Travel back 30 years and power on your Apple PowerBook, listen to the screechy dial-up modem connecting, and then maybe, 20 or so minutes later, you might connect to the first website ever created. Built with W3 servers on a NeXT computer, the original website was little more than HTML and hyperlinks teaching users how to navigate the internet. No low-code development, no incalculable range of options—certainly no debates of Webflow vs. Elementor, or which TiKtok hashtags to use—just a British computer scientist doing his employers a solid.
Today, there are nearly 200 million websites active online. Launching a site is easier than ever, with no- or low-code options, how-to tutorials, and professional site designers at the top of each SERP. The problem is: how do you know where to start with your site design?
Great news: Slam Media Lab is here to help! We provide the resources to not only get your website out of the development stage, but guarantee it crushes SEO, ranks on SERPs, and looks good doing it. Our products and resources put you well on your way to a personal or professional brand we know you’ll love, from TikTok Content Planning to SEO Keyword Research Templates. Check out everything we offer today, and let’s Slam your next big project together!
Your Big Idea is in the works, the business plan is all ready to go, and now you’re diving head first into website creator research. Let us give you a jumpstart, as we take a look at two strong options, Webflow and Elementor. We’ll check off all the questions you have so you can begin crafting that next Webby Award winner, such as:
- What are Webflow and Elementor?
- Which option is better overall?
- Which option is better for me?
- How much is Webflow paying you?
Okay, we can answer that last question now: nothing. We’re just big fans. So, let’s jump into all the pros and cons, features, and options you’ll have before you choose between Webflow or Elementor.
Webflow vs Elementor: What is Webflow?
A good rule of thumb before launching any major project is knowing the basics about the tools you’re working with, especially when you’ll be relying on those tools for years to come. So, what is Webflow?
Webflow is a visual website design and development platform that enables its users to create responsive websites without code. To quote Webflow’s mantra: “Build with the power of code, without writing any.” Webflow generates the code for you, so you are able to implement your site’s design faster and, if we’re being honest, more enjoyably.
Founded in 2013 by Vlad and Sergie Magdalin with Bryant Chou, Webflow operated with the goal of making web design and development more accessible to startups. The three founders used their previous experiences working with large tech companies to revamp the way website design was accessed and implemented, removing the blocks for non-coders and programmers and opening up web development to everyone with a vision and internet access.
Today, startups and established businesses—as well as nonprofits and SMBs—still need to hire developers to manage their CMS and website design, especially those building on WordPress. Webflow provides solutions to developers by providing a visual interface that allows users to design and develop websites using drag-and-drop tools, while also providing a powerful CMS that enables users to manage and update their website's content without add-ons, extra downloads, or additional software.
You can choose from a wide range of templates or design your own custom layouts from scratch, using Webflow's visual editor to add and edit content, style elements, and manage site structure. Along with eye-popping templates, Webflow’s extensive resources include:
- Webflow Marketplace: A community-created resource hub full of apps, expert matching, and curated libraries of templates and layouts.
- #MadeInWebflow: A collection of inspo from engaging, aesthetically-stunning websites built with Webflow.
- Libraries: Curated, free libraries for useful components, ideas, or features for website design, from free avatar kits to uDesign components.
- Hire an Expert: A directory of Webflow experts ready to assist with everything from platform migrations to marketing & SEO.
Over the past decade, Webflow has steadily gained a loyal following among designers, developers, marketers, and small business owners (not to mention yours truly) looking to create professional-looking websites without needing to learn how to code and without breaking the bank.
Per freelance Webflow designer Breeona Nechole, the website builder offers more than just a convenient software to create great content:
“I literally wouldn’t be exposed to so many people around the world if it weren’t for Webflow, and it’s probably the most underrated joy of being a part of this community.”
Webflow vs Elementor: What is Elementor?
Echoing the need for more accessibility in web design, Elementor pulled inspiration from the “democratic world” of WordPress. Founders Yoni Luksenberg and Ariel Klikstein leveraged their passion for web design and development into their own company, launching Elementor in 2016.
