One of the most exciting product showdowns we’ve seen over the last couple years has been Webflow’s continued progress towards tackling the giant that is WordPress. For anybody looking to build a website in 2021, Webflow provides an interesting alternative to WordPress which currently hosts 40% of the whole internet.
Of all the number of the web-building solutions out there, these two are probably the most exciting, and choosing between them is one of the more common choices that are being made on a daily basis.
It’s important that you understand the pros and cons of each so you can make the right decision for you.
As with all these comparisons, there is no right answer.
But rather, each one is suited for different use cases. In this article we’ll pit them against one another, Webflow vs WordPress, and dissect what makes them different.
Let’s dig in…
Both Webflow and WordPress are powerful website building tools so it’s worth looking at what makes they both so popular before we start comparing them.
Both platforms are powerful CMS platforms which allow you to marry the convenience of an intuitive content manager, with a flashy frontend that looks beautiful on all devices. The reason you would choose to use a platform like this is because it automates so much of the nitty-gritty and allows you to focus on making the best content you can, while leveraging the tools and resources that these companies make available to you.
The idea is that by using one of these platforms, everything is under one roof, and you don’t need to hire professional coders to get a website up and running. You can do it all yourself.
Webflow is a modern website builder that has grown incredibly rapidly in the past few years. They have a key focus on design and their platform allows anyone to have a professional and functional website up and running without needing to write a line of code. They feel like the new kid on the block, even though they’ve been around since 2013.
WordPress, on the other hand, is arguably the market leader. They’ve been around for what feels like forever and they have a vast ecosystem that enables websites to be built flexibly and comprehensively, while still keeping in place certain guardrails that ensure quality without needing specific coding experience.
* Disclaimer. It’s worth noting that the site you’re currently reading is powered by WordPress. But I’ll do everything I can to give you the true, honest comparison that I would have wanted to read when I was in your position.
That should lay down the foundation that we need, let’s move on now to the meat of the matter. Webflow vs WordPress: which is better?
Let’s look at 8 of the most important features and how they differ between the two platforms, eh?
1. Target audience
Webflow is built for designers who really want to be precise and custom with how their site works.
The CMS aspect is a component of the platform rather than the focus – meaning that it’s more suitable for visual-first sites, rather than text-first sites.
WordPress is built for non-coders who want a DIY solution that provides the tools and functionality they need, without complicating things with anything on the backend.
The CMS functionality is core to the offering and so it works well for large libraries of content.
Where Webflow shines is in its design-focused approach. Instead of having to choose a certain theme and be completely constrained by it, you can customize everything from scratch using a very intuitive WYSIWYG editor that gives you full flexibility.
This is a huge advantage for those who want to control the design entirely.
The WordPress approach is more theme-based, so you need to choose from one of the over 5,000 free themes or the many more paid themes available. Then you can adapt that to a certain extent according to your needs.
This is great for non-designers who want to get started quickly, but it certainly has less flexibility than Webflow does.
3. CMS Interface
Webflow has a very minimalistic interface for creating new posts and content. The UI is simple and is built for speed. The complexity is front-loaded when you are designing the site.
Once you start working in the CMS itself, it’s very easy to use.
The WordPress CMS dashboard is more complex than Webflow but that’s because it offers more features and customization to ensure that your content comes out exactly as you want it to.
Once you get the hang of it, the comprehensive feature set is great for complete control over your CMS.
Webflow is more efficient from a code perspective because it is a relatively closed ecosystem.
They’ve built their platform with most of the tools you need in-house which purports to offer better performance.
WordPress relies a lot on external plugins which does make the code base a bit more bloated than Webflow.
But the range of plugins and the huge developer ecosystem means that you enjoy a much more comprehensive toolkit that can build really complex and intricate sites.
Webflow offers very limited e-Commerce functionality so it would only be suitable for relatively simple online stores.
WordPress has a vast range of plugins and themes that are well suited for online stores. You can plug together a number of tools to achieve a comprehensive e-Commerce platform that suits your individual needs.
Webflow is priced on a SaaS basis because it provides the hosting services in lock step with the platform itself. It is more expensive than WordPress because you’re paying for the closed ecosystem, design functionality, and more hands-on support.
WordPress is open-source software so you can use the platform without paying anything. The only costs are on hosting, domain registration and perhaps a premium theme, so it ends up being much more affordable than Webflow.
Webflow offers comprehensive security on all their sites that comes standard with their packages. You don’t have to worry about anything, it gives you complete peace of mind.
By the nature of the open ecosystem, WordPress is subject to various security risks that come with all the various plugins. This makes the platform slightly less secure than Webflow.
There isn’t much of a community that has been built around Webflow. Their support is mostly done in-house.
This does give greater speed to support queries, but it lacks the sort of community of users trying things and sharing learnings, in the way that the WordPress community operates.
The WordPress community is vast and keeps growing.
If you’re resourceful, you can find people just like you who are solving problems, sharing insights, and helping each other. It’s a very supportive community and extends the value of the platform itself by orders of magnitude.
That should give you a sense of what sets the two platforms apart. Of course, when comparing Webflow vs WordPress, the real decision comes down to what sort of site you are building and what features are important to you.
Both platforms are special in their own way and can be incredibly powerful when used to their full potential. So be sure to do your own research, keeping in mind your objectives as you do so.
But I don’t want to sit on the fence necessarily…
The conclusion on Webflow vs WordPress
This is a tough one, but I think I’m going to go with WordPress after all. The sheer size and scale of the operation ensures that you can build anything you want as long as you’re willing to look for the right resources. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want, and you know that they mean business because of how much success they’ve had. It’s almost become the de-facto internet protocol and so it makes a lot of sense to hitch your ride to this horse.
This is not to take anything away from Webflow though. If you are a designer and that is your main focus, then Webflow is probably the right choice for you. The marriage of the CMS with the design aspects makes it a more cohesive solution than WordPress. They continue to make great strides in expanding what their platform is capable of, and for those who have an eye for detail, you can build some truly unique web experiences here.
Both platforms are well thought through, enjoy a large base of supporters, and can be a great ally on your online journey. You can’t really go wrong with either of them.
Pick the one that resonates with you most and go from there.
I hope that this comparison has answered some of your questions and shown you some of the key differentiators between Webflow and WordPress. I’d love to see what you build, so let me know if this was of use or if there’s anything else, I can help with.