Insights, Web Development

Webflow vs WordPress CMS Platform Comparison Review [2023]

Detailed Comparison Review

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at two of the most popular CMS platforms on the market: Webflow and WordPress. Both platforms have everything you need to build a custom professional fully-functional website without having to write a single line of code. The purpose of this Webflow vs WordPress review is to help you decide which CMS is the right for you in 2023. We’ll compare the two solutions based on key features, CMS tools, design tools, ease of use, extensions, integrations, eCommerce functionality, and pricing.

 

Disclaimer: WordPress has two available versions: hosted WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.org. For this article, when we talk about WordPress, we refer to the self-hosted WordPress.org.

1. Overview

Before we make an in-depth comparison between Webflow and WordPress, we’ll first go through some quick introductions, statistics, and what makes them similar.

Webflow is an AIO SaaS-based Platform

Webflow is an online SaaS platform that allows anyone to create their own website, without having to write a single line of code. Even so, it gives great levels of design customization that you’ll get on other platforms by using HTML/CSS and JS.

Official Webflow Statistics 2022
Visit Webflow

WordPress is an Open-Source Platform

WordPress.org is an open-source full-service CMS that powers 64.2% of all the websites that use CMS. It can handle any type of website from business websites and eCommerce stores to personal portfolios, blogs, and directories. This high level of flexibility comes from the ability to use WordPress themes and plugins that give you control over the design and functionality of your website.

Official WordPress Statistics 2022
  • Two (2) out of every five (5) websites use WordPress. According to the latest data by W3Techs, 43.2% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress in 2022, in comparison to 39.5% in 2021.
  • WordPress CMS powers 64.2% of all the websites that use CMS, followed by Shopify with 6.6%; Wix with 2.8%, Squarespace with 2.7%, and Joomla with 2.6%.
  • WooCommerce is used by 20.3% of all the websites that use WordPress, followed by Elementor with 15.9%, and WPBakery Page Builder with 15.3%.
Visit WordPress

Main Similarities Between Webflow and WordPress

Both Webflow and WordPress have all the tools you need to build a custom website, so let’s take a look at the features they have in common:

  • Pre-made customizable themes ✔️: You can either start your design from scratch or select a pre-made theme to work with and customize as you wish.
  • Full-service CMS ✔️: You can create and manage your content.
  • Drag-and-Drop editing ✔️: The option to use a visual editor.
  • SSL certificates ✔️: You can secure your data with SSL certificates.
  • Performance optimization ✔️Controls and features that will help you optimize your website’s performance.
  • SEO optimization ✔️: High level of control over your SEO markup, indexing rules, redirects, etc.
  • eCommerce ✔️: Both platforms are suitable for eCommerce websites and offer the necessary eCommerce features to run your store.
  • Blogging ✔️: Both platforms are suitable for blogging.

 

 

2. There are 4 Main Differences

When it comes to the core philosophy of how these two platforms work, there are a few key things that set them apart.

2.1. Different Software Solution Types

Businesses generally look for SaaS or open source when looking for software solutions. Each provides a unique set of benefits, as well as weaknesses. And of course, this is the biggest difference between Webflow and WordPress.

Webflow is a SaaS application

Webflow is a SaaS application (Software as a Service) that handles the hosting and maintenance of your websites. This means the provider manages access to the application, including security, availability, and performance. You subscribe to the service and get a free trial that allows you to test out the platform before buying the paid version.

WordPress is an open-source platform

WordPress is an open-source platform that you install on your own hosting server and maintain manually. It’s free to install, set up, and manage. However, you still need to consider expenses such as hosting services and, depending on your website, some premium functionalities in the form of extensions.

2.2. Built-In Tools

Another core difference between the two platforms is how they handle their functionalities. Here we have two completely different approaches.

Webflow has everything in-built

Webflow has all its customization capabilities in-built into the tool. As an AIO platform, it hands you all the tools you need to build a complex professional website.

WordPress relies on extensions

In terms of built-in tools, WordPress gives you the basics, however, you can add everything you need with plugins. This way you can customize your own workspace that has the exact functionalities you need.

2.3. Plugins and Integrations

Another difference, related to how the two platforms handle functionality, is the level of priority they give to extensions and integrations.

Webflow has some workarounds

You can’t install plugins into Webflow, however, you can still expand your website’s functionality by integrating third-party tools.

WordPress has plugins for everything

WordPress has its entire gimmick based on adding plugins and integrations.

2.4. Code Standards

And last, but extremely important, let’s see how both platforms approach the code.

