Webflow vs. WordPress: CMS compared

WordPress is known to be an easy-to-use, freely available CMS, suitable for smaller and larger projects such as websites and online stores. Users can access numerous plugins, but design options are more limited. If you’re looking to build an online store with more options to design it freely and gain a foothold in e-commerce, Webflow may be a more powerful solution.

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Webflow vs. WordPress: Brief overview

What is Webflow?

  • Webflow functions as a Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • As a visual tool for HTML, CSS and JavaScript, you can flexibly build and design websites directly in the browser via the drag and drop user interface without having to learn programming
  • Programmers can add their own code
  • Webflow, unlike WordPress, is a closed system and includes a combination of CMS, website builders and integrated web hosting as part of a visual website builder
  • Thus, it provides plenty of advantages over WordPress for e-commerce

What is WordPress?

  • WordPress is an open-source Content Management System to design websites and add features using WordPress plugins
  • Users either select WordPress.com which includes hosting or WordPress.org which is a free-to-download software to use with a hosting provider of their own choice. The use of WordPress is not always free. Plugins, webspace, domains and provider costs can add up
  • On the other hand, WordPress as an open-source software is not a closed system and can be flexibly adapted and extended with the appropriate programming skills
Tip

Become a WordPress expert with our guides and tutorials on the popular CMS. For example, learn all about important WordPress terms, how to speed up WordPress and check out some of the most important WordPress SEO tips.

Webflow or WordPress: The main differences

Criteria

Webflow

WordPress

Editor

Visual editor for instant front-end changes and easy drag and drop operation

Creation, modification and editing of websites via dashboard, plugins and block editor

Code

Clean, semantic code that requires no maintenance or upkeep

Due to third-party plugins or personal code changes, regular care, update and maintenance of plugins or code elements is required

Design

Many design and layout options with or without themes and templates

Many themes and plugins for page design and options to implement personalised designs and functions depending on programming skills

Security

As a closed system featuring secure hosting, automatic security updates and threat monitoring are included; good security standards

Possible security vulnerabilities due to third-party plugins or incorrect changes to code

SSL certificate

Integrated SSL certificates

SSL certificates not integrated, but can be easily upgraded

Hosting

Integrated, paid, and high-performance hosting with AWS and Fastly

Free and paid hosting via WordPress.com or self-selected hosting providers

SEO

Integrated SEO features for better ranking and optimisation for mobile devices

SEO functions through mostly paid plugins

Support

Relatively small community with less support, but customer support is available

Large, active community, extensive support and active developer community

Cost

Paid

Can be used free of charge for smaller projects and websites, but for professional sites additional charges will incur for storage, hosting and plugins

Webflow or WordPress: Direct comparison

To help you choose between Webflow or WordPress, here are some of their main similarities and differences in detail:

Tip

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Design options for websites

Webflow:

You don’t need any programming skills to use the Webflow visual front-end editor. Website creation serves as a visual process involving HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Thanks to drag and drop and various tools, you can use high-quality templates that you can edit as you wish.

What’s more, when building a website, you can start from a white page and implement website designs according to individual ideas without much effort or prior knowledge. Design options include layouts, fonts, spacing, the arrangement of page content, or ways to optimize websites for mobile devices.

WordPress:

To create a WordPress site, the CMS provides a block editor called WordPress Gutenberg. Use it to position and integrate page content to the desired page section, add elements as a block or in the form of WordPress widgets.

Because free themes are limited, a custom website can only be implemented using WordPress themes and plugins or using your own coding skills.

Search engine optimization

Webflow:

There are plenty of options for SEO thanks to the integrated Webflow tools. Because the tools are already adapted to search engines, you won’t need to familiarize yourself with the basics for search engine optimization to achieve an optimal ranking.

Mobile SEO is particularly important when it comes to optimizing the visibility of your website. Other SEO features include an auto-generated sitemap, gapless code for easy readability by crawlers and fast loading times.

WordPress:

WordPress too boasts plenty of free and paid-for WordPress SEO plugins to optimize websites for SEO. When making changes to WordPress code or adding your own be sure to keep it lean and easy to read for search engines.

