Creating websites has become dramatically easier than it was just a few years ago. Today, anyone can build professional, beautiful, and functional sites in minutes using website builders. Gone are the days of hand-coding from scratch on Notepad using HTML and CSS. With website builders, you simply drag and drop components and images together just like digital Lego blocks.
And if you've ever explored which website builder to use, there are two you'll almost always encounter – Webflow and WordPress. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the best situations in which to use each. This Webflow vs. WordPress comparison article will help you decide which platform is right for you.
Webflow is a no-code visual website builder, eCommerce platform, and content management system (CMS) rolled into one. It's widely considered a fantastic WordPress alternative because of its low technical complexity that doesn't sacrifice powerful features.
Comparing WordPress vs. Webflow, the latter is the less technical of the two. Users don't need to know developer skills like database design or web languages like PHP to fully use the power of Webflow. One of Webflow's core strengths is its graphical drag-and-drop builder. You start with over 100 templates out of the box, and the system gives you complete visual freedom to customize every part of it. You can play around with various components and elements to achieve your desired look.
Webflow uses a closed software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, meaning everything from payment to hosting and customer service is integrated and controlled within the platform. The plus here is that, for regular folks, technical help is quick and easily accessible. However, for more seasoned developers, the open-source nature of WordPress is far better than Webflow for deep customization.
Overall, Webflow is the platform of choice for non-technical, design-oriented roles such as designers and marketers that need to build websites.
WordPress is, without a doubt, the most popular and most commonly used website builder in the world. Close to 455 million websites use the platform, with a 64.1% market share in the CMS space.
The significant advantage of WordPress vs. Webflow is that it's open source. Developers can customize a WordPress site to their heart's content, using thousands of themes, plugins, and resources that are readily available throughout the Internet.
The other great thing about WordPress is its vibrant developer community. You'll never feel lost trying to solve a programming problem with thousands of resources, tutorials, plugins, and guides available.
Comparing Webflow vs. WordPress in terms of design tools, the former gives you far better visual controls. To achieve your vision in WordPress, you will most likely need to either learn how to code or use complex plugins and themes. In other words, the learning curve for WordPress can be pretty steep if you want to do anything advanced.
The dependency on plugins makes WordPress code more bloated than Webflow's, which is much more streamlined and concise.
Nevertheless, WordPress is the better and less expensive Webflow alternative for both technical and non-technical users. It's particularly advantageous for publishers and bloggers because of its rich content features like tags, categories, and comments.
Now that we’ve examined the basics of each platform, we'll dive into a more detailed Webflow / WordPress comparison in some key categories:
Your website's speed is an important consideration not just for SEO purposes but also for providing the best experience to your visitors. Both platforms support site acceleration features, but the difference is which does so natively.
As an open-source platform, WordPress offers minimal speed-boosting features built-in. You'll need to get plugins (often paid) to accelerate your WordPress site.
Content Delivery Networks (CDN), for example, are crucial to delivering quick load times to your site visitors regardless of geographic location. WordPress doesn't support this out of the box, so you'll need to pay for, and install it separately.
The same is true with caching, which allows your browser to download a resource (such as a CSS file) only once regardless of whether another webpage needs it again. You'll need a plugin like W3 Cache to achieve this functionality in WordPress.
Webflow, on the other hand, has built-in support for Amazon Cloudfront for its CDN. This is a reliable platform to partner with.
It can be challenging to nail down which platform is easier to use. That's because they target very different users – WordPress can be easy to use for some but restricting for others. Let's elaborate.
WordPress's main draw is its ease of use. It enables anyone, especially non-technical professionals, to get in and start building websites and publishing content in minutes.
The block editor of WordPress is intuitive to use and requires minimal learning to get the most out of it. However, it lacks a decent visual drag-and-drop editor on its own, requiring plugins if you want this feature.
For designers, the robust drag-and-drop editor of Webflow is much more powerful. It has plenty of features and elements to help you customize every bit of your website. The downside is that the rich toolset of Webflow can make it much harder for beginners to grasp the platform.
So the bottom line is that WordPress is easier to use for content publishers and marketers, while Webflow is more intuitive for designers to use.
Many people don't realize that only the WordPress CMS itself is free, the entire website isn’t. You'd still need to pay for hosting, DNS registration, and any other paid plugins or themes you might use.
The good thing with WordPress, though, is that you have much more flexibility with pricing. With over 50,000 plugins and themes available, mostly free, you can make your site more cost-effective.
Webflow, on the other hand, works on a fixed subscription structure just like any SaaS platform. While it does have a free plan, that plan limits your site to be under a Webflow subdomain.
Their paid plans start at $12 per month for the Basic Plan and up to $36 for Business Plans. If you want to set up an online store, their eCommerce plans are costlier, starting at $29 per month for the Standard Plan.
So the clear winner here is WordPress. With hundreds of functional yet free plugins and lower hosting and DNS costs, you can drastically lower your website's cost.
Both WordPress and Webflow are equally capable in terms of design and templates.
WordPress, for one, gives users access to thousands of themes and templates online. Whatever your desired look, there's probably a theme out there that you can start with and customize. You can also use tools like Beaver Themer to create your themes from scratch.
Webflow gives you a powerful visual editor that allows you to edit and customize graphical elements with ease. You also have access to over 100 customizable templates, giving you a broad base to start with your site's design.
So, both Webflow and WordPress are on par in terms of design power, although Webflow gives you more creative freedom. WordPress has a better edge with design templates, which gives far more options than Webflow.
SEO is something that WordPress has done remarkably well, but only if you have the right plugins. For example, you need to use Yoast SEO to do things like changing title tags, adding meta descriptions, or creating a sitemap. Integrating a WordPress site with Google Analytics and Search Console also requires plugins.
The good thing about Webflow, on the other hand, is that it has SEO functions built-in natively in the platform. You can access these in your web page's settings.
Both WordPress and Webflow are SEO capable, but the latter has an edge because you can do SEO tasks right out of the box.
Whether you pick Webflow for WordPress (or vice versa) depends on your end goal and technical skills.
WordPress remains an excellent choice for most general-purpose websites. It's easy to use, powerful, and flexible, plus it has countless plugins and themes to extend functionality. We recommend most people use WordPress, especially content publishers and technical developers.
Webflow is geared towards designers who want complete control over their artistic vision without worrying about the technical specifics. It provides a more robust graphical editor, fully customizable templates, and excellent built-in SEO features. However, these come at the cost of a steeper learning curve. If you're a designer or marketer who wants to build stunning websites out of the box, Webflow is a fantastic tool.
Deciding whether to go with a Webflow vs. WordPress site is a critical design choice you need to make early on. The problem is that, even with the facts on your side, it's not always an easy decision.
The best thing to do is to consult with an expert agency like Expedition Co to further clarify your options. Contact us today and discover how our web development services can help you with your next project.