When you’re thinking “I want to build a web page”, there’s a big chance “WordPress” is the first thing that springs to your, or Google’s, mind. It’s one of the most popular platforms that facilitated the creation of 34% of all web pages.
Should popularity be the primary factor in your choice? In this case, the answer is a resounding “NO”. It’s always good to know the alternatives to make a good decision and pick the product that fits our needs best. One such interesting alternative is Webflow.
We’ll take a closer look at both platforms, examine what functionalities they offer and assess whether they’re easy to navigate. We’ll show you their pros and cons, and help you find the best option for you.
What is WordPress, how it works, its pros and cons
WordPress is a very well-known platform, existing since 2003. It is a free open-source software, which means that anyone can write and share their code with other users. Thanks to that, you can choose from over 55,000 ready-to-use plugins created by developers from all over the world. All you have to do is buy a domain and hosting and WordPress allows you to create a blog, a web page, an online store or portfolio.
Designing in WordPress
WordPress offers a selection of themes, but also has the ability to implement themes bought elsewhere, like on Themersite or Creativemarket, where you can choose from thousands of free and paid themes. Each theme can be customized after installation, however, this functionality is limited to a couple of specific elements, like: fonts and their colors, object size and assets.
WordPress also boasts more than 55 thousand plugins allowing you to customize your site or add functionalities that a given theme lacks. However, in order to completely overhaul your site or create it from scratch, you need someone with a coding background.
Managing content in WordPress
Creating and publishing content in WordPress takes place in the admin dashboard. You don’t need to know how to code, as the panel is intuitive and easy to use. There is an expandable menu on the left that allows you to navigate to different areas of your site.
What’s more, you can add an infinite number of subpages to your page in WordPress. Same with the users, and each user gets assigned a role: author, editor, admin, contributor or subscriber.
Additionally, the platform has a mobile app allowing you to manage your content from your phone.
Advantages of WordPress
- It’s a free platform, you have to pay only for the domain and hosting. It has a catalog of themes making it a very good choice for those only starting out, or needing to set their page up in a pinch.
- It allows for easy updates. You don’t need to be a tech expert to add new content and develop your site.
- Wordpress has been around for a long time. It’s a recognized and trusted brand.
- It’s a platform dedicated to blogging - this is actually how WordPress started out. To this day, it has a number of blogging features, like tagging, plugins, widgets, or categories.
- Wordpress has a wide variety of plugins to customize your site and implement additional functionalities.
- Every site made with WordPress is responsive on mobile devices and optimized towards SEO.
Disadvantages of WordPress
- Free WordPress themes often have a bit of a messy code, which may slow your site down, cause errors or crash the site. This leads to a low position in search results or a higher bounce rate.
- Even though open-source software is a good solution because of its low cost and ease of use, there is a higher chance of your site getting hacked or taken over. You need to know how to act in such cases, or bring in a developer.
- It’s a piece of software, which means it’s constantly getting updated. Same for the plugins - after each update, there is a risk of conflicts between the platform and plugins, new errors arising or even a temporary site black-out.
- Using WordPress to create a blog is trivial, but it’s not that easy when it comes to setting up a webstore. eCommerce plugins do exist, including the most popular WooCommerce, but their use and customization is more complicated, especially if you can’t lean on a developer.
- Lack of flexibility when it comes to design and layout. You can pick a finished theme, but creating a site off of your own project is very complex. You need to have coding experience or hire a developer.
What is Web Flow, how it works, its pros and cons
Webflow is a cloud-based platform with a closed source code, devised to create web pages. However, it is not only a service for creating sites, you can also host them and use it as a CMS. It opens limitless possibilities to design professional, non-standard websites in a completely visual way, without specialized knowledge about web development or coding.
Because the platform offers hosting as well, there are different plans based on the required functions. Prices start from $12/month for a site. If you’d like to use Webflow CMS on top of that, that’ll be $14/month. Plans with eCommerce start from $29/month.
For those working in e-commerce, it is a platform that allows you to easily design, sell products and develop your business, having full control over everything. You can customize your pages and transaction mails, so that everything works in synergy and the purchase process goes smoothly. Your customers can pay by all the popular paying methods: Google Pay, Apple Pay or PayPal.
In addition, Webflow supports Zapier, which allows for automatic integration of more than 750 apps with your site.
Designing in Webflow
The site creator interface has 2 side panels. You choose the elements you want to add, like a picture, in the left one. Then, the right panel opens up, in which you introduce changes to the chosen element. The creator does not operate in the “drag and drop” fashion, so you need to have at least rudimentary knowledge of web design. Webflow allows you to start from scratch, but it also has ready themes.
There are previews of your project available for any device, which makes it possible to optimize your site for all users. While using Webflow, you’re also in full control of the typography - you can choose any font and customize it to fit your needs. Another cool feature of webflow is defining global color swatches, so that the colors are consistent all across your site.
On top of that, Webflow allows for creating complex interactions and animations without the need to know code, which opens up a swathe of possibilities. You can also choose from 20 ready-made animations.
Managing content in Webflow
Webflow has an easy-to-use CMS with which you can create a well-constructed content template with everything you’d want to have and sync it with your site’s theme. Content creation and editing happens right on the page, which instantly shows you how it looks. Then, you can publish all the changes with just one click.
You can authorize members of your team to add content and introduce changes. Even a few people at a time can work simultaneously without a hitch.
Advantages of Webflow
- Webflow allows for creation and full customization of a webpage without coding.
- You have the option to write Custom Code and expand your site using outside libraries.
- You’re editing right on the page, which allows you to instantly see what it’ll look like.
- You’re able to optimize your page for different mobile devices and SEO.
- You can create complex animations.
- The CMS interface is user-friendly.
- You get a free SSL certificate for all pages.
- An eCommerce package is also available.
- You get access to customer service, willing to help you both in creation and maintenance of your site.
Disadvantages of Webflow
- The learning curve is steep, requiring full attention to detail while creating your page, especially if you’re not experienced. The platform offers access to Webflow University, but learning through it is time-consuming.
- Compared to other platforms, Webflow is quite expensive.
- The number of available integrations for additional functionalities is quite limited.
Conclusion: WordPress or Webflow?
Both platforms offer good options for those searching for tools to build their site. It’s difficult to pick one, because a lot depends simply on what we need. If you want to take a quick and easy path because time is of the essence and you don’t care as much about customization, then WordPress is your choice. On the other hand, Webflow gives you the freedom to work more efficiently and without limitation on design, but requires a lot of time and effort to learn its ins and outs, especially in the beginning.
WordPress is still the market leader, but Webflow is already being called the future of the internet. It is a fully accessible option to create fully customizable pages without the need to code. Sounds good, doesn’t it?