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Web Development, Simplified: Choose Your Website Builder

Struggle to pick a website builder for your project? Learn about WordPress and Webflow, and discover their pros and cons to pick the tool that suits your business.

By ShakuroPublished 4 months ago 9 min read
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In the fast-paced digital landscape, your website is the very first impression your startup or product makes on potential customers. It’s your digital storefront, your 24/7 salesperson, and your brand’s voice in the vast online wilderness. But here’s the catch: not everyone possesses the technical wizardry of a web developer, and the prospect of building and managing a website can be nothing short of a migraine-inducing ordeal.

Say goodbye to the pains of traditional web development and hello to a world where creating a functional page is within your reach. Meet Webflow and WordPress — two game-changing tools that will transform your web presence.

We asked our project managers — Dmitry Smirnov, Lisa Stepanova, and Vladimir Dikusar — to tell you about these two platforms. With years of experience and 50+ projects behind their backs, they will dive deep into the world of top website builders, explaining the unique strengths of Webflow and WordPress. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be armed with the knowledge and confidence needed to make the right choice for your business or project.

What is a website builder?

Simply speaking, it is a tool for creating and customizing websites without the need to have any special development knowledge. Instead of writing code by hand, you create a design using a drag-and-drop interface, ready-made templates, and components.

Apart from pre-built templates, you can also take advantage of different customization features such as color schemes, fonts, layouts, etc. Usually, they are combined with other useful options like hosting to make managing pages easier for you. Moreover, there is a possibility to integrate various components, for example, text blocks, images, forms, navigation menus, and add interactivity, such as animations or sliders.

Website builders are aimed at people who don’t have any web development experience. Still, if you are a web developer or designer, you can use this tool to speed up the process of creating and customizing sites.

Now, let’s take a look at the two popular website building platforms.

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WordPress

Approximately 63% of all live websites are leveraging this technology, and the number has grown by 10% in comparison to the past years. This content management system has a user-friendly and flexible interface, making it a preferred choice for both beginners and experienced web developers.

Pros and cons

The website builder has an open-source engine, which provides a number of advantages:

Pros:

– A large number of add-ons;

– Customizable admin panel;

– Shopping cart, secured payments, and order tracking with almost no additional setup;

– A large number of paid and free website themes;

– An out-of-the-box blogging system with sufficient functionality;

– Lots of payment system plugins. Yes, they have great limitations and it’s better to add them together with a universal payment system. However, if the project has a custom pay flow, then it’s easier to do manual integration via API;

– Customizable interface for setting roles and access restrictions;

– Ability to change the internal interface for the admin panel;

– A huge plugin (shareware) for LearnDash. It’s a learning management system for online courses;

– Many tools for editing pages, as well as popular plugins with convenient update and auto mode;

– Convenient SEO plugins;

– Tight security. Thanks to the large community, all vulnerabilities are patched quickly;

– Perfect for designing simple online stores, blogs, landing pages, corporate sites, or simple courses;

– Many shared hostings are optimized for WordPress engines, which simplifies their use;

– Frequent updates and patches.

Cons:

– You still need to hire a developer to deploy and configure a project;

– Without a short educational course, it’s hard to understand how the admin panel works;

– Developers often implement control modules differently on similar projects, and it complicates administration;

– WordPress doesn’t cope well with heavy projects; the website builder is usually suitable for up to 5000 users for a typical project;

– Using ready-made themes speeds up the system setup, but this also transfers all the theme’s bugs and its architecture. As a result, it complicates the modification and customization. So, the best practice is to create your own custom theme with your own code architecture and page structure;

– Sometimes plugin developers change the contents, and it often leads to crashes. Don’t use auto-update unless it’s necessary;

– Various styles increase the weight of the project and affect the loading speed. As a result, your website has low performance. The same goes for installing too many plugins;

– You can set up and customize third-party plugins, but it will increase the costs and amount of support. The developer will have to rewrite the feature literally from scratch.

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Webflow

This is a website building platform that a comprehensive set of tools. It allows users to create responsive pages without the need for extensive coding knowledge. Currently, there are more than 3,500,000 active Webflow users.

