Coming to this blog, you are probably wondering how to choose between Webflow vs. WordPress. Both are super popular solutions with great features. The best thing about both is that you don't need almost any technical skills to use them. A key difference is an approach to how to create a website. WordPress is a CMS that you install on a hosting server, while Webflow is a SaaS app offering a complete package.
What’s the difference?
Before we dive into Webflow vs WordPress comparison, let's start with a little introduction to both tools.
What is Webflow?
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS), powering over 42% of all the websites on the internet. Its plugin architecture and a template system make the learning curve relatively small. Designers control the design of their website with themes while adding new features with plugins. When using WordPress, designers have to handle hosting, website performance, and security by themselves.
Generally speaking, both tools can do the work whatever you are trying to build. Both with get your website up and running. But you don't want to create another mediocre site on the internet. That is why the key features when considering Webflow vs. WordPress matter! Let's break everything down in the next chapter!
Webflow vs WordPress comparison table
How do Webflow and WordPress compare when we remove all the add-on plugins? We stripped down both platforms to their core to see what they offer. Before you dig into the content, discover those findings in the table below.
Note: The comparison table was created after thorough research of both platforms. We analysed both tools through their platform and found information in other relevant sources.
Why you should use WordPress?
Why WordPress might be a good solution for you, and the pros and cons of using it.
Key pros of using WordPress in 2023
The learning curve
The first pro of using WordPress is how easy it is to set up and use. The small learning curve allows you to create a website in just a few clicks. Due to being a superstar among website building platforms, most web hosts already take care of the whole installation process for you. If this still makes you a bit anxious, here is a good article on how to install WordPress in a few easy steps.
Rich library of plugins and themes
WordPress has a ton of plugins and themes that can equip your website with more or less all the features you will ever need. Its library contains almost 10.000 free themes you can use instantly. Perfect for teams without a designer or a smaller budget that do not want to outsource design.
With WordPress, you gain access to a massive collection of plugins. Plugins are powerful extensions that enhance your website functionality. They allow you to add features that go beyond those that the core platform offers. The official WordPress.org directory alone has almost 59.000 free plugins. Don't even get us started on thousands of premium plugins you can find via other marketplaces. We sure understand that this can be a bit overwhelming. To help you save some time, we recommend reading this article on the top 10 WordPress plugins of all time.
When looking for the most affordable platform to build a website WordPress is a winner. Simply creating a website will cost you 0$! Like in life you can't avoid taxes, when you use WordPress you can't avoid paying the hosting. Hosting is the only essential cost of running a WordPress site and will cost you from 5$ up, depending on your website traffic. You can run a WordPress site for as little as $50 per year. Just don't expect too much from a website like this. Before you go on, check out this list of top 10 hosting providers created by Quicksprout.
Content management system
I feel like we are just going on and on about how easy it is to use WordPress in this blog. Sorry, not sorry, but we can't go past this even here. With WordPress, you don't even have to know what coding means, let alone learn how to code. You use an easy and very intuitive dashboard that helps you create pages and content with zero hassle. Check out this video to learn how to get started in WordPress.
Start a blog, even if you are not tech-savvy
Did you know that WordPress started as a blogging platform? Well, if not before, you know now. Even so, WordPress today is much more than that, the blogging process is still seamless as ever. Every new post you make is a blog by default. It's the same as editing a blog post in Google Docs. Except you add content in the appropriate containers. If you want to get fancy and create a blog that is more than just text on a white background, here are some great WordPress themes for blogs.
Key cons of using WordPress in 2023
As browsing and using thousands of themes in WordPress is great, this also brings some downsides. When you use themes, your code gets messy on the backend and becomes very fragile.
This results in your website running slow, having a lot of errors, or even crashing completely. The thing is, that this happens a lot, mostly with plugin updates. This is a red flag for Google, which will punish ranking your site low in the search results.
The plugins you are using and WordPress as software need constant updates to work properly. The thing is that plugins are just extensions and not core parts of WordPress software. This makes combining the two in a single website extremely fragile. Every time one of the updates, there is a chance of malfunction or an unwanted change in the website's appearance.
Without knowing how to solve the issue or the website developer, this can be a nightmare. A nightmare that can cost your business a lot of money, if you can't get your site back up and running fast.
You are glued to using a theme
Well, at least if you don't know how to code. And since you are reading this blog, we assume you don't know or want to code your website from scratch.
No matter the number of available themes in the WordPress library, every single one has some limitations. And here comes the problem. If you want to separate yourself from the noise and build a unique website, you need coding knowledge. Learning how to code is the only way of creating a completely custom website on WordPress.
Lack of customer support
If you are not a developer or have an established partnership with one, every error on your website is a panic alarm. WordPress not offering direct customer support doesn't help here.
Instead, you can use community-supported forums and the WordPress support database. Albeit you can find a lot of information here, personalized support will always be superior. Especially when you need your site up and running ASAP.
WordPress users are dependent on the community to develop and update new plugins and themes, so it may sometimes take a long time for your website to be fully functional.
Because of that, there can be a lack of maintenance and security and it might not be the most reliable long-term solution.
Why you should use Webflow?
Why Webflow might be a good solution for you, and the pros and cons of using it.
