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4 Best Webflow Alternatives

Best Webflow Alternatives, featured image

Are you scouring the internet for Webflow alternatives? If so, you’re not alone. 

Webflow’s platform was designed with a “code-first” philosophy that aims to provide programmers with all the tools they need to create and launch responsive websites. This is great for experienced web designers, but might not be the best choice for newbies.

However, with so many website builders on the market, it’s tough to know which platform is the best for your business.

So, to help you make an informed purchasing decision, we have compared Webflow to four other leaders in the industry: WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and Shopify

There’s lots to cover; let’s dive right in!

WordPress vs Webflow

First off, it’s worth noting that both WordPress and Webflow are website builders explicitly made to help you design and launch a professional-looking website. 

On the one hand, WordPress.org is the market’s most popular open-source and PHP-based content management system (CMS). It offers an incredible degree of flexibility (providing you have the coding know-how to bring your vision to life). But likewise, if you’re not very tech-y, there are plenty of easy-to-use web design features and plugins to broaden the functionality of your website. 

On the other hand, Webflow is a popular cloud-based SaaS platform. Although you don’t enjoy the same customization freedom that comes with an open-source solution, the range of features Webflow offers still makes it an impressive and flexible CMS. 

Another critical difference between the two is that Webflow’s templates boast incredibly clean code. In comparison, the coding for some of WordPress’s templates (and plugins) are needlessly cluttered. Often, this has the adverse effect of slowing down your website’s speed. 

It’s also worth noting, Webflow enables you to make on-page edits. With WordPress, you’ll have to handle all your modifications from your backend. Or, you’ll need to download a third-party page editor to achieve the same functionality as Webflow. 

Regarding cost, depending on which payment plan you choose, Webflow is the more expensive one, while WordPress is entirely free. You just need to pay for your domain and hosting. However, if you’re opting for premium themes and plugins, you may have to shell out extra. 

WordPress

WordPress Pros

  • There are thousands of mobile-friendly WordPress themes to choose from that provide mobile users with a premium experience. 
  • According to WordPress’s own definition, it’s an “open-source software … anyone can use, study, change, and redistribute its source code”. Due to the open-source nature of the software, WordPress developers can openly create and share code. With so much code shared online, it’s much quicker for developers to generate new apps and write code to modify their websites. So, if you have coding chops, this will save you tons of time!
  • The sheer volume of plugins you can download and use is incredibly impressive. Currently, the official WordPress repo hosts over 57,000 free plugins, but many other places offer free and premium WordPress plugins as well. Needless to say, there’s a good chance you’ll find a plugin that does the job you need. From social media integrations to dropshipping marketplaces to contact forms, you name it, there’s probably a plugin for it.  
  • WordPress makes it easy to optimize your on-page SEO. As I’ve already hinted at, there are tons of high-quality (and free!) SEO plugins you can download and use to optimize your content for search engines, such as Yoast SEO. 
  • Unlike the other solutions on the list, WordPress’s core software is free. So, depending on your coding know-how, it’s potentially the cheapest option (providing you use an inexpensive hosting provider). In short, it’s up to you whether you purchase a premium theme and/or plugins, so using WordPress can be as expensive or as cheap as you make it.
  • Due to WordPress’s immense popularity, it’s easy to find a developer to help you implement new functionality. There’s a massive community of WordPress users and developers, so you’re bound to find someone to help.
  • WordPress boasts a mature ecosystem, which means there’s a vast choice of themes and plugins for almost every possible use case. There are over 10,000 themes on ThemeForest alone!
  • It’s great for eCommerce. There are tons of reliable eCommerce plugins available, such as WooCommerce, if you want to set up an online store.
  • Using one of the many plugins available, it’s easy to add/transform your website into a forum. If this is something you’re interested in, bbPress comes highly recommended.
  • Blogging lies at the heart of WordPress. There are so many tools and features WordPress has to offer that will take your blog to the next level.

WordPress Cons

  • WordPress’s customer support is pretty fragmented. If you have a problem with Webflow, you can open a support ticket. With WordPress, your only option is posting on the WordPress.org forum. However, this is run by volunteers, so you may not get a reply. It’s safe to say, WordPress is more of a DIY solution.
  • Not everything is compatible. By this, I mean it isn’t a given that all WordPress themes and plugins are compatible with one another.
  • To keep your WordPress site secure, you have to install updates manually. However, every now and again, these updates (especially ones relating to your WordPress theme and plugins) can result in errors, which can be a nuisance to fix.  
  • As I’ve already alluded to, some WordPress themes are jam-packed full of unnecessary code, which can slow down your website’s load time. If you don’t have the coding know-how, it can be challenging to identify which pieces of code you can erase without damaging your website’s integrity. 
  • You’re more vulnerable. Being an open-source platform is a double-edged sword. It’s a benefit for the reasons listed above, but it’s also more attractive to hackers. So, it’s imperative you swot up on any potential plugins and themes you download to your WordPress site. You want to ensure they’re 100% safe and reliable before installing and using them.

