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Finding your flow

by Grethe Roets
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Making an informed choice between WordPress & Webflow

Setting sail on the sea of cyberspace can be daunting. Navigating the acronym-waters of SEO, SSL and CMS can sometimes seem like a giant wave that you need to ride, but you forgot your surfboard! At Pathfind Media we love to help you navigate uncharted waters to build an engaging presence online for your business and find your flow within the digital space. One of the most important navigation decisions you will make is choosing your website-vessel.

The two most sturdy ships available are WordPress and Webflow, each with its’ own unique strengths and weaknesses. Although it is arguably currently the most popular website builder, WordPress has some clear disadvantages and Webflow has quickly gained ground as a sophisticated alternative.

Webflow is a responsive website builder (meaning it will automatically adapt to fit different screen sizes) and its’ core strength is the broad scope for customisation. It essentially offers a toolkit combining a fully customisable CMS (Content Management System) offering more flexibility than WordPress, with the visual design elements you would expect from a content coded website.

With Webflow it is possible to start with a blank canvas, as you would with a content coded site, or use their ready-made structures. This enables you to build your site around the unique content and needs of your business, as opposed to trying to fit everything into a WordPress template.

Webflow also skips the heavy dependence on plugins, which can slow down your site and compromise its’ security. It also offers an extra layer of interactivity through animations as an essential part of the design toolbox. If you have an eye for design, Webflow gives you much more detailed control over various design elements. You have complete control over your typography – you can use any font you want, as well as customise everything from the line-height to the tracking. It also allows you to define global colour swatches and ensures consistency throughout all your pages. A big win with Webflow is the ability to draw your golden brand-thread throughout all phases of eCommerce operations. Every page can be completely customised – from your product page and checkout page to transactional emails.

As with WordPress, Webflow also has its’ Cons, so you do need to consider the whole structure of your ship before you set sail. Webflow is not open source software, as is the case with WordPress. It is positioned as a more sophisticated website builder with more creative control and this will naturally be reflected in the price tag.

If you are opting for using their pre-designed templates, Webflow offers less variety than WordPress and many features are not necessarily built-in. One of the examples is advanced eCommerce features that need additional add-ons. Some elements of social media integration have also proven a bit tricky.

Linking your page to Facebook and Twitter is straightforward, but embedding a live feed can be more difficult. This means that where Webflow offers greater flexibility than WordPress, it also requires more expertise to craft. Luckily, that is where our passion and experience will help you to build a vessel that will not only visually match the grandeur of the Titanic, but also make sure you steer clear of all the numerous icebergs often lurking beneath the surface of the waters in the world wide web.

So, when it gets down to the nuts and bolts, the basics of Webflow and WordPress can be compared as follows:
 WEBFLOWWORDPRESS
Design freedomYou start with a blank canvas or a choice of fully customisable templates and customise everything visually – thus not using code.You are restricted by the use of available templates. For any customising, you will need additional plugins or you will need to know how to code.
Code qualityAll code, including add-ons and plugins, is written by in-house web designers, so you are ensured that it is clean and secure.The code is open source and thus anybody can write code for a WordPress site and plugin – this can compromise the quality and security of the code.
Page speedWebsites are hosted on Tier 1 Content Delivery Network, Amazon CloudFront, and Fastly and the code is also no larger than it needs to be, so it improves loading time.The page speed depends on various factors, but because of the reliance on plugins WordPress sites are known for slower loading time.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)The SEO settings of Webflow sites are built-in, fully customisable, and easy to setup. It also offers mobile-friendly design and performance.Although it is easy to customise, you will need to install plugins to perform many of the most common SEO tasks.
Site security (SSL)
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layers. This is the standard technology needed for keeping your internet connection secure and making sure sensitive data sent between two systems is kept safe.
Webflow offers free SSL on all sites, backed by constant threat monitoring and automatic back-ups to Amazon web servers.Free SSL, but WordPress sites are unfortunately known for their security vulnerabilities, due to plugins and open-source nature, when they are not properly maintained.
User-friendliness of CMSSimple on-page editing and great customisation.Simple and easy to use, but lacks on-page editing.
eCommerceThe biggest advantage of running your eCommerce business via Webflow is the ability to customise and brand all elements of the buying experience. It ensures a simpler web store design approach and offers a broad set of integrated tools.WordPress allows for external plugin integration options to boost your eCommerce project functionality, the most popular being WooCommerce.
Animations and interactionsWebflow has built-in tools that allow you to add motion and interactions to almost any element on your website through a mouse click, mouse hover, mouse move over element, or scroll into view.With WordPress templates, you will need to custom code any animations or interactions, with built-in tools usually being limited to scrolling into view – such as fade, slide or zoom.
 WEBFLOWWORDPRESS
Design freedomWebflow
You start with a blank canvas or a choice of fully customisable templates and customise everything visually – thus not using code.
Wordpress
You are restricted by the use of available templates. For any customising, you will need additional plugins or you will need to know how to code.
Code qualityWebflow
All code, including add-ons and plugins, is written by in-house web designers, so you are ensured that it is clean and secure.
Wordpress
The code is open source and thus anybody can write code for a WordPress site and plugin – this can compromise the quality and security of the code.
Page speedWebflow
Websites are hosted on Tier 1 Content Delivery Network, Amazon CloudFront, and Fastly and the code is also no larger than it needs to be, so it improves loading time.
Wordpress
The page speed depends on various factors, but because of the reliance on plugins WordPress sites are known for slower loading time.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)Webflow
The SEO settings of Webflow sites are built-in, fully customisable, and easy to setup. It also offers mobile-friendly design and performance.
Wordpress
Although it is easy to customise, you will need to install plugins to perform many of the most common SEO tasks.
Site security (SSL)
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layers. This is the standard technology needed for keeping your internet connection secure and making sure sensitive data sent between two systems is kept safe.
Webflow
Webflow offers free SSL on all sites, backed by constant threat monitoring and automatic back-ups to Amazon web servers.
Wordpress
Free SSL, but WordPress sites are unfortunately known for their security vulnerabilities, due to plugins and open-source nature, when they are not properly maintained.
User-friendliness of CMSWebflow
Simple on-page editing and great customisation.
Wordpress
Simple and easy to use, but lacks on-page editing.
eCommerceWebflow
The biggest advantage of running your eCommerce business via Webflow is the ability to customise and brand all elements of the buying experience. It ensures a simpler web store design approach and offers a broad set of integrated tools.
Wordpress
WordPress allows for external plugin integration options to boost your eCommerce project functionality, the most popular being WooCommerce.
Animations and interactionsWebflow
Webflow has built-in tools that allow you to add motion and interactions to almost any element on your website through a mouse click, mouse hover, mouse move over element, or scroll into view.
Wordpress
With WordPress templates, you will need to custom code any animations or interactions, with built-in tools usually being limited to scrolling into view – such as fade, slide or zoom.