When you’re running your own business and launching a new idea on the world, the idea of building your own website to save a couple of bucks can seem very attractive — especially given the rise of popular website builders like Squarespace and Wix.
BUT — and it’s a pretty big but, folks! (See what we did there?)
Statistics show that it only takes 0.05 seconds for someone to make a snap judgment about your business and how trustworthy you are from your website. Is that because they’re a speed-reader and have carefully evaluated every bit of painstakingly crafted prose that you’ve sunk your heart and soul into?
They’ve done it based on what it looks like. They have, very literally, judged your book by its cover. It's said that you should never do that, of course, but in a world full of options and a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) chock full of other websites just waiting to take the place of a poorly designed one, it pays to make sure that yours is measuring up to the competition.
Now, if you’re not a particularly design-savvy, or technically proficient website maven, then the idea of having a website designed by someone who speaks fluently in complex code can seem daunting. Which is why we here at Flying Saucer are huge fans of Content Management Systems (CMSs).
WordPress has been a juggernaut in the CMS market for a long time for some very good reasons, but there’s a new player on the scene in the form of Webflow that we’re pretty enamored with. Both of them are worthy options for your back-end, offering equal opportunities to provide feature-rich website experiences.
Why choose one over the other? Let’s dig in.
For most, this platform requires no introduction due to its reputation as a sturdy CMS and the pure flexibility that it offers — but we wanted to give you some of the nuanced specifics about what makes it a great platform for your website.
Here’s our Pro/Con list:
- It’s a multi-language system.
All coding languages are not built equally for all things — so if you’re looking for a complex design with lots of custom animations and all the bells and whistles, WordPress can be your best choice.
The number of plugins available for integration into a WordPress website makes the world your oyster in terms of getting just what you need out of your website.
It’s interesting to note that one of the things that makes the Pros list for WordPress is also present in the Cons list! Check it out:
Because WordPress is an open-source, PHP-based platform, they have an entire team devoted to exposing and fixing security issues that arise in the code that is core to the platform. That sounds great, right? It is! But only if you’re very consistent about checking to make sure that your site is running the most up to date version that includes those crucial security patches.
Additionally, recent reports indicated that the beloved plugins mentioned above represent a pretty gnarly security risk — with 75% of known WordPress security vulnerabilities in their database coming from WordPress plugins. A couple of other notes on plugins: they need to be kept up to date too! They also tend to bloat the code on your website making it less straightforward to edit.
- It can be tough to use.
Again — the open-source nature of WordPress provides a flexibility that you’re going to love, but not all plugins play well with one another and not all plugins work with every theme that’s available in WordPress. It’s a total pain when you fall in love with a Theme but realize that a core functionality that you need for your website can’t be done the way you thought it would be because the plugin isn’t compatible, or messes about with the core design of the site.
- Support can be hard to come by.
WordPress support is mostly driven by the massive community that they’ve built over time. On the one hand, the fact that there are so many people using WordPress that they’ve amassed such a huge community speaks to the quality of the product and the experience — they use it for a reason! On the other hand, it can take a little while to get the help you need if you’re dependent on the WordPress Community Hive Mind to give you the answer you’re looking for.
As a graduate of the Y Combinator class of summer 2013, this company exploded onto the dynamic site builder scene. With major companies like Dell jumping on the Webflow bandwagon to cut down on the back-and-forth between the UX design and development teams, others have been sure to follow - and follow they did! Zendesk, Adobe, Yelp, CBS, and MTV are all using Webflow to up their design game.
Let’s look at why:
- Quick to develop
Webflow allows even the least technically experienced person to speak the language of developers — which means that anyone you pay to do the development will have a much easier job. We’d be surprised if this didn’t translate into at least a little bit of cost savings!
- Easy to maintain
With no need to continually update to the latest version, and no plugins needed — Webflow makes your website an absolute cinch to keep in prime fighting shape. Add to that the fact that you’ll never have to do any server maintenance, and we’re not sure how much easier it can get!
Because Webflow has over 100 datacenters and servers worldwide— facilitated by a global content distribution network — your website will load at lightning speed. Not to mention that Webflow boasts a 99.99% up-time statistic which represents some enterprise-grade reliability.
This can be pretty crucial when you take into consideration that even a one-second delay in page loading translates to an 11% decrease in page views, decreases customer satisfaction by 16% — and perhaps most importantly, it can take a serious bite out of your conversion rate. 7%!
Page loading time has also been highly correlated with bounce rate; a 1-3 second increase in page loading time can see your bounce rate increase by 32%. When Search Engines are using bounce rate to establish how useful your website is to your users — and therefore how high on the SERP it’s going to appear, this can be a costly factor.
Plus, you get all of that speed and the peace of mind that you’re never going to have to do server maintenance. That’s a win-win if we’ve ever heard one.
Webflow provides free SSL certificates for all hosted websites and the Content Distribution Network serves the content from multiple locations while also providing an extra layer to the network. Think of it a little bit like insulation! Not to mention the fact that there is no need for plugins which could be poorly made and insecure.
- Multiple users can’t connect on the web designer simultaneously
We love that with Webflow you can have multiple people working on the same project — but you can’t do it simultaneously if you’re using the web designer function. This can cause difficulties if someone forgets to log out before signing off for the day.
- Ease of access to multi-language functionality
We’re not saying that you can't use multiple coding languages in Webflow — but it’s not built-in yet. There are several workarounds here, like using weglot plugin.
So, which one should you pick? For us, that answer depends much more on your needs for your website. What do you need it to do? What do you need it to look like? Are there custom animations and videos that you’d like to integrate? Multiple APIs that need to be worked with?
The biggest thing that we would recommend is working with a professional or team that can accurately assess the requirements for your unique needs and business. A good agency will be able to tell you which one they would recommend, based on what you need it to do but also who is going to be the person or team that will be updating the content on a regular basis.
Here at Flying Saucer, we also provide tutorials for how to manage your website, regardless of the platform that you end up going with — and we’re always here to help if you need us! If you’re considering a new website, or a redesign, and are wondering which platform would work best for you, with our Client Success Team. They’ll help you get the conversation started.
That’s all for now — but stay tuned for more things that you need to know going into 2020!