Elementor boasts an impressive 7% share of the entire internet, leading WordPress-based creation platforms with over 11 million active installs while covering over 150 countries, 200,000 community members, and functioning in 50 languages.
Along with the base model website builder, Elementor also offers:
- WordPress Hosting: A no-code, cloud-based hosting platform featuring automatic updates, performance boosters, daily backups, staging, and support
- Strattic: Elementor’s Static Site Generator, with scalability, security, and instant optimization
- Page Builder Plugin: Elementor’s plugin featuring drag-and-drop live editor, no-code building, and WooCommerce POS integration
- Elementor AI: AI implementation to improve and translate text, create images, and generate custom code with little to no effort
- Hello Theme: A free starter kit for website builds, with ready-made designs, full control and customizability, and limited plugins
Millions have already employed Elementor and Elementor Pro to build vibrant, interactive websites. Safety features including SSL certification, DDoS protection, and daily backups ensure your sites are well-monitored and protected. Per Elementor user and Web Designer Zoe Tame:
“The Elementor community has a truly amazing group of people who are always there, always active and always sharing tips. I'm constantly learning new things from them and couldn't do the work I do without them.”
Which leaves us with the big question: Webflow or Elementor? The decision’s not so easy is it? Let’s take a closer look at some of the defining features of Elementor.
Do You Need WordPress to Use Elementor?
Short answer: yes. Elementor’s plugin requires purchasing a hosting service with a WordPress installation in order to download and install Elementor. Elementor’s Cloud Website feature does offer export options to other hosts using Elementor or WordPress’s Import/Export functions.
So, with the basics of Webflow vs Elementor covered, it’s time to answer the next important question: which one is better?
Webflow vs Elementor: Which Website Designer Software is Better?
Determining best designer software is more than just comparing specs side by side. Do you want coding capabilities when you design your website? Are you optimizing for mobile search (you should be) or focusing more on desktop builds? Is local SEO a driving factor in converting your online presence to in-person traffic? Every user has different answers to these questions, and what you land on could determine which software is ultimately better for your purposes.
But, which website designer software is better overall? We’ll hit on all the pros and cons of Webflow vs. Elementor, and then let you be the judge. We cover:
- Which software offers the better visual designer
- What each software offers for SEO
- How each software functions in overall site speed
- Pricing models for both softwares
- How each software is implementing AI
Which Software is the Better Visual Designer?
It’s no secret Elementor hosts some of the most eye-popping aesthetics on the internet. Hell, they even named their website sharing page “Showoff;” they know they bring the goods when it comes to visual design. Although, when it comes to the actual software behind those visuals, some clear pros and cons exist, including:
- PRO: Great introduction to visual web design, guiding you through and managing the process with its up-to-date plugin
- CON: Widget-based, meaning it lacks the DIY customizability provided by Webflow
- PRO: Integrates with your other WordPress plugins, such as LearnDash and WooCommerce
- CON: Requires WordPress, which can negatively affect site speed, SEO, and other necessary functions
Both Webflow and Elementor do offer several similar features, such as:
- Custom CSS options
- Flexible grid systems
- Intuitive UX
- Drag-and-drop design interfaces
- Integrated AI
When it boils down to software features, specifically customization, Webflow is hard to beat. Along with the shared functions between Elementor and Webflow, Webflow does provide several key advantages, such as:
- Fully customizable designs and animations
- Dynamic, scalable content through a best-in-class CMS
- Custom code editor for advanced developers
- Access to CSS and HTML for its drag-and-drop visual designer
- Surplus resources to learn and master the software
Undeniably, Webflow does have its drawbacks. The CMS has one of the steepest learning curves among software builders. Webflow’s Editor can force users into a bit of design-by-trial-and-error, but, once you get the hang of it, going back to the old ways of site editing seems unthinkable. Still, Webflow clearly outpaces Elementor in several key areas, namely SEO.
Check out all the free and convenient resources we offer for SEO at Slam!
