What’s the difference between Webflow vs. WordPress, and which should you use to build your website?
Both platforms are content management systems that allow you to develop a website and easily add content. However, there are important differences between the two, such as:
- Ease of use
- Skill level required
- Website capabilities
- Hosting control
Each of these differences will ultimately affect how easily you can build and maintain your website. So you’ll want to carefully compare WordPress vs. Webflow to make sure you choose the right tool for your needs.
Key takeaway: After an extensive evaluation of the benefits of Webflow vs. WordPress, we have concluded that WordPress is the best option for most website owners and businesses, while Webflow is a better fit for more advanced web designers who build websites in bulk for different businesses.
Below, we break down some of the key differences between Webflow vs. WordPress to illustrate how we arrived at this conclusion.
WordPress vs. Webflow: What’s the difference?
The main difference between WordPress vs. Webflow is that WordPress is a self-hosted CMS tool, while Webflow is a hosted SaaS application.
Here’s what that means in a nutshell:
- The WordPress platform is open-source and free. But you need to host your website with a third-party hosting service (or your own web servers).
- Webflow is a subscription-based service that includes hosting as part of the service.
Inexperienced website owners may like the sound of hosting being taken care of by Webflow because it sounds “easier.” But in reality, Webflow has a much greater learning curve than WordPress (and other website builders). That’s because Webflow is built more for developers. It’s more code-heavy, requiring you to have a deeper knowledge of HTML and CSS, especially if you want your website to have more complex functionality.
But let’s back up a second to explain both platforms in greater detail.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a self-hosted content management system. It’s open-source software that anyone can download from WordPress.org and install on third-party web hosting to build their website.
To create a WordPress site, users can select from thousands of free or paid “themes.” Themes are like templates, which create the foundation of the site’s design. Users can then customize those themes to their liking. They can also select from thousands of free or paid “plugins” to add almost any functionality to their websites.
Like any CMS, WordPress lets you add new pages or blog posts with a few clicks.
Cost of WordPress: WordPress is free, but you’ll need to pay for hosting. Additionally, users looking for the best designs may want to use a paid/premium theme, which usually costs between $50-60 (a one-time expense).
What is Webflow?
Webflow is a hosted content management system that is sold on a subscription basis. It’s a website builder with a visual editor for advanced users who are comfortable editing site code. Users pay a monthly or yearly fee to use the service, which includes hosting.
Since Webflow is designed to accommodate more advanced web designers, users have the option of developing their site from scratch if they don’t want to use a template. However, Webflow does currently offer a limited selection of free templates (about 40 templates as of this writing) if users prefer to work with an existing design. Users can also select from about 500 paid templates.
Some functionality can be added to a Webflow website by using the built-in page builder. However, for more advanced functionality, users will need to add code snippets from other services (or write the code themselves).
What about Webflow CMS vs WordPress CMS? How are they different in terms of the actual content management system? Here’s what you need to know.
Webflow CMS vs. WordPress vs. Other Website Builders
Webflow might sound similar to other website builder tools, like Squarespace or Wix. It’s a web-based tool that you pay for monthly and it takes care of hosting for you. Also, in terms of adding basic content like blog posts, there’s not much difference between Webflow CMS vs. WordPress CMS vs. other web-building tools’ CMS capabilities.
But that’s where the similarities end.
Webflow is a more advanced type of website builder. It lets you do more complex things with your website than builders like Squarespace because Webflow gives you access to the underlying code. But the catch is you need to understand that code and know how to edit it if you want to do more with your site.
When specifically comparing WordPress vs. Webflow, the key difference here is that you can build virtually any functionality with WordPress plugins. These are pre-coded snippets developed by third parties, which you can add to your site with just a few clicks. This makes WordPress easier and less code-intensive than Webflow. (But advanced WP users can still edit the code if they choose to.)
Webflow vs. WordPress Speed
Page load time is an important factor to consider when building a website, so here’s what you need to know about Webflow vs. WordPress speed.
Webflow uses its own servers to power every Webflow website. This is the hosting that is included with the monthly subscription fee. On the one hand, this is convenient, because you don’t have to choose your own hosting service – it’s all part of the package. But the downside is that you have no control over that hosting or your site speed (beyond manually cleaning up your code). With Webflow, you get what you get. (And during our evaluation of Webflow vs. WordPress speed, we found a lot of online criticism about site speed issues in Webflow.)
With WordPress, you do need to choose your own third-party hosting, but you have more control over that hosting. So if speed is a top priority, you can host your WordPress site on dedicated servers via any hosting service or a cloud-based host like Amazon’s AWS or Azure.
A few final words on Webflow vs. WordPress Speed:
- For most websites, a dedicated server is not necessary – most shared hosting plans will do the job.
- But when comparing Webflow vs. WordPress speed, we like that WordPress gives you total control of your hosting.
- For a faster-loading WordPress site, we generally recommend WP Engine, which we include for free with any WordPress Help package from WP Tangerine.
Webflow vs. WordPress SEO
Do search engines have a preference between Webflow vs. WordPress SEO? Which platform makes it easier to do search engine optimization?