Clean code and code maintenance

Webflow:

Being a visual editor, Webflow uses clean code which improves search engine ranking and page load times.

In addition, efficient, semantically clean source code saves a lot of time, since time-consuming code maintenance, even with different administrators or developers, becomes unnecessary. However, exporting code is only possible with paid plans.

WordPress:

Generally, WordPress offers more freedom in terms of customizing pages because it lets users make changes to the source code or add third-party plugins and WordPress shortcodes. At the same time, there is a risk that incorrect source code changes or messy, inconsistent code from plugins could worsen performance due to bloated page code.

Security

Webflow:

As Webflow works on the principle of “Software-as-a-Service”, the CMS offers free SSL certificates for your pages including threat monitoring, security updates, automatic backups and security support from the competent Webflow team.

However, security vulnerabilities can arise if you include API interfaces in your pages leading away from the Webflow environment.

WordPress:

Without SSL encryption efforts through a free or paid SSL certificate, WordPress sites pose possible attack points for malware and hacker attacks. Third-party plugins also open security holes due to vulnerabilities in the code or rogue providers. WordPress is therefore as secure or insecure as you allow it to be.

If, on the other hand, you use a Managed WordPress offer including hosting, your hosting service provider usually includes comprehensive security measures.

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CMS functionality

Webflow:

As far as functionality goes, Webflow scores points in a direct comparison of CMS. The intuitive visual editor and the drag and drop design of the pages do not require knowledge of programming languages. As such it is a good option to design blogs and websites that need to be regularly populated with new content. However, Webflow has the advantage that you can omit the CMS function if, for example, you want to build a static website or a web design template.

Webflow is a closed system whose software is managed and maintained by US firm Webflow, Inc. Thus, Webflow offers less independence from a third-party company compared to WordPress.

WordPress:

CMS functionality is a core component of WordPress and managing content is its original function. Accordingly, there are many possibilities to create and manage user roles in WordPress. The CMS impresses with its clear backend and dashboard as well as many possibilities to program and host your websites.

WordPress provides extensive support and a large community, as well as numerous additional features through plugins from professional WordPress developers. The CMS is suitable for beginners and more experienced programmers.

User interface

Webflow:

Thanks to visual website design, setup wizards, a neat dashboard and an interface that includes tools and project management features, it is easy to keep on top of things with Webflow. You can see changes to the website directly in the front end. For further guidance, you can consult the Webflow University which provides tutorials and manuals. User interface, CMS and hosting come from a single source with Webflow.

WordPress:

With WordPress using the dashboard and backend is self-explanatory. Tools are accessible in just a few clicks and additional functions can be added through plugins in a matter of minutes. The user interface is available in numerous languages.

The system requires only minor setup effort if you’re using free or paid website plans via WordPress.com, for example. However, with some training you can also download WordPress as open-source software for free and use it with your own server and hosting or self-selected provider.

Tip

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Support

Webflow:

Webflow hasn’t been on the market all that long. Hence, its community is much smaller than that of WordPress. Nevertheless, a Webflow forum is available for questions and support. In addition, professional customer support is there to assist users.

WordPress:

While sites hosted through WordPress.com can access customer service, the feature is not available for WordPress projects based on the free software. That is where the huge WordPress community and numerous WordPress forums come into play. You can find the answer to most questions here.

Performance and maintenance

Webflow:

Website and user interface performance is smooth and effortless because all features and code elements come from a single source. Code mixing due to third-party plugins or messy code changes are no concern. Even media elements do not affect performance when compressed.

The maintenance effort of Webflow projects is low because the software is automatically kept up to date by the provider. This ensures a high level of security.

WordPress:

WordPress performs as smoothly as you want it to. However, that is as long as you use plugins and themes as intended and from reputable providers to avoid a cluttered backend or frontend. Selecting the right hosting and provider are important criteria for optimal performance.