Webflow is Your SEO Software of Choice
Building the most visually stunning site can and should be high priority. Few things put users off a website like poor design; most visitors will have an opinion—good or bad—of your site in less than a tenth of a second. On the flip side, stimulating visuals can keep visitors coming back, almost guaranteeing repeat visits. For example,check out our work on D.C.-based Vietnamese restaurant Sprig and Sprout, and tell us you aren’t getting hungrier by the second (we know we are).
What does all of this have to do with SEO? No matter how enticing, engaging, or award-winning your website build is, if no one can find it then what’s really been achieved? That’s where Webflow comes in.
Webflow’s customization capabilities stretch beyond visual design and drag-and-drop interfaces, enabling you to edit your URL structure, meta descriptions, and meta titles for fully-optimized builds. Webflow also provides:
- Custom created sitemaps
- Programmatic pages
- Improved asset management
- Simplified SEO boosts, such as alt text
While Elementor also allows for editing meta titles and descriptions, the requisite for WordPress does knock Elementor’s SEO functionality down a notch. Not only does Elementor being hosted through WordPress impact site speed—a big influencer on SEO—it also recommends, you guessed it, more plugins to improve SEO, specifically Yoast SEO and Rank Math.
Webflow ensures your new site is ranking from day one, while Elementor does implore its users to add more plugins, decreasing customizability, site performance, and, ultimately, SEO.
Webflow’s Site Speed Laps Elementor
Remember when we mentioned users judge a website within a tenth of a second of loading? One way to influence opinion is rapid load time, and Webflow comes out on top once again.
Any up-to-date website builder is going to prioritize speed, and Elementor and Webflow are no different. However, Webflow does have the advantage in a few key areas, specifically:
- Server Response Time: Elementor does feature some of the faster speeds of visual builders, but it is still noticeably slower than WordPress without Elementor. Webflow websites are hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for hosting, offering faster server response times.
- Code Efficiency: Similar to server response times, Elementor hosting sites via WordPress increase the code needed to support new builds. While both Webflow and Elementor boast no-code building, the increased code needed behind the scenes of your build will hamper load times and affect SEO and UX. Webflow deploys more efficient code structure, improving overall speed and performance.
- Design Experience: Simply stated, Webflow’s standalone builder structure enables quicker load times, while Elementor’s “plugins on top of plugins” structure can seriously reduce site speed.
If site speed sits at the top of your priority pyramid—and, again, it’s hard to argue it shouldn’t—then the choice is clear: Webflow.
Pricing Webflow vs. Elementor
Cost may be the most important qualifier when choosing between anything, including website builders. For some, no matter the clear upgrades, software superiority, and user appeal, cost might prove the be-all-end-all of your decision. For others, cost might just be a matter of invoicing the company accountant and forgetting about it. Don’t worry: we break down both Elementor and Webflow pricing tiers to give you a comprehensive look at what each offers.
Elementor offers some free templates and beginner web build’s, but, unlike Webflow, it doesn’t feature a free plan among its four tiers. What it does offer is guidance on what each tier provides in relation to site goals and usage. Those four tiers are:
- Basic: At $9.99/mo, the Basic model of Elementor gears toward personal website building, allowing for one hosted website and Elementor Pro features.
- Business: As the image above indicates, this tier is best for integrating POS plugin WooCommerce. Still allowing for just one hosted website, tier 2 provides more GB storage and bandwidth for small or medium-sized businesses.
- Grow: Grow upgrades hosting ability to 3 sites at a time, increasing storage capacity, bandwidth and allowable monthly visits for those interested in launching a web design company or offering users multi-purpose experiences.
- Scale: At $49.99/mo, Scale is a leap in cost from Elementor’s other tiers, strictly for professional website developers. Still, the tier does limit users to 10 website builds, with only 15 GB storage increase over the Grow tier.
Differing from Elementor in two important ways, Webflow offers both a free starter package and five tiers in its pricing model. These tiers are comprised of:
- Free: It’s base model, Webflow offers a Webflow.io domain, 50 CMS items and form submissions, and 1 GB bandwidth to teach you everything you need to know about getting started on Webflow without paying anything.