Key pros of using Webflow in 2023
Bridge between coding and design
Coding and design have always been two separate processes. Designers first had to create mock-ups, wireframes, and UX/UI flows. Then pass all this to developers to put those assets in the code. Pushing assets and feedback back and forth made the process ridiculously long.
Design with cleaner code
Visual canvas enables you to create fully custom websites without writing a single line of code. All the coding happens under the hood, making sure the code is clean as it gets. And this is the magic of Webflow. While WordPress uses the power of plugins to add features to a site, Webflow skips all of this. You can build your website stress-free and without worrying your website will crash with the next plugin update.
Making search engine crawlers happy
Never in history was so easy to build a website and start a business. At the same time, the competition has been as fierce as today. To break through the noise you need to optimize your website on all fronts. A good SEO score is a crucial factor in ranking high on Google. Here is where Webflow's clean and semantic code steps in the game. Search engine crawlers will parse your page effortlessly and help you rank high on Google.
Control and customize your page with visual canvas
Editing a website is so much easier, faster, and more efficient with Webflow than it is with WordPress. Visual canvas enables you direct on page editing, displaying the page almost exactly as it will look live at all times.
You can easily preview and adjust the layout for different screens along the way. Never leave editor mode to see how your design transition from device to device. All this doesn't just make your creative process better but also more efficient.
Webflow doesn’t need dozens of plugins
What makes WordPress code so messy and fragile is the number of plugins required to get all the functionality you need. Having a plugin for every single feature you need makes your code cluttered and prone to breaking.
With Webflow, on the other hand, everything is built-in, native, and fully integrated. That “everything” includes minifying, caching, and CDN. Allow this to improve website speed and various features that improve SEO. All the essential tools that you need for maximum website performance, are available straight out of the box with Webflow. This includes tools like Google Analytics, Google Search console, as well as many more.
Key cons of using Webflow in 2023
Step learning curve
Creating interactive and complex interactions can immensely increase the user experience. While Webflow's editor is flexible and powerful, the learning curve is steep.
While a website allows you to build your first website for free, going live can be pricey. When going live, you can choose between site plans and account plans. When you host your websites on Webflow and use the Webflow CMS, you'll need a site plan for every website you want to host. If you use Webflow solely as a tool and plan to host your website elsewhere, you need an account plan.
Running the simplest version of the Webflow page will cost you about $144 per year. For a bit more dynamic functionality and a premium template, this cost can quickly bump up to $450.
Lack of integrations available
Webflow's weak point is the number of integrations its supports. At least when it comes to native integrations. This means you'll need to rely on embedding the code in the Webflow or even separate interfaces in many situations.
While there is a lot of limitation with native integrations, there is still quite a lot of tools you can integrate with your Webflow site. Follow this link, and learn more about the top 6 powerful integrations you should add to your Webflow site.
Webflow and WordPress are both great solutions when building a website. Whether you are creating a small personal website or establishing a business, both can do the work. Finally, it all comes down to your personal preferences, budget, and resources you can allocate to creating a website.
For most individuals and businesses looking to make a website that doesn't need custom solutions, WordPress is the way to go. It is cheaper, has dozens of plugins, and you can make a site in seconds. All this without the help of developers and designers. Albeit WordPress is still the superstar among all website builders, other tools are gaining more and more traction. According to Google Trends, demand for WordPress has been in decline for the past 5 years.
But if you are a designer, business, or someone who needs complete freedom in creating a custom website, Webflow is the better alternative. While the learning curve is steeper, the Webflow site will give you better performance and superior flexibility. This is especially important if you are a creative business building custom websites, or want to offer a unique experience to your customers. According to Google Trends, Webflow has also been gaining a ton of traction which you can see in the graph below.
Another interesting statistic to look at is the latest market position comparison between Webflow and other website builders, including WordPress, provided by W3Techs. It shows a direct comparison between website traffic size and the number of websites. This graph suggests that Webflow is not used by many sites, but it provides hosting for some of the most high traffic websites on the internet.
This is just another evidence that Webflow does have very reliable hosting service and data security, as it's being used by more and more businesses dealing with high traffic volumes on their websites. It also suggests that Webflow's focus is perhaps more geared towards enterprise customers, which should be good news for any startup - it means they're investing a lot of resources into making website scalability as easy and convenient as possible.
On the other hand, WordPress hosts by far the most sites on the internet (their market share is over 62% as a content management system), but not as many high traffic websites as Webflow. However, because it's open-source, easy to learn and customizable with third-party plugins, a lot of business owners and startups still lean towards it. But as seen before, the trend is turning and demand for WordPress is no longer on the rise.
Frequently asked questions
What is Webflow?
Webflow is a no-code design building tool that enables you to create responsive websites. It allows you to design and build a website with a visual canvas.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source content management system that allows you to host and build websites.
What is the key difference between Webflow vs WordPress?
The key difference between Webflow vs WordPress is that WordPress is an open-source CMS and requires you to have your own hosting server, while Webflow is a SaaS no-code app including everything you need to publish a website.
Editor's note: This blog post was originally published in February 2022. It has been completely renewed in February 2024 with the purpose of providing the latest data of Webflow vs. WordPress solution.