A Content Management System (CMS) is a huge investment. You are investing money, time, and human resources into building a well-designed, functional website that will serve as the vault for almost every digital asset this business creates.
This is not the time to make bad decisions. You’ve already looked through multiple options on the top 10 lists of best content management systems, and now you have to decide between your two major players: Webflow vs. WordPress.
The real dilemma is that you know both are good options, but you need to choose the better one.
This article will provide a comprehensive overview of Webflow and WordPress as content management systems, their key features, and a comparison between the two. At the end of this analysis, we’ll share a verdict.
- TLDR: A summary to help you make a decision
- Overview: Webflow vs WordPress
- The Comparison: Webflow vs WordPress
- The Final Verdict: Webflow vs WordPress
TLDR: A summary to help you make a decision
If you want to get the main gist without reading the entire article, here’s our take:
WordPress: The more seasoned option
- WordPress is currently the CMS of choice for over 30 million websites. It is known for being easy to use and versatile when designing different types of websites.
- WordPress also has a strong developer community that provides support through every step of your project. There are thousands of free themes and plugins to choose from when you’re ready to design and optimize your website. But you can always switch to a custom template.
- If you already own a domain, the most basic price you have to pay is $2.95/month for hosting and an additional one-off fee of $200 for premium themes. If you’re going to work with developers, expect this cost to increase north of $1000.
WordPress is the best fit for you if you want a fully-hosted, open-source solution with a massive plugin library, reasonable pricing and maximum flexibility. Just bear in mind that if you’re not a web design expert, you have to work with developers who can build custom templates that help you achieve your desired goal.
Webflow: The user-friendly visual editor
- Webflow is targeted at non-technical people since it doesn’t require any coding to build. However, it is known to have a steep learning curve.
- According to John Rymer, Vice President at Forrester, low-code platforms have the potential to make software development up to 10X faster than traditional methods.
- This is why Webflow is said to generate static code which is faster and more secure. It’s also not slowed down by countless themes and plugins and can be significantly better for mobile optimization. However, not having a large plugin library like WordPress is one of its cons.
- Webflow is more expensive than Worpress and has a limited pricing model.
Webflow is the best fit for you if you want to build a highly-customized no-code site with modern UI, intuitive design and dynamic content. Just bear in mind that you might have some content limitations later in the future.
Now, let’s dive deeper.
Overview: Webflow vs WordPress
WordPress is a relatively free and open-source CMS that started as a blog publishing platform in 2003. Today, WordPress owns over 40% of the internet market share and is used by notable companies such as Walt Disney, Sony Music and Etsy over to build news-based websites, job portals, learning management systems (LMS) and membership sites.
WordPress is also a big player in the e-commerce space. As of April 2022, WooCommerce, the most popular e-commerce plugin for the platform, is ranked second in the global market share with 23.43% of the total share. Best of all, WooCommerce is free to use.
WordPress.org or WordPress.com?
Yes, this article is focused on comparing WordPress vs. Webflow. But when considering WordPress, it’s easy to get confused about the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Let’s break it down.
WordPress.org is the free, open-source version of WordPress software. It is self-hosted, meaning that when building a website, you have to install it on a web host. You are responsible for the full deployment and management of the CMS.
You are also responsible for connecting your domain name to hosting, as well as installing a page builder needed for designing your website.
On the other hand, WordPress.com is a managed hosting platform powered by WordPress.org. This platform gives you access to a website builder, hosting account, and domain name—all in one. While this may look good, WordPress.com restricts the customization and scalability of a website, and for this reason, most people use the self-hosted WordPress.org software—and that’s what you should do if you decide to use WordPress for your website design.
Webflow is a software as a service (SaaS) application that allows you to build a responsive website. Like WordPress, you don’t need to know how to code before you can build a website with this software.
Having said that, because Webflow can take care of the web hosting, security, and website performance on the go as you design the website, many beginner website designers typically prefer it.
Webflow also serves professional website designers excellently. The content management system lets you create a well-structured website, and you can design your content directly on a page and see how your published web page would look like while building it.
In addition, Webflow supports building an ecommerce website. With the CMS, you can design your online store, upload your inventory, integrate payment, and manage shipping. The platform also gives you total control over how you customize your ecommerce store.
The Comparison: Webflow vs WordPress
For the comparison between Webflow vs WordPress CMS, we use five criteria. These criteria are:
- Ease of use
- Themes and templates
- Plugins and integrations with third-party services
- Ecommerce functionality
But quickly, before we get into each criterion, here’s a comparison based on some key features.
|WordPress Key Features||Webflow Key Features|
|Supports the creation of any type of website: blog, business website, news website, forum, ecommerce store and more||Great for building landing pages and blogs, easier to use for web designers.|
|Facilitates the design of mobile responsive websites||Helps you build a fast-loading website and supports responsive websites|
|Quick installation supported by many hosting companies||Provides a drag-and-drop page builder that is easy to use|
|Media library integration||Setting up an ecommerce store is supported|
|Allows user management||Allows you to define global colour swatches for your website|
|Supports more than 70 languages||Gives total control over content editing|
|Access to thousands of themes and plugins||Marketing tools integration is straightforward|
|Provides an inbuilt comment system||Provides better security by making it easy to activate SSL on a website|
|Easy social media integration||Helps you build a fast-loading website|
Comparing based on ease of use
Both CMS facilitate the easy designing of a website. However, one is easier to use compared to the other.
Based on general consensus, because WordPress does not provide a built-in drag-and-drop page builder but Webflow does, the latter is easier to use.
To help you better understand what is meant by ease of use in this WordPress vs. Webflow comparison, let’s briefly describe how to get started with website designing on each platform.
