Webflow is changing the way we build, design, host and manage websites today and it's rapidly evolving. Especially if you’ve seen the announcements at Webflow Conf 2022 then you know WordPress can't compare to what Webflow offers. Most people are just not aware yet of how Webflow is different from all the other website builders like WordPress. And I’m happy to shed some light on that.
In an increasingly competitive market design is becoming a more and more important factor. Our standards in design grow and to stand out from the crowd you need to bring something special. And Webflow might just be the thing that helps you bring your online presence to the next level.
Webflow closes the gap between what you can imagine and what you can create. Where WordPress avoids the principles of coding. Webflow created an interface that leans into the power of it. An interface from which you could build and directly manipulate the very things that used to require coding by hand. There is no longer a disconnect between visual design and coding. In this way Webflow gives designers the same coding superpower developers have.
Wordpress has made some improvement over the years with page builder plugins like Elementor. Although in terms of design freedom they are no match for Webflow, also the quality can be a bit lacking because they can quickly conflict with other plugins. The only way to get to the same level of quality is through the development of a custom theme. But that comes with an expensive development cost because these need to be coded in PHP, so in most cases you will end up cheaper with Webflow.
The possibilities of Webflow are endless while in WordPress you stay quite limited. Webflow will quickly surprise you with wild interactions and animations that will expand your mind on what's possible. I would recommend you to check out some of the made in webflow highlights.
WordPress is an open-source software, with the advantage that you can integrate third-party plugins. While the use of plugins allows more functionality and customization to your site, it also comes with some disadvantages.
When you link plugins to your WordPress website you have to take updates into account. WordPress itself also has regular updates and between the two, you’ll need to be careful. Because every time you update WordPress or a plugin, you run the risk of your website not working properly. Sometimes a small update can drastically change the look or functionality of your website. When this happens, chances are you won't be able to fix it yourself and you'll have to call in a developer to fix the damage. This can result in down-time and a lot of headaches.
The reason why this is an ongoing mess is because all the independent plugin developers don’t talk to each other so there are always compatibility issues between the hundreds of thousands of plugins and themes available.
Besides compatibility issues, plugins are also vulnerable to hacker exploits. When you install a plugin you give other parties access to your website and that comes with some security risk. One outdated plugin is all it takes. WordPress is by far the most hacked CMS because of its open source plugins.
With Webflow we can skip all these hurdles because everything is already built in. We don’t have to waste any time setting up plugins and get right to the development. To have the same level of service on a WordPress site you will have to set up quite a lot of premium plugins. And it's not like Webflow doesn’t have third party integrations to compete with the 50.000 plugins WordPress has. For example with Memberstack you can easily integrate user-accounts, payment methods, live chats and more.
When your website loads slowly, it will make both your users and Google unhappy. You can achieve a fast website on both Webflow and Wordpress. Although, the chances of finding a slow Wordpress website are much higher.
Coding restrictions set by WordPress for third-party developers appear to be very broad and not strict at all. So a lot of plugins add unnecessary code, and with the extensive need for plugins, your WordPress code can most likely end up very cluttered. Resulting in a slow website that creates errors, or crashes completely. All of which can lead to Google not ranking your site, or a higher bounce rate (visitors leaving the site without interacting).
Webflow on the other end does not depend on external plugins and is very optimized. It’s able to produce extremely clean code without the messy inline clases we have come to expect from drag-and-drop site builders. Making your website more reliable and load super fast.
Efficiently coded websites also waste less electrical energy #SaveThePlanet,
Let's go even faster! Webflow provides you with the fastest, most scalable hosting technology there is. Webflow has natively integrated Amazon Cloudfront CDN. Through a Content Delivery Network (CDN) your website will be cached on multiple servers around the world. If a visitor opens your website he opens it from a server that is closest to them.
If you only serve local customers then this is not as important but most businesses today work on a national or even global level and for these businesses, this is absolutely vital to the success of their websites. Having your website cached on multiple servers will prevent your website from going down or having connection issues. To get something like this with WordPress it is another plug-in, another cost, another thing to worry about…
With the right plugins, WordPress does a pretty good job at SEO. But like everything in life, there is room for enhancements to be made and Webflow has made many of those improvements!
Webflow sets you up for success by providing you with free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), an automatically updating sitemap, and quick and easy access to all the on-page SEO settings you need within the Webflow designer.
I won’t go too deep into on-page SEO here but one thing to remember is that Google’s ultimate goal is to serve results that are useful to users. Search engines are shifting their focus to human behavior and experience. Improving your website's ranking means you need to focus on your site's usability just as much as other SEO tactics, maybe even more. The great thing is that Webflows custom design capability and fast loading speeds will help you create the best user experience possible.
