Use of CMS in Web Development
If you’re planning to design a website, you should first decide which platform to use for development. To date, there are over 1.88 billion websites live on the internet, most of which are built with just a handful of popular platforms. Two popular choices are WordPress and Webflow, both of which are Content Management Systems (CMS).
A Content Management System is a piece of software that allows users to create, edit and publish online content. Using a CMS is particularly helpful if you don’t have a high level of technical knowledge and have had a website developed by professionals. This is because they can allow website modifications post-development, without code.
This article will explore two leading Content Management Systems: WordPress and Webflow. (We also compare WordPress with website builders Wix and Squarespace on our blog). If you’re looking to build a website, keep reading to see which platform is right for you.
WordPress Vs. Webflow
WordPress is the most widely used Content Management System available. Since its inception in 2003, it has become a trusted platform for web development and online content management, powering over ⅓ of active websites. This is no surprise given WordPress’s range of features and advanced customization.
The platform offers plentiful API, eCommerce, and dashboard integration opportunities, making it the perfect choice for web development companies like Idea Maker. However, there are other CMSs available that you may wish to consider, for instance, Webflow.
Webflow comes with several unique features but lacks in power and advanced development functionality compared to WordPress. This article will discuss the advantages and drawbacks of both WordPress and Webflow, helping you decide which is best for your website.
Advanced Functionality with WordPress
WordPress has gained its stellar reputation as the top CMS primarily due to its versatility of features. The platform enables users to build fully customized websites, from theme to functionality, with full third-party software integration. This is just one reason why WordPress is the first choice for expert developers like Idea Maker.
The real versatility of WordPress comes from its open-source nature. As a result, users can easily integrate and further develop third-party plugins and themes, of which there are thousands. What’s more, WordPress also boasts a first-party curated database of over 59,000 add-ons, making it a powerful option for advanced development.
Recently, WordPress introduced a new evolutionary API to their platform: REST API. REST API allows WordPress sites to communicate with external websites and software, regardless of their core programming language. This is thanks to the set of communication protocols and standards REST outlines and unifies across sites.
One of the primary benefits of universal data communication with REST API is the ability to allow third-party apps to access and develop your WordPress databases. As a result, the broader technological application of WordPress is more expensive than ever. The REST API is an excellent way to create cohesive online ecosystems and makes WordPress a steadfast choice for cross-platform web developers.
The abundance of customization options available in WordPress is likely what attracts many of its users. WordPress allows users to develop sites by adding ‘blocks’ i.e., components, to the editor. The WordPress Gutenberg block editor adds a new layer of flexibility, giving you the ability to customize the content editor itself.
Custom blocks can be created from scratch or templates. However, several plugins enable users to easily build custom blocks, such as the Genesis Custom Blocks add-on. This gives users a way to customize their development environment to fit their project’s requirements and can provide better control and compatibility with third-party app functionality
Drawbacks of WordPress
As a result of WordPress’s far-reaching functionality and customization options, a level of programming knowledge is needed to use the platform adequately. Thankfully, there is a wide range of resources available online to help, such as Idea Makers guide to WordPress development.
What’s more, you can download custom templates and third-party add-ons to build upon, meaning most of the functionality will already be programmed. Alternatively, you could hire a WordPress development specialist for best results.
Advanced Design with Webflow
Webflow sets itself apart from other CMSs by terming itself a Visual Content Management System (VCMS). As a result, Webflow is aimed more towards designers than developers, meaning the platform’s primary focus is on website aesthetics. Webflows VCMS aims to provide designers access to web development capabilities without programming knowledge.
The VCMS allows users to structure dynamic content through ‘collections,’ which are essentially database records. Collection items include content created within the Webflow site builder, such as blog posts or defined fields. This allows users to cleanly structure their websites while managing visual content and interactive features like animations.
The Webflow platform aims to close the gap between design and development by acting as a prototype tool. Instead of designing static websites and sending them off for development, users can create responsive websites based on HTML and CSS. This enables developers to clearly understand how websites should look and function, allowing the code to better match your vision.
Building a prototype based on actual code can streamline the programming process. This is because developers have a pre-established core to build upon based on live mockups. However, live mockups take more time to initially design, meaning the streamlined development process is offset and potentially extended anyway.
According to the Webflow website, interactions are controls and triggers that execute an animation, reaction, or function. With the Webflow site builder, users can design websites around the concept of Interactions.
The introduction of Interactions to Webflow has allowed users to design websites with UI and UX as a priority. In 2017, the interactions feature was upgraded to 2.0; it came with a selection of new tools and has faced regular updates since. Features include scroll-based triggers, mouse tracking, multi-step animations, and transformative styles.
Drawbacks of Webflow
Webflows focus on website aesthetics means that a lot of its functionality relates to animations. Though this can result in smoothly animated sites, heavy animation leads to long website load times that negatively impact SEO. A two-second delay in site load times can result in an 87% bounce rate, meaning that the excessive use of animation in Webflow is terrible for business.
Despite being targeted towards designers as an easy-to-use platform requiring no programming knowledge, Webflow can still be a challenge to use. Advanced features like custom CMS dashboards and interactions need some technical experience for correct use. This begs the question, why not just use a technical platform with more advanced functionality in the first place, such as WordPress?
Finally, Webflow can cost up to $45 per month for personal website development and up to $235 for eCommerce. Though there is a free version of Webflow, it offers few advanced features, meaning users must upgrade to access the full capability of the platform.
Which is Right for You?
After reading this article, you should have a better idea as to whether WordPress or Webflow is suitable for you. Webflow is a powerful design platform, great for advanced prototyping, but is costly and lacks robust features for professional developers.
On the other hand, WordPress is an excellent choice whether you’re a designer or developer. Thanks to its increÇdible versatility of features and customization options, users can build high functioning, well-designed websites. With the right technical know-how, WordPress lends itself to any website, prototype, or live.
WordPress Development with Idea Maker
WordPress is a strong platform with several technical features and intricate functionalities. Although it’s possible to learn WordPress development through the many online resources available, it’s worth considering a specialist company for the best results.
At Idea Maker, we have a team of experts dedicated to developing first-rate WordPress websites to fit your requirements. If you’d like us to build a powerful, responsive, and functioning WordPress site for you, schedule a free consultation with us today.