WordPress pages require constant care and maintenance and should be kept up to date through regular software and plugin updates and code maintenance. If you prefer not to take care of things yourself, you can choose Managed WordPress Hosting.

Tip

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Plugins

Webflow:

Plugins are currently not available for Webflow because extensive design options and configurations are directly integrated. Extended functionalities depend on the chosen plan. However, the integration of third-party applications is possible via corresponding API interfaces.

WordPress:

The number of available WordPress plugins is staggering and constantly increasing thanks to the large developer community. A wide variety of functions and features are available for free or for a fee. However, users should beware that the plugins they use are from trusted sources and do not clog up the backend.

The disadvantage of the extended range of WordPress plugins is that you need to maintain them yourself through regular updates. WordPress provides support through its update function, but updates are not applied automatically.

Hosting

Webflow:

Webflow offers a secure hosting environment from AWS and Fastly, so you don’t have to worry about secure, high-performance hosting. With appropriate cookie opt-in providers, Webflow is easy to use and GDPR-compliant.

WordPress:

Hosting is provided via WordPress.com at a plan to suit a range of needs or users can self-host WordPress using a selected provider. Security, performance and the cost of hosting depend on the chosen provider.

Tip

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E-commerce and online marketplace

Webflow:

Webflow boasts integrated functions for e-commerce for smaller to mid-sized online stores. These can be used to design and change the layout of online stores and create pages for products and services.

WordPress:

Thanks to numerous e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce, WordPress offers much freedom and scalability even for large-scale online commerce. As long as you are familiar with the possibilities of extending WordPress, you can easily create an online store with WordPress.

Pros and cons of Webflow

Pro

Con

✔ Simple, personalizable, almost unlimited design possibilities for websites that are easy to edit without large follow-up costs

✘ Not free and limited number of templates

✔ Visual website creation without programming skills

✘ Not as widely used or known as WordPress

✔ Hosting included, domain name optional

✘ Focus on companies, website designers and agencies developing websites for clients

✔ Clean, secure code, automatic SEO (including mobile SEO) and good performance for better ranking

✘ No marketplace for plugins or extensions yet

✔ No dependency/integration of third-party software/plugins

 

✔ SSL certificates for websites and automatic security updates included

 

Pros and cons of Wordpress

✔ Many website design options thanks to integrated tools, block editor, plugins and widgets

✘ For personalized templates, complex websites as well as scalable online stores, paid plugins are required

✔ No programming knowledge required for simple websites or online stores

✘ Plugins can affect performance because of bloated code and cause security vulnerabilities

✔ Scalable and extensible thanks to third-party plugins

✘ Many attack points due to open source WordPress code

✔ Free CMS with large community

✘ Regular plugin updates required

✔ Well-suited to create a WordPress blog

✘ Design possibilities limited by themes or coding knowledge for own themes necessary

✔ Suitable for beginners and professional developers with their own coding needs

 

Recommended applications for Webflow

  • Personal websites that can be managed and modified by users
  • More complex web designs without in-depth programming knowledge unlimited by templates and plugins
  • Development of websites and online strategies without relying on programmers and developers
  • Quick design of business sites, without unexpected follow-up costs

Recommended applications for WordPress

  • Creation of private or business websites – from simple blogs to scalable online stores and corporate websites
  • When extensibility via plugins is more important than a personalized design
  • Design of powerful online stores using appropriate plugins like WooCommerce
  • Fast website creation without extensive programming knowledge but also creation of a tailored website with professional programming skills
  • Website should be hosted with self-selected provider

Conclusion: Webflow vs. WordPress – which CMS is the right one for you?

You should consider using Webflow if you tend to implement web designs for clients. Design features and creative options are easy to use and free from restrictions.

WordPress, on the other hand, is great for creating and managing your own websites, be it a small free website, blogs or online stores but can be scaled for larger e-commerce and corporate sites. Thanks to countless plugins, you can extend WordPress flexibly.

Both CMS have various strengths for users wishing to design websites without much prior programming knowledge.

Both CMS have various strengths for users wishing to design websites without much prior programming knowledge.