Webflow prioritizes clean code

Each component in Webflow is focused on generating clean code, thanks to everything being built in and being built by Webflow’s team.

The potential downside of WP plugins

Installing extensions in WordPress has a potential downside. Depending on who codes or updates them, or how compatible they are with your theme, they can result in a messy code and even bring your site down.

Of course, the difference between the two platforms goes much deeper than that, so let’s break them down into sections.

 

 

3. Features

Both Webflow and WordPress have a huge range of features that will give you all you need to build a custom fully functional website. We’ll take a look at the key features, and review the CMS, SEO, and design tools in more detail.

Webflow Key Features

  • Drag-and-drop editor: Webflow has a visual builder, meaning what you see is what you get.
  • You can work with Webflow CMS data directly
  • Features for responsive page design
  • eCommerce functionalities: provides you with built-in shopping cart functionality, product catalogs, payment processing, order tracking, and other essential functionalities for your online store.
  • Code editor: You can add your own code
  • Reusable CSS classes.
  • Global color swatches: You can define and update color swatches globally.
  • Advanced font adjustment: You can use any font you like and customize it even further by adjusting the tracking and line-height.
  • Marketing tools integration.
  • Export and download code.
  • Works with Flexbox layout model.
  • Zapier integrations: This allows you to integrate your web applications and automate your workflow. This means you can integrate with over 750 apps without the need to use any code.

WordPress Key Features

  • Plugins for everything: Any functionality you can think of, there are plugins for it.
  • Customizable design: You can either download a theme and edit it to match your design, or create your own.
  • Responsive design.
  • SEO- friendly: WordPress is your best option in terms of SEO. You can create your custom attractive and informative permalinks,  manage your metadata; optimize images for SEO; page speed; optimization for mobile; Social Media integration; etc.  You can also use specific SEO-friendly themes and install some powerful SEO plugins such as Yoast SEO, Google XML Site Maps, and Google Analytics by Monster Insights.
  • Media management.
  • High performance and security. In fact, you can make your WordPress unhackable by improving WordPress security easily.
  • You can manage your WordPress website on the go with mobile apps.
  • Support: WordPress has a huge community, including thousands of tutorials, articles, guides, and forums.

 

3.1. SEO Features

Of course, there’s no point in having an amazing website that offers something valuable to potential clients, if that website can’t be found. SEO is a crucial part of your marketing as much as your advertising. Fortunately, both tools offer some powerful features for optimizing your content for search engines.

🔎 Webflow for SEO

Is Webflow good for SEO? This must be one of the first questions people ask when they start considering moving to Webflow from another platform. The good news is, yes, Webflow has all the essentials for website optimization.

Clean Code

This is not SEO feature, however, your website having a clean well- structured code allows search engines to easily scan and understand your content. Therefore, they will rank your indexed pages accordingly.

Optimization Controls

Webflow has in-built tools for native controls for adding custom permalinks, image alt text and description, and meta titles.

SEO Tools Integration

You can easily integrate Google Analytics, Search Console, and XML sitemap generation.

🔎 WordPress for SEO

Is WordPress good for SEO? Absolutely. Once being the primary blogging platform, it is generally considered one of the best content management systems for SEO.

Automatic Alerts to Google

Every time you update your website, a certain post, or page, WordPress automatically alerts Google. As a result, Google treats your updated paged as recent and moves them up the ranks.

SEO-Ready Themes

WordPress has themes specifically made for SEO that you can combine with SEO plugins for the best results.

Optimization Controls

You can customize each page for SEO with unique tags, custom URLs, and meta descriptions, as well as add custom excerpts or plugins for further optimization.

Fast Load Times

WordPress sites are usually fast, however, you can make them even faster with certain plugins, such as the WP Super Cache plugin for website speed optimization.

Familiar Structure

WordPress websites have a simple framework and link structure that search engines are familiar with. Google crawlers can easily find, index, and rank your pages.

 

🏆 Winner: Draw

Both Webflow and WordPress demonstrate great SEO features. Webflow has them integrated, however, WordPress allows more advanced SEO with particular themes and plugins.

 

 

3.2. CMS Tools

So what is a CMS exactly? A Contain Management System is a software tool that helps users create, manage, and modify content on a website without needing to write all the code from scratch. Its very purpose is to enable non-developers to build websites and generate and publish their content. As these CMS platforms evolve, they make things even easier by adding more numerous features to help you accomplish any purpose.

🖥️ Webflow CMS Tools

 

Edit Live Websites Directly

Webflow’s website editor allows you to easily manage and update your content from a live website without having to touch the back-end.

