Unless you're living under a rock, (no shame if you are!) you've probably heard about WordPress. In fact, WordPress powers over 39.5% of websites on the internet right now. It's been considered the 'gold standard' platform for web design and development for decades.
WordPress doesn't come without its flaws, though.
Over the past five or six years, multiple different WordPress competitors have sprung up in response to these flaws. SquareSpace, Wix, Weebly, and most recently, Webflow. You've probably heard about at least two of those.
Back in 2018, I spent six months or so learning WordPress before launching Carbon Creative. Initially, I wanted to use WordPress to build all of my sites. Unfortunately, I wasn't very happy with how clunky the platform is, and I felt limited in a creative sense, among a multitude of other issues.
Platforms like SquareSpace or Wix were much more streamlined, but still incredibly restrictive and required you to forfeit control over a lot of key aspects of a website.
When I discovered Webflow while searching for WordPress alternatives, I fell in love immediately. Clean code, fast prototyping, built in hosting – the features were exactly what I needed.
While it seems odd, I was very happy to throw away the six months I spent learning WordPress, just to learn another platform. With Webflow, I felt like I had just what I needed to shake up the Oklahoma City web design market. Since then, I have never turned back.
So what is Webflow?
Webflow is an advanced website builder and visual web design tool to design, develop, maintain, and launch a cutting edge website in a fraction of the time it would usually take.
With Webflow, you can rapidly design, develop, and launch a website without writing any code, and then create your own CMS (content management system) within your website for publishing and hosting unique content, like blog posts and portfolio items.
It's an absolute dream for people who want to design an amazing website from scratch, without worrying about lines and lines of code, servers, or the backend. But for those who are inexperienced with HTML, CSS, or elementary web design principles, it can be a bit daunting.
So, why did we choose Webflow over WordPress?
1. All-in-one Solution
If you look past the seemingly impressive statistics and the dedicated fanbase, WordPress is nothing more than a glorified blogging tool.
WordPress supports very little features out of the box – it only provides the framework for a blog, and that's it. In order to make it useful for a business website, it needs to be heavily modified with plugins, or little "packets" of code that add a new feature to your website.
However, with every plugin you add, your website can become slower, clunkier, and/or more unsecure. Since anyone can create a plugin, there's no quality control, no standards, and no rules. Unfortunately, this can make your website slow and bloated, and even open it up to cyberattacks.
There are plenty of basic features that WordPress still doesn't include, so you need to install some plugins from the get-go.
Want a contact form? Plugin. Want an image slider? Plugin. Want to do some SEO? Plugin. Want to secure your website? Plugin. Want to prevent spam? Plugin. Want autosave or backup? Plugin. Want more design freedom? Plugin. Want an online store? Plugin.
I'll stop there. But as you can imagine, there are many more essential things that require plugins. Each of these plugins needs to be maintained and updated, and some of them even cost money.
Using multiple plugins leads to messy website code, since every plugin developer has different quality standards for their code. Sloppy code creates security vulnerabilities, makes your website slower, and is more detrimental to your site's health overall.
Webflow is an all-in-one web design solution. Webflow doesn't use plugins – everything that's necessary for a website comes baked in to the software, whether you're building a business website, a blog, or an eCommerce store.
Since all of the features are developed by Webflow, they all work harmoniously together, don't require manual updates, and keep your site safe and secure without you even having to think about it.
2. Unlimited Design Freedom
WordPress provides almost zero design freedom, unless you're well versed in a multitude of different web programming languages. Yes, you can also purchase plugins (yes, another plugin) that will allow you to design with limited freedom, but you're still largely restricted by the template, plugin's features, and your technical abilities.
On the other hand, Webflow allows pixel-by-pixel design freedom straight out of the box, and you don't need to know how to code to use it (although, a basic understanding of HTML and CSS helps).
Don't like the layout? Shake it up in seconds! Want to install more fonts? Easy peasy, lemon-squeezy. Want to create killer 3d animations? Simple!
3. Clean, Fast Code
We all live in the digital age where instant gratification runs rampant. Generation Z's attention span is around 8 seconds, while Millennials' attention span is around 12 seconds. In other words, the slower your page is to load, the more likely your user will leave.
