WordPress vs Webflow

Almost half of the internet uses WordPress as 43.1% of all websites (a whopping 810 million websites) use this web content management system to host and build their websites. Founded just over twenty years ago, WordPress was originally designed as a blogging platform but has since evolved to support websites, mailing lists, internet forums, media galleries, membership sites, learning management systems, and online stores. The bottom line of reasons why developers often use WordPress is that it’s free, lowering the barrier to creating high-quality professional websites; however, there are other web development platforms out there that meet different organization’s needs. 

Webflow, on the other hand, was founded around a decade ago and is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) web-building and hosting platform. Under half a million websites use Webflow (and W3Techs claims that Webflow is used by 0.6% of the top 10 million websites). Webflow enables designers to build websites and the backend coding is already done for you; however, there are some downsides we’ll get into.

Let’s explore WordPress versus Webflow, tackling how easy each platform is to use, the flexibility of design, the plugins and features, scalability, the performance speed, and more. We’ll explore the strengths and weaknesses of each platform to help businesses, developers, and individuals make informed decisions based on their specific needs.

1) Ease of use, customisation options, and users: WordPress’s familiarity vs Webflow’s intuitive design

WordPress offers a user-friendly interface with a wide array of themes and plugins, making it accessible even for beginners. The extensive community support further adds to its ease of use, providing a wealth of tutorials and forums for problem-solving. However, compared to many of the “plug and play” website developers, WordPress is a little trickier. There are multiple steps for setup and often requires basic coding knowledge and plugin familiarity. Once it’s set up, however, it’s very intuitive and easy to use. Plus, there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of tutorials to help you out if you get stuck.

But the myriad of ways WordPress can be coded, customized, and optimized for SEO is a reason developers almost exclusively use WordPress.

On the other hand, Webflow stands out for its intuitive and visually driven design interface. Users can build websites with a “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” (WYSIWYG) editor, allowing for real-time visual customisation. While it may have a steeper learning curve compared to WordPress initially, the design-focused approach often appeals to creative professionals and those who prefer a hands-on approach to website building.

That being said, the customisation capabilities of Webflow are more limited when compared with WordPress. WordPress has over 11,000 free themes and templates plus thousands more premium options – and endless development potential. In contrast, Webflow has just over 2,000 themes and templates, which, of course, is still many to choose from.

Webflow only allows for 9 users even on the highest-tier plan and only an additional 2 seats for freelancers and/or external agencies, whereas WordPress allows unlimited users. Webflow’s blogging feature feels like an afterthought and this, of course, is where WordPress – as originally a blogging platform – always shines.

For WordPress users who like a more simple editor, the Oxygen plugin within WordPress is a robust builder that was inspired by Webflow for its designer-friendly interface.

The bottom line with the two is that Webflow is okay for simple projects, but the big issues are twofold. 

  1. You are locked into their rudimentary content management system, meaning you have to pay exorbitant fees for the basics, and you cannot take your website with you if you leave their platform
  2. It is not as robust as using the WordPress platform – there are millions of fellow WordPress developers out there working within it (and many thousands of open developers on it)– any functionality can be added to build almost anything you can imagine with the requirements desired (e.g., member portal, forum community, online shop, donations portal, newsletter, blog, etc).

WordPress is the most flexible system with endless possibilities. Webflow is easy to use but if you ever want to move your website to another platform, you’ll have to spend those development costs (or time) over again.

2) Design flexibility and SEO features: Webflow’s artistic precision vs WordPress’s customization power

Webflow shines when it comes to design flexibility (for those without web development experience, of course). It offers a robust set of design tools that cater to both designers and developers, allowing for intricate animations, responsive layouts, and pixel-perfect design control. Webflow’s design capabilities are especially beneficial for those seeking a highly customized and visually striking website.

WordPress, with its extensive theme and plugin ecosystem, provides a different kind of flexibility. While it might not match Webflow in terms of design precision, WordPress excels in offering a vast library of pre-built themes and plugins that cater to diverse needs. For those who prioritize a wide range of customization options without delving deeply into coding, WordPress remains a solid choice.

