Webflow vs. WordPress: Which is the Better Website Builder?
As a business-to-business service, looking at building or designing a website for the first, or fifth, time can be overwhelming. After all, this isn't just some page on the web--this will be the front door to your business. First impressions matter, and you want to get this right.
B2B models have different needs than the average freelancer or blogger. You need an easy-to-use, fully branded website that allows you to target your audience with seamless SEO and maybe a built-in e-commerce site. It needs to exude professionalism and excellence to attract your top clients.
In your research, you've discovered both WordPress and Webflow, but you're unsure which one to go with. Which one is truly better for your unique situation?
Below, we are going to break down the basics and features of these two website design powerhouses to help you decide which one best suits your business needs. When we're done, you will have a clear answer for the Webflow vs WordPress debate.
What is WordPress?
WordPress started as a blogging platform and service. After it grew in popularity, it became an Open Source Content Management System. This means that it is an open-source software system and platform where people can design, host, and publish their WordPress websites where they can post their content, such as blogs, photos, videos, etc.
Today, WordPress is the most popular platform for building websites, with around 43% of all websites on the web using it.
Despite its popularity and longevity, WordPress may not be the best option for your B2B website. We'll explore the features, pros, and cons below.
What is Webflow?
Webflow was developed from the beginning as a website designing platform. Its mission is to become "the world's most powerful no-code development platform." Its intuitive approach allows you to custom-create your website's look while web developers in the background create the code to bring it to life.
This website builder differs slightly from WordPress because it is a Software as a Service (Saas) model rather than Open Source CMS. What does that mean? Basically, it means that Saas is hosted in the cloud, and you're using it on a subscription basis.
(One benefit to the Saas model is that the security and updates are still firmly in the hands of the Saas provider, whereas with an Open Source CMS, you are still responsible for your own security and updates.)
Webflow still offers a content management system, e-commerce functions, and numerous features, but with a slightly different approach. We'll explore the differences below.
A Breakdown of Webflow vs. WordPress Features
While both WordPress and Webflow are designed to help people build websites with a minimum of coding required, some key differences in their features include their web design, hosting, functions and integrations, collaboration, animations, pricing, and more.
Web Design: Customization and Coding Requirements
Both website designing platforms focus on creating a user-friendly design experience that allows you to avoid outright coding to some extent. The main difference is how they go about this.
WordPress Website Themes
To get around the need to know coding to create your website, WordPress focuses on 'themes' or templates. There are thousands of themes available for you to choose from.
They offer free or paid themes, with the price varying from free to hundreds of dollars for a premium theme. The functionality and complexity of the themes vary accordingly.
Within these themes, you can somewhat customize your website to suit your preferences. You choose the theme that matches your style, then select a color palette, font set, and other variables.
Though these themes have plenty of options, they are not fully customizable, and you may find yourself limited by the choices. To get a fully customizable WordPress site, you must go into the back end and know how to code in at least CSS and HTML.
The benefit of the WordPress page builder is that it does have a visual editor that allows you to 'see' your changes as you make them. Many themes are also set up with drag-and-drop options to help you insert your content where you want it.Webflow: Where Customization is King
Webflow also offers a 'preset template' option to start with a basic structure. However, Webflow's focus is a fully customizable web design experience. You can start from scratch, and no coding knowledge is necessary.
The way they do this is through a seamless development of creation and coding. While you create the website of your dreams using the visual editor, complete with drag and drop options, they build the code on the back end so you don't have to.
You visually build your site, changing the colors, fonts, layout, section sizes, and everything from your workspace.
Webflow does take a little longer to learn to use and navigate. That makes sense because it's a more complex system, in a way. But what you lose in the learning curve, you gain in flexibility.
If you want to skip the learning curve entirely, you can hire a Webflow designer to create your site for you.
Comparing the Two: Webflow vs. WordPress Web Designers
Both WordPress and Webflow have "coding-free" web development capabilities. They also both, to some extent, use a visual page builder to allow you to see your changes as you make them.
What really sets them apart is the ease of using WordPress themes vs. the freedom of Webflow Customization.
Webflow has fewer predesigned 'templates' but offers greater freedom to create a truly unique website. The learning curve is a little steeper, but your options are endless once you learn to use the workspace and site creator.
WordPress has thousands of themes to choose from but doesn't have as much customization. Many popular websites are based on similar, if not the same, WordPress themes, which means they can either feel 'familiar' to the user or make them start to blend together in the user's mind.
From a B2B perspective, the flexibility of Webflow customizations edges out WordPress themes because it allows you to fully match your website to your brand and create a truly unique website.
