Why Webflow is the new Wordpress killer in 2022 for CMS platform.
If you’re thinking about building a website for yourself or your business, the good news is — there are tons of platforms made precisely for this purpose that you can choose from. And if statistics are anything to go by, WordPress is the undisputed champion among website building platforms — after all, almost 40% of all websites on the entire Internet are made with WordPress today.
But the question is — does what about the other 60 percent?
These are made on a variety of niche solutions, some of which can actually do a better job than WordPress, at least in their specific category. Webflow is an excellent example of a decent WordPress contender — and we’re going to get into the details on why.
If you’re looking for an in-depth comparison between the pros and cons of Webflow and WordPress and why the former may be able to satisfy your website-building needs better than the latter: read on!
First of all, Webflow is the ideal platform for designers without much coding experience who want to make something unique — it gives you all the design freedom you need. But on the other hand, WordPress leaves you with two distinct options: you can either code your website from scratch or choose one of its many templates. And sure, you can edit these — but that also requires substantial web coding experience.
Second, Webflow is known for its clean code. And while WordPress offers a ton of different plugins you can combine while creating your website, it also makes for a more cluttered code.
There’s also the matter of editing — you can actually make on-page edits through Webflow. On WordPress websites, you’re forced to use the dashboard and accompanying page editors.
It should also be noted that WordPress is less expensive than Webflow, at least in its base state — if you don’t use premium themes and plugins, WordPress is free; you just pay for your own hosting. On the other hand, you have to pay for every site plan beyond the most barebones version of Webflow that’s not really useful for anything beyond trying out their editor.
Still, for people who are looking for a website builder that doesn’t require any coding — it’s well worth it. Their drag-and-drop page builder is insanely versatile, letting you perform advanced web design without hassle. Conversely, you’d have to install tons of plugins to achieve the same thing with WordPress.
Without further ado, let’s take a more in-depth look at Webflow and why it’s such a compelling website builder in 2022.
Essentially, we’re talking about a cloud-based website-building platform that allows complete coding newbies to create a beautiful website — all through their Webflow page designer. And unlike the other “WordPress killers” (Squarespace and Wix, we’re looking at you) that have failed to garner anything beyond a pure niche appeal over the years, Webflow is poised to have the next best shot.
The key features of Webflow are:
This page builder starts with a completely blank canvas, reminiscent of the intuitive interface of Microsoft Paint or another app that even a child could easily use. But don’t let its intuitive nature fool you — this drag-and-drop interface enables you to insert, adjust, and edit any element — from images and sliders to different tabs and videos.
There’s also a neat navigator that lets you see your entire website page structure and change anything with just a few clicks.
Also, the folks behind Webflow understand that the Internet of 2022 is more mobile than ever, so all of their built-in elements were made with responsive design in mind. You can preview and adjust any layout on all devices, ensuring that your users have the optimal experience across smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
And unlike some similar website builders, Webflow doesn’t limit you in terms of aesthetics either — you’ve got complete control over typography. And you can customize everything about any font you decide to import, from tracking to the line-height.
Plus, you can define global color swatches as you’d do in a powerful visual software suite along the lines of Adobe Illustrator; you can change every color present on your website with a single button, ensuring complete visual consistency throughout all pages.
The visuals you can fiddle with in Webflow don’t end with your ability to edit typography. In fact, Webflow gives you the tools you need to create completely custom animations and interactions on your website effortlessly.
And these complex and interactive visual elements won’t require you to write a single line of code. The possibilities are practically endless: progress bars and linked animations, gorgeous parallax navigation, or anything else you can think of.
You can also come up with more exciting animations, like the ones that build as the user scrolls — and by the time a user reaches the right point on the page, the image displays itself in full. This is just an example, but this and similar animation tasks would be insanely difficult in WordPress, at least without a bunch of potentially conflicting plugins.
With Webflow, it’s pretty simple right out of the box. The platform developers have clearly consulted experienced web designers while including visual features and interactive tools — you’ve got all the “greatest hits” that a modern website needs, such as rich hover animations or “reveal on click” content.
Of course, even with all the visual flair in the world, one thing is at the core of every website — its content. That’s why WordPress is technically a Content Management System as well.
And the CMS tools on Webflow don’t leave a lot to be desired either — from professional content managers who need a powerful tool to developers and designers that don’t have as much experience with this aspect of managing a website; everyone can use Webflow with ease.
You can design the appearance of your content right there on the page without resorting to complex and cluttered CMS interfaces. There’s no going back and forth between a CMS screen with text and a page preview and meticulous checking of whether everything appears as it should.
It’s all there — you edit the “end product” on the page itself. With Webflow, the days of dashboards are long gone. All that separates how you see the page while you’re editing it and how people see it when they visit the website is a simple “Publish” button.