Also one more tip is to get Semflow.io. It's a neat chrome extension that helps you audit your on page SEO right in the webflow designer. Letting you efficiently push your on page SEO to the next level for just $15 a month.
WordPress seems to have become 'the standard' over the years, so people often pay too little attention to the alternatives in terms of CMS. The main issue with WordPress being so gigantic as an open source CMS is that it’s not excellent at just one specific business use case.
“When you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no one…”
Technical innovation has played into this principle and now we see more and more highly specialized CMS systems. For instance we have Shopify specialized in E-commerce websites and Teachable specialized in online courses. The point is that WordPress is an 18 year old software and in terms of innovation it has stayed stagnant, or in many cases has gotten worse. It’s certainly not known as the most user-friendly CMS, because it's built upon all kinds of plugins. You can quickly get lost between all the options and the simplest adjustments can sometimes be quite a task, especially if you don't work with them regularly.
One of the main purposes of a CMS is its dynamic content and making it easy for everyone to edit. While WordPress might be great for blogs the dynamic content capabilities lack once you want to do more than just a blog. You might for example want to add a team member to a teampage or an event to an event page. But in case you're using WordPress you're going to need a lot of customization with code to turn this into dynamic content. You could also keep it static but then you will most likely need the help of a developer if you want to make any changes to it.
With Webflow on the other end you define how the CMS will work and you can easily add new CMS collections for team members, events, or whatever you need. You choose exactly which elements can be customized and modified. So when someone wants to edit a page within the Webflow editor they don’t have to be afraid of breaking anything.
If you have very specific wishes on technicalities and you don't want to run into any limitations? Then an open source WordPress solution might be better. I just personally haven't seen any cases yet where Webflow falls short. Because with a little fitting and measuring, Webflow can be used to realize the most advanced CMS systems. And with a growing third party infrastructure it becomes easier and easier to integrate complex website functionalities (for example look at finsweet and Memberstack). Not to forget, Webflow continues to develop and regularly comes up with new features to take websites to a higher level. Webflow is a great choice if you want to stay up to date and grow with technological innovations of today.
Webflow is an absolute relief for managing the content on your website. Because the CMS can be fully tailored it only has to contain the functionalities that apply to your website. This makes it an optimal user experience for content editors to add, modify or remove items, without the risk of breaking the website.
The Webflow Editor is designed to be a simple on-page editing interface with a minimal dashboard UI. Adding new content is as easy as filling out a form. It’s even possible to make changes on the page itself, so that you see exactly how it will look once it’s live. Once you’re happy with the changes, you can publish them to the site with the simple click of a button.
This is quite the improvement over WordPress its messy backend content management system. While the WordPress dashboard offers a wide array of options, most are irrelevant for you. Instead, Webflow shows you only what you need.
Webflow has a rich community of 75,000+ community members who are contributing to Webflow’s mission and building the future of visual development. You have a free Webflow University with valuable free courses, the Webflow blog, forum, community, and most importantly a great customer support team to answer any questions you have. It’s constantly evolving with cloneable projects and open source libraries.
Aside from online forums, you’re kind of on your own on WordPress. And that in comparison with the amazing community that Webflow has, you quickly see where the future is going. Webflow is becoming increasingly advanced while WordPress is starting to fall further behind.
Webflow can be a bit pricey for some but when you look at the features that it offers, it's very affordable. You can get CMS hosting starting from $23 a month. When you want to have the same level of service on WordPress you’ll have to pay for a lot of premium plugins, on top of your hosting and maintenance costs which can easily be more than the cost of Webflow. Simply through its attractiveness, speed, and interactivity you will increase your profits and make a great ROI.
If you’re redesigning a website that's already using WordPress and you’re interested in giving Webflow a try, you can easily make the switch. Although there are some dangers in terms of losing organic traffic you should be fine if you follow my guide: Website migration to webflow in 10 easy steps.
Overall, I believe that Webflow has an amazing user experience and with the right Webflow developer your craziest dreams can become a reality. Choosing Webflow will allow you to build your website with fewer setbacks and without having to bend over backwards to make it work the way you want it to.
There are now over 7.5 million Webflow websites with half of them built only in the last 12 months alone (Writing this on Dec, 2022). Webflow is going through some exponential growth right now. And it's well earned. I personally love what Webflow is doing and I recommend it to anyone who is serious about their online presence.
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I frequently share valuable tips about Branding, Webdesign, and SEO. All meant to help you improve your online presence.
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