When it comes to setting up a website, one of the first challenges business owners face is that of choosing the CMS.
CMS, which is short for Content Management System is the back-end of your website – the application that hosts and displays your content along with any other elements and functionality including images, contact us forms, booking modules, etc.
Whilst the term CMS technically speaking refers to platforms that manage content, more and more CMSs feature website builders providing an all in one solution to getting a website up and running as easily as possible.
Both platforms allow you to build decent websites with little to no coding experience. Knowing how to code merely extends what one can do with these platforms.
In this article, we shall look at some of the main differences and similarities between the two to help you decide which platform might be the best fit for you.
Open-source means the software is free to download and use. You also get the code which you are free to amend should you need or like to do so.
SaaS, on the other hand, stands for Software as a Service which means there is nothing to install – you simply use the software as a service against a monthly or yearly payment. In this regard, Webflow also has a free plan however this might be too limited depending on what you want to achieve,
Both platforms allow you to launch a website without knowing any code however this largely depends on the type of website you want to have. WordPress comes with many themes with both free and paid versions available whilst Webflow offers a browser Site Editor which may offer more flexibility in terms of design.
The features of both platforms differ due to the type of software they are. Since Webflow is a SaaS product, all of the features are built-in with many integrations available right out of the box.
WordPress, on the other hand, requires the installation of plugins which is an easy enough job to do through the built-in plugins installer. Do keep in mind that WordPress plugins need to be tested and updated from time to time which may increase the time you spend maintaining the website.
It has to be said that both platforms offer coding functionality and as such, you can build any feature that you want with the assistance of a developer. This can greatly extend the feature set that comes out of the box giving you freedom and leeway to take the website wherever you want to go with it.
When it comes to web design, both platforms offer themes which can be either downloaded for free, bought, or custom-made. Webflow, however, also provides Site Designer functionality which theoretically gives you more freedom over the look and feel of your website.
Keep in mind that WordPress was primarily designed as a CMS for blogs and as such tends to feel the same regardless of the theme. The good news for WordPress here is that due to its ubiquity, you can find a seemingly endless number of ready-to-install templates which can let you approximate the design you had in mind with little to no further investment.
As discussed earlier, Webflow is a SaaS platform meaning you need to pay a monthly fee to use it. There are free and paid plans to choose from depending on your requirements.
WordPress, on the other hand, is free. Do keep in mind that you will still probably need to pay for hosting. Since it is a SaaS product Webflow has hosting is included in the price.
When it comes to getting support, by their very nature the two platforms offer something entirely different. Since WordPress is open-source, there is no phone number you can call.
Instead, you will have to refer to user support forums and in many cases hunt for an answer. Since WordPress is used by many people, there are a lot of resources available. Of course, you can always hire a consultant or a freelancer should you get irreversibly stuck.
Webflow, being a paid product, has a more organised support system. There are video tutorials, a Webflow University, and a phone line you can call. There is even a live chat system so you do not have to worry about higher telephone bills.
Although both WordPress and Wordflow offer similar products, the approach they take to the finished product is very different.
It is nigh impossible to say which system is better as this will largely depend on the needs of the business and how much time and money you’re willing to spend on your website; both in the short term as well as in the long term.
Regardless of the platform you choose, good content and SEO practices need to prevail so do make sure that you make concessions for these in the decision process to help your website flourish and become as successful as it can get.