Wordpress Alternative - Its Time To Say Goodbye
One of my earliest Marketing related memories comes from 2012.
I was standing at my desk, shouting at my knock-off Toshiba laptop and absolutely losing it. What had happened?
Well, the answer is nothing.
At the time I was working on building my very first website. My hosting provider offered "1-click Wordpress installation" and, like a sucker, I jumped at the chance.
About 2 weeks into building the website I was still struggling to center the button on my hero image.
Adding to my frustration; every time I uploaded an image the dimensions seemed off - no matter what I tried.
As I pressed "Publish" to finally center the button over the hero image, the timestamped record on my homepage told me that this was my 120th revision.
I reloaded the page and waited. Breath held.
The button, just like 119 times before, popped up ludicrously far to the left. I went nuts.
Thinking back to that memory I can't help but laugh. I've made a lot of progress since then, but damn that was infuriating.
Why Look for a Wordpress Alternative?
Seven years later, I still haven't seen Wordpress work particularly well - and I've used it a lot.
Yes it's free and includes some truly impressive features, but it has a ton of problems as well.
The biggest reason you might be looking for a Wordpress alternative is the lack of customization that is possible straight-out-of-the box. If you are new to Wordpress or don't know much about coding, doing something as simple as building a landing page can be a nightmare.
Likely it will require an array of both free and paid plugins, which subsequently reduce your page load speed.
Additionally, the vast amount of plugins make it hard to find the best option.
"Which of the 9,000 results will give me the functionality to capture leads and look good on my page?"
"Well, looks like I need to install the one with the most reviews and hope for the best."
This approach is deeply flawed.
Of course, we've skipped the bit where I install and delete different themes over and over again, because none of them seem to work the way I hoped.
That being said, it's not all doom and gloom. As a CMS Wordpress works reasonably well. The way it handles revisions, drafts, authors, and publishing is commendable.
Creating blog posts is easy to do and quickly learnt. In the age of Medium however, this isn't enough.
Webflow - The Best Choice For Marketers
Webflow is easily my favourite Wordpress alternative and the one I would recommend.
Yes, it's paid ($20 a month for CMS capabilities) but it's well worth the money.
Switching from Wordpress to Webflow; the first thing you notice is how good Webflow University is. This is a comprehensive series of short, educational videos covering every topic you can think of. Not only will it help you create your website but it also teaches you how to unlock Webflow's more sophisticated features.
After hours of fruitless Googling to find a solution to the problems created by my seemingly unique Wordpress Theme and Plugin combinations, the relief of having a single source of truth is absolutely brilliant.
Their University turned 120 revisions into 2. I'm really happy with it.
Another really cool feature is the ability to clone or copy other Webflow sites. This makes it much easier to draw inspiration from others and implement new designs and features on your website.
You can head over to the Webflow dashboard, click "Showcase" and then navigate through the websites. You can click on these and inspect each page, giving you insight into how the design is achieved, and allowing you to recreate it.
You see a shadow, button, or footer that you absolutely love? Well, you can dive in and see exactly how it was created.
Another reason why Webflow is a better Wordpress alternative is the speed with which you can make edits.
My experience of Wordpress has taught me to expect lagging whenever a new update or revision is published. Not so with Webflow.
Additionally, Webflow also makes it very easy to optimize your pages and blog posts for mobile devices. In a time in which Google prioritizes mobile, it is crucial that you make a great impression across all devices.
Finally, it's worth talking about how easy it is to integrate most providers. Google Analytics, Facebook, Google Optimize, and even Google Maps require a simple copy and paste. Zapier also offers a ton of API integrations including Mailchimp, Email Octopus and Facebook Lead Ads.
What's Wrong With Webflow?
Of course, Webflow isn't perfect.
Setting up the blog probably caused the most frustration. Pagination, collections and sidebars took time, but I got the hang of them after some tinkering.
A more troubling problem is the lack of AMP compatibility. These are Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages, which reduce content to their HTML/CSS skeletons, so they load much quicker. Although Google has stated that AMP is not a ranking factor, it would be great to have the option.
Next, it's worth mentioning interactions; Webflow's point-and-shoot interpretation of CSS/JS for Luddites like me who can't code.
Setting up dynamic interactions is much easier than on Wordpress but its still not a walk in the park. Instead the learning curve is quite steep and expect at least some frustration before you get the hang of it.
Once you get it though and you have objects fading in and out of the view-port it's a fantastic feeling.
Conclusion - The Better Wordpress Alternative
But then I got started and just kept writing about Webflow. It is after all the Wordpress alternative I use every day (on this site) and the one I would recommend.
I've been using Webflow for around a year and still thoroughly enjoy it. Switching from Wordpress was one of the best decisions I've made in my professional life, as it has allowed me to quickly launch landing pages and blog posts.
With no coding whatsoever, I launched this page in 2 hours. Using Wordpress, I would still be working on it.
Is it the greatest page you've ever seen? No. Does it convert users across all devices? Yes, and that's all I need it to do.
Thanks for reading and speak to you on Telegram.