The first thing to keep in mind when comparing Webflow SEO vs WordPress is that SEO is not a magic bullet. There is no single button or piece of code that will magically push your website to the top of search results. For real results, you need to work with an experienced SEO agency that can develop a custom SEO strategy for your site, conduct keyword research, develop content, build external backlinks and so on.
In terms of the built-in capabilities of Webflow vs. WordPress SEO, here’s what you need to know:
- For basic optimizations, Webflow and WordPress are both easy. You can easily optimize meta descriptions, page titles, image alt tags, content headers and so on.
- For more advanced technical optimizations, including schema markup, you will need to manually edit the code in Webflow and WordPress.
- What about built-in Webflow SEO vs WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO? WordPress is more powerful by far. WordPress’s SEO plugins are extremely useful for optimizing on-page content and evaluating the effectiveness of your optimizations. Webflow simply doesn’t have these tools.
Do search engines gravitate to Webflow SEO vs WordPress?
There is little data available to show that websites built with Webflow receive higher rankings, but we do know that Google loves WordPress.
Ultimately, Google’s algorithms likely don’t have a preference. Crawlers are principally looking for well-optimized, fast-loading, cleanly coded sites that help answer users’ search queries. Webflow and WordPress both allow you to build such a site, but in different ways. And, as we mentioned above, you’re going to need to work with SEO experts regardless of which platform you use.
Webflow vs. WordPress Security
Which is better for preventing your site from being compromised: Webflow vs. WordPress security?
Now more than ever, websites face a wide range of threats, including malware code injection, brute-force attacks, exploits and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, just to name a few. These attacks can compromise the stability of your site, as well as the personal data of your customers. So you want to make sure your site is as secure as possible.
When comparing Webflow vs. WordPress security, the thing to remember is that different types of attacks require different types of security.
For example, let’s look at Webflow vs. WordPress security as it relates to DDoS protection:
- Warding off a DDoS attack will depend on the safeguards implemented by your site’s hosting.
- Webflow says it “has Advanced DDOS protection measures in place to alleviate the most common attacks.” That security is built-in to the service.
- For WordPress, you’ll need to make sure your hosting provides that protection. High-quality hosts typically do. One example is WP Engine, which automatically includes DDoS protection as part of its Global Edge Security powered by Cloudflare. Less reputable hosts may not offer such protection, which is why it’s best to stick with top-tier hosting services.
When it comes to malware code injection, that’s a different threat altogether. If you look at Webflow vs. WordPress security, both platforms offer some built-in protection to ward off common threats. But in either case, if you add bad code to your site, that security goes out the window.
With Webflow, you could add a faulty code snippet that leaves your site vulnerable to being hacked. With WordPress, you could add a bad plugin that gives hackers access to your dashboard.
Regardless of which platform you use, you need to be vigilant about your site’s security. Self-hosted WordPress gives you more control over your site security, especially since you have control over where and how your site is hosted. But you do need to be proactive about updating your WordPress theme, plugins and core files as new versions become available.
Tip: WordPress management services from WP Tangerine make it easy to keep your site updated for maximum security. Our teams take care of all your WordPress updates for you, so you don’t have to even think about it
Conclusion: Overall Benefits of Webflow vs. WordPress
Webflow and WordPress are both powerful content management systems. But when identifying the individual benefits of Webflow vs. WordPress, it really boils down to the skill level of the users and how they use the platform.
Here’s a breakdown of the key benefits of each:
- Great CMS for all levels of skill and experience. More than 40% of websites on the Internet are powered by WordPress.
- WordPress is free. You just need to pay for hosting.
- Lower learning curve for inexperienced users. Beginners can quickly get the hang of WordPress. Advanced users get all the code-editing power they need.
- Full control over hosting. You control where and how your site is hosted, so you have more control over site speed, security and other factors.
- Thousands of themes and plugins. Users can build and customize their sites for any design or functionality by having access to pre-coded themes and plugins.
- Access to code. Advanced users who want to do more with their sites can tweak and write code as needed.
- Ideal for advanced web designers. The learning curve for beginners is much higher than with WordPress, but advanced users can leverage Webflow to quickly crank out sites for multiple businesses.
- Hosting is built into the subscription cost. You don’t have to add your own third-party hosting. However, you have to pay to use the service, and you lose control of how and where your site is hosted.
Full control over the code. Most subscription-based website builders, like Squarespace and Wix, do not let you edit the code. That limits what you can do with your website. Webflow gives you more freedom.
Deciding between Webflow vs. WordPress? We can help.
Request a free website analysis to get personalized advice for building or redesigning your website. At WP Tangerine, we help website owners free up time (and money) by taking care of all their WordPress and WooCommerce needs, including:
- Site changes
- New site development or redesigns
- Support and fixes
- Theme, plugin and core software updates
- Site backups
- Emergency care
If you currently have Webflow and want to migrate to WordPress, we can help you with that. Or, no matter what stage of your website development you’re at, we can provide assistance, expertise and fixes to make your site the best it can be. Review our plans here or contact us for more information.