Since WordPress is built on clunky code to begin with, it's already at a disadvantage. We already discussed this, but adding plugins to your website creates messy, inconsistent code that becomes very problematic in the long run.
Did you know Google penalizes websites with erratic, sloppy code? That's right. Google's search engine ranking robot, called the "Googlebot," automatically visits websites and deciphers their code to search for structure, content, images, and more. Ultimately, those factors influence ranking.
Websites with sloppy code make it harder for Google to understand crucial information about the website, like structure, content, and responsiveness.
Have you ever tried to decipher handwriting so bad that it's almost impossible to read? That's what the Googlebot sees when reading websites with bad code. If it's hard for the Googlebot to read your website, it probably won't rank as well as one that's easily legible.
Webflow generates seamless, clean, and consistent code right out of the box.
We've all got that friend with handwriting so good it almost makes you jealous. Webflow is like that friend. And, the best part about Webflow's clean code is that it generates the code automatically; you don't even have to think about it.
4. Versatile CMS
Webflow's CMS is far easier to use and adapt to different circumstances. WordPress, as previously mentioned, was designed to be an easy way for non-tech savvy people to set up a blog.
As a result, the content management system was built around—you guessed it—posts.
While that might work well for blog posts, what if you want to add, update, and manage a gallery of images? What about case studies? Office locations? Products? All of these items have different properties than a post does.
Plugin developers create workaround solutions that turn "blog posts" into things like "products." It's sloppy, confusing, and not very easy to do.
Imagine trying to turn a tee shirt into a pair of pants. It's probably possible, but the end result would not be very functional or appealing. That's what using WordPress' CMS feels like.
On the other hand, Webflow's CMS lets you build a different structure for whatever you choose. If you want blog posts, create a collection, and give each item a title, an image, and a body. If you want a dynamic portfolio, create a collection and give each item a title, image, client, and a link to the project.
With Webflow's CMS, you can create a structure for almost anything and add, update, and manage items with total ease. We love Webflow's CMS, our clients love Webflow's CMS, and we think you will too.
5. Easy SEO
Webflow gives you quick, easy access to every on-page SEO setting you need to rank up.
With Webflow, you can easily edit Meta Tags, Open Graph tags, automatically generate a sitemap, and so much more. For content created in the CMS, meta tags are created automatically depending on the type of content.
As a cherry on top, all Webflow websites receive a free SSL (secure socket layer) certificate, which ensures that your site stays healthy and secure.
With WordPress, you can't easily edit or modify any of the SEO basics without installing another plugin, or two, or three. I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, so I'll save you the details this time.
6. User Friendliness
Want to update something on your website's homepage? With Webflow's innovative Editor, it's as easy as loading your website, clicking the element you want to edit, and typing away. When you're done making changes, click Publish, and it's ready to go.
Unfortunately, I can't explain how to make small changes to a Wordpress site in less than three sentences, like I can with Webflow.
WordPress can't be edited on the website – you need to log into the backend, find the page, and sift through messy formatting to find the thing you want to edit. It's very cumbersome and takes a long time to make small edits – take it from a past WordPress user.
Since WordPress powers ~40% of websites on the web, and the code is extremely sloppy, inconsistent, and clunky, it's an obvious target for hackers.
About 70% of the top 1 million WordPress websites are vulnerable to some type of hack. (source)
That's extremely alarming for a platform that powers 40% of the internet.
With Webflow, each website gets an SSL certificate for free, while WordPress sites require you to purchase, and install one with a plugin. Essentially, an SSL certificate encrypts the connection between your website and your visitors.
Since Webflow has a set of internal coding standards, as well as a slew of security certifications, there's very little room for vulnerabilities.
For us, there are too many reasons to choose Webflow over WordPress – we couldn't fit them all in a blog post like this.
If you're looking for a stunning, powerful, blazing fast website, Webflow is the only option. That's exactly why we, at Carbon Creative, exclusively build websites using Webflow. Our clients love how easy it is to add and manage their website's blog posts and content using Webflow's Editor feature.
We look forward to hearing from you!