3) Ecosystem and plugins: WordPress’s extensibility vs Webflow’s native features

WordPress boasts a massive ecosystem of themes and plugins, providing users with a plethora of options to extend functionality. Whether it’s e-commerce, SEO, or social media integration, there’s likely a plugin available to meet specific needs. This extensibility is a major strength of WordPress, empowering users to add features without extensive coding knowledge.

Webflow, in contrast, integrates many features natively. Its approach is to streamline the design and development process by including many functionalities within the platform itself. While this reduces the reliance on external plugins, it may limit the degree of customization for users who require specific, niche features.

In Webflow, the SEO optimization is mostly automated, which saves time and works well for those who aren’t developers; however, automated doesn’t make it better as SEO customization is limited, which can impact your organic traffic. With WordPress, on the other hand, the SEO plugins available allow you to level up your SEO and give guidance on keywords, readability, and more. Many of the plugin features can provide advice on ways you can improve your SEO and any skilled developer will be able to take your SEO features further

4) Performance, speed, and security: Webflow’s optimized hosting vs WordPress’s hosting variability

Webflow provides a fully managed hosting solution, which means websites built on the platform benefit from optimized performance. The hosting infrastructure is designed to handle the technical aspects seamlessly, allowing users to focus on design and content. This approach can result in faster load times and improved overall website performance.

WordPress, on the other hand, offers a range of hosting options, from shared hosting to dedicated servers. While this flexibility is advantageous, it also means that the speed and performance of a WordPress site can vary based on the chosen hosting provider and plan. Users need to be proactive in optimizing their WordPress sites for speed, which might require additional technical expertise.

WordPress allows for multiple integrations and plugins so it can work with virtually any system you have, which can be an advantage to nonprofits and charities such as simple campaign builders, event calendars, plugins to send digital products online, and more. On the other hand, Webflow is more of an all-in-one package so integrating with other plugins and companies is not the main focus; however, it does integrate with some platforms.

As far as one important feature for all websites goes: security Webflow’s security is built through the software package, whilst WordPress’s security is available via integrations and plugins, which means you have to be on top of the security yourself. With WordPress, that added security requires some extra knowledge and sometimes extra cost so that will have to be factored in.

5) Scalability: WordPress’s legacy vs Webflow’s modern approach

WordPress has a long-standing legacy as a scalable platform. It has been used to build everything from personal blogs to complex enterprise-level websites. Its scalability is evident in the diverse range of websites powered by the platform. However, as websites grow in complexity and traffic, users may need to invest more in optimization and infrastructure to maintain performance (which may not be a problem when your website is managed by an agency, for example, as that will be part and parcel of your package).

Webflow, being a more recent entrant to the scene, positions itself as a modern and scalable solution. Its focus on visual design, coupled with a robust underlying architecture, makes it well-suited for projects of varying sizes. The platform’s scalability is bolstered by its efficient handling of design elements and the ability to export code for further development if needed.

The takeaways

In the WordPress vs Webflow showdown, the right choice depends on specific requirements, preferences, and the level of expertise of the user. WordPress, with its extensive ecosystem and user-friendly interface, remains a go-to choice for many, especially those who value a vast community and a plethora of plugins. Webflow, with its design-centric approach and modern architecture, appeals to those who prioritize creative control and a visually-driven design process. Both platforms have carved out their niches in the web development landscape, offering compelling solutions for those seeking to establish a digital presence.

However, for those new to creating websites without design and development expertise, especially those who plan to have their website created and managed, WordPress is the go-to platform (again, there’s a reason it powers nearly half of the top 10 million websites in the world, according to a 2021 statistic). Further, Key Medium’s lead developer and CEO, Ali, has used other visual builders such as Divi and Elementor as well as the native WordPress editor but now uses the Oxygen builder, which offers the best in terms of designer experience and website performance (100% good URLs reported in BOTH mobile and desktop in Google Search Console, which provides a leg up on most every competitor in search as the user experience is blazingly fast). If you’re ready to make the switch today to a website with endless possibilities, speed, security, functionality, and more, get in touch with Key Medium today.

Elaine, an SEO Specialist and Content Writer

Elaine Frieman holds a Master’s Degree and is a UK-based professional editor, educational writer, and former marketing agency content writer where she wrote articles for disparate clients using SEO best practice. She enjoys reading, writing, walking in the countryside, traveling, spending time with other people’s cats, and going for afternoon tea.