And that’s not the end — as you probably know already, managing more complex websites is usually a team effort, especially if you’re making one for your clients or your own business.
That’s why Webflow allows you to give team members and clients access to the front-end of the website without a complex interface they have to navigate while suggesting edits and changes. You can even collaborate with others in real-time. And if you need additional functionalities, Webflow supports Zapier integrations — you don’t have to be a developer to easily integrate your website with more than 800 apps without any code.
There’s a simple reason so many people without coding knowledge are looking to build their own website — today, more businesses depend on eCommerce as their primary source of income than ever before. And most business owners aren’t experienced web developers — nor do they want to pay a considerable sum of money for a freelance web dev.
Enter: no-code web builders with robust eCommerce features.
Yep, Webflow definitely makes the cut there. You can easily design a website within a day and start selling your stuff right away. Plus, it’s all entirely scalable — so you won’t have any trouble raising your website to another level once you start getting more traffic.
Plus, Webflow fixes one of the biggest gripes web designers have with most other website builders. Usually, the checkout page isn’t easily editable — making it a sore standout among all the other visually uniform pages on your website.
With Webflow, you can fully customize the checkout page — maximizing the effectiveness of your marketing funnel and buyer’s journey at its most critical juncture. You can manage the customer experience right down to the most intricate details, such as the transactional emails you send to your customers once they confirm their purchase.
Every piece of content on your Webflow website can be adjusted to be 100% on-brand — ensuring your online store stands out among the competition. And all the other elements you can edit contribute to its uniqueness, so it doesn’t feel like it was made through a template.
Also, everything’s there in terms of eCommerce functionality as well. For example, your customers will be able to pay for products through all the most popular payment methods, such as PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Stripe. You can also define shipping regions and rules to easily manage and let customers know about the logistics on the page.
There’s an easy-to-use order management dashboard, and Zapier integration makes it simple to start printing your own shipping labels once you’re ready to start shipping.
Some of the other website builders that have popped up over the years contain plenty of the same features that Webflow does — so why do we feel like the latter is much better at competing with WordPress?
It’s simple — at the end of the day, two things matter when it comes to website building:
And on both counts, there’s a lot to be said for Webflow.
One of the main reasons why we love Webflow so much is that it generates clean code. In other words, code that’s easy to understand and logical even for people that didn’t write it — and simultaneously as small as possible.
If you’re new to web design and web development, you may not realize just how important this is. The cleaner your code is, the faster your website will be.
And website speed is crucial for the user experience; in the digital age, we all expect instant feedback and we want things to happen as soon as we click on them; there’s little patience for slow-moving websites.
Also, don’t forget that speed is an important factor for your Google rankings, because the search engine behemoth greatly values fast-loading websites. If you want your website to be at the top of its niche in search results, you’ll need clean, high-quality HTML and CSS, which is precisely what you get with Webflow. There are no unnecessary elements that reduce the website speed and add needless bulk.
Speaking of Google and search engine optimization — it’s worth noting that one of the main reasons people opt for WordPress is precisely that. With WordPress, you can find tons of useful plugins that let you manage the SEO of your website in-depth and ensure you’re at the top of the rankings for your relevant keywords.
And conversely, that’s the main reason most other content management systems fail to garner a large following; they simply don’t have the same amount of SEO-friendly editing features that would guarantee your website is a success.
As a result, websites made with Wix, and similar platforms are often penalized by SEO crawl bots compared to those made with WordPress.
But Webflow doesn’t make the same mistake.
While Webflow doesn’t come with the same host of third-party plugins that provide WordPress with so many SEO features, they have a lot of the same stuff built-in, right out of the box.
For instance, any CMS worth its salt would have to let its users edit meta descriptions on pages — that’s the short descriptive text under the page title you see in search results.
On WordPress, you can’t really edit this stuff without plugins like Elementor or Yoast — but all of that is done natively in Webflow. You don’t need to rely on any third-party elements.
The same is true for the permalink structure on WordPress websites — by default, all WordPress pages have URLs with their name and date in them. This isn’t really user-friendly, as posts should regularly be updated to reflect the latest industry standards and trends — WordPress doesn’t use the best post structure.
If you’re going to ensure your website is Google-friendly and adheres to all of their SEO principles, you’ll need to use their tools — like Google Analytics or the Google Search Console. And Google Analytics is particularly important if you’re looking to grow your website quickly; you need to have the raw data on how your visitors behave.
With WordPress, you’d have to use additional plugins and make sure they don’t interfere with your existing ones; but that’s not the case with Webflow. You won’t need any third-party stuff there — there’s native support for Google Analytics. You simply input your Google Analytics ID, and you’re off to the races.
