Struggling to choose where your next startup’s website will live? Or, you are looking to up the game when it comes to your website?
Both of these tools are popular solutions that can help you build simple or complex websites without needing to dive into writing code, as both are No-Code, Low-Code tools. However, they offer very different approaches to creating a website so it's important to understand how they compare in order to pick the best option for your needs.
If you are new to Webflow, I’ll go over what this modern alternative can do. However, if you are a fan of WordPress I will put the two platforms side by side to give you a comparison. By the end giving you a fuller picture of these two giants.
Introductions are in order
Before pinning WordPress against Webflow we have to present the different approaches they have for delivering you a website. In short, WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) that you'll install on your own hosting server, while Webflow is a SaaS application that can handle everything for you.
WordPress - The Market share leader
WordPress is a free open source software. This means anyone can download and use it to create a website. It’s been around since 2003 and is one of the most well-known website builders out there. As part of their mission, they believe that software should work with minimum setup effort so you can focus on sharing your story, product, or services freely. All you need is to purchase a domain and hosting and you can have a website up and running in minutes.
It is true, WordPress has the largest market share out of the two with a whopping 43% of the websites published (according to W3Techs)
Webflow - The modern alternative
Besides the code written, they are also a CMS and hosting platform. With the Webflow CMS, you can define, design, and publish powerful, dynamic websites in no time.
While Webflow is not the most popular option right now, they have received the exploding tag on the Exploding Topics website.
Webflow vs Wordpress
After the formalities and introduction, let’s dive into what these tools can do for you in order to pick the best option for your needs.
As a visual designer I can’t stop myself to no start with the topic I am most passionate about, design. Looks are at the core of what websites are about. It’s the first thing that customers and website visitors see when they land on the homepage. Since we have 10-20 seconds to impress them, looks can be the deciding factor when it comes to reducing bounce rates.
Designing with Wordpress
There are two big options for WordPress. Buying a current theme and filling up the gaps or custom code it from scratch. The first option is usually what people go for. It’s a one-time investment, out-of-the-box solution that generally works. There are thousands, if not millions of WordPress themes available for free and to purchase, this does come with its limitations.
If you don’t want to customize a theme, you’ll need to know how to code or work with a WordPress developer to build a theme from scratch that matches your design vision.
Designing with Webflow
Webflow on the other hand is the Photoshop of websites. It gives you the blank canvas on which to create a custom-tailored website without touching code. From layouts, sections, buttons and interactions. Optimized for all screens starting from a small screen of an iPhone SE all the way to a 27 inch iMac.
Just to give an example, If you want to have a custom branded navigation that has a joyful animation when opened, you can have it.
Updating your Webflow website as you go along. It is as simple as changing a typo on your Linkedin or Instagram post. You enter the editor and double click the text and paste in your new text.
Hosting & Pricing
A secure place where your website can be accessed from. Security, monthly visit numbers, website load speed, bandwidth, all of them make up the base of your website and the costs that go with it.
Hosting with Wordpress
For a low-traffic site, you can find hosting for a couple of dollars per month. However, those prices are unrealistic for a high-traffic site, as most budget hosts won't be able to maintain performance. For a high-traffic site, you'll need to spend a lot more.
Overall in a year, you could power a simple WordPress site for as little as $50-$75, but a more realistic price would be $150-$350 to allow for some premium plugins and themes and potentially upgraded hosting.
Hosting with Webflow
Webflow lets you stage your website for free, without adding your card in the mix. However, if you are looking to connect your custom domain then you will have two options. The first one is to export the finished website and host it somewhere else. The second option is to choose one of the Site plans Webflow provides. Starting from $12 per month and going up to $36 per month.
Webflow also offers a function not many people pay attention to. CDN or content distribution network allows your website to be accessed from the closest data center. Let’s say you are in the UK and want to access your website from LA. Your website will be loaded from the closest server to your location.
Content Management System (CMS):
CMS with Wordpress
WordPress at its core is a blog platform. By using it, you get a blog by default. However, adding plugins to the mix can bring the functionality of the WordPress CMS to life.
For example, WooCommerce has become one of the most popular e-commerce tools for WordPress, enabling users to accept orders, track shipments, and add other e-commerce functionality to their existing WordPress website.
If you want to add extra functionality to your website, then WordPress offers you thousands of Lego pieces in the form of other plugins like search engine optimization (SEO), contact forms, newsletter marketing, on-site social media and commenting features, and various design features designed to make sites more visually appealing.
CMS with Webflow
Webflow offers a simple on-page editing interface with a minimal dashboard UI, while also offering you the option of having dynamic pages and dynamic content through collection lists and items.
What does dynamic content mean in this case? In short, it means you can change, update or add new content without compromising the custom design your website has. Whether it’s one image or a whole page.
Dynamic content is made possible through Collections (and subsequent elements Collection List and Collection Pages. Think of it like an overpowered Excel sheet. You enter the content and it will automatically bring it onto your pages. Drop the Collection list element on any page, and once it's connected to a Collection, all the content in that Collection is available to you. You can show specific items based on values in the fields, and you can sort the content.
For example, if you want to write a blog with a fancy design. You create it once and reuse its layout as many times as you want. In as many separate blog pages. All with the same design, but different content. Dynamic content.
As a real-life example is this very website. I have my projects listed in Collections. Each project like Grai Group and Choose Different Campaign are dynamic pages generated through Collections. They are also present on my project hub page as separate dynamic content
Search Engine Optimization
SEO itself is a set of collective actions you must take to get your website ranking higher in the search results of Google, Yahoo and Bing. Some of the steps include: Having clear and organized Headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.), using meta titles and descriptions, having your website load fast and so on.
SEO with WordPress
WordPress is SEO-friendly out of the box. However, if you want to make the most of your SEO game, you will have to install a SEO-friendly theme and start using a suite of SEO plugins WordPress offers.
SEO with Webflow
Webflow gives you fine level control over SEO markup, indexing rules, redirects, and more — push any changes live without relying on engineers. You don’t need any plugins or hard coding to get started. Meta description and titles are embedded in the core of Webflow editor. The same goes to alt tags, headings. Webflow even gives you the power to autogenerate the sitemap. It gives it directly to Google to index it for you. All you or your Webflow designer need to do is to switch it on and like magic, it is done.
We all hate the 404 pages, one of the causes for it is not having a proper way to redirect broken links. Webflow has it easily fixed directly in the project settings.
Which one to choose for your business?
Both tools can deliver what you need. At the end of the day, it boils down to the approach. Webflow provides the extra touch of custom look and speed of development, paired with the powerful CMS it has. Without adding extra plugins and Lego pieces you can have your website up and running in no time.
Still not sure whether Webflow fits your needs? Browse my projects to see real-life examples of websites I’ve created.
If you decided to launch your business website with Webflow, first I want to congratulate you on your decision and second I am here to assist you to get started. Drop a message or let’s book a call to bounce ideas.
Have a great one and see ya around the interweb!