Squarespace vs Webflow

When comparing Squarespace and Webflow, one of the most notable differences is the interface. Squarespace is much cleaner, making it less daunting to look at, especially if you’re new to this kind of software. 

Webflow’s interface is slightly more complicated. Some say it boasts a Photoshop-vibe, with all its different settings and features dotted around the dashboard.

While we are on the topic of user-friendliness, it’s also worth noting that Squarespace’s onboarding process is excellent. Although Webflow offers something similar, on the whole, Squarespace’s is more straightforward. 

For instance, Squarespace’s choice of language is far more newbie-friendly. Whereas, Webflow’s onboarding process leans into jargon, making it harder for the uninitiated to get to grips with. For example, they use phrases like: “working with dynamic data in the CMS” — this sort of terminology is pretty complicated (especially if you’re coming to the platform completely green!).

All in all, it’s safe to say that Squarespace and Webflow are targeting two different user types. Squarespace is ideal for newbies and experts alike, while Webflow is better suited to those with more web design experience behind them.

With regards to cost, Webflow and Squarespace are both averagely priced. However, Webflow offers a broader array of pricing plans as well as a free program. But despite its greater variety of payment packages, Webflow’s slightly pricier than Squarespace. 

It’s also worth noting, Webflow doesn’t offer refunds. On the other hand, Squarespace offers a refund period ranging from five to 15 days, depending on the subscription you opt for.  

In terms of customer support, Squarespace and Webflow are level-pegging. Both solutions offer exceptional customer care, including in-depth knowledge bases and helpful support ticket systems. But, Squarespace allows you to contact support agents via live chat, which Webflow has yet to offer.  

Squarespace

Squarespace Pros

  • Squarespace’s templates are nothing short of stunning. They all boast responsive design, so rest assured, your website will look its best no matter which device your visitors use. 
  • Squarespace’s content management system is incredibly user-friendly. It even includes an array of import tools for transferring content over from other platforms.
  • Squarespace’s image editing tools are excellent.
  • With their Commerce plan, you don’t have to pay transaction fees. 
  • There’s a massive range of web fonts and layout options to choose from.
  • Squarespace’s video background feature is great. It’s a super-easy way to captivate your visitors’ attention from the moment they click on your site.
  • You can seamlessly integrate your Squarespace website with tons of popular third-party tools. Some of the more notable ones include Google Apps, OpenTable, and Mailchimp — just to name a few! On top of that, there is also a Zapier integration available, which empowers you to connect with hundreds of other web apps.
  • Squarespace boasts an impressive suite of marketing tools, including a built-in email marketing platform and a logo designing app. The latter provides everything you need to create simple, albeit professional-looking logos.
  • Depending on your subscription, you’ll benefit from a year’s free access to the G Suite and $100 worth of Google Ad credit.
  • You can try before you buy with Squarespace’s two-week free trial.
  • Squarespace has a mobile app that empowers users to edit their pages, blog posts, and eCommerce settings while they’re on the run.
  • You can restore deleted posts and pages for up to 30 days.

Squarespace Cons

  • There isn’t an autosave function for editing your web pages and blog posts.
  • Although there are plenty of ways to optimize your Squarespace website for SEO, a few users say its SEO optimization features could benefit from being more straightforward.
  • Squarespace’s point-of-sale functionality is only available in the US. Even then, in comparison to its competitors, it’s quite basic.
  • Although the number of plugins available is okay, where email marketing is concerned, there’s next-to-no choice! You can only use Mailchimp (unless you’re relying on Zapier, then your options open up more).
  • Phone support isn’t available.
  • If you’re selling to a European audience, Squarespace’s GDPR compliance is somewhat lacking. This is particularly true where cookie consent is concerned. To ensure you’re fully compliant, you’ll need to do a bit of research and work, or utilize a third-party tool to handle this for you.
  • There isn’t an in-built multi-currency selling functionality. 
  • Squarespace doesn’t automatically calculate your tax rates – you’ll have to do this yourself.
  • Squarespace’s payment gateway options are limited (to say the least!). You can only use Stripe and Paypal. If you want to utilize another provider, you’ll have to look elsewhere. However, that being said, you can use Apple Pay via a Stripe integration.