Likewise, the Google Search Console is important because it helps you fix issues, check backlinks, and generally detect any problems that need to be dealt with for an optimal website. And once again, you don’t need to worry about plugins or third-party tools — Webflow supports Google Search Console natively as well.
Have you heard of classes? These are merely groups of similar elements on a website — and when you make a change to a single one, they’re applied to all the other items in the class. This ensures that all elements come together to form a cohesive visual and functional user experience — consistency is key for an easily navigable website.
The use of classes is essential to web development — it’s the whole point of CSS. However, WordPress has kind of pushed that aside in the name of greater versatility and flexibility. Every time you create a new element, it has its own parameters and a new ID or class — changes you make to it won’t be automatically reflected on all other similar elements.
And while this lets developers tinker with the website more, at the end of the day — it’s simply time-consuming. Webflow makes the whole process far more streamlined by automatically updating classes.
Also, making any permanent change on your website can be cumbersome in WordPress.
You have to click on the “Save Draft” button, then go to the “Preview” tab, look at whether everything seems fine, return to the first tab, and then actually publish the page. And while that might be fine for websites that only have a couple of pages, imagine the time it takes to make any changes to a dozen, or even a hundred pages?
Losing track of your opened tabs and pages is something that happens often in this scenario — but Webflow does away with that whole approach. The stuff you’re designing and changing on a page appears as it would in a live browser — the visual drag-and-drop interface ensures this.
You can see the results of all of your changes and creations immediately, with a single click; there’s no annoying back-and-forth. And you don’t have to constantly worry about that “Save Draft” button — all the stuff you do in Webflow is saved automatically.
If you’re not a hardened web developer, creating impressive animations in WordPress requires a ton of work and learning. You have to learn how to create necessary custom code, or you need to do lots of research to learn which plugins do the job for you — and then install and manage them.
As we’ve noted above, there’s no such thing with Webflow — you pick out the animations you want, easily edit them in a no-code interface, and implement them in a fraction of the time you’d need for the same thing in WordPress. This feature alone cuts down on hours of development time.
There’s no getting around the fact that WordPress has the biggest library of third-party plugins and themes on the planet — saying anything else would be silly. There’s a huge amount of incredibly useful third-party WordPress plugins, such as Yoast, Advanced Custom Fields, W3 Cache, Elementor, etc — we could go on for days.
And yes, many plugins are premium and require you to pay a fee to their developers — but the most popular ones generally have a free version with the basic functionalities and features.
But while Webflow doesn’t have as many plugins on their platform — we’d argue that this isn’t necessarily such a bad thing.
Remember the uproar in the WordPress community when Yoast decided to put an actual ad banner in the WordPress backend for people who haven’t paid for their premium plugin? From the devs’ perspective, that seems perfectly logical; after all, they had provided an essential SEO service to millions of websites for years, for free.
However, ads popping up in your back-end is definitely not something you want to see as a website manager or designer. And that’s something that simply wouldn’t happen with Webflow.
Their third-party integrations are mostly with other apps and platforms, not plugins — and while it seems like pure semantics, it means that the developers behind the apps are more likely to be trustworthy because they work on bigger projects.
That’s important when you don’t necessarily understand how specific code works, or how it will impact your website. And when it comes to the thousands of free plugins available for WordPress, you’re essentially placing your trust in small groups of developers.
Not to mention the fact that you’re the one who needs to make sure none of your dozen-or-more installed plugins will break the other ones after being updated. Compatibility issues are common with WordPress — and though having so many plugins to choose from is great, it’s also quite finicky when you need to manage them.
In the beginning, we’ve mentioned that most website builders have their own niche. And though Webflow is quite versatile, it’s also not as mainstream as the likes of WordPress. However, Webflow has found a niche that’s hugely in demand, and they’ve successfully filled it.
They’ve realized that countless companies are looking to make an informational website for their services and products. And those websites simply have to be easily navigable, extremely pretty, and well-designed. They don’t need complex functionalities beyond eCommerce.
So, just as Wix was built for design beginners and Shopify was built for online shops — Webflow is for people who want to do both on one platform. It lets small business owners quickly create a great website presence without any coding — one that has all the eCommerce capabilities you need.
And yeah, there’s no beating WordPress when it comes to custom code — they’ve cornered the market with countless plugins, themes, and a huge amount of depth for experienced users. Today, a “WordPress developer” is basically an entire profession in and of itself.
However, if you need mainstream payment integration, a simple blogging platform, and you have no coding skills — Webflow can have your online presence up and running much, much faster than WordPress could. And designers that care more about the visual aspect of a website than its code will find themselves with all the right tools to edit every single part of each page without writing a line of code.
In those two regards, Webflow is a top-notch solution — and that’s just a fact, even when compared with heavyweights like WordPress.