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Ah the common debate of 2022 website creators – WordPress or Webflow?
Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or marketer or just starting your first website, you’re probably trying to make a decision about which one to use.
A few years ago, most of the businesses coming through Credo looking for a website wanted WordPress help. They’d been on WordPress for years and were looking for help building a new site and then maintaining it. Some also wanted content marketing or SEO help to increase the audience to their site.
But starting a few years ago, we started seeing more and more requests for an up-and-coming website builder – Webflow. We even spoke with the CEO of Webflow as they were looking for marketing help to grow Webflow itself!
This trend has continued, and these days we see as many requests for Webflow websites and development help as we do for WordPress!
So, which one should you choose between WordPress and Webflow? The answer isn’t straight forward, but there are a few areas to think through to help you make the right decision.
WordPress has been around for a long time, and because of this has a large ecosystem of plugins and businesses which makes it a formidable force in the CMS ecosystem. In short, it’s trusted for a reason.
So let’s dig into the statistics and reasons around WordPress so you can deduce if it’s right for you.
According to Wikipedia:
WordPress was released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, American developer Matt Mullenweg and English developer Mike Little, as a fork of b2/cafelog. The software is released under the GPLv2 (or later) license.Source
This means that WordPress is almost 20 years old, and the same age as Facebook. In internet years, that is forever and the fact that it is still growing is impressive.
WordPress has fostered the open source part of the community, which has led to more and more people building on WordPress and developing plugins and plugin and theme businesses around the core CMS. Because of this, finding WordPress developers is not hard but many developers no longer want to work on WordPress because it is “old” technology.
WordPress.org is supported by Automattic, which is the for-profit brain child of WordPress founder Matt Mullenwegg and the owner of products like WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Gravatar, Tumblr, and more. Automattic started in 2005, two years after WordPress was first released.
Other than the ultimate feature of being open source and thus free to access all of the code, WordPress has a ton of plugins and themes in the ecosystem.
WordPress’s latest version, 6.0, offers all of the functionality from previous versions as well as:
- Easily switch themes with one click.
- New blocks like comments, read more, and avatar.
- Seamlessly select texts across multiple blocks.
- More accessible user experience.
- Manage local fonts easily with Webfonts API.
They’ve also introduced the ability to edit the whole site at once, and ultimately tries to make website creation significantly easier.
It is important to note, for all you out there who aren’t deep in the WordPress ecosystem, that there are in fact TWO types of WordPress:
WordPress.org is the WordPress foundation’s open source project, which means it is free for anyone to use. All of the code is made available to you, unlike other systems, and you are able to edit (or pay someone to edit) it all. They just ask that you give back to the community like the community gives to you.
While wordpress.org is free to use, you will need your own hosting to power it. You can get cheap shared hosting from Bluehost or Dreamhost for $5 per month, or you can use premium hosting like Kinsta or WPengine which starts around $99 per month and is best for businesses. You can do whatever you want with your wordpress.org website, though that also comes with its own risks like
WordPress.com on the other hand is Automattic’s (the company behind WordPress and WooCommerce) hosted WordPress offering. You pay them a monthly fee and they take care of the hosting. WordPress.com starts at just $4 per month and goes up to $45 per month for e-commerce capabilities. It’s easy to get started, but you do have less flexibility and fewer plugins (read: features) available for use.
Interest in WordPress grow over time, topped out around 2012, and has declined since. It seems to have leveled out and maybe even grown a bit in recent years however (trend via Google Trends):
According to W3techs, however, WordPress’s market share has continued to grow over time and seems to have turned non-CMS websites into CMS-powered sites singlehandedly:
Who’s WordPress Right For?
WordPress is a great tool (it powers this very site you are reading!) and obviously a great fit for a lot of people, but is it right for you?
In our experience, WordPress is great for:
- Businesses who have used it for a long time and know how to use an optimize it
- Businesses who need their marketing site to have a lot of customization, which other CMSs do not provide and is essentially baked into WordPress
- Anyone wanting to build on a trusted platform that has been around for a long time and has a lot of developers able to support it, including cheaper overseas talent.
Also according to Joost, Webflow has “grown nicely” and now powers .6% of the internet:
Webflow is growing nicely, doubling its marketshare in the last 12 months from 0.3% to 0.6%, bringing it into the top 10 for the first time.Source
Webflow is a simple website builder and editor, which means you can create a good looking website quickly and get it online. You don’t need to purchase extra hosting or anything else – it is all included in your monthly fee.
According to Wikipedia:
Webflow was founded in 2013 by Vlad Magdalin (creator of Intuit Brainstorm), Sergie Magdalin, and Bryant Chou (former CTO of Vungle Inc.). The company graduated from Y Combinator’s startup accelerator in 2013.Source
Vlad is still the co-founder and CEO, based out of San Francisco California.
Over the years Webflow has grown well and landed venture capital funding to help them continue to grow, with a $140 million in a series B round of funding announced in early 2021. Webflow currently has approximately 600 employees and is valued at over $4B off of $100,000,000 in annual revenue.
Webflow enables you to start for free as long as your website is on a webflow.io domain, such as greatbusinessidea.webflow.io.
If you want to use a custom domain, the price goes up to $12 per month for that plus 50GB of bandwidth (server usage) but really no storage.
If you want storage, such as images or videos, you need to upgrade to their $16 per month plan which also comes with 2,000 CMS items and space for 3 guest editors (users).
If you need more than that, Webflow costs $36 per month on their Business plan which includes:
- Custom domain
- 10,000 CMS items
- 400 GB bandwidth
- 10 guest editors
If you still need more, then you need to contact them for custom pricing.
Also according to W3techs, their market share has been increasing quickly in 2022:
Who Is Webflow Right For?
Webflow is a great choice for a new business or side project that doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of WordPress themes, hosting, and more. It is easy to get started with Webflow, sites look great, and they load quickly.
Webflow is great if you need a simple marketing site that doesn’t require much upkeep or many features. The challenge with a closed system CMS like Webflow is that you can’t change a lot of things, though you can have a custom theme developed which will make your site look unique.
So, WordPress or Webflow?
Honestly, the choice is yours.
If you’re an established business or experienced in the ways of code and WordPress, then WordPress is a great solution still. I’ve used it since 2010 and have no plans to switch. WordPress has enabled me to make millions of dollars on the internet over the years.
If you’re a new business or just want a simple marketing site and don’t mind more limited functionality and a monthly subscription, then Webflow may be a better solution for you. We’ve seen a lot of businesses switching to Webflow from WordPress or deciding to use Webflow on a new project simply because a Webflow site can often be launched much faster than a WordPress site.
I use WordPress. I am a developer and marketer and have used it forever.
I know a lot of similar people who use Webflow for their marketing site.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you and Credo can help you find a development partner for either.