Web Hosting Provider Options
All websites need to be hosted somewhere on the web. While there are several very well-known hosts, WordPress and Webflow deal with hosting differently.
WordPress Hosting Provider Integration
WordPress integrates seamlessly with web hosting services like Bluehost, GoDaddy, and more. The benefit is that you can find the hosting plan that works for you, your needs, and your budget. WordPress offers free site plans that allow you to host on WordPress.com or integrate with the services previously mentioned.
Webflow Hosting Options
Webflow offers its own hosting, advertising high site speed as well as advanced scalability for your Webflow CMS as your content collection grows over time. It is powered through Amazon Web Services Cloudfront, ensuring excellence and cutting-edge development.
If you want to host elsewhere, Webflow offers downloads of basic website static pages to host for free through other platforms. However, by 'static,' it means unchanging--so you would lose out on those cool animations or updates that you want for a fully functional business site.
Comparing the two: Web Hosting
WordPress does offer more affordable options and more options, in general, for choosing a website hosting platform. However, WebFlow's hosting platform, though expensive, provides a lot for a business that is looking for long-term scalability and support with security and updates.
This one is a closer call for B2B owners looking for the best option for web hosting. If you have the capital to invest in higher hosting, however, WebFlow is a solid option.
Functions and Integrations
Because of these website builders' popularity, various functions and integrations are available for each.
One of the most important aspects of WordPress customization is their 'plugins' feature. The WordPress Dashboard allows you to view different parts of your site and to integrate premium plugins to create your website experience.
In order to add specific functions or additions to your website, like google analytics, newsletter subscription managers, search engine optimization, e-commerce applications, etc., you add WordPress plugins.
Since WordPress is Open Source and heavily used, thousands of plugins have already been created and designed for business needs. Chances are, if it's something you need, someone has already created a plugin for it. They range, like the themes, from free to paid.
For instance, Woocommerce is the most popular WordPress plugin, allowing users to create an e-commerce site or online store. Other premium plugins allow advanced security, animations, etc.
The plugins embed code that you need for these functions to make it an easier user experience. However, your expenses can increase quickly depending on the number and type of plugins you use.
Because Webflow emphasizes customization, building an e-commerce website requires no extra steps or resources. It is designed to create business websites for any purpose, so creating an online store is integrated into the site plans you choose from the beginning.
Unfortunately, a little bit of coding might be required for other functions, like live chat, etc. Many custom code options are already available online for you, as well as instructions on how to copy them into your website to create the function you're looking for.
Because animations, collaboration, and ecommerce are already built into Webflow design, you are not losing much by not having access to plugins.
Comparing the Two: functions and Integrations
WordPress has more function integrations due to the length of time they have been around, but Webflow has worked hard to build a web design platform that already anticipates the needs of your business.
WordPress has an advantage because of its plugins' variety and ease of use. However, WebFlow already provides eCommerce functionality, and there are workarounds for other functions.
This one is a toss-up, depending on the functions you want embedded in your website and how much work you're willing to do to integrate them.Collaboration
Most businesses need collaboration in order to run and manage their different operations effectively. Let's take a look at how these two platforms manage collaboration.
Collaborating in WordPress
Collaboration is possible in WordPress' web designer...as long as you add a plugin. This makes sense because WordPress started as a blogging platform and later became a CMS.
Some plugins advertise a seamless collaboration approach similar to google docs. However, additional plugins require an additional learning curve and additional cost.
Many larger businesses already have a web development or design team on staff and so can handle the coding required for customization or adding functions. Therefore, adding collaboration as an afterthought makes sense.
However, a more seamless collaboration option is a must for businesses already operating teams who need access to collaborate on projects, add content, etc.
Collaborating with Webflow's Workspace
Webflow knew that its businesses needed the option for collaboration from the beginning. That is why they designed and implemented a "Workspace" framework that allowed you to choose how many 'seats' you want and the number of sites.
This scalable model allows you to grow your workspace and your site with your business. As you grow, so can your website.
The WorkSpace allows multiple people to collaborate on a website in its design, functionality, importing content, and more, with no new software to learn.
Comparing the Two: Collaboration
While both website builders allow for collaboration from within their platforms, Webflow offers a direct advantage by making the model scalable from the beginning. Instead of adding it as an afterthought, they have designed their flexible platform to anticipate and meet the future needs of their businesses.
What are animations? These are visual tools such as moving images, progress bars, pop-ups, and more used by designers to capture the eye and draw a user's attention to a step they want to take. How do our website builders handle these?
WordPress Site Animations
Can you already guess the answer? I bet you can. To allow for the function of animations on your WordPress website, you need to add a plugin.
