Is Webflow a viable alternative to WordPress Elementor?
Webflow is a browser-based website builder that mainly appeals to designers and allows them to create responsive website templates. WordPress also has a website builder in Elementor, but Webflow fascinates with its design-driven applications. Elementor basically does nothing different than Webflow and its proprietary Designer Mode, but the user experience is much more straightforward with the latter one.
The auto-save process alone saves a tremendous amount of time when working. With WordPress, you have to be familiar enough with the backend that you as a user know where I can save customizations. If you have worked on the lower part of the website, then you have to scroll to the top of the page until the save button is visible and selectable. This is followed by a few milliseconds of waiting time until the saving process is completed. If you have a tight schedule in the implementation of websites, then WordPress can fall on your feet. However, the WordPress website builder Elementor now allows enough flexibility and thus variety in the layout. For years, designers were able to recognize WordPress website by the typical structure of templates, which had the great disadvantage that this style repeatedly prevailed. Webflow brings a breath of fresh air to the template landscape, as the websites allow for more refined areas that highlight a unique recognition mark on the viewer. The approach to creating layouts is much freer and more experimental. However, as a more experienced designer in the use of WordPress can create similarly unique projects, because crucial to the structural and design approach of a website actually form the content. Without the planning of text and images, a website can be irrelevant and of only short useful life, or will not be found via search engines. WordPress is by birth a content management system that makes it easy for its users to quickly upload and develop a range of content. Webflow is predominantly a website builder that can store content like a CMS, but this service is offered for a fee. WordPress has an enormously extensive community that participates in further development and ensures that certain examples of use are reproduced as tutorials. At this point, Webflow relies on an elaborate production of learning videos and step-by-step instructions presented by a sympathetic actor. Webflow's learning videos are also entertainingly produced. The presenter shares his sense of humor with his audience, mainly designers who want to become familiar with Webflow.
The No-Code movement aims at designers and laymen without experience with development environments. Designers want to become independent from developers and vice versa, developers don't want to constantly develop websites according to the imagination of designers, for which they often can only write small program functions or application needs are too repetitive and the challenges are missing in the long run. Designers, on the other hand, don't want to start programming specifically to create simple websites; they want to focus on developing design systems and brand images. They also want to be able to try things out on the web and enhance websites with new visual elements.
WordPress Elementor and Webflow are far from being the only website builders trying to outdo each other. Bubble.io or Softr.io are not only trying to take over the code-free market around web apps, they also give users the possibility to implement complete website projects on top of them. However, the success of a code-free provider is ultimately decided by the community, which provides enhancements and innovations to the products, discusses them and votes on them. WordPress is known worldwide among bloggers and still far ahead of content management systems like Ghost.io or Contentful. Webflow tries to take exactly this target group and attract them with harmoniously designed website templates that cover the essential applications.
Advantages and disadvantages WordPress Elementor
WordPress is based on the PHP development language. In order to develop WordPress websites, you need to set up a local environment on your computer where PHP specifications can be rendered. Setting up the development environment is a particular challenge for many designers and often they find it difficult to make the technical settings, so they ask a developer to do it. If WordPress is installed locally, the Elementor building system can be installed and used as a WP plugin. To use Elementor, users are asked to officially register to benefit from offers and upgrade to the paid version at any time. In general, WordPress requires installed plugins and latest WordPress versions to be updated at regular intervals to keep the systems running flawlessly. One of the biggest drawbacks with WordPress is that the plugins are loaded with every visit to the site, which can cause content performance to be very slow unless you know about optimizing WordPress load times. On the other hand, if WordPress is optimized and systems can be easily kept up to date, then the WordPress application environment for maintaining and modifying content is easy to understand. Access permissions can also be delegated to other team members so that the website can be maintained by multiple people. Multilingual content can be easily added via suitable plugins. This also applies to search engine optimization. The WP Community supports the success of developed plugins and ensures their correct application and distribution. Not all plugins are free, some WP extensions are based on one-time to regular contributions. Elementor is now a very successful WP plugin and is used with most modern theme offerings. The building block system has morphed into a simple application experience. Widgets can be exchanged or added via drag and drop. Handling media such as image, icons and videos is also straightforward. With access to WP Media, content can be embedded directly or accessed via external link. Animations are also part of Elementor's expertise and so transitions between elements can be made more elegant, thus making the application experience seem more pleasant. WordPress Elementor already covers a wide range of interactive application patterns functionally and visually, but if you want to add new applications on top of that, then as a designer you usually need to bring in a developer who can write functions in PHP and understands the system architecture.
