Site builders like Webflow are the reason that websites can now be put together so quickly, even by those unfamiliar with CSS or HTML. These make templates and modules within (more and less) user-friendly browser-based platforms that nearly anyone can use. Webflow is only one option among many, and considerably more complicated than some of the other solutions available.
Accordingly, we closely assessed 10 website builders according to categories like their "Configuration and Usability", "Features", and "Templates & Design". We'll save you the anticipation: Webflow staked out a very respectable fourth place in our comparison. The website builder/CMS hybrid offers nearly endless customization options, however, it dropped down our ranking since it's somewhat inaccessible to beginners.
Webflow is less beginner-friendly than most of the other website builders from our sample.
This complexity can be traced to Webflow visualizing coding logic, albeit not to the same extent as some of its competitors, like Wix, do. You'll still build your website by dragging and dropping ready-made content blocks, however, it's necessary to pay attention to some programming basics, like the box model.
All of this lends Webflow's editor flexibility to a degree few of the other platforms we took a look at offered, however, it also makes it much more demanding.
Flexible albeit overwhelming editor for those unfamiliar with coding logic or programming languages like HTML and CSS.
Relatively few extensions and integrations for a CMS (compared to full services like WordPress).
Somewhat more expensive than most of the other services from our sample.
The 5 Best Alternatives to Webflow
Webflow is not designed for newcomers to the world of website building. However, there are plenty of alternatives that specialize in catering to precisely this market segment. Below, we've compiled a list of five great alternatives:
Easier To Use: Wix
Wix took first place in our ranking since it provides the most well-rounded package for building a website. Its editor is both versatile and user-friendly, loaded with features, and the platform's app marketplace is teeming with extensions and add-ons. The service also offers a nice blend of marketing options and ecommerce features, making Wix a great choice for those interested in opening up an online store.
Set alongside Webflow, Wix is definitely targeted towards a wider audience. The editor's drag and drop capabilities make designing a website far more intuitive, especially for those lacking in experience with coding and/or who work better visually.
Wix's editor is more beginner-friendly than that of Webflow.
Thanks to all of the above, Wix doesn't have nearly as steep a learning curve as Webflow. Wix's ADI editor offers an even more accessible option, nearly automating the entire process of creating a website. With the ADI editor, you won't have as many customization options as with Webflow. This is because Webflow's editor offers users a considerable number of choices in its visual interface and if they can code nearly unlimited ones.
However, for less-experienced site builders and anyone who doesn't want to spend time getting familiar with the basics of programming logic, Wix is clearly a better option.
Easy-to-use drag and drop interface
Comes with plenty of features and an app marketplace
Numerous design templates available
Less customization possible than with Webflow
ADI editor somewhat lacking in features
No CMS as with Webflow
Better Templates: Squarespace
If Squarespace is known for one thing, it's the platform's iconic templates. The New York website builder's design options are widely held as some of the most aesthetically appealing on the market, and in our book, a step above what Webflow offers.
Beyond looks though, Squarespace provides access to a range of versatile features, is easy to use, and grants users access to comprehensive ecommerce options in a very solid, albeit somewhat pricey overall package.
Squarespace is known primarily for its high-quality templates.
Another drawback is that in comparison to Webflow, you'll have considerably less design freedom with Squarespace. If the quality of design templates is important to you, and you're ready to work within the platform's editor's limitations, Squarespace is definitely a good choice.
Eye-catching, high-quality templates
Easy to use
Good support center and live chat
Lacks a dedicated app marketplace, providing instead only a few extensions
Unlike Webflow, no CMS
Cheaper: MyWebsite by 1&1 IONOS
With its drag and drop site building editor, MyWebsite by 1&1 IONOS offers its users a considerable degree of design freedom when compiling their websites. Ready-made content elements can be freely placed and arranged, with most customizable to some extent via the design tools. However, the biggest selling point for MyWebsite by 1&1 IONOS is its price for new users: New "Essential" subscribers pay just $4 a month for the first year, while "Business" subscribers are charged even less ($0.50 per month for the first 12 months).
MyWebsite by 1&1 IONOS has one of the most powerful site-building editors available.