Your free plugin or premium plugin will allow you to create basic animations that will capture the eye. Once the plugin is installed, there will be a tutorial or other walkthrough teaching you how to use this new function with your WordPress software.
The type of plugin you choose will affect what animations are available and how you integrate them into your theme or site.
Webflow has already integrated an animation and interaction tool into its website-building platform. From hover animations, scroll or parallax animations, progress bars, click animations, and more, Webflow has all the animations you need to create stunning visuals across your entire site.
Each of these options is available in the animations tool. Tutorials are widely available to help you try each kind to determine the best visuals for your site.
Comparing the Two: Animations
While WordPress allows for animations, finding the perfect plugin is just another step you have to take. Rather than wasting time finding and researching different plugin options, you could spend time setting up your animations.
For that reason, I think Webflow has a clear advantage in this category. Webflow allows a more integrated and intuitive setup for animations with your web design. It allows you to see and fine-tune the animation from the workspace to ensure it is doing what you want.
WordPress Community Learning
Because WordPress software is open source, thousands of people offer resources to help new or seasoned website builders to create their own WordPress website.
Many learning resources are available for those who need tutorials, walkthroughs, or other instruction. While your website lacks direct customer support, the community support is extensive. Learning resources are widely available both on the platform and off of it.
When you have WordPress-related questions, chances are there is a blog somewhere on the internet that has answered them.
Because Webflow is a SaaS platform, it has its own library of courses, video tutorials, and more to help you learn how to navigate and use the Webflow interface, create animations, design your online store, and more.
Webflow also offers its own Customer Service, which allows you to troubleshoot more effectively.
Comparing the Two: Learning Resources
Though WordPress has more resources at the moment, it is only a matter of time until Webflow catches up. The true advantage that Webflow has is its customer service. This sets it above WordPress, which does not have the same level of individualized support for those who are having trouble.
Now to get down to the nitty-gritty. Both WordPress and Webflow offer a scaled pricing model that allows you to choose the plan that best suits your needs. However, their individualized plans do offer some key differences.
While WordPress itself is free software, you do have to pay for a hosting service. Depending on the service, that can range from a few dollars a month to more than fifty. The prices generally depend on how much monthly traffic you expect to see at your site.
Where WordPress can start to get expensive is integrating all those pretty premium plugins and themes. You can reduce your overall cost with free plugins and themes, to begin with, but as a business focused on growth, you will probably quickly outstrip the capabilities of the free options.
Some essential plugins include security and backdraft plugins, which can raise your expenses immediately.
However, overall, a B2B website with eCommerce and other functions will probably cost upward of a couple of hundred dollars a year.
The cost of your Webflow site will depend on your site plan and your workspace. You can start out with 'free' for both options, but as soon as you publish your site, you will begin paying. Unless you just need a simple site, you can expect to pay at least $39 per month as a business, totaling $468 per year.
To add team members to your workspace, you will also add another monthly cost. It starts at $19 a month for three seats and $49 per month for nine seats, and also offers an enterprise level for businesses who need a larger plan.
Webflow does not have the added cost of plugins or themes, but you trade that for a higher upfront cost.
A business account with a small team can expect to pay around $700 a year.
Comparing the Two: Pricing
Up front, WordPress is the less costly of the two options. You can minimize expenses with free themes and plugins, but what you are saving in cost, you are typically also sacrificing in efficiency, design, and functionality.
Webflow is the higher of the two in upfront cost; however, you gain complete control over your Webflow site, highly customizable appearances and animations, scalable content management systems, and other features.
So while WordPress might win in the Pricing comparison, you do get what you pay for.
Webflow vs. WordPress: And the Winning Website Builder Is...
So, for the Webflow vs WordPress debate, which of these website-building platforms is truly the best platform for business-to-business models?
While WordPress is the best-known and most widely used service, it lacks the full customization modern businesses need to stand out in a crowded marketplace. And while it does have the advantage of plugins to add functionality, the maintenance and upkeep of all the working pieces takes time and attention.
WebFlow offers a fully customizable web design experience that is already prepared for e-commerce integrations. It also easily accommodates animations and interactions that will guide your customers through your site and to your intended destination--buying your service or product.
It is also designed with your business growth in mind so that you can scale your website as your business grows.
For B2B, Webflow is the clear winner. No other website builders can offer you CMS capability, maintainability, scalability, integrations, and site performance, and also customize your site to your exact brand identity.
If you'd like to forget about the details of the Webflow vs WordPress debate and avoid the time and challenges of learning a new system, contact our professional team today for a customized website build.