Advantages and disadvantages of Webflow
Webflow does not require any installation procedures, as all applications are browser-based, so a constant Internet connection is required. Without an Internet connection, Webflow templates can only be edited after they have been exported from Webflow, for which the paid version must be activated. However, users cannot import templates back into Webflow. To do this, you have to create a new project and ask support for help. Designers are clearly in the foreground of Webflow as a target group, elements can be changed directly and easily in the Design Browser. Designers can get used to CSS semantics and develop an understanding of technical design.
With the help of Webflow templates, users can orient themselves for the creation of new templates and adhere to certain guidelines. Similar to WordPress, Webflow has a media library where all the required content can be uploaded. Like any website builder, Webflow has the problem that users don't always upload optimized formats and the website becomes unnecessarily slow to load. Here, the Webflow community also provides good hints and tips for improving content and load times. One of the biggest advantages with Webflow, on the other hand, is that users don't have to search for suitable plugins and don't have to worry about keeping them up to date so that all applications work.
One reason why Webflow has not yet won over the vast majority of website designers is the issue of multilingualism. Webflow does not currently offer a direct interface to easily add content in different languages. There are third-party providers who have specialized in the missing connections at Webflow and offer their services for a fee. Multilingualism, on the other hand, is a basic feature that website owners want, which is why the choice often falls back on WordPress.
Another disadvantage is the problem-free setup of the security protocol (SSH), which is offered by most hosting providers and is a general requirement of system developers. Webflow now allows the integration of various third-party providers, but the community is still growing, so information usually still has to be asked in forums.
The Webflow Academy is again a great asset, the tutorials are very educational and easy to understand, both as a designer and as a layperson. A moderator breaks down the topics to a non-technical level and the video tutorials are appropriately provided with visualizations, so that you understand contexts in no time and can independently make certain settings. The tutorials of WordPress are produced in comparison rather amateurish and drawn out.
Versions and cost
WordPress Elementor offers a free and a paid version. Elementor cannot be used without WordPress themes, which means the program needs a website template, of which there are numerous offerings in the WordPress community. The free Elementor version allows users to make a selection from 40 widgets and add them to the currently used WordPress theme via drag and drop function. In the paid version, users have access to far more widgets that can be customized. Price-wise, subscriptions range from $49 for simple website projects to 1,000 websites for $999 a year. Webflow can be used for free until the website is scheduled to go live. When the website is to be published, Webflow offers packages from basic starting at $12 a month ($144 a year) to business $36 ($432 a year) for far fewer website publications, 100 websites compared to 1,000 websites that can be built with WordPress Elementor. Webflow can also be used as a CMS that gives team members permission to edit and publish.
Those who choose WordPress Elementor follow a very specific approach in designing and extending website projects based on the WordPress CMS and its WP community. WordPress is one of the oldest content management systems on the market and accordingly has an application that needs a lot of improvement in terms of time and simplicity. Elementor has undergone major improvements and the usability is simple by now. However, Webflow suggests a more direct and dynamic approach of website development by not having to install an environment on the computer beforehand, which in some cases requires support of a developer. Webflow's followers are a target group that admires the simplicity of Website Builder, with the goal-oriented results of publishing complete websites in a relatively short time, including ingested content.