Visual Editor

One of the strongest sides of Webflow is its visual editor. This means you can design your content right on the page and see how it will look once you publish it. Unlike WordPress, where you stay in the dashboard and occasionally hit Preview to see your page in action, the Webflow editor shows you exactly what you’ll get while you’re building it.

Content Filters

In addition, you can also display content conditionally by adding filters. This means that only the particular content you need would be displayed.

Real-Time Collaboration

You can give access to team members and clients so they can add and edit content, and you can even collaborate with team members in real-time.

Zapier Integration

And last, let’s not forget you can integrate your web applications and automate your workflow with Zapier. This means you can integrate with over 750 apps without the need to use any code.

Once you create your website you can download the code and send it to your developer team.

🖥️ WordPress CMS Tools

 

Dashboard

Similar to Webflow, you don’t need any coding skills to build a website in WordPress unless you opt for a fully customized professional website with a specific brand identity. WordPress offers you an intuitive and straightforward dashboard to work with.

Two Editors

Currently, WordPress pushes the Gutenberg block editor to work like a page builder plugin and allows you to drag and drop items into a post or page. However, you also have the option to disable it and use the classic, much more popular editor.

Manage Unlimited Pages Directly from your Dashboard

You can add as many pages as you like, there are no limits to the size of your website.

Collaboration Tools

WordPress is also good for cooperation as you can add users and assign roles and permissions for each: admin, editor, author, contributor, and subscriber.

 

🏆 Winner: Draw

Both Webflow and WordPress are powerful CMS tools that give you full control over your website.

 

 

3.3. Design Tools

On one hand, Webflow is ideal for users who don’t want to bother with the code but still want all the customization options. On the other, WordPress changed its editor to Gutenberg to make it also more approachable to non-coders. Now let’s see what the two platforms have in stock.

🎨 Webflow Design Tools

Drag-and-Drop Builder

Webflow has a drag-and-drop interface that starts with a blank canvas. You simply drag and drop any element you like from sidebars and tabs to text, images, and videos and arrange them as you see fit.

CSS Properties

To start with, Webflow provides you with CSS properties to develop CSS grid layouts visually. This feature also includes eight CSS filters that can help you create effects on specific elements of your website.

Responsive Images and Templates

Webflow comes with responsive images and templates which makes building responsive websites for multiple devices a piece of cake. With this, the tool optimizes and scales your images automatically for different resolutions. This is even easier if you opt for a pre-made responsive template for your website rather than building it from scratch.

CSS3 Flexible Boxes

Using Webflow’s CSS3 flexible boxes allows you to develop responsive and flexible layouts, and define color swatches globally.

UI Animations

One of the coolest perks of Webflow is the ability to create interactive websites without crying over your JS code. The tool gives you access to 20 pre-built animations and transitions to choose from and apply to different sections or elements of your website with a click. You can also design your own UI animations. Again, with no need to code, you can build:

  • Complex custom scroll animations
  • Scroll-based parallax animations
  • Progress bars
  • Reveal on click and hover animations
Full Typography Control

You can use any font you like and customize it further by changing the tracking and line-height.

🎨 WordPress Design Tools

Since the entire gimmick of WordPress is to work on extensions, you can easily design your website by installing a theme. Once you do that, you can customize it by changing colors, sizes, fonts, and images. If your theme lacks something essential to your design, simply install a plugin for it.

When it comes to creating a completely customized website, however, your best option is to do it from scratch. With this being said, you have to either develop it yourself or hire a developer to do it for you. Of course, this option is best suitable for big businesses, as it might be overkill for smaller startups and local businesses.

 

The Classic Editor

The old editor for creating content in WordPress that we all know from the inside out was a text formatting editor with buttons, very similar to Microsoft Word.

Gutenberg

What is Gutenberg? Also known as the new block-based editor, first introduced in WordPress 5, Gutenberg is a radical change from the classic editor. The new approach offers blocks as content elements that you can add to the screen and create content layouts. In short, each item you add is a block.

The editor offers a huge set of blocks you can use, such as paragraphs, images, video, galleries, embeds, audio, columns, lists, spacing, etc.

 

🏆 Winner: Webflow

Although you can easily add any type of customization in WordPress by installing plugins, Webflow has all the design tools you need already built-in and ready to use, which also keeps the code clean.

 

 

3.4. Extensions and Integrations

In this section, we’ll compare the two platforms based on their themes, plugins, and integrations.

