsive Websites

Many WordPress themes have responsive layouts, meaning you might not even have to adjust them for mobile screens — they are adjusted automatically. However, that’s only available if you don’t meddle too much with the design, but once you start customizing the theme, you’ll have to optimize the site for phone and tablet users as well.

High-Performance Website Building

Once you understand the basics of a WP theme you’re using, you’ll be able to come up with a solution quickly, as many themes even feature drag-and-drop content editors, similar to the one on Webflow, although not as detailed.

Mobile App for Website Management

The mobile app allows you to check our website stats, keep track of insights, analyze traffic, get notifications about comments, likes, followers, and more. It’s a powerful tool for keeping your websites in order on the go.

Great Media Management

There are several great plugins that will help you keep your website media organized. This can come in handy if you have a huge website with many pages, images, and other media.

Ease of Use

If you don’t have any experience using CMSs and you’re given editor rights on a WordPress site, you won’t need more than a couple of minutes to understand how to add, edit, and remove content from the site.

More than 50,000 Plugins and Growing

Once you start searching for plugins to upgrade your site, you’ll never find out how deep the rabbit hole goes, as there’s a plugin for literally anything that you imagine.

A Huge Community

Once again — WordPress is huge. Its community is bigger than many countries, and some community members are working hard to provide free and paid themes and premium plugins for others. 

What Are the Main Benefits of Using WordPress?

Here are some of the major advantages of choosing WP over other builders.

  • WordPress is ideal for complete beginners who are still not ready to invest time or money in building a website. They can quickly come up with a solution that will work for them in the beginning, especially if they want a blog or a personal portfolio.
  • There’s no need to worry about CMS plans or pricing, as you’re in total control of the site and its data.
  • Extensive flexibility and functionality are possible thanks to thousands of plugins.
  • No coding is needed for making basic websites, although you need some technical knowledge for more complex sites.

How Much Does It Cost to Use WordPress?

WordPress is mostly free, except for some plugins and themes. Of course, you’ll still have to host your WordPress site somewhere, which is the only ongoing transaction fee you’ll have to pay.

Selecting Your CMS Account Plan or Website Builder: Webflow vs. WordPress

Even though Webflow and WordPress are both comprehensive tools for building sites, there’s still no one-size-fits-all solution that you can pick. Therefore, you need to select the option that currently meets your needs, so let me help you with that by answering some of the important questions you need to ask to narrow down your choice.

Do you prefer flexibility over ease-of-use?

If your answer is yes, then Webflow is probably the right answer for you, as WP confines you to the limits of templates. 

However, if ease-of-use is your priority, WP may be a better option, given that grasping the basics of WP is easier compared to Webflow. That said, Webflow might come with a different learning curve, but it’s also regarded as one of the easier builders to learn.

Does code elegance matter to you?

One of the most important advantages of Webflow is that it writes a clean code while you use the no-code tools to build your website. Clean code means better functionality. 

If you don’t care about code all that much, you might also take WP into account, but bear in mind that WP’s code can get cluttered if you add too many plugins.

How much money are you willing to spend?

If you’re not ready to make any investments in your website besides hosting and domain name, you should go for WP. Yet, if you want to harness Webflow’s power, you’ll have to plan your budget upfront.

Final Note

The ongoing debate isn’t accidental as Webflow and WordPress are the current leaders, and choosing the best option for you might not be easy. Check out our Webflow vs Wix comparison if you’re considering other options.

It demands thoughtful reflection on what you want to achieve with your website, how much time and money you’re willing to invest, and how ready you are to learn. Once you know exactly what you want, feel free to pick one and proceed with making your site. In case you opt for Webflow and you need a team of professional designers and developers, make sure to get in touch.

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