Wix vs Webflow

In recent years, Wix has become a household name within the website building niche. It’s used by millions of users worldwide, and it’s clear to see why. No matter the project you want to get off the ground, Wix is incredibly easy to use. Whether you’re launching a personal website or creating something sophisticated for your business, it provides everything you need, without you having to write a single line of code!

To give you a feel for what you can use Wix to create, here’s a list of its core uses:

  • Blogs
  • Forums
  • Online portfolios
  • Promo sites
  • Small business websites
  • Landing pages
  • Online stores

You get the idea. 

Wix is best described as a hybrid website builder. 

Why? 

Namely, because it offers both an AI-fuelled web design option as well as a template-based solution. With the latter, you can manually edit one of Wix’s many templates using their drag and drop editor. 

Wix’s drag and drop editor is what makes it stand out from the crowd. It’s incredibly intuitive to use and offers tons of design customization tools to bring your vision to fruition.

Wix’s users are also a big fan of its pricing policy. There are lots of options available, so you’re bound to find an affordable package that meets your needs. Best of all, there’s a free forever plan, which is great for familiarizing yourself with Wix’s interface before committing your hard-earned cash to a paid program.

Like Squarespace, Wix is a newbie-friendly platform. In contrast, Webflow is far more web-designer-focused, boasting a much steeper learning curve than Wix. This is probably why Webflow isn’t as popular, powering just around 140,000 live websites worldwide.

Webflow prides itself on being an HTML and CSS website editor where users can fully customize their site. Whereas, the opposite is true of Wix. Wix’s standout feature is that users don’t have to write any code to make the most of it, relying mainly on its website templates and in-built design features. 

Their approach to customer service is also very different. Webflow puts lots of emphasis on its ‘self-help’ documentation; it has a ‘University’ section jam-packed full of tutorials and guides. On the other hand, Wix is very easy to contact through email, focusing more on its in-person customer support. 

wix

Wix Pros

  • Wix’s drag and drop interface is arguably the easiest on the market. 
  • Websites made using Wix typically boast impressive loading speeds.
  • There’s a colossal collection of templates for you to choose from. So you’re bound to find something you like the look of. 
  • Wix’s App Market is pretty impressive. Although it isn’t as extensive as WordPress’s, there are still loads of Wix apps you can download to extend your website’s functionality.  
  • Wix’s customer support is second to none, including phone support.
  • It boasts a built-in email marketing tool, which is surprisingly good.
  • You get access to an impressive range of professional photos that you can publish on your site.
  • Wix’s SEO tools and features are pretty decent.
  • Wix’s ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) solution is super simple; it’s ideal for complete novices wanting to create something professional-looking.
  • There’s a free-forever option available.
  • You’re not locked into length subscriptions. Some of Wix’s competitors force you to take out 24- to 36-month contracts, whereas this isn’t the case with Wix. Plus you can cancel at any time!
  • Wix handles your website’s security without compromising on speed.
  • The user experience Wix provides is excellent. For instance, they’ve added an arrow button where you can preview your site before you go live. This pulls away all of Wix’s menus, allowing you to see just the design of your website.
  • Wix is incredibly flexible. There are tons of options to choose from and features to utilize.
  • The blogging functionality is great. You have the choice of several layouts, all of which are customizable. You can also categorize, tag, and schedule posts. On top of that, you can save blog posts as drafts and add Facebook and Disqus comments.

Wix Cons

  • To access Wix’s tracking and analytics tools, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan.
  • Your site isn’t transferable. So, if you decide you don’t want to use Wix anymore, you can’t transfer your content over to another website builder. 
  • Wix’s templates aren’t interchangeable. This is a considerable downside — especially if you want to rebrand your website in the future. In other words, you can’t start using one theme, tire of it, and transfer your content onto another. If you find yourself in this predicament, you’ll have to start from the beginning. Urgh.
  • If you opt for Wix’s free plan, your website’s plastered with Wix’s branding, which hardly exudes professionalism.
  • Wix’s paid subscriptions are single-site only, so if you’re looking for a website builder to manage several websites, Wix isn’t for you. 
  • You can’t publish a GDPR cookie consent banner without using a third-party app.
  • You can’t export digital products or blog content.
  • Multi-currency selling isn’t possible.
  • You can only create AMP pages for your blog posts.

Shopify vs Webflow

Shopify is a leading eCommerce SaaS platform explicitly designed to help online merchants create e-stores. Its long list of in-built features is nothing short of impressive — and that’s not including the hundreds of apps you can integrate with to boost your website’s performance. On top of that, if you have some programming knowledge, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can edit your Shopify site’s HTML and CSS code. 