➕ Webflow Extensions and Integrations

 

Themes

Webflow offers over 45 free and 500 premium customizable themes for you to work with.

Code Snippets

You can’t add plugins that work directly in Webflow. However, there are workarounds. You can still extend your website’s functionality by integrating code snippets from your favorite services.

Integrations

Webflow doesn’t offer many native integrations. Similar to the extension, you will need to rely on code embeds most of the time. This means copying the embed code from the original service and adding it to Webflow.

➕ WordPress Extensions and Integrations

 

Themes

WordPress offers more than 4.2K free and 10K premium themes, which makes the platform an absolute winner in terms of template choices.

Plugins

By the time you read this review, there are more than 59K official WordPress plugins available for free, as well as thousands of premium ones. You can expand your capabilities to manage your websites or add more functionalities. There are popular WordPress plugins for SEO, security, eCommerce, forms, social media integration, and anything you can think of.  Just keep in mind not to exceed 20 plugins per site. Too many plugins mean too many HTTP requests, which translates into higher loading times.

Integrations

One of WordPress’s biggest advantages is the ability to integrate everything. If you want a certain integration, there’s a plugin for it. These integrations allow you to connect to specific services of your choice and access them from your WordPress dashboard.

 

🏆 Winner: WordPress

When it comes to themes and plugins, there’s no contest. WordPress offers over 14K official themes and over 60K official plugins for any type of customization and functionality. In contrast, Webflow has over 500 templates and no option to add plugins.

You can integrate some services into Webflow with code embeds, however, WordPress offers actual integrations and works with all popular third-party services and tools that you may need to grow your business.

 

 

4. eCommerce Functionality

You can build a fully-functional online store on both platforms. However, being different in their core philosophies, Webflow and WordPress approach eCommerce differently.

🛒 Webflow for eCommerce

 

All eCommerce features are built-in once you subscribe to an eCommerce plan.

You can customize everything from the product page to the final checkout page and even the automated transactional emails. This is very important, especially considering a lot of website builders out there don’t give you control over the design of your checkout page. Here, you don’t need to agree to generic stuff, as you can customize every single element and get the contingency 100% on brand.

Webflow integrates all popular payment methods: PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Stripe. You can also define shipping rules and regions.

🛒 WordPress for eCommerce

You can add eCommerce functionality to your website by using a plugin. The most popular, tested, and proven one is, of course, WooCommerce. It works as a third-party integration within WordPress and enables you to use all your already existing plugins and the WP command-line interface. It’s completely free. However, there are additional costs that will inevitably surface if you decide to include extra features on your website.

In case you start from scratch without an existing WordPress website, there are a few things you’ll need to do prior to setting up your store:

  • Acquire hosting services
  • Install and configure WordPress CMS
  • Build the design of your pages and add the features you need.
  • Install and configure WooCommerce.

 

🏆 Winner: Draw

All eCommerce features you need are built-in once you subscribe to an eCommerce plan. On the other hand, WordPress offers WooCommerce, which is a powerful eCommerce extension that comes completely for free, however, it lacks some of the essential eCommerce tools you might need. In order to add them, you’ll need to install more plugins.

 

 

5. Ease of Use

Getting started with a new website builder and learning how to create and manage content isn’t supposed to be hard. Luckily, both platforms are beginner-friendly.

📓 Getting Started with Webflow

You register an account, sign up and complete the short survey that aims to customize your experience according to your needs. Once you’re done, Webflow will launch a tutorial that will teach you the basics of the tool and its key concepts. That’s it.

You can either start building your website from scratch by choosing Blank site or pick a pre-made template that best suit your needs and go from there. Webflow will give you full control over each element of your website.

It has a very user-friendly interface and doesn’t require HTML/CSS knowledge. However, it’s important to mention that Webflow is mostly suitable for landing pages and smaller projects. But for more complex projects, a lot can go wrong because we don’t have much experience with the system.

On the other hand, Webflow also has a very well-developed learning center, where you can get the basics.

 

📓 Getting Started with WordPress

In order to get started with WordPress, first, you’ll need web hosting to install the WordPress software. Most hosting services offer tools for installing and configuring WordPress in a few clicks. The next thing you need is to choose a theme to start with. Don’t worry. You can change it anytime in the future without losing content. To make things easier, simply install a drag-and-drop visual editor plugin.

WordPress is very versatile and suitable for users from any technical background. Beginners with zero experience with code can easily build a website by themselves, while advanced users can access the website’s front- and back-end.

