I am often asked which content management system is the best to build a website on so I have narrowed down my selections from about a Gazillion to 2. There are tons of CMS platforms in circulation now, all claiming to be the most advanced and convenient for building your website. So let’s get started on comparing Webflow and WordPress.
What is a CMS?
Before we dive deep into deep waters, I will educate you on what a CMS is at first. CMS stands for Content Management System and it is simply a platform that is used to build a full-fledge website. Since there are various CMS platforms out on the market today, they are all built differently and offer their own unique tools and resources. Aside from Webflow and WordPress, other examples of content management systems are Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify.
Pros and Cons of Webflow
Webflow is a modern and premium content management system that contains its own site editor to build your website. No code experience is needed. This CMS gives you the option build a site template on your own, or select from a gallery of templates that are available for purchase. The visual editor is very extensive and can be intimidating to most as it will take a while to get acquainted with it. A lot of patience is required to navigate and get familiar with the Webflow site editor.
The overall process to build elements also takes longer than usual, but once you start building out your sections, the clone tool is a great feature to use to speed up the process. The site editor however comes with tons of flexible options to use at your disposal. Web hosting is also provided by Webflow for an extra fee. The site plan fee and hosting fee are 2 different sets of payments, which can cause confusion. This is where Webflow can become costly.
Webflow also has an eCommerce option that is still in Beta mode; this also comes with an additional monthly fee. Annual fees are also an option with Webflow. Speaking of siphoning your wallet, Webflow also has premium built templates for sale. As for integrations, Webflow is very limited in this role. You pretty much get what you see with Webflow. If you want to include or embed extra plugins, you will need to look into third-party software for an additional fee.
The great thing about Webflow is that it is blazing fast. Sites load rather quickly, their servers perform great and hardly ever crash. Webflow also has great SEO tools to optimize your website for search engines. It also comes with mobile tools to help with responsiveness. Aside from handcuffing you to various fees, Webflow’s overall UX/UI design is excellent, resulting in a great and modern user experience.
Pros and Cons of WordPress
WordPress is the most widely used content management system for various reasons. This platform is very flexible, there are tons of templates/themes, resources, documentation, and more. WordPress is built with PHP, which is a language of code used to produce dynamic websites. With WordPress, you have the option to host with their own hosting services, or host somewhere else. WordPress also provides SEO management through either your theme, or a plugin, such as Yoast.
WordPress is a free CMS service with a lot of free plugins to add more dynamic elements to your website. However, some plugins provide limited options with the free version of their plugins. Their premium plugins either come with a one-time fee, or annual fee. Plugin licenses are required to continue using them. The same goes with their templates, also known as themes. There are free themes with limited flexibility, then there are premium themes offering pre-built templates with unlimited options. Woocommerce is a free plugin you can use if you are building an eCommerce store. However, there are additional Woocommerce extensions/plugins you can install to provide more flexibility; those come with a fee.
Coding skills are required in order to use WordPress because some dynamic elements need to be edited with proper coding. WordPress also has a custom CSS stylesheet to customize your styling aesthetics for your website. Overall, not much code is needed for styling because premium themes come with a lot of built-in styling options.
Websites that are built on WordPress usually load pretty fast but it all depends on which type of theme you are using. Some themes are very bloated and may cause performance issues. It also depends on the amount of plugins you use as well. It is always recommended to keep your installed plugins to a minimum. Since WordPress is considered an open source CMS, security is important. You will want your site to be equipped with an SSL certificate and you will most definitely need a security plugin to protect you from malware intrusion. WordFence is a great plugin to consider.
The Bottom Line
From a designer’s point of view, you can’t really go wrong with either Webflow or WordPress. It all depends on which one will suit you better. With Webflow you get modern design and user experience, and improved performance but be prepared to spend more money. With WordPress you get more flexibility and a quicker design turnaround for dynamic results. They are both excellent options and will provide you with the essentials to get your business moving in the right direction.