- Basic: A little more costly than Elementor’s introductory priced tier, Basic provides a custom domain and 500 monthly form submissions to help you launch a simple, streamlined website.
- CMS: Webflow’s most popular option, this tier increases your options to 3 content editors, along with large upgrades to bandwidth and CMS items.
- Business: Billed as ideal for high-traffic marketing sites, Webflow’s fourth tier doubles bandwidth, 5x’s CMS items, and boosts the number of content editors from 3 to 10.
- Enterprise: Building a serious game-changer in web design? Webflow offers high-security and scalability options with its Enterprise tier.
As we mentioned, pricing is subjective to every user. We’re partial to Webflow’s entry-level free tier, promoting learning its platform before committing to any monthly subscription. The choice here ultimately depends on the usage rates and goals of your new site.
Looking for in-depth case studies of Webflow builds? Check out how we’ve helped impact brands and slam dunk web design with our amazing partners!
Webflow and Elementor Introduce AI to Their Platforms
You really can’t click a link nowadays without reading about or experiencing AI. One of the first lectures at this year’s BrightonSEO conference was supplemented with ChatGPT. It’s unavoidable, and Webflow and Elementor are taking full advantage of the uses a valuable tool like integrated AI provides.
Elementor recently introduced Elementor AI, an add-on aimed at streamlining your plugin integrations and simplifying website creation. Elementor AI offers:
- Custom CSS code
- Text generation and tone modification
- Translation into 29 languages
- Spelling, grammar, and sentence structure checks
- HTML generation
- Custom code generation
Webflow’s AI features some similarities with Elementor, while finding ways to improve SEO and visual integrations as well. These features include:
- Fast generation, alteration, or summarization of static and CMS content through simple prompts
- Auto-generated and optimized SEO settings based on page content
- Auto-generated image alt tags
- Custom code generation in Editor based on prompts
- Fast translation of content into different languages
AI advancements are being made by the day, if not faster, and both Webflow and Elementor will likely implement more AI capabilities to keep up. At this moment, we give the advantage to Webflow based on its clear impact on SEO.
Webflow vs Elementor: What’s the Right Choice for You?
Choosing a website builder is much like buying a new car. We can share all the specs, showcase the tech upgrades, and upsell the pleather interior, but very little can contend with personal preference. When picking your daily driver (in this simile, ours is a sleek 2023 Webflow Slam), take into account your usage, goals, experiences, and comfort with each website designer. Some things to consider, then, when making a final decision include:
- How comfortable you are with WordPress over other platforms
- How much control you want over your website builds
- Which features you value most for your website
Elementor is By Far the Best Visual Builder Today…for WordPress
If your website design is limited to WordPress, then you can’t go wrong with Elementor. Its plugins offer everything you need in a website builder, solving for SEO issues through Yoast SEO and Rank Math, introducing an AI plugin, and managing complex processes for amateur or nonprofessional web designers. Elementor is the best visual builder out there now…for WordPress.
Webflow Gives You More Control
Top to bottom, Webflow gives you more flexibility, customization, and control over the entire website design process.
Overall, in our experience Webflow provides a more cohesive experience building new sites compared to Elementor and WordPress. Site speed, SEO, ease of use, scalability, and CMS are why we love Webflow, using it for website redesigns for everything from consulting nonprofits and SMBs to major government procurement.
Is site speed the biggest factor in building your newest website? Or are you more concerned with turning your website traffic into in-person visits through local SEO? We can gladly talk your ear off about Webflow’s benefits when it comes to web development and design, but the choice is yours.
Building on Webflow? Slam Can Help!
Still making up your mind? We get it; committing to a website builder is a big decision. That’s why we offer an entire series of blogs comparing Webflow to other popular web builders; check them out below!
See how Webflow stacks up against WordPress in our guide, Webflow vs. WordPress.
Ready to dive headfirst into your next website build? We’ve got you covered! Our services include:
- Webflow Design & Development
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Writing & Strategy
- Brand Strategy & Identity
Contact us today to see how we can Slam your next project together!
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