Pros and cons

Pros:

– A convenient visual editor that makes the website development process more accessible and convenient for non-technical users;

– Clean and SEO-friendly code. You can easily add all the necessary attributes, such as altos, distortions, etc.;

– Many features, including animations, interactions, CMS, and e-commerce;

– A rich library of ready-to-use templates and components that you can customize and adapt to your needs;

– Webflow provides its own hosting and tools for website deployment. This simplifies the process of publishing and maintaining sites;

– There is extensive documentation, video tutorials, and support for users. An active community can give you advice and share experiences.

Cons:

– Webflow can be challenging for beginners, especially if you have no experience in web development or design;

– Limited toolkit for developing complex and large-scale web projects. In some cases, especially with non-standard requirements, you will have to leverage programming skills or other tools;

– A huge dependency on the platform. This means that websites with CMS powered by Webflow must be hosted and served through Webflow;

– A paid subscription model which can be pricey for small budgets;

– A limited toolkit for integrating third-party services;

Potential web development costs

WordPress is free to use, while third-party plugins cost money. So, this is a decision whether it’s worth buying plugins or it’s easier to ask your developer to create them themselves. The most popular plugins are those for working with custom fields and SEO. They will cost you a one-time fee of approximately $100.

As for Webflow, this website builder has subscription plans. For a landing page or a small site, the Basic plan will be enough. It costs $14 per month. However, if you want to create a small blog, then you will need to purchase the CMS plan for $23.

If we take the development costs, then they obviously vary depending on the project type. Below are the approximate numbers based on common products with an average level of customization:

– Web design: 200-300 hours

– Creating HTML layouts: 100-150 hours

– WordPress integration: 100-150 hours

– Transfer and launch: 16-24 hours

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Website builder comparison: Webflow vs. WordPress

Let’s compare the two best website building software using the main qualities:

Ease of use:

– Webflow: it offers a convenient visual editor with drag-and-drop functionality. This approach makes the process of designing websites more intuitive for non-technical users.

– WordPress: this one has an admin panel with a CMS where you can add and edit content. However, it requires some technical knowledge to use effectively.

Flexibility and toolkit:

– Webflow: you can implement animations, interactions, and e-commerce features. Moreover, you have complete control over visual design and layout.

– WordPress: it offers many plugins to provide additional functionality, but they can go heavy on performance.

Hosting and deployment:

– Webflow: you will have in-house hosting directly on the platform and tools for website deployment.

– WordPress: it is self-hosted, which means you must provide your own hosting for the site. But no need to worry: there are many hosting providers that support WordPress installation.

Expenses:

– Webflow: the platform offers various subscription plans with advanced features and functionality. The cost depends on your needs.

– WordPress: it is free and open-source software, but you may still face costs for hosting, plugins, and themes.

As you can see, both website builders have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing between them depends on your needs, skills, and preferences. In general, Webflow offers a more visual and intuitive approach, while WordPress is known for its flexibility and scalability.

Why do we choose these platforms?

Many people compare Webflow with Tilda and Redymag. We used them in our projects for a long time, too, but in the end, we opted for Webflow. It is a winner in terms of functionality and flexibility. Here are some of the main benefits:

  • You can take advantage of a visual editor that allows you to create and customize your project’s design without the need for coding. You can easily add and customize elements, styles, and interactive features. So there is more flexibility to make your own designs than in Tilda and Readymag.
  • You can create complex interactive features, animations, forms, multi-page sites, and more. Tilda and Readymag are limited in this regard and offer simpler options.
  • You have access to the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code and customize it. This gives you more control over your project.
  • Webflow offers its own hosting and domain name. The other two also provide hosting, but they are limited by their own terms and conditions.
  • A wider range of resources for community and support. There are forums and extensive documentation to help you learn and solve problems.

To sum it up, Webflow provides more flexibility, power, and control over your project. Tilda and Readymag are limited in some aspects, but they are a go-to option to create quick and simple projects.

Conclusion

With website builders, you can speed up the design process and cut production costs. Depending on your needs, choose between popular low-code platforms like Webflow or WordPress. They provide enough customization features for different kinds of projects, however, they require some entry-level skills. Alternatively, if you have a simple project and want to launch it quickly, consider going for Tilda or Readymag.

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About the Creator

Shakuro

We are a web and mobile design and development agency. Making websites and apps, creating brand identities, and launching startups.

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