At the same time, we should state that MyWebsite by 1&1 IONOS is certainly more complicated to use than Wix, while still being easier to handle than Webflow. All things being equal, Webflow does beat MyWebsite in terms of flexibility and freedom of design.
Still, MyWebsite by 1&1 IONOS is a great choice and available at an unbeatable price.
Powerful editor offering plenty of possibilities for customization
More than 400 design templates
Somewhat complicated and overloaded editor
Less flexible than Webflow
Unlike Webflow, lacks CMS capabilities
Better for Ecommerce: Shopify
Should you want to open an online store, ecommerce platforms like Shopify can't be beaten. While Webflow does possess similar capabilities, Shopify is built for setting up online businesses. As such, it includes comprehensive dashboards for managing your store and can offer your customers a wider range of payment options to choose from.
Ecommerce platforms like Shopify are ideal for setting up a new business online.
Shopify combines ecommerce features with the classic advantages of a site builder, namely, easy editing of templates and intuitive design tools. Of course, Shopify can't match Webflow's flexibility and freedom of design.
User-friendly and easy-to-navigate dashboard
Straightforward site builder for personalizing your store
More developed ecommerce features than Webflow
Transaction fees, if using external payment gateways
Less flexible than Webflow
CMS Alternative: WordPress
Because Webflow is a site builder/CMS hybrid, we just couldn't resist including the king of CMS as an alternative. WordPress is free, open-source, and can be enhanced through a seemingly endless number of add-ons and integrations (far more than Webflow). Among these are visual drag and drop plugins, which help transform WordPress into an intuitive site builder.
WordPress is the most used CMS worldwide.
However, with WordPress, you will have to pay attention to some aspects that are taken care of for you by Webflow, such as hosting and security (although WordPress does offer paid packages that include these). Similarly, you shouldn't expect anywhere near the same level of support with WordPress as from Webflow.
Basically free and open source
Most-used CMS worldwide
Numerous plugins and extensions
Necessary to take care of key aspects, such as hosting
No direct customer support
Designed especially for beginners, Weebly impressed us with its clever mobile app, making it easy to build or manage your site on the go. Unfortunately, Weebly's editor has limited drag and drop capabilities, restricting your creative freedom more than its competitors, and in particular, Webflow.
SITE123 also sacrifices flexibility for ease of use, as each template is tied to specific layouts, which you can only edit to a limited degree. Accordingly, drag and drop design, as with Wix and others, is not possible. All the same, SITE123 is highly beginner-friendly.
In balancing between user-friendliness and flexibility, Jimdo also leans to one side with simplicity winning the day. Like Wix, Jimdo includes a second, beginner-friendly editor which is AI-assisted (Dophin). Of course, creative freedom is extremely limited, and compounding this, Jimdo's ecommerce capabilities are fairly weak compared to those we experienced among the rest of our sample.
In assessing all 10 site-building platforms from our sample, we scored each according to five categories, namely, "Configuration and Usability", "Features", "Templates & Design", "E-Commerce, Marketing & SEO", and "Customer Support", with "Pricing", a sixth factor, being discussed but not scored. As we noted above, Webflow took fourth place, leaving it just out of the Top 3 (Wix, Squarespace, and MyWebsite by 1&1 IONOS, respectively).
Below, you can see how each of the 10 platforms from our sample did:
When it comes to site-building platforms, Webflow is in a league of its own. Thanks to its unique approach to design (visualization of complicated coding logic), the site builder/CMS hybrid is a great tool for veteran web designers more interested in flexibility and versatility than hand-holding.
This makes alternatives targeted at newcomers to the world of design particularly interesting. One of these, our EXPERTE.com best-in-show, Wix, serves up what might be the best overall package on the market. Squarespace is a good alternative owing to its beautiful design templates, while MyWebsite by 1&1 IONOS offers something for those on a budget. If you're planning to set up an online store, Shopify is worth a look, and finally, if you'd prefer a full-fledged CMS, WordPress is a great choice.
Determining which provider is best suited to your needs depends on quite a few factors, most of which we cannot address. To help in your search, be sure to consult our comprehensive reviews of 10 site builders and 9 ecommerce systems.