In this post I talk about why I choose Webflow over Wordpress to build websites for my clients, and how they benefit from this platform.
When I'm talking to a potential new client about building their new website for them, I tell them I'll be using a platform called Webflow. Sometimes the reply will be, "I've never heard of Webflow. Doesn't everyone use WordPress?".
It can be difficult to explain why a platform someone has 'never heard of' could be a more suitable solution than one that 'everyone' is using.
So with that in mind, I've written this post to explain the three main reasons I point out when recommending Webflow as the website solution to potential clients.
These points simultaneously address the pain-points I’ve seen people face with WordPress, and at the end of each point you'll find a 'Why Webflow' summary that explains how Webflow solves them.
For those who aren't familiar with the two platforms: WordPress is a free and open-source website content-management system first released in 2003. It uses a plugin architecture and template system referred to as 'themes'. Webflow was launched ten years later in 2013 as a visual 'no-code' website builder that allows you to design, build and launch websites using pre-made templates or custom-build from scratch.
For many years I was employed by studios that built WordPress sites, and during this time I observed the ongoing issues clients faced with them.
Despite having received training, clients would still call and ask how to edit something they couldn't figure out how to do.
They found it difficult to locate where they could make simple changes. In addition, they were afraid to edit anything for fear of breaking the site.
This is what I call 'WordPress whiplash', which many of my new clients suffer from before I move them over to the Webflow platform.
I found these to be the main causes of 'WordPress whiplash':
Let’s take a look at how Webflow solves these three pain-points.
Just imagine what you could do with the time not spent figuring out what plugin is breaking the site, or cleaning up some hacker's mess. Fixing broken WordPress websites will be a thing of the past with Webflow.
I recently received an email from a lady about her WordPress website. She said she'd had some issues, and hired a WordPress technician to fix them for her. He fixed them, but told her the site was very fragile, and that she should buy the newest version of the theme. She said that the website was only built a couple of years ago, but now assumes it wasn't 'done too well'.
This was a saddening situation for her to be in. She'd paid for a new website that didn't work properly after two years, and now had to pay to fix it, even though the site could still break at any moment.
I've never found joy in fixing broken WordPress websites, which to me seem to be ticking time-bombs that need constant updating and maintenance in order to continue to exist. I'd much rather be spending my time on helping my clients move forward and develop their website as their business grows.
Why Webflow? There's no outdated themes or plugins requiring constant updates and additional costs for maintenance. Instead – secure, future-proofed websites that don't break or get hacked.
I've seen this pop up many times with WordPress. A client gets a beautiful new site, but is unable to edit it. Time goes by, and soon they've got a site that no longer represents them as a business.
Webflow's editor is very easy to use. There are two ways to make edits – in the visual editor and through what is called a 'collection'. Collections can be custom-created specifically with all the inputs the user needs (and none they don't). Which means no more hunting for where to make changes as you often have to in WordPress (is it in a widget? embedded on a page? in the theme settings? in a plugin somewhere?)...
A while ago I built a Webflow e-commerce website for a friend, who is self-proclaimed as 'technically challenged'. I figured he was the perfect person to test how easy editing was in Webflow.
So I gave him a simple printout which guided him into logging in and getting started, and off he went. I followed up the next day to see how he was doing, and he was adding products and making edits like he'd been doing it for ages.
Why Webflow? Make edits easily and confidently, with no fear of breaking your website. If anything is accidentally deleted there are easily accessed automated backups to help salvage any lost content.
When I used to create websites in WordPress, a client would request a specific change in their site that wasn't easily done.
I would find myself saying...
'No, unfortunately the template you have won't allow for that.'
'It's possible, but you'll need to buy a plugin.'
'We could do some custom code workaround but that will mean you'll have to find and edit the code if you ever want to change it yourself'.
With Webflow, you're not restricted by templates. Webflow has a template marketplace, but if you need to add to a Webflow template you can build it exactly how you want it in the Designer.
Add interactions and animations wherever you like. You're really only limited by your imagination.
These days, with Webflow – I find myself more and more saying, 'Yes, no problem – I can do that'.
My clients directly benefit from the flexibility of Webflow. As their business grows, their website can quickly and easily grow with it.
Why Webflow? Say goodbye to theme limitations, custom-coded workarounds, and plugin pile-ups to get a website where it needs to be. Start with a lean website with no unnecessary fluff and let it evolve as the business does.
For me, most of the time Webflow is the right solution for my clients. If it's not, I'll recommend other platforms (and other developers) that are going to be the right fit. For example, I'll recommend a Shopify site (and developer that specialises in Shopify) for websites that require features that are outside of Webflow's ecommerce capabilities.
Now, what happened with the lady mentioned earlier, the one who paid for a new Wordpress website that didn't work properly after two years?
I explained how moving her website across to Webflow would solve the issues she'd been having, and how her business would benefit.
She was hesitant to spend more money on developing a new website, understandably as she'd just paid a technician to get it working again.
I suggested she get back in touch when she felt ready to make that change.
You won't be able to convince everyone that Webflow is right for them. People have a tendency to stick to what they know, because change can be hard.
But for every one person that isn't ready or willing to make the change, there's a handful of people raring to go, eager to venture into the modern world of web.
But don't just take my word for it. If you're interested in reading more about this topic, read the additional articles below.