When it comes to creating a new website and managing it over the long-term, there are a number of options available to you. The industry has exploded in recent years with more and more players trying to make their way in. But the real battle at the moment is between Webflow, the new kid on the block, and WordPress, the incumbent who has been around for a very long time.
For many people, this is the only comparison that matters, and it has caused quite a stir across the market. In this article, we are going to compare Webflow and WordPress, so you have all the information you need to choose the right solution for you and your business. We’ve done the research so that you don’t have to.
Both Webflow and WordPress are powerful CMS platforms which combine a user-friendly content manager with a well-designed front-end that is responsive across any device. By selecting one of these options, you can leverage all the features that make websites difficult to build and manage, and just focus on the important stuff - making the best content you can. These platforms put everything under one roof, and you don’t need to have any coding experience to get the most out of it. You can do it all yourself.
Webflow is a modern website builder that has grown rapidly in stature in a very short space of time. They focus on design and speed, enabling someone to have a beautiful site that is lightning fast for anyone visiting, without having to install lots of additional plugins. They feel like the new kid on the block, even though they’ve been around for 8 years now.
WordPress, on the other hand, is the incumbent that put modern CMS platforms on the map. They’ve been around for years now and have built an ecosystem that enables a comprehensive website to be pieced together thanks to the vast community of developers and designers that create add-ons to the core software.
Let’s now compare some of the key features and how they differ between the two platforms:
Webflow certainly wins in this department. Their design-focused approach means that you don’t necessarily have to choose a certain theme and be completely constrained by it, but you can start from a completely blank slate if you’d like. They do also have some templates available, but the fact that you customize everything makes it much more free form than WordPress.
WordPress go with a theme-based approach, so you need to pick one that suits you and tweak it from there. There are lots to choose from so it can be a good option if you’re looking for something generic, but you’re not going to get the same level of creative freedom that you get with Webflow.
Webflow is much more efficient from a code perspective because of their closed ecosystem. The platform comes with a wide range of tools built right in, keeping things tight and keeping the site faster than you imagine.
WordPress relies on external plugins and because they are all made by different developers with different visions, it does get a bit bloated. This is not even mentioning the constant updates you need to do in order to keep everything running as expected.
Webflow offers free SSL security on all their sites that comes straight out of the box. They layer on top of this constant threat monitoring to ensure your site is always protected.
WordPress can’t offer that sort of security because they are a fully open platform. This opens up serious vulnerabilities that you must be aware of.
WordPress is open-source software so you can get started for free, which does give it a price advantage over the Webflow platform. What’s worth considering here though is the ancillary costs that you incur with web hosting, domain registration, and premium themes.
Webflow is more expensive on paper because they include everything from the hosting, to the design, to the advanced SEO. You’re getting what you pay for here because you can leverage the closed ecosystem, the design functionality, and the hands-on support.
One of the best parts about Webflow is the support they give to users. If you meander through any online reviews, you’ll see that they’ve put a lot of thought into making the support process as efficient as possible and it makes for a platform that will be there for you when you need it.
WordPress support relies more on its vast community. In order to get quick help on something you’re stuck with, you’ll need to be resourceful enough to find the information you’re looking for. Because of their size, they just can’t offer the sort of one-on-one support that Webflow can offer.
Webflow’s CMS has a very minimalistic interface that gets rid of all the clutter and delivers the pure functionality that you need. It’s simple and built for speed.
The WordPress dashboard on the other hand is more complex and bloated because it has continued to receive bolt-on features over time. It does provide more features and customization than Webflow does, but at the cost of speed and simplicity.
Those are some of the key features that you should be considering when creating a website. Let’s now look at the key differentiators that distinguish the two platforms – the good, bad, and ugly, if you’d prefer.
There is no one best option of course, it really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. For some people who are not interested in advanced design customizability or overall site speed, they can use a free WordPress theme and a range of plugins to get some great results. There’s a reason that WordPress powers about 40% of the internet at this point. It has achieved mainstream success and continues to dominate the conversation around online CMS platforms.
But we do think that there are some glaring holes in the WordPress offering that makes Webflow a much better option for serious website builders. WordPress at its current scale has become bloated and slow, something that doesn’t bode well for longer-term reliability in a very competitive online space.
In our minds, Webflow represents the future of online website building, while WordPress represents the past.
On the features that we care about, Webflow has a fresh perspective on what matters and has delivered a well-rounded offering that prioritizes speed, design functionality, and security to deliver a website that looks professional, is secure on the back end, and can create a truly unique web experience for anyone who visits.
It’s also worth noting that Webflow is an absolute rocket ship. It is growing at a tremendous pace and continues to innovate on the core website components as it scales up. In a short space of time it has become one of the biggest names in the industry and we don’t expect that to slow down any time soon. But don’t just take our word for it, there are a vast array of other reviews and comparisons that you can look through.
Here are a just a few notable ones:
The overwhelming sentiment seems to be that Webflow understands the downsides and restrictions of WordPress and has been able to deliver on a superior product that focuses on the few things that matter, automating and eliminating the trivial things that don’t. At its very essence, you can see and experience the difference between the two by seeing whether the design is generic, and the site is slow, or if the design is unique and lightning fast. Which option would you rather experience as a prospective customer?