WordPress ease of use
Before you can do anything on WordPress, you have to first purchase web hosting. When that is done, you can then install the WordPress software. If you want to make life easier for yourself, choose a hosting company that provides the best value for WordPress hosting and an automatic WordPress installation tool.
An alternative is to install and configure the WordPress software manually if the hosting company you choose doesn’t provide the installation tool. Doing this can be very challenging if you are not tech-savvy.
After you have successfully installed the WordPress software, you’ll be taken to a dashboard from which you can manage your website. To start designing a website, you will need to navigate to the theme option under the appearance menu.
The theme option shows the pre-installed themes that come with WordPress. These themes are usually not that great, so many WordPress designers go to the WordPress theme directory or third-party theme directory to get better ones.
In addition, if you want full control over how you design your website, you would have to install drag-and-drop page builders such as Visual Composer, Elementor, and Divi.
Webflow ease of use
Getting started on Webflow is less complex compared to WordPress, but it’s also a relatively steep learning curve.
To use the content management system, you need to register an account. After that, you will be shown a short survey that tailors the experience to your website’s needs. Then, you will be taken through a quick guide that helps you learn how to use the platform to build your dream website.
From there, you can start building your site from a blank slate or choose one of the preset templates. Webflow has a built-in drag-and-drop page builder, so there’s no need to install any plugin. Aside from building a website, the CMS can also be used for designing blogs.
Comparing based on themes and templates
It takes about six months to design a website from scratch and costs up to $10,000.
This time frame and cost would have been the standard for designing a website if not for content management systems and their pre-made designs—called “themes” on WordPress and “templates” on Webflow.
As for WordPress vs. Webflow comparison in terms of Themes and Templates, WordPress wins.
While Webflow has about 600 free/premium templates, WordPress has about 11,000 free/premium themes.
Comparing based on plugins and integrations
So far, you see that both WordPress and Webflow offer the core tools needed to build a website. Nevertheless, you may want to extend the features of your website beyond the basic designs and features.
To do this, most CMS let you install extensions, which are called plugins, apps, or sometimes extensions. Below is how you can extend the features of a website built using WordPress and Webflow.
WordPress plugins and integrations
This content management system has a massive collection of plugins in its official directory. The estimate of the total number is about 59,000, and aside from the official WordPress plugin directory, you can get thousands of premium plugins from third-party Marketplace and developers. And because of plugins, it is easy and no code embedding is required to integrate third-party services with WordPress.
Webflow plugins and integrations
If you assume extending the features of a Webflow website would be simple because Webflow is easy to use when it comes to designing, you would be wrong. This is because the content management system doesn’t offer plugins, meaning you can’t add an extension that directly works with its interface.
That said, there’s a workaround for enhancing the functionalities of a website design on Webflow. You just have to look for the snippet of code offered by the service provider of the functionality you want to add.
Comparing based on ecommerce functionality
As mentioned in the overview of each CMS, both WordPress and Webflow support the designing of ecommerce stores. With WordPress, you need to install the WooCommerce plugin for you to build your ecommerce store, and the plugin is free to use.
Instead of having an ecommerce plugin, Webflow has an ecommerce feature built into its core services. However, for you to use this feature, you have to pay for the ecommerce plan.
Comparing based on pricing
When comparing two or more products, pricing is key. So our WordPress vs. Webflow comparison won’t be complete without talking about pricing.
Below is the price overview and the estimated cost of building your website with either of the two content management systems.
Being a free, open-source CMS, WordPress software doesn’t require any payment for its usage. Nonetheless, to have a fully functional website using WordPress, you have to pay for web hosting. For a low-traffic website, web hosting will cost you $5-$10 per month. If your traffic is 100,000+ monthly visitors, your hosting will cost over $20 per month.
Considering that you may want to add additional features to your website through premium themes and plugins, the total estimated cost is $150-$350 per year. If you are sticking with a simple website strip of advanced functionalities, $60-$75 per year should be enough.
For its basic use, Webflow lets you sign up and build a website for free. But to make the website live and accessible to visitors, you have to subscribe to a paid plan. You can export the code of the website and host it with another provider, but most users of the CMS don’t do that because you also have to pay for the exporting.
There are two types of pricing plans offered by Webflow: Site Plans and Workspaces Plans.
Site Plans: You have to subscribe to one of these for every single website that Webflow hosts for you. Under Site Plans, there are regular site plans, which start at $14 per month, and ecommerce site plans, which start at $29 per month.
Workspaces Plans: If you want to have more than two website projects, you need one of the Workspaces Plans. Also, a Workspaces Plan is required if you want to export the code of your design and host it with another hosting provider or if you want team members to have access to your Webflow projects. The Workspaces Plans are categorised into two plans: For in-house teams, which start at $19 per month, and For freelancers & agencies, which start at $16 per month.
Depending on your type and number of projects, you may be required to subscribe to a Site Plan and a Workspaces Plan at the same time.
The Final Verdict: Webflow vs WordPress
Having said that, the verdict is that your website’s needs should determine which CMS you choose. If you intend to design a basic website without getting involved in the technicality of web hosting, security, and maintenance, Webflow is the best CMS for you.
However, if you want to build a thorough website—standard or e-commerce—with unlimited possibilities in terms of features, WordPress is the best CMS to use. In addition to that, it is relatively cheaper to build your website with WordPress.
When you think about the unlimited possibilities of WordPress and its low-cost hosting, you would understand the reason why it’s the chosen CMS to power 49% of websites on the internet.
On a final note, you don’t have to get yourself confused about the WordPress vs. Webflow showdown. If you love the ease of use of Webflow and the unlimited possibilities of WordPress, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: say hello to the official Webflow Pages plugin for WordPress.
Alex Birkett is the co-founder of Omniscient Digital, a premium content marketing & SEO agency. He lives in Austin, Texas with his dog Biscuit and writes at alexbirkett.com.