 

🏆 Winner: Draw

Both Webflow and WordPress are intuitive and easy to use, with a small learning curve.

 

 

6. Pricing

Now, when it comes to pricing, there are a few things we need to consider. Initial pricing and additional expenses. On one hand, Webflow is a SaaS platform with paid plans that offer the essentials already built-in. On the other, WordPress is a free open-source platform that needs hosting and relies on plugins, some of which are premium. Depending on what you’re building, here’s what to consider:

🏷️ Webflow Pricing

Especially when we compare Webflow to open-source tools, it can get pricy. Depending on whether you want to build a content-driven website or one for your eCommerce business, there are two pricing categories. There’s also a third category for teams.

Site Plans
  • Starter $0: Webflow.io domain, 50 CMS items, 1GB bandwidth
  • Basic $12/mo billed annually: Custom domain, 0 CMS items, 50 GB bandwidth
  • CMS $16/mo billed annually: Custom domain, 2K CMS items, 200 GB bandwidth; 3 guest editors
  • Business $36/mo billed annually: Custom domain, 10K CMS items, 400 GB bandwidth; 10 guest editors
  • Enterprise (Custom Plan): Custom domain, 10K CMS items, custom bandwidth; custom guest editors; Uptime SLAs
eCommerce Plans
  • Standard $29:  500 items; 2% transactional fee; $50K annual sales volume; all CMS plan features
  • Plus $74:  1K items; 0% transactional fee; $200K annual sales volume; all Business plan features
  • Advanced $212:  3K items; 0% transactional fee; unlimited annual sales volume; all Business plan features
Workplace Plans
  • Starter $0:  1 seat; 2 unhosted sites
  • Core $19:  Up to 3 seats; 10 unhosted sites; billing permissions; custom code; code export
  • Growth $49:  Up to 9 seats; unlimited unhosted sites; publishing permissions; custom code; code export
  • Enterprise (Custom Plan): Custom seat limits; unlimited unhosted sites; publishing permissions; custom code; code export; advanced security, performance, and customer success.

In addition, Webflow is available for a free trial or a limited free plan where you can test the software for 2 projects.

🏷️ WordPress Pricing

WordPress is a very affordable option since it’s completely free and all you have to do is pay for hosting.

Other expenses that may occur are if you wish to purchase a premium theme or premium plugins for specific functionalities. The good news is, that you will still be able to have a fully functional website or web store just on free features and free extensions.

 

🏆 Winner: WordPress

WordPress is a free open-source platform that allows you to build a fully functioning website only based on free extensions. Considering, that there are pretty cheap hosting services, powering your website on WordPress is definitely the more affordable option.

 

 

7. Strengths and Weaknesses

To sum up, let’s have a final comparison based on the pros and cons we already discussed during this review.

Your choice should comply solely with your preference, web design requirements, and proficiency. Webflow has a lot of potential as a powerful platform with an array of custom development setups and a worthy integrated eCommerce engine.

👍 Webflow Advantages:
  • Powerful visual editor.
  • It packs all essential design tools.
  • Direct Customer Support: Webflow offers a fast email support service for subscribers.
  • Performance optimization without you having to lift your finger.
  • Clean, organized code.
👎 Webflow Disadvantages:
  • Less flexible blog content editor.
  • No plugin library. If you want additional functions, you need to rely on integrating code snippets.
  • Doesn’t integrate with many third-party tools.
  • More expensive.

 

WordPress is the world-renowned CMS, free and with an impressive variety of integrations. It’s suitable for all user categories.

👍 WordPress Advantages:
  • Free to use.
  • Full control over the code.
  • Thousands of plugins to expand the functionality of your website.
  • Thousands of integrations available for WordPress
  • Great for SEO
👎 WordPress Disadvantages:
  • Complete customization requires coding skills/ or hiring a developer
  • Updates, security, and maintenance are your responsibility.
  • No direct customer support ( but you can always rely on the community).
  • Using themes and plugins may result in creating messy code in the back-end which could result in slowing down your website.

 

Still can’t decide?

Already have a project in mind but can’t decide which platform is the best fit?

We’d love to start a conversation with you and discuss your vision. Let’s see if we’ll be a good match.

 

Conclusion

Both Webflow and WordPress are powerful tools you can use to build your website with no coding experience. It all comes down to philosophy: do you prefer a tool that has all the essentials built in, or do you prefer a clean slate to add any kind of customization and functionality in the form of extensions?

We hope this detailed Webflow vs WordPress review helped you choose the option that is right for you.

In the meantime, you may also be interested in some of these related articles:

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