Webflow vs WordPress: Pros & cons, and which platform we recommend
We specialize in both WordPress and Webflow, but what’s the difference? Why do we recommend one platform over another for our clients?
Both are content management systems (CMS) that are used to edit the content on websites.
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems in the world with around 40% of websites on the internet using this platform. It’s open source and free to use, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular.
Webflow was launched in 2013, so it’s a newer player and has less market share compared to other popular platforms, most of which were launched in the early 2000s. It’s a premium (i.e. paid) platform with a focus on designers.
- Widely used. If you happen to part ways with your web developer down the road, it should be easy to find someone else familiar with the platform.
- Highly customizable. Because it’s open source, anyone can develop for it, so there's probably a plug-in for just about any functionality you can think of.
- User-friendly. Most people should be able to navigate the CMS to update content with some basic training.
- Budget-friendly hosting available. If your budget is tight, you can probably find pretty good budget hosting for around $100 per year.
- Lots of support for developers. If something goes wrong with your site, a developer should be able to find troubleshooting support fairly easily.
Some of the things that make WordPress so great are also its downfalls.
- Widely used = a target for hackers. If hackers can exploit a flaw in WordPress, they’ve unlocked a hack for most of the websites in the world.
- Highly customizable = more security flaws. Plug-ins are one of the most common entry points for hackers.
- Updates can break things. Hackers can be stopped if a website is kept up to date, but sometimes updates break features that need to then be fixed.
- User-friendly = mistakes can be made. A new website should look really well put-together, but that design can quickly fall apart if you’re not careful with your updates.
- Not all hosting is created equal. There are a plethora of hosting options for WordPress, and some are not as good as others. Buyer beware!
Who do we recommend WordPress for?
We’d recommend WordPress to clients who are:
- Already familiar with the WordPress platform and don’t want to learn a new system, or want to keep their content in the WordPress environment.
- Looking for unique functionalities that aren’t supported by Webflow.
- On a tight budget with no wiggle room because the tradeoff between less good hosting and the risk of being hacked might be worth it for the cost savings.
- Premium platform. One draw for WordPress is that it’s a free platform; it’s kind of the DIY of web design. Webflow takes care of more for you but you have to pay for it.
- Enterprise-grade website security. Ongoing audits screen the hosting infrastructure for attacks and has advanced measures in place to alleviate the most common attacks.
- User-friendly. Webflow features an Editor system that’s easier than WordPress to update content and photos.
- Premium hosting. Webflow offers super fast fully managed hosting with 99.99% uptime and 24/7 monitoring.
- Fast development. A quicker workflow means your website team can spend more time on designing and refining instead of debugging.
- Premium platform = higher price tag. Plans range from $18-$54 per month, so it’s comparable to Squarespace.
- The designer has a steep learning curve. Compared to Gutenberg blocks on WordPress, Webflow’s designer is more difficult to use.
- Fewer functionalities. Because it’s not an open-source platform, there are fewer plug-ins available, so the functionality you want might not be available.
- Expensive e-commerce. It costs an additional $36 per month (on top of your account fee) plus a transaction fee to have e-commerce on your site.
Who do we recommend Webflow for?
We’d recommend Webflow to clients who are:
- Open to paying more for a premium platform.
- Not looking for any special functions.
The right tool for the website
We recommend both platforms in different situations. There are pros and cons to each platform, all of which need to be weighed in light of each unique project.
In the end, the website visitor won’t be able to tell which platform the site was built on!