In contrast, Webflow’s eCommerce solution is best described as an afterthought. Initially, Webflow was built just for website design, and later on, they added a few online selling features. 

With regards to cost, Webflow and Shopify are similarly priced. So if you’re struggling to decide between these two platforms, price won’t play a massive factor. 

Instead, whether you prefer Webflow over Shopify mainly comes down to how much web design experience you have. If you want a highly visual interface with seemingly endless possibilities for customization, Webflow is a perfect choice. There’s nothing you can’t change — product pages, checkouts, branding elements — you name it, you can edit it. 

That being said, Webflow doesn’t offer anywhere near as many templates as Shopify, and it certainly doesn’t provide a simple process for creating an online store. It’s safe to say you’ll have to know what you’re doing to really make the most out of this solution. However, if you’re after a more newbie-friendly experience or a platform to get your eCommerce store up and running quickly, Shopify is a much better bet. 

shopify

Shopify Pros

  • Shopify is incredibly innovative and easy to use.
  • Shopify’s templates are fully responsive and beautiful. They lay the perfect foundations for any professional-looking store. 
  • You get access to an ‘abandoned cart saving’ tool on all Shopify’s premium plans, even its cheapest ‘Lite’ program (available for just $9).
  • It’s excellent for dropshippers, as there’s a massive number of dropshipping apps Shopify integrates with. 
  • Shopify automatically calculates US, Canadian, and EU tax rates for you. 
  • Depending on where you’re located, you might benefit from generous shipping discounts (if you use Shopify’s in-built shipping service).
  • Shopify’s Lite Plan allows you to create a Buy button. This provides a quick and easy solution to selling your products on other websites outside your Shopify store. 
  • It comes with a built-in email marketing tool that lets you manage an email list of up to 2,500 subscribers for free.
  • It has comprehensive POS (point of sale) options.
  • Shopify’s product category features are impressive.
  • It’s easy to extend Shopify’s functionality thanks to its vast range of third-party apps. However, some of them will cost extra. 
  • Shopify’s built-in blogging functionality is excellent.
  • You can use Shopify as an app (available on both iOS and Android) to manage your Shopify store wherever you’re located.
  • Shopify’s payment processor, Shopify Payments, doesn’t charge transaction fees.
  • There’s a free trial, so you can try before you buy. 

Shopify Cons

  • Shopify enables you to generate hundreds of product variants. However, you can only involve three different product options with these.
  • Although multi-currency selling is possible, it’s not easy. You’ll have to rely on a third-party app to implement it properly. The same goes for creating different versions of your site in various languages. Again, it’s possible, but some limitations apply. As such, if you’re selling to an international audience, Shopify might not be the best choice for you. 
  • Similar to the point above, although you can add custom fields to your forms such as text boxes and file uploads, it’s somewhat complicated. Alternatively, you’ll have to purchase an app to help simplify the process. The same goes for creating AMP product pages. Yes, it’s doable, but, again, you’ll have to download and use a third-party app.
  • To access advanced reporting tools, you’ll have to opt for one of Shopify’s more expensive plans.
  • Shopify Payments isn’t available in every country. So if you’re relying on benefiting from its 0% transaction fees, you’ll have to double-check you can access it from your country of residence.
  • For your images to display correctly, you’ll have to upload your pictures with the same aspect ratio. 
  • Shopify’s abandoned cart feature only permits you to send one automated follow-up email.
  • To ensure you’re GDPR-compliant, you’ll have to use a third-party cookie banner app. 
  • There’s no longer an official integration for Mailchimp.
  • Shopify’s email marketing functionality, while nice to have, is pretty basic.

Are You Ready to Start Using an Alternative to Webflow?

Having read this review, hopefully, you have a better idea about which Webflow alternative best suits your needs.

If you’re looking for a website builder to get your site up and running fast, Wix is the best solution for you. Its drag and drop builder is incredibly intuitive, so anyone can make the most out of this tool no matter their experience level.

Alternatively, if eCommerce is your focus, Shopify is definitely your best bet. Their suite of online selling features is outstanding.

However, if it’s design freedom you’re after and need a comprehensive CMS, WordPress is the order of the day.

Finally, if you want to use some of the highest-quality website templates on the market, Squarespace is the most recommended solution for you.

So, which will you opt for: Wix, Shopify, Squarespace, or WordPress? Let us know in the comments box below — we’